Noted visual novel publisher Navel is blocking non-Japanese visitors to their site, serving them a cheery 403 instead, but at the same time is publishing its games in English.
A slew of clueless eroge publishers began blocking non-Japanese visitors to their sites in an attempt to appease the pro-censorship lobby at home and overseas, despite most of the fuss coming from religious and feminist groups within Japan.
Navel, best known for Shuffle!, is apparently amongst these “eroge sakoku” publishers, having replaced its (currently obnoxiously noisy, if tastefully orange) homepage with a simple 403 if the user’s IP address is non-Japanese.
From the rest of the world:
Of course, the filtering can be bypassed with a simple proxy.
However, unlike the bulk of eroge publishers whose games are never released outside Japan, Navel is currently publishing its entire Shuffle! series in English, and fully uncensored, as released by MangaGamer.
Few could help but be astonished at the attitude of a company which bans overseas visitors from its pages with no explanation whilst simultaneously expecting them to buy its products in translation.
This also demolishes the notion that Japanese publishers are somehow protecting overseas visitors from content they can’t handle – Navel are releasing in English the very same titles they are saying overseas visitors are unfit to learn about on their own site.
Update: what overseas visitors there can rejoice, as for some mysterious reason the site is now accessible globally…