I have briefly looked into this before, but now as it is one of my main points I want to analyse it more.
The cover sparked online debate as fans in Japan recognised the styling from the cover of manga “My Wife Is A Grade Schooler” by Seiji Matsuyama. A no longer in print due to the Tokyo Municipal government’s conquest to ban “questionable depictions of underage characters in anime, manga and video games.”
Mixed reactions occurred The Manga fans defended the cover saying the over-hyped reaction from the media made it look worse than it is. And by showing the manga on TV with post it notes over indecent scenes they were making the manga look more perverted.
Both Murakami and Matsuyama defended their work. Murakmi tweeting.
“As the Seiji Matsuyama incident became a symbol of the virtual child problem, I thought it should be immortalized as an artistic event to be marked in history. I am an artist. Because of this, I did what artists do.”
Matsuyama also openly called the images “Takashi Murakami x Britney Spears x My Wife Is A Grade Schooler collaboration” via twitter.
And claims they are a political protest to the governments bans, stating this is just a genre of manga, it’s art not porn.