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Why I endorse JAST’s censorship of Shiny Days

Written by sanahtlig

This is an opinion piece and represents the opinion of the author. It does not indicate one way or another the stance or policy of the Fuwanovel community.

To the great consternation of fans, JAST has announced that it will be censoring its upcoming release of Shiny Days, alternate universe prequel to bestselling interactive movie School Days. As feared, ero-scenes involving Kotonoha’s “underaged” younger sister Kokoro and her classmate will be cut from the official release (slated for release on August 25th).

Kokoro Katsura

Kokoro Katsura from Shiny Days

 

The official stance

From their official forum announcement:

… some content will not be included with our shipping version, principally a few specific scenes with Kokoro and her classmate are being omitted. All other game content is included, and all visuals are 100% uncensored and mosaic free. We hope fans will be understanding of the need to not have these scenes in the shipping version, which we have to do both to avoid problems for ourselves and our customers as well as visual novels as a wider genre, which are really beginning to take off in popularity.


School Days
and Shiny Days translator Kanna, affiliated with Sekai Project, had this to add:

… none of us on the team have any moral objections to the content for Shiny [Days]

JAST USA is.. well.. a US company, but they sell and export their games worldwide. Censoring or cutting content out of a game is never an easy decision, but we had to do it to comply with various international laws. Just because it’s a grey area in the US or legal elsewhere doesn’t mean we can apply this standard across the board.

Back with School Days HQ, [Sekai Project] hosted a survey asking people what content is illegal in their respective countries. Underage, bestiality and rape content were the top 3 in results. While I don’t agree on cutting these out, we are obliged to in order to sell to these countries.

I understand why people would be angry about this censorship and their justification of not buying the game, but at the same time I don’t want to play chicken with criminal code and be put on a registered sex offenders list.


JAST project manager Nicholas Graham further elaborated:

Personal views of freedom of speech and censorship don’t mean anything when we have staff who are in countries where [child porn] laws not only exist but are used to prosecute individuals who are in possession of such content. The above is not only a risk but a serious safety concern for staff and customers. It would be immoral to ask our staff to become martyrs and put their safety and futures at risk just to localize one game…

From the above quotes, we can clearly see that JAST fears that releasing an uncensored product would put its international customers and employees at legal risk. In particular, JAST relies heavily on physical distribution of its games to both domestic and international customers, and international shipments are subject to intense scrutiny by customs officials. Therefore JAST has a particular responsibility to ensure compliance with international regulations regarding offensive sexual content, even moreso than competitors like Mangagamer that focus on digital distribution.

To clarify rumors that have been buzzing around: both the digital and physical official releases will be censored. “Shipping version” in the official announcement didn’t mean what wishful thinkers thought it did.

The extent of cuts

Several ero-scenes involving Kokoro and her classmate will be removed from the official release. In addition, further edits may be necessary since these scenes are referenced in a wider story arc involving Kotonoha and her mother Manami. The School Days series is well known for its twisted drama, and there’s little doubt that any edits could impact the drama in this story arc (one of many potential paths in the greater work). JAST doesn’t have the resources to make more than minor changes to an interactive movie, so likely the explicit scenes will not be shown to the player, but they’ll be implied to have occurred off-screen.

JAST is removing the loli content from Shiny Days… or are they?

Given the above, it seems like JAST is dead-set on censoring the loli content in Shiny Days to protect themselves and their customers. This is their official stance for the official release. However, as with soon-to-be released censored eroge Starless, they’ve dropped hints that fans should look forward to an unofficial uncut release.

From the official forum announcement:

While there will not be any kind of official patch to fix these scenes by us, we’re confident the Internet will make such a patch for fans who want this content back in the game.

(Note that this part was in a smaller font than the rest of the message, a subtle hint that there’s more to this than what they’re letting on.)

Peter Payne, chief of JAST and J-List, added less subtly in a fit of exasperation:

…I am all but saying there’ll be a 99.9% official patch through unofficial channels…

This implies that an unofficial patch might not only restore the cut content, but that it could even be professionally demosaiced. JAST made similar statements about Starless, which has yet to be released. A recent leak suggests that a restoration patch for cut content in Starless already exists.

My reaction to Shiny Days’ censorship

I was extremely disappointed when I saw this announcement. I’m a huge fan of the School Days series, and I’ve been looking forward to Shiny Days for several years now. I even went and played Cross Days in Japanese to tide me over til this release. I’ve previously posted about my stance against censorship relating to MoeNovel’s ill-conceived release of If my Heart had Wings. I’m also a lolicon, and the particular content being cut is directly relevant to my interests.

How is the censorship of Shiny Days different?  Why should we boycott MoeNovel and support JAST?

MoeNovel committed the most despicable kind of censorship: voluntary censorship to reach an audience that chooses to boycott the content in the original work (i.e., the sexual content). They did this purely for marketing reasons: they thought that removing the ero content would allow them access to traditional marketing channels that would allow them to reach a wider audience and achieve more sales. They essentially turned their back on the Western fanbase that wanted to enjoy the same work that Japanese fans had enjoyed. They chose to target casual mainstream VN readers with a censored game over the existing eroge fanbase with the original game.

JAST is censoring Shiny Days for legal reasons: this is coerced or state-sponsored censorship. It is a fact that virtual child pornography is illegal in English-speaking territories (e.g., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia) where JAST does business. It is a fact that a prominent member of the eroge community was recently detained and charged for importing an eroge containing infringing content into Canada. It is a fact that JAST USA employs contractors from all around the world where the content in games like Shiny Days is not allowed.

