One publisher of adult visual novels is reporting having to postpone store release of an apparently otherwise innocuous title involving animal ears and pregnancy, as “in future, it appears games featuring non-human heroines and pregnancy may not be allowed on sale in shops.”
They are apparently having to censor the game’s content in response to the recent “self-imposed” feminist-friendly censorship regime coming into effect.
The comments were made by publisher Norn in their email newsletter, and apologetically explain why the store release of their game “Inugami-sama” (Dog Goddess) has been postponed:
“We must regretfully inform customer awaiting ‘Inugami-sama’ that the package (DVD) version’s release has been postponed, due to the situation surrounding the recent censorship imposition.
In future, it seems there is a possibility that non-human heroines and themes of pregnancy and impregnation will be banned from sale in shops.”
The game itself involves the protagonist being sent to a deserted island, where he befriends a goddess with the aspect of a dog, and the game follows their relationship, which involves conception. It is not clear that there is any suggestion of rape in the game, and there seems to be a complete absence of any BDSM style trappings…
The game’s content looks innocuous enough:
The game was supposed to be in stores several days ago, but has been postponed indefinitely whilst being censored. However, the download version is being sold normally, clouding the situation further.
At this point, the actual content and packaging to be banned is completely unclear, but it seems unlikely Norn is cancelling its release for no reason. The lack of any clear guidelines and the language used by Norn suggests that there is a chance Norn is simply being overly cautious.
It does appear at least that the whole business of censoring feminist angering themes can be circumvented by moving to an online distribution model, which may not please shop owners but seems a relatively small price to pay to stop the mass media’s cameras traipsing through stores in search of scandal.
The cause of Norn’s troubles appears to be the inclusion of a “non-human” character (merely with animal ears), along with the inclusion of pregnancy.
It seems in the worst case, fans of nekomimi and normal human reproduction will have to find alternative means of satisfying their interest, for publishers are currently in flight from any theme potentially offensive to feminist politicians and the mass media, whether or not it is explicitly banned.
As expected, rolling over to the demands of censorship has immediately threatened genres with nothing much to do with “rape games”, illustrating the folly of acquiescing to restrictions on freedom of expression even when the expression is not to one’s liking.