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INTEREST: Manga Critic Kaoru Nagayama Speaks Out Against Artistic Restrictions After Web Manga Remov


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Shay Guy



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 1004
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 12:56 pm Reply with quote
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You see, the six-pointed star has associations with the persecution of Jews during the Second World War.


I think to get that specific association, you need it to be yellow.

Even if it weren't for the fact that there's somewhere on the order of a thousand Jews total in Japan, I'd feel confident guessing that this wasn't something any actual Jews were consulted about.
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whiskeyii



Joined: 29 May 2013
Posts: 1644
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:16 pm Reply with quote
Honestly, this could’ve been avoided if the author just did some dang research: use the pentagon instead.
It’s probably not super great to use a religious symbol for something as trivial as a magic symbol, but I honestly think this was an overreaction on the part of the editors. Good on them for recognizing something that might come off as a bit insensitive, but I don’t think anyone would’ve minded if Judaism specifically wasn’t mentioned as a part of the story. Though granted, there’s a long history of anti Semitic behavior of associating Jewish people with the devil, so...eh, they should’ve just made it a regular star.
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Changeman



Joined: 06 Jun 2018
Posts: 58
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:25 pm Reply with quote
If their goal is to avoid controversial issues around the world, I can guarantee that they are focusing on the wrong problem ... To begin with, this manga that has undergone this change is full of images that are considered child pornography in the West.

But of course, for them this can not be changed. Honestly, this site that contains these series are just amateur manga, or rather, beginners. It is quite common to see controversial symbols in other magazines, Drifters is champion of this and I have never heard of this series suffering any controversy. The editor of this censored manga was just a pussy.
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ChestPains



Joined: 05 Oct 2016
Posts: 79
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:32 pm Reply with quote
Changeman wrote:
If their goal is to avoid controversial issues around the world, I can guarantee that they are focusing on the wrong problem ... To begin with, this manga that has undergone this change is full of images that are considered child pornography in the West.

But of course, for them this can not be changed. Honestly, this site that contains these series are just amateur manga, or rather, beginners. It is quite common to see controversial symbols in other magazines, Drifters is champion of this and I have never heard of this series suffering any controversy. The editor of this censored manga was just a pussy.


Key difference here is Drifters/Hellsing author absolutely loves nazis and was overjoyed he had enough freedom on his new manga to use nazi imagery to his hearts content. So any other "controversial symbolism" is nothing compared to that. He's an exception.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 165
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:33 pm Reply with quote
Shay Guy wrote:
Quote:
You see, the six-pointed star has associations with the persecution of Jews during the Second World War.


I think to get that specific association, you need it to be yellow.


Exactly. The Israelis don't seem to have a problem with two triangles arranged to form a 6-pointed star; it's on their FLAG of all places. That quote is about as absurd as stating that Christians find crosses to be offensive.

I think this is a great example of how the desire to be politically correct to an absurd degree actually causes more problems than it solves.
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Changeman



Joined: 06 Jun 2018
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 1:50 pm Reply with quote
ChestPains wrote:
Changeman wrote:
If their goal is to avoid controversial issues around the world, I can guarantee that they are focusing on the wrong problem ... To begin with, this manga that has undergone this change is full of images that are considered child pornography in the West.

But of course, for them this can not be changed. Honestly, this site that contains these series are just amateur manga, or rather, beginners. It is quite common to see controversial symbols in other magazines, Drifters is champion of this and I have never heard of this series suffering any controversy. The editor of this censored manga was just a pussy.


Key difference here is Drifters/Hellsing author absolutely loves nazis and was overjoyed he had enough freedom on his new manga to use nazi imagery to his hearts content. So any other "controversial symbolism" is nothing compared to that. He's an exception.


Just like in several manga like Golden Kamuy the rising sun flag appears and everyone knows how many Koreans and Chinese hate this symbol and even in the anime appeared.

The point is, it is not a censorship provoked by the government but rather private and to dribble it, it is enough the author to be popular. Being popular is what matters in the end.

ps: Neun manga the Nazi swastika often appears, so Hirano is not the only exception.
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NiPah



Joined: 11 Feb 2011
Posts: 73
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 2:45 pm Reply with quote
whiskeyii wrote:
Honestly, this could’ve been avoided if the author just did some dang research: use the pentagon instead.
It’s probably not super great to use a religious symbol for something as trivial as a magic symbol, but I honestly think this was an overreaction on the part of the editors. Good on them for recognizing something that might come off as a bit insensitive, but I don’t think anyone would’ve minded if Judaism specifically wasn’t mentioned as a part of the story. Though granted, there’s a long history of anti Semitic behavior of associating Jewish people with the devil, so...eh, they should’ve just made it a regular star.


But the Pentagram (at least that’s what I think you’re referring to) is a religious symbol, its just not as popular and more socially acceptable to use because over 100 years ago someone thought an upside down pentagram looked like a goats head and that means devil or some such thing.
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Nick4x



Joined: 11 Apr 2007
Posts: 15
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 2:45 pm Reply with quote
As a Pagan that uses a pentacle to represent my religious expression of love for nature and divinity, I just kind of laugh at this.

In any case, I don't really consider this "censorship" unless the author was specifically trying to make some sort of commentary about Jewish people (which I'm HIGHLY doubtful is the case). He probably just wanted to make a cool-looking summoning circle, and this symbol was something he came across when looking up designs.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 165
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 2:50 pm Reply with quote
Nick4x wrote:

In any case, I don't really consider this "censorship" unless the author was specifically trying to make some sort of commentary about Jewish people (which I'm HIGHLY doubtful is the case). He probably just wanted to make a cool-looking summoning circle, and this symbol was something he came across when looking up designs.


