Incest manga Aki Sora has fallen victim to Ishihara’s ban on raunchy manga, with the distraught author reporting that it was its depiction of an incestuous relationship rather than any erotic content which has caused all further publication to be prevented.
“It’s confirmed – after July there can be no further printing of Aki Sora.”
“To have what you most feared actually put in front of you – it’s hell. Pure hell. I don’t know whether to be angry or sad.”
“I don’t know, but in 5 or 10 years reading or writing about incest will likely become a literal taboo. We’ve certainly reached a historical turning point.”
“There is only one issue – ‘incest.’ It’s not, as many people were thinking, because of the erotic content. Please take heed of that.”
“An ancient literary theme will be sealed off. This terrifying prospect is something I’m actually experiencing.”
In the best tradition of secret policing, he cannot even reveal whether it was his publisher Akita Shoten or the Tokyo government which decided to ban the title:
“Regarding who’s decision it was, I cannot say. Sorry. All I can say is that it wasn’t my decision.”
As the publisher has, in the peculiar and utterly dishonest Japanese usage of term, “voluntarily” refrained from reprinting the title (likely with foreknowledge that it would otherwise be banned otherwise), the Tokyo government has also kept its censorship policy firmly behind closed doors.
Ishihara’s defence against accusations that he is stifling freedom of expression that “I’m not saying you can’t write these manga” is thus technically correct – his administration is merely intimidating publishers into not publishing the titles, whilst leaving writers the option to freely express themselves without being able to find a publisher or sales outlet.
Technically it would still be possible to republish the manga as an 18+ pornographic title, but as shops do not stock non-pornographic titles amongst their ero-manga and the publisher would likely have to be changed, this is in all probability a practical impossibility – in effect the ban now only allows pornographic portrayals of incest whilst making any more literary depiction commercially unviable.
The fact that the ban is Tokyo-only but the cancellation of a publication effects the entire country of course has no bearing on the decision – anything banned in Tokyo may as well be banned nationally.
Absurdly, it would be possible to create a novel or live action film adaptation and sell that with no restrictions as well – a fact Tokyo’s rape novelist governor likely knows only too well.
Champion Red Ichigo itself is said to be facing cancellation as a result of the ban, suggesting there could soon be a mass purge of erotic material from mainstream manga.