It was less than a week ago. Square Enix launched their own manga distribution website and app, “Manga Up!” with classics like Fullmetal AlchemistThese are some of the most popular hits. Goblin SlayerNew exclusives such as Daemons of Shadow Realm, things looked promising—until readers started noticing the censorship in the form of giant black bars.
Square Enix’s MangaUp App is so ridiculous and hilarious.
ICYMI Manga Up, a new English manga reading service that Square Enix launched two days ago, is now available.
Also, RIP knee! pic.twitter.com/CRdX6pg9XF
— Mani Panja (@panja_mani) July 28, 2022
Now to be clear, the black bars aren’t just covering nudity—or even implied nudity, like conveniently placed steam or something similar. Instead, they are covering everything from the somewhat understandable—i.e., bikinis, panty shots, and extreme cleavage—to the seemingly absurd—i.e., the crotch region of jeans and the knees of characters. It’s a “bit much” euphemistically speaking.
Concerning the Censorship of the MANGA UP! App pic.twitter.com/npsmrbiQhw
— MANGA UP! Global (@MangaUpGlobal) July 27, 2022
As for Manga Up!The issue is rooted in the fact that Manga Up! is available worldwide, rather than just Japan. Manga Up! seems to suggest that the app will not be made to suit the different platforms and rules of each country. The app only has one version that follows the exact rules across all platforms and locations. This is the best way to maximize profits through global marketing.
While Manga Up! was quick to assure readers in their official statement that the service is “still in the early exploratory stages” and that they “will strive to improve while listening to your feedback,” it’s clear there is no quick fix on the horizon. Even Manga Up! Manga Up! admits it all: You have no choice but to leave the censorship.