Market Forces and “Nymphet”

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U.S. manga publisher Seven Seas has decided to delay release of (or possibly cancel) the first volume of Kaworu Watashiya’s Nymphet. Nymphet “features an elementary-school girl fruitlessly attempting to seduce her adult teacher. Although the series contains no overt nudity or sexual content, it nonetheless trades heavily on lolicon (“Lolita complex”) innuendo and imagery for its humor, in such a way as to make controversy all but inevitable.” Here is an excerpt of the recent public statement from Seven Seas president Jason DeAngelis:

In Japan, NYMPHET is a highly popular and successful manga written and drawn by a female creator for an older teen male audience. It is published in Futubasha’s weekly seinen magazine COMIC HIGH. It is not considered pornographic by any means, and Japanese would be shocked to hear this sort of accusation about what they consider to be a mainstream property. In fact, it is so mainstream that it has been turned into an anime program which will be broadcast on Japanese TV starting this July. My personal stance on this title is, if it’s good enough for the Japanese, then it’s good enough for us. I had the opportunity to live in Japan for six years, and so I understand and appreciate their cultural nuances and wacky and often bizarre sense of humor. Based on the angry debates that I have seen online, however, there are people who do not appreciate this sort of material, and while it may be appropriate in Japan, they feel that it is inappropriate for our culture.

Although I do not agree with that point of view, I realize that this issue must be addressed, instead of ignored. As a policy, we at Seven Seas do not believe in altering or”censoring”manga artwork or content, so that approach, which has been taken in the past by others, is out of the question. Instead, despite the fact that we have already received thousands of orders on this title, I have decided to delay its release and to have an open dialogue with the large book chains and other vendors. …

This site reports that Seven Seas has now decided not to publish an American version of Nymphet at all. Note that apparently no government entity has intervened in any way. Via Journalista and Manstream Comics.

–Ann Bartow

Cross-posted at Prawfsblawg, where I am guesting for a couple of weeks.

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0 Responses to Market Forces and “Nymphet”

  1. Eric says:

    Like the Japanese, I too pride myself on having a “wacky and bizarre sense of humor”. I’ll grant that a comic about a young girl trying to seduce her teacher is “bizarre”, but not in any sense that I find humorous. It’s just creepy. It certainly fails the “would you sit next to someone reading it on the train” test.