Thursday, May 6, 2010

Apple's Medieval Moral Screening Destroying the Future of Manga

I generally stay away from political stories, since I can't stop myself from taking a propagandistic turn of phrase. Like the headline.
This interview with Voyager's company president, Masaaki Hagino, is about the challenges manga faces as it moves into the digital age. One section was particularly upsetting:
"About 30% of the Kodansha comics Voyager has submitted to the iTunes Store as iPhone apps have been rejected. For a ten volume series, the first four might be okay, but volume five on we can't publish. A scene where a character is bleeding not because of violence, but because of a disease might be labeled as excessive cruelty.
Hataraki Man (A decidedly not pornographic manga about a female editor, by Moyoko Anno) was rejected for a scene where the main character gets a massage to help her relax, and while stretching accidentally exposes her breasts. Basically all manga with OLs as main characters have bathing scenes. They can't be shown taking showers. Not even baths -- they're still topless."
The only way this is going to change is if there is a real outcry against it.


  1. So the future of printed media is held back by someone who doesn't read manga? Not surprising, consider the utter comprehensible submission rules and hoops that their app developer have to go through.

    I don't forsee Android tablet / whatever Google store is setting up.

  2. I think that the printed medium is still superior to its electronic emulation. Although its downsides are relying on physical resources and space needed to store books, it can be browsed/read easier and gives you more freedom. So it is better in terms of enjoyment. This is even more evident in the case of manga than proper literature.

    Apple won't save the world with stupid regulations like that. Now, if only someone could prove it to them.