After Child Pornography Fine, Rurouni Kenshin Will Resume Publication This June 

After Nobuhiro Watsuki was charged with possession of child pornography last spring, his manga Rurouni Kenshin was placed on hiatus. This June, it will resume serialisation in Japan.

Image: Shueisha, Watsuki, Fuji TV, Aniplex, Hulu

Earlier this year, Watsuki was fined ¥200,000 ($2418) for violating the country's child pornography law with this possession.

Starting June 4, however, Rurouni Kenshin's "Hokkaido Arc" will return to print. The manga publication Jump Square's editorial department offered a deep apology for the long hiatus from print and to everyone involved for causing concern and problems.

Continuing, it added, "The author spends his days reflecting and with remorse, and think as though it's our obligation as a publisher as well as his as an author make a way for us to reply through the work to the various opinions we've been getting, and so, from the July issue, which goes on sale June 4, serialisation will resume."

The magazine asked readers for their understanding.

Investigators had discovered several DVDs that showed nude under-15-year-old girls at Watsuki's Tokyo office. Similar DVDs were also reportedly found at his house. At the time, Watsuki was quoted as telling authorities, "I liked girls from the upper grades of elementary school to around the second year of junior high school."


    Seems like a real slap on the wrist kind of punishment... you could argue that possession alone is victimless I guess but as soon as you pay money for it you're directly supporting child abuse. The stuff related to sexualisation of minors is one of the cultural differences with Japan that's a real head-scratcher for me.

      Yeah. Attitudes towards pedophilia are a lot different to developed western nations.

      I was chatting with a friend of mine who lives in japan once and was genuine shocked at what gets given a free pass over there but would get you arrested in Australia.

      It's also possible that what he had was borderline enough that an actual conviction wouldn't have stuck in court so they slapped him on the wrist and moved on, who knows?

        Almost certainly what happened. There was a lot that was legal to produce and distribute until 1997 and even after it was made illegal, it wasn't illegal to own. Even after it became illegal to own, a lot of it is (for lack of a less gross way to put it) not that bad or on the borderline where it may or may not be illegal.
        Japan has something like a 98% conviction rate because they don't prosecute if they don't know they can win. They don't need to. You can be arrested and held in "detention" (which is worse than prison because you have fewer rights) for up to two years.
        Because there's a big grey area on what's legal and not when it comes to this kind of thing, it's not particularly well enforced. Even detaining him would have raised eyebrows because of who he is. So they almost certainly decided to hit him with a fine and be done with it.

          Yeah, that was my interpretation of it. The flipside of him being well-known is that if he had stuff that they felt would be a slam dunk case, there's no way he'd have gotten away with just a fine, because it would have sent a strong message.

            If he'd had anything they REALLY could've hit him with, they would've nailed him to the wall so hard they'd need a second wall to catch him.
            There's a lot of uncool stuff about Japan's views on sex, but when they can punish someone for deviancy, they seem to really like to set an example.

      more then %70 of the world do not consider this as a crime.

        That's not true. That's not true at all.

        Keeping in mind population densities, possession of child pornography is legal for a pretty small portion of the global population - maybe 15-20%. Illegal everywhere else. Also, most of the countries where it's legal are developing nations that have a lot of other problems with their justice systems and laws.

        Based on your replies here it seems super important to you to believe that it's only a minority that considers looking at sexual images of kids wrong, and hey, you do you I guess? But don't make up bullshit 'facts' to try and back that up.

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      Publisher probably didn't care once the public stopped thinking about it and it became obvious they law wasn't going to make an example out of watsuki. The guy makes one of the most iconic Manga series out there so if they can shrug, pay a little lip-service and then go about their business as usual they will.
      Sad as it is, it just doesn't seem like these laws are taken all that seriously in Japan. In all likelihood, if the publisher and mangaka are actually feeling guilty about anything it's that they've inconvenienced their fans with the hiatus that came as a result of this crime rather than the crime itself.

      its not a westen conrty, only they belive in child pornography as being a bad thing.

        That makes it sound like you believe it's a good thing and no it isn't only western countries as @troublecat stated earlier.

        In non western countries they will castrate you or hang you if you touch their kids. In some Arab countries they would arrest you for your comments on this subject.

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    Wow, 1/5 the maximum fine and no jail time, what a fucking farce. He's a sicko who gets off to watching children getting raped.

      There is no indication that child rape is involved.

        I don't know about Japan, but sexual relations with anyone underage is in no two ways, statutory rape.
        Regardless of whether it was consensual or not.

          I believe that what that poster meant is that the images and DVDs in question have never been mentioned to depict sexual relations, only nudity.

            If there had been any "high-level" stuff, it would've been a very different story. He almost certainly got off lightly because prosecuting for having stuff that was totally legal a few years ago and even now sits pretty close to the line would take forever and not end up in a conviction.

    He’d literally have gotten in bigger trouble if he’d gotten caught with weed. And more social shame. This is a disgusting outcome.
    Two months ago I removed my RK games from my collection (PSP, PSX and PS2) our of disgust. Just straight up tossed them in the bin. That’s the attitude his employers should have taken.

      thats a useless and pointless.

        That's a useless and pointless, what?

          I think he means the fact I tossed RK video games out in response to this. An action which VERY MUCH had a point.
          I don’t support pedophiles. And I don’t want media a pedophile has largely contributed to in my home.

    Good news for the fans of the series??? I guess???
    I do believe in the separation of art from artist but boy that is a tough one.

    Pretty bizarre that he only got fined $2000 for owning some exploitation of children, but I guess that's Japan. Pretty bizarre.

      you mean thats 70% of the world today.

        Are you really into being a CP apologist, or are you trying to be edgy to prove some point only known to you?

        I'm not sure what part you're replying to.

          Earlier up the comment thread he claimed that possession of child porn is legal in 70% of the world, which I guess is what he means here.

          It's not true though, as I pointed out above.

        Dude, you’re way too close to coming across as a pedophile enabler with some of your attitudes. Don’t be that guy. Use your energy to rep people that deserve your time.

      I can’t seoerate artist from the art. Art is fundamentally an expression of the self. If you are a rock spider, I don’t want your art.

        I'm that way with music I don't like the artist, it's an expression of yourself.

          Absolutely! It’s the main reason Kanye sucks!
          There’s no argument with this one: You cannot seperate an abusive person from something they have expressed in an artistic format.
          If you can seperate it, good for you, but it says something meaningful about your integrity.

            So your own distorted 2D perception of an individual is the objective analysis of art production? Ridiculous.

              I mean, you can call it 2D, but that would be diminishing the other aspects of my perspective.
              Also, you do realise the dude was whacking it to photos of children, right?

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