Navel: “Foreigners Keep Out, But Buy Our Games!”


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 Tokyo:


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…

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    Comment by Anonymous
    01:45 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    If you use Apple safari. Its said "Forbidden". But if you used Mozilla Firefox 3. Its straight to there website. XD

    Avatar of Miroku74
    Comment by Miroku74
    09:05 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I think it has something to do with Foxfire's built-in proxies.... I could be wrong though. :)

    Avatar of Mr.Turnabout
    Comment by Mr.Turnabout
    22:00 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Oh. Makes sense now.

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:29 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    They're just try to teach people from japan some english ;]

    Comment by Anonymous
    01:23 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Just tried checking the site from America, seems they've unblocked the site here too.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:27 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    A little internet opinion causes them to unblock us again? This is what I am taking about, those companies missing some sort of backbones. If they didn't do the self-imposed ban and stick their heads high and up, the media would have been tired of it by now and move on to other things. But no, they decided to give in, just like this, and brought hell upon themselves. When will you guys learn to have some consistencies?

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:45 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It was a 403, how do we know it was an actual 'ban' and not a problem with internet connectivity? Especially with the lack of a splash page like Minori. Its quite possible it was just a case of someone overreacting and the problem since having been resolved.

    Sad thing is, even if it was a net-glitch, this'll likely remain up as True Fact of racial tension.

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:02 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    403 for the rest of the world but not Japan? Other Japanese sites I visited work just fine. For whatever reason, they clearly blocked traffics from outside Japan.

    Comment by Anonymous
    00:18 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Japan = dead country because their own companies love to rob themselves of money because of a dick itch.

    Avatar of appztetra
    Comment by appztetra
    01:08 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    tsk tsk, moneysuckers

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:05 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    There is certain something about internet that makes people act illogically, and without responsibility. Afterall, it's just another anon...

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:54 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I don't get it. I have japanese friends and make new ones all the time and have never met gaijin-haters. So why is a japanese gaijin-hater visiting a english site and bitching in japanese? If we are so ignorant why would we understand japanese? Furthermore if your schools teach english why can't you type english? What you did is as idiotic as me going to a japanese site and bitching in english. I'm assuming you're 30+ years old with having to be over 18 to buy these games, being an otaku and having this much free time. The simple fact is japan's education is even more self absorbed than america's. (yes we have 4 seasons, no the japanese were not the first farmers, yes I can use chopsticks, gaijin can read kanji, not all gaijin speak english) Japan's edecucation on the world is laughable. I don't see a no gaijin allowed sign or a black van spouting imperial japan propaganda and say everybody in japan is like that so what right do you have to generalize america?

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:03 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It's called trolling.

    Generally works by saying something inflammatory or controversial, then sitting back and enjoying the show as all hell breaks lose.

    They feed on your emotional reactions.

    Comment by Anonymous
    23:00 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Children should be explicted to the depiction of violence and sex starting from very early age. Maybe then there wouldnt be a world full of pussys and wussys cherishing their fucking worthless lifes.

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:40 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    blocking non-japanese vistors huh?
    What if there are japanese from foreign countries want to visit the site. That's gonna be pitiful for them. =[

    Comment by Anonymous
    19:14 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It is no surprise that Japan has one of the worst cases of xenophobia in the world. And to keep it that way, anyone who has been exposed to the outside world is barred from entry. Americans may be ignorant, but it is pale in comparison to how shallow Japanese are.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:19 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So what justification does America have for allowing people to visit sites but blocks people from other countries being able to view media on the sites? (NBC being one of the worst offenders)

    Avatar of Exitium
    Comment by Exitium
    03:50 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    None,but what can be done about it? Complaints made to media companies are pretty much ignored. It's rather depressing. T_T

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:16 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Huh? Website is working for me, connecting from Austria

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:24 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I tried earlier, it says 403 Forbidden.....

    Now I can access it, and I'm from a the Philippines

    Are they screwing us up?!?

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:15 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    It works for me. Connecting here from PHAILippines.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:56 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Yeah, works for me, and I'm from Sweden.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:31 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I've got a different theory than those that are being thrown around atm...

    Any money that the reason they're blocking is that people outside Japan found out they're releasing an expanded version of Shuffle in Shuffle Essence+ in Japanese while they've just released the original version in English? Especially since Shuffle Essence+ is due out next week...

    Trying not to shoot the sales of Shuffle in the foot, by having the english world go 'Stuff it, we'll just wait for the expanded version'?

