This came news to me as I was under the impression that Japan loved their anime and manga regardless of moral biases.
Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara’s successful passage last month of legislation targeting manga, anime and video games for vaguely defined “morally offensive” imagery has been recorded in this column, as has the strikingly vehement opposition to the bill on behalf of artists, publishers, producers, translators and fans, many of whom question Ishihara’s motives.
Still, in the wake of Bill 156’s passage, the decision by 10 of the nation’s top manga publishers to boycott this year’s Tokyo International Anime Fair (TAF) came as something of a surprise. TAF’s executive committee is chaired by Ishihara, making the decision and its message understandable. But TAF is the single major showcase of new titles and licensing deals for an industry already struggling with declining revenues at home and abroad. Or at least, it was.