Book censorship is up in America, and as we’ve been reporting at Otaku USA, sometimes it’s manga being pulled from the shelves. PEN America and the EveryLibrary Institute have been keeping tack of book bans, and have come out with a list of the most banned and challenged manga between July 1, 2022 and September 25, 2023.
The manga that has faced the most bans and challenges — by far — during that time is Assassination Classroom by Yusei Matsui. The complaints often try to place blame on Assassination Classroom for encouraging school shootings in America. In Japan, where Assassination Classroom was created, school shootings really aren’t a thing.
The next three most common manga to be challenged and banned are My Hero Academia, Soul Eater, and Black Butler. The complaints against My Hero Academia and Soul Eater are usually that the books sometimes contain fanservice, which some people believe are too sexual. Black Butler gets in trouble for its darker themes.
Other manga that have been challenged or banned recently (though they don’t get as much flak as Assassination Classroom, My Hero Academia, Soul Eater and Black Butler) are Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto, Citrus+ by Saburouta, Gyo by Junji Ito, Hama-Kimi: For You In Full Blossom by Hisaya Nakajo, Bleach by Tite Kubo, Fire Force by Atsushi Ohkubo, Fruits Basket by Natsuki Takaya, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure by Hirohiko Araki, SPY x FAMILY by Tatsuya Endo, D. Gray-Man by Katsura Hoshino, and Master Keaton by Hokusei Katsushika, Naoki Urasawa, and Takashi Nagasaki.
Recently, Texas passed a new law about what books were and weren’t allowed to be in schools, and Texas representative Matt Shaheen used the manga Goblin Slayer as a reason to prevent certain books from being in schools. This law was ultimately blocked by Ferderal Judge Alan D. Albright, who called it a violation of the First Amendment.
Source: The Comics Beat
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.