Prefecture Banning Ero-Shoujo Manga as “Harmful”

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The Okayama prefectural government has been drastically tightening restrictions on the sale of manga it has designated “harmful”, with a great many such titles being “ladies’ comics”, essentially erotic shoujo manga, usually targeting a slightly older demographic.

The prefectural department responsible for young people’s welfare gives the reason for their harsh restrictions as the inclusion of sexually oriented storylines  and explicit scenes of intercourse.

They claim that in many bookshops and convenience stores, the magazines are displayed without distinction amongst shoujo manga: “It’s not appropriate for these to be displayed where even minors can buy them”.

It looks as if this year alone the prefecture has designated in the region of 40 volumes as “harmful”, ensuring they face onerous restrictions in how they can be sold; you can see their list here.

Recently the number of  ladies’ comics so targeted has drastically increased, it seems.

Via Sanyo.

Whilst local government may have difficulty implementing an outright ban (as they are merely able to regulate how they can be sold in stores), interfering with the retail distribution of such titles reduces their profitability, and so ultimately their availability.

Some examples of the ladies’ comics being targeted:

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In case you’re not familiar with the demographic/marketing distinctions being used here, shoujo refers to the female equivalent of shonen manga, though at times vastly more explicit as we saw, whilst josei and ladies’ comics are essentially the female equivalent of seinen manga.

Josei manga are usually held out as being straightforward mature manga, as with seinen, whilst ladies’ comics are essentially more borderline ero-shoujo manga (in fact there is some overlap in the target audiences). The ero-shoujo manga gallery actually includes some of both.

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2channers are quick to point out that this may only be the start of their efforts to stop harmful manga poisoning the minds of youths…

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27 Comments

  • Reader in Ohio says:

    Nothing is “STARTING”. The Japanese Constitution is modelled after the U.S. Constitution (in fact, many constitution in the world have similarities to the US constitution).

    There will be NO ban on printed material. It’s protected under Freedom of Speech. They can’t stop Larry Flint (of the Hustler Magazine fame http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Flynt), they can’t stop other adult material specially written or drawn porn.

    They, the government, can only regulate how porn is sold.

    DA SKY AIN’T FALLING! We’ll still have access to our porn! We can still buy our violent video games!

    If the government can’t stop Larry Flint & romance novels, they can’t stop drawn porn.

    Again, there ain’t going to be a ban, no. A regulation, yes!

    P.S. Isn’t it ironic that we can read very vivid (and entertaining) descriptions of sexual acts in written novels that’s sold UN-shrink wrapped from any book store, while an graphically depicted sex act must be shrink wrapped (as manga or Playboy) or segregated (as in a special section of DVDs in some video rental shop)?

    • Regulation is just a covert ban in such cases. If you make it harder to sell, less of it can be made. If they made it so customers had to show an ID ans provide written consent, and could only buy from shops in a special “XXX zone”, what effect do you think it would have on sales?

      This is economic censorship.

  • Judging by those covers, I’d never have guessed there was Hentai Inside(TM).

    Anybody up for a petition for a mandatory, standard, industry-wide warning label? No?
    Good, makes it easier to hide my filth.

    Also, girls are just as pervy as boys.
    Proof: my favorite incest manga (I barely can admit) is by a woman manga-ka. Didn’t know until I read the afterword.

  • no. so wrong. banning information is wrong. parents should explain this stuff to the kids. if the kids want to read it, dont stop them, just make sure they understand its fantasy. preventing kids from seeing things like this will just make them want it more when its no longer taboo. desensitize and create a lack of curiosity to prevent odd behavior later in life.

    wrong thing to do is let government put pressure like this on sellers and markets. market needs to be free and parents need to be responsible.

    i am always disturbed when economic pressures are used as censorship. its a step in the wrong direction for a free market and a free world.

