A chicken or egg question for the mods

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A chicken or egg question for the mods

Postby lore » Mon Mar 01, 2010 4:57 pm

Elsewhere on this board, the mods have discussed that the reason some books experience some adult scene image censorship and "aging-up" of characters is because some retailers and wholesale buyers would not stock books with those sorts of issues in them.

It was said that this censorship happened more often in June's early days, and that now June is trying to slowly push the envelope to allow for less censorship and more purity of the original images.

I had always assumed that the reason June decided to edit books for content was because June had solicited a book early on that was rejected by many wholesalers because of the adult content, and June went back to the drawing board to figure out what could be edited to make the book acceptable. But in discussions elsewhere, it's been pointed out that perhaps June censored from the very beginning out of concern for not getting past wholesalers.

So, I guess my question is, which came first, the censor (wholesalers) or the censoring (June's edits)?

Thank you for any insight you can give on this issue.

love, lore
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Re: A chicken or egg question for the mods

Postby mo2468 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 10:37 pm

It's an interesting question to pose, and I'm interested in the answer myself, but to be honest, it doesnt matter that much to me whether they "tried" to get a book past the sellers or edited first and then tested the waters with it. The reasoning is presumably the same. In the early days no one knew what was going to be "acceptable," and all the early publishers (like CPM) did editing, especially the ones that wanted to sell their books in stores. Heck, all of them still do editing to some degree. I can bet you anything that Tokyopop cleans up panels or ages up characters, or simply won't license stuff that's too graphic (and, honestly, isn't that the same level of thinking and "playing it safe?"). We know that Media Blasters changes character ages (Scandalous Seiryo University? Please). It's a guessing game, and one where the rules are always changing. But again, I am interested to know the details of this issue and the historical philosophy of one of my most favorite English licensees of BL.
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Re: A chicken or egg question for the mods

Postby sun22 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 10:43 am

Re: "simply won't license stuff that's too graphic (and, honestly, isn't that the same level of thinking and "playing it safe?")" - it's certainly not the same to me, I'd prefer publishors not license something they're not comfortable with, as opposed to licensing and censoring and not telling anyone what they did with a particular book. That's just my personal choice and preference, as I always thought I'm entitled to know about the product "modifications" or "defects" (as to me, those are defects of sort).

Re: Tokyopop censorship - I'd be curious to know if that's indeed the case, in particular in case of BLU. Do you have any examples? I think it's unfair towards a publisher to just assume that "they do it because everyone else does it". I'd be really interested in seeing some proof of it, in particular in case of BLU, as I buy from them much more than from Tokyopop. Besides, 801 Media (while being DMP imprint and all) does NOT do it, so I'm not convinced that every single imprint / publisher does it, as it's clearly not the case. Re: whether they do not license stuff that is "too graphic" - that's their decision, and as long as they do not distort the original artist's/editor's/author's intent (by NOT censoring or NOT licensing - I don't care), I respect that decision fully. After all, they do estimates of the market and all those market sentiments, and they have to stay in business, so that's their choice.

Re: "It's a guessing game, and one where the rules are always changing" - that's a good way to put it, but it's also a guessing game for me, as I have to second-guess June re: if they're going to censor their next book or not. As I don't want to support censorship yet I still want to support any US BL publisher (and frankly at this point English-language manga is just the easiest and often cheapest for me to buy), the purchasing decision is now some of sort of agony for me when it comes to June titles: "to buy or not to buy"?
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Re: A chicken or egg question for the mods

Postby ChibiKami » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:54 pm

Hi all! Like we've addressed before-the market is always a changing thing for yaoi, and manga in general. There are some things that will never fly with mass market, and those kinds of things probably won't see licensing day. Yes, we've had books rejected. (It isn't important which, and we're not going to say, so please don't ask.) In the early days-when yaoi was super new to the market-it was tough just to get it onto the shelves. Especially because a lot of yaoi doesn't have media tie-ins, (like animes or games), which is what retailers like. So every book has to be sold based on it's merit, essentially. And to differentiate different titles to buyers who don't know manga, or even yaoi itself, is a big job-and one we've embraced for the sake of bringing the books you all want to see to the US market.

At this point-we don't look back. We're in the business of making books, which is something we are honest about, and in order to stay in the business of making books, they have to sell. Especially in an economic climate like right now. Buyers will change, restrictions on things will change, and we'll change accordingly. We know this has been a big point of interest for you all~but opening up topic after topic on the same thing isn't going to change the initial answers. :D
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Re: A chicken or egg question for the mods

Postby sun22 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:05 pm

Chibi-Kami: thank you for your clarification.

I respect your decision re: which books you want to edit as you must have your good reasons (as you're responsible for business and you must have done your research). However, I wonder why would it be so difficult for you guys to let your buyers know which titles you're editing (due to explicit scenes) going forward (and preferrably, the extent of edits, e.g., "light", "moderate", etc -but if that's too costly to do, only listing the titles would be great). All I ask (and I know I'm not alone - as a few fans spoke up on some other threads on your forum) is the information. Some other (smaller) publisher specifically mentioned the edit they did to one of their books. I wonder why is it so difficult to do for you? Is it cost-related? Would it be a quick note on this forum re: an edited title too costly? Though you're much bigger than the publisher I had in mind, you still release only a very limited number of June books each month (unfortunately :(), so writing a quick note for each doesn't seem too costly to me.

Thank you very much in advance for any reply.
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Re: A chicken or egg question for the mods

Postby lore » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:11 pm

Thank you for answering my question ChibiKami. I really did hate to ask because it seemed perfectly logical that the only reason June would go through the time and cost and trouble of altering the original material is because the books had run into some barricades to the market.

Logic and the ability to deduce based on circumstances, however, is not good enough for some people, which is why I came looking for a definitive answer. At least now I can point some naysayers over here and say "look, the chicken did come before the egg". Better that than letting there be doubt about June's good intentions.

If I hadn't have asked, false assumptions would have persisted in being spread, so, again, thank you. I don't think I'll be making more censorship-based posts, but good luck with everyone else. ;)

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Re: A chicken or egg question for the mods

Postby sun22 » Tue Mar 02, 2010 1:38 pm

Re: "At least now I can point some naysayers over here and say "look, the chicken did come before the egg". Better that than letting there be doubt about June's good intentions." - I don't think that an episodic case or two when June tried to pass an uncensored title and was rejected matters that much in a grand scheme of things, at least not to me. Other publishers were rejected by distributors / printers, yet they found alternative distribution channels, and did not censor books in question (an example of YaoiPress art book comes to mind, etc). It's every publisher's decision, so what? And I guess that's why DMP founded 801-Media imprint. (However re: June and censorship and such: rejection by distributors is not a perfect "logic" for censorship to me, choose softcore yaoi to license, that's my take on it, but of course everyone's take will be different, and June apparently has (or had) a different policy.... )

Also, there is no need to try picture anyone not comfortable with censorship - or questioning the reasons for it - as a "naysayer". It's certainly my consumer right to get a product I think I'm getting. I don't care if June or anyone else censors at this point and why, but I need to know which titles are being censored to make my informed purchase decisions. Why it is being pictured as "nay-saying" is beyond me.
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Re: A chicken or egg question for the mods

Postby lore » Tue Mar 02, 2010 8:00 pm

What was being naysaid was that June was prompted to edit their books for content because the books had been rejected. The rest is your assumption, Sun22.

Now that the question has been answered, I'm ready to let this question thread drop. While I hope you receive an answer to your questions as well, I feel satisfied that my question was answered.
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