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‘Rurouni Kenshin’ cartoonist referred to prosecutors over possession of child porn

Kyodo

The author of the smash hit comic series “Rurouni Kenshin” was referred to prosecutors Tuesday for alleged possession of pornographic images of underage girls, investigative sources said.

Nobuhiro Nishiwaki, who goes by the pen name Nobuhiro Watsuki, is widely known for his internationally acclaimed historic fantasy where a once lone, ruthless swordsman turns good and fights for friends and citizens set in the Meiji Era about 150 years ago.

The 47-year-old cartoonist has admitted to the charge, and was quoted as telling investigators, “I was interested in little girls’ nudity,” according to the sources.

He is accused of possessing DVDs containing videos of naked girls less than 18 years of age in his office in Tokyo last month in violation of the law banning child prostitution and pornography.

Police raided his office last month and seized evidence after investigations into another child pornography case brought his link to light, according to the sources.

“Rurouni Kenshin” was originally serialized in a weekly comic magazine between 1994 and 1999. TV animations and live-action cinema versions also won popularity in Asia and beyond.

Its sequel began in a monthly magazine in September. The publisher, Shueisha, said it “takes the matter gravely and the cartoonist has deep regrets,” adding the popular series will be suspended from next month’s edition.