But most of all, JAST is not abandoning its fans. They have to maintain a facade of plausible deniability. They’re unlikely to be prosecuted in the US over content in Shiny Days, but it’s still possible. Christopher Handley of Iowa was charged under US federal statutes and sentenced to 6 months in jail in 2010 for obscene manga including sexually-explicit “depictions of children”. Understandably, JAST doesn’t want to become a test case for the newest version of the US Protect Act. They can’t officially acknowledge they’re working to put an uncut version in the hands of fans, but they’ve done what they can to reassure fans that they’ll be happy with the end result.

Why taking a hardline anti-censorship stance is dangerous for freedom of speech

I understand that many people, especially Americans, are vehemently anti-censorship. They refuse to buy any work that has been altered for political or social reasons, or support the companies that do so. This is a perfectly fine as a general principle, but we must understand that general principles are a guide for decision making and that they ignore extenuating circumstances. Threat of legal action is a valid extenuating circumstance. Yes, censorship is evil.  Blame the US government for putting these laws in the books. Blame other governments for having even more draconian laws. Don’t shoot the messenger for bowing to the threat of force.

What people need to understand is that as long as JAST believes there is a credible legal threat (and if those quotes at the start don’t convince you they do, I don’t know what will), infringing content will NOT be officially released. Shiny Days could sell 0 copies and bankrupt JAST, and it still wouldn’t change their mind. At this point, JAST has two options:

  1. Release Shiny Days and similar titles with cut content, then work behind the scenes to make a restoration patch available for fans who know where to look.
  2. Don’t release titles with legally questionable content.

In option 1, JAST censors content. In option 2, JAST does not censor content, but the content is STILL CENSORED. They avoided publishing titles for political reasons. Censorship occurs either way. Option 1 is the lesser of two evils. Option 2 is especially insidious because it attracts no attention, no fanfare, no debate. It meekly gives in to societal pressure. Option 2 caves without a fight to the social justice warriors who want to stamp out ideas that aren’t consistent with their ideal world. As long as such games are released, as long as a patch is released that restores the cut content, the eroge community is quietly subverting those who would brand sexual perversions as thought crimes to be erased from existence. It’s not a perfect victory, but it’s preferable to the alternative.

How partial censorship could serve a legitimate purpose

Censorship is evil. Partial censorship of a work is the lesser of two evils, when the alternative is that the work won’t be released at all. Partial censorship followed by restoration of the cut content isn’t ideal, but it could also serve a rather sneaky purpose.

Consider that you’re an eroge fan living in Canada, which has strict rules regarding importation of virtual child pornography. You’re a collector, and won’t settle for anything less than a boxed collector’s edition of Shiny Days. On one hand, you could import an uncensored version of Shiny Days and risk legal action when customs inspects your package. On the other hand, you could import a censored version which poses no legal risk, then download a patch to restore the cut content. In other words, you could smuggle contraband into the country by separating out the illegal content and obtaining it from a safer source, then recombining it at its destination. That’s a classic and effective tactic taken out of the Smuggler’s Handbook.

The latter option is a crafty way to “stick it to the man” while minimizing personal risk. From a certain perspective, JAST would essentially be providing eroge laundering services free of charge! Annoying if you live in the US, but actually pretty useful if you live in an Orwellian dystopia like the United Kingdom.

My advice to concerned fans

Trust JAST to do good by its fans. This is the same company that released Saya’s Song and Littlewitch Romanesque completely uncensored (not only that, but they had the guts to put a loli raising sim on Steam, which is a hilarious victory for lolicon eroge fans everywhere). They don’t censor lightly.  Trust that JAST will keep their word and that a restoration patch will quietly appear on the Internet shortly after the game’s release. Maybe you’ll cancel your preorder to wait for the patch. Maybe you’ll hold off on that Limited Edition you were considering. That’s fine.

But don’t demand too loudly that JAST stop censoring its releases, or they might just listen. Be careful what you wish for. Vehement opposition of censorship, targeted in the wrong direction, can just as easily restrict freedom of speech as enable it.

For those who trust JAST to restore the cut content, Shiny Days is available for preorder at JAST USA (digital) and J-List (Limited Edition package), and is slated for release on August 25th.

Full Disclosure: Tay has reached out and offered support/private boards to two potential teams who are interested in making the restoration patch. He’s gone on record saying that his offers to the teams are meant to encourage people to buy the game, knowing the rest of the content will come later.

Update May 10th: release date has been changed from “June or July” to “August 25th”.

About the author

sanahtlig

104 Comments

  • Aaaah, this sucks there isn’t a scapegoat that I can put all the blame on except the government…. THANKS OBAMA.

  • Great piece.
    Sadly Option 2 seems to be the way JAST is going to choose. In the official thread on the JAST forums, Payne stated that considering the reactions to the censorship of Shiny Days and Starless, they’d probably stay away from the risky titles from now on instead of putting out a censored version.

  • Makes sense. JAST did the best the could with what they had. We can’t change the laws. And it makes me happy to see that they are hinting at an official un-official patch to restore the game to it’s original state.

    And like you pointed out with MoeNovel, what sickens fans the most is self censorship for profit, it harkens back to the old 4kids dubs that would eschew entire storylines to avoid controversy, and target a larger market.

