Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin, has been arrested on charges of possessing child pornography.
According to Jaymes Hanson (news video below), DVDs containing child pornography were found during a search of Watsuki’s office and home back in October. The Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department (TMPD) also disclosed they have evidence that Mr. Watsuki purchased these DVDs himself. Theses DVDs showed naked minors who appeared to be in their teens.
The TMPD initial suspicion of Watsuki stemmed from discoveries during a separate child pornography investigation. The evidence gathered led them to believe Watsuki purchased these DVDs. Their suspicions turned out to be true once discovering multiple DVDs in his office and home. Watsuki was quoted as saying, “I liked girls from the upper grades of elementary school to around the second year of junior high school.”
Due to all the evidence, it is extremely likely that Watsuki will be convicted of his crimes and face prison time. Criminals found guilty of possessing child pornography in Japan face an amazingly paltry sentence of up to one year in jail and fines up to a million yen.
Furthermore, according to ANN, the Japanese publisher Shueisha announced that the Hokkaido Arc of Rurouni Kenshin will go on hiatus and will not run in the January 2018 issue of Shueisha’s Jump SQ. The Jump SQ website for Rorouni Kenshin has already been taken down. The fate of Watsuki’s manga volumes already in print has also not yet been decided. It is also unclear if Watsuki will be welcomed back once he has served his sentence.
Watsuki is obviously famous for his Rurouni Kenshin manga. The serialization of his manga occurred back in 1994 in Sheuisha’s Weekly Shonen Jump. To this day there were over 60 million copies in print. Rurouni Kenshin had been adapted into a 95-episode anime, an anime film, three OVAs, an on-stage musical, three live-action films, plus had another live-action film in the works.
Update: As of February 27th, 2018, Nobuhiro Watsuki was fined 200,000 yen ($1,870) for violating the country’s child pornography law.