Square Enix recently launched its Manga Up! app globally, giving manga readers from all over the world an opportunity to read some of their favorite titles legally. However, app users were in for a surprise: the censorship of what is deemed as explicit and mature content was a little unusual for manga fans. Black censorship bars are a common sight, so many users took to Twitter to complain while showing off examples from the app.
For example, My Dress Up Darling manga is rated as “mature” and has been censored on the Manga Up app. The global website (which trails behind the simulpubs) also has censored content. It’s interesting to note that the same panel (from the first chapter of the series) is used as a banner for the manga page on Square Enix’s website:
Manga Up (stylized as MANGA UP!) issued a statement on Twitter saying that some “modifications were unavoidable” and highlighting that they will strive to improve, based on the feedback. The reason for the censorship is unclear, but regional restrictions and app stores it is available on might have something to do with it. And service seems to be taking the promise seriously: previously censored panel in Yai Satsuki’s Strongest Swordsman’s Magic Training: Reincarnated with Level 99 Stats, He Gets to Start Over from Level 1 has now been reverted to normal: the body part in question was a knee.
Manga Up app was launched globally a few days ago, after gaining positive results in Japan. It offers users the possibility to read the newest releases legally, but it does have a paywall system. You can read 8 free chapters per day and you also need to earn/buy special currencies called UP, Coin and XP. The type of currency required to read paywalled chapters depends on the content. UP points refresh twice a day, XP can be earned by doing special tasks (participating in events, signing up for newsletters) and you get both of these if you buy Coins, which can be obtained only through purchase.
The app/website reader for the global version of Manga Up is quite smooth and the app even offers dark mode. Service offers access to some of fan favorite titles such as Barakamon, Fullmetal Alchemist, Monthly Girls’ Nozaki-kun, Soul Eater, Horimiya, and more.
More info about Manga Up can be found on the official website.
Featured image: My Dress Up Darling, ©Shinichi Fukuda / SQUARE ENIX