TOKYO, Japan — The Tokyo metropolitan government has ordered a cease on sales of all merchandise, including manga, novels, doujinshi, and goods, of the runaway hit series Ore no Imouto ga Konnani Kawaii Wake ga Nai, on the grounds that the content of the series, which depicts romantic relations between close relatives, is “unwholesome” for minors.
The Oreimo ruling marks the second time the Tokyo metropolitan government has deemed an anime or manga “unwholesome” on grounds of portraying incestuous relationships, following the government’s decision to hand a similar ban down to Imouto Paradise 2. These two cases mark the only times that the government has chosen to enforce new government regulations regarding the sale and publishing of manga, first passed in 2011.
Legal experts have denounced the government’s decision. “This ruling represents a gross breach of freedom of speech and expression,” said Hosei University Law School professor Nakamoto Takashi. “The government has refused to clarify what ‘unwholesome’ means, so publishers have no clear guidelines about what is publishable and what is not. Whose standards of ‘wholesomeness’ are we supposed to use? Is Ro-Kyu-Bu unwholesome? Is UtaPri unwholesome? Are grown men watching Pretty Cure unwholesome? It’s a huge mess. I hope the government comes up with clear, actionable guidelines soon.”
At the offices of Kadokawa, the publisher of both blacklisted titles, employees scramble to call the company’s lawyers. Although Kadokawa has repeatedly ignored our requests for a statement, some employees have come forward on the condition of anonymity. “I was surprised when I heard about Imouto Paradise 2,” said one employee. “But I was stunned when I heard that Oreimo had been pulled. I think there’s a witch hunt out there― not against incest, of course― but against Kadokawa. I mean, the government hasn’t enforced the rules in three years, and now two blacklisted titles in a month? Both from Kadokawa. Come on. It’s obvious what’s going on here. Besides, the incest in Oreimo isn’t even that bad. There’s a character named ‘Kuroneko’, for crying out loud.”
Fushimi Tsukasa, the author of Oreimo, has kept relatively quiet amid the uproar over his magnum opus. When asked by Anime Maru to provide a statement, he said, “Maybe I should have paired Kyosuke with Ayase after all.”