Rule of thumb about Japanese comics: Just because they're drawn, that certainly doesn't mean they are for children (although that doesn't mean they should be banned from public libraries, either.)
According to B-Town Blog, Burien, Washington resident Travis De Nevers' 10 year-old niece recently checked out the second volume of Makoto Tateno's Hero Heel manga, which features two dudes engaging in sex. The niece is described as a "huge anime fan".
"We were having dinner when I just started looking through her books," De Nevers told B-Town Blog. "The first thing I noticed on one was a 'Parental Advisory' sticker. I then opened the book and couldn't believe what I saw inside."
Rough sex, apparently!
"What is a book like that doing in a public library anyways?" he added. "If you want that kind of content go to Google or the Internet. Kids shouldn't be able to check out explicit, adult content like this at public facility."
The library where the manga was checked out, however, is simply following First Amendment policy. Here are the American Library Association's guidelines:
Sex, profanity, and racism remain the primary categories of objections, and most occur in schools and school libraries.
Frequently, challenges are motivated by the desire to protect children. While the intent is commendable, this method of protection contains hazards far greater than exposure to the "evil" against which it is leveled.
U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan, in Texas v. Johnson, said, "If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the Government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable."
Individuals may restrict what they themselves or their children read, but they must not call on governmental or public agencies to prevent others from reading or seeing that material.
What's more, the policies of the library in question clearly state that parents and guardians are responsible for their children's welfare and safety, including the library materials they access.
"What also sickens me is that people are going to the library to read this kind of content?" added De Nevers. "An anime comic book section is where people go to read porn? Around kids? There is no good coming from this being in our library."
Well, other than the implementation of the U.S. Constitution.
Resident Upset with Library After Niece Checks Out Explicit Anime Book [B-Town Blog via ANN]