Anime/Manga ban in Tokyo

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SlowBro

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Yeah I searched the forum and couldn't find anything about this so I thought I'd tell the community.

Anyway, in Japan they are giving publisher's until April 11, 2011 to regulate itself and tone down on sexual themes and content. And starting July 1, 2011 those breaking those rules will be fined.

Here's the whole article;
Tokyo politicians are toughening up regulations governing the sales and rental of manga — Japanese comics and graphic novels — and anime films in an attempt to prevent minors from accessing material that references extreme sex acts or crimes.

The city's metropolitan assembly approved on Wednesday a revision to an existing ordinance dealing with "the sound upbringing of youth."

The revision concerns manga or anime containing depictions of extreme sexual acts involving underage-looking characters (including rape, incest and other sex crimes). Such material will now be banned from sale or rental to those under the age of 18.

The amended legislation includes a clause stating that the assembly would take into account a work's "artistic and social expression" in considering which titles will be restricted.

The city government set an April 1, 2011, deadline for the manga publishing industry to begin regulating itself and toning down extreme sexual content. Retailers must also comply with the age restrictions — for instance by moving works into adult-only sections — beginning July 1, 2011. Those found breaking the rules will be fined.

Highly popular, lucrative industry

Manga is a multibillion-dollar industry in Japan, producing scores of graphic-heavy publications that explore a wide range of topics — eagerly read by both children and adults.

Titles range from kid-friendly cartoons and adventure tales to complex adult-oriented material that — like novels — explores myriad genres, including historical or contemporary drama, comedy, romance, fantasy, science fiction, crime thrillers and even erotica.

Prominent manga artists, retailers and a coalition of the 10 major publishers have blasted Tokyo's revised "sound upbringing of youth" ordinance as a limit on freedom of expression.

In protest, the publishers' group has vowed to withdraw its participation in next year's highly popular and government-sponsored Tokyo International Anime Fair, set to take place in March. Considered one of the world's largest anime-related events, the fair draws in excess of 100,000 visitors.

The initiative to restrict manga containing extreme sexual content was introduced in spring 2010. However, the bid was voted down in June following vigorous protest from artists and publishers, as well as criticism from some politicians that the regulations were too vague.

Shintaro Ishihara, Tokyo's conservative governor, has been joined by parent and teacher groups in campaigning for legislation restricting sexually explicit manga.

In comments made this week, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan urged the two sides to find a middle ground.

"Sound upbringing of youth is an important subject," Kan wrote on his official blog.

"At the same time, it is important to export Japanese animation to the world. I would like to see those concerned co-operate so as to avoid any possible situation which would hinder Tokyo from hosting an international anime fair."

And the link: CBC News - Books - Tokyo enacts restrictions on manga, anime
 

ReynardKaukainen

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Sounds like a fair revision to law to me, I'm not sure what the publishers are getting uppity about. Keep the dirty stuff out of the hands of minors, no biggie.
 

banter

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Yeah I see no problem with this, the title of this thread as well as the OP's comments are a bit misleading.
 

SlowBro

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I posted it without reading it twice. :I I just got excited and upset at the same time and didn't realize what it really meant. Lulz. Sorry guize.
 

KaworuVsDrWily

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All that means is that kids can't get their hands on loli / shota so easily.

And that is not necessarily such a bad thing.
 

Gingy

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All that means is that kids can't get their hands on loli / shota so easily.

And that is not necessarily such a bad thing.

They should make that stuff unavailable to people over a certain age too...
 

Shukkume

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I have mixed feelings about this, to be honest.

The term "extreme sexual content" can be taken in so many different ways that it's ridiculous. If we're just focusing on reducing the amount of material related to sex crimes, then I'm, personally, pretty okay with that. I don't like rape as much as the next sane person. I just hope that they're not thinking that this will reduce sex-crime rates, though. That usually doesn't work, and it's almost the opposite. Places where porn is illegal have a much higher rate of sex crimes than places that don't. Think about it: If a paedophile with a rape fetish can't get his jollies off to manga, his sexual frustrations may mount to the point where he snaps and hurts an actual child. (Of course, the opposite could be said: A mentally unstable person with access to manga such as that may indeed 'try it out' if they read such material.)

As for the age restriction... Eh, still mixed. I started reading and looking at porn when I was young, and I grew up to be a sane (in my eyes anyways), but kinky individual. And, as I learned, porn can keep kids from being compulsively sexually active. I had to give that very speech to my brother the other day. "I know you're going through puberty and girls are going to think that you're sexy and you're probably going to want to screw them... but just watch porn. Please, for the love of whatever's up there don't have sex. It's much easier to buy you a Playboy than it is to treat syphilis, pick pubic lice off of your crotch, or deal with a baby at 15."

