What are your thoughts on fansubbing and scanlations?

anime, manga

So it was kind of hinted at in my last post, What is Goblin Cave? But I am currently doing some research into the history of fansubbing and scanlation in the anime and manga community, more specifically the yaoi and boys love side of things and I decided to ask people for their opinion over on Twitter and so far have been getting some interesting feedback.

So I want to know anime and manga blogosphere what are your thoughts on this subject?

A Yaoi Filled Holiday Here on the Playground!

blog update, yaoi

Hot sweaty bodies, sunbathed beaches and Christmas songs in retail stores, it’s that time of year again the Christmas season is upon us all and here is hoping it will bring some much needed end of year joy to all of u. Being an Australian the Christmas season for me also marks the beginning of summer which is pretty awesome so I thought why not share some that heat this holiday season?

Reviews and other posts have been sporadic throughout this year and I won’t go into detail as to why but I want to give a special thank you to all you readers and supporters out there so starting December 13 all the way to Christmas day itself I will be posting every day with yaoi content featuring some of my favorite yaoi I have enjoyed throughout this year. From Webtoons, manga, and anime to ships and fanfiction there is going to be a little bit of everything from the wonderful world of yaoi and boys love!

Now let’s start this season off right with my favourite part of Christmas, Yaoi Christmas Carols!

Shimoneta When Censorship Becomes Dictatorship

yaoi

Now I want to preface this post with the following. I am not anti censorship. There are many cruel and disgusting things in this world that no one should have to see without a choice and there is certainly a lot out there that should never be exposed to children. That kind of censorship I support, but there is a thin line between censorship and dictating what someone can watch simply because you do not like something. In the 19th centaury it was considered scandalous for a woman to show their ankles, in the 1940’s there was no way you were going to see a gay couple in the latest romance movie. Censorship is something that changes with the times much like the moral standings within our societies and we should be moving forward not backwards which is why I find the latest act of censorship by the Australian Government very concerning and it is what inspired me to finally write about one of my all time favourite non boys love anime, Shimoneta.

I love yaoi, that much should be obvious looking at this blog. I am a proud pervert who is not ashamed of what I love. I am the kind of adult who will laugh at immature jokes and find innuendo in almost every conversation. My bedroom is my inner sanctum of perversion with yaoi and anime posters on my walls and a sign on the bedroom door that says No Minors Allowed for good reason. I am that friend you refuse to put on loud speaker when I call you and the friend that when someone innocent says something that out of context you could be taken dirty you will call out my name and give me a stern look for giggling. That is not to say I can not control myself and be a respectful adult though. Even if that means sometimes I have to step back from a situation and repeat the mantra in my head ‘I am a responsible adult’ over and over again, because I know on a certain level I do lack a little mental maturity for my age.

I am however, not some out of control pervert who is a danger to society.

I act appropriately when out in public, I’m not going to molest your children, I’m not going to make lewd comments in public or at work and make those around me uncomfortable. I do not fetishize anyone within the LGBTQ+ community for my own pleasure. I know the difference between fantasy and reality and I also know that fiction gives us the chance to explore themes we normal would not because we are either unable to or they are to taboo. I also believe that fiction can open up dialogue on subjects that can otherwise be difficult to talk about, but if these works of fiction are taken away from us because those in charge deem them inappropriate for the masses then what kind of society would we end up with? Maybe something like the society shown in the 2015 anime Shimoneta A Boring World Where Concept of Dirty Jokes Does Not Exist.

Released in 2015 by studio J.C Staff and based on the light novel series by Hirotaka Akagi, Shimoneta – A Boring World Where The Concept of Dirty Jokes Don’t Exist is an anime that tells the story of a dystopian futuristic Japanese society which is governed and controlled by a moral code of conduct that has banned all lewd materials for everyone in said society. These laws are enforced by monitoring devices known as Peace Makers that all citizens have to wear, so in sense Japan has become a country run by big brother telling you what you can and can not do not only in public but in the privacy of your own home. Enter our main character of this story Tanukichi Okuma a young man ostracized in this society because his father was arrested for being the ‘Dirty Joke Terrorist’ and as such has been labeled a trouble maker his entire life because of it.

