Tuesday, March 02, 2004

And things were right again in the world... 

Well... a while back fans found out from Ken Akamatsu's blog that he was surprised at how severely his manga Magister Negi Magi was censored by Del Ray. Then Dallas Middaugh of Del Ray confirmed the editing, saying 10 panels were censored in order to help with bookstore distribution.

Now, Ken is the author of Love Hina, a series which has already had wide distribution, and the fact is that his nudity tends to be undetailed (no nipples) as well as partially covered up. There's the issue of people maybe getting the title confused with Harry Potter, but this was still a bad thing to do, especially with one of the most prominant of their first wave of titles.

So, if you read the 14 pages in that thread, the community of fans came together to pretty much state how disappointed they were and say they were canceling orders and such. I have to say it stayed amazingly civil, and makes me fairly proud to be a part of animeondvd.com. It has its fair share of overenthusiastic fanboys/girls at times, but overall is a pretty nice place.

Anyway, the decision actually got reversed! It will now be shrinkwrapped with a 16+ and "explicit content" sticker on the front, and will be unedited. It still seems overboard as there is worse content in stuff like Ranma 1/2, but at least it isn't being censored, which is a great step. It is also nice to see that a lot of fans who said they wouldn't have bought the title normally are going to at least get the first issue in order to support this move.

It is a little bit unclear by the wording on whether one of the bookstores said editing was a bad idea, or if in response to the fans, they were able to compromise with the bookstore by doing this. I'm more likely to think it is the latter, but either way good stuff!

You always get nervous when bigger companies start getting involved because they might just ignore fans, but it looks like Del Ray is going to be a good player after all. Let's hope that DC follows suit (and that they notice that manga fans aren't going to take stuff like this lying down).

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