Walmart and Target Sell Anime Porn

UPDATE: More Walmart Porn Found
UPDATE: Walmart Apologizes

The Consumerist may not be porn, but Walmart is now in the business of selling it, in comic book form.

Walmart
Yaoi Hentai: Volume 1
Yaoi Hentai: Volume 3
Target
Yaoi Hentai, Volume 1

From Walmart.com:

“In Volume 3 of the ultra popular, kinky, sex-full Yaoi Hentai, you’ll see tentacle monster Trach nailing an unsuspecting bus rider, a poor bishonen with his wiener caught in a fence hole and the perv friend who helps, a yaoi take on the “Aristocrats” joke, hot loving with a Sultan’s slave and more! Explicit yaoi content. For readers 18+ only!”

We checked over at Target.com and they sell it as well, but are served by Amazon.com and the title can not be returned to Target stores. Walmart seems to have an open 90-day policy for website returns instore.

Yes, we’re surprised as well. Not that we’re prudes or anything. It’s just, you know, Walmart. Are congratulations in order? Golden tentacles? Target, meh, we knew they’re sluts anyway. —MEGHANN MARCO and BEN POPKEN

More screencaps, inside…


http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/walmartanime1-thumb.jpg?w=522&h=388

From Walmart.com:

    This is yaoi at its most extreme: graphic scenes of loving between a college professor and his student, a bar-hopper & some thugs who kidnap him, members of a corrupt soccer team and a tentacle monster who’s hot for a pair of twin bishounen. Nothing is left to the imagination! Mature and explicit content.

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/walmartanime2-thumb.jpg?w=522&h=388

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2007/01/targetanime1-thumb.jpg?w=522&h=356

Comments

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  1. timmus says:

    I think it would be better to send this stuff to Baptist ministers so they can get furious and start persuading their congregations to avoid Wal Mart. “Hey, Reverend, Wal-Mart has these great votive candles… just click on this link…”

  2. timmus says:

    (OK, votive candles are mostly Catholic, but you get the point)

  3. TedSez says:

    Quite a few mainstream magazines worry about the amount of cleavage on their covers for fear of getting banned by WalMart. It’s funny that they’ll sell hardcore Japanamation, but censor Cosmo if the model’s wearing a low-cut dress.

  4. SexCpotatoes says:

    Walmart.com sells books through some amazon.com type company. Hell, you can find the anarchist’s cookbook and such through their store. This is not news. I’m sure you’ll find anti-Walmart books for sale on walmart’s site if you do a search for a specific title.

  5. Does she have a tail and cat ears?

    “This one time in Cat camp…”

  6. Hoang says:

    Electoral College Dropout:

    He has cat ears.

  7. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Ahh.. the joys of e-commerce. I’ve seen this sort of thing with smaller e-tailers. They sign up with big distributors and blindly import the entire product database into their website. So an e-tailer that mainly sells computer gear suddenly has vacuums and toasters on the same page with printers and monitors.

    I suspect that this is the case for Target and Walmart. But I could be wrong; Perhaps they’re trying to tap a new demographic? :-)

  8. aak7268 says:

    The best part…it’s not just anime porn, it’s homosexual anime porn. (Yaoi is an entire category of “pretty boy” fiction (usually slash)in Japan) Go Wal-Mart! Way to open that mind!

  9. Wired just had an article about the same thing LatherRinseRepeat mentions in his reply: When Good Sites Sell Bad Stuff.

    I guess someone got lazy checking out the new additions to the database!

  10. cindel says:

    I refuse to shop at Walmart but Target here I come!

  11. molasses says:

    About a year ago I was emailed by an enraged friend about child porn being sold on Amazon. I, in turn, emailed other friends, and together we all complained, and to Amazon’s credit, they removed the DVDs somewhat promptly. As far as I am concerned, any retailer can sell adult porn if they want to (although I am surprised Walmart chooses too) but child porn is a definite no-no. How did I know it was child porn? Well, I thought about buying the videos first to see for myself before I got all upset about it – but it was pretty clear from the description on Amazon’s website and reviews on the films that it was child porn. One of them was a story about a boy’s soccer team and included locker room shots, etc. They were foreign and unrated. So if someone is enraged and not just amused by Walmart and Target selling porn, email the companies, and get your friends to, also, and maybe they will be removed from the website. (Hopefully more promptly than the Nazi T-Shirts.)