An important fact I want to point out about his relationship between Okuma and his father is that before he was taught by society that his father was a bad man, he loved his father very much and had happy memories joking around with his dad, but because of the kind of society this world is in a child has been taught to hate a man that never did anything wrong by him simply because ‘society’ dubbed him a bad influence. This might sound a bit extreme so I’m going to put this same scenario in a different context.

A family member who has always been kind and genuine to others and has not criminal record comes out as gay to their parents. Nothing about this person has changed between them telling their parents that they have an attraction to those of the same gender, but now they are seen as an immoral menace within the household for bringing the ‘gay’ in and are not only kicked out of the house but any relatives that are close to the parents and siblings of said child are now told what a horrible immoral nasty person that child is.

This is the kind of outcome that comes from extreme views, of having to have an us vs them fight within society. The kind of society where one set of people choose the rules that everyone must obey and if something is not to those in charge’s liking well they are just going to ban that and this is a very simple explanation on how a dictatorship can begin.

The world of Shimoneta sounds nice on paper to those who do not enjoy the lewding things in life. Not everyone likes the same stuff whether that be a sexual apatite, a dirty joke now and again or flavor of ice cream. Yes two of these things are not suppose to be exposed to children, but so is ice cream if that child is say lactose intolerant.

The problems with this society are also clearly shown within the first episode of the series. A woman accuses a student who does not know any better of touching her on the butt on the train, only for it to later be revealed she was faking it to make a quick buck off suing said teen and their family. Teenagers going through puberty are told nothing about their changing bodies and so know next to nothing about themselves which opens them up to some unintentionally inappropriate situations and theories on how human anatomy works and all this from a show that is advertised as a lewd ecchi comedy that honestly gave me a lot to think about when it came to censorship.

All is not lost in this society however, their are those who want to bring the joy of dirty jokes back to society but not just for laughs. Terrorist Blue Snow believes that teens need to know about how their bodies work and have a right to know and that everyone has the right to explore their own sexuality, but even her fight becomes twisted when a rival terrorist group against her own steps forward wanting to same end for a different and more depraved reason. No matter the cause you are fighting for there is always a limit to how far you should be willing to go and before you begin that fight you need to know your line and stick to it till the end. That is why when it comes to censorship in Australia I will fight to keep my anime, but I also know that their are certain titles that should never get an official release.

Yaoi Playground is not going Anywhere

blog update

Last month I wrote a post about the latest update to censorship laws here in Australia and how they are affecting the anime community and especially those who enjoy the adult side of the fandom. I jut want to give a big thankyou to everyone who supported my post Yaoi Could Soon Be Banned In Australia and I want to answer a question that was made to me a few days a go.

If everything is banned in your country will Yaoi Playground come to an end?

If it becomes illegal will I stop? No, I will be standing by my views on what I love and will still review yaoi and anime. As it stands at the moment it is looking it will only be illegal to own physical copies of certain works, it does not pertain to digital copies which will just get more support from me for the foreseeable future.

Liking yaoi, hentai and anime does not make a person a danger to others, I am living proof of that. This censorship saga here in Australia is a dangerous moral panic that will not end with anime I can guarantee that one. Once they start down the road of censorship like this, who knows what will be next and it is for this reason why I have decided what my next review here on Yaoi Playground will be, as for this situation it feels oh so appropriate for social commentary right now. Plus it’s one of my all time favourite anime!

Yaoi Could Soon Be Banned In Australia

yaoi

No that title is not click bait, but damn do I wish it was. This post relates all the way back to a post I made in February, you know the one about Senator Stirling Griff? Well the saga of the Australian Government’s war on anime and manga has continued on unnoticed by many, even I must admit I was caught of guard by the latest update on the whole mess.