Is it a restriction of freedom of speech? Yes, certainly. Is it for the 'good of society's youth'? I don't know. Only time will tell. We thought the prohibition was a good idea, too, but we eventually repealed that when we realized that it was a stupid move.

Not like it can stop torrents and the black market, though. It's like how downloading music is illegal unless you buy it. And, hell, who really buys music anyways?
 

Neonite

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I don't get why the media is putting such a positive spin on this law.

It doesn't just cover "extreme sexual content." The legislation bans public viewing or sale of media that depicts anything illegal. Your villain killed someone? Someone has a sword or a gun? Congratulations, it's now rated X, can't be shown on public television, and can only be sold in adult stores. The wording of it is extremely ambiguous, and with the extremely conservative, admittedly anime-hating governor they have, it's going to get milked for all it's worth. Companies aren't going to risk losing 90% of their sales by making people have to go out of their way to get their product, so they'll have to bend to it. Meaning absolutely nothing but conflict-free slice of life manga and anime after April. This is not a good thing.
 

AEsahaettr

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I don't get why the media is putting such a positive spin on this law.

It doesn't just cover "extreme sexual content." The legislation bans public viewing or sale of media that depicts anything illegal. Your villain killed someone? Someone has a sword or a gun? Congratulations, it's now rated X, can't be shown on public television, and can only be sold in adult stores. The wording of it is extremely ambiguous, and with the extremely conservative, admittedly anime-hating governor they have, it's going to get milked for all it's worth. Companies aren't going to risk losing 90% of their sales by making people have to go out of their way to get their product, so they'll have to bend to it. Meaning absolutely nothing but conflict-free slice of life manga and anime after April. This is not a good thing.

This is something that drives me crazy. About a decade or so ago, Congress (USA) passed a law called the CPPA which had a number of provisions aimed at making child pornography riskier to produce and distribute on the internet. One thing it made illegal was virtual pornography- ie, child pornography is illegal whether the children are real or generated on a computer. It was also thought- though never tested- that this could make textual descriptions also illegal. In other words, the person who writes a completely fictional story involving someone underage is as much the pornographer as the dude exploiting real children on camera.

My question is: where does this end? Philosophically, it sets the precedent that a fictitious representation of illegal activity is just as legally culpable as the actual activity. If you don't see the problem with this, every person associated with just about every action movie will be sent to jail. But what about giving such laws an exception for bona fide artistic works? Please. Go to Blockbuster and look at the straight-to-DVD movies. There's tons of crap out there that no one's going to call a serious work of art.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court struck down the CPPA, but on the basis of it being to vague to enforce rather than on grounds of its constitutionality. In other words, they didn't find the law constitutionally unsound, they just found it to be messy legislation. So Congress could easily repass similar provisions if it ever got a mind to. Sadly (IMO), obscenity isn't considered protected speech.
 

Shukkume

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I don't get why the media is putting such a positive spin on this law.

It doesn't just cover "extreme sexual content." The legislation bans public viewing or sale of media that depicts anything illegal. Your villain killed someone? Someone has a sword or a gun? Congratulations, it's now rated X, can't be shown on public television, and can only be sold in adult stores. The wording of it is extremely ambiguous, and with the extremely conservative, admittedly anime-hating governor they have, it's going to get milked for all it's worth. Companies aren't going to risk losing 90% of their sales by making people have to go out of their way to get their product, so they'll have to bend to it. Meaning absolutely nothing but conflict-free slice of life manga and anime after April. This is not a good thing.

So this is basically killing the chance for a second season of my favourite anime? Because the novel has assassins and serial killers?

NO. JUST NO. (I mean, shit, don't even child-friendly animus sometimes have some kind of violence in them? TWO MAGICAL GIRLS FIGHTING?! NO, IT BE BAD FOR THE YOUTH AND TEACH THEM TO FIGHT. *facepalm.jpg*)
 

ReynardKaukainen

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Are you guys reading the article? This law affects the sales and rentals of overly graphic manga and anime to children. There is nothing in there outlawing pornography.
 

CheshireKitten

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Are you guys reading the article? This law affects the sales and rentals of overly graphic manga and anime to children. There is nothing in there outlawing pornography.

Are you reading anything OTHER than that article? Because trust me, out of all the material I've read in the past week or so, that had the least relevant amount of slant on it.
 

ReynardKaukainen

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I've seen no references to any other news on the matter in this thread, so your point moot. I am commenting on the OP article because that's what we're on about, and everyone is blowing it out of proportion.
 

CheshireKitten

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I've seen no references to any other news on the matter in this thread, so your point moot. I am commenting on the OP article because that's what we're on about, and everyone is blowing it out of proportion.

Are you saying it doesn't matter what is ACTUALLY happening, and to even point out said parts of the law is off topic? Because when i scroll up, i see a thread about the ban, not specifically the wall street journal's thoughts on it.
 

