Recently, the publisher Square Enix announced the launch of the manga service Sleeve Up! Globalwith simultaneous releases of manga in English, being a direct competition towards the service SLEEVE Plus of Shueisha, or at least following the same idea. The idea is pretty good, even though it’s only limited to the English language at the moment, but the execution seems to have been lousy. A wide variety of titles are available within the platform, such as Sono Bisque Doll wa Koi wo Suru (My Dress Up Darling), Yomi no Tsugai (Daemons of the Shadow Realm) by Hiromu Arakawa, Vanitas no Carte (The Case Study of Vanitas), among many others. But when fans jumped in to test the reading medium, they were met with a surprise that ruined everything: practically everything erotic is censored!
But this is not limited to censoring, say, exposed crotches or panties, but the publisher even censors necklines and even knees, very similar to what China or Indonesia do in anime broadcasts. Let’s review some examples of what has been censored within some of the manga, which is worth noting that some are completely absurd:
By the way, if you thought that “no one has the right to criticize if the product is free”, let us tell you the only free are the first four chapters of each work. To get access to the rest you will have to pay microtransactions, so you are paying to receive censored content. Of course, Square Enix responded to the criticism as expected, shifting the blame to others:
In consideration of the policies of each mobile platform (Androi, iOS), some modifications were unavoidable to release the app to everyone outside of Japan (this is not limited to only English-speaking countries). We are still in the early exploratory phases and will strive to improve as we listen to your feedback. In the meantime, some content is available uncensored through other official means, so please continue to support the artists. Thank you for your patience.
Certainly Square Enix excused itself by saying that the problem is that the digital stores of the different smartphone operating systems require a certain level of censorship, but then why is the version for browsers also censored? Therefore, this was pointed out as a total lie by the publisher, and that they always had the intention of offering the censored content. Of course, comments from fans were not lacking: «Of course, doing something “global” implies that the terms of Saudi Arabia are followed». «Here is an easy trick. If you have to censor it. Don’t bother doing it. Unless you have the option to offer an uncensored version, you’re just giving people another reason to pirate the manga.” “I don’t understand. The app is labeled PEGI-16 and has the proper warning as well. Anyway, thanks for bringing this up, but it looks like I’ll still be buying the physical version of your books unless I can’t find a copy no matter what.” “Sure, censoring pants was inevitable.” “Censorship on releases open digital platforms (such as an app) is almost a “must” due to platform policies, as well as to avoid sensitive users. Do you want an uncensored version? Buy it in physical or digital format (for a fee). And avoid pirate sites.” “This is a very weak answer and it seems that he has no intention of changing the censorship. This also doesn’t address issues like charging for microtransactions and splitting chapters. Quite simply, this app is a disappointment. They should look to the Shonen Jump app for inspiration.” Font: Official Twitter Account