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NEWS: Books Kinokuniya Sydney: 7 Manga Were Removed Due to Ongoing Classification by Australian Boar




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Greboruri



Joined: 09 Jul 2003
Posts: 344
Location: Canberra, ACT, Australia
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:00 am Reply with quote
This is absolute bollocks and not how the classification system works in Australia. From the Classification Board website;

Quote:
Publications
Some publications, called ‘submittable publications’ also need to be classified.

The definition of a submittable publication includes publications containing depictions or descriptions that are:

-likely to cause the publication to be Refused Classification (RC)
-likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult
-unsuitable for a minor to see or read


Commercial manga adaptations imported from the US are for the most part not submittable publications. Very few books outside pornographic magazines and books have actually been classified. Bret Easton Ellis' "American Psycho" from 1991 which got an R18+ Category 1 and "The Peaceful Pill Handbook" in 2006 was Refused Classification, are the only two of any note. Outside of these two can't think of a single book that was needed to be rated. Books Kinokuniya Sydney don't really need to have these books classified and are only doing so due to the political pressure being applied. They wouldn't be doing it otherwise.

Edit: Apparently some volumes from Alan Moore's "From Hell" series were confiscated by Customs but this was overturned by the Classification Board in 2000.
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Netero



Joined: 10 Jun 2018
Posts: 135
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 2:50 am Reply with quote
Least surprise - Parallel Paradise, it's straight-up porn. How did they ever think they could get away with selling this in such a repressive environment?

Biggest surprise - Inside Mari, which is pschological horror rather than erotic per se. Maybe it was the menstruation scene that did it.

But really the root of the problem is the idea that people should be protected from being offended. This is a very low bar and a particularly dangerous one because it's so subjective. The concept of the "reasonable adult" is easily exploitable because any dissenting voice can be immediately quashed by simply saying they are not being reasonable.
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Dirtyshadow



Joined: 10 Feb 2020
Posts: 49
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 3:55 am Reply with quote
… and this will have zero effect on anyone who actually wants to read/watch those series because INTERNET! There are a dozen online bookstores that will still sell it, and if they won't, there is piracy.

Its an expensive, cheap win for the party
Quote:
The Australian political party Centre Alliance applied for these novel volumes' classification.

Thats a political party and a government's agencies wasting a lot of their own money and tax payer money. to have a few books banned to prove a futile point.

Besides being a few sound bites for politicians, what did this actually achieve? I wish that party put more effort into something tangible and of wider community benefit, we are in the worse health and economic crisis in the last 50 years, mental health, child protection and domestic violence are serious concerns in this crisis... and they are worried about a few graphic images and words in a japanese book 99.99% of the Australian population won't read let alone even knows it exists. Politicians are idiots.

I seen worse stuff in western prime time television... seriously Home and Away had more adult themes and foster/step sibiling relationships Razz
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Sabruness



Joined: 23 Oct 2019
Posts: 86
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:34 am Reply with quote
Dirtyshadow wrote:

Its an expensive, cheap win for the party
Quote:
The Australian political party Centre Alliance applied for these novel volumes' classification.

Thats a political party and a government's agencies wasting a lot of their own money and tax payer money. to have a few books banned to prove a futile point.


The classification board is mostly blameless in this as, as far as i'm aware, if someone submits a work for classification, even if it's not necessary or required, then they have to review it.
Heap all the blame on Centre Alliance who are basically a non-entity in politics thus are prone to stunts like this for attention. I do agree that it's a waste of time and money for a publicity stunt.
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CrypticPurpose



Joined: 15 Jan 2020
Posts: 226
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 9:48 am Reply with quote
Sabruness wrote:
Dirtyshadow wrote:

Its an expensive, cheap win for the party
Quote:
The Australian political party Centre Alliance applied for these novel volumes' classification.

Thats a political party and a government's agencies wasting a lot of their own money and tax payer money. to have a few books banned to prove a futile point.


