Every manga reader has their own preferences when it comes to titles. Some may gravitate to Naruto while others seek out Kaguya-sama: Love Is War. Still, the manga industry is not flawless, and it has its share of controversial content. That is why one popular online petition went live last month that asked for Shonen Jump to include better content warnings.
The petition, which earned several thousand signatures in its week-long run, was made by a manga reader named Manabu Sekiguchi. The creator said he is an avid manga reader who grew up on Shonen Jump. But as he's grown older, Sekiguchi said Shonen Jump should have better indicated its stories featuring sexual violence.
According to a report by Anime News Network, Sekiguchi said the magazine failed to make the distinction between eroticism and sexual violence. The magazine's target demographic may not understand the difference between the two given its young age. While Shonen Jump is enjoyed by many adults, Sekiguchi says titles like To Love-Ru had little focus on important themes like consent.
"Personally speaking, I feel uncomfortable when I look at Jump these days and how it gleefully sells women's bodies as if they are livestock. Perhaps out of a belief that they won't be criticized if it's between girls, there are more manga these days which show girls sexually harassing other girls. I want Jump's editors to realize that, regardless of who is doing it, sexual acts performed without the consent of both parties is sexual violence that hurts people," Sekiguchi wrote for the petition.
Sekiguchi goes on to say he wasn't capable of differentiating between fantasy and reality when it came to manga as a child. At his young age, he saw fellow readers and classmates sexually assault female classmates because they saw it done in a manga. He argues magazines like Shonen Jump need to not only include warnings about possible sexual violence but also include relevant educational materials about sex. Sekiguchi argues if a magazine can feature sexually inclined content then it can also educate readers on the topic.
With thousands of signatures to its name, Sekiguchi says he plans to submit the petition to Shueisha. There is no promise anything will be done in light of the trending petition, but Shonen Jump has been facing some heat as of late. This petition comes after Act-Age was canceled in the wake of its writer's arrest; Tatsuya Matsuki was apprehended after allegedly sexually assaulting an underage girl in Tokyo.
What do you think about this growing petition? Do you think manga magazines need better content warnings? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB.