Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

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Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:50 pm

I just realized how mercilessly and I'd even say brutally censored this June's edition is, as compared to the original (titled "Kimi no ai wa mienikui") or European edition by Tokyopop (in German, "Unsichtbare Liebe 1"). All numerous sex scenes in June's edition are censored to the point when any nudity is not really visible, or just some barely visible cones. Well, this manga-ka (Rie Honjou) is actually famous for her ability to draw really smexy, explicit (i.e., practically full frontal nudity) yet aesthetically pleasing, sex scenes. None of that is preserved in June's edition, which actually ruined my impression about this manga-ka for a while, until I had a chance to see the original artwork. Why not publish this book under your 801-Media label? This manga was not meant for "softcore" audiences and "softcore" distribution channels, and the liberties that June took with manga are just astounding.

There is also volume 2 / sequel for this book, but given what June did to volume 1, I personally have no intention of asking June to publish it. I will buy it elsewhere. I also feel ripped off, because if I knew about this censorship, I would NEVER buy this butchered book from June. It'd be nice to know a complete list of censored June's books, but given we do not seem to be getting any, I might decide not to buy any other June's books, as I cannot trust them.

I'm sure June has a number of customers who are OK with censorship, as they actually prefer non-explicit manga. But there are also people like me. So, why wouldn't June provide us with a list of censored titles? All the "pro-censorship" ladies would buy from you anyway, so why to deceive (and rip off) all your "anti-censorship" customers? Or is safe to assume almost ALL of June's titles are censored? Even "Close the Last Door" by Yugi Yamada, for instance, being as non-explicit as it is, suffered censorship from you: all "bodily fluids" were removed.

I bought most if not all of your June titles, never realizing you censored them. You can imagine how much money it cost me. Now, I feel thoroughly ripped off, disappointed and deceived. The person who did the editing/censorship of "Invisible Love" does not deserve to have a job in editing/publishing industry aimed at adult readers. The amount of artwork that person crudely and unprofessionally ruined is just ASTOUNDING in that book, it affects many-many pages (the book happened to have a lot of sex scenes). Is the "editor" in question also a religious ultra-conservative fanatic? It surely looks that way! I have a very hard time believing the manga-ka agreed to this monstrosity; her image in the US is partially ruined because of that book. It's one of her better books, but it certainly lost most of its intended appeal to adult audience, after all that monstrous censorship you inflicted on the book.

Re: distribution channels: I'm sure most of your customers are from "liberal" states, such as New York / Eastern Coast and California. Tons of much more explicit stuff is sold everywhere in these states in a variety of mainsteram stores, I know that quite well from my personal experience. Nonetheless, you seem to care much more about your customers in Utah and Oklahoma etc it seems, as only in those states I can imagine an average adult person being "disturbed" by nudity in 18+ shrink-wrapped book. Maybe you should introduce special softcore/censored line for those states, which I'm sure would matter only for a small portion of your customers in those conservative states, if you care so much about them? (And all those who want uncensored books there can buy online). DMP publishes almost all their yaoi via June. June, your mainstream line, should be what most of your customers want. There is no need to bring up distribution channel argument as an excuse for your censorship anymore, as this is simply not true for those "liberal" states I mentioned. Can you do a simple count of how much is being sold to your customers by state, and decide if any censorship is needed from there? Aren't you supposed to care about what most of your customers want?
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby Delena666 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:10 am

I see they still ignore this topic... What, have nothing to say?

It's not the first time on this forums this topic is mentioned. But not once did I see an answer to the question why was it done. What was the purpose of such editing?
I was planning on buying Invisible Love, but after comparision I don't know anymore if I want it in that state.

After some thinking I now want to compare all my June titles to originals. I started with Loving Gaze which I have with me now as well as scans of the original work. I must say, works of Akira Kanbe are not explicit to begin with, but even in this book I found edited parts. Severely edited... not only removed "bodily fluids", but like cut off fingers, so that you dont understand what was it that was drawn there. I have the urge to redraw what was "edited", but don't see why should "I" do it when it must have been there when I bought the book. It's really VERY DISAPPOINTING.