    • but these days parents aren’t parenting. they put kids into daycare centers and go about their business only spending an average of 2 hours with the kids a day. yet people wonder about escalating crime and drug use and so such. i honestly think it is 2 generations not so much getting out of touch with each other and not even a desensitisation of the mass public, as neither generation was intouch to begin with and there are no shared sensitivities between children and parents these days. life and all it’s extremes aren’t shown to kids from parent figures any more, but rather that role has fallen to the schools and their text books. sadly only so much can be learnt from book learning while so much is to be gained from just living in the real world, which brings me back to my first statement… parents don’t parent and to expect them to do so, to spell things out for their children, to remove the blindfold from their eyes and show their kids what the real world is like today is to expect someone to walk on water. it won’t happen, not for a while at least, and in the mean time, censorship, big companies and even bigger governments will tell you how to live your life and what is free acceptable in the media and public view.

    • Reader in Ohio says:

      I agree with the control of porn, the rest of you guys need to re-think your opinion. I take it that few of you ever listen to the U.S. Supreme Court arguments. XD

      First off, read my opinion before accusing me of ANTI: anime, manga, freedom of press, 1st Admen rights, etc, etc, etc. I read this site, I own a crap load of H on the computer, I acutally BUY doujin, I want my violent/hentai video games.

      Under i.d.p.’s opinion, “no. so wrong. banning information is wrong. parents should explain this stuff to the kids. if the kids want to read it, dont stop them, just make sure they understand its fantasy”, I can put up a billboard ad, next to an elementry school, showing two guys banging or sucking each other off. Then, I would “hide” behind i.d.p.’s argument and “let the parents explain” to the 8yr old about “It’s two boys loving each other, they suck each other off”.

      There is a right place and a right time for anything. Freedom of speech doesn’t mean one can say anything they want, anywhere they want.

      The old Supreme Court argument is “A person isn’t allow to shout “”FIRE”” in a crowded movie theater” even if it’s a Constitutionally protected speech under the 1st Admen.

      There is NO ban on printed material. There is a regulation on where and how it’s sold.

      To future this, another example is, similar to the bill board porn, under i.d.p.’s argument:

      I can sell a pictorial magazine of 2 Girls & Cup (video of girls eat and playing with shit, literally. Search it online.) right next to Barbies and Hot Wheels. Then coward behind “Let the parents explain this” as ‘…when two girls love each other, they eat shit’.

      I’m not a legal scholar. I’m not “into law”. I listen to NPR a lot. They report on various Supreme Court arguments. It’s mind openning.

  • I have to agree on the restriction of those.
    I mean, seriously, that’s porn.
    If they are going to allow mangas like that to be sold for minors, they might as well open the AV session to kids too.

    And the whole picture doesn’t get better knowing that those mangas are obviously trying to diguise their content with innocent looking covers.

    I think they obviously have to be restricted, and the mangas that don’t comply and keep trying to disguise their content should be banned. Not because of the content, but because they are deliberatly trying to break laws.

    About 2channer comments, I think they are wrong.
    Porn shouldn’t be allowed to minors. Going against laws that tries to prevent that is what will, in the end, really justify the efforts to stop ero-manga.

    If we want the government to understand that there’s a right demographic for such content, we also have to help to keep such content from falling on wrong hands.

    • So innocent physical love, according to you, is impossible? An interesting view. I only discern between bad art and good art. Which congregation do you belong to? I’d like to learn more. Do they require you to self-castrate?

      • Queensland, in Australia has this whole ban on anything hardcore unless it’s wrapped. it’s so bad that penthouse has a special Queensland edition and an edition for the rest of the country. kinda pathetic really when you consider that the only thing that sets the hardcore apart from the rest is a flimsy plastic bag that for the best part is see through except where they deem “too naughty” for viewing from a shelf, in which case it has a large price label printed on the bag. thank god i live 20minutes from the New South Wales border.

        • All kids who want to see porn will find it, and easily. Especially these days. I’d be surprised if 99% of people on this site didn’t say they started viewing porn in some form before they were 13.

          Maybe Denmark and the like DO have things right…?