Special Editioned: Digital Ghost In The Shell Is Not The Uncensored Original Version (NSFW)

Posted by December 25, 2016 9 Comments

Note: this article contains censored but still not safe for work images from the original version of Ghost in the Shell.

Earlier this week, Bleeding Cool reported on the digital release of Ghost in the Shell, the manga series by Masamune Shirow that’s soon to be a major motion picture starring Scarlet Johansson. This precedes the release in January of deluxe hardcover editions of the books, which were originally announced during the summer. At the time, Bleeding Cool Rumormonger-in-Chief Rich Johnston reported that the books would be “uncut,” but the photo of a San Diego Comic Con slide posted with the article doesn’t use that particular verbiage, and all copy promoting the book, including a recent press release from publisher Kodansha and the listings for the book on Amazon, refer to the deluxe editions as being overseen by creator Masamune Shirow, and featuring unaltered sound effects and the original right-to-left page order. But nowhere do they claim that the book is uncensored, which is an interesting distinction.

In the 1995, Dark Horse printed an English language edition of the story, which featured the following image on the third page of the third chapter:

gitscensored1

But in the digital edition, just as in Kodansha’s previous English language printed version, the page has been altered to look like this:

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-4-38-42-pm

In case you didn’t notice, that bottom panel has been changed from this rather explicit scene…

gtiscensoredcloseup

…to this much more innocuous one.

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-4-38-50-pm

But that’s not where the differences end.

At this point, it’s worth noting that Ghost In The Shell is a seinen series – aimed at older readers – and that Japan’s porn and obscenity laws forbid depictions of genitals, but otherwise creators can show pretty much anything they want. It’s with that in mind that we’ll bring up the next two pages of full on, naked, sweaty, three-way action that appear in the original dark horse version of the comic. This would mark Masamune Shirow’s earliest foray into porn, an interest he would pursue with even more vigor as his career continued.

In what is perhaps the most ironic part of this entire article, our editors have informed us that we are not allowed to show you the uncensored pages, because they’re so graphic, they can’t even be posted on Bleeding Cool.  Bleeding Cool! We even prayed to the patron saint of censorship, Frank Cho, but lo he did not answer our prayers. We’d begin to doubt Frank Cho even existed, if Bleeding Cool didn’t publish articles about his antics on a weekly basis.

Even more egregious, we’ve also been informed, that we are apparently not allowed to censor the photos by photoshopping Rich Johnston’s head calling us “naughty” on top of all nipples, butt cracks, and depictions of penetration, leaving us with no other option but to pixelate them to make these pages safe for Bleeding Cool. However, even with the pixelated versions, under no circumstances should you consider them safe for work, unless you work in the sex industry – and if you do, that’s totally cool with us. For everyone else though, you shouldn’t even be looking at this article at work. Get out of here! Go on!

Okay, you’ve had fair warning. Don’t blame us if you’re fired. Honestly, shouldn’t you be working rather than reading about comics on the internet anyway?

Here’s the pages, pixelated by us:

gitscensored2 gitscensored3

Those pages are completely missing from all existing English language versions of the book published by Kodansha, including the new digital ones, with the new editions skipping right to the next page:

screen-shot-2016-12-23-at-4-39-11-pm

There may be other incidents of changes to the book, but we think we’ve made our point.

So if you’re hoping to pick up the digital editions of Ghost in the Shell, just know that you’ll be getting a version that’s not quite the same