The creator of Please Tell Me! Galko-Chan has been arrested for attempting to import child pornography into Japan.
As reported by Asahi News, manga artist Kenya Suzuki is facing prison time after violating the country's child protection laws. Suzuki allegedly tried to have several photo books filled with illicit material shipped to him from Germany through the mail. Authorities searched Suzuki's home in July, where in addition to the illegally imported books, they found over forty other books and magazines containing child pornography as well. "I couldn’t get my hands on nude photo books of foreign children and I wanted them no matter what," Suzuki reportedly told authorities, adding "I couldn’t control myself." Before the arrest, a friend briefly reported Suzuki as missing on Dec. 13. He was later found on Dec. 14.
The manga author is charged with violating Japan's Act on Punishment of Activities Relating to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography and the Protection of Children, a series of laws that prohibits the possession, distribution, or import of child pornography. According to the law, anyone who is caught with child pornography faces up to three years in prison, as well as a fine of 3 million yen (about $26,000 USD).
Suzuki is best known for creating the manga Please Tell Me! Galko-Chan, a comedy series about a high school-aged girl who is part of Japan's "gyaru" subculture. The manga was adapted into a 12-episode anime series in 2016 by studio Feel, which is best known for creating the sequel series My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU TOO! The anime adaptation was directed by Keiichiro Kawaguchi, who also directed Phantasy Star Online 2: The Animation and is currently working on the latest entry in the Prince of Tennis franchise. The Galko-Chan anime is currently available for streaming on Crunchyroll.
Suzuki is not the first well-known figure within the anime and manga industry to face charges related to pedophilia. In 2017, Rurouni Kenshin creator Nobuhiro Watsuki was also charged with possession of child pornography. Authorities arrested the manga artist after several DVDs containing footage of children younger than 15 years of age were found in his home and office. "I liked girls from the upper grades of elementary school to around the second year of junior high school," Watsuki reportedly told authorities. The author received a light sentence, only being fined the equivalent of about $2,000 USD. Shueisha, the publisher behind Weekly Shonen Jump, controversially resumed the publication of Rurouni Kenshin just months after Watsuki's sentence was handed down. In 2020, Tomohiro Maki, the president of animation studio Gainax (Neon Genesis Evangelion, Gunbuster,) was arrested for molesting a teenage girl. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison.
Source: Asahi News