The classification board is mostly blameless in this as, as far as i'm aware, if someone submits a work for classification, even if it's not necessary or required, then they have to review it.
Heap all the blame on Centre Alliance who are basically a non-entity in politics thus are prone to stunts like this for attention. I do agree that it's a waste of time and money for a publicity stunt.


That seems like a ridiculously dangerous system to have. And I'd say the board shares the blame, they made the actual decision after all. It takes two to tango.
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Brent Allison
Subscriber



Joined: 01 Jan 2011
Posts: 2432
Location: Athens-Clarke County, GA, USA
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 10:57 am Reply with quote
Make this Centre Party and this ratings board the villains in the next novel installment. I'd buy it.
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 4164
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 11:54 am Reply with quote
The fact that Australia has a government entity solely charged with determining what can or can't be sold in that country is so anathema to freedom of expression that it utterly boggles my mind. And works can be submitted to it by some random party out of pure spite, not just by the company trying to sell it? That is blatant authoritarianism.
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harminia



Joined: 24 Aug 2015
Posts: 1747
Location: australia
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:00 pm Reply with quote
high chance the manga gets put back on the shelves once classification is done, because I can't imagine much of this will be refused classification (parallel paradise might). There may be a volume here and there that may be RC but I can't imagine every single volume in a series will be.
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
Posts: 1456
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 5:02 pm Reply with quote
Well, the geniuses at the Centre Alliance submitted the light novels of No Game No Life instead of the manga, so Kinokuniya can still sell the manga.
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Lynx Raven Raide



Joined: 01 Nov 2017
Posts: 412
Location: Central Coast, AU
PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2020 8:29 pm Reply with quote
I am so f****** embarrassed by my country right now. This reeks of political BS, but when the anime adaptations have M or MA15+ (or in the case of SAO PG since it was shown on ABC 3/ME which doesn't go for higher rated content) and stuff like the first two Overfiend movies...

That being said, give it time and maybe a change of government and they will be quietly reinstated.

Top Gun wrote:
The fact that Australia has a government entity solely charged with determining what can or can't be sold in that country is so anathema to freedom of expression that it utterly boggles my mind. And works can be submitted to it by some random party out of pure spite, not just by the company trying to sell it? That is blatant authoritarianism.

Seriously? I'm assuming you are from the States, and if it wasnt for MPAA, ESRB and the defunct CCA you guys would actually have the same. And given what those have rated things compared to the ACB, there would be a lot more things restricted. Example: Deadpool got an R rating in the states, ACB gave it MA15+ (one step below). Also, one thing that gets missed out here is that they can be submitted again, even unaltered, to be reviewed again. There have been cases where a few years later, something that has been refused classification can have that status overturned.

I'm also going to add a little more context here: The senator and MLC in question are from the state who's Attorney General at the time was the hold out on approving the R games rating*. Government in the state changed and it got through. It's a lot more fluid than you think

*changes to the rating system must be approved by not just the federal but state Attorneys General as well
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Top Gun



Joined: 28 Sep 2007
Posts: 4164
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 2:40 am Reply with quote
Lynx Raven Raide wrote:

Seriously? I'm assuming you are from the States, and if it wasnt for MPAA, ESRB and the defunct CCA you guys would actually have the same. And given what those have rated things compared to the ACB, there would be a lot more things restricted. Example: Deadpool got an R rating in the states, ACB gave it MA15+ (one step below). Also, one thing that gets missed out here is that they can be submitted again, even unaltered, to be reviewed again. There have been cases where a few years later, something that has been refused classification can have that status overturned.

I'm well aware that ratings systems in the US for films, games, and music are largely the result of outside political pressure on industry groups to police themselves, but the fact remains that they are self-policing, without any legal mandates tied to the ratings themselves (outside of, say, prohibiting the sale of mature-rated content to minors). The massive glaring difference between the US and Australia is that, in the former, you can sell literally whatever you want* even if it hasn't been given a rating. While films intended for a widespread theatrical release receive an MPAA rating, there's obviously an entire universe of independent projects that are never submitted for a rating, and even with big studio releases, I can walk into any store in the country that sells movies and see "unrated director's cut" versions of films available for purchase. Likewise, the ESRB's ratings system only really applies to physical releases and titles sold directly on console storefronts; in contrast, I can fire up Steam and find tens of thousands of titles that have never received a classification. And it's perfectly legal to do so, because nothing prevents unclassified content from being sold. So yeah, I'll gladly take our system a thousand times over yours.

