Regarding legality of certain content.

WelshJester

Hikikomori
Okay, so i've got some questions on certain Anime/Manga content that has confused me and doesn't really make much sense.

So i read a news article that a guy in the UK got in trouble for posession of Ecchi/Hentai images depicting underage girls. Apparently any kind of content that shows characters off even slightly in a sexual way is illegal. So here's where i'm confused, if it's illegal then why is there content out there allowed to be bought in the US and UK that is definitely questionable and by law's logic illegal?

Example: there is a series called Senran Kagura and a character named Mirai who is 15 years old, there are 2 games i know of which show the characters getting most of their clothes ripped off which is most certainly Ecchi at least. Last but not least there is even a figure of that character which allows you to take off the top part of her clothing leaving her skin exposed, and for sale in the UK.

Is the law just randomly selective of what they deem is illegal and what's not? Certainly seems like that.. Anyway i didn't know where else to post this so i wanted to try asking what people think of this here.
 

Rui

Karamatsu Boy
Administrator
Ultimately so long as the BBFC have approved it you can enjoy all of the weird filth you want; if it hasn't been approved by the BBFC then there's a chance that anything, no matter how genuinely innocent, can suddenly land you in hot water when the wrong person finds out about it. It's ridiculous.

Here's our thread on the original issue I presume you're talking about: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18969

R
 

WelshJester

Hikikomori
Rui said:
Ultimately so long as the BBFC have approved it you can enjoy all of the weird filth you want; if it hasn't been approved by the BBFC then there's a chance that anything, no matter how genuinely innocent, can suddenly land you in hot water when the wrong person finds out about it. It's ridiculous.

Here's our thread on the original issue I presume you're talking about: viewtopic.php?f=10&t=18969

R
It really is ridiculous when you actually check to see what is illegal and what's not, very strange decisions by people in charge but then again we can't challenge them because they think they're always right.

Thanks for the link and i'll give it a look in a little bit.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Considering there's probably a copy of Urotsukidoji on sale in every HMV up and down the country, I imagine for the most part - if it's rated by the BBFC, it's pretty fine to consume.
 

Rosencrantz

Dragon Knight
Lutga said:
Considering there's probably a copy of Urotsukidoji on sale in every HMV up and down the country, I imagine for the most part - if it's rated by the BBFC, it's pretty fine to consume.
If it's BBFC rated it's 100% fine no questions

If you take something BBFC rated and cut frames/mess around with it in some way then you are at risk.

The stuff you need to watch for is basically where a character could be perceived to be a child performing a sexual act or similar. You can have as many boob and underwear shots as you want as long as you don't cross that line.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Rosencrantz said:
Lutga said:
Considering there's probably a copy of Urotsukidoji on sale in every HMV up and down the country, I imagine for the most part - if it's rated by the BBFC, it's pretty fine to consume.
If it's BBFC rated it's 100% fine no questions

If you take something BBFC rated and cut frames/mess around with it in some way then you are at risk.

The stuff you need to watch for is basically where a character could be perceived to be a child performing a sexual act or similar. You can have as many boob and underwear shots as you want as long as you don't cross that line.
Although, I do wonder if this could be called into question in terms of how in Japan, the ages are often lower - but when ported to the West, the ages are often 'officially' raised to make them 'legal'.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
I'd say that ultimately, it's context that matters. Which is why the BBFC defended the decision to give The Simpsons Movie a PG despite it showing Bart's penis during one very brief scene.

To tie into the whole "context" thing, it's funny that you mentioned Senran Kagura. Did you know that the European releases of Shinovi Versus and Bon Appétit had the subtitles removed during the "Dressing Room" mode of those games due to concerns over the game's rating? The main story could feature women having their clothes torn off in battle and references made to groping, but when the games feature a mode that involves the girls reacting to you touching them, that was when the line was apparently crossed.

