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Topic: Is it the End of Anime, Manga, and GAMES from Japan? - Bill 156 PASSED...

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Epic

1. Posted:

NOOO it's the end of the world!!! No more anime and manga!!! Bill 156 has passed in Tokyo!

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.

This bill however still does not ban actual, "real life" crimes in media such as rape. Books, magazines and other "real life" media are also unaffected by this bill.

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 comes 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.

Tokyo’s ban of anime, manga and games is not even law yet, but already mangaka are reporting publishers refusing to publish works set in schools or featuring school uniforms, with previously published works even in danger of having their reprints cancelled.

BL mangaka Shouko Takaku complains that her (unidentified, but “unfortunately not small”) publisher told her to stop using school trappings in her manga:

I was bluntly told the other day “because of the Tokyo ordinance, please stop using high school students [in your manga].” Depending on the label it seems you can’t even draw school uniforms…”
[...]

Yes, I was really shocked – I was astonished and responded “Really? Really? It’s come to that now already?”

She comments that she expects the industry’s recent decline will only be accelerated by the introduction of the ban.

Another BL mangaka, Kanako Meiji, reports her publisher is considering cancelling a reprint of her works:
What’s going to happen? A new edition of one of my titles was due to be published in April, but now it’s under deliberation, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s cancelled.

She compares the political precedent the law represents to Japan’s notorious 1925 “Peace Preservation Law,” a law which began Japan’s lurch towards totalitarianism by imposing a prison sentence of up to 10 years on anyone found guilty of threatening the “national character” of Japan.

Japan’s secret police force subsequently became notorious as “thought police,” and later revisions saw the law expanded to cover more types of thought crime and the right of appeal revoked. Only the American invasion saw them abolished.

Then, just as now, a vaguely worded law allowed authorities to intimidate into silence all those they did not lock up directly – a fate which seems likely to befall all publishers of anime, manga and games in Japan.

GAMING is also affected by this law. So in other words, gaming publishers also have to take this bill seriously when creating a game. Like I said before, games such as Cathrine, will be very scrutinized when under this bill.

Publishers, like Square Enix, Namco-Banda that produce video games as well as anime/manga, have to either move out of Tokyo so the bill will not be effective, or to abide by it.

But moving is also a hard part. Tokyo is the biggest city in Japan and if every single publisher moves out of Tokyo, the other cities might not have enough space for all the publishers. They will either have to move across seas or stay.

This is self-destructive for the Japanese economy too. Their economy is bad enough as it is, they will also be losing revenue from one of the largest grossing revenue items that they have which are manga, anime, and video games, if they impose the bill.

Source: http://www.gameinformer.com/blogs/members/b/sakabato24_blog/a... , http://www.sankakucomplex.com/2010/12/13/tokyo-anime-manga-ba...

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HolyMackerel

2. Posted:

Sounds like a sensationalist reaction to me.

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theblackdragon

3. Posted:

HolyMackerel wrote:

Sounds like a sensationalist reaction to me.

me too. it'll survive, just not in the same format (or perhaps not being published in the same country as) to which people are accustomed. the bigger game companies might start outsourcing big-name game series installments that would potentially fall under the (super-vague) guidelines of this bill to subsidiaries in other countries.

Edited on by theblackdragon

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CanisWolfred

4. Posted:

Hopefully it just means the end of risce under 18 shows that feature sexy little girls who get raped and murdered. That I could easily live with. There are loads of other potential problems, still, but I'm just hoping for the best, since that's all I can do. I'm no Japanese voter, after all.

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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theblackdragon

5. Posted:

Mickeymac wrote:

Hopefully it just means the end of risce under 18 shows that feature sexy little girls who get raped and murdered. That I could easily live with.

effing signed.

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HolyMackerel

6. Posted:

Totally agreed with you guys.

Hopefully this change encourages actual creativity in the industry again too. Nowadays anime has gotten pretty boring due to relying on stereotypes which the moe fandom just encourages further. What I would do for a new series which was revolutionary like Cowboy Bebop or Ghost In the Shell.

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KaiserGX

7. Posted:

What to they mean ban on crimes? Like thugs showing up or gangs beating people up?

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Epic

8. Posted:

Only good thing about this is the chance of Namco-Bandai and Square Enix move to USA.

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CanisWolfred

9. Posted:

Epic wrote:

Only good thing about this is the chance of Namco-Bandai and Square Enix move to USA.

Wut?

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Epic

10. Posted:

Publishers, like Square Enix, Namco-Banda that produce video games as well as anime/manga, have to either move out of Tokyo so the bill will not be effective, or to abide by it.

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CanisWolfred

11. Posted:

Epic wrote:

Publishers, like Square Enix, Namco-Banda that produce video games as well as anime/manga, have to either move out of Tokyo so the bill will not be effective, or to abide by it.

They'll probably just abide by it then. They're big companies that sell around the world. They don't need cheap gimmicks to make money. I don't see the bill harming them in any way. Now Atlus, on the otherhand, may be in a spot of trouble.

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ElectricSplash

12. Posted:

HolyMackerel wrote:

Sounds like a sensationalist reaction to me.

Equal here. That's just like they do in a lot of countries where there are hours where the TV content must be regulated and all the games and movies must be ratified. We will all be able to buy all the naughty mangas and animes we want, only we will have to show we are adults-

But well, coming from a society where things never change, it's completely normal that a change like this becomes so serious bussiness to some people.

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TKOWL

13. Posted:

You might as well ban every single form of media then.
Seriouslly, this makes no effing sense.

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Hokori

14. Posted:

LOL I was worried at 1st but when I saw it was from GI I had a HUGE sigh...

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CanisWolfred

15. Posted:

I wouldn't follow the second link if I was any of you.

Otaku wrote:

LOL I was worried at 1st but when I saw it was from GI I had a HUGE sigh...

And SankakuComplex. That is a sensationalist site. That's its entire purpose. That, and ecchi/softcore/just short of pornography.

Edited on by CanisWolfred

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RoyalBlur

16. Posted:

LOL. I didn't read that whole thing. Seriously, that's a long bit of text there. Nothing there seem to be against anything like Shonen Jump, Viz Media, Square Enix, Nintendo or Manga Entertainment. It seemed be against pornography, ecchi, rape and things of that nature. So I don't think there is anything to fear from that bill. At lest not from what I did read. Nevertheless I think I'll go back up there and read it again. That's a lot of text and I'm tired and sleepy and I've got serious math homework that I need to do.

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HolyMackerel

17. Posted:

Epic wrote:

Publishers, like Square Enix, Namco-Banda that produce video games as well as anime/manga, have to either move out of Tokyo so the bill will not be effective, or to abide by it.

They will abide by it. Square-Enix and pretty much every large publisher won't be affected by it anyway since they don't make games or publish manga (AFAIK) involving underage pornography of any kind.

Besides, you know nothing about the Japanese if you think they'll move their headquarters outside of Japan because of something like this. Unlike you capitalist Americans, they view national pride and loyalty with greater importance than profit. Not to mention their primary audience is, and always has been, Japan.

P.S. In case you weren't aware, Square-Enix already has a branch in the US. That's how they can publish games there.

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arrmixer

18. Posted:

i just want to see some more creativity with future magna/anime projects... I'm tired of seeing the same old stuff.... very boring...

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Gamesake

19. Posted:

Hopefully now Harvest Moon and Rune Factory will finally start featuring girls that look 18.

...in my pants.

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Mabbit

20. Posted:

At first I thought you meant all of Japan, so I went FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU, but then it turns out that it's just Tokyo, so it's okay. Have fun losing millions of yen for manga and anime sales, Tokyo~~

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