*Well, besides the utter legal cluster**** that is the concept of "obscenity," but that's a whole other topic...
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Lynx Raven Raide



Joined: 01 Nov 2017
Posts: 412
Location: Central Coast, AU
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 9:20 pm Reply with quote
Top Gun wrote:
Lynx Raven Raide wrote:

Seriously? I'm assuming you are from the States, and if it wasnt for MPAA, ESRB and the defunct CCA you guys would actually have the same. And given what those have rated things compared to the ACB, there would be a lot more things restricted. Example: Deadpool got an R rating in the states, ACB gave it MA15+ (one step below). Also, one thing that gets missed out here is that they can be submitted again, even unaltered, to be reviewed again. There have been cases where a few years later, something that has been refused classification can have that status overturned.

I'm well aware that ratings systems in the US for films, games, and music are largely the result of outside political pressure on industry groups to police themselves, but the fact remains that they are self-policing, without any legal mandates tied to the ratings themselves (outside of, say, prohibiting the sale of mature-rated content to minors). The massive glaring difference between the US and Australia is that, in the former, you can sell literally whatever you want* even if it hasn't been given a rating. While films intended for a widespread theatrical release receive an MPAA rating, there's obviously an entire universe of independent projects that are never submitted for a rating, and even with big studio releases, I can walk into any store in the country that sells movies and see "unrated director's cut" versions of films available for purchase. Likewise, the ESRB's ratings system only really applies to physical releases and titles sold directly on console storefronts; in contrast, I can fire up Steam and find tens of thousands of titles that have never received a classification. And it's perfectly legal to do so, because nothing prevents unclassified content from being sold. So yeah, I'll gladly take our system a thousand times over yours.

*Well, besides the utter legal cluster**** that is the concept of "obscenity," but that's a whole other topic...

I wasn't defending our system, it can be flawed in a lot of situations, just pointing out how you could have been in the same boat. That being said, we aren't the only country to do so. Germany, Finland and New Zealand among others have similar systems in place too.
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Megiddo



Joined: 24 Aug 2005
Posts: 8317
Location: IL
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:28 pm Reply with quote
The Aussie classification system is.... interesting to say the least.

Take Nichijou, a cute comedy with at worst some exaggerated/fantastical violence scenes, the ongoing bit with the yaoi stuff Mio draws, and maybe some brief discussion between the young girl characters about their period. It gets a "M" rating in Australia. It got a "TV-14" in the USA and a "G" in Canada (outside Quebec).

Take Kaiba, a cute looking cartoony show about a ruthless wealthy/elite class of society that extends their lives by swapping bodies/hijacking bodies of the poor and helpless. It also has fantastical violence with guns, but also throw in heavy drug use, heavy sexual content, very disturbing characters and imagery. It gets a a "PG" rating in Australia. It got a "TV-MA" in the USA.

These people obviously didn't watch Kaiba. They likely didn't watch Nichijou other than the opening theme if that. If the classification board doesn't even bother to run through the content that they are classifying then how can they expect any sort of approval for their classifications? It's absurd.
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CatSword



Joined: 01 Jul 2014
Posts: 1456
PostPosted: Thu Aug 13, 2020 10:40 pm Reply with quote
Megiddo wrote:
These people obviously didn't watch Kaiba. They likely didn't watch Nichijou other than the opening theme if that. If the classification board doesn't even bother to run through the content that they are classifying then how can they expect any sort of approval for their classifications? It's absurd.


They likely didn't watch FLCL either since it's rated G. (Madman chose to display a higher rating on their package; if you check their database it's officially rated G.)

Meanwhile younger-oriented series like My Hero Academia end up as MA15+.
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