A couple of years ago I was in Japan researching what would become Kiss of the Womb. I say researching but my actions could just as easily be summed up neatly as dicking around. Anyway, during my first day dicking around researching Akihabara – that futuristic geek haven that so often finds itself following the words “I went to Japan and visited-” -  I stumbled across an alley. It was much like an alley you might expect to find in the states – dark and dirty looking and not something you’d gladly trek down if you didn’t have good reason to. But the curious thing was I wasn’t in the states. Standing here, amidst the thrumming, ever beating, roboticized heart of the new and the now, this alleyway perplexed me.

  I was on the look out for the debauched Japan, that’s for sure, but typically it wasn’t found hidden away. It was out here, plastering the streets, flying its flag proud and unperturbed. It knew what it was, we knew what it was, and the industry thrived because of it. So when I set foot in that alley, making my way toward the one lone door at the end of it all, I knew something was probably awry.

  I hopped down the steps to storefront and entered, neither tentative or reverent. Looking back I certainly needed one of the two, but instead cocksure I swaggered into the squalid little lobby and appraised what I found. At first glance it looked like any other doujinshi store – housing row upon row of erotic manga, wrapped neatly in cellophane bags – the cover mascots, more often than not in a state of semi-defilation – beckoning the reader to pick up and peruse. It took a little while for me to realize, as I tried to ignore the dishevelled clerks utter surprise at seeing a white guy between the aisles of his sordid stock, that the running them of every publication on the walls was girls – illustrated, mind you, but girls nevertheless – who were certainly not within the legal age limit.

  After I ascertained that I was indeed standing in a lolicon speciality shop everything clicked, and I pretended to browse for a little while longer before slowly making my way back to the door and exiting the building post haste. As I joined the main stretch of Akiba once again and associated myself with the regular perverts over at the Mandarake high rise,   I registered relief that there were still some things – despite being legal in Japan – some things that are still taboo.


~ by Joseph Blame on January 1, 2011.

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