    On an unrelated note, VN’s are catching on more these days, I remember in the mid 2000s it was still a very much underdeveloped scene. What would be a big boon would be a change in Steam’s laws. These all ages releases are really killing it for me and unfortunately might encourage more companies to go that route instead. I remember reading about about Recettear’s success which sold 300,000 copies on Steam and I thought about how well a game like Kamidori Alchemy Meister would do if the laws allowed it.

    • “I remember reading about about Recettear’s success which sold 300,000 copies on Steam and I thought about how well a game like Kamidori Alchemy Meister would do if the laws allowed it.”

      Probably not as well. Recettear combined a charming cast with bursts of 2 different kinds of fun and addictive gameplay. Kamidori OTOH is long, tedious, and grindy. The story is not good even though there’s a lot of it, the shop keeping mechanic is almost non-existent, the SRPG gameplay is quite basic and grindy, I can’t see anyone other than passionate SRPG fans going for it. Being a passionate RPG fan it’s a welcome part of my collection, but Recettear is more fun and imo would sell a lot more.

      • Alchemy Meister is more grindy than Recettear? Really?

        What are you smoking? -_- Also, a “Charming cast” with a terribly unfunny story/dialogue and the same repeating voice clips during dungeons that will make you want to end your life.

        • Kamidori is one of the grindiest, most boring games I’ve ever played.

          I tried, I really tried, but it’s super grindy and the story is worthless and there’s really nothing that keeps you going in that game.

  • Full Peter Payne quote: “I love you guys, really. I am all but saying there’ll be a 99.9% official patch through unofficial channels yet you just want to #NerdRage. I love you guys, totally. High fucking god damn five. Have fun, I am going to bed.”

    Screenshot: http://i.imgur.com/uUvSC71.jpg

  • Wait! Konotsuba had a loli. What? Where? Which one? Oh. I guess your loli-range is too broad. Next>>
    Kokoro does pass as a loli in my book however, but as long as some patch pops up, it’s all good. Next>>
    Starless censored… don’t get me started. IIRC that game is 70% “aestheticism”, 30% other fetish filler. Cutting out the “meat” of the game makes picking it up as a localization target completely pointless.

  • I think it’s a smart move on Jast’s part.

    They can release the uncut version and cut their sales short by at least (4?) countries, or sell to them all and simpl remove the problematic scenes.

    I personally have no moral objection to loli’s etc, but I’ve seen a lot of people having their lives destroyed by the law for possession of “cp” (ignorant view of the law), by cutting it out, it avoids ruining lives, and makes more sales/allows everyone a chance to read said VNs.

  • School Days still involves high schoolers, hence is still illegal in Canada afaik. If the police wants to they can jail you over that. Good luck defending your stance by saying “B-But they aren’t children, they’re high schoolers!”. The justice in Canada will fuck you over in either case, so your whole point is moot.

  • Nice article. I’ll definitely be buying this to collect and review (at some point) and another thing I can say in JAST’s favor is they’re at least being honest about this. Compared to the fiasco of the surprise censorship of X-change 3 and Kazoku Keikaku this is a lot better.

  • Even as a lolicon, I’m not particularly opposed to JAST’s decision here. The Kokoro H-scenes in Summer Days at least were borderline rape. If the sex was completely consensual, I wouldn’t have a problem with it.
    That being said, I’m really looking forward to play Setsuna’s route. She was my favorite character in School Days.

  • I agree to this method, it decreases the risk of more severe laws being put into the workings and allows everyone to access their fetish, maybe just a couple of days/weeks/months later than they otherwise would.

    I mean, we are VN fans right? We have all but shown that we have ridiculous amount of patience when it comes to this niche thing we love. And I do believe that we would rather wait a little for a “patch” to uncencor our dream fetish rather than risking that future VN get euthanized and “generalized” right? We want our lolis, our furrys, our weird tentacle stuff to remain untouched? Let it remain in the shadows on the internet then, where the law willingly turn a blind eye to!

    Err… got a bit heated there in the end but I am sure you understand where I am going with this right?

  • I kinda agree that Kokoro is a bit young to be having a sexual relationship with the protag, or anyone for that matter. If you’re a lolicon that’s all well and good but I hope it’s a loli at a reasonable age. She’s a MIDDLE SCHOOLER. And how old are the people who play these games? Probably waaaayy passed middle school years. It’s just wrong. If you’re mad about her H-scenes being taken out, then ya might as well go to the local middle school and take your pick.

    With that being said, I still wish they wouldn’t censor everything else. But JAST was being backed into a corner so there’s really not much else they can do.

    • Not a fair comparison. Plenty of people are into loli content precisely because it’s ‘naughty’ and something they would never do or dream of doing in real life. It’s not fair to brand people who are interested in taboo fiction as real-world criminals.

      At the same time, people who *bug the fuck out* about stuff being censored for legal versions are obnoxious. Acting like the rest of the game is now worthless because one thing is cut and requires a patch is… lacking in proportion.

  • As long as it’s possible to uncensor the game with an unofficial patch, I’m satisfied. What’s important is making an uncensored version of the game available in English. I don’t care if it’s officially recognized as uncensored on the back of the box quotes, as long as it’s still possible to play uncensored.

    I think the climate has been getting steadily more tolerant, though. Maybe in a decade Super Loli Raising Incredible Pervert Edition will see an official uncensored release.

  • I’m anti-censorship in regards to keeping things out of the law that would mess with freedom of speech. However, in regards to this, where the laws are already in place, I can’t really blame them for erring on the side of caution.

