"Negima!" Manga For Sale Again at Sasuga Bookstore!

Negima! swimsuitsHey everyone. As you guys know, I’m a big fan of Akamatsu-sensei’s shounen manga Negima! Not only do I purchase the official English adaptations from Del Rey, but I also pick up the original Japanese tankoubons when I have a bit of extra money. To date, I’ve always purchased these from Sasuga Japanese Bookstore (I wrote a review you can read here).

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to spend some money and get myself current with the tankoubon releases from Japan. I was dismayed to discover that Sasuga no longer sold these. After a couple of failed attempts, I was able to get in contact with Yahara-san from Sasuga, who cited this article from Anime News Network about a man who is to be sentenced for having manga apparently depicting children being sexually abused. Such manga is classified as obscene by U.S. law. Out of a sense of caution, Sasuga pulled Negima! from its website until they were sure it would not be classified as obscene.

I wrote Yahara-san back and argued that if Del Rey was able to publish the English adaptation of Negima! and stores like Amazon were able to sell it and ship it through the mail, Sasuga shouldn’t have a problem legally. Today, Yahara-san wrote me back with the following:

I think so too.

Now you can order “Negima”.

Whew!

No doubt, the manga titles in the ANN article were hentai lolicon or shoutacon stuff, which is not uncommon to find in Japan. Heck, it doesn’t take much searching at all and you can find tons of that stuff on the web. *_*

Negima! SummerStill, this incident does remind me of the biggest problem I have with Negima! — the non-descriptive, Barbie Doll nudity. There is no sex in Negima! (if there were, I wouldn’t read it and it wouldn’t be a shounen manga but rather a seinen one), but Akamatsu-sensei does love to have his girls bathe frequently or be placed in other situations where their clothing gets removed. While I tolerate this, I could really do without it.

It isn’t the first time that this manga has caused concerns in the U.S. though. When Del Rey first announced they had the license, the floated a trial balloon about editing the artwork inside the manga. The howls that erupted soon convinced Del Rey to just shrink wrap the manga to avoid any problems with it being classified as obscene. Eventually Del Rey stopped shrink wrapping it, but twice they have edited the manga covers as those were deemed too ecchi to be displayed. For volume 16, they placed the unedited color art inside the manga, but for volume 23, that did not happen.

Still, for me, the manga’s excellent story outweighs the ecchi elements that Akamatsu-sensei is so fond of inserting into his manga. While I don’t think that Negima! would ever be classified as obscene, it is possible that while trying to protect children, lawmakers might pass a law that would make owning Negima! a crime as an unintended byproduct. Lawmakers are very good at passing all kinds of laws and not considering the fallout of what they do. *_*

Those wanting to pick up the Japanese version of Negima! from Sasuga can find those tankoubons –> HERE. I’m about to pick up some new ones right now. ^_^

UPDATE! Sadly, Sasuga went out of business.
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16 Responses to “"Negima!" Manga For Sale Again at Sasuga Bookstore!”

  1. Todd says:

    Pulling Negima off the shelf is overkill as far as I’m concerned. Glad they rescinded. What’d you order?

  2. Anonymous says:

    You wouldn’t happen to know an online shop that delivers manga(in Japanese) to Europe?
    Sasuga Bookstore delivers, but shipping is expensive.

  3. Rakan says:

    and for some of us, the ecchi is a nice treat. 🙂

  4. AstroNerdBoy says:

    @Todd — volume 26-28. That’s all they had listed. I may try to score some “NegiPa” books but I’m on the fence as I’d have to special order those. Haven’t tried Yes Asia yet though to buy stuff.

    @Anon — That I couldn’t help with. Unfortunately, you are in a bad position of living in Europe so even ordering these from Amazon Japan will be expensive thanks to shipping. Have you checked Yes Asia?

    @Rakan — I know a lot of people like that sort of thing and that’s why Akamatsu-sensei delivers it. As I said, I could do without it. ^_^;

  5. Anonymous says:

    Where are those pictures from?

  6. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I think these are scans from one of the NegiPa books, but don’t quote me on that.

  7. Bloodmoon says:

    Yeah that sound like an overkill but glad to hear that is over. I ordered a few books off of amazon.com/japan just switch the language to english (my japanese isnt to good yet) and you should be able to order some thing from there (ordered the manga that came with the ova’s and was at my house in about a week)its hit or miss if you want older items as the smaller stores don’t ship to the states.

  8. AstroNerdBoy says:

    The problem with Amazon Japan is that the shipping costs are insane. Sasuga sells their books for a few more dollars, but then with enough purchases, shipping is free. So it still ends up being way cheaper than Amazon Japan.

    I try not to use Amazon Japan these days if at all possible.

  9. Anonymous says:

    THIS is why torrenting exists. people want the original work, not what lawmakers think is better for them. I doubt most “lawmakers” even watch/read any of this stuff. All this censorship tomfoolery does not help the pirating issues.

    Negima might be a light example, but these kinds of things tick me off.

    Then again, you could say it’s a marketing strategy. Release edited versions, then release uncut versions later on. Then release it on Blu-ray/Amazon Kindle. DBZ anyone?

  10. Sl from MH says:

    LQ raws for ch 277 is out on RP. Please post them here since again i am not able to download them.

  11. Jeremy says:

    It’s a little disturbing in a way that it was something off ANN that made Sasuga decide to do this: The same scenario played out in a very similar way back in 2007 with the Kodomo no Jikan manga, when one of the ANN columnists latched onto it and started stirring up a shitstorm in the forums about “pedos” and “kiddie porn”. What really sucked about that was the manga was actually licensed for publishing in the States and hadn’t started coming out yet, but like 10 days after the ANN people started voicing their objections the company canceled the license and Kodomo no Jikan remains unavailable in the US to this day.

    It bothers a lot of anime and manga fans who believe strongly in free speech, myself included obviously, and personally I can’t help but be a little suspicious that some of the people involved in running that site might be trying to stir up controversies like this on purpose to try and validate their own definition of obscenity and try to spread it through the medium of social networking.

  12. jedko says:

    Thanks for linking me here. It was a very interesting read!

  13. Jeremy says:

    Following up on my previous comment:

    For those who haven’t been following, there has been a fan furor going on the past three days in the wake of the announcement that Funimation intends to edit the North American release of Dance in the Vampire Bund. (I know ANB is aware of this because I saw his post on the Funi community site.)

    Well, in the wake of this uproar, I’ve received all the evidence I personally need to convince me that behind the scenes, Christopher McDonald and Zac Bertschy have no qualms about starting these domino effects in the form of supporting the prohibition of anime they find personally distasteful.

    Overwhelmingly gut-wrenching, disappointing revelations from two of the most recognized and followed personalities in the anime fan community…

  14. Anonymous says:

    @Jeremy

    Thanks for the links. You’re right, this doesn’t look good at all. I’d be very interested to hear ANB’s take on this.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I totally agree. I love the story, but I’m sometimes embarrassed to talk about it because of all the fanservice. I even have trouble getting the courage to buy it at the bookstore.

  16. AstroNerdBoy says:

    I order mine through the mail so no worries there. That said, when I go someplace and have to wait in a lobby for a time, I don’t bring Akamatsu-sensei’s works to read there. *lol*

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