When answering inquires from the overseas press regarding artistic freedom in manga and anime, I try to add the following note. I am tired of being type cast as the tone-deaf guy that wants to protect anime and manga at the expense of everything else. I’m not sure if it helps, but I try all the same…
I would like to note that I am an advocate for free speech and freedom for both men and women to expressive themselves freely in every medium as long as they do not directly inhibit other’s human rights.
There has been strong interest in how Japan permits fictional sexually explicit anime and manga (animation and comic books) featuring minors in sexual situations aimed at male audiences. While the public and members of the media are quite aware of this, academics and specialists also note that the Western world tends not notice that nearly half of all animation and comic books in Japan are aimed at female audiences, a huge market for sexually explicit material for female audiences exists there, and that manga authorship in Japan is roughly gender equal (there are as many female author/artists as well as male author/artists.)
Solely focusing on the male audience and their market in Japan tends to reinforce the following Western assumptions:
1) Only men are interested in sexually explicit material.
2) Women are not interested in creatively pursuing sexually explicit material.
3) Ignore the fact that there is a market for both genders (and all common sexual orientations,) with a considerable amount of cross-over between these markets.
4) Preference for certain types of fictional sexually explicit material equates to holding such inclinations in real life as well.
There is a huge market for homoerotic material authored and consumed by Japanese women featuring male on male relationships. Few women who enjoy this material aspire to change their biological gender to pursue homosexual relationships.