Well what do you know, Seven Seas publisher Jason DeAngelis proves he is a responsible, mature adult by speaking publicly and frankly on a controversy involving his company. This man can never run for public office! In the above post on the Seven Seas forum, he explains why he will not be published NYMPHET, the comedy manga about a grade schooler’s attempts to have sex with her teacher: Basically it comes down to the race to get new titles licensed by American manga publishers due to the competitive market, and a change in contents as the story progressed:
In the case of NYMPHET, we placed an offer on it soon after the first volume of the tankoubon was released in Japan, with an option to license the rest of the series later on.
It was not until these past few days, actually, that I personally took the time to delve more closely into the rest of the series and the specific content of the subsequent volumes. Sure, I’d flipped through them before, and what I saw on a cursory glance seemed harmless enough. But this time I sat down and read the series carefully in Japanese, and what I found in volumes two and three were very disturbing. (Particularly, pages 129-131 in volume three, which are highly problematic.) So much so, that I now have to retract some of what I said in my first letter where I tried to defend the content, because certain scenes in the subsequent volumes are indefensible and inappropriate, in my opinion. (If there is blame to be cast, I’ll accept blame on our license acquisition and evaluation process. If you were to add up the large number of licenses we acquire, and the total number of volumes per series, it would come to literally hundreds of volumes that we would need to read and review in order to stay on top of all the content and make sure that it is appropriate. In this case, NYMPHET fell through the cracks in our review process.)
So, my primary reason for canceling NYMPHET is due to my recent realization that later volumes in the series can not be considered appropriate for the US market by any reasonable standard. For those of you who have been defending the title and have expressed anger about its cancellation, as a fan, I understand your frustration. But, at this point, I can only assume that you have not seen certain segments later in the series, just as I hadn’t, which very clearly cross the line, and which I can no longer stand by or support in good conscience.
DeAngelis also shows himself to be socially aware of the entire eco-system:
2) How will this affect the manga market as a whole?
My conclusion: I don’t know; I can not predict the future any better than anyone else can, but I certainly acknowledge the possibility, however remote, that the NYMPHET release could become a poster child by the mainstream media for everything that is wrong with manga. I love the manga industry and I delight in my job, and I would rather not take the risk of causing problems that could undermine this industry, especially in light of the escalating media scrutiny we have been getting on this title. (After Publisher’s Weekly contacted me for an interview on NYMPHET, it almost seemed like a matter of time before FOX or CNN picked up the story. Call me paranoid, but it’s not outside the realm of possibility…)
We read some of the posts afterwards, and frankly, these manga fans makes Newsarama fans look reasoned. Take poster Mikeysama for instance.
I do not approve of pedophilia, lets get that out of the way right now, and I don’t even have to point out why. But that does not mean that someone who writes about it or draws about it is a pervert. Its fantasy, fiction. I can’t really explain it, but somehow I don’t make the connection between a little girl in an anime or manga with a little girl in real life, because generally speaking, they’re totally different, and I believe this to be the general mindset of people who enjoy manga such as this. Manga is generally written by adults, thus children in a manga are of course going to have adult traits, as no adult can think from the point of view of a child, perhaps thats why I can’t make the connection. The manga doesn’t take itself to seriously, so why take it seriously like that?
You know, nevermind the fact that the manga was writen by a woman, which I think would have some bearing on weather or not this is acceptable.
Can we just say right here right now, that “just because a women did it, it’s okay?”is total bullshit? By that token Hilary Clinton should be elected with 100% of the vote.
For the record here’s our position on that: Just because a woman did it doesn’t mean it’s good; just because a man did it doesn’t mean it’s bad.
Also, we’d like to speak to everyone said that “But SOUTH PARK puts kids in sexual situations and everybody loves SOUTH PARK!” SOUTH PARK features abstracted, paper cut outs of characters, and they are drawn to be as ugly and non-sexually suggestive as possible. That’s part of the joke. In fact that episode where Ms. Choksondik and Mr. Mackey had sex was perhaps the greatest aid to abstinence education ever aired on American television. From the excepts we’ve seen of NYMPHET, the child was shown aping the sexual mannerisms of older girls, and to be honest, didn’t look much different from the juvenile presentation of over-18 characters in other books. It was creepy. Period.
It’s these kind of subtle, nuanced positions that really get us into trouble, but we’re not ashamed of where we stand.