Last year, the anime fandom was stunned when news broke regarding Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin. The artist was arrested in Japan for possessing child pornography, leaving the fate of his on-going manga up in the air. Now, a verdict has been handed down for Watsuki’s case according to Japanese law after a prolonged sentencing period.
According to the Tokyo Public Prosecutors Office, a summary of Watsuki’s indictment has been filed (via ANN) with the court. The 47-year-old was ordered by the Tokyo Summary Court to pay a fine of 200,000 yen for simple possession of child pornography on Tuesday. When converted to USD, the fine is just less than $2,000.
Evidence procured by the Public Prosecutors Office confirmed the artist possessed numerous DVDs featuring videos of nude girls in their early teens. The pornography was discovered last October with other materials. Tokyo Metropolitan Police found the DVDs after Watsuki came upon their radar once they were tipped on a different investigation.
Authorities officially charged Watsuki last November. During his deposition, the artist said he “liked girls in late elementary school to around the second year of middle school.” In Japan, possession of child pornography was not considered illegal until 2014. Currently, a guilty plea to such a crime can lead to up to one year of prison and a maximum fine of 1 million yen.
So far, Watsuki’s on-going work with Rurouni Kenshin has not been cancelled. Shueisha has put the series on hiatus as the title was serializing its ‘Hokkaido’ arc before Watsuki was arrested.3comments
If you are not familiar with Rurouni Kenshin, then you always have time to get to know the franchise. The story was born back in 1994 when Watsuki contracted its publication with Weekly Shonen Jump. Rurouni Kenshin tells the story of a former assassin named Kenshin Himura who has dedicated his life to atoning his past sins. Determined to leave senseless violence behind, Himura and his comrades travel Japan and stand up for oppressed underdogs everywhere. Over the years, Rurouni Kenshin has become one of Japan's most popular shonen titles, and it was turned into a critically acclaimed live-action film trilogy a few years back.
What do you think about Watsuki's punishment? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics, k-pop, and anime!