Lutga said:
Although, I do wonder if this could be called into question in terms of how in Japan, the ages are often lower - but when ported to the West, the ages are often 'officially' raised to make them 'legal'.
The ages of female characters in Japanese works are often lower than in the west because in some parts of Japan, the legal age of consent is lower than the majority of western countries. While different prefectures and districts can have their own variations, the Japanese Penal Code has set the minimum age of consent at 13.

The reason characters will see their ages increased in western localisations is more often than not, to "justify" the situations they find themselves in. For example, the western release of Bravely Default raised the ages of the four main characters by three years due to a side-story in the game where Edea Lee was used as bait to help catch a man who was kidnapping young women. Edea was 15 in the original Japanese version, so you can imagine that that might have caused some problems down the line.
 

Shiroi Hane

Dragon Knight
Lutga said:
Although, I do wonder if this could be called into question in terms of how in Japan, the ages are often lower - but when ported to the West, the ages are often 'officially' raised to make them 'legal'.
I have to laugh at ImoPara's "all characters are over 18" when the main character appears to still be in school and he has multiple full blood younger sisters who must all be at least 9 months apart...
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
Shiroi Hane said:
Lutga said:
Although, I do wonder if this could be called into question in terms of how in Japan, the ages are often lower - but when ported to the West, the ages are often 'officially' raised to make them 'legal'.
I have to laugh at ImoPara's "all characters are over 18" when the main character appears to still be in school and he has multiple full blood younger sisters who must all be at least 9 months apart...
I was watching La Blue Girl the other day (don't ask...) and it has one of these messages at the start too, and even goes to great length to explain something like 'Yes, we know these characters are still wearing uniforms, but they're at university, not school! Trust us!'
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
Lutga said:
Shiroi Hane said:
Lutga said:
Although, I do wonder if this could be called into question in terms of how in Japan, the ages are often lower - but when ported to the West, the ages are often 'officially' raised to make them 'legal'.
I have to laugh at ImoPara's "all characters are over 18" when the main character appears to still be in school and he has multiple full blood younger sisters who must all be at least 9 months apart...
I was watching La Blue Girl the other day (don't ask...)
I'm asking :p

and it has one of these messages at the start too, and even goes to great length to explain something like 'Yes, we know these characters are still wearing uniforms, but they're at university, not school! Trust us!'
Pffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffftttttt
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
Considering how sensitive the censors are over certain content, how does a show like Bakemonogatari manage to get it's variety of very questionable at times humour through the net? Like, there are straight up pretty worrying groping scenes played for laughs in it.

This is actually a point I wanted to bring up, as it was lightly touched on in Sarah's review of the latest installment of that show, but stopped short of outright criticizing it for it. How do people here feel about that stuff? I mean, obviously the whole show is choc-a-block with sexual objectification. But it's the making light of sexually abusing a character with a pre-teen physical form (although it's reprehensible regardless of the age of the character, of course) that I find particularly odius. Yet there are plenty who still laud the show as a masterpiece or something. How are we reconciling this more unpleasant sexist content with our own ethics? Is it down to the acceptability of it in Japanese media? Telling ourselves that the show needs it to sell to it's intended market? Or are we just accepting that a show can have some pretty horrifically disagreeable content, yet still be worthy of praise.

I'm not judging anyone here, by the way. I do the same thing myself, specifically the last option, to justify plenty of things I like that have aspects I find disagreeable. We all contradict ourselves in some way, I guess.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
I think the way I see it - and it's much the same way I approach the whole 'violence in videogames/movies' thing is that anime - as a medium - is complete and utter fantasy. It's two-dimensional lines and colour on a telly screen, created for the most part as absolute fiction. Some might say that's simplifying it a little or giving it too easy a 'get out' clause, but it's something I stand by. We view this stuff as entertainment and escapism - in my eyes at least, it has little to no bearing on the real world. I think some knowledge of the context is necessary as well - ie. these things are more 'accepted' within the anime medium as well as Japan.

