Tokyo’s ban on sex in anime, manga and games is not even law yet, but already mangaka are reporting publishers refusing to publish works set in schools or featuring school uniforms, with previously published works even in danger of having their reprints cancelled.
BL mangaka Shouko Takaku complains that her (unidentified, but “unfortunately not small”) publisher told her to stop using school trappings in her manga:
I was bluntly told the other day “because of the Tokyo ordinance, please stop using high school students [in your manga].” Depending on the label it seems you can’t even draw school uniforms…”
Yes, I was really shocked – I was astonished and responded “Really? Really? It’s come to that now already?”
She comments that she expects the industry’s recent decline will only be accelerated by the introduction of the ban.
Another BL mangaka, Kanako Meiji, reports her publisher is considering cancelling a reprint of her works:
What’s going to happen? A new edition of one of my titles was due to be published in April, but now it’s under deliberation. It has lots of sex and minors. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s cancelled.
She compares the political precedent the law represents to Japan’s notorious 1925 “Peace Preservation Law,” a law which began Japan’s lurch towards totalitarianism by imposing a prison sentence of up to 10 years on anyone found guilty of threatening the “national character” of Japan.
Japan’s secret police force subsequently became notorious as “thought police,” and later revisions saw the law expanded to cover more types of thought crime and the right of appeal revoked. Only the American invasion saw them abolished.
Then, just as now, a vaguely worded law allowed authorities to intimidate into silence all those they did not lock up directly – a fate which seems likely to befall all publishers of anime, manga and games in Japan.