  12. Pelagius says:

    Flyover country is about to get much more interesting…

  13. fencepost says:

    Walmart includes a note that it’s from Diamond Comic Distributors; if they’ve actually just made available the entire content of Diamond’s catalog then there’s likely to be a lot more like this on their site.

  14. animeworldorder says:

    At the risk of coming off as a jerk, this isn’t technically “anime” porn. No, it’s not even “manga” porn. Both of those terms denote that the country of origin for this stuff is Japan, and this is actually a 100% American publication: the writers and artists are American and it’s published by a US company named “Yaoi Press” (deceptively named to sound like it’s a Japanese comicbook publisher when it’s nothing of the sort) with distribution handled by Diamond Comics, the same people who distribute Marvel and DC comicbooks to American comicbook shops. So what we’ve actually got here is a case of American artists trying to mimic Japanese artists, but passing off what they make as being Japanese in what is but a small part of an ongoing misinformation campaign in marketing.

    I know it sounds like I’m splitting hairs, but I’m not just saying all this to be pedantic. See, when people find out about stuff like this, the headline is inevitably “Walmart and Target Sell Anime Porn,” when in fact, they’re selling American porn that’s pretending to be of the Japanese variety. The “anime/manga” qualifier is included when it should not be. The net result of the headline is that it makes it seem like a bad thing being done by the actual publishers and distributors of Japanese comicbooks, when in fact any wrongdoing would fall squarely on an American organization. It’s a matter of who gets the finger pointed at them.

    Diamond and company aren’t going to look bad at all as a result of stories that are written like this. But they should, and we shouldn’t let ourselves be misled as to who’s really behind these books existing.

    Of course, whether it’s “anime porn” or just “porn,” it’s still a bad, bad, BAD idea for anyone to sell stuff like this in such an easily accessible manner. I’m not completely opposed to the existence of such material, but I do object to it being sold to minors, and really, that’s why this is news. Being sold at Wal-Mart/Target = anyone can get their hands on this stuff.

  15. TechnoDestructo says:

    Oh god, and it looks so incredibly amateurish, too. One look and you can tell it’s western. Desperately trying not to be.

  16. matrixhax0r says:

    Vol. 1 on Walmart just got taken down!

    BTW, yaoi is supposed to be homosexual. It looks a lot more like furry from the cover :/

  17. bluegus32 says:

    Oh sure, WalMart will take down faux-Japanese comic porn in response to popular protest.

    But Nazi paraphernalia? Yeah, we got that.

  18. godai says:

    animeworldorder:

    At the risk of sounding like an even larger jerk, ( :) ) anime and manga in the most literal sense are the japanese words for animation and comics.

    So technically X-men and Marvel are manga if you are speaking japanese.

    However using manga and anime was initally any comic/animation that was brought over but now a days it denotes not just the region of origin but a style or genre.

    So if in this case the origin is an american company while the art and stories genre are manga or more specifically Yaoi.

  19. buck09 says:

    Not to nitpick, but…


    NEEDS MORE TENTACLES!!!!!!

  20. timmus says:

    How on earth does this product get pulled in mere hours? You can’t exactly reach anyone at Wal-Mart corporate except maybe some phone droid at perhaps some call center somewhere, and then the issue has to pass between an untold number of managers and up and down various hierarchies. I’m just kind of floored how any corporate bureaucracy can work so quickly.

  21. animeworldorder says:

    On the contrary, if you were speaking Japanese, you would probably refer to X-Men and Marvel as “amekomi” and not “manga,” but since we are not, the word “manga” as used in the English language means “comics from Japan.” The words would be completely meaningless for us to use otherwise; if Spider-Man could be classified as “manga,” why would we even use the word at all over “comicbook”?

    Herein lies the dishonest marketing campaign I mentioned before. Companies such as Tokyopop as well as operations such as the one being discussed have found themselves in a sticky situation in recent years. Now that the major Japanese publishers are opting to localize and release titles on their own in America (so that they can keep all the profits to themselves) and are doing an acceptable job of it, nearly all of the most popular Japanese comicbook publications are no longer available to them. Tokyopop doesn’t even get the chance to license the megahit comicbook series such as “Naruto” or “Bleach” from Shogakukan in Japan because that right practically defaults to their US division (Viz/ShoPro) to be published under the label they own themselves.

