Britney is on the cover of POP magazine, directed by Japanese artist Takashi Marumaki and photographer Todd Cole, but is feeling the heat after unknowingly participating in "virtual child porn protest art," claims Kotaku.com.
"Murakami, who is often referred to as 'The Andy Warhol of Japan' for his pop-infused art, draws from manga and anime to create his work, which has adorned everything from Louis Vuitton bags to Kanye West albums."
The photos of Britney, seen wearing a blue dress and red backpack on one cover, and a wedding dress on the other, are depictions of Japanese manga "My Wife Is A Grade Schooler," now out of print due to the Tokyo Municipal government's conquest to ban "questionable depictions of underage characters in anime, manga and video games."
"My Wife Is A Grade Schooler" is one example of these banned publications.
"When the manga was shown on television, yellow Post-its were used to cover the suggestive bits. However, the Post-its made the manga appear more suggestive than it actually is. The manga itself is considered a "gag manga" and even social criticism. It apparently isn't as bad as it looks, and some said the way it was handled on TV was political scapegoating. The cover of "My Wife Is A Grade Schooler" (pictured) echoes the imagery used in the Spears' photographs. Same red backpack, same blue bathing, wedding dress."
The photos attach an intentional meaning: Murakami and Seiji Matsuyama, the author of "My Wife Is A Grade Schooler," claim the manga is not subject to child pornography, rather an expression of art. Matsuyama Tweeted:
"Takashi Murakami x Britney Spears x My Wife Is A Grade Schooler collaboration"
After the photos became public, Murakami Tweeted his reasoning behind the photoshoot, saying:
"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."
Now the real question is: Was Britney or her team aware of the message these artists wanted to express? or did they, just like us, get bamboozled?
"I loved working with Takashi," said Britney in the POP interview. "I especially liked how he took high-end fashion and incorporated it with Japanese manga."