It bring to mind the phrase - a bad workman blames his tools. If someone watches anime and then becomes a pedophile, is that the inherent fault of the anime (considering millions will watch it and remain 'normal') or was it something already buried somewhere within that person's psyche in the first place?

I do find it weird though that something like Battle Girls: Time Paradox can get cut by the BBFC for sexualising an underage character, while something like Strike Witches, which shows underage girls in full frontal - boobs and everything - and be classified as a 12.
 

Professor Irony

CYBER FUNKER
Moderator
vashdaman said:
Are we just accepting that a show can have some pretty horrifically disagreeable content, yet still be worthy of praise.
In the case of Bakemonogatari, exactly this. I haven't finished rewatching it yet, so I can't remember how much dubious 'fan service' it actually contained. Obviously, I would prefer it was 'none', but regardless of that I still hold it up as a cleverly written, culturally savvy and artfully directed series. I'm deferring judgment until I've watched all of it, but I'm tempted to quote what one critic said of Cannibal Holocaust - "Artful enough to demand serious consideration, yet foul enough to christen you a pervert for even trying".

Should qualify that by saying I'm referring specifically to the first series; I've still not seen any of the subsequent iterations.
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
Lutga said:
I think the way I see it - and it's much the same way I approach the whole 'violence in videogames/movies' thing is that anime - as a medium - is complete and utter fantasy. It's two-dimensional lines and colour on a telly screen, created for the most part as absolute fiction. Some might say that's simplifying it a little or giving it too easy a 'get out' clause, but it's something I stand by. We view this stuff as entertainment and escapism - in my eyes at least, it has little to no bearing on the real world. I think some knowledge of the context is necessary as well - ie. these things are more 'accepted' within the anime medium as well as Japan.
Movies, games, TV, and any form of entertainment does of course have a bearing on the real world. I don't think we should pretend like it doesn't. In a way that has nothing to do with calling for censorship, I think it is important to ask ourselves how our media is and could effect the real world. The media is constantly conditioning and reconditioning us. I also don't really understand the "accepted in anime and Japan" argument. That doesn't change the content or the message that content sends. Just because they tolerate sleeze, why should you?

It bring to mind the phrase - a bad workman blames his tools. If someone watches anime and then becomes a pedophile, is that the inherent fault of the anime (considering millions will watch it and remain 'normal') or was it something already buried somewhere within that person's psyche in the first place?
I'm really not trying to get into that whole "it will turn you into a molester" argument, I'm just interested in how we justify singing the praises of certain shows despite that show containing pretty backwards content and attitudes toward women that we would never accept anywhere else. Would we still be tolerating it, if instead of making light of sexual abuse towards vulnerable people and promoting sexual objectification, it was making light of racial abuse and promoting racial stereotypes? I doubt we would. So why do we tolerate the former?

@ Prof
I do exactly the same thing. I enjoy and even laud certain undoubtedly artful and creatively inspired hip hop albums, despite the fact they are full to the brim with misogyny. I'm largely ok with the fact that my support for these albums contradicts my support for feminism. But I'd be lying if I said from time to time while bopping my head to the beat and hearing a rapper mention something about putting "a bitch in her place" I don't suddenly feel like a complete fraud and wonder what I'm doing. I was wondering if anyone felt the same way about this anime, and how they deal with that.
 

Lutga

Mad Scientist
I suppose one could argue that it's similar to the case for porn, S&M, or even something like smoking - many would see these as weird or degraded, but others see them as a regular part of adult life. There seems to be a train of thought that as long as it doesn't harm anyone in the real world, then whatever 'kinks' or fantasies people choose to indulge in their spare time is up to them.