    Still, it drives me nuts to play a game where content was removed and the game had to be edited around it (Even when I’m not a big fan of the content removed). I’m fine with the idea of a fan restoration patch, but depending how they edit the game, I wonder how extensive a fan restoration patch would need to be? Obviously they can’t just insert x scene in and be done (more likely they’ll have to translate it and then re edit all the things that were changed to make it work when it wasn’t there)

    • Technical complexity is a moot point if JAST are working on it themselves and just *saying* someone else is doing it. They made the edits in the first place, so obviously they’re capable of undoing them.

  • This is incredibly saddening to me… I understand the reasons. I planned on the Limited Edition but if the patch is not ready at launch I will not be buying it despite wanting to play it since it was announced…. last time I heard of a restoration patch done by fans was with MoeNovels butchery of Wings and look how that’s still ongoing 2 years after and doesn’t seem to be nearly done at all…. that is not appealing whatsoever if that’s the type of restoration I have to wait on unless JAST steps in to do it themselves since they’ll know what was edited especially in other scenes that is important and those scenes that is going to be edited and “implied” off screen bothers the heck out of me to no end.

    If they could releases it “somewhere” away from any affiliation from them to ward off the deviant psychos who can’t tell 2D from 3D I’ll be all for it… I can only wonder about any other 0verflow games such as Makoto’s grandpa himself and having to deal with this all over again. That is if JAST would even consider the game with him in it. I would love to see that too.

    I applaud for not butchering other games (except that one or was there more?) and even released Romanisque in uncensored glory. I’m just bummed out on this. Props to the author of this article for writing it with words from JAST themselves, their reasons, and laws outside the US, otherwise I may not of even known until release date and I would of probably been so angry and felt betrayed for a game I been wanting to play since School Days HQ I even went to their site and checked on multiple times for any news and even asked Makoto and their staff for a patch just in case and now here we are… I dunno what else to really say but I understand the reason… I hate censorship. orz

    • I just read comments on the forums https://connect.jastusa.com/support/discussions/topics/5000047459/page/1 and I am in total agreement with some of the users there. The translator(s) seem to be one of the reasons for the decision with their strange stance on working on ShinyDays but yet worried about working in a country they may be held liable for having a physical content due to their idiotic CP laws? Makes no sense to me. Shouldn’t of even been working for a eroge company in the first place!

      More concerning to me is a fan restoration will in no shape be able to provide a clean non-mosaic version in those scenes. So no matter what fans like myself who have been waiting for the promised uncensored game . And if somehow there’s an uncensored version in the future, that’ll be a slap to my face if I change my mind and buy the butchered game… I can only be more disappointed if they also included Otome’s sister, Karen in the butchering.

      Since it is true that MangaGamer has released loli games with no issues and having read the comments, for me at least, giving such a patch (or better uncensored physical or digital copy) to MangaGamer will be the only saving grace for JAST to get my money. This sucks.

      • Considering it was a mangagamer employee who was arrested recently, they too may find themselves making edits.

        For some bizarre reason, the safety and well-being of their employees is probably more important to them than you feeling entitled to have someone handcraft porn for you.

        It’s not like you’re even complaining about not being able to get the original, uncut version. Oh, no, the Japanese release isn’t GOOD ENOUGH for you. If someone doesn’t lovingly uncensor every loli for you, you are BEING OPPRESSED.

    • Maybe try reading the post again. I think there were too many words in it for you, since you apparently missed all the important details about the patch.

      • You should take your own advice and actually read what I wrote and my concern to it being censored. How you generated a poorly thought out notion of “entitlement” leaves me scratching my head at your nonsensical remark since you are unable to grasp that a consumer has a right to complain on a product that was advertised a certain manner but is withdrawn so close to the launch date and commenting about it. Perhaps you can’t grasp that or something since you felt the need to cap lock certain words as if you are upset at me to what went on in your head.

        Second, nothing in my comment suggested in any notion of the well being of the translator(s) but instead used common sense in not having been in that situation in the first place or not owning the game at all. So adding your demented thoughts to what you allowed yourself in your head to project in your comments to what I in no way or shape thought of is best if you kept it in your head. It’s quite hypocritical as well since you are on a eroge site.

        I also have the Japanese version so that petty attempt to do some cheap shots is pathetic. In regards to the patch your apparently missing some rationale since JAST promised an uncensored version now I am suppose to believe in a official unoffical patch too? Get real and stop fantasizing. Leave your rag and imagination elsewhere.

        • yes yes, we get it. your enraged you have to wait for the loli tang patch – just look up the animated pics over at Senkaku complex or something and quit your salty tears.

          But before we part (or you decide to mash your gums in rage as you type a response), As for “Shouldn’t of even been working for a eroge company.” is pretty weak arguement; lolicon has been on a bit of a boom in the last few years, and thus a new issue to approach carefully across the world and it’s various laws.

          Most of the people working for Sekai, Jast, and MG are “old blood” that have been localizing VNs at least for 10 -15 years minimum. And while there has always been controversial material to deal with, lolicon has previously been sparse and under the radar, but in recent times in the UK, Canada, and even US, there have been many situations where people have been charged as sex offenders for possession. That’s right, your not even safe in the US, it just depends if you fight hard enough in court and who is judging you.

          Btw, did you know most of JastUSA employees work (you guessed it) in the US? they fear persecution just like anyone else. If they want to cut out parts that could put them at risk, that’s their right. And you should be grateful they release anything at all, becuase sure as shit you aren’t providing your own translations to the community.

