High spec heroine ero-manga magazine Comic Megastore has been raided by police for undisclosed offences thought to relate to “publishing obscene material” in the form of their erotic comics, and has been forced into cancelling its latest issue.
According to media and industry reports, adult publishers Core Magazine were recently subjected to police raids in which PCs were confiscated, but no charges have been brought.
Staff from the publisher say they have no idea what brought on this latest bout of police harassment, saying only that “it may be some effort at scoring points with harassment by the police concerned.”
There are understandable fears from staff at the company that if the police can get away with acting so capriciously, the company is in some danger – to say nothing of the industry:
“The investigators told staff [here at Core Magazine] that the raid was ‘because with 100 employees Core Magazine is a nice big company,’ but we have absolutely no idea what caused all this.”
They also describe the obvious incompetence of Japan’s finest:
“They actually started their raid on the wrong floor, which was occupied by a completely different editorial staff. They only noticed some time after they had actually started work.”
The police apparently had the air of yakuza thugs shaking down a brothel in their turf – an all too common pastime for them it would seem – with one cop responding to the staff question “Are you intending to destroy our company?” with “Well, we weren’t intending to go quite that far, but…”
The disruption (or intimidation) have resulted in Comic Megastore announcing that their next issue will be cancelled, although it appears they intend to publish subsequent issues normally.
Along with Megastore, the editors of AV magazine Nyan 2 Club, another Core Magazine publication, were also subjected to police “investigation” at the same time.
Core Magazine themselves are already in some business difficulties, having experienced poor sales after a flight of their editors to rival Wani Magazine, a situation unlikely to be helped by police interest.
Whether other adult publishers are at risk from some kind of crackdown is unclear – reportedly one investigator said “we may go to other publishers as well.”
Publishing “obscene” material is illegal under Japanese law, but as with so many Japanese laws just what is considered obscene is almost entirely at the discretion of police.
With no formal guidelines or legal definitions (mosaics and other requirements are not set down in law but in terms of what the police will press charges against as “obscene”), publishers are usually left to work out what is permissible on their own, or else pay for protection by a semi-governmental censorship body staffed by retired police, as in the case of the AV industry and its mosaic inflictors.
Amongst ero-manga aficionados there is the usual loathing for the horrendous corruption and incompetence of Japan’s law enforcement authorities:
“At least leave 2D out of it!”
“Thank you, dear LDP.”
“What a horrible age we live in.”
“Did they publish something uncensored? What about Mujin, LO, RIN and the rest?”
“Fuck you, Agnes!”
“What the hell are their criteria for doing stuff like this?”
“The police are getting excessively impudent lately. I guess the only safe adult businesses are the ones with amakudari [retired civil servants "descended from heaven" into plush positions] escorts.”
“Like with ‘hair nudes,’ ero-manga is one of those things which they allow to go on, but which they can crack down on for any reason as it is technically illegal.”
“Obvious point scoring. Why do the bigwigs put up with this nonsense? Are the cops nothing but tax thieves?”
“As long as Megastore H is not affected I’m not too badly hurt.”
“Come on. If Megastore gets done, Megastore H has no chance.”
“Why Megastore? You’d think they’d be gunning for LO and RIN. And what of Kairakuten? Too big for them to harass like this?”
“This is the beautiful country the LDP want? It’s harder to live in by the day.”
“You’d think they would be more concerned about AV than 2D ero.”
“The cops have no incentive to care about magazine publishers, unlike their friends in the pachinko business they are not rolling in cash to pay them off with.”
“The adult publishers are in bad enough shape as it is, even without any police attention.”
“What do do you expect with all the cultists in the LDP and Koumeito in power now?”
“Code 175 again [obscene publication]. They arrested editors and the mangaka Beauty Hair in 2002 for this.”
“Great, are we back to having huge black bars on the pages again?”
“I can’t abide our government acting like some wretched Chinese dictatorship. It is not becoming of a developed nation at all.”
“Come on and abolish all the censorship in our porn, please!”
“Expect it to get worse under the harsh dominion of the TPP!”
“Get lost, mosaics would be more likely to be abolished as a non-tariff barrier under the TPP…”
“It’s more likely the mosaics would go under the TPP. What other nation insists on something like that?”
“Hope all you net-uyo Abe nuts enjoy being banned from onanism.”
“What is wrong with all you morons bringing the TPP into everything?”
“I hope Japanese porn survives the TPP, I can’t get off on the western kind. Japanese stuff has a sense of shame, western porn is too open about sex! But some people do get off on the “c’mon, c’mon, oh yes, yes!” stuff too though…”
“As long as Hot Milk and Kairakuten Beast survive this!”
“Wani really cleaned up with this raid…”
“They need to set up an amakudari censorship agency for their industry like the eroge industry, that way they’ll be protected. The LDP love those too.”
“Just how rotten are our civil servants.”
“To the clots who keep going on about ‘zoning’ of sales – when the publishers voluntarily instituted it, a few years later Ishihara and company just came in and banned them all anyway.”
“Cool Japan at it again.”
“Thanks to you dimwitted net rightists and all the damn old people it ended up like this. Old people can’t get it up and only care about making everyone else pay for their pensions, and after having been left with only oppression and a mountain of debt the rightists try to make up with nationalist onanism.”
“You’d think the cops would have cottoned on to the fact they could arrest Google for linking to porn by now.”
“And what about Pixiv?”
“With the Internet the whole thing is utterly pointless. But they probably want a Chinese-style Great Wall around it so they can control everything.”
“Tora no Ana are next.”
“What about Comiket…”