Jason DeAngelis, President of Seven Seas Entertainment, released this statement regarding the company's publication of Nymphet in the U.S.:

I wanted to address the controversy related to our upcoming release of Nymphet.


There have been several heated online debates about this title, mainly about whether or not it is suitable to be released in the U.S.  Many fans are eagerly awaiting its release and we have received a large number of emails to attest to this fact, while others on various forums find the content highly objectionable and are opposed to its release.


Specifically, those who are speaking out against Nymphet seem to be disturbed by the relationship between two characters in the story, namely an elementary school student and her adult teacher.  Most people have not yet read Nymphet, since we haven't even published it yet, so I would like to clarify an important point: Nymphet is a story about a mischievous young girl who tries to sexually entrap her teacher.  The important context here is that the girl's advances on her teacher are never reciprocated by him; her teacher is horrified by her actions, and his romantic interest is in fact another adult teacher.  The comedy arises out of this young girl saying and doing improper things (much like Crayon Shin-Chan, which is currently being aired on Cartoon Network) and seeing her teacher squirm with discomfort and shock while he struggles to keep his composure, at the same time trying not to make a fool of himself in front of the woman he loves.


In Japan, Nymphet is a highly popular and successful manga written and drawn by a female creator for an older teen male audience.  It is published in Futubasha's weekly seinen magazine Comic High.  It is not considered pornographic by any means, and the Japanese would be shocked to hear this sort of accusation about what they consider to be a mainstream property.  In fact, it is so mainstream that it has been turned into an anime program which will be broadcast on Japanese TV starting this July.  My personal stance on this title is, if it's good enough for the Japanese, then it's good enough for us.  I had the opportunity to live in Japan for six years, and so I understand and appreciate their cultural nuances and wacky and often bizarre sense of humor.  Based on the angry debates that I have seen online, however, there are people who do not appreciate this sort of material, and while it may be appropriate in Japan, they feel that it is inappropriate for our culture.


Although I do not agree with that point of view, I realize that this issue must be addressed, instead of ignored.  As a policy, we at Seven Seas do not believe in altering or 'censoring' manga artwork or content, so that approach, which has been taken in the past by others, is out of the question.  Instead, despite the fact that we have already received thousands of orders on this title, I have decided to delay its release and to have an open dialogue with the large book chains and other vendors.  My intention is to make them fully aware of this debate, familiarize them more fully with the content, and let each of them make the final decision as to whether or not it is appropriate for their stores and their customers -- and then give them the chance to cancel their orders if they wish.  In the meantime, I would like to continue the dialogue with fans or others who are seriously concerned about this issue, and will be keeping my eyes and ears open to the discussion.


As always, our intention at Seven Seas is only to publish high quality manga that appeal to our readers and fans.  After all, we're manga fans ourselves.


The opinions expressed in this Talk Back article are solely those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the editorial staff of ICv2.com.