Kadokawa president apologizes, takes pay cut for comments about censoring manga

By Krista Rogers, SoraNews24

Takeshi Natsuno only took over as president and CEO of publishing, film, and cross media company Kadokawa in late June, but he has already found himself in hot water for his remarks about censorship related to manga.

On July 21, Natsuno took part in a conversation on AbemaTV about whether photos of “gravure idols” (essentially bikini models) were appropriate in manga magazines targeting boys and men. His comments, however, focused on the prevalence of “extreme” sexual content in manga and how he thought publishing standards need to be reevaluated in this digital age. He referenced the fact that many manga wouldn’t pass the standards at Google or Apple.

Authors, creators, and net users immediately slammed Natsuno for his remarks. A representative from Japanese video-sharing web platform Niconico, owned by Kadokawa subsidiary Dwango, also assured the public that there were no plans to censor content on their platform.

Kadokawa followed up with a news release on July 27 stating that while Natsuno’s remarks were made in an individual capacity, they were inappropriate in light of his position within the company and do not reflect any future courses of action. Natsuno is now “deeply reflecting” and will take a 20 percent cut in pay for three months from August through October.

▼ Natsuno also apologized over Twitter for making viewers of the TV program uncomfortable by using words such as aho and kuso.


Regardless of his public apology, many net users remained unconvinced that Natsuno’s remarks don’t represent his true intentions and are calling for him to resign.

Source: Kadokawa News Release via Otakomu

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© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

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I'm not for censorship. However going into combini or looking at Japanese manga on Google Play or Amazon Japan, sexualised manga images are thrust at you - with little concern for children. My 10yo browses Amazon and sees them. So allow the content but reclassify them such that minors can't see them.

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I do not expect an old fashion apology but how about a large donation to anti homeless program in Japan?

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So let me get this straight, this guy got slammed and officially punished by his company for saying there should be a rethink over the prevalence of extreme sexual content in manga? Wow Japan, tell me how you really feel! Great example of the honne trumping the tatemae if there ever was one. And people wonder why gender inequality persists...

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Not sure I got the entire context right but did this person suggest a reevaluation of publishing standards as a personal opinion, since certain manga wouldn't pass international standards, and they burned him at the stake?

It really bothers me walking into a combini and having all those heavy sexual images shoved down my throat. I wouldn't bring my kid into that store for sure. There needs to be some regulation and by that I mean not having such stuff on display, not just for kids but also for adults who don't feel like being subjected to all that imagery.

No censorship, but somehow make it work like in the west. Whoever wants the explicit stuff should go look for it in the right place. You don't casually walk down the street and see porn magazines hanging outside the kiosk anymore. It used to be a thing in the 80s-early 90s, horrible. Japan of course has the problem of minors being depicted in porn manga/anime, so I guess they gotta start from that, although there seems to be overwhelming support for the niche...

Japan is lightyears behind in certain things and this is one of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Reading only this article it doesn't seem like his comments were out of line at all. When it mentions he said things like "aho" and "kuso" in the interview I can see that perhaps he was directing some sass at certain people or types, but he's not wrong in what is explained that he said. The extreme sexual acts or covers or mags that show degrading acts/positions even of little girls would not only not make it on Google and Apple, it'd likely lead to arrests.

John Doe: "since certain manga wouldn't pass international standards, and they burned him at the stake?"

Yeah, it really sounds like the guy hit the mark and the blowback was defensive and nothing more... well, maybe guilt disguised as misdirected anger. It bugs me how the porn is and explicit magazines are next to the ATMs and/or ice cream in most stores, and not covered at all... and I like porn. I can only imagine how mothers or fathers with young kids think when the kids stare at it while they use the ATM or fish through the ice cream freezers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@John Doe ah what intentional standards? As for being shoved down your throat, there are a lot of people that find western media in general to be offensive. Perhaps in Europe a lot of manga would be illegal but none of it is illegal in the USA. As long as the image can not be mistaken for a real child it is legal. Japan is more prudish than the USA not less. @smithinjapan what passes as porn in Japan is lame at best and is behind a cover.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

No censorship please.

Just don't sell porn in convenience stores, it's not hard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I've never seen a magazine in a konbini that offended me, although seeing adverts for cigarettes in Japanese magazines is quite weird, as they were banned in the UK years ago. The net has wiped out the porn mag industry in much of the West. Most retail AV content in Japan is mild softcore. And they still blur public hair. It's remarkable that Japan still has an offline industry in such stuff. And manga isn't exactly photographically explicit - they are largely unrealistic drawings.

I thought konbinis had started bagging manga with fruity content a while back. I guess the top shelves in such stores are not really high enough for 'top shelf' magazines. Maybe keep them on display behind the counter for folk to ask for.

The easiest way to sexualise the human body in an unhealthy way is to hide it away from people. Naturists have far fewer hang-ups.

Not a fan of the new puritanism, the permanent state of moral panic and the impulse to censor. If you repress sexuality in Japan any more, even fewer people will be mating and the birth rate will sink even faster.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not 'public hair'. I really have to turn that auto-correct feature off.

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People are so worried about nudity and the gentle act of reproduction. Yet killing people is fine for the children to watch. The Walking Dead in America is considered good kiddie content. Still think this dude needs to make up his misdeed with a good deed to the public. I would think 10 million yen would work, no pretend reduction in salary will work as penitence.

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