The rise and fall of Dragonball Z
There is currently a big debate in Finland about Japanese manga (comics) which have been labeled as child pornography. The discussion has been going back and forth - mostly forth - with the Christian Party calling for a ban of pornographic material targeted at underaged. You see, over here comics and animation are seen as something that is only applicable to children, so if it's drawn, it always automatically gets lumped with Donald Duck's and Pokemons.
The discussion centers on the first manga published in Finnish, the relatively crappy Dragonball Z. In one episode there are a couple of references to tits and panties, which was quite enough to send a bunch of people - who have NO idea whatsoever about what manga really is - into rage and mouth-foaming convulsions. The discussion was fueled with a major newspaper columnist blaming the whole enjo kosai -phenomenon on comics, and claiming that "millions schoolgirls engage in prostitution in Japan every year". Of course, this is a totally absurd statement - it is easy to calculate that the revenue generated by millions of schoolgirls selling themselves would easily rival the entire national defense budget of Japan - but so far it has been relatively uncontested. I don't know what the Japanese ambassador thinks of all this...
Anyway, I am writing this to explain to my English readers why I am linking to an Finnish-only story about the whole matter. It is an excellent (though rather sarcastic) viewpoint to the whole debacle from someone who really knows what the good Japanese comics can really, really be about.
So, if you can read Finnish, enjoy Dragonballin nousu ja tuho by Jari Lehtinen.
[#1] - schoolgirls selling themselves to get more money to spend on clothes, etc.
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