          • Just so you know, you did not have to reply but allowing yourself to let loose in your wild imaginations is something else. Your writing style is similar to the last person above my previous post. Hmm. Anyways, nothing I wrote had anything to do with loli but with cut content and the patch. These are the main complaints of game no longer being advertised as 100% uncensored. Learn to read AND understand the reading.

            Grateful for it being released at all? You sound like that Kyrt person over at that JAST forum on page 8. The same foolish argument. People like yourself do more damage to those of us who hate censorship and invite more such type of content to be marketed for companies like MoeNovel to butcher more games. Go play some console games if that’s your deal. Why you don’t have the same logical argument for violence scratches my head too but you want to project unto me that this is about the loli cut content to satisfy yourself. Anyways, JAST more than likely invested a lot of money in ShinyDays. So your grateful remark is out of touch with reality I’m amazed somebody wrote such a thing. They can’t afford not to release it in order to recoup the costs especially when School Days HQ was one of their most popular titles ever. Ridiculous statement that was.

            Your comment adds nothing to what I already know. Like a kid telling an adult what the adult already knows and just nods. That’s how I took it. What is it with people who have a reading comprehension problem these days? The translator(s) shouldn’t of been involved in the first place. If you believe it’s a petty argument you are out of your mind. Buying an excuse of responsibility and projecting the trouble onto the consumers that had nothing to do with their countries laws in the first place is not the way to go especially in a niche market. Your U.S. what if scenario is irrelevant since Romanesque, Imouto Paradise and other loli featured in the game have already been released prior. So your point is invalid since they already in the seat.

            I shouldn’t have to further explain my comment to dumbed down people who can’t seem to read and project what they think the replied should know. A simple “could you clarify” or something like that would of been a better way to dialogue instead of what these two idiots above (probably same person) went for.

          • Kyrt had a point. If JAST wants to be perfectly truthful, a statement saying Shiny Days has been edited should be on EVERY store page. Yes, they notified the fanbase via their forums, but not everyone reads the forums or blog posts like this. I’ll forgive them that bit of deception since they’re promising to release an unofficial official restoration patch, and they can’t advertise that unofficial official patch on their store page. If they were perfectly truthful, people would boycott them without knowing the full story or knowing that a company-sponsored restoration patch exists.

    • JAST has censored other games besides Shiny Days and Starless, including X-Change 3 and Family Project. The Family Project edits were minor art coverups of an underaged character in a couple of CGs. In that case, a third party (not JAST) released a patch that replaced the modified images. I have no specific knowledge of the X-Change 3 case because I had no interest in that particular title.

      While they’ve censored other games in the past, their current policy and stance is much more satisfying than past episodes, where they were less forthcoming about the edits and made no effort to restore the edited content.

      • Kyrt pushing that grateful comment is problematic. If he also included that what MoeNovel did was all right and we should be grateful I would call him insane since it would say to me that he (or she) is perfectly all right and will not file a complaint one bit but I read no mention of that so I didn’t go there if that is the justification of using such an argument. I’m not away of any other point from Kyrt then what was written on page 8 of the forums over at JAST but I am in agreement if he/she wrote that it should be notified to all potential buyers on their catalog page about what was done to ShinyDays or it there would be angry fans out there like I would of been if I had not read this article since I stopped going to JAST for any info lately.

        I know of their current stance and all that jazz from having read all of the forum in question thanks to the users there after posting my first comment. I know JAST ain’t no MoeNovel and although the hints are there about the patch or restoration (I don’t like this one bit, paying again if I decide to buy it now?) I am not so sure till I see it on the “internet”.

        Again, thanks for the article. To add to what I already thanked you prior in my first post at the end of the post as you wrote in those forums did alleviate some anger (at least for me) off JAST with their reasoning and other inputs you thought would help them out. Appreciative.

  • Right now I’m waiting for Starless release. if the patch for Starless really come out (fast) then all my worried for Shinny days would be gone.

    Just hope it’s not like If my heart have wings. the patch came out but it’s not final version and still censored.

  • The U.S. doesn’t need any loli laws, ambiguous or otherwise, when the chilling effect is already in play.

    Can’t believe I see this kind of stance on Fuwanovel. Aaeru is probably rolling in her grave.

    • Um. Did you miss the whole “Opinion” tag and the preface, “This is an opinion piece and represents the opinion of the author. It does not indicate one way or another the stance or policy of the Fuwanovel community.” ?

      It’s the first two lines of the post, mate.

    • Aaeru wasn’t even anti-censorship. When I wrote that MoeNovel post she was quick to distance herself from it and make it clear that Fuwanovel didn’t promote a boycott.

      If Aaeru were still around, I doubt she’d have a strong opinion either way on the issue. I doubt Tay is going to publicly lean one way or the other either.

  • Thanks for pointing out the guy doesn’t own the site, I guess. It’s still a horrible opinion, one the late founder wouldn’t be very fond of.

    • In total agreement with you but as Dude pointed out it is an opinion piece and not an official stance by Fuwanovel.

  • So, can we attach the word “gate” to some random noun already? Personally, I favor loligate.

    In all seriousness, I’m currently in wait and see mode. I’m fine with Jast covering their asses as long as some mysterious unofficial patch pop ups in due time. Sadly, no patch, no sale from me as buying incomplete products goes against my religion.

  • Pro-censorship dipshits like you are the reason why companies like JAST can get away with censoring their titles time and time again.

    Get the hell out of my VN market.

  • “Full Disclosure: Tay has reached out and offered support/private boards to two potential teams who are interested in making the restoration patch. He’s gone on record saying that his offers to the teams are meant to encourage people to buy the game, knowing the rest of the content will come later.”
    Where is this on the record statement from Tay about offers to teams?