Although I buy only books that I've already read, so I somehow know the original art, but I don't have an opportunity to see inside the book before the order, so it's very disappointing to see the art altered. I am now waiting 3 books from June that I already ordered and have to say I'm in anticipation which borders with dread to see and compare :evil: .

I will compare all my June titles to originals (except Prince Charming, as I don't have anything to compare to) and if all of them are edited in such a maner, I will seriously reconsider buying anything from June in the future. It's the same as with Future Lovers from Deux Press - I LOVE the author and I LOVE the artwork and I do want to have a book, but every time I think how it was translated and edited (though in different meaning) I just can't bring myself to buy it.

Someone from June, please answer the question: why do you feel justified to decide for me what I can and cannot see? Iam way beyond 18...
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby mo2468 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:39 am

Okay, uh, I don't exactly understand where the animosity is coming from. The question of "why" was, in fact, answered in a previous topic. They censor June titles so they can sell them at bookstores. They don't do it because they have some moral opposition to graphic depictions of sex. They don't do it to be malicious towards the fans. In fact, the effort to erase such things requires a lot of time, time that costs them extra money, and money they want to recoup by having their books visible to buyers in stores. If you want to bitch at something, bitch at the society that requires a book publisher and licensee to do this sort of thing in order to turn a decent profit. Bitch at the puritanical and hypocritical culture of America that prefers gory violence over overt sexuality. Getting mad at DMP for being cautious and doing what they need to to stay profitable isn't going to help you, it isn't going to help them, and it isn't going to help the BL genre in the English-speaking world. I'm sorry it bothers you so much, and if I knew this was going to get so negative I never would have mentioned my observations of BSR volume 2. I simply thought it was silly that semen was the line between a book being allowed on a store shelf and not, when the rest of that patticular panel was suggestive enough on its own to aggrevate moral reactionaries. I'm not mad at June and I certainly don't think a little photoshopping is gravely altering the "meaning" of anything in their books. It's porn and it gets the job done with or without the "bodily fluids." Harping on this issue for three whole topics was unnecessary, in my honest opinion. The fact that the folks at DMP haven't taken any action about that fact should say something about their character. They're not interested in quelling fan unrest with stonewalling. The point, I think, about opposition to this "practice" has been made, and I'm sure they'll take it into consideration, something they may not do if the same handful of unhappy fans keeps going on about it all over their forums.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby Delena666 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 6:55 am

mo2468 wrote: If you want to bitch at something,

I'm not bitching, I'm angry because I was not warned about it beforehand so that I could decide if I want it that way or not. As simple as that...

mo2468 wrote:The question of "why" was, in fact, answered in a previous topic. They censor June titles so they can sell them at bookstores. They don't do it because they have some moral opposition to graphic depictions of sex.

Well, I live outside US, so I don't know what bookstores would put on their shelves and which books they would not, but they are already marked 18+ so what is there to discuss really?

mo2468 wrote:The point, I think, about opposition to this "practice" has been made, and I'm sure they'll take it into consideration, something they may not do if the same handful of unhappy fans keeps going on about it all over their forums.

Consideration or not, forums are here to voice your oppinion, which I'm doing, thank you very much.
And I really think that the more there are fans that are unhappy about it the more the possibility that they would reconsider doing it... :twisted:

mo2468 wrote:I'm not mad at June and I certainly don't think a little photoshopping is gravely altering the "meaning" of anything in their books.

You are twisting my words here. What I said was that they are altering the art to the point when I don't understand the meaning of the picture. For example, in Loving Gaze "roaming" fingers (if you know what I mean) were just cut off, so this section on the page was left only with couple unidentified lines and a sound effect. I understood the meaning only after I looked it up in the original... :!: If I may add, it a little frustrating to look at the picture and not understand what is it that I am looking at.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:02 am

Mo2468, I think you really do not understand the extent of what was done with Invisible Love (and you're probably not a fan of that work, so why would you care?). It's editing in BSR2 multiplied by at least factor of 100. It requires not only 3 posts on my part, but given how $$$ I spent on the books of this company without realizing I'm being ripped off, it requires more posts, and overall, everyone is entitled to their voice and opinion on this forum and elsewhere, as I'm sure you're aware of.
Readers realizing this issue was only the matter of time, so don't "blame" yourself for mentioning BSR2 (which, again, less than 1% of regular "editing" they apparently did to at least a few other books).

mo2468 wrote:Getting mad at DMP for being cautious and doing what they need to to stay profitable isn't going to help you, it isn't going to help them, and it isn't going to help the BL genre in the English-speaking world.