See that red logo right there? That is the logo for Madman Entertainment an Australian Licensing Company that released Eromanga Sensei on DVD and Blu-ray

On October 14th, 2020 popular anime merch and other Japanese products website J-list made an announcement to their Australian customers.

DHL Japan called us last week, informing us that Australian customs have started rejecting packages containing any adult product. They then advised us to stop sending adult products to the country. Following that, current Australian orders with adult items in them were returned to us this week. The full post can be read here.

This means that as of right now, Australian’s can no longer order 18+ items from J-list whether they depict loli or adult characters. Now banning the stuff based on under age characters I can understand to a certain point. Though I do not personally agree with the law as previously stated countless times on this blog, if the drawn character is clearly under age then it is child porn, which is bad. Even though logically a drawing is not a victim. With that logic you could argue that every lewd image ever drawn is bad because the ‘character’ did not give consent.

Let’s say if right now I wanted to buy the Dramatical Murder figure in the image below, I am using this as an example because this is a figure that has been on my Wishlist for years now. Right now I’m not even sure if I bought it if I could legally bring it into the country.

It is only a matter of time at this point as to whether or not they will start banning various yaoi titles for release in Australia. The No Game No Life light novels have already banned and at this point I am not even sure for how long I will be able to actually legally buy manga volumes of the genre I love so much, I mean let’s face it the content is something like say Yarichin Bitch Club is a lot more lewd than No Game No Life. That being said, the ban of the light novel is not going to make me stop loving the series.

I’m a yaoi fan who loves yaoi, Oriemo, Eromanga Sensei and No Game No Life. I will always love what I love because I am not hurting anyone with my hobbies. I am not corrupting the youth of the nation and I a consenting adult who works hard every day and enjoys relaxing with some anime and manga and I have to ask what is so fucking wrong about that?

Why I Dropped The Titan’s Bride Anime

yaoi

My expectations for this anime adaptation were low to begin with, but that should come as no surprise from my reaction to the series trailer. With each episodes short run time much of the plot is either removed or simply glossed over and yet both episode one and two feel like they just drag on.

The interesting world building of the source material is near non existent and many of the yaoi aspects of the story are removed in the censored version, but the uncensored version of the episodes are not much better with just a little extra moaning added to the scenes.

This is a bad anime adaptation and comes across as a quick cash grab on the popularity of The Titan’s Bride story and you are better off sticking to the source material on this utter mess of an anime.

The Titan’s Bride Anime Trailer

anime, yaoi

Well this is an interesting development that has me both curious and a little worried. To those who do not know The Titan’s Bride is a popular yaoi isekai web manga posted on Coolmic which is a very similar site to Lezhin comics only with Japanese created content instead of Korean and for the last few months The Titan’s Bride has gained quite the cult following behind it.

So why am I worried by this amazingly animated trailer for a popular yaoi manga? Well it has mostly to do with the fact that at the end of the trailer they clearly state this is going to be a T.V anime series. Now I have nothing against boys love stories getting television anime series, my worry for this comes with the fact that The Titan’s Bride is a pretty hardcore yaoi title. There is a lot of yaoi fun times with at times dubious consent behind them and well if this is going to be aired on Japanese television even at in a late night block, well this is going to be anime that will be very heavily censored. I just hope that if this is the case that with the DVD / Blu Ray release of this anime we will get an uncensored version of the show.

The Case Files of Jeweler Richard – Anime Review

anime, Anime Review

Every so often an anime comes out that many in the community upon its airing look over because it just does not grab a large audience only for people to, later on, sit down and watch the series and realize what a gem of a series they have stumbled upon. The Case Files of Jeweler Richard is an anime from the 2020 winter season that a lot of anime fans have slept on and to them, I say you are missing out on a true hidden gem of the season.