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:27 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Interesting, but the very fact that you know about it renders the theory slightly null.
    They'd have to be idiots to think they could stop information about their releases spreading over the internet when you have information databases and the such [] all over the place.

    Probably unrelated. For all we know they could actually be creating an English site (but of course everyone just wants to point the finger at the eroge industry for being so called 'pussies')

    Comment by Anonymous
    18:30 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I found out about it since erogeshop had it for preorder. I tried to post on mangagamer about it but they never created my forum account, and no one there seemed to have posted anything about it as of last week.

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:07 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Feminazis = new 21st century communists

    Comment by Anonymous
    17:19 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Equality Now = 21st Century Gestapo

    Agnes Chan = 21st Century Adolf Hitler/ Joseph Stalin

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:48 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Lithuania is okay without any proxy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:31 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    22:03 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    ( ゚д゚)<ワレラ正義タル白人割レ房ヲ拒否スルダト~?許サン、許サンゾ!


    Avatar of julian0086
    Comment by julian0086
    03:05 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Comment by Anonymous
    05:17 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I am too tired to type in Japanese so please forgive me. Americans have no antisemitism against Japan. Equality Now is a radical group and in no way representative of American general public. In fact, it's people within your country like Agnes Chan and LDJ that started the shit storm. Your hatred is being misdirected. Greedy CEOs in US(NOT average Americans) caused the global recession, that's pretty much the only thing we wronged you guys, not this eroge ban shenanigan. And don't listen to julian0086, he is an idiot. He just hates Americans for no good reasons.

    Comment by Anonymous
    05:23 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    >antisemitism against Japan.

    You, sir, are an idiot.

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:36 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    *points to Images section of Sankaku*

    Comment by Anonymous
    12:08 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    You're an idiot. That's not what they mean when they say we are pirating their culture. They are talking about people fucking stealing and copying their shit, blatantly breaking copyright laws.

    Comment by Anonymous
    11:26 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I love it when japanese say we're pirating their culture. Anime was heavily influenced by american cartooning. Manga was heavily influenced by foreign comics Ralph Baer is the father of games not any japanese person. The portuguese gave you guns which helped nobunaga's fight to unite japan you could all be swinging katana at each other still. Commodore Perry (U.S.) opened up japan from isolation for trade and culture as well as training your soldiers. Then the japanese started a war they couldn't finish because they were butthurt over the Russo-Japanese War (which america was not involved) with a bunch of countries and made a retard move by fucking with the U.S. over an embargo. So we nuked them spread our culture which created modern japan everything modern in japan is either foreign or heavily influenced by foreign originals. Your music, your games, your anime, your manga, your peace sign, your figures, your body pillow STARTED FOREIGN STFU japan didn't create these they altered them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:22 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I LOL'D

    Comment by Anonymous
    08:53 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    24-10-2009 05:17>

    We are well aware of the factions within our own country however we are also well aware of the factions providing them a propulsive power from outside.

    The issue in this case however is entirely different. Foreign access is a privilege not a right and the contempt shown by various foreigners with their insulting behaviour towards Japanese eroge creators and players creates hate towards you and your creed.
    Especially when the majority of foreigners are pirating our culture.

    The initial banning of IPs was a means to an end. It was your side that started insulting us when you should have been supporting of the cause. Proxy is easily used. You must remember this was merely 'official stance?' 建前 to create allusion of 'taking measures'.

    However, Navel site becomes access-denial for half-day? to foreign IP and suddenly fabrication about 'Navel is hypocrite to foreigners' / eroge company and players are coward! sentiment instantly appears. Yet still you point the finger at us not even realising the source of discontent lies in your attitude itself.

    Comment by Anonymous
    14:07 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So you're saying japan has never done that? If they want to bitch and moan about gaijin pirating they should stop nihonjin pirating first right? You know the intended market. However stopping pirating is impossible. Please don't get me started about how everything is rip off of something either. They are just using gaijin as a scapegoat blaming it on foreigners not the people inside japan. I want to know how an american pirating a game they wouldn't otherwise have access to hurts them they are only looking for japanese sales to begin with. Not to mention said games are all rip offs of each other with low production costs they break even from the japanese players not the 100's of people they're not selling the game to so fuck them.

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:10 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    This once again exemplifies the xenophobia and arrogance of the Japanese, and how they treat foreigners as if they are less than humans.

    If you want to quote statistics, please cite a source instead of pulling that out of your ass.