People might say 'How can you watch a Tarantino movie and laugh at someone getting chopped to pieces?' - it's because it's so ludicrous/removed from actuality, and likewise with anime, the very medium itself (cartoons) allows us to indulge in it at a certain level of remove. Human society has always taken pleasure in indulging in the taboo and the ridiculous, going all the way back to Shakespeare etc. I think some people enjoy it because they're become so numb to the 'regular' stuff on offer in Hollywood films, anime is the only way they can still be 'shocked'/entertained.
 

Vashdaman

Za Warudo
That's still not really what I'm talking about though. Porn isn't necessarily sexist and abusive (although it often is unfortunately), and I'm not really talking about people who get their kinks out of that that gropey **** in Bakemongatari. Like, many people here (myself sort of even included) think Bake is great, but I'd bet about 90% of us feel pretty embarrassed and uncomfortable while our inner feminist screams disapproval during the gropey for laugh scenes. Although I could be wrong, as I take it you don't, Lutga (and I'm making no judgment at all about you based on that). But for those that do like Bake but don't like those bits, what do you do? Fast forward them, just sit and cringe through them? And do you think we are being too complacent and giving our tacit support of this kind of sexism by supporting these shows? And as I said, why do we tolerate making laughs at sexual abuse, but if the joke was about a character getting racially abused we wouldn't stand for it? Or would we? I really don't think some of the sexist stuff in Bake is any less backwards than [insert cliche racist joke here] jokes.

Would you watch Bake with your girlfriend or mum? I wouldn't. And if I can't do that, should I be watching it at all?

I know I just have a bunch of questions and no answers, but it's because I'm struggling with these things myself. Right now as I type this I'm enjoying a listening to Group Home's Livin' Proof album. But it's even easier/harder than with Bake, as I'm not just enjoying it for Preemo's banging beats, but a part of me actually does enjoy some of Malachi the Nutcracker's hilariously ignorant lyrics. Even though I wish I didn't.
 

Joshawott

Monsieur Monster
AUKN Staff
The other night I was playing Senran Kagura: Bon Appétit, a cooking-themed rhythm game spin-off of the notoriously ecchi Senran Kagura series and the game is probably the most sexually graphic I have ever played. In the game, when you defeat one of the series' girls in a cooking match and have a particularly good score, you will be presented with a scene of said girl completely naked, surrounded by various foods (that help cover up their private parts). I'll have to put my hands up and admit that I enjoy these scenes - because I am a healthy young man after all. However, there is one part of it which does make me especially uncomfortable: Mirai.



With so many of the series' cast covering the various character archtypes, Mirai is Senran Kagura's loli. Her character arc in the first game still remains one of my favourite moments in the franchise to date and I was hoping to see her spared the "fate" of the other cast, but nope. In Shinovi Versus and Bon Appétit, she can be fully stripped (although her nipples privates are obscured, just like the other characters). I'd be lying if I said that I didn't like seeing Katsuragi lying down covered by only strawberries, whipped cream and chocolate sauce, but Mirai makes me feel uncomfortable.

However, I have to take a step back and remember that Mirai is a 15 year old girl in a Japanese game made mainly for the Japanese market; so by those standards she is of legal age. To the target audience, she would be little more than a flat-chest girl, which there is of course nothing wrong with.
 

NormanicGrav

Yume no Shima Shinen Kōen
AUKN Staff
Joshawott said:
However, I have to take a step back and remember that Mirai is a 15 year old girl in a Japanese game made mainly for the Japanese market; so by those standards she is of legal age. To the target audience, she would be little more than a flat-chest girl, which there is of course nothing wrong with.
Huh, according to my Japanese Bon Appetit! booklet Mirai is 16 years old (on the info spec on the page it mentions 年齢: 16 歳 which apparently translates to Age: 16 years old). Not trying to brag or anything but I do agree on what you're saying about her. I would say Minori is probably more controversal because she's in fact 15 years old (according to the booklet also) and looks very similar to Mayoi* from Monogatari (she even carries a big bag like her!).

*I mention her because she's pretty much the loli of Monogatari (alongside Shinobu).
 
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