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Saturday, November 16, 2019 

Can animation, no matter how sexually explicit, be considered child porn by legal definition?

The Korea Herald reported on the country's supreme court ruling that anime featuring nudity with presumed children was to be considered child porn:
The Supreme Court on Thursday overturned an appellate court’s decision that pornographic animations showing characters in school uniforms could not be considered child porn and ordered a retrial of the case.

Following a similar decision made in a separate case in May, this is the second decision by the top court that recognizes explicit animations featuring characters that appear to be underage as child porn.

A 45-year-old operator of a file-sharing website, identified only by his surname Lim, was earlier arrested and convicted for sharing obscene videos and violating the child protection law by neglecting to delete porn animations shared on his website and taking profit from them between May 2010 and April 2013.
Let me put it this way. I do think "lolicon" anime is disturbing in its own way, and not a very healthy genre at all, any more than the horror genre. And there are some examples out there of anime productions featuring rape jokes that I find repulsive. Even some where sexual assault is depicted negatively can go overboard if they were written as cheap shock value. But can animation actually be classified as child porn the same way live action can, and can or should it be restricted in access as south Korea's been doing with a lot of porn sites? The simple answer is, it can't, and if the same standards aren't applied to violent gore in horror-thrillers, then the hypocrisy is exposed.

I do wonder though, how Korea's courts would've handled the case of Rurouni Kenshin mangaka Nobuhiro Watsuki, who got a lenient sentence from Japan's judicial system? What he did involving live action child porn was far worse than the case of animated porn in Korea, yet they made a serious mistake by not giving him any jail time.

It's too bad when sex in animation is viewed as far worse than real life, physical violence. To be only concerned about shunning sexuality while real life violence - and even gory violence like that in the Mortal Kombat video games - largely gets a pass, just demonstrates how corrupted morality is everywhere and anywhere.

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If it exploits imagery of sex with minors, then it is child porn. If real life children are being shown on screen, that is sexual exploitation on top of porn; but you don’t need the sexual exploitation for it to be porn. Just like adult porn doesn’t stop being porn only because the actors or participants are paid and involved of their own free will.
The problem is that some true or meaningful stories about children are going to deal with sexuality. Where that crosses the line into porn is a tougher issue.

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