The Possible Return of Kodomo no Jikan

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Seven SeasNymphetBack in 2006, manga publisher Seven Seas Entertainment licensed a manga called Kodomo no Jikan (lit “A Child’s Time”) for release in 2007, under the title “Nymphet.” The manga soon became the target of heavy controversy, as anime fans and fandom thought leaders spoke out vehemently against its coming to the US, eventually resulting in its cancellation.

Kodomo no Jikan tells the story of Rin Kokonoe, a precocious third-grade girl, characterized by her constant romantic and sexual advances on her new teacher. This is where fans’ problems with the series began. Lolicon is a contentious issue in the anime fandom. Some anime fans are okay with it, others would rather it not exist, and both sides clash often.

That same debate is now poised to rear its head once again.

Project HDigital Manga Publishing, under its Project H erotic manga line, is pursuing the Kodomo no Jikan license, as well as the funds to localize and print the series, via Kickstarter. In a 40-day long campaign started on May 26th, they’re seeking $157,000 ($72,240 of which has been pledged at time of publication). In addition, they’re working closely with Kaoru Watashiya, the mangaka of Kodomo no Jikan, to ensure a faithful localization and release.

Watashiya

“(…)My only wish is that people read the series before they pass judgement. That’s why we started this Kickstarter in the first place: so people can have a chance to read it(…)”

In 2007 following the controversy and cancellation of the “Nymphet” release (It should be noted that the name “Nymphet” was a suggestion by Watashiya herself), Watashiya-san posted a blog entry expressing her disappointment about the controversy. With this recent Kickstarter, she’s expressed a great deal of excitement at the prospect of her work finally reaching US readers.

News of Kodomo no Jikan’s potential return is not without controversy, however. Though Project H is doing their best to address concerns about the manga’s content, many fans have taken to social media to express their disgust with the idea of the series finally coming to the US, with some even accusing Project H of misleading people about the exact content of the manga.

Kodomo no Jikan has been available scanlated for some time. People who really wanted to read it have had plenty of time to do so since 2007, and those who did have since naturally brought it to discussion. Part of that discussion is a question of the content’s intent. Namely, it’s up in the air whether Rin’s sexual behaviour is meant to be taken by the reader as titillating or concering/disturbing.

From an artistic standpoint, works like Kodomo no Jikan are important. It’s important that art be allowed to address controversial issues. It’s really easy to look at Kodomo no Jikan and dismiss it as smut, but anybody who’s bothered to look into Kodomo no Jikan beyond a surface level will find that it’s not all ecchi and lolicon, and that it tackles some heavy issues and gets very serious and down-to-earth.

While it remains to be seen whether the campaign will be successful or not, Digital Manga and Project H have shown that they’re willing to face controversy head-on by opening up this can of worms that was believed closed in 2007. Time will tell if it pays off for them.

If you wish to support the Kickstarter campaign, a link is provided below.

KnJ Kickstarter

About the Author

Timeenforceranubis
President, Lead Content Creator, and Head Editor of She’s Lost Control Media. Has a lifelong love and passion for anime, videogames, and otaku culture. Enjoys Gundam, lemonade, and yandere girls.
  • Jordan Wesley

    I don’t really see an issue. Though I do live in the U.S. and haven’t read the manga, I have viewed the anime adaptation and have seen beyond the so-called “smut” and controversy the anime brings due to it displaying sexual provocation by a minor. The issue discussed, spoilers for those that have not seen the anime adaptation or read the manga, is about attention seeking desires displayed by a minor. While she does seek them in the wrong manor, it is reasonable to say that this is justified and I do not care for any negative feedback I may receive on this comment, but this needs to be discussed. To me, it seems she was either molested as a young child (just a generalization, a guess you may call it) or she just deems this as normal ways to seek out attention from adult males, as it is seen that she doesn’t receive it at home. Her second cousin/step-father is always busy and never has enough time for her, so she seeks that attention from any other male who shows even the slightest interest in her. All three of female protagonists in this particular series crave this attention as it is portrayed quite often that the girls are constantly trying to either receive praise or guidance from this particular teacher. No matter how they approach him, whether it be provocatively, physically, mentally, verbally, etc. they are nothing more than attention starved elementary school girls who look up to this teacher to provide attention and guidance to them to allow them to develop properly as they do not receive this from their parents/guardians. This is seen all too well in society whether anyone wants to admit it or not. Now I will not defend this series’ use of proclivity of elementary school girls, I did not enjoy this portion of the series, but the overall message is something that does need to be discussed no matter what. That is my point and view on this series, everyone else can believe whatever they wish. If you wish to see this series taken down, by all means, go for it. If you wish for the message, which I have deemed as the overall mental and emotional abuse of a child by the means of possible abandonment and neglect from what I have seen from the anime, then that is your choice to help fund this project. Otherwise, live your lives.