Don’t bring your manga to Canada!

mangaread.jpgGee, and I thought that my country was strict. This blogger had her manga looked through by Canadian customs officers and ..

As soon as I declared that I had some of the japanese inspired comic books called manga, a Custom’s officer said, “That’s the stuff from Japan; there is some really obscene and filthy stuff.”

No, I pointed out, these was printed in America and very mainstream. As more and more officers were called in, the six manga books I had were examined in detail. They were looking, they told me, for pornographic, obscene and adult material. “The age rating is on the back of each book.” (each manga book has ratings like 13+ or 15+ – mine were 13+).

I was informed that I could have put different covers on or done anything else I could to get the pornography in and that if I spoke anymore, the books would be seized. So I stood there and watched my previously new books get examined page by page, thumbed through and pressed open because it was assumed if I read manga, that I was a sex offender.

That sounds like a joke doesn’t it. Except the exact same phrase “That stuff from Japan…” was used two weeks earlier on my last trip through Customs and my manga examined for the same reason; because Japanese manga is “really filthy stuff.” The reason I was so heavily raided this time, I found out afterward, was one of the manga titles had the word “boy” in the title, which “alerted” them to pedophile materials. Huh? Can someone please go get my next issue of the romance manga Tokyo Boys and Girls from the US? I’m too scared.

Gee. This is as good as the time when a Malaysian daily claimed that all anime was h3ntai. 😉 (Read this blog entry: Anime is pron)

t was a big hoo-haa in my country and thank goodness a few other newspapers quickly corrected that newspaper. Not that they'd admit that they did wrong. 😉 To them, it was justified. Hmm.

So, much misconception about the terms "anime" and "manga" still exists. Ask any book supplier in Malaysia and they'll tell you the problems they have with bringing some manga over. Many are confiscated – and I'm not talking yaoi stuff. Some are regular shojo and shonen titles. Someone told me that Saikano was on the "banned" list for one of the bookstores because it had love-making scenes.

I remember the time when my good friend brought some yoai manga from Singapore across the border to Malaysia. She was worried that she'd be arrested. (Incidently, in Singapore, you have to produce your passport/ID if you want to buy yaoi! Look ma, I'm buying pron!) I laughed it off then, thinking that it's such a joke, but with the post above, now I am starting to worry. -_-" And the manga that she got was more shonen-ai-ish than anything else. It's definitely not in the "hotness" realm like Embracing Love.

And that's why I live on scanlations. In my country, where sodomy is a crime, yaoi is just banned.

Ah, thank your lucky stars if you live in America, people! You guys not only have anime conventions and the like, you get to buy manga without fear!

61 Responses to Don’t bring your manga to Canada!

  1. Hazel says:

    *Shocked*. I had no idea things like this happened!

    It make me wish i had limitless funds to travel the world with a suitcase full of yaoi, yuri, doujinshi and hentai, seeing which airports create the most fuss!

    I think I’d put Hamtaro covers on the suggestive ones to really confuse them…

  2. tj han says:

    You know in Singapore, yaoi isn’t actually legal as far as I know. It seems to be under-the-counter stuff.

    But we do get stuff like Gantz easily, so I’m not complaining at all.

    I’m surprised that Canada is so outdated though. I thought they were laid back and fun people.

    • CanadianDude says:

      Please don’t blaim this on Canada itself. Blaim it on the lame Canadian Officers.

      • Im ashamed says:

        Wow! the officers ARE lame! Canada doesent ussually check things they especially shouldent check what we read. we do have cons and huge yaoi booths at the cons too and police dont give a crap. what they have in books isent any better then stuff they put in movies and kids tv really those officers where just being a prick.

      • liannedia says:

        Yeah! don’t blame Canada! maybe that happened in quebec or something but I can buy manga in my place here in kelowna freely! The officers here don’t sniff on my stuff when i came here from the Philippines! Who cares if it had love scenes! it does not mean there are love scenes does mean that it is considered pornography! It may be mild but but…those stuff never happen in my place!! there are even conventions in Vancouver. The title of this thing is just stupid!

  3. Kitty says:

    Hazel – give me the yaoi! lol.

    Tjhan – That’s what I thought! When my friend told me that they had Yellow at Kino, I went, “What? Are you sure?” I mean, you’re talking about a country that bans chewing gum. 😉

    My friend bought Yellow for me, which is honestly very shonen ai until the last few pages of the third vol.

    Embracing Love in Singapore? Somehow I highly doubt that will happen. 😉

  4. ahh, no wonder i saw your link in my page.

  5. Hinano says:

    lol what he hell??? What a bunch of closed minded idiots

  6. Blinded_ says:

    Im shocked things like that actually happen over CARTOONS [notice the caps lock on “cartoons”] having “love scenes” or “sex” in a FICTIONAL book.. Honestly, i think its an exception thing. They dont want to except it so they reject it.

