Black Butler, Soul Eater, and Other Manga Are Facing New Book Bans

A new report from Texas questions whether more manga

The controversy of book banning never ends. In the past year, the act has garnered nationwide attention as schools and public libraries have been petitioned to curtail certain books from their catalogs. Regardless of their success, these attempts have made book banning a national conversation. Now thanks to a new report, manga fans in Texas are reaching out to learn whether a school district tried to cover up new book bans involving Black Butler and more.

The report comes courtesy of KHOU, a news station based in Houston, Texas. The channel's team has been researching book bans as Texas has seen several controversial ones pass. During this time, KHOU discovered a discrepancy with the Klein Independent School District involving manga.

According to KHOU, the school district in question has been removing books from its libraries without any trail. The district says it has only taken away one book in the past two years, but of the 3,000 books removed from the district since 2020, KHOU said it learned something disturbing. A portion of those books removed weren't done due to damage concerns, and they happened to disappear in tandem with parent complaints or bans in other districts.

And which manga series went missing? It seems volumes of Assassination Classroom disappeared along with Black Butler and Soul Eater. Their removal from the Klein Independent School District wasn't explained in any paperwork. When asked for comment by KHOU, the school district only had the following to share:

"We regularly review our resources for alignment with state law, and educational standards, and to ensure all instructional materials are age-appropriate and do not contain sexually explicit material. We will not compromise on our commitment to providing our students high-quality, developmentally appropriate instruction."

In Texas, all three of these manga series have been banned in one district or another. Assassination Classroom has faced a wave of bans across the United States as politicians have said its violent school-centric story is a bad influence. Not long ago, the manga found itself banned in Florida despite librarians vying for the goofy manga.

As book bans continue to strike up debate, manga is finding itself entrenched in the conversation. After all, the United States graphic novel industry is being led by manga. Over 60% of annual sales are dedicated to manga, so readers across the country are finding series to obsess over. But in some places, manga series like Black Butler are becoming increasingly hard to access thanks to bans.

What do you think about this latest book ban debacle? Let us know what you think in the comments below as well as on Twitter and Instagram. You can also hit me up @MeganPetersCB to share your take!