    The solution that TP et al came up with is that they’d hire aspiring American artists, nearly all of whom lack any professional training and have never worked in publishing before (eg people with webcomics or sites on DeviantArt), sign them to rather exploitative contracts (paying them little while giving TP the property rights, thus sparing them the high cost of licensing a property), and instructing them to create superficial derivatives of the comicbooks they enjoy so much. But how to get “manga” fans, most of whom are young adults/teenagers, to go along with this? Simple: trick them into thinking that the “manga” they love so dearly isn’t actually a storytelling medium from a given place of origin, but rather a genre or style, thus implying that if you just follow steps X, Y, and Z then YOU TOO can be a “manga” author! This statement is amazingly dishonest, but on the surface there’s no real reason to doubt its validity. To comprehensively demonstrate HOW this is the case is off-topic on a blog that’s about consumer issues, so I’ll leave it at that. However, this is a subject I have spoken and written about repeatedly on my own blog/podcast.

    As far as what’s relevant here, these publishers are selling young artists on a fictional dream for the sake of acquiring intellectual properties for a pittance, and as such it doesn’t matter if the sales of these noticeably inferior works are but a fraction of what they are for “the real stuff” because without having to recoup that licensing cost, they don’t need to sell as many copies to turn a profit. But with this stuff such as what’s seen in the topic getting churned out at a blinding pace under the intentionally false moniker of “manga” (occasionally with a qualifier such as “OEL” or “global” or some other made-up term) and people (correctly) decrying it as garbage (or in the case of this story, pornography), that plays right into the hands of Diamond Comics. For despite having a monopoly on the direct market (“direct market” referring to comicbook shops as opposed to regular bookstores), sales of American comics are steadily decreasing while sales of manga (in bookstores) are steadily climbing. Diamond, despite selling manga themselves, would surely prefer more people to be buying the products that only they can provide which also happen to cost much more per page.

  22. tensegrity says:

    Timmus – Walmart has some of the most advanced IT systems on the planet. They can track when individual items are sold at what location. Just because they don’t want to talk to you when you call them, does not mean they don’t know their own business. I’m not a fan of Wal-Mart for various reasons, but they do know what they are doing… except for the anime buyer, that is.

  23. Scazza says:

    Honestly, I think its gotten to the point where EVERY major company has hired someone to constantly refresh http://www.consumerist.com incase their company appears on there… lol

  24. Ben Popken says:

    Hikikomori is Japanese for blogger.

  25. spin_sycle says:

    too much otaku-speak for me!

  26. TVarmy says:

    Aww. They’re taking it down? I was hoping the crop circles that kids do out in the South would get a bit more creative, and ruin the last part of the airline experience that didn’t 100% suck: the window… Ah well.

  27. Michael says:

    ROFL@Ben!

    Animeworldorder: Regarding your point that manga as used by English speakers should only denote comics which originate in Japan rather than expanding to include style and genre, keep in mind that in Japanese amekomi has similarly expanded to refer to American-style comics produced in Japan. Words have a funny way of evolving over time.

    The solution that TP et al came up with is that they’d hire aspiring American artists, nearly all of whom lack any professional training and have never worked in publishing before (eg people with webcomics or sites on DeviantArt), sign them to rather exploitative contracts (paying them little while giving TP the property rights, thus sparing them the high cost of licensing a property), and instructing them to create superficial derivatives of the comicbooks they enjoy so much.

    Funny, because you almost perfectly described working conditions in Japan for the vast majority of manga artists. It’s an industry with huge burnout and high rate of turnover, and the people who do most of the work are a dime a dozen. My Japanese brother-in-law fortunately got out of the industry before it completely crushed his soul.

  28. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Wow, just when I thought Wal-Mart was embracing the Japanese culture.

  29. anoniemouse says:

    UMM that’s Yaoi Press not Tokyo Pop. TP would never ever publish stuff like that. Most of TP’s artists are pretty top notch and have to win a contest to even get a chance to be published, I suggest you see Fool’s Gold and My Cat Loki for examples. The people at Yaoi Press are pretty much almost self published, and don’t have the same quality check as Tokyo Pop does. As in they aren’t a big publisher, but just a bunch of fans really who know nothing about publishing. And yes, I’ve read really bad self published books too. It’s like comparing Del Ray to Some Joe Smoe’s label :p definitely not fair to group them all together.

