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Tokyo Bans Shingeki Assistant’s Manga as “Harmful”

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Arisa Yamato – sadly now likely to remain best known as an assistant on Shingeki no Kyojin for the time being – has had publication of her upcoming new manga cancelled only days before release due to it apparently falling foul of Tokyo’s draconian manga censorship regime, upsetting her sensei Hajime Isayama as well as Ken Akamatsu and others.

Shingeki no Kyojin assistant and aspiring mangaka Arisa Yamato’s first ever serialisation had been due to start on the 1st of July on manga site “Zenyon,” but only 2 days before it was due to be published she reports receiving word from the editors telling her it was cancelled.

The editors at Comic Zenon told her that their publishers refused to distribute the title “as there was a chance it might be designated harmful literature.”

Explaining why a national manga publisher distributing a title online is constrained by laws in Tokyo, they also told her it “would be meaningless to serialise it at all if we can’t release the tankobon.”

Yamato was understandably perturbed to have 5 chapters of the manga completed and the prospect of a promising career looming (though it seems Zenon was not even decent enough to give her a proper contract), only to find out days before release that her manga “might be harmful.” She promises to keep fighting.

Whether the editors and publishers pre-emptively cancelled the manga – an example of the “chilling effects” the Tokyo government was at pains to deny would ever be a problem, as well as of a police-controlled manga censorship law in Tokyo becoming a de-facto national ban – or had advance confirmation from the city that it would need to be sold as hardcore pornography if it was ever to see print is not clear, but in either case the effect is likely the same on the rest of “cool Japan” and its supposedly valued mangaka.

The actual content of the title is not clear, but her Pixiv profile reveals she is obviously unafraid of provocative works:

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Shingeki no Kyojin mangaka Hajime Isayama has himself spoken of his unhappiness with the “unbelievable” treatment Yamato has been subject to, and even Ken Akamatsu has weighed in, noting in a tweet that “we would have seen this on a massive scale had we not got manga exempted from the child pornography possession ban.”

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