      • I am sorry, Zakamutt should quote what he writes especially on other person’s articles to avoid confusion and miscommunication in the future.

        • ’tis what Tay told me to put in (well, “something like”, but copying verbatim felt acceptable and/or lovely and lazy.) I was mostly hoping the italics would do the trick, especially since the disclaimer up top is in ’em as well… tricky. Anyway, Tay did indeed do said things.

          • On the record means Tay wrote something somewhere like a thread on a forum, or anything for us to see for ourselves. What you are describing is more off the record then on the record, right? So, if these off the record statements are true then great, but on the record statements would also be nice too, so we know exactly what has been said and exactly what is going on.

          • “so we know exactly what has been said and exactly what is going on.”

            That’s just it. No one knows what’s going on. Even Tay. JAST seems to be implying that they’re going to leak either a patch or the necessary files to create one. There’s no telling who will be putting together the patch, or how it’ll be hosted. There’s too much uncertainty for any clear statements right now, and honestly I’m not sure why we included that blurb, as written, in the article to begin with. I suppose I should’ve taken a more proactive approach in screening content for my own article, but I wasn’t familiar with Tay’s negotiations (and I wanted to push this article out in a timely fashion), so I abstained.

          • So, I am correct on this on the record statement from Tay actually being off the record in reality, I hate it when I am right.

          • If the statement written by Zakamutt is not true then why not redact that “blurb” from your article to reduce confusion and miscommunication?

          • (Reply go gg’s post on 30/04/2015) On April 22nd I did make two offers to two different groups: one on twitter, one on another (non-JAST, non-Fuwa) VN community. Both statements were public at the time, and I even linked to both on a post on Fuwanovel that day. A lot can change in a week, however, and certain developments prompted me/the groups to make that content private. My offer to both groups is as follows (and still stands): private boards on the Fuwanovel forums to coordinate their work, and references to talented techies who may be able to help them get started.

            Things move pretty quickly with stuff like this, so while the blurb was accurate at the time, a lot has already changed. As regards edits: unless we have strong reason to do so, neither Zaka nor I are inclined towards revising published content. *Insert 1984 historical revisionism comment* So, no, we didn’t touch it (and have no plans to in the future).

          • There is no need to redact this blurb anymore since this comment you made Tay, http://i.imgur.com/WhLek7f.png , makes it a on the record statement again. When it comes to edits I thought the writer made his own corrections, I guess not. I appreciate your time, and hope things work out with you and these groups.

  • A JAST staff member (likely Nicholas Graham) added the following clarification regarding JAST’s decision to censor the official release Shiny Days, yet leave Song of Saya and Littlewitch Romanesque unedited:

    “… Canadian [JAST] staff are scare[d] since the incident of the Canadian eroge staff member [getting detained and charged for importing an obscene eroge]. Their involvement in the distribution of similar material could result in problems for them, and it’d be immoral for us to put our staff at risk for customer or company gain.

    On the US State side, our company is at risk under California Penal Code 186.2.3 as defined by 311.2, with the crux of a hypothetical court case being the literary and artistic value of the game based on not our standards but “contemporary community standards.” LWR and Song of Saya have themes, gameplay and stories that are easier to defend than those within Shiny Days when taken as a whole. Those are the facts of the situation…”
    http://www.reddit.com/r/visualnovels/comments/33ohep/why_i_endorse_jasts_censorship_of_shiny_days/cqq4x8s

  • tbh, I’m apathetic about the School Days series… so I won’t answer based on what I feel about it, since I don’t care for it.

    Face it, fans of english translations. There was never any chance for an uncensored version of Shiny Days. This isn’t JastUSA’s fault, it is the fault of the idiots who make the laws who don’t understand the difference between fiction and reality. It is the same bunch of morons who believe violent video games create violence.

  • Well I just spotted a Starless uncensored patch released somewhere but I’m in no way interested in that game since I just read what’s in that game… so anyways, I’ve started to save up the funds for a possible buy if the same thing happens for ShinyDays. Uncensored of course. Instant buy.

    • The Starless patch was released several hours before the official download went live–with demosaiced art in the restored scenes. I think that’s a pretty clear indication that JAST was behind it.

      In other news, JAST representative Nicholas Graham said they’re working with J-List to improve their download code mailing system so that LE customers can download games as soon as they go live on JAST USA. He expects the improvements will be ready by the time Shiny Days releases.

  • Urm, they’re not censoring it for legal reasons.

    They’re censoring it because the staff and TLs have “moral objections.”

      • No disrespect intended, noko & grgspunk, but it doesn’t seem you’re understanding Kanna (the Shiny Days translator)’s own words on the subject:

        “School Days and Shiny Days translator Kanna, affiliated with Sekai Project, had this to add:

        ‘… none of us on the team have any moral objections to the content for Shiny [Days]…

        JAST USA is.. well.. a US company, but they sell and export their games worldwide. Censoring or cutting content out of a game is never an easy decision, but we had to do it to comply with various international laws. Just because it’s a grey area in the US or legal elsewhere doesn’t mean we can apply this standard across the board.

        Back with School Days HQ, [Sekai Project] hosted a survey asking people what content is illegal in their respective countries. Underage, bestiality and rape content were the top 3 in results. While I don’t agree on cutting these out, we are obliged to in order to sell to these countries.

