BBC Interviews Girls und Panzer’s Character Designer – “Fiction like This Should Be Banned”

Takeshi Nogami, the character designer of the Girls und Panzer anime, went on Twitter recently about an interview he had with the BBC about his work. Nogami was interviewed by English Journalist Stacey Dooley, who was questioning him on the topic of sexualizing children condemned his work on the anime and mentioned that all fiction like Girls und Panzer would be banned throughout the entire 3 hour interview.

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Nogami is one of the original character designers of the 2012 anime Girls Und Panzer and assisted in the designs of the Shirobako OVA. He has also worked on various manga such as the Strike Witches manga adaptations, Shidenkai no Maki and Koutetsu no Shoujo-tachi.

According to the various Tweets from Nogami, he had an interview session with BBC’s Stacey Dooley for roughly 3 hours for her documentary on young sex workers in Japan (full documentary below). He noted that their stances during the interview were polar opposites; Nogami thinks that all humans inherently have ‘dirty desires’.Whilst Dooley’s stance is that humans have no ‘dirty desires’ but are corrupted to have such thoughts through media depicting sinful material such as erotica, pedophillia and gore.

Nogami sums up Dooley’s position in the interview as that of a hitman from Rei Hiroe’s Black Lagoon who is determined to bring justice to pedophiles and producers of pedophilic content. He also mentions that justice can be scary when it manifests into people and infects them. Nogami mentions that this topic should not even be touched when poverty still exists in the UK. Dooley, however, ignored his statement. Dooley states that in order to tackle child abuse all fiction like Girls und Panzer should to be banned.

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Nogami argues that the UK should solve the issue of poverty before tackling child abuse, and insists that legalising such fiction would result in a lowered crime rate. He assumes that this is a common line of thought for countries in the Commonwealth (explaining that you can be arrested for having pornographic comics in Canada) so his words won’t be able to reach her.

Dooley’s closing statement in the interview asks Nogami

Why don’t you Japanese people follow what the UK does?

 Nogami rebuts:

Why don’t you British people follow Japan, since we’re more civilized, and have lower crime rate than the UK?

He thinks that this is where the Commonwealth should start thinking on the lines of.

Here is the full translation of Nogami’s Tweets from Twitter user @walterinsect:

“I was interviewed by this lady at my workplace. One-on-one Q&A session for three hours. Through that I realized one most important thing. I was thinking about releasing it online as manga but… The core difference between this interviewer and myself was the attitude towards human being. My position is… “all human beings have “dirty desires”. Isn’t it better to be vented appropriately?”. On the contrary…Ms Susie(sic) stated this. “All human beings are naturally innocent and have no “dirty desires” and reading media…media depicting erotic, pedophilic, and gore contents will affect them to be corrupted”. Then I realized.So the definition of human being, or Operating System(sic) is different. After three hour long interview, this realization was the most productive experience, I think. Oh, on top of that, she said, with a look of a hitman in BLACK LAGOON, “My desire is to put all pedophiles, and ones who produce pedophilic media into jail”. Ah, “Justice” is kinda scary when it infects people. Isn’t she trying to substitute everything into the subject of that sentence? It’s been two times where I was interviewed like this. She ignored me when I said… “Don’t look at us to turn away from your problem within the UK”…. During the interview, we touched upon ways that we can tackle the child abuse issues in Commonwealth world. She said “banning all fictions like this!”. I suggested “Well, solve poverty first. Legalizing fictions that has no victims will lower the crime rate”. She seemed like she didn’t get the idea. It seems that her view is a common one throughout the Commonwealth countries (that’s why you get arrested… for having porn comic in Canada), so objection in words might not help much. It might be better to foster… young, enthusiastic “comrades” within them. Ms Susie(sic) asked me, with formal voice, “Why don’t you Japanese people follow what the UK does?” so I answered… “Why don’t you British people follow Japan, since we’re more civilized, and have lower crime rate than the UK?”. I think the starting line is here.”

Dooley’s interview with Nogami is part of her research into the sexualisation of children in Japan that aired on BBC3. You can see the full documentary here:

Stacey Dooley Investigates Young Sex For Sale… by cosmosdocumentaries

Girls und Panzer is an original anime series that aired from October 2012 till March 2013. The series is produced by studio Actas (Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch PureSwitch) and directed by Tsutomu Mizushima (AnotherShinryaku! Ika Musume). Four manga adaptations of the series were produced since 2012, all of which are published by Media Factory. A light novel adaptation was also produced in 2012, as well as a video game based on the series that released on the PlayStation Vita in June 2014. An anime film titled Girls und Panzer der Film was released on November 21st, 2015 and became one of the highest grossing anime movies. The film is being followed up by Girls Und Panzer: The Final Chapter, a 6 part film series that will release its first chapter this December.

Here is a synopsis of the series from MAL:

You may have heard of kung fu, but the girls at Oarai High School practice gun-fu—really, really BIG 75mm gun-fu, in fact. It’s called Sensha-do, and it’s the martial art of operating armored tanks! They take it seriously too, and since winning the national Sensha-do championship is such a huge deal at Oarai, they sometimes go to extreme ends in order to get the best students from Panzer class to sign up. Which is how Miho Nishizumi, who HATES operating tanks, gets drafted to join doomsday-driven driver Mako, even-triggered gunner Hana, highly receptive radio operator Saori and combustible tank-fangirl and loader Yukari as the incomparable Anko Team. They may not be on the half-track to fame and fortune, and maybe a few of them would rather shop for tank tops than become tops in tanks, but once their focus is locked and loaded, they’re absolutely driven.

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Whether or not you agree/disagree with Nogami or Dooley, both sides do bring compelling arguments. Watch the full documentary with Nogami’s thoughts in mind before coming to a conclusion.

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