Editorial: The Return of the Rurouni Kenshin: Hokkaido Arc Manga

Earlier today, I reported that Nobuhiro Watsuki’s Rurouni Kenshin: Hokkaido Arc will be returning in June 2018 after a hiatus. The hiatus that started in December 2017 came about after Watsuki was charged for possession of child pornography. Watsuki was fined 200,000 yen (about US$1,900) in February 2018.

Not surprisingly, feelings about this have been rather strong. I will be the first to admit that I was stunned when I first read the news at Anime News Network. Watsuki was just fined for his charge in February, and his manga is already returning four months later?

Not only that, I also must admit that I was a little put off by the wording in the announcement of the manga’s return that “Shueisha and Watsuki decided that continuing the manga to answer the desires of fans was a matter of duty.” Yes, I know I’m looking at the situation through the eyes of a Westerner, but I admit that, to me, this situation just comes across badly. It just came across to me that Watsuki’s career is more important than the young people who were victimized when the child porn he was accused of possessing was created.

Admittedly, I really don’t have much of a personal history with the Rurouni Kenshin franchise. A few years back, I had a subscription to VIZ Media’s digital Weekly Shonen Jump, and I read like 3-4 chapters of this manga through a “flashback” feature that VIZ was doing in the publication at the time. I didn’t think it was a bad series, but there just wasn’t enough there in what I read that made me want to go to the library to try to track down the manga volumes in order to read more of it. At this point, I really have no plans to try to read more of Rurouni Kenshin. Not only did the chapters I read not grab my interest, I just can’t in good conscience support someone with this kind of a history. As a mom, I just can’t.

This editorial is simply here to share my personal thoughts. It’s not here to try to say that I’m right or to try to convince others to share my views. It’s here just to share my thoughts and feelings on the subject.

I also want to make clear here that whether or not I agree with anime and/or manga news that I read, I will still report on it on this blog. I’m not going to decide not to report on something, such as this, because I don’t agree with it… because that’s not how news reporting works. When it comes to news reporting, any reporter or journalist should be treating it objectively rather than subjectively. Editorials exist so reporters and journalists can express their thoughts and feelings on news stories in a subjective manner.

Thank you for reading through this editorial. This is actually the first time I’ve done one of these, so hopefully this came out OK. I haven’t really felt a need to do one prior to this, but with the reactions I’ve been seeing online and on social media to this particular news story, I thought it was worth putting this out there.

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