  7. […] Post about why it’s a bad idea to bring manga to Canada. […]

  8. chunky-chan says:

    i feel so grateful for being an American now. seriously.

  9. andi says:

    i live in australia and this is the first time i’ve ever heard of it, it’s amazing actually 😛 never been overseas but if i ever do i’ll remember to not bring any manga on board.

  10. Kari says:

    That’s probably an isolated incident.

    I can tell you right now, being Canadian, living near the border, and bringing manga back and forth across when I visit the states, nothing like that has ever, ever happened to me. Some people are really biased =/ But we have a lot of manga here, and there are plenty of vendors who bring up Yaoi doujinshi and the like for conventions and stuff.

    It’s not the country. The title oln this post makes it seem terrible here. It hurts me. 😥

    • Mari says:

      I agree… This sounds most definitely like an isolated incident. Unfortunately there are prejudiced folks with deep convictions in any country, not just Canada; this could have happened anywhere. I’ve never had this happen to me, either. The title of this post also hurts my feelings. :/

  11. Jay says:

    Holy crow. I just found this blog on Google. As someone from manga who can buy tons of great manga, including yaoi, locally, I’m shocked. I’ve had manga imported through the mail, I can go to chapters and buy Gravitation without the shop attendant asking for my age or anything (I’m 24 but I looke 16 cause I’m small…).

    Weird how some places react. o.o

  12. Jodi says:

    I don’t really understand the whole thing, as a Canadian I have had no trouble buying manga and even though I’m not into yaoi my friend is and hasn’t had any trouble. I think it’s just a case of customs officers who want to show that they’re big shots.

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  16. slayer says:

    they dont even know what manga translates time bring a japanese to english dictionary with the word manga bookmarked and highlighted..

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  20. Leena says:

    I’m Canadian myself, and as others said, I think that could have been a one-time incident.
    I buy manga all the time. I also own a doujinshi, graphic, yaoi, and I have Canadian friends who own doujinshi too. The big-chain bookstore that I buy my manga from (Chapters) actually lets you order in Yaoi titles (such as “Yaoi Hentai”, “Only the Ring Finger Knows”, “Jazz”, “Yellow”, and many, many more.), they just don’t put them on the shelf. One of the clerks even helped recommend some titles to a friend of mine.

    Not to mention it’s the same with DVDs. I know SO many people who have countless hentai, yuri, and yaoi titles, legally owned and everything. As long as you’re legal age, you can buy stuff like that.

    Seriously, it’s NOT Canada. It’s safe to bring stuff like that to Canada. We have a large amount of Anime fans here, just like America. I really think you just happened to be in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong customs officer. Sorry to hear about what happened, though.

  21. Mari says:

    Not all Canadians are like that!
    But I very shocked about this. We have so many anime fans too. 😦
    Its probably because they thought you were bringing shota-con doujinshi into the country or something. *note to self: hide any Meitantei Conan doujins, and DEFINITELY do not bring anything by Haruka Minami.*
    But if you travel to Europe the lack of security is surprising. So if you want to travel with manga go to Europe.

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  26. Syu says:

    I’m from Malaysia and i usually buy my supplies of Gravitation (for 16+)
    from Kinokuniya/Borders(KL/Penang)..The cashier doesnt even give me a second look but of coz, there’s a warning label on the front page…You can get yaoi/shonen-ai titles translated by TokyoPop there but they’ll burn a hole in your wallet for sure..Scanlation’s the best..

    Sure, these shonen-ai and yaoi things are ban..But they’re not doing a good job enough of censoring it(pirated goods i guess) i bought a naruto colouring book for my sister once and was surprised to find a doujinshi picture of Naruto and Sasuke hugging..(o.O) the same thing happened when i bought a few naruto stickers…lolz

  27. Ania says:

    Lol. I’ve been given the evil eye for bumping into stuff while I was reading in the airport but I’ve never been strip-searched like that. When I buy any… questionable material in the US or Taiwan or the sorts, they are usually sealed air-tight with plastic with a giant red “WARNING” sticker on them. God forbid my parents don’t know I’m a pervert.
    I usually just download stuff anyways.

    … though, now that you mention it, it was HARD A** to find a manga store in Canada…

  28. sebcanada says:

    its because Loli things are illegal in canada so they are really strick on managa cause some guys have takin back loli hentai to canada and its considering pedo here so. They certainly chek everything do be sure.

    • CanadianDude says:

      lol, Canada doesn’t actually “check” what people read…those guys were just stupid. and Loli is Legal only for private use in Canada.

  29. Impish says:

    I live in Canada and if there’s one thing I’ve noticed is that the authorities will take any opportunity to tax or harass ANYONE. Don’t take it personally they were prolly just looking for an excuse to get some of your money (in the form of a release of goods fine or some crap like that).

