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.


Due to the fact that I found out that one of my friends said to spread this word and me not knowing that's it was actually from a real article, I must abide by my own morals to give credit to the ORIGINAL writers of this news. I edited bits and pieces here and there to the article, but most of it has been unchanged. I am very sorry for any inconvenience this has caused and I will be "speaking" to this friend of mine. Thank you for pointing it out.

Sincerest apologies,