Nymphet Creator, U.S. Publisher Blog on Cancellation
posted on 2007-06-07 23:20 EDT by Egan Loo
Nymphet (Kodomo no Jikan) manga creator Kaworu Watashiya and Seven Seas founder Jason DeAngelis both blogged for the first time on the cancellation of Seven Seas' English-language release of the manga. The two did so within 24 hours of each other. Watashiya's June 7 blog entry first discussed her residential move last month, the Monthly Manga Town and Comic High! magazine covers she is drawing, and the ongoing discussions on the Kodomo no Jikan anime before adding the following:
So, about the cancellation of the American Kodomo no Jikan release. (The editorial department told me not to refer to this problem here, so I can only explain it very briefly.)
The boundaries on the depictions of loli* and so on vary with each locale, era, and culture, so if people there [in North America] decide that it's out-of-bounds, then that's that.
To those commendable Americans that are saying, "I wanted to read it," I might say, "Well then, there is the original."
In particular, what I heard about "issues in volume 2 and later" made me realize the differences in the cultures between the countries.
I wondered, what was so problematic in volume 2, but not in volume 1? So I looked at the boards over there [in North America] with a web translator, and it seems like what people pointed out as "incest" was probably the relationship between Aki-san [the mother of the third-grade female lead, Rin] and Reiji [Aki's cousin].
In Japan, relationships and marriages between cousins are legal, but I heard there are places that outlaw them in America, so I think it's become taboo for authors to even imply them.
Similarly, as a kindergartener in volume 2, Rin-chan took a bath with Reiji, who washed her head. However, in America, a small child can only take a bath alone. An adult, even a parent, who takes a bath with a child would be arrested—that made me realize the differences in cultures.
On this entire affair, my honest feeling is, "It's unfortunate, but what can I do?"
While I'm at it, I'm going to post a link to the American version of Kodomo no Jikan on Amazon that will soon disappear.
If it's been printed already, please send me a copy to remember this (laughs).
*Translator's Note: Loli is an abbreviation for "Lolitas," the term for sexually attractive female minors coined after a Vladimir Nabokov novel.
Seven Seas has not identified either the supposed "incest" or the bathing scene as one of the reasons for the cancellation. Watashiya's blog does not mention the controversial scene of volume 3 that is Seven Seas' cited main impetus for the cancellation.
Seven Seas president DeAngelis happened to have posted the first blog entry of "Adventures of Manga Publisher, A Weekly Blog from the Prez" on June 6. He explains the two name changes that led to the Nymphet title that Watashiya requested. He also explains that the controversial scene in volume 3 depicts the arousal of Rin's adult male teacher Daisuke "literally, physically" with the accompanying Japanese text. DeAngelis says the blog is the direct result of the aftermath of Nymphet's cancellation and the desire for more transparency on the company's decisions.
Image © Kaworu Watashiya
Update: Reworded editorial department's comment and added translator's note. Thanks, enjin2000 and dormcat.