  30. Impish says:

    Btw if you go to any Chapters store (a major book chain in Canada) you can find WALLS of Manga :p

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  32. Capt. Someguy1 says:

    I don’t know what part of Canada you live in, but those custom officers at your airport are just hillbillies. We British Columbians have a fair number of manga/anime stores in our cities, as well as a good amount of different ethnic groups. And it’s not uncommon to see some figurines of scantily dressed anime characters in those shops. Hell, my sisters brought me manga from japan and they didn’t have problems getting through customs. Also, we do have a few conventions, maybe not as big as the ones in the states, but they are still pretty good.

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  35. Crashzone2000 says:

    Does Britain care? Not a jolt. I have tonnes of manga and I order it from Japan and the USA. Some you can buy in the bookstores too. I picked up Junjou romantica that had a warning label for 15 + on it. Guess what… they didn’t even quiz me about it. I’m 24 btw… but still. Yet in the USA when I visited two months ago and ran delighted into a book shop looking for Yaoi to find none… then asked at the desk and a woman told me that ‘filth’ is returned to head office (this was a barnes and noble store). Scratched my head and looked confused… though USA was more liberal than the UK… Fair enough… made me appreciate how bloody lucky I am to have the freedom to read what the hell I like without judgement. My mum’s saw my collection that I amassed from my later teens and just asked me was a gay spirit trapped in a female body… The world is really a screwed up place I think… come to Britain… no one cares… we must be the english version of Japan.

  36. Canadian gold says:

    No real canadian would give to shits about that

  37. British Columbian says:

    As other Canadians have said, I believe it’s just a one time thing. It makes me sad to hear my country said to like that though. Canada isn’t an anime-hater country. I know tons of people who love anime here. Heck, I know a store is made to sell manga and anime dvds etc right in my local mall.

  38. I just migrated from Malaysia to Vancouver, Canada and I brought my whole anime collection with me here including merchandise without problems. Customs didn’t even bother to check.

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  40. SkyGem says:

    Wow…….I’ve been living in Canada for close to 11 years already(i’m 14) and I had no idea about this. I always bring my manga everywhere with me, and that has never happened to me before. Where did this happen? Just to let you know, I totally believe you and am really concerned about this.

  41. Skinia says:

    OMMMMMG! my country canada! if u were reading manga i would definetly hide it under my bed bad officers .-.

  42. XDD says:

    lol made me laugh~
    well we do have manga in canada i buy them~ even yaio yuri….i dont by tha the hentai….they dont give a crap XDD probaby just the officers that says ‘no’ i bring my manga with me when i travel too

  43. Valteri says:

    …Maybe the officers just wanted to have their moment of reading their (hopefully) porn while making it seem all scary and oppressive (I’m not sure If this is the right word~)

  44. Vorak says:

    Ya I bought the whole Elfen lied series here no problem, and there are few worse things then guro. (besides yaoi, strait guy) It really pisses me off that after one bad experience you would slander canada. You made this from a retelling of what happend to an opinion. Racist prick. Live your life.

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  46. Vina says:

    Hi, Canada now allows many mangas & anime so there’s no more stricty rules about it we’re free to buy yaoi/yuri if we are over the age of 18. If you are under the age then you should not be reading it unless you have permission or if they dont care then thats what. You can read but you need to know if your allowed if they dont care about what you take then its fine. Well I’ve bought manga but I do not buy ones for adult that contain disgusting stuff for my children, but yes Yaoi is in Toronto stores or yuri too you can say!

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  48. Murasaki Lynna says:

    Wow…this is weird. I live in Canada and I’ve never heard of this before. There’s a lot of manga at bookstores, including adult ones. Never experienced any trouble whatsoever. Then again, I don’t read any Yaoi or Yuri.

  49. sayahi says:

    we are going to canada soon, and i’m a manga freak. i’m planning to bring my small tankoubon collection, but.. i’m kinda scared after reading your article XD. do you think i shouldn’t say that i have manga on my luggage? or do they allow some kissing scenes? (’cause my books have some of those xD). they don’t have dirty or filthy scenes, though. what do you think i should do to get my manga safe to canada? xD

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  51. jessa says:

    Clearly many of you are uneducated. Japan manufactures a lot of illegal pornography and does have many comics and anime that do display sexual content between adults and minors. Customs was right to check just in case. People do try to hide it, and some customs officers are more strict than others. America has similar import laws to us, as well.

    They checked your precious new books? So what? I had my crap from Korea searched through, too. Customs of any country are allowed to search.

    They didn’t “assume” anything. They did their job.

    I have a giant manga collection in my bedroom. It doesn’t mean I’m such a weeaboo that I’m going to judge an entire country for being careful about potentially illegal content. But what, nothing is ever wrong about glorious Nippon, right?


  52. animefan1993 says:

    Thats so lame. I’m Canadian and all I want is anime to be put back on TV again like it used to but it seems we are moving further and further away from that. It’s so depressing that something as simple as putting anime back on TV isn’t going to happen unless its Pokemon.

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