DMP is not the only "fish in the sea", and they shouldn't think that censoring anything helps BL in this country, or will lead to profits for them in the long run. It won't. For a while, because of the censored art, I was disappointed in Rie Honjoh enough not to buy or be very cautious with her works. How is it helping BL industry? Now, I'm very cautious about other publishers, which also does not help BL industry in this country. Re: the reasons they do it: they're paranoid. The people in the US are not that *puritan* as apparently you and DMP think. However, DMP helps to make it more "puritan", by actively censoring what appears to be - most of their releases. Don't sell books in stores of ultra-conservative states. It's as simple as that. I'm sure they're not making any significant portion of their money there. Being a small-scale company and all, they just hired an incompetent editor, who was over-zealous in his/her "job". Maybe, they were all over-zealous in their job. It's unprofessional and bad decision making, which the results of which they will have to put up now.

mo2468 wrote: I'm not mad at June and I certainly don't think a little photoshopping is gravely altering the "meaning" of anything in their books. It's porn and it gets the job done with or without the "bodily fluids."

You're wrong on two accounts. 1) Yaoi manga (in particular, a variety published by DMP) is certainly NOT a porn, not by a long shot. If people want porn, they buy porn. It doesn't have meaning, doesn't have plot, and people buy it to get off physically. If they want adult manga, they buy it, and they want the uncensored art. Manga about enjoyment (emotional, first and foremost, but also intellectual) of art and story, and the synergies between art and story. Calling manga "porn" is unacceptable. You are accusing America of being "puritan", but by calling manga "porn", you're actually helping the issue.
2) Again, your whole "bodily fluids" argument does NOT hold, because they did MUCH more to a number of other book, so no need to bring up BSR2 as an example, it has the mildest editing done of them all. The whole Rie Honjoh' style is completely distorted by the extent of their censorship in that book. It is far beyond just distorting an occasional meaning of a plot.

mo2468 wrote: The fact that the folks at DMP haven't taken any action about that fact should say something about their character. They're not interested in quelling fan unrest with stonewalling. The point, I think, about opposition to this "practice" has been made, and I'm sure they'll take it into consideration, something they may not do if the same handful of unhappy fans keeps going on about it all over their forums.

They haven't answered the question re: particular titles they censored because they want fans like me and Delena666 (who still do not know about censorship) continue to buy them. Also, I really doubt they will do anything, at least in the short run, as their editor has to keep his/her job, and bad managerial practices and decisions are hard to abandon. And of course, people complaining more should help more, though at this point, I'm not interested in helping them. I'm disappointed and have no hopes of ever trusting June again. If it doesn't help, as it probably won't regardless, who cares? You will be happily buying from them, fueling censorship efforts in "puritan America" (using your language), while people like me find some other way to invest their money. Everyone should be happy, shouldn't we? All I want is DISCLOSURE and free choice. Their readers deserve to know that they are not keeping the original artwork and censor their books, so everyone can make their informed choice re: buying or not.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby ChibiKami » Tue Jan 12, 2010 12:20 pm

As we said before, the forums are open for opinions on everything June-and we feel we have already answered everything that there is to be said about the whole topic. We appreciate all the comments on the topic.