Agreed 100% about the part I italicized. That said, it's still censorship. It's just even worse than normal censorship: it's censoring things that weren't even offensive in the first place. It's one thing to edit the manga if the author had an anti-Semitic agenda, made anti-Semitic jokes, etc. It's on a whole different level when the content being edited isn't even offensive in the first place.
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Princess_Irene



Joined: 16 Dec 2008
Posts: 1720
Location: The castle beyond the Goblin City
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:01 pm Reply with quote
AkumaChef wrote:

Exactly. The Israelis don't seem to have a problem with two triangles arranged to form a 6-pointed star; it's on their FLAG of all places. That quote is about as absurd as stating that Christians find crosses to be offensive.


Forgive me if I'm misunderstanding you here, but the reason why it's on the Israeli flag is still basically the reason why the editor is expressing concern - because the Star of David is the recognized symbol of the Jewish people. A yellow one certainly has WWII implications, but the star itself is what represents the Jews, and I'm guessing that with rising anti-Semitic incidents, they're worried about overreactions. (And I do have an Orthodox uncle who might get offended, because there are people like that out there.) Can't say it bothers me most days, though.
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Morry



Joined: 26 Jun 2016
Posts: 561
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:09 pm Reply with quote
Dumb reason to remove it. This is like removing every cross that's ever appeared in any manga or anime because it's associated with the torture and death of Christ, ignoring all other meaning it holds and widespread modern usage.
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John Thacker
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Joined: 28 Oct 2013
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:26 pm Reply with quote
AkumaChef wrote:
Exactly. The Israelis don't seem to have a problem with two triangles arranged to form a 6-pointed star; it's on their FLAG of all places. That quote is about as absurd as stating that Christians find crosses to be offensive.

I think this is a great example of how the desire to be politically correct to an absurd degree actually causes more problems than it solves.


It's not that a Star of David is inherently offensive, but it's use in a summoning circle certainly could offend people in a way that using it on a flag of Israel would not. Surely you see the difference - similarly, a cross can be used in crucifixes but Christians can still be offended by sacrilegious uses.

On the other hand, a six pointed star is a traditional symbol for magic in Japan. This isn't like the anti Semitic conspiracy of Angel Cop. It's a situation where two different traditions collide, and both sides have to have some understanding, and wish to avoid both offending and being easily offended.

It's somewhat similar to the case of using swastikas (in both orientations) to indicate Buddhist temples and causing some reactions due to the Nazi use of the symbol, or dueling uses of pentacles, as noted, by Christians or people who follow twentieth century traditions invented by Margaret Murray and others.

Sometimes issues are irreconcilable, but it's worth being calm about it. You can't avoid unintentionally offending people, but don't be a jerk about it. In this case I don't think it warranted removal.
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lys



Joined: 24 Jun 2004
Posts: 929
Location: mitten-state
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:28 pm Reply with quote
The manga critic seems to be overreacting, in my opinion. This concerns one instance of a symbol being removed, and it sounds like the symbol itself was pretty non-essential to the story it was telling. Nagayama talks about hypothetically "banning" the use of the star from even stories/media where that symbol would be relevant (historical settings etc), but is anyone actually suggesting that?? I'm much more of a mind with the anonymous editor who said "It may not be appropriate to use it for a flimsy reason like 'it looks cool.'"

As a Christian, voicing a personal opinion, I don't get offended every time I see a cross, or a nun/priest, or vague references to "the Church" in manga, but I sure do roll my eyes over most of them. Those references are usually not very well researched and often do seem to be used for that flimsy atmospheric appeal. I would not be sad to see those sorts of things wane over time.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 165
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:29 pm Reply with quote
@Princess_irene
I was referring to the implication that the use of the star was related to Nazi persecution of the Jewish people specifically. e.g. the yellow star.

Morry's point is more where I was going. The 6-pointed star, along with 5-, 7-, 8-, and 9- pointed stars, crosses, circles, the manji/swastika, triskelion, etc, are very old symbols which pre-date Judaism, Nazism, etc. Merely using those symbols on their own does not mean the author is out to demean a particular group. One has to get a bit more specific for that.

A swastika on its own may well be a buddhist symbol, or just a generic magical symbol. A swastika on a long red banner accompanied by goose-stepping soldiers packing MG42s and wearing stahlhelms....well, now you're talking Nazi.
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AkumaChef



Joined: 10 Jan 2019
Posts: 165
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2019 3:51 pm Reply with quote
John Thacker wrote:

It's not that a Star of David is inherently offensive, but it's use in a summoning circle certainly could offend people in a way that using it on a flag of Israel would not. Surely you see the difference - similarly, a cross can be used in crucifixes but Christians can still be offended by sacrilegious uses.


I certainly see the difference. However the quote which I was addressing didn't appear to. It did not take the angle you just described, it simply implied that all use of 6-pointed stars was automatically offensive without explaining why.

Quote:
On the other hand, a six pointed star is a traditional symbol for magic in Japan. This isn't like the anti Semitic conspiracy of Angel Cop. It's a situation where two different traditions collide, and both sides have to have some understanding, and wish to avoid both offending and being easily offended.

It's somewhat similar to the case of using swastikas (in both orientations) to indicate Buddhist temples and causing some reactions due to the Nazi use of the symbol, or dueling uses of pentacles, as noted, by Christians or people who follow twentieth century traditions invented by Margaret Murray and others.

Sometimes issues are irreconcilable, but it's worth being calm about it. You can't avoid unintentionally offending people, but don't be a jerk about it. In this case I don't think it warranted removal.

Agreed 100% with all of that.
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