Maybe it was the slow start that put people off or the fact that this is not your typical mystery anime. You will not find the kind of high stakes battles you see in other mystery series or supernatural elements. Some might have been turned off from the series because on first appearance one might think this is a boys love anime, and though many of the elements found within a boys love series can be found within the series it lacks one of the most important aspects that would make it one. Though a special kind of love does grow between the two main characters throughout the series it is a love born of deep friendship between the two and never falls completely into the realm of romantic love.

So what is the anime about exactly? It tells the story of Seigi Nakata a naive but very kind which at times can be to his own detriment and a chance encounter with a beautiful foreigner by the name of Richard who on that faithful night is being attacked by a group of drunks. Seeing himself as someone with a strong sense of justice, Seigi can not just walk by and helps the beautiful stranger. This begins a journey of friendship between both of them that revolves around Richard’s job as a jeweler at his shop Jewelry Estranger and Seigi gaining part-time employment working for Richard as an assistant. Through his job, Seigi learns about the fascinating and dangerous world of gemstones both rare and common and the people who own them. He also learns the lesson of cruelty that can come from kindness and this lesson helps Seigi grow as a person and in learning this lesson he also learns more about the mysterious Richard and why the man hates his own beauty.

This anime will cause a roller coaster of emotions, whether it is from one of the individual mysteries of an episode hitting close to your heart or the overarching mystery of the series that is Richard himself. It is a slow and steady ride that will surprise you in many of the subject matters in dives into including societal prejudices of many different kinds and a powerful lesson in not only finding one’s place in the world but then learning to fight for that place you want to keep.

Interspecies Reviewers – More Than Just Ecchi

anime

Interspecies Reviewers is a fantasy anime about adventurers visiting brothels with different species of humanoid creatures and reviewing their time at the establishment and the girls they spend time with. What more can be said about Interspecies Reviewers that has not already been said? This series has after all been one of the most discussed anime this year within anime communities. From Funimation pulling its simaldub because by episode three they realize ‘oh dear, this series goes against our guidelines for content’ to the series not only being pulled from every legal streaming site (for once I am happy I have access to Animelab here in Australia cause we got to keep it!) and the show being pulled from broadcast in Japan. There is one subject about the show I have not seen discussed which I would like to write about here in this blog post. Interspecies Reviewers is the first sex positive ecchi anime I have ever seen and that is something really important worth talking about.

But what do I mean about sex positive ecchi? By that I mean this is the first anime I have seen that has a completely positive attitude towards a healthy sex life while exploring many aspects of sexual discussion and education and the best part all the characters in this anime are consenting adults! This is a really important factor that has not been brought up in any of the discussions for this show. Now being a yaoi fan I know my genre of choice is not perfect in this aspect and a lot of ecchi series are even worse than the average yaoi anime. I myself don’t find any hilarity in the groping and sexual harassment of underage characters being played up as comedy. It’s one aspect that turns me off a lot of popular ecchi and harem anime.

The trope of the young anime girl getting ‘accidentally’ groped or falling in such a way that she ‘accidentally’ exposes herself is a running joke within ecchi I really dislike. Yes, there is a character in this series that the characters does get harassed by one of the main cast and there are also moments when they make lewd comments towards her and disrespect her, but these moments are balanced out with said female character stepping in and telling the other characters that it is not OK to treat her like some sex object and she punishes them for doing so.

Don’t worry he won’t get away with inappropriate comments towards this bar maid.

What I love most about this series though is the characters frank and open discussions about all things sex. From sexuality and gender (one of the main characters is even intersex!) to fetishes and the pleasure of your partner during the act. Some of my favourite moments from the show actually come after the ending credits of each episode where they show some of the working girls hanging around after work just chilling with each other and swapping stories. I really wish we had more ecchi series like this one in the future, hell I would absolutely love to see a yaoi anime or manga with such a positive sex message behind it.

If you have given this series a miss because of all the controversy around it or because you think it will just be like every other ecchi anime out there trying to push the limits of what can be shown in anime and have an open mind you owe it to yourself to check this series out if you can.