Publishing, especially now in a hurting economy, is a tough business-and as much as we create and do books directly for our fans, we also have to think of how buyers and new fans will respond to titles. Hence the creation of 801 Media, like we said before, a line only for our fans, but because of it's extreme explicit nature-we can only do one book a month and with limited distribution. June' is the biggest BL imprint in the US-and therefore, it is held to a different standard than 801-and for widespread distribution, it is held in stricter regard. At the same time, that allows for more licensing of titles that we feel can reach not only the fans, but critics, libraries, independent comic shops, and many other outlets-titles that may be too expensive to license on limited print runs like 801 can finally make it to the US on the June' brand. The critical success of yaoi artists like Fumi Yoshinaga has even allowed mainstream publishers like Viz to license her work. We understand the fan perspective, but we also hope the fans understand what we hope to achieve with June to make good BL manga available to everyone, and to keep the fanbase growing and interested. We want to license the best-and we're going to do what we can to make it happen. We have heard the comments, and we understand-and it's always something we take into account with every book we do. As always, you, the fans are more than welcome to use the forums as your sounding boards for your comments and concerns.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:09 pm

ChibiKami,
Thank you for your reply, and all your time.

Re: Quote: "Hence the creation of 801 Media, like we said before, a line only for our fans, but because of it's extreme explicit nature-we can only do one book a month and with limited distribution" - how can this be changed? In other words, what needs to be done to allow for more books via 801 Media? Not sure re: other distribution channels, but most of your 801 titles have a much high sales rank than most of your June titles on Amazon, i.e., they sell much better.
Is there a printer problem, i.e., not all printers agree to print more explicit content? My point is: a lot of fans out there want more explicit titles. I participate in a lot of forums, and know some fans personally, it's extremely rare to find a yaoi reader who objects to an explicit content. A vast majority wants MORE, not less. If we all want more, and many of us are prepared to pay more, why do we see less 801 Media and more June every year? What will happen to Maiden Rose and all other titles that you already plan to publish under June? Apparently, by seeking new fans (who are too "unprepared" for explicit yaoi in your opinion, but honestly, a lot of adult fans come to yaoi because they want THAT), you completely abandon many of your old/existing fans, who already paid you $$$$ (I bought every single release by June from you. How am I supposed to feel now, realizing that - while being against censorship myself - I actually sponsored your censorship for years?)

Re: June - why not to print original shounen-ai and softcore yaoi (which would not require censorship), under this label, if that's your intention? There is enough of selection out there, in Japan. "Invisible Love" is an explicit title from a fairly hardcore yaoi manga-ka, certainly not softcore. I understand your point re: trying to bring this title to a wider audience, but it was a competely arbitrary judgement call on your part, and if the manga-ka intended for the title to be so explicit, why to ruin her artistic intention? That book is not meant for "wide audience / distribution". For me, it'd be better if that censored title were not published at all.

Also, if you want to keep your original policies, and censor, you should really let your fans know which titles are censored, and preferably, the extent of it. (Not that should be any guidance, but YaoiGen publisher very clearly explained what they censorred in one of their books.) For instance, put a disclosure label on the cover of the book, saying something like "Edited Artwork". Ot at least, place a list of titles with "edited artwork" on your website. That shouldn't be that expensive. if it's impossible / too costly to do for the existing titles, please do that at least for the upcoming ones / new releases. This cannot be that costly, and will save and earn you a lot of goodwill with your existing fans.
Currently, it seems you imply that every June manga may be censored, while I actually know this is not the case (e.g., some of Yukine Honami's works are certainly not censored by you, at least not in any visible way). Instead of abandoning June's label completely, such disclosure would leave me a choice of buying shounen-ai and softcore yaoi I can trust you with to be unaltered. (It is impossible for a person who hasn't read the book figure out what could be censored, right? So, how am I supposed to know or even guess if you censored a book or not if I haven't bought/read it yet?) And some of the censored titles, I might still choose to buy for a translation, but at least that'd be my free choice, and in those cases I would make sure to obtain an original uncensored release as well. And I believe that'd make (or keep) everyone equally happy: you, me, Mo2468, all the other fans. There would be no deception and full disclosure. Please take this disclosure-related advice into consideration, as although I said previously I lost all my hope, I was a long-time fan of yours, and I REALLY want to be able to trust and support you again.

Thank you.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby airisu » Tue Jan 12, 2010 3:36 pm

One question to DMP: when buying the licences of a specific manga - do you also buy the right to edit it to such extent? Does not have the mangaka a word in it? It still is her own 'product', she might not want to sell it under such conditions.

