Underrated Manga: Kodomo no Jikan

Posted by Guest Author on Jan 14, 2008 in Comic Books |

Underrated Manga: Kodomo no Jikan

With American anime sales on a downward trend, a lot of attention is being paid to its partner in crime manga, the Japanese comics that are often adapted into anime (if they’re not already adaptations themselves). In North America and Europe manga has exploded, but the sheer volume of manga published in Japan means that not every series makes it over here— and even the ones that do don’t always get the attention that they deserve! So here’s one of our Top Ten Underrated Manga that we recommend that you should get your hands on:

Kodomo no Jikan (“A Child’s Time”)

This may seem like an odd choice for underrated manga, seeing as this series gained infamy throughout the English-language manga world when Seven Seas licensed it and then cancelled it because the content was too racy. Well, the problem isn’t just that the content is racy— it’s that it’s racy and it involves primary school students. It didn’t help that original creator Kaworu Watashiya wanted them to call it Nymphet.

The plot of Kodomo no Jikan is roughly as follows: third-grader Rin Kokonoe is a bundle of contrasts: she’s mischievous but would never intentionally hurt someone she loves; she’s completely distrustful of adults but is in love with her homeroom teacher; she tries to seduce him and manages, at the same time, to both understand and be completely oblivious to exactly what she’s doing. Yes, Kodomo no Jikan is a comedy about an elementary school teacher whose student tries to seduce him.

The reason why the series is underrated is that most people write it off as nothing but bait for pedophiles, but it actually offers a lot of legitimate commentary on our society’s perception of the young— and affection for the young. Rin requires affection, albeit not the kind she asks for, but society’s fear of pedophiles prevents the teacher, Daisuke Aoki, from giving it to her. The fanservice, such as it is, plays on this fear as much as it panders to the “lolicon” (“Lolita complexes,” guys with a thing for young girls).

Is the manga disturbing? Absolutely. It does— and should —make its readers feel uncomfortable, and as such it’s not for everyone. But hopefully an English publisher will work out a way to make it available to those willing to handle the series.

Gia Manry is a Portland, OR-based professional writer specializing in pop culture/entertainment writing. Read up on more of her work at giapet.net or hire her at GiaManry.com.

Comments are closed.


Copyright © 2024 Fanboy.com All rights reserved. Theme by Laptop Geek.