An Adult Manga Artist's Big Surprise - Uncensored Illustrations Featured in French Newspaper
Gengoroh Tagame is a manga artist who specializes in BDSM and erotic manga. His works include G-men, Gunji, SM-Z, and more, most of which contain graphical violence and sex scenes. Recently one of Gengoroh Tagame's manga, Arena, was reviewed by the French newspaper Libération. In his blog, Tagame writes about his surprise when he found out Libération included with the review uncensored illustrations from his manga, most of which would have never made it to print media in Japan.
*Note links in this article may contain explicit materials that are NSFW, you have been warned.
Review and Illustrations Appear in French Newspaper Libération
A few days ago, I received an English email that read:
Libération... hmm ... I've heard that name ... Oh, God, Libération is a famous French newspaper! I heard that Jean-Paul Sartre was involved in its creation! Wow! Why would such a respectable newspaper be interest in my manga?
I have to say "thanks" for promoting my manga, be it a newspaper or a gay magazine. I responded:
Later I received a big envelope from France with a newspaper in it. "Oh, I know this logo. It's really Libération - the January 25th 2007 edition." I was surprised then because up to that point I still didn't fully believe it, but the big surprised came when I saw what was inside of the newspaper.
Indeed, I found my illustrations and an article, which looked like a review of the French version of my Arena manga, published by the French publisher H&O, but...I expected "Libération" to use only parts of my illustrations. Instead, I was looking at big, uncensored images.
I...I drew male genitals with details of all the wrinkles and veins…moreover; I drew the inside of various other body parts...
I didn’t think any newspaper would publish my illustrations; Japanese newspapers would never even feature a review of my work. I was really surprised by the amount of tolerance from the French; I didn't expect anything like this...France is a great country! I was bothered by the restrictions and taboos placed on sexual description for the past 20 years, I think I'd like to migrate to France.
Although I can't read French, I thought the title in the newspaper said something along the lines of "Terrific BDSM," with the text "X-rated manga, all men are being affected by it." I just barely deciphered the text "like Justine of Marquis de Sade," which put a smile on my face.
This issue of Libération featured comic reviews. Around 20 comic titles were introduced in 10 pages. A few pages were filled with French edition of manga from Suehiro Maruo, Fusano Kondou, Yoji Fukuyama, Shinichi Abe and Shigeru Mizuki's. My work was placed in a page for gay manga, among the comic artists featured on that page, I only recognized Ralf Konig. I was also attracted by Lapage's Muchacho, it has an amazing art style, and I was able to look for it on Amazon.com.
This "gay" manga page was at the front of the manga section. It's unbelievable. I supposed my works will be featured in Le Monde and Le Figaro next. :)