In November 2017, Nobuhiro Watsuki was arrested for the possession of child pornography. Shueisha responded by suspending publication of his Rurouni Kenshin sequel. This isn’t the first time a Shonen JUMP author has been arrested for crimes involving underage girls. In 2002, Mitsutoshi Shimabukuro was arrested for violating laws against child prostitution. He had met up with a 16-year-old girl via the internet and allegedly paid her for sex. He did so giving a false occupation, and he admitted to doing the same thing on prior occasions (the source is in Japanese; it refers to Shimabukuro being charged for paying three girls of high-school age).
Conversations like #MeToo are emphasizing an important point: we need to believe survivors. That doesn’t mean we throw away due process, but it does mean that society needs to stop treating sexual assault and harassment victims with doubt and suspicion. It also means challenging victim-blaming, the attitude that victims “asked for it” because of what they did or wore, their past sexual history, and so on. It’s worthwhile to take stock of whether the fiction we consume promotes trust and respect for survivors. This article examines three narratives from recent anime about real or alleged sexual harassment and assault.