  30. fencepost says:

    They can get it taken down promptly because:
    * they have someone dedicated to monitoring blogs specifically for discussion of Walmart (which means they learned about it promptly),
    * the online store is effectively a single store so there’s probably only one person who needs to be contacted,
    * It’s very easy for the person who first found it to monitor that it’s actually been removed.

    This is in contrast to the nazi shirts where they have to send something out to all of the store “Oh, it’s more crap coming in from corporate” managers to get the shirts pulled from the shelves and they don’t have a good way to monitor that that’s actually happened. On the other hand, corporate can set the pricing, etc. for the shirt so that it’s not actually purchasable without having to deal with the individual stores.

    I can almost guarantee that internally there’s been no communication out to the store managers that says *why* the shirt needs to be pulled.

  31. Oh_Lord says:

    Hi. deceptively named to sound like it’s a Japanese comicbook publisher when it’s nothing of the sort

    Animeworldworder: Yaoi is the genre name, not the medium. They’re not calling themselves ‘yaoi manga press’ so I see not reason to speak like that. On that note, you’re coming off as just another purist with labeling issues. Manga = Japan…yeah, in the outside world. But at the Tokyo Big Site, it’s called COMIket, not MANGAket. Ok chief?

    The people at Yaoi Press are pretty much almost self published, and don’t have the same quality check as Tokyo Pop does.

    anoniemouse, excuse me? I’ve been published by Yaoi Press, as well as a few other companies currently making comics in the manga-medium stateside. They paid me for my work, and quite frankly, having held books in my hand from both companies, the YP books use a thicker stock and a cleaner print than many TP titles. Last I looked, there were no glaring editorial errors in my worked published by them, and so I have no complaints. No company is perfect, even Tokyo Pop has errors every now and then. Stop being so pedantic.

    Ok, I think the crises has been averted for the most part since Wal-Mart has uncatalogued the works, but I find it quite disappointing that the same old same old is still being displayed here in some of these comments: xenophobic-otaku-tripe, and outright purist snobbery. BTW…Tokyo Pop does license ‘yaoi’ through their imprint BLU.

  32. anoniemouse says:

    oh_lord: Clearly you missed the entire point of my arguement. It’s not about grammarical errors, nor print quality, but rather artistic quality. Whereas Tokyopop does license Yaoi again these are of a lot higher quality that the works from Yaoi Press. Surely you’re not compariring yourself or any of the artists at Yaoi Press to Yun Kouga?

  33. tiff_file says:

    animeworldorder You are incorrect on several matters:

    1. Yaoi Hentai is not a 100% USA publication. It’s printed in the USA, but the creators are primarily not from the United States. Most of the contributors of the book are Chinese and Indonesian. It’s distributed to seven countries. The United States is just one of them.

    2. It’s not cheaper to create OEL manga from scratch than it is to license material. It’s MUCH cheaper to license material. When material is licensed you pay a 10% royalty on your retail price, then come up with an advance for your expected first print run. Any company other than Tokyopop and Viz have a print run of 3,000-8,000 copies, and this is usually on the lower end of the spectrum. A royalty advance on 5,000 copies, even with translation costs and graphic design, is no where near the cost of paying an artist to draw the pages from scratch. For a $13 book this advance is $6500. Artists take 3-8 hours to draw a page, including doing a draft, penciling, inking and toning. Let’s say they’re spectacular at their work and can do a page in 5 hours. Are the supposed to get minimum wage for this work? No. They should make enough to pay their bills, or at least $50/page. Letterer $5. Writer $20. Multipy these very low estimates by 192 pages. You think $14400 is cheaper than $6500? There’s a reason new small publishers license material rather than pay creators. It’s cheaper.

    3. There is no deceptive Marketing Campaign. That’s an insult to yaoi fans. They are extremely savvy. Yaoi Press has never tried to fool readers into thinking their books are Japanese. The creator’s names on the listings and in the books are generally not pretend Japanese names. The books are published in Western reading format. The web site states clearly what their publishing. Yaoi is a term used to describe material made by Westerners all the time. It’s the word readers identify with for gay subject matter that’s intended for women readers. Manga is also a term that readers identify with a certain style of drawing. OEL Manga or Global Manga indicates that these are not Japanese made books.