I recently provided commentary and research expertise to VICE International, discussing the ahegao phenomenon as part of VICE’s “Rule 34” series that aims to “lovingly explore the highly specific fetishes that can be found on the web. If you’ve thought of it, someone’s jerked off to it.” Responding to some excellent questions from journalist Samantha Cole, I discuss how censorship regimes produced ahegao in Japan and reflect on its spread to the West as an element of otaku culture. The article also includes some excellent insights from my colleague Patrick W. Galbraith.
If you’ve ever wondered why Japanese manga porn is full of people pulling weird faces, this is the article for you! Check it out here.