I'm also really disappointed. Having a massive collection of English published yaoi manga (from which cca 120 titles are Juné, 30 titles from 801), I think I quite had my share in keeping the business running. All these by ordering things to Europe via Internet (which of course means extra money for shipping costs). I don't really get how come that the distributors, shop owners have a word in connection with editing but not us, the buyers, the fans??? Do they pay you or us? I'm seriously considering not to buy ANYTHING from Juné until I figure out whether a title was edited/censored or not. I will say NO (although my heart will break because it is my all-time favorite) to buy Kizuna, if it will be altered in the slightest way. I have the Japanese version, the German and the already published BeBeautiful ones, so I could compare. I agree with sun22. Under Juné only shounen-ai titles such as Rin or La Esperanza shoudl be published if they have so serious measures or clearly make it visible if the content was edited. I will continue to buy from publishers who respect their main target - the readers.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby mo2468 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 5:29 pm

Delena666, I think you are under the mistaken impression that I was at all addressing you in my previous post on this topic. I was not. Sorry for that confusion.

As for you not living in the US and not understanding the way the moral compass of the country points, I suppose you wouldn't understand how it is or why a book can't simply be sold in a store with a 18+ sticker on it. It certainly can be sold in one of these stores, but the store has to approve it. The bookstores I was referring to in my previous post were specifically the big chain ones, like Borders. Borders sells more BL manga than probably any other retail outlet available. If you want an example of why a company like DMP has to censor books to get them on the shelves of a big chain like Borders, I recommend listening to a recent (holiday edition) ANN Podcast, where they discuss what happened to a particular Seven Seas license that was dropped after they asked one of those big retailers (I think it was Borders) whether they would carry it and were told in no uncertain terms "no" because of its content. You can't force one of these stores to carry a book they are not comfortable with. And, they are, in fact, going to want to know what is inside the books they sell, whether or not they get shrink-wrapped or slapped with an self-imposed industry age rating.

I seriously doubt, whatever the fans "want" that DMP is in any position to change their policy on this issue. Of course it is clear they are going to alienate some fans, but that's just a cost of staying profitable. Some people aren't going to be satisfied with that and they're welcome to complain, but opening three full topics (and taking over another one) all in the same forum that isn't active enough to warrant such an action seems to me like "harping" on an issue. That was my primary complaint in my post. Please feel free to express your opinion, whether it coincides with mine or not.

As for sun22's post, I'm aggrevated enough right now that I don't want to respond at all. In the very first sentence I was accused of not caring about something that I am "probably" not a fan of, which is a personal attack (an annoyingly passive-aggressive one). Taking sideways jabs like this at me cheapens the argument you are trying to make and I'm not dragging myself into it if that's the way it's going to be played. It's very hard to even want to have discussions with you when you do this, and I swear if you come back with some other subverted jab at me (and I mean "me", not my argument) about my problem with it I am done for good. I'm not "doing the same thing" with my posts. Not once have I presumed anything about your character (what it means about you as a person to have a particular opinion) or made any kind of borderline ad hominem comment about your opinion (like suggesting you don't care about something because you're "probably" not a fan) on any topic that wasn't something you actually did post about. You've done both to me in your previous reply. If you wish for me to detail where you did, or have a direct discussion about this particular issue, I'd be more than happy to discuss it with you privately, but this is the only time and place I am going to openly post about it. I'm not expecting an apology or retraction, I only ask that it not continue.