    Comment by Anonymous
    16:45 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    "I want to know how an american pirating a game they wouldn't otherwise have access to hurts them they are only looking for japanese sales to begin with."

    Then there should be no problem whatsoever if you can't access the website.
    Since such people are not even customers this whole eroge industry bashing is merely an attitude of self-conceited arrogance.

    On another note however, your observation on piracy is mostly accurate. Though, the rebuttal still remains:
    Your ratio of pirates to purchasers regarding eroge is phenomenally high in comparison to that of Japan (probably something ridiculous like 99.9% piracy). No access? Bullshit. There is this thing called importing. You obviously understand piracy so don't even bother trying to gloss this over with such sophism. We all know people who don't buy won't buy and it has no effect whatsoever financially on companies if these people pirate.
    So what does this boil down to? When it comes to eroge, foreign markets are full of don't-buyers. Simple as that.
    Thus, it's not surprising that you are not even considered as a target market.

    Anyways, you should feel honoured to have even been used as sacrificial pawns. Yet what do you do? You start complaining that the eroge industry is a bunch of hypocrites?

    ε- (´ー`*)ふっ、笑わせるな・・・お前ら最初から眼中にないや。

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:29 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    So what kind of justice were you guys on when your ancestors started the WWII? Frankly, if US has anything against the Japan, do you think the Japan you know as it is would exist? Your Imperial Army was wiped by the Allies. And do you think the Chinese, the Korean, the Russian, and other Asian countries would just let you punk them around and get away with it? It is the US who took you under and protected your country. And it is the US who used our resources to rebuild your country. If none of that happened, Japan would have become another East Germany at best, or some shitty third world country. And did you know how your country treated the prisoners of war(or civilians as a matter of fact)? Just reading about it made me sick to the stomach.

    Comment by Anonymous
    09:50 25/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Now apply that logic to the eroge industry and all their actions become justified.
    Afterall, everything obviously boils down to 'jealousy and envy' right?

    Comment by Anonymous
    06:13 25/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    wow. I just started reading this post because I was curious about its blatant hypocrisy and I realized that there are alot of close minded people out there. Why do so many people hate the US. Ive read 'arguments' (for the lack of a better word) that we, as Americans, live in splendor and prestige and love making all the other 'pure and innocent' countries in the world suffer a much as possible. For those that bring up the past of the US let me remind you that no country is perfect. Why don't you dust off your own countries history books for proof of stupidity.

    Also Ive heard that we as Americans believe anything that our propaganda tells us to and that were shallow. How can you put 300,000,000 people in one category and discriminate against an entire nation some of you probably never have been in. The only way youre getting that negative information is probably from the PROPAGANDA THAT YOUR OWN RESPECTIVE COUNTRY IS PROVIDING; and you call us shallow.

    The United States of America is not perfect by no means (and I should know since I do live here) but it is by far the most diverse etnically and religiously than any other nation and it took all of us to make it one of the most powerful nations in the world. A great deal of people in these posts (and I am not talking about everyone here because there are some actual logical posts here) bash the US for sticking our fingers in other peoples 'pies' but you didn't realize that the US wouldn't have gone to war if we were not attacked first (9/11, Pearl Harbor, etc). Besides we are not the only country with troops in other countries or have their fingers in other countries pies; unless you guys just omit that fact when talking about us.

    Take a good look at you own country before you bash another. Take a look at your own history before you trash another. And take a damn good look at your own upbringing before you talk about someone else because all I here is jealousy and envy.

    Comment by Anonymous
    10:31 24/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)


    Avatar of metatron
    Comment by metatron
    21:28 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    it is called MONEY!!!

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:42 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    America isn't equal to "the rest of the world".

    Comment by Anonymous
    20:45 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    Latest update: Navel's site is back to normal, can be accessed globally!

    Results from HostTracker:

    Comment by Anonymous
    21:20 23/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    @ Artefact

    I forgot to mention this but it would be recommended to take down this article and the posts / replies / comments in as the 403 Forbidden error seems to be misinterpreted.

    Avatar of Artefact
    Comment by Artefact

    Doesn't change the fact they blocked it for non-Japanese IPs.

    Comment by Dark Mage
    03:40 25/10/2009 # ! Neutral (0)

    I can access the site but really all us in the US should round up all members of Equality Now and use them all as ballast mass for the Ares test flights.

    Or we could just put them under the shuttle or a combination of the two.

    Other uses for them bird strike simulators for testing jet engines.

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