Senator Calls For Review Of All Anime And Manga In Australia

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Senator Calls For Review Of All Anime And Manga In Australia

A crossbencher in the Australian Senate has called for a review of all manga and anime classified in Australia to screen out the glorification of child sexual abuse, specifically citing Eromanga Sensei for depicting “wide-eyed children” in “explicit sexual activities”.

Stirling Griff, a crossbencher from the Centre Alliance party that includes independents Rex Patrick and Rebekha Sharkie, used a speech in the Senate today to calling for all anime and manga in the country to be re-reviewed by the classification board. “They contain depictions of wide-eyed children, usually in school uniforms, engaged in explicit sexual activities and poses, and often being sexually abused,” Griff said, according to The Guardian and AAP.

Griff’s issue was that too much anime and manga contains “child abuse material”. “There is, unfortunately, a dark side and a disgusting side to anime and manga, with a significant proportion of the two media featuring child abuse material,” he said. “The classification board appears to be making decisions in isolation to criminal law. This must stop.”

Griff called out Eromanga Sensei, a novel series from 2013 about a 15-year-old high schooler who uses an anonymous partner called “Eromanga Sensei” to illustrate his stories, who is later revealed to be a 12-year-old junior high schooler. “The series also heavily features incest themes and many scenes are so disturbing I just won’t, I just can’t, describe them,” Senator Griff reportedly said.

Manga and anime is exempt from exploitation laws in Japan, AAP reported, as cartoon characters are not considered to be depictions of real children. In Australia, the Classification Board has argued otherwise, with some anime games being refused classification precisely for sexual depictions of underage characters.

Omega Laybrinth Z was banned two years ago for simulating “sexual stimulation of a child”, according to the Classification Board’s report which was provided to Kotaku Australia.

“During this section of the game, with mis-clicks, dialogue can be triggered, in which Urara Rurikawa says, ‘Stop tickling…’, ‘Stop poking…’ and “Th-that feels strange…’, implying a lack of consent,” the board’s report into Omega Laybrinth Z said.

Why Omega Labyrinth Z Was Refused Classification In Australia

Late last week, the Classification Board announced that Omega Labyrinth Z was refused classification in Australia. According to the board's report, the game was banned due to multiple scenes featuring "gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions" of sexual activity with depictions of characters that appear to be under 18 years of age.

Read more

Kotaku Australia has reached out to the Senator’s office for a copy of his remarks; a version of his speech is not yet available online.

Update 3:40pm: The full text of Griff’s speech also calls out series like Sword Art Online, which the senator argues “undoubtedly features the abuse of children”. “In one explicit scene that takes place in the virtual world the character Asuna is raped by her captor Sugu, who threatens to also rape her in the real world, where she is lying in a hospital room in a catatonic state,” the senator said in his speech.

The full transcript of the Senator’s speech is below.

Senator Says Sword Art Online 'Undoubtedly Features The Abuse Of Children'

A member of the Australian Senate has called on the Federal Government to immediately review "all Japanese anime movies" available in Australia, along with the ban of any anime and manga featuring child exploitation "as a matter of urgency". In a speech to the upper house, Senator Stirling Griff argued that the M-rated Sword Art Online: Extra Edition was a prime example of a title misclassified in Australia, saying the show "undoubtedly features the abuse of children".

Read more

Correction: This story was updated to reflect that manga and anime is exempt from exploitation laws in Japan, not Australia. Apologies for the typo.

Comments

  • While this is very clearly an old white dude who hasn’t experienced new popular culture in fifty years taking exception to something he doesn’t understand, the specific manga in question is also skeevy as fuck.

    • I haven’t read the manga but have watched a couple of episodes of Eromanga Sensei on Crunchyroll. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be, given the premise.

    • I would also like to have this job, I can vouch for the fact that both myself and Zambayoshi are very independent and do not have any pre conceived biases.

      Hire us

    • It’s not as fun as you think, it’s skipping through as quickly as possible to find the sexual assault stuff for case ammunition

      You don’t enjoy it, you write down the title and the series number, flip flip flip hey there’s some ammo in here, write it down in a report, sometimes flipping back a few pages for context, flip flip flip, end of book, next…

  • I don’t know why this is a facepalm photo. I’ve gotten manga from local book retailers that had explicit images and sexualisation of underage in a positive manner, and it’s just weird.

