Comics fairs should not need X rating
Are these signs of a dangerous obsession in Hong Kong? In a week we've seen a court case involving adult men luring girls into 'compensated dating' and insisting they wear school uniforms on dates. We've also seen a bunch of young geeks lining up at the comics and games fair to get a hug and photo - not with a cartoon character but a Japanese porn star.
At the same event pseudo-models wearing cosplay maid uniforms were thrown out by security after whipping young males into a sweaty frenzy.
It's all a little bit weird, perhaps creepy. Even the porn star, Maria Ozawa, seemed perplexed at the logic of her presence at the Ani-Com and Games fair: 'I think they're shy, they're too young'. No kidding. We're talking schoolchildren here.
At 25, Ozawa is a veteran of dozens of adult movies in Japan, where not much is off limits on camera. Perhaps she's sticking around for the Asia Adult Expo in Macau later this month.
For years at big exhibitions in Asia, models have been a huge drawcard, particularly at car shows. Ask any man who goes and most will tell you that the spectacle is as much about the models as it is about the cars.
Shanghai authorities have tried to turn down the sauciness of ChinaJoy, China's biggest online computer expo. Booth babes have been told to cover up and not place promotional stickers on any 'sensitive' bits. Pseudo-models at Hong Kong's recent Book Fair were told to behave themselves, not sign autographs and refrain from hugging fans to promote their picture books.
Though there have been attempts to clean up some of these events, for Hong Kong at least, we fear it will be a case of too little, too late.
Let's keep comics fairs for the comics.