So, has anyone ever been consuming some form of dark and violent media, and just thought:
“Wow, this is great! I love this! But you know what would make it better? Girls. Little girls. Little girls, pissing themselves. Constantly.”
If not, then congratulations: You’re probably not a pedophile, and this post isn’t about you!
If it does, then I cordially invite you to set yourself on fire. Please, do it. You’re doing the rest of us a favor.
But anyways, a lot of you have probably heard of a thing called ‘Corpse Party’. It was a horror RPG that has some manga adaptations, light novels and a pretty garbage series of OVAs. The OVAs are pretty terrible – The animation is horrible, the pacing sucked and the crew shoved as many bad endings from the game as possible for the sake of shock value and throwing gore on the screen.
Well, for all the problems that the OVAs had, the game itself was still pretty decent. It’s not a classic by any stretch of the imagination, but, unlike the OVAs, was able to justify it’s own existence. For as trite as the setting was, and for as uninspired as the overall story, and for all the extraneous characters, it still has merit, and a reason to exist. Though there were lots of pointless side characters, the ones who did get focused on had strong characterizations and were compelling enough to hope they didn’t die- Meanwhile, while the setting is about as generic as they come, it does have a good sense of atmosphere and the dark and depressing tone remains present and consistent throughout the game.
But for all I’ve gone on about Corpse Party, we’re not really here to talk about Corpse Party. No, I’m here to pull back the curtain, and expose the man behind the madness – Series creator, Makoto Kedouin.
Makoto Kedouin got his start in writing seemingly with the very first Corpse Party game from 1996, Corpse Party for PC-98. I have no idea about how successful it was or wasn’t, and I’d attribute it’s current popularity more due to it’s being the inspiration for the later games and media. For years after, the only things he’s seemingly written are Corpse Party related, starting with the original re-make of Corpse Party into Corpse Party: New Chapter back in 2007, and still going on with the SECOND Corpse Party live-action movie. (And, if you need something so bad it’s good to laugh at, I would ten-out-of-ten recommend watching the Corpse Party live movie.) For understandable reasons, outside of having written pretty much everything in Corpse Party’s canon, the only work I can find him having done is Dolls Fall, another gorey horror manga with cute girls and a lot of shock-value moments.
Because I have no respect for Kedouin as a creator, I’m not going to sugarcoat any of my criticism. Kedouin as a ‘creative’ is an absolutely unremarkable hack. His settings are bland, his scenarios unimaginative and instead of trying to build a sense of horror through suspense and tension, opts to just throw blood and gore on the screen for shock value. Really, on the whole, there’s exceptionally little of note about Kedouin’s writing, and if not for one thing, there’d be absolutely nothing to separate him from any of the dime-a-dozen hack writers in the anime and manga industry. This thing, is by far the most interesting and horrifying aspect of Kedouin’s work – And it’s pedophilia.
And no, I’m not saying that this guy is a pedophile purely because his work has fanservice. Fanservice is not the problem here, because fanservice exists for a reason and has it’s own place in the medium. However, after having read a lot of this guy’s work, there’s absolutely nothing you can say that’d convince me that Makoto Kedouin is anything but a true scumbag to whom the term ‘lolicon’ would legitimately apply. And, yes, I can hear you thinking: “But I played Corpse Party! I watched the OVAs, I read the manga! There was fanservice and ecchi sometimes, but it was never that bad! This is a total mis-characterization!”
And if you’ve only experienced Kedouin’s writing through the Corpse Party PSP games, the OVAs and the manga adaptations of those games, I totally understand why you’d think that. After all, manga and anime are well known for the extent to which they’ll sexualize their – often underage – female cast, and Japan has different standards about the way in which they allow for their younger characters to be depicted.And, aside from an infamous pre-death panty shot in the OVAs, and Seiko’s line about ‘buttering up her pooper’, there’s seemingly not all that much fanservice in Corpse Party. But I’ve looked beyond the surface. I looked into the void. I stared into the abyss, and it stared back.
