Thanks to the efforts of mass media, it has surfaced that the Matsue City board of education in Shimane Prefecture has severely limited students’ access to the 10-volume manga series “Hadashi no Gen” (“Barefoot Gen”), a best-selling antiwar and antinuclear weapons classic. The board told the city’s elementary and junior high schools in December to remove the manga from library shelves and to require students to get permission from teachers to read it.
More than 1,200 citizens have protested the board’s decision by telephone and e-mail. The decision, which was actually made unilaterally by the board’s secretariat, is deplorable. The board should immediately rescind it. It should not forget that the decision has deprived students of an important chance of learning about the cruelty of war and the horrific nature of a nuclear attack.
In a similar development, it has come to light that the central library of Tottori City in adjacent Tottori Prefecture placed the Hadashi no Gen series in the library’s office two years ago. The series was removed from a shelf of children’ books following a complaint from a parent. It was returned to the shelf on Friday.
The series was drawn by the late Keiji Nakazawa, who died last December. He survived the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of Hiroshima but lost his father and two siblings that day. The series revolves around the experience of Gen Nakaoka, a 6-year-old boy, during and after World War II. It graphically depicts not only the harsh reality of the atomic bombing and the hardship in the years immediately after World War II but also atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army, such as the beheading of other Asians and rape. It also includes harsh criticism of the Emperor Showa, at times calling him a “murderer.” Hadashi no Gen was translated into about 20 languages including English, French, German, Russian, Italian, Korean, Norwegian and Indonesian. It was also adapted into a TV series, feature movies, plays and musicals, and has been used to teach peace education in schools.
According the Matsue board of education, in August 2012, a man sent a request to the city assembly asking that the series be removed from school library shelves, saying that its perception of history was wrong. Although the assembly turned down the request, the secretariat of the board accepted it and did not submit its decision to an open meeting of the board members.
Thirty-nine schools that possess the Hadashi no Gen series complied with the decision. Because the decision concerned the freedom of expression and people’s right to know, the head of the secretariat should be punished for carrying out this unilateral decision in a completely non-transparent manner.
Castalia House will produce three more 48-page volumes of Alt★Hero. All three volumes will be written by Chuck Dixon, the comic book writer who is famous for his well-regarded work on the Punisher for Marvel, and on Batman, Nightwing and Robin for DC Comics. He is the co-creator of the character Bane.
Alt★Hero is a world not too terribly different than our own. It is a world where the Wehrmacht generals overthrew Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party in 1939, and where the first atomic bomb was dropped on the order of Reichskanzler Jodl on Soviet territory in 1944, leading to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1956. It is a world where Japan attacked Australia instead of Pearl Harbor and China occupies the Korean Peninsula. It is a world of four superpowers, where the European Union rivals the United States of America for wealth and influence, and where China and Russia possess the two most formidable militaries on the planet.
And Alt★Hero is a world of newly discovered superhumans.
I will read it before I pronounce whether it’s good or bad.
In general, I am not a big fan of superhero stories.
This does lead to an interesting comparison of superhero stories and horror stories, however.
Continue reading Let us hope that Chuck Dixon can overwhelm Vox Day in the “Alt Hero” writing
Even before this catastrophic Labor Day weekend is factored in (more on this below), the domestic 2017 box office is in hideous shape. This year is –6.3% behind 2016 and continues to fall behind 2015, 2013, and 2012.
If you figure in inflation, those numbers are even worse. For example, in 2012 the average ticket cost $7.96. Today it is almost a full dollar more at $8.89. Yeah, things are that bad and will look even worse on Tuesday.
With no apparent faith in their own product, this is the first Labor Day in 25 years where a new title has not been released on more than 1,000 screens. Over this weekend last year, the box office hauled in nearly $130 million. This year will do about a third of that.
Continue reading Die, Hollywood, Die!
For the record, I don’t trust Seth Stephens-Davidowitz.
Contrary to what feminists like to claim, pornography that shows submissive natures and violence against women is mostly viewed by women.
The submissive nature of being dominated is a major fetish to many women who are aroused by the thought of being abused or choked or restrained. It’s a turn on.
Continue reading Seth Stephens-Davidowitz claims that women are the majority of violent porn consumers
Here is a girl with a pretty face.
Now that you have some idea of what a girl looks like, let’s think about video games.
Here are a bunch of video game images trying to look like a real girl.
Just to remind you, here is the real girl again:
So … games that try to be about pretty girls seem to have some serious video issues.
The latest Mass Effect game has enough money to hire a supermodel. But it doesn’t have enough money to hire a 3D expert to model her face.
This is a problem of style over substance.
Leon: How old am I?
Deckard: [after slugging Leon, to no effect] I dunno.
Leon: My birthday is April 10, 2017. How long do I live?
Deckard: Four years.
Leon: More than you! Painful to live in fear, isn’t it?