Thai police raided manga shop for sexy comics and DVDs.

(The following portion of the article is summarized from local news reports.)

On July 19, police officers from the Public Security Bureau raided a manga/anime goods shop “Akiba” in Siam Square, a popular hangout of Thai teenagers. They arrested the owners, Thawatchai Prueksrisakul (26) and Warunee Kampolkanjana (45), and accused them with possession of obscene materials for commercial purposes.

Local news sources reported that there are about 150-200 obscene or “R-rated” comics books being sold with regular ones. The books were described as “mostly Japanese but translated to Thai,” “contained depictions of nude females,” and “contained illustrations that purported sexual intercourses.” DVDs of Japanese anime with “not for sale to minors under 18 years old” labels were found. Police officers later reported that they contained many nude or topless cartoon characters.

Pol. Lieu. Pansak Sasana-anant, Director of Section 4 of the Public Security Bureau, said that the police had been investigating the shop for quite some time, and that the police decided to raid it because of complaints from parents with children coming to cram schools in Siam Square. If convicted, the owners would face a 6,000 baht fine, or 3 years in prison, or both, said Sasana-anant.

Kampolkanjana pleaded not guilty, saying that she received all manga from local publishers, and did not know that they violated the obscenity law.

Links

Akiba

Summary of the situation and comments from the owners. (Thai)

Local news report:[1] [2][3] [4] (all in Thai)

Impression

(The following portion of the article is my own opinion.)

Outrageous!

I went to the Akiba before, and there’s nothing like H-anime or H-manga sold there. The most risque titles I saw there were Toloveru or Eiken. Although the former is not licensed properly, the latter is published by Burapat Comics, a big comics publishing house here. Talking about double standard here. I didn’t see DVDs that warrant the 18禁 label myself although I guess Girls Bravo or Ikkitousen might get them into trouble if they have those.

The article by Thai Post (link [1] above) flamed the store heavily with comments like:

Entering the manga section, we observed that there were many ordinary comics books, both shounen and shoujo, with some translated Japanese pocket books and anime VCDs/DVDs among them. However, looking carefully, we found comics with risque covers. When we bought one and inspected it, we found that it was quite lewd, and contained illustrations of girls taking a bath or being naked in various poses. It also contained some sexual dialogues. Opposite of the manga session was a cafe of sort. There was a showcase displaying cartoon figures. But what caught our attention was that there were some figures of girls in swimsuits among them. This made us thought that the place was mixed with quite many materials in appropriate for teenagers.

Moreover, our news source also also worried about parents who only knew that Akiba was a meeting spot for cosplay enthusiasts, and that their children could go there to meet friends and to spend their free time creatively. However, as a second thought, we are worried that, when teenagers gather in a place with pornographic materials, there’s a larger possibility that they would induce one another into inappropriate ways of thinking. Instead of a place for creativity, this place can be one that degenerated youths.

What’s with this hysteria? If such degree of exposure to the cartoon flesh can turn people into sexual predators, then Japan would have burnt in hell a long time ago. What is the problem is not that such materials are sold, but that there is no appropriate rating systems that allow youths to be exposed to appropriate forms of entertainments at appropriate ages. Look, I read Love Hina and I”s when I was 16, and that’s only natural for boys to have interests in the opposite sex. Anyone older than 15 can read Negima in the US. What’s with your archaic conservative attitude, eh? Obscenity Law? Thai Post?

Also, cut the paternalistic crap! Who’s gonna take Toloveru out and fap to it in front of their friends? Stop creating moral panic to gain readership, and focus on condemning the tyranny of the junta already!

Looks like this country is not a place to enjoy anime and manga any more. I take my word back.

Thank you for reading this relentless rant, and please spread the news.

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3 Comments

  1. Posted July 21, 2007 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    :V

  2. Posted July 21, 2007 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    You know, I’ve been to Thailand and Siam Square. The funny thing is, the same city boasts of places like Nana, Soi Cowboy, Patpong etc where naked women frolick around with girly boys.

    I used to like Thailand a lot, but the new regime is killing it.

  3. cardcaptor
    Posted July 21, 2007 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    DrmChr0: My initial response is like yours as well.

    tj_han: Thailand is the land of oxymorons. While the media and the bureaucrats preach decency and Buddhist values, the water business, gambling, etc exist almost everywhere. Thai people make fun of gays and transvestites, and we have so many racial slurs. At the same time, we put equality of treatment regardless of races and sexual preferences in the Constitution, and we even have the Minister of Social Development and Human Security. The junta is doing everything for “democracy.” So on and so forth. Sure as hell a person who has taste for this good-for-nothing Japanese subculture like me would have a hard time living in such a place.

    The current regime is killing it for me too.

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