        I understand why people would be angry about this censorship and their justification of not buying the game, but at the same time I don’t want to play chicken with criminal code and be put on a registered sex offenders list.'”

        They’re worried that doing their job will land them in jail. Thus, it is a legal reason. Don’t put words in anyone else’s mouths.

        In any event, Starless is already out and the content restoration patch is online. 100% uncut, 100% mosaic-free, exactly as JAST said it would be on Reddit. I have no problem with this release model for Shiny Days (and Peter has stated that this was the plan the whole time).

        There really isn’t any point in people overreacting to the worst-case scenario since we know for sure this won’t be the case.

          • Jigsy, just to clarify since I get the impression you might have misread my post (or I may well have misread yours):
            – All official JAST releases of the game (physical or digital) have all illegal / incriminating content removed.
            – A “99.99% official unofficial” content restoration patch will be released at the same time as the game goes live to allow those that want to play the game uncut and uncensored to do exactly that at their own discretion, on an opt-in-only basis. This allows for the plausible deniability needed to keep the publisher and its staff out of legal trouble.

            I think this is a far smarter release model than the overreactive blowhards are giving Peter credit for. The reaction, though… Scribbling ethnocentric tirades and calling people who fully understand this plan hypocrites? “#NerdRage” indeed. Suffice to say, I don’t need racist, self-entitled loudmouths in my visual novel fandom; they make us all look bad.

            On another note, I really wish this was the release model for minori’s English releases. I really don’t like censorship of any kind, be it cut content or mosaics.

          • Note that said CEO was (seemingly?) doing the importation himself:

            “One company we dealt with, which I won’t mention by name, literally did 夜逃げ yonige or “running away in the night” on us. We found out later that the president had been arrested for trying to make uncensores games on a server in the US and sell them back into Japan.”

  • Peter Payne has confirmed that JAST still plans to release Shiny Days before Anime Expo (July 1). However, he cautioned that just because the game would be ready for the convention doesn’t mean it’d be ready to ship, as they wouldn’t have the manpower to make it to all the conventions and actually ship everything out.

    “We are aiming to get both Raidy III and Shiny out by AX. As usual, we can never be sure. Among other things, printing proper boxes causes all kinds of delays with printers, who suddenly need 7+ weeks just to print the boxes/artbooks/whatever.”

    “… mainly the two biggest conventions of our year come within 2 days of each other this year. We know that, even if we get both games in stock for the cons, we won’t have staff to ship them all out to people at the same time. So the shipping date will really be “when the cons are done” (figure late July for everything to go out).”
    https://connect.jastusa.com/support/discussions/topics/5000047459/page/18

    • This is still just nuts.

      JAST USA is in no position to tell me what to purchase and what I watch.
      If the staff cares about getting to jail because they are doing their job, then it’s THEM taking the risk of going to jail ON THEIR OWN BEHALF.
      Nothing I care about, I want my product complete, or not even to begin with, it’s their problem, not mine.
      Not to mention that the thought behind censoring was, that international customers living in countries were this kind of content may or may not be illegal were to be ”protected” from this kind of content; hypocritical to translate a game, but then protecting its customers from this supposed bad, bad content, especially as it’s not the staff’s obligation to protect people importing the games they worked on.
      The customer runs the risk of importing a game that is illegal, not the publisher; it is and was never JAST’s job to take away the decision of the customer to experience this kind of material, or not.
      And seeing as the staff boycotted Shiny Days themselves by refusing to work on the included loli scenes and Peter Payne mentioning that ”there is no suitable staff to work on this title otherwise”, I wonder why he was so sure about a patch surfacing on the internet because ”the internet is what it is”.
      Sanahtlig said it himself: It seems very likely that JAST is behind the uncensor patch – why not backing up your products? Because they are lacking guts?
      A publisher who brings out games I want, but not in the state I want and has to shy away from an official release just to, how idiots would refer to this beahvior, ”compromise” won’t get my money.
      If anything, a kick in their butt, with the message of backing up their own products and stopping to play Samaritan for countries they are not involved with.

      I’ve watched some of the kokoro scenes by coincidence when I was at swfchan, looking for hentai stuff.
      I have to say… really?
      That’s all?
      For THAT shit, they are censoring a whole game?
      Ridiculous, and I was even tinkering with the thought of purchasing Shiny Days nontheless… maybe… just maybe.

      JAST USA screwed up, severely.
      Self-censorship and blaming the government of multiple other countries alike, so that they happen to have a scapegoat in order for them making sure that naive idiots believe their euphemism?
      No thanks, I’m better off supporting Mangagamer or any other publisher of VN’s who doesn’t censor their games – the incident with Shiny Days is just hypocrisy at its best.

      • The idea that people should risk going to jail so that you can play a game with more nudity in it than it would otherwise contain is fucking gross and you should be ashamed of yourself for having that expectation.

        You’re literally not doing an ounce of work on this project, you’re just acting entitled. “I don’t care if these people go to jail, if they do it’s their own fault for wanting a job! I WANT MY VIDEO GAME AND I DON’T CARE WHO BLEEDS FOR IT” is a horrific sentiment.

        • Eh, if some anon says that, I REALLY have to reflect on myself now.

          I have no reason to feel ”ashamed” whatsoever; you can’t tell me that translators of porn games are shying aways from a title just because they don’t want to deal with a certain genre, this resulting in a game being censored and me as the customer being kicked in the butt.
          This here is self-censorship – nothing else.

        • I generally have a policy of not supporting censorship.

          No matter how minute it is.

