Anime News Network reports that these ten companies include the puublishers "Shueisha, Shogakukan, Kodansha, Akita Shoten, Hakusensha, Shonen Gahousha, Shinchosha, Futabasha, and LEED Publishing Co., Ltd.", as well as presenters Kadokawa Shoten. While Shueisha won't be there to present their own works, they will be asking for their works to be pulled from production companies' booths and presentations. Manga creators have also supported their publishers; three creator-group organizations have announced their opposition, and Bleach mangaka Tite Kubo also expressed his opposition publicly on Twitter, stating that "as an artist, I support their decision."
(Tokyo Anime Fair) Urgent Boycott Announcement from 10 Comic Companies
December 10, 2010, 8:53 PM (Mainichi Shinbun)
On December 10th, Kodansha, Shueisha, Shogakukan and other companies that comprise a coalition of ten comic companies that produce and publish major manga magazines and compiled volumes released an immediate statement that they would not cooperate with the 2011 Tokyo International Anime Fair to be held in the end of March 2011, nor would they participate in it. This is in protest to revision to the Tokyo Metropolitan Youth Healthy Development Ordinance brought by Tokyo governor Shintaro Ishihara, who also works as the chairman for the TIAF planning committee. Kadokawa Shoten, also a member of the coalition, announced the suspension of its presentations for the same reason.
The announcement, in opposition to the amendments brought for the regulation of sales of manga and anime with extremely explicit content, expressed the danger that free expression would be stripped, stating that the amendments are being made “without any discussions with cartoonists and anime producers at all” and that “those items subject to regulation would be just as confusing as ever, if not more so”. The mayor and his administration criticized the statement, stating that they are “continuing to repeat disingenuous statements full of factual errors” about anime and manga.
According to the Metropolitan Tourism Department, the Anime Fair started in 2002 for objectives such as industrial development and personnel training. This year’s Fair in March had 244 production companies, television stations, and publication companies make presentations and an overall attendance of around 130,000 people. While they are predicting around a record 140,000 to participate in the Fair’s 10th annual show in 2011, the non-participation of large publication companies that carry many anime creators would make or break the success of the event itself. Representatives at the administration told us that they “could not say if there would be an effect from non-participation”.
(Suzuki, Hideo; Dai, Hiroshi)
What exactly does this mean for the status of the show? I attended the Fair last year and was astounded by the volume of companies that this could affect. I couldn't imagine a TIAF event that didn't involve these companies, especially when you consider the extent of their influence on anime pruduction companies, art studios, and sales companies. While the Tokyo government stated its preparations to produce a guide that explicitly states the restrictions, this could open a flood of difficult judgments about what is and is not considered "healthy" for viewers and readers.
We'll have to see just how far the effect of such an amendment reaches.