Dōjinshi Retailer Melonbooks Pulls SSSS.Gridman Titles

posted on by Karen Ressler
Anime's website posted guidelines for derivative works in November

Melonbooks, a retailer for dōjinshi (self-published works), posted a message on Tuesday to say that it will no longer stock works related to the SSSS.GRIDMAN anime as per the wishes of the copyright holders. The store will remove SSSS.GRIDMAN works that it is already carrying.

Dōjin manga are often fan fiction for other works of fiction. It is technically a copyright violation to sell such works, but publishers very rarely take legal action to enforce their copyrights. As such, the sale of dōjinshi, including derivative works, is a popular industry in Japan.

The official website for SSSS.GRIDMAN announced a list of guidelines for derivative works on November 1, apparently in response to questions about the staff's policy. A few days earlier, artist Pianiishimo posted on Twitter that they had set their Gridman comic on Fantia and Fanbox to private after receiving a warning from the copyright holders.

The posted guidelines prohibit direct copying or tracing of any images, video, music, or writing from the anime. They also prohibit anything that goes against public policy doctrine or infringes on the rights of others. Regarding the sale of these works, the guidelines are vague, saying only that there are cases where the staff will intervene with a ban on sales if the sellers are "exceeding the bounds of dōjin activity."

The staff said it would not be able to answer questions about any particular derivative work.

The 12-episode SSSS.Gridman anime premiered on October 6. Crunchyroll and Funimation streamed the anime as it aired, and Funimation is also streaming an English dub for the anime.

Akira Amemiya (Inferno Cop, Ninja Slayer, earlier 2015 "Denkō Chōjin Gridman boy invent great hero" short) directed the collaboration between the anime Studio Trigger and Tsuburaya Productions — the creator of the Ultraman franchise and the original 1993-1994 live-action tokusatsu (special-effects) series Denkō Chōjin Gridman. Keiichi Hasegawa (Rage of Bahamut Genesis, 009-1: The End of the Beginning, Zoids) wrote the scripts.

Sources: Melonbooks, SSSS.GRIDMAN anime's website via Hachima Kikō

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