  • I would really hate to be a Classification Board worker.
    Gamers: “You followed the guidelines and refused this classification. I hate you for it.”
    Senators: “You followed the guidelines and let this get through with an appropriate rating. I hate you for it.”

    While we’re at it, let’s ban Catcher in the Rye too.

  • This article states:

    Manga and anime is exempt from exploitation laws in Australia, AAP reported, as cartoon characters are not considered to be depictions of real children.

    But the report linked states:

    In Australia, the production, possession and distribution of abuse material depicting a representation of a person who appears to be under 18 is illegal.

    If I remember correctly, the law to include illustrations as abuse material came into effect roughly 10 years ago.

      • Crazy stuff. Child pornography is illegal because of the harm it does to children. Abused fictional children don’t grow up into damaged adults.

        • Oh, so then it’s ok for people to take innocent vid’s/pics of babies/young children in the nude while in the bath or in a private pool, etc and then distribute it for the explicit purposes of said material being used to facilitate pedophilic behaviour because it “doesn’t harm children”.

          Child Pornography is illegal for a multitude of reasons that doesn’t include “harm of the child”.

    • The linked AAP article actually says it is Japanese law that doesn’t consider cartoon characters to be depictions of real children. So either the AAP article has been updated, or @alexwalker made a transcription error.

        • Why be so quick about it?

          Let it sit unaltered for weeks on end, then make a quick edit, without the necessary bump up the page… You know.. like every media outlet

          /sarcasm

  • Internet school for argument 101: 1) find something you don’t personally like, 2) find the worst possible example of that thing, 3) treat the entire topic as if your worst possible example is typical and average, 4) complain as loudly as you can, 5) repeat.

  • Did he just read the synopsis of Eromanga Sensi cause the anime is just is pretty wholesome despite the teenagers career choice it never shows anything erotic or sexually activity. Nothing happens in it. Its a situational comedy not erotic fiction.

  • I mean, a lot of manga and anime does feature child characters in a sexual manner. Japanese games too. Are we going to pretend it doesn’t just because it’s popular with the nerdosphere and so any criticism of it has to be completely ignored, no matter how valid?

  • So just because they lost the war on an R rating on the games front they going for another deep count in the shallow end, blaming mass (not social) media, much more easy and cheaper than going after the real pedophiles and the distribution and trafficking networks, please tell me when you find a report actually stating that the end and means actually have something in common, that’s what ratings are for dickheads!! And going on what a lot of people of said already on this thread that because it has the word “Eros” it is pornographic; no irony deficiency in his triple shot piss latte is there??

    • And if it is indeed promoting the sexualisation and abuse of minors, women etc then it probably is not genuine Anime or Manga anyway, the flashing of underpants is more a sign of innocence not perversion in the history of comics, television etc in Japan, as opposed to the western ideal which it would be seen as being the complete opposite so it comes down to artistic merit and cultural appropriation really; and then it can be defined from child pornography because I have never read a report stating that child molestors are avid fans of something that is actually aimed at teenagers; considering the superficial garbage being produced locally maybe the censors should take a closer look to clear up my point…

  • I’m sure this is one of the sources of child abuse in Australia and squashing the perceived abuse in these manga shows will completely turn around child abuses in Australia… yep…

    Another political attack on a problem from completely the wrong end and angle. This isn’t the source of the problem old boy!

  • If alot of Anime is Child Porn, then Cigarettes are inadequate for people’s health and need to be removed asap. Both generate an insane amount of money, Have effects on people and others around them and yet the Government does nothing but put a warning label on it. Why not just put a warning label on Anime? It doesn’t help for Cigarettes, the least bit. The classification is there for a reason and should be considered as the classification states in all classifications above PG. (M “MATURE 13+” MA “MATURE AUDIENCES 15+” R “RESTRICTED 18+”) if you’re gonna have a go at Japan for their maturity at taking on the actions that happen in some peoples life. go nitpick at your own backyard dog which humps everything. It’s bestiality to even watch the dog pee or hump a plush duck (“Click”). Anime is Cartoon and Reality is Reality. In fact some Anime lovers only like Anime because 2D women are apparently better than real women.

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