A Japanese mangaka with a career in adult manga has come out with an experience where his proposed manga was turned down by an online publisher due to them adapting absurd Western standards of treating anything with animal ears (kemonomimi) and tails as bestiality, a new development in the sphere of censorship in Japanese creations that will leave many concerned.
Juan Gotou, a mangaka who made his break in 1988 and has mainly worked with Sanwa Erotica, was faced by the reality of shifting moralities in Japan when he reached out to try and serialize his manga via an online publication, and touched upon the topic in a series of Tweets that quickly reached over 650k views:
Speaking of which, for the ero-manga I’m drawing currently, when I suggested having a sex scene take place at a shrine with a god’s messenger that had fox ears and a tail, I was told, “Because this is an e-magazine, we’re afraid we might break the rule about ‘no bestiality’,” and so adding the ears and tail was rejected. Because e-magazines follow Western standards, sometimes things like this may happen.
Even when I said they were a ‘neko’ and not a ‘furry’, the editor was not able to immediately tell…
Hmm, on the topic of kemomimi and tails, basically the publishing company will outsource the e-magazine to a company working in the online publishing industry, and so the editor isn’t able to immediately determine if it’s okay or not. Normally speaking, you’d think they are overthinking it, but as soon as there is a report from the online publishing company saying that “this is bad”, it’s easy to get the manga taken offline.
For paper publications, the only parties involved are the publishing company, and distributors like Nippan or Tohan. For e-magazines, lots of companies like Fanza or Kindle are involved in the dealings, you see. Speaking of which, my ero-manga tankobons, which feature a lot of onee-shota and incest, are pretty much all removed from Kindle.
They were registered there once, but suddenly one day they removed it from the shelves. It’s quite tough. As soon as somebody raises their voice, saying: “I can’t believe you’re distributing something as disgusting as this”, it’s gone.
How should I put this… for publishing companies, at the very least in post-war Japan, they have the duty, or at least the pretense, that the freedom of speech and expression should be protected. But for online publishing companies, there’s no such understanding. “If there are complaints, we’ll strike you down. We don’t care.”
While online releases of manga becoming more common is a good thing for distribution, the invasion of Western moralities is heavily affecting the digital distribution of ero-manga to the point that the genre will likely only continue to shrink if nothing is done about this tendency to expunge anything deemed “offensive”.