Negima !? The Creator’s Fight Against Censorship Policy, Explained

Negima !? Creator Ken Akamatsu decided to take action and change Japanese censorship laws by running for office.

Japan’s censorship laws have become a more frequent topic of discussion among anime fans in recent months. Between the companies hitting YouTubers and even trying to protect basic copyright models, the world of cartoon censorship laws has become more mainstream and scrutinized in recent times. One artist, in particular, has decided that the time for talk is over and the time for action is now. This artist is Ken Akamatsu, creator of Negima !? Magister Negi Magi and I love Hina.

Akamatsu has announced his intention to run for the Japanese House of Representatives with the “free speech” platform. Specifically, he wants to change censorship laws regarding what artists can and cannot represent in their works. The announcement, which was made public on December 16, 2021, received overwhelmingly positive feedback from fans and supporters. Akamatsu intends to run for a position in the upper house of the House of Representatives, the House of Councilors. Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction, some fans are concerned because of the party he has decided to run under.

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The Liberal Democratic Party, LDP for short, is one of the largest political parties in Japan and holds the majority of seats with an almost perfect record since 1955. There have only been two years when they have not. the majority, namely 1993 and 1994. It is a predominantly conservative party associated with Japanese nationalist ideology. These ideologies are not the official platform of the party, which is seen more as a “catch-all” party than a party that argues that theirs is the best for the country.

Akamatsu has also been criticized for pushing for more artistic freedom rather than pushing for stricter laws on the overburdened animation and manga industries. Those who know his works doubt his reasons for showing up as he has a habit of attracting minors into compromising positions and situations. Others fully support his platform and the push for more lenient censorship laws. If it is true that Japanese laws are among the strictest in the world, then the question becomes what are the limits of artistic expression when it comes to portraying minors?

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Another question is whether his fervor extends to that of the animation industry and whether he plans to push for more regulation of overworked and poorly paid employees. Will he push for legislation that not only increases the wages of animators and artists and demands tougher laws on how many hours a company can work its employees, or will it just focus on censorship of these industries and will it attempt to weaken the laws already established in place? Since his announcement was only published recently, only time will tell what he intends to do and should be elected to this position.

Akamatsu is already well known for trying to fight piracy by creating sites that allow readers to enjoy manga for free. In 2008, he launched J-Comi, which came under intense scrutiny by the media and the Japanese government in 2011 for licensing a series called Oku-sama wa Shogakusei (My wife is an elementary school student) to add to the digital library, according to Anime News Network. Since then he has partnered with Kodansha and Shueisha to add more titles to his site.

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