Anime News Network reports that publication of the adult manga magazine Comic Mega Store has been indefinitely suspended due to a police investigation for obscenity. The magazine was clearly marked 18+, but apparently still ran afoul of Article 175 of the Japanese Penal Code, which forbids the distribution, sale, or public display of “an obscene document, drawing or other object.” Also under investigation is Nyan 2 Club, a magazine of reader-submitted erotic photos.
Japanese authorities have been cracking down on adult manga over the past decade, following the 2004 obscenity convictions of the editor, publisher, and creator of the hentai manga Misshitsu. Publisher Monotori Kishi actually received a suspended prison sentence (replaced with a 1.5 million yen fine on appeal), while creator Suwa Yuuji pled guilty to avoid prison time and was fined 500,000 yen. Since Article 175 does not define what qualifies as “obscene,” many Japanese bookstores subsequently abolished their adults-only sections to avoid any possibility of legal trouble. To make matters worse, a 2011 Tokyo ordinance caused many manga that had not previously been adults-only to be reclassified as such, so the bookstores that had removed those sections were forced to stop carrying the titles altogether.
Details on the Comic Mega Store case are scarce, but we will keep you apprised of any new developments that come our way. As of Wednesday evening, the magazine’s website has a statement informing readers of the hiatus and thanking them for their support over the years. Thanks to CBLDF member Jeffrey Rolek for bringing this to our attention!
Please help support CBLDF’s important First Amendment work by making a donation or becoming a member of the CBLDF!
Maren Williams is a reference librarian who enjoys free speech and rescue dogs.