The Australian government has banned certain volumes of the No Game No Life light novel from sale and import within their borders. This follows months of attacks against the title by politicians.
In Australia, media must be submitted to the Australian Classification Board for review and classification prior to release.
Upon review, a given piece of media will be assigned a classification rating. This is similar to those given by the BBFC, CERO, and ESRB, which advises consumers as to the content of the media and specifies which age group a entertainment may be suitable for.
However, unlike its overseas counterparts, the Australian Classification Board is a governmental organization. It exists as a branch of the Australian Government Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, and Communications.
On July 23, the Australian Classification Board announced that three volumes of the No Game No Life light novel had received a rating of “refused classification;” thus preventing the volumes from being imported to or sold within the country.
Refused classification (RC) is described as, “a classification category referring to films, computer games and publications that cannot be sold, hired, advertised or legally imported in Australia” and is also described as “material [which] contains content that is very high in impact and falls outside generally-accepted community standards.”
For volumes 1 and 2 they were, “classified RC in accordance with the National Classification Code, Publications Table, 1. (b) as publications that ‘describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offense to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18 (whether the person is engaged in sexual activity or not).’”
These two volumes were presumably refused classification due to respective color illustrations in each volume that depicted under-18 characters, such as Shiro and Stephanie Dola, in the nude.
Volume 9, while also having its refusal justified under Pub 1(B), was also refused under Pub 1(A), which states that “publications that ‘describe, depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.”
In volume 9, Sora is tasked with restarting the reproductive cycle of the youthful-looking Ex-Machina, which sees him releasing their chastity “hardware locks” and being ‘tactically’ seduced by the various Ex-Machina as they attempt to recreate images seen in his hentai collection.
This classification refusal comes after months of attacks against No Game No Life, and Japanese media in general, by Australian politicians. They believe that certain anime, manga, and light novels facilitate real-world child sexual abuse.
In one instance back in February, South Australia Senator Stirling Griff described No Game No Life as being, “hypersexualized and features incest themes between the two main characters” and concluding that the series’ illustrations were “in contravention of the law, plain and simple.”
In another, a Japanse bookstore chain, Books Kinokuniya removed No Game No life and other titles in their Sydney location.
This followed a complaint in July by former chief-of-staff for Senator Griff and current SA Best legislator Connie Bonaros. They claimed that “despite clearly being in breach of the definition of child abuse and exploitation material under both commonwealth and state law in Australia, I was horrified child pornography material is freely available in Australia.”