It seems the time of the female shinobi has finally come to an end, as in an apparent attempt to distance themselves from their parent company’s popular fan-service heavy video game series, Marvelous Europe has omitted any and all mention of the Senran Kagura from a recent relaunch of their official website.

Source: Senran Kagura Burst Re:Newal (2018), XSEED Games

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Developed by UK marketing agency Pixel Kicks and unveiled to the public on August 23rd, the subsidiary’s “shiny new website” provided the homepage of Marvelous’ English-language  localizer and publisher with a much needed-update to its overall presentation, including new graphics and a streamlined layout.

However, the dazzle of the website’s visual changes soon gave way to the discovery that, under cover of the update, Marvelous Europe had brought their website back online devoid of any reference to the Senran Kagura series.

Source: Senran Kagura Estival Versus (2015), Marvelous Inc.

This absence of the girls from Japan’s top ninja academies can be seen across the website, including its own internal search engine, which returns no results for the series’ general title: 

Source: Marvelous Europe Official Website

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As well as its catalog listings of the developer’s own titles, wherein Senran Kagura is noticeably absent from such collective categories as ‘action games’ – a genre which all but the series’ spin-off entries (New Wave, Bon Appétit!, Peach Beach Splash, Reflexions, New Link, and Peach Ball) fall into:

Source: Marvelous Europe Official Website

And ‘PlayStation 4 games’, which is particularly notable for the fact that the majority of the series’ mainline games originally released on the Sony platform.

Source: Marvelous Europe Official Website

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By contrast, Marvelous proper’s official Japanese website not only returns 33 results encompassing most every Senran Kagura title when searched for items related to the series:

Source: Marv.jp Official Website

But it also continues to host and operate a full blown Senran Kagura homepage:

Source: Marv.jp Official Website

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As well as the NyuNyu blog, which provides players with semi-regular updates regarding the series’ upcoming releases:

Source: Marv.jp Official Website

Despite this attempt to scrub their website of any mention of their association with the games, the first Google search result for the company name “Marvelous Europe” lists a since-deleted promotional page hosted by the subsidiary in promotion of the Senran Kagura: Reflexions dating sim.

Source: “Marvelous Europe”, Google.com

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This aversion to arguably one of, if not the developer’s most popular franchises, by its Western branch follows the 2019 exit of its creator and producer, Kenichiro Takaki, from Marvelous over concerns relating to (translated via DeepL) “the recent restrictions on sexual expression.”

Source: Senran Kagura Estival Versus (2015), Marvelous Inc.

“Sexual expressions are criticized, but there are also many people who enjoy them,” he explained to Japanese video game magazine Famitsu in 2019. “I believed that such variations were one of the things that supported the game industry, but I was surprised at how easily they could be destroyed….”

“I welcome regulations and restrictions to protect specific genres and ranges,” the producer concluded. “However, I feel that the current trend is definitely aimed at destroying them.”

Source: Senran Kagura: Reflexions (2017), Marvelous Inc.

Though he made no direct reference to the policy itself, many have speculated that Takaki’s exit was spurred on by Sony’s confirmation earlier in the year that, motivated by the #MeToo movement and the growing popularity of video game streaming among general audiences, the company had ordered a more scrutinous approach to the sexual content of titles released on their consoles.

Notably, this policy has thus far seemed to disproportionately affect Japanese video games, with games such as YU-NO: A Girl Who Chants Love at the Bound of this World and Zanki Zero: Last Beginning receiving heavy censorship of even the most mild of content whilst games like The Last of Us II  have released completely uncensored – and to high praise at that.

Source: Senran Kagura: Peach Beach Splash (2017), Marvelous Inc.

As of writing, Marvelous Europe has not commented on their omission of any and all Senran Kagura information from their newly revamped website.

(Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly identified Marvelous as the publisher for Neptunia x Senran Kagura. This title was actually handled by Neptunia publisher Idea Factory. Notably, the game’s listing remains active of Idea Factory’s website.)

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  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi
    Associate Editor

    Spencer is the Associate Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.

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