TW: Pedophilia, child abuse, rape, murder.
Well it is Thanksgiving and I’m doing great. HRT has greatly cleared up my emotions, motivation is at an all time hi–oh shit, the creator of Ruroni Kenshin just got caught with kiddy porn, and fuck my life. Somehow I thought I would escape unscathed from the frequent murder of faith in humanity that has arisen from every famous person ever being outed as either a rapist, a pedophile, or both because I’m not interested in normie culture. However, I’ve already made it clear that I have grown way too attached to the games and TV I grew up with because I had next to nothing else. Unfortunately, this does not look fake since there are four sources provided in the article listed so this isn’t good.
For most, I likely don’t even need to say anything because we all know this kind of shit is wrong. However, even in cases like these I’m not content on preaching to the choir. I know that some diehard fans are going to defend Watsuki because of how much importance Ruroni Kenshin was to them, and there is something that I need to say. Truth be told, even if you have the obvious reaction, I think this is still something important that I have to say (yeah yeah I know, I’ve been having a lot of those lately). In my piece about #metoo, I said this…
I get that it can be troubling to realize that someone you look up to can do something so heinous, and that it really hurts, but if you really cared about these people, you wouldn’t let them do shit like this! You should instead discourage bad behavior and encourage them to own up to what they did and strive to be a better person from now on.
I think this applies here to. Most will assume that Watsuki is beyond redemption, and maybe I’m just hopelessly optimistic. Maybe I don’t want to believe that Watsuki is such a bad person either. Maybe I just don’t want to think that humanity in general is so bad, and that want to give people the opportunity to change. Just think about it, if Kenshin were real, what would he have to say about Watsuki right now? Do you really think he would say it’s okay for him to own real life, explicit pornography of 12 to 15 year old girls just because “well he’s not doing it to them in real life!”
This isn’t any loli or shota shit here, those are ACTUAL girls in those DVDs, and buying them helps child pornagraphers fund this sickening profession. If it is really that difficult to control that you need something, at least just stick to loli hentai. Yes, I may find it disgusting, but at least you aren’t giving your money to sex traffickers. And before anyone asks, yes I have changed my own personal stance on loli/shota, but I do believe that it is important to show a distinction between finding something aesthetically pleasing or attractive, and wanting to fuck them.
Someone like Watsuki on the other hand? There’s no defending. No amount of confusion should justify supporting actual child pornographers. The DVDs he possessed were from 2015 despite child pornography being officially outlawed in Japan in 2014. Prior to that point, possession of child pornography was still legal yet was seen as morally reprehensible, at least from what I could gather. He also took the shit into his office with him, which means he seriously must have been obsessed with the stuff. Pedophiles have often described their attraction to children as an addiction.
This is leading me to believe that Watsuki must have had these feelings for a long time, possibly even when he originally wrote Ruroni Kenshin. Fans natural reactions are to feel betrayed and saddened. After all, how could someone who wrote such a wholesome series have such a sickening obsession? It makes no sense… or does it?
I proposed the earlier question of “how would Kenshin respond to Watsuki in real life?” Obviously, he wouldn’t approve, but when you think about it, Kenshin’s backstory becomes much more deep when you realize how much it parallels Watsuki’s own life. Kenshin’s backstory is that he was formerly a ruthless assassin known as “Hitokiri Battōsai” or “Battōsai the Manslayer” in the dub. As atonement for the murders he committed, he wields a non lethal reverse blade sword and makes a vow to never kill again, and to instead use his powers to protect those in need. A primary conflict throughout the series is keeping to his word so that he never goes back to his old ways, because if he kills even one person, he will revert back to Hitokiri Battōsai, and he will put all those important to him in danger, almost like killing… is an addiction for him.
Do you see where I am going with this? Maybe Watsuki based Ruroni Kenshin off of his own internal struggles with pedophilia, and Kenshin’s vow to never kill is supposed to represent Watsuki’s own personal vow to never cross the boundary from viewing child porn, to acting it out. He likely knows fully well that Kenshin would be unhappy with him, because he wrote Kenshin to be the same way in regards to killing. However, it also means that Kenshin would not simply say that Watsuki is a monster that is beyond redemption, as long as there is still the desire to do good inside of him. He would encourage him to fight against his own feelings, and to get the help he needs.
Any art form is often used as an escapist fantasy, not just for the viewer, but also the artist themselves. One can’t simply fake genuine human emotion. The fact that Watsuki chose to create a series like this shows that he does not wish anyone harm, so it is possible he views his child porn obsession as a coping mechanism that doesn’t harm actual kids though. It does though, and the fact that he’s giving his money to these people is indefensible. As much as I hate to pull a “no true scotsman” fallacy, a true fan would not let Watsuki do this, as it DOES in fact go against the core theme of the series.
The best we can do as fans is encourage him to not fall into his old habits, and to support his efforts to resist them. The fact that he was upfront about his attraction seems enough to indicate that he’s not trying to bullshit us. Hopefully he is able to get the mental help he needs before he does anything worse. There is a quote from this series that sums up my feelings quite distinctly from Hajime Saitou; “A man that can’t hold on to his beliefs can only be pathetic, dead or alive” and if Watsuki continues any further down this path then he’s certainly dead to me.
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