And saying that, I will touch on one thing: the definition of "pornography." Making books whose primary purpose is the titillation of their audience is not a bad thing and pretending that isn't what they do (even if only in "part") only hardens the argument of the moral reactionaries by reinforcing that there is somehow something wrong with something that is designed for such a purpose. BL is romance manga with overt sexuality that passes beyond the bounds of what would traditionally be considered "non-pornographic." If the sex scenes aren't designed to titillate their readers, I hardly see the point in them being drawn at all or in anyone complaining when they get censored. What I do suspect, however, is that you are doing one of two things: simply falling back on a morally repressed perception of what "pornography" is, or confusing the difference between "pornography" and "obscenity." Pornography is legal, and obscenity is not. Pornography, by its definition to not be obscene, must contain some semblance of literary or artistic value. This would make the vast majority of BL that actually contains sex scenes "pornographic," but certainly not "obscene." When I use the word "pornography" this is always what I mean. I hope this has somewhat cleared up my opinion on the subject.
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Re: Invisible Love by Rie Honjou - June edition is censored

Postby sun22 » Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:28 pm

One correction re: Seven Seas example - I haven't listened to that ANN podcast, but as far as I know, that title is being described as certainly involving the depictions of minors in explicit sexual situations. Which may be found illegal, and overall, it has a very unclear, very questionable legal status in the US. IMO: it is NOT comparable to the censored content we're discussing here. Borders made the right choice re: that title, IMO. (Please feel free to correct me if some other title was meant.)

Mo2468: I also don't think we should be discussing issues irrelevant to June and the whole issue at hand.
(By the way, just like Delena666, I was initially confused whom you're addressing your whole initial message here, (and thought you addressed most of it to her... but now it seems you addressed me the whole time), so for the sake of clarity, it does help to use a specific name/username when addressing people, or maybe specific quotes?)

Re: me opening three posts - I think as a fan I have a right to bring up what really concerns me, and share what I believe is important information with other readers who may have the same tastes and convictions re: this issue. I wish someone told me what I told everyone here way before, i.e, re: overall June's policy on this and Invisible Love title in particular. Of course, everyone is welcome to support censorship or to be very understanding about this issue, and speak up on such posts (as Mo2468 does here), as it will help DMP to gauge how many fans are in support versus how many are not.

Also, for organization purposes, it's convenient to keep these discussions focus on particular titles. So, anyone who's interested in Invisible Love would know what that title contains. I don't think most people have attention spans to keep reading through long discussion posts to wield out info re: which particular titles were censored and to what extent, especially if that thread was already named under a different title (as I initially thought that only BSR2 is censored). Besides, censorship of BS2, discussed in other topic/thread, being very minor, is VERY different to the extent of censorship done on Invisible Love Title. To me, editing bodily fluids and much more severe censorship are different issues and topics. (Re: some "other thread" *I* "took over", I wasn't the one who mentioned censorship of an unrelated June title there, and sometimes these discussions do tend to go to bilateral topics, it might be just a nature of things. I do agree we should try to keep focus, though).

Re: bookstore argument used as an explanation for censorship: There are always alternative distribution channels available for explicit titles, even If one assumes that whole bookstore argument is a very valid one. Plus, as discussed, at this point, all I really want is a clear label whether the artwork was edited or not, and it seems a number of people out there want the same thing. That's certainly a very low-cost thing to do (e.g., listing "artwork editing" info on all upcoming / new releases on June's website, as they're being released / processed by June), but it will help June to keep such fans as I am (and thus, the money we will keep on paying for their books), while keeping all other, more indifferent parties/fans at their "status quo".

Re: calling all explicit manga pornographic is highly reductive. And I agree: the whole issue has nothing to do with "obscenity". (Though I must add to the previous post that "obscene" is the one that also "appeals to "prurient" (morbid) interest and depicts sexual conduct in a patently offensive way", not just "lacking scientific or artistic value" (a VERY subjective thing), and can be found as such ("obscene") only by a jury...this addition is done by me so that just not to *scare* anyone out there, rest assured, it's not that easy to label anything "obscene", and not that many cases of this is happening out there, in the US :)).
Manga should not be labeled "porn", and I hope DMP does not think itself as being in "porn business". There's a social stigma attached to the wording "pornographic materials", and while being perfectly legal, they do imply the lack of any other purpose rather than titillation, at least as far as this word is used in common/popular language and many social situations.
P.S: We should open a post about this elsewhere (not on June's forum), as I will probably do. I'm quite curious how others think about this, but again, this issue is not directly related to the topic/June titles, and I won't discuss it here anymore.
Last edited by sun22 on Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
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