Australia boasts a thriving community of anime fans, and their eyes have been glued to an ongoing debate focused on a select few manga. After titles like Sword Art Online were questioned by political officials, talk has been buzzing over whether a few titles might be banned from the nation altogether. That hunch came true yesterday when it was announced No Game, No Life has been effectively banned, and it seems there are others under review at the moment.
The report comes from Anime News Network after it reached out to the Kinokuniya Sydney store. The location was put in headlines earlier this summer when the massive store got rid of several notable light novels or manga. It was then fans began to wonder if the titles would ever come back, and the bookstore says some of them will likely stay gone.
Kinokuniya shared a statement with Anime News Network that stressed its recently removed books were not done so over political pressure but done on orders from Australia's Classification Board. The organization asked seven titles to be put away as it reassessed ratings for each manga or light novel. The statement says the board chose to reassess the titles after they were critiqued publicly by a few politicians.
Currently, Kinokuniya says the board has been responsive to its ongoing assessment. The bookstore says it was told, "some of the titles would likely be fine for unrestricted sale, others might have restrictions apply, and just a few would probably be refused classification." At this time, only one of the series has been soft banned, and that status belongs to No Game, No Life.
A report yesterday confirmed the light novel's first, second, and ninth volumes have been refused a rating from the board. This means they cannot be sold in Australia, but the anime is still legal to import. The other series being assessed by the board now include Eromanga Sensei, Sword Art Online, Goblin Slayer, Inside Mari, Parallel Paradise, and Dragonar Academy.
What do you make of this ongoing assessment? Do you think any of the listed series above need better overseas regulation? Let me know in the comments or hit me up on Twitter @MeganPetersCB to talk all things comics and anime!