In a sudden and unexpected about face, visual novel publisher Minori has gone from blocking non-Japanese users from its site with accusations of piracy and patronising suggestions they come to Japan if they want to play them, to asking they buy them in a joint venture with MangaGamer.
Even more surprisingly, the translations will be provided by the same fan translation group Minori was previously at pains to stop…
The joint venture between Minori and MangaGamers will see translation group No Name Losers provide their translation as a basis for officially sanctioned English releases of Minori’s titles.
Confirmed so far are ef-The First Tale, ef-The Latter Tale and Eden* – popular titles which in the case of the “ef” series have been adapted into anime.
MangaGamer claims these will be published uncensored in their “original, unedited form,” although as previously seen their interpretation of “original and unedited” has in at least one case involved removing all voicing from the title in question.
Minori itself was previously noted for banning non-Japanese from its site, blaming them for the short-lived talk of an eroge ban coming from some Japanese politicians:
Now we will tell you the short detail about the reason why blocking you to this website, because of we, all Japanese EROGE makers were facing at the problem, the crisis of “Freedom of speech”.
Currently, The bill that allows to limiting the content (It is censorship. Isn’t it?) to all EROGEs is being discussed in the Diet because intellectuals and politicians said “Japanese EROGE were being problem and troubled with the foreign country. Therefore we should make EROGE hidden away from foreign country, and also its content should be limited and censored”.
Okay, now we trusted the word what they said at once. So we blocked you to make stay away from the trouble.
…Do you like that?
In later comments their CEO went on to rubbish the sale of eroge to foreigners, saying it was a tiny market and that they wanted to protect foreigners from potentially committing a crime by playing their games.
Subsequent developments saw them vandalise the website of No Name Losers, telling them they were a bunch of pirates, whilst telling foreign fans they should go to Japan if they wanted to play their games.
Now they display this cheery message as if nothing had happened: