Research Fail: Moe Images and Virtual Child Pornography

I found this eyebrow-raising passage while hopping through Google Books lately:

“In a poll conducted in 2005 by the Anime News Network, an online portal for anime information, 29 percent of American anime fans felt that moe images should be banned completely.” Japanamerica, by Roland Kelts, p. 162

What? Seriously?! Looking up the actual poll, of course, showed that it actually referred to “virtual child porn,” not “moe images.”

Should “virtual child porn” (IE: pictures and animation depicting minors involved in pornographic situations, but not involving real minors in its creation) be illegal?

No     684 (39.4%)
Yes     506 (29.1%)
It should be banned in certain situations, but not others.    340 (19.6%)
I’m Undecided     208 (12.0%)

I won’t claim there isn’t a healthy undercurrent of sensuality in moe imagery, but using it as an equivalent term to “child pornography” is absurd. I image he’s not willfully misrepresenting his research, but is instead just really confused. It makes one worry about the understanding of otaku culture, though, when a widely read book makes such a jarring mistake. In the US, unfortunately, the sexual innocence of children is the one debate topic where all standards of reason are jettisoned. And in this murky pool, moe is wading knee-deep.

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