World Comic Book Review

3rd March 2024

Pixelated Images, Obscenity, Japanese Manga, and The Inspiration of Detention

“What is Obscenity?”
(Koyama Press, May 2016)
Writer: Rokudenashiko

We start this article by noting it is not a review: we have not yet received a copy of the graphic novel, “What is Obscenity?” But we look forward to doing that, and in any event the stir surrounding Rokudenashiko and her work is of itself newsworthy.

As we have previously discussed in our article on “Prison School”, comic books in Japan (“manga”) are frequently a creative vehicle for pornography. Article 175 of the Criminal Code of Japan forbids distributing “indecent” materials. The practical consequence of that law is that gentalia is either drawn in an entirely fuzzy or obscured way, or are overlaid by a “mozaiku” (meaning a “mosaic”, or pixelated image).

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