Yen Press, the official English publisher for “No Game No Life”, announced that Amazon removes Japanese titles from their platform. They also invited the fans to support it via other retailers. Their tweet:
This is just the last in line of titles Amazon decided to take down. J-Novel Club (another publisher) also posted about several of their titles being removed. They first posted about it when “My Next Life as a Villainess” Volume 6 preorders suddenly cancelled back on June 24. That’s when they also listed the other titles blocked titles.
Fast forward to July 14, and they officially confirm with Amazon that multiple other titles have been removed by the Kindle Content Review (some including manga as well). However, they first heard about it from their users’ complaints as Amazon never notified them. They didn’t say anything until J-Novel themselves contacted them. They still couldn’t give them a reason though.
Less than a day later. They get emailed by Amazon about the removal of certain volumes of “Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash” and “Infinite Stratos”.
Fans quickly asked how “Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash” broke any rules. It apparently has one ‘risky’ illustration in its first volume. You can see the image below.
Apart from those, Dark Horse‘s titles “Oreimo” and “Eromanga Sensei” were also reportedly removed. However, the publisher has not released a statement about it yet.
All the series mentioned above have some degree of an adult (‘lewd’) element to them. It’s possible that the reason for the removal is that Amazon can’t verify the age of certain anime characters. (Yes, that’s actually possible. Other platforms are also looking at anime as a medium that presents minors inappropriately due to its artstyle.) Seeing that Amazon can’t give a reason and that Western counter-parts are not being affected whatsoever, it’s no wonder that there are a lot of comments that say it’s an attack on the Japanese artstyle itself.
The topic obviously reached Japanese fans. They expressed their dissatisfaction and concern about the censorship eventually coming to their country as well. Some even went as far as calling it a “Culture War” and are worried that their style of expression and diversity is in danger.
Whatever the reason, it’s bound to cause backlash as it appears to be a selective attack on a certain type of content. We have to wait and see if Amazon removes Japanese titles for valid reasons or not. Hopefully they release a statement on it soon and explain.