You dear reader might be asking yourself, “Why did they decided to do this experiment?” And that is truly an understandable question. It all started with some rather innocent bantering between friends one day after a visit to Book Off. Scott, over on Anime Almanac, had picked up a Kodomo no Jikan book. He went on to say that it had a good story and since we had never actually read it we were just jumping to conclusions. I completely disagreed with this statement. I whole-heartedly believe that my personal preferences come before a good story. In fact, I hypothesized that most people can’t get beyond certain preferences no matter what may lie beneath them. So after some thinking, I told Scott we should exchange taboos. Scott read the two book yaoi series Gerard & Jacques and we read the first two books of Kodomo no Jikan.
Boy do I feel like we got the short end of the stick. Sort of a you get punched in the arm and I got kneed in the groin type deal. Nobody wins but one side loses a little bit more. I was dead-set against reading Kodomo no Jikan but Scott spoke so passionately about the manga and it definitely has its staunch defenders on Anime Roundtable so I figured it was worth the risk to give it a fair chance. Plus I thought it was an interesting mini-social experiment on how much can any of the three of us put aside our personal prejudices and review something regardless of certain content.
Our basic hypothesis was this, personal bias will always come into play, even if the story is good. By the way, this is not a bad thing in my opinion. Everyone is entitled to their own quirks and preferences. I don’t think anyone should have to get over them just because a story might be good. This doesn’t only pertain to preferences regarding sex either, though it does come up the most, but it could be amounts of violence, religion, etc. I wouldn’t tell anyone who abhorred graphic violence to read Berserk, even though I do think the story is fab.
For those not in the know Kodomo no Jikan was insanely controversial back in May of 2008. It seemed that you could not go to any anime related site and not see at least one post, thread, or article about it. Seven Seas Entertainment announced that it had licensed Kodomo no Jikan at Anime Expo 2006. Seven Seas planned to rename the book the Nymphette. By May 2008 they had to cancel the license due to overwhelming outrage from the fan community. Kodomo no Jikan is the story of brand new elementary school teacher, Daisuke Aoki. He immediately runs into misfortune when he finds that the class troublemaker, Rin Kokonoe, has targeted him as her prey. She wants him as her boyfriend and is quite frank about the sexual nature of her crush. He is trying to avoid losing his job while a possible relationship is blooming with a beautiful fellow teacher. It seems that the more that Daisuke tries to be a good teacher, the more he becomes entangled in the life of Rin and her friends.