          This is generally why I refuse to buy anything anymore.

  • I don’t have a problem with this.

    I’ve been saying for a long, long time that one of the things keeping this genre down in the west is the sexual content. While I personally don’t mind the sexual content, if it got removed in official releases over here, I wouldn’t mind. And in the case where the sexual content is of a nature that is particularly easy to ostracize people for enjoying, all the better.

    Though at the point where everything that comes over here in an official capacity becomes all-ages, I would just stop playing official releases and only play fan versions that contained the full, uncut game.

    I already have to wait for fans to work on most of the games I like, so it wouldn’t be all that different from how I play VNs now.

  • Well, this is disappointing. I don’t really care whether if JAST is at fault or not. You’ve made your case well on why we shouldn’t blame the company, but I personally just don’t really care about them at all. They are forced to censor it, then so be it.

    What I do have a problem with are the external factors relating to such censorship, factors unrelated to JAST itself. Let’s face it, this would just fuel the ammunition for people who finds the controversial sexual content in Japanese games to be “a problem”. My stance on whether if such content is morally acceptable is irrelevant, and I repeat, irrelevant. The main point is that a cultural aspect has been censored, and borders have been drawn based on the prejudice of the law. So there it is.

    And then there’s another thing. The School Days series has been known to be somewhat of a satire. I mean, just look at the anime itself. Its extremity is obviously meant to be a parody. When you take such extremity meant as an artistic satire and censor it, it’s like cutting away that rape scene from “Irreversible”. You take away from the product what the artist was trying to convey based on your personal prejudice. It just doesn’t sound right.

    Like I said, I have no feelings or ill-feelings towards JAST, but the act itself is kinda annoying. I hope I’ve clarified to the more judgmental parties why I’m annoyed.

    • The censorship in this title is merely an inconvenience. JAST will be undermining the content removal, so it’s really a non-issue from my perspective. Sure, the majority of people who experience the game will likely play it censored and never realize there’s an alternative, or even that the game was censored in the first place. Casuals will be casual. Fans will get what they came for at least: the full experience, undiluted by cultural intolerance.

  • Sigh, the date has been pushed back… again! Nooo! Source by Peter Payne himself: https://connect.jastusa.com/support/discussions/topics/5000047459/page/33 Honestly, JAST should put an extra week or two from the new posted date just in case and if they happen to be finished before just ship it out asap. Whatever they are doing for this new installer perhaps they can use it for their future releases ‘cuz otherwise I do not see the point of a .md5 check sum for those not in the known about such things but that’s just me.

    Sanahtlig, any chance you could you ask JAST if they have any plans to bring any of the other 0verflow games? I don’t mean obvious ones like Cross Days (shivers) but the older ones like the one more messed up then Makoto. Such as Snow Radish Vacation https://vndb.org/v7054 and Summer Radish Vacation 1 and 2 https://vndb.org/v1197 https://vndb.org/v4102

    • The new installer will indeed be used for future releases.

      I doubt there’s any plans to work on the older Overflow titles. JAST USA might work on Cross Days if Shiny Days does well. This is just my own speculation. I asked about Cross Days before and the response was “we’re busy with Shiny Days right now”. I went ahead and played it in Japanese and reviewed it. You can find the review on my personal blog.

      [Review] Cross Days: A trainwreck as enthralling as it is infuriating
      http://sanahtlig.blogspot.com/2015/07/review-cross-days-trainwreck-as.html

      • Thanks for the reply. I have read the review when you first posted a while back since that is the only Days game I do not have. I have already recently read the Strip battle days too. It was an interesting read especially about Tsundere Kokoro and had hoped JAST would of done that game but doubtful since I really want to know what older Kokoro was saying as it was difficult for me to understand.

        Hoping JAST will consider bringing those other games cuz I think it adds to the lore of the days series for the fans.

        • You tripped up on the exact same part of Strip Battle Days that I did a few days ago. I couldn’t get the text hooker to work, so I played it raw. Same as you, the conversation with older Kokoro about the events of Shiny Days left me confused (the rest of the dialogue was very easy). Maybe after I play Shiny Days I’ll go back and replay that conversation and look up the problematic kanji.

          • I definitely did trip up even more then when I first laid my eyes on her and heard this new attitude of hers. !! I’m a sucker for that right Tsundere attitude. So drastic a change from the young Kokoro made me curious to know about her even more so as I started reading what she was saying. It really was a let down that the hook wasn’t working during the events but only the talking portion before going to the battle scene which had me confused. I even tried the VNR and no luck there either. I tried looking for any translation nothing there as well.

            I can’t post on blogspot for some reason (maybe the extensions I got on my browser) so I cannot comment there so I do it here but thanks to that blog of yours I didn’t notice the ChuableSoft article (since I saw strip battle and didn’t scroll down till today) and hope they may consider bringing their games here and not with Sekai Project.

  • By the way, did JAST censor Saya no Uta as well? Because it just feels like the kind of conservative right-wing dick-move they’d pull.

  • For those now reading this comment), this article is not currently being maintained as I don’t have edit permissions. An updated version is available on my personal blog.

    Why I endorse JAST’s censorship of Shiny Days
    http://sanahtlig.blogspot.com/2015/07/why-i-endorse-jasts-censorship-of-shiny-days.html

    I’ll also be releasing a separate finalized version of this article on sanahtlig.blogspot.com once the game releases with a link to the (un)official restoration patch. Keep an eye out for it. The tentative title is “Exploring JAST’s (De)censorship of Shiny Days”.

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