Also Eliza is best girl!

A Response to Senator Stirling Griff and his Argument Against Anime

anime

It’s a well known story around the anime community at this point, but being an Australian and an anime fan I would not only like to comment on this recent story but also give a response to Stirling Griff, even though I doubt he would read this.

On Wednesday the 26th of February South Australian Senator Stirling Griff put forward a motion in parliament to banned anime in Australia that shows ‘child exploitation material’, with mention of two animes in his argument. These two anime we Goblin Slayer and Eromanga Sensei. Also can I just say he also mentioned of all series Sword Art Online is his argument and I would be lying if I said upon hearing this I did not chuckle to myself and roll my eyes.

Someone please save the children…. from bad anime

One of the biggest arguments Senator Stirling Griff used in his argument was that the depiction of ‘child abuse’ in these anime are used by pedophiles to groom potential victims. Anything can be used as a grooming material for a pedophile, from anything you can search on Pornhub to normalize the idea of sex to the intended child to images of children in clothing catalogs and any form of artwork depicting artistic nudity even the pieces you could find in any museum around Australia. So if we were to go by the senators logic these pieces of media need to be banned as well.

He mentions his disgust of incest themes in Eromanga Sensei, but I have to wonder, did he have the same level of disgust when these same themes were explored in Game of Thrones? Or when they came up and were explored in certain episodes of say Law and Order SVU? Law and Order has several episodes that discuss child exploitation, abuse, child prostitution and rape, so does this make this show a bad influence on the public? We better ban these shows too then.

Now I know how that sounds, the anime fan is petty that their media of choice is in trouble so we better ban other stuff to make us feel better, well I will say right now that is not what I am saying. What I am saying is that once we start banning one source of media because it has material you don’t like well it’s a slippery slope that could see the following banned in the future as well and I will openly state I am a not a fan of everything listed below, but that does not mean I do not wish it to be banned.

  • Law and Order SVU – For depictions of child abuse and child exploitation in various episodes even though it is clearly stated in every case on this show that the acts that have happened are illegal
  • Game of Thrones – I know there is incest in this one, I don’t know about other stuff because I have barely watched this show because I am not a fan, but just because I do not like it does not mean I don’t think other people should not be allowed to watch it
  • Rick and Morty – There is an ep where the child/teenager character Morty is clearly having sex so this must be child exploitation material
  • South Park – It’s a show about characters who are clearly children being exposed to on occasions sexual situations
  • The X-Files – Season 4 Episode 2 titled Home has a plot that revolves around an incestuous family
  • A Clockwork Orange – Depicts teenagers raping a victim and laughing about it
  • Lolita – It’s about a pedophile justifying his love of young girls
  • Family Guy – A comedic relief character named Herbert the pervert, the running joke with him is that he is a pedophile who goes after young boys
  • American Horror Story – storylines depicting Incest

If I felt like being a smart ass in this argument I could also mention The Holy Bible, but I won’t because then this post will turn in an argument about religion I really don’t want to get into but from the above list you can see my point I hope.

I also have to ask the following. In the last decade there have been countless Royal Commissions into historical child abuse and rape cases in government and church run institutions that proved that children were being abused. Did any of these bring up evidence of anime and manga being used to groom children? It was brought up several times that this media is used to groom but not once were examples shown of this happening. I’m not going to sit here and write that it does not happen because I have not seen evidence either way, but because of this I will also not state either as fact.

You are going to go after fictional depictions of abuse when there are still real children, real victims of abuse out there screaming for help? Wanting an investigation into their cases, but instead of giving time to these victims our government is instead spending money and time on the corrupting nature of anime. I’m not sorry in saying this Mr Senator but I think your priorities when it comes to child protection are in the wrong place entirely.

I have to wonder with all the ‘disturbing anime and manga’ brought up in the senators argument, I wonder how he would react to a masterpiece like Berserk?