Oh Dear! Has Peter Rabbit Discovered a New, Darker Side to Himself?

Oh Dear! Has Peter Rabbit Discovered a New, Darker Side to Himself?

I’m sure many of you have memories of reading tales from Beatrix Potter ‘s famous Peter Rabbit series as a child and being fascinated with the exquisitely drawn anthropomorphic animals in the books. Although Peter and his friends wore brightly colored human clothes, they looked so real that they seemed like they might walk out of the pages of the book at any time, didn’t they? You probably even had a favorite character too. (Mine was Tom Kitten, by the way.) Some of you may also recall the 2006 Hollywood movie Ms. Potter , which told the extraordinary story of how the Peter Rabbit series came into being, with Renée Zellweger starring in the title role.

But now, as an adult, do you ever feel the urge to see such pure, wholesome characters from your childhood acting just the slightest bit naughty? Well, Japanese comic artist Keiichi Tanaka apparently had just such an urge and actually produced a drawing depicting exactly that — our beloved Peter Rabbit indulging in kinky behavior!

It all started when Tanaka posted his illustration below of Peter Rabbit on Twitpic.

Oh Dear! Has Peter Rabbit Discovered a New, Darker Side to Himself?

It seems Tanaka’s version of Peter Rabbit is quite fond of Japanese-style bondage, or kinbaku , as he is depicted in the drawing as saying (or thinking) “Oooh, this is a tad uncomfortable but still delightful!” Yup, just look at his expression!

But, you may be wondering, how is it that Tanaka felt free to take such liberties with an internationally recognized and loved children’s book character? Apparently, the copyrights on the Peter Rabbit series expired in Japan about nine years ago, so technically, anyone can now use images of Peter Rabbit characters in Japan, which is why he decided he could “play a little” with the image of the famous rabbit.

Tanaka is actually known for very closely imitating the drawing style of famous manga artists, including the legendary Osamu Tezuka , creator of countless manga classics such as Black Jack and Astro Boy and in particular, for creating outrageously risqué parodies with characters that look amazingly like the work of well-established manga artists. (You can see some examples of his work here .)

So, considering the style of his work, it’s not all that surprising that Tanaka took a well-known character (albeit a non-human one) and produced a slightly shadier version. However, looking at the comments that have been posted in response to Tanaka’s drawing, it seems surprisingly many Internet users are critical of the work, feeling that it’s in bad taste and highly offensive to fans. Some posts even expressed concerns as to whether the illustration could be considered defamatory or libelous, even if there are no copyright issues.

Well, I’m certainly in no position to comment on any legal issues, but personally, I thought the drawing was just plain funny, and it gave me a good laugh. (Does that mean I have a twisted mind? I hope not.) At least it doesn’t involve any nudity (not of the human kind, anyway) or violence, so it can’t be that bad compared to some of the stuff we see on the Internet, can it?

If this kind of parody is for you, you can see some more of Tanaka’s illustrations on his Twitpic page . His talent for drawing in other artists’ styles really is impressive, and you may find his work quite entertaining (if a little naughty), especially if you’re familiar with any of the artists he’s imitating!

Source and images from: Twitpic (Japanese) via My Game News Flash@Jin (Japanese)

Oh Dear! Has Peter Rabbit Discovered a New, Darker Side to Himself?