One of the manga creators in the Chara Chara Makiart creative unit has been found guilty of sexual assault on a minor. Kodansha, the unit’s publisher, shared this news. Kodansha has decided to stop publishing the current series from the unit, Harapeko Penguin Cafe and Tom to Jerry: Nanairo, which were being serialized in Nakayoshi manga magazine. Harapeko Penguin Café originally debuted in 2019, and Tom to Jerry: Nanairo just began coming out this year. In addition to this, Kodansha has cancelled its contract with the man. It’s also recalling his books.
There is not a lot of information in the report. The man’s name is not given, but he is listed as 45-years-old. The Kyoto District Court found him guilty of sexually assaulting an elementary school girl. It happened between spring and summer of 2020. The Court gave the man a prison term of three years, but suspended the sentence for five years. In other words, if he behaves himself for five years, he doesn’t have to spend any time behind bars.
The story has shades of what happened with Act-Age almost one year ago. In that situation, the writer of the manga Act-Age got caught groping two middle school girls. His publisher was quick to respond, and his prosecutor argued he should go to prison for 18 months. In the end, he also got a suspended sentence, where if he behaves for three years, he doesn’t have to spend any time in prison.
The U.S. Department of Justice explains how suspended sentences work in Japan: “To qualify for a suspended sentence, the offender must have received a sentence of imprisonment with or without forced labor for not more than 3 years or a fine of not more than 200,000 yen and shall not have served a prison sentence within the last 5 years. The execution of a sentence may be suspended for not less than 1 year and no more than 5 years. Suspension is revoked if the offender commits another crime within the suspension period and is sentenced to imprisonment.”
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, and its sequel, Manga Art for Intermediates, with professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.