BabyZidane

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Wait does this mean that all the blood and what not will be gone?! If so, then NOOOO!!!
 

Neonite

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It means all the everything will be gone.

Tokyo Anime & Manga Ban Passes | Sankaku Complex
Here's a more accurate article on the situation. (site can have NSFW ads)


Spoilered for length:
Tokyo’s ban on anime, manga and games featuring “virtual crimes” or which are “likely to interfere with the healthy development of youth” has passed after the DPJ agreed to support it.

The DPJ’s only addition to the critical portion of the law was a short rider which requests “prudent application of the law in light of any artistic, social, scientific or satirical merits the work might express” – it does not however add any legal obligation to consider these, or establish any clear or indepdently enforced criteria for judging whether a work can be declared “harmful” or not.

Even more bizarrely, the final draft actually removed a passage that imposed “a duty not to possess [photographic] child pornography” on Tokyo residents, whilst leaving the section banning erotic manga and anime (and explicitly excluding photographic materials) all but unchanged – that the bill is intended exclusively as an “anti-otaku” law seems to be beyond doubt.

It is very difficult to objectively assess the scope of the law – along with vague and subjective terms like “interfere with the healthy development of youth,” the law also includes “etc.” on the end of most of its examples, leaving it quite unclear, for example, whether the “improper glorification of illegal sexual activity, etc.” applies to only virtual sex crimes, or all crimes in general – presumably the interpretation adopted will be whichever is convenient to censors.

Similarly, the ban’s mention of “rape and other sexual acts which violate societal norms” seems inevitably to point to a ban on depictions of homosexuality, considering who was behind the law.

The generally expected form the law will take is that of a “amakudari” (a pervasive system of sinecures for retired bureaucrats) body which will inspect all anime, manga and games, with only those titles receiving approval as “healthy” able to be sold regularly in Tokyo shops – the rest will be relegated to the “adult corner.”

The most immediate and direct effect of the law will almost certainly be to see ecchi manga such as To Love-Ru, bishoujo titles such as Champion Red and most BL manga, as well as any seinen manga with especially mature themes, banned from general sales – presumably most will then be cancelled due to a lack of suitable magazine or tankobon distribution channels, with a few perhaps being resurrected as 18+ ero-manga.

As has already been seen, publishers will also likely be purging future anime, manga and games of any content liable to fall foul of the law, and removing older titles from distribution.

The law probably also spells the end of most late night anime in Tokyo (and by extension, everywhere else), which it would appear to ban under its distribution clause; given the vague wording of the current season alone it seems Ore no Imouto, Panty & Stocking, Yosuga, Sora no Otoshimono, Milky Holmes and others would all fall foul of its various stipulations.

There is also some doubt as to whether Comiket will be able to be held under the new regulations – if not, its cancellation or removal to another prefecture seems likely, although a lack of sufficiently large spaces may severely complicate this.

The law is expected to be signed into law on the 15th after an additional vote and then come into effect in July of 2011, so with magazine, tankobon, anime and game release schedules being what they are, it seems likely its effects will be felt much sooner; in a genuinely democratic state there might be scope to overturn it before then, but from what has been seen so far it seems unlikely publishers have the guts or savvy to do anything about it.
 

ReynardKaukainen

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Alright, here's what I got from that article:

The generally expected form the law will take is that of a “amakudari” (a pervasive system of sinecures for retired bureaucrats) body which will inspect all anime, manga and games, with only those titles receiving approval as “healthy” able to be sold regularly in Tokyo shops – the rest will be relegated to the “adult corner.”

Again, a ban on general sales, not an outright ban altogether. The consequences include the cancellation of many series, but that is beside my point. This is not an outright ban.
 

Neonite

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Alright, here's what I got from that article:



Again, a ban on general sales, not an outright ban altogether. The consequences include the cancellation of many series, but that is beside my point. This is not an outright ban.
It might as well be.

If people have to go so much out of their way to get their product, they'll lose too many sales to stay afloat. This means that the companies will have to censor themselves or go under. Not to mention anime with any depiction of anything illegal will be disallowed from the airwaves.
 

ReynardKaukainen

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It might as well be.

If people have to go so much out of their way to get their product, they'll lose too many sales to stay afloat. This means that the companies will have to censor themselves or go under. Not to mention anime with any depiction of anything illegal will be disallowed from the airwaves.

Again, the consequences were beside my point. The general idea of this law is probably good if implemented correctly, which it has not, considering how vague and far-reaching it is. The consequences will be unfortunate, I agree.

I also point out that this law only applies to Tokyo. In theory, they could move their production to any of the many other large cities in Japan (which still loses the business in Tokyo, but it would still possibly save the media), Kyoto, Sendai, Nagoya, etc.
 
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