What separates Makoto Kedouin’s work from having fanservice that exists from the kind of immature and pointless but ultimately harmless fanservice you’d get from a show like, say, Fairytail or Phantom World, or topical fanservice that serves a narrative or thematic point like that of Kill La Kill or Bakemonogatari, is the context surrounding it. While a lot of fanservice can be egregious not because it exists, but because it feels like the show’s begun to talk down to it’s audience, and alters the flow of it’s story and narrative to show us fanservice, the kind of quote-on-quote ‘sex appeal’ that Kedouin’s work portrays is an entirely different beast. While it does often go into the realm of feeling like we’re being talked down to and that the universe of the story is conspiring to say ‘Hey, we know you’re not paying attention so here’s a pantyshot! Here’s a pair of anime tiddies!’, it’s the presentation and context given in-universe that I think makes his work so absolutely appalling. While the conspiratory and immature fanservice of other series can and will grate on my nerves for how insultingly it can be presented, they also rarely go so far as to actually repulse and offend me – Because, with the infamous exception of Sword Art Online’s Fairy Dance arc, the context for most fanservice presented is often light-hearted or incidental.
Fanservice more often than not is shown from some omniscient, truly outsider perspective of a scenario, or shown in a comical or non-serious light that tells us that even if the character whose having her ass and-or titties all over the screen doesn’t have a lot of agency in that portrayal of herself, the scenario in which her ass and-or titties are being shown to us is usually not one in which she is in some kind of true peril or serious danger. I’d imagine why this is what made that scene with Asuna in Sword Art Online’s Fairy Dance arc so offensive to so many people. Not only is this the kind of thing that totally doesn’t belong in an immature show about video games that melt you brain, but the presentation in-universe is of a seventeen year old girl being sexually assaulted by a thirty something year old creeper and playing it dead-fucking straight. It’s not making a commentary about fanservice, or sexualizing teenagers – Nope, it’s just several straight minutes of Asuna getting basically raped after eight episodes of her being pretty much completely powerless and being presented as a damsel in distress with agency in her presentation whatsoever.
And that’s basically the contingent of everything wrong with Makoto Kedouin’s work. While there is fanservice in Corpse Party that isn’t presented when the characters are in grave danger, most of it is being shown to us when the characters are in very real danger. Most of it’s intentionally drawn in way to sexualize them, and it’s very common for the fanservice to be shown during and when they’re in danger. The scenarios aren’t just presented as high-stakes scenes with fanservice of underage characters- They’re scenarios presented in a way that says it’s really hot to watch teenage girls get sexually victimized. They say we as the audience aren’t supposed to think the way these scenarios are being depicted is disgusting – They say that we’re supposed to get off on this, and be happy with it. While we’re being shown the image of a traumatized girl getting raped by ghosts, it’s liked Kedouin’s right there behind us, looking on and whispering “Wow, isn’t this ten year old hot? Isn’t it sexy to see this twelve year old pissing? Doesn’t this child sniffing another child’s panties arousing? Isn’t this just the most EROTIC thing?”
And yeah, I know that Kedouin doesn’t draw any of the manga he creates. I know he’s not entirely to blame when the mangaka are complicit in their thinking it’s okay to draw children like this – But I’m going say that a majority of the blame for just how disgusting this work is lies on it’s author. You might think otherwise, but given that this guy is someone whose said his two favorite things in the world are A) Gore and B) Girls peeing themselves, I don’t think it’s at all stretch to posit that Kedouin is the one responsible for the characters being drawn the way they are. My calling him a pedophile might seem unfair to some, but I think when panels like this and this are among the tamer parts of his writing then no, I don’t think so at all. I say the burden of proof lies on the ones who does frequently write stories that put underage characters into situations where they’re being sexualized to show that he isn’t a pedophile –
And all of what I’ve seen from him so far leaves me far, far from convinced.