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What is the target of censorship in the Library Wars (Toshokan Sensō 図書館戦争) franchise? Is it political material, sexual material, or something else?

  • I suspect "censorship" isn't an appropriate tag for censorship happening in-world, rather than real-life. However, the only other tag I could come up with, plot-explanation, required 150 reputation. – Andrew Grimm Oct 1 '13 at 11:51
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    In the past we've held a discussion about such meta tags and have deemed that they are, amongst other reasons, not that useful and are applied too inconsistently to be useful. Please see this meta for a full summary. – кяαzєя Oct 1 '13 at 14:06
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The premise of Toshokan Sensō involves the Japanese government passing the Media Betterment Act (MBA) as law in 1989 which allows the censorship of any media deemed to be potentially harmful to Japanese society by deploying agents in the Media Betterment Committee (MBC) with the mandate to go after individuals and organizations that are trying to exercise the act of conducting freedom of expression activities in the media. - wikipedia

My interpretation is that the censorship is for everything you mentioned and anything else anyone can think of that would be "harmful to society". Just look at the list of frequently challenged books.

This is the top 10 list for 2012:

Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey.
Reasons: Offensive language, unsuited for age group

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie.
Reasons: Offensive language, racism, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

Thirteen Reasons Why, by Jay Asher.
Reasons: Drugs/alcohol/smoking, sexually explicit, suicide, unsuited for age group

Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

And Tango Makes Three, by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
Reasons: Homosexuality, unsuited for age group

The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini.
Reasons: Homosexuality, offensive language, religious viewpoint, sexually explicit

Looking for Alaska, by John Green.
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit, unsuited for age group

Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Reasons: Unsuited for age group, violence

The Glass Castle, by Jeanette Walls
Reasons: Offensive language, sexually explicit

Beloved, by Toni Morrison
Reasons: Sexually explicit, religious viewpoint, violence
  • The link is to the American Library Association. I've heard that real-life USA censors for different reasons than other countries, let alone compared to a fictional version of Japan. – Andrew Grimm Oct 5 '13 at 11:58
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    As my answer stated - any media deemed to be potentially harmful to Japanese society. The following list is not meant to be an in universe list of things they would ban, but rather a list of things which would be fair game for in universe censors. If you want a specific list of things being censored in universe, I don't know of any. – ton.yeung Oct 5 '13 at 15:42

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