A controversial new manga is facing calls for censorship after an advertisement video was released on Twitter. Serialized by manga artist Asami Sugawara the manga is called “Daughter’s Friend” or “Musume no Tomodachi” and the controversy lies in the story. It’s about a middle-aged office worker and a high school aged friend of the man’s daughter. It is described as something to be presented to people who suppress themselves in society. The advertisement tweet describes the manga as such:
“The main character, Keisuke, who lived as an ideal self as a father at home and as a chief at the company. However, her life changes 180 degrees by meeting her daughter’s friend, the old city. In front of her, she was real. The worn-out heart was healed. Knowing that it is “an emotion that should never be held”’.
The concerns of those on Japanese twitter boil down to fear that the series will incite crimes and/or contribute to child exploitation, as the female character is underaged and the leading male is not. The action many demand is for the manga not to be serialized at all, or for it to be limited in where it can be displayed and sold. A practice known as “zoning”. Zoning seeks to preserve freedom of expression and also to keep such adult content away from minors and those who would rather not see it.
To counter the calls for censorship, users claim that the manga is simply a “creative” work and should be distinguished from “real”. Some say that since it was already geared towards adults that it’s sales locations are already isolated. Whatever the case may be the issue raises the long time controversy concerning how art can influence society in negative ways or not. A similar controversy in this vein is the “video games cause violence” argument that has been put forward in the US on multiple occasions. Whatever happens, “Daughter’s Friend” is sure to continue to be embroiled in controversy over it’s unorthodox subject matter.