Variety published an article that is sure to turn some heads in the anime/comics community.

Apparently, some pretty prominent Japanese comics publishing companies are pulling out of the upcoming Tokyo International Anime Fair.

The reason? According to the article, The publishers, which call themselves “Comic Ten Companies Association,” oppose a bill submitted to the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly on Nov. 29 that would tighten restrictions on so-called “excessive sexual depictions” in toons and comics sold to youths under the age of 18. Strongly supported by Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, the bill, opponents claim, threatens freedom of expression.

Some of the companies involved in the boycott include Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan and Kadokawa.

Read more about this big story over at Bleeding Cool.

Restrictions on “excessive sexual depictions” in comics and anime products? That is sure to ruffle some feathers in the anime/manga communities, for sure. If these major companies are backing out of a very prominent and successful Japanese convention, it must be a big deal.

What are the boundaries of “excessive sexual depictions”? I’m sure that’s behind most of the boycott, as that sounds like a pretty relative way to enact a ban and restrictions on something.

I’m sure there will be more developments regarding this story in the future, so stay tuned.

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