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Google removes lolicon site from search results

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Loliero doujinshi scanlation site Little White Butterflies observes (link is safe for work but the rest of the site is very much not) that it has been removed from Google search results following a complaint, filed by an unnamed party, that it was hosting child pornography. Google also reported the site to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children—a legal obligation for US content providers who become aware of child pornography. The removal can be easily verified by searching for “Little White Butterflies” on Google. The site itself doesn't show up, and a notice at the bottom of the page reads:

In response to a legal request submitted to Google, we have removed 7 result(s) from this page. If you wish, you may read more about the request at ChillingEffects.org.

An open letter to CNN by Nogami Takeshi

You have probably heard about CNN recently stirring up gratuitous controversy over Rapelay, an issue that should have died down almost a year ago. It is not difficult to imagine that lobby groups within Japan are using Western media to put pressure on Japanese elected officials on related issues. And it might be working: at any rate, that CNN report is getting quite a bit of attention on the Japanese Internet (though not yet on mainstream media). CNN is also getting many hits for that piece of quality reporting, to the point that reporter Kyung Lah got to put up an even finer follow-up article yesterday: a cultural-essentialist explanation of why Japan is so perverted. And there were a couple of silly CNN blog posts on the subject in between, to boot.

Nogami Takeshi, a Japanese mangaka known for such works as Koutetsu no shoujo-tachi (art, Shounen Ace), Serafuku to juusensha (Champion Red Ichigo) or various artworks for the Strike Witches franchise, has written an open letter to CNN in reaction to the latest report. He asked if someone could translate it. I am pleased to oblige. Note that I may not agree with all arguments made in this letter, and I don't really think it's likely to gain many supporters for our viewpoint, but it's an entertaining read.

This loser is you: the appeal of netorare

A previous post suggested that otaku (moe otaku in particular) tend to have a very righteous approach to romantic relationships, in the sense that they value pure, sincere, genuine commitment to a romantic interest, both during a relationship and as a prerequisite to forming it (it's a trivial but significant observation that the genre overwhelmingly favors “confessing” over “asking out,” for instance). Since their ethos makes the commitment precede the relationship, otaku are prone to unrequited feelings and infatuation. And turning to 2D doesn't really help here for now: usually, your dakimakura won't talk back.

Of course, not all otaku are romantically challenged. Some are even rumored to be married with kids. Nevertheless, anecdotal observation and secondary evidence do suggest a strong connection between otakudom and a specific perception of romantic relationships (not a very successful one). It is a bit of a cliché, but one that has enough basis in reality that the medium itself can play with it in interesting ways—particularly by teasing the audience with a surrogate character modeled around that cliché.

Almost a little girl

“I am fond of children—except boys.” This famous quote from Lewis Carroll, a noted appreciator of the (preferably naked) youthful female figure, should have put to rest uninformed allegations to the effect that all interest in child-like body features were bisexual in nature. Unfortunately, Carroll is probably not a favorite read among men who measure woman beauty in bust line centimeters, and people continue to believe that we can't tell apart little boys from little girls. Well, yes we can, and we have our preferences (and I don't mean that as yes we can fix the economy; it's more like yes we can bail out Goldman).

Except, admittedly, in those rare cases when we can't (black swans?). I'm refering of course to something akin to the trap concept in manga and anime.

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