Monday, April 04, 2005

2005 is the year of manga edits? 

Well, I've been kind of caught up in other things lately, so I wasn't really able to cover all the other people who commented on the TenTen censorship, but there have been quite a few good articles. And for the record, comments have not yet ceased on AoDVD, up to now the 7th thread. There is also an experimental thread where people can list titles they don't recommend, due to editing.

My my main reason to post is to give some information on the other unfortunate developments lately, including several titles from other companies. A good thread which lists out all the other threads involved is here.

Osaka Edo has started a blog devoted to manga edits (not work safe) and Nick Falzarano has started up a page listing manga with visual edits.

For a quick rundown of the latest edits:

Descendants of Darkness from Viz has one person removed out of a male/male sex scene, inexplicable due to there being more explicit scenes in just the volume before. To me, this is a really bad edit, since it is totally changing the scene. This one really has people nervous, since it was a normal shoujo title, which Viz hadn't been staying away from as far as edits.

I's from Viz has nipples covered up by huge stars. Viz's response which mentions stars in the Japanese volume 3 seems to imply that the author decided to start censoring himself at that point (that was certainly what I read into it, and made me feel like Viz was more justified). But it turns out that that case was as part of a joke, and that all other cases weren't censored. For a title they're rating 16+ and has all kinds of strong fanservice elements, why bother with such innocuous nudity? Why does the Shonen Jump Advanced label even exist if the titles in it all still need to be edited?

ADV has also apparently removed some nipples entirely from By The Sword (Yo-u). To me, this seems like the least objectionable, since the editing is low-key and it doesn't sound like a title where the big draw is fanservice. Still, it seems like something sneaked under the radar, and really it just doesn't seem necessary...

So, at this point a lot of people are getting pretty ticked off. I'm beginning to wonder if one person's theory of a bookstore suddenly mandating changes is true. It certainly seems like a lot of things have come up pretty suddenly. Either that or companies have just decided to go weird in the head. Thus far, there seems to be very little rhyme or reason on what titles are being edited and to what extent. In the case of something like Descendants of Darkness, policies are changing even between books in the same series.

Some fans are getting pretty depressed and are starting to talk about quitting the American manga scene entirely. As an aside, it is weird to see similar comments to those I've seen in the past for American comics.. that of leaving the original fanbase behind for more mainstream exposure.

Shojo Beat just started accepting subscriptions online, but with Viz suddenly starting to edit regular shoujo titles, a lot of people are now taking a wait and see approach. I'll probably still pick it up myself, but I'm certainly not confident that the titles will come through unscathed at this point...

These are bad times if you don't like editing of content. It seems like we've suddenly been set back a decade or so...

Edit: Geeze.. I must have been asleep yesterday. Shoujo Beat.. not Jump.. :)

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