I’ve not been very vocal on the whole Handley issue on this site simply because every other blogger, podcaster and Twitter superstar has beaten the issue to death. However, upon FUNimation’s announcement regarding their editing of SHAFT’s Dance In The Vampire Bund for US release, I feel that something something has to be said. I realize that what I’m saying has been repeated ad nauseum by pedos and non-pedos alike, and considering my preoccupation with the underdeveloped female form, I understand that there will be a certain degree of bias here. But whatever.
No matter how objectionable a drawing is, in the end it’s simply that–a drawing. Whether it’s a dude fucking a dead girl in the brain, a guy getting torn apart, or a man having his way with a young child, no matter how gross one may find such things, they’re drawings, and they shouldn’t be illegal. I’m not even going to push the “artistic expression” angle. Yeah, a lot of the stuff you find in LO does have a high degree of artistic merit, but in the end a lot of the people who partake of this stuff just want to jerk off. And that’s fine, they’re just drawings.
Honestly, considering how harmless drawn imagery of a man and a young girl having sex is (it’s not uncommon for the girls in LO to give consent, strangely enough), I’m surprised that the iron fist of the law hasn’t come down on far more grotesque drawn imagery. Take the types of violent and sexual imagery I mentioned in the above paragraph–why aren’t people losing their shit over that? I’ve flipped through a bunch of comics–both American and Japanese–where some pretty awful stuff is going down. Heck, violence of that same level happens in Hollywood movies. Why isn’t that stuff banned? I mean, I find some of it offensive. I know this is an argument that’s been made countless times, but how is grotesque violence okay and relatively benign imagery of two people having sex not? Especially when they’re just drawings. I mean seriously, these guys should be arresting people for owning Waita Uziga books if they’re to throw poor Handley away for drawings of fake girls getting fucked.
Again, I know this has been beaten to death and has already been communicated in a far more eloquent manner, but there is no victim when an issue of Comic LO drops. No one is hurt in the making of that publication. Real children are hurt in the production of real child pornography, and those criminals are the ones we should be after. The people who partake of cartoonish depictions of minors engaged in sexual acts are sometimes people who do prefer real children, and sometimes people who just like drawings. I personally just like drawings. However, if one were to make our harmless fantasy drawings illegal, who are they protecting? If anything the dudes who like real kids will just go out and rape real kids, and guys like me will have to tread cautiously when looking at something that hasn’t harmed anyone in its making.
Anyway, enough of that. You’ve heard it all before.
As far as FUNimation’s decision on Vampire Bund goes, I can’t blame them, but they’re going to be lucky if the first volume can push 50 copies. If that. Honestly, I think they could have left that one problematic scene in and no one would have noticed. The US release of the manga got away with that scene, along with all the others where every lovely detail of Mina’s wonderful body is put front and center. Heck, the manga is probably dirtier than the anime considering just how often Mina is naked. The only real graphic depiction of Mina’s naked body in the anime is that scene. Yeah, you wouldn’t be able to show a grown man rubbing oil on a naked little girl on US TV or even release something like that on DVD. If it involved a real child. Like I said above, these are drawings. Who cares if there’s some scene in a cartoon where a kid is naked. It’s totally harmless.
Since this Vampire Bund license was likely a tie-in with their Baka to Test license, they were low on options. And we are living in a world were a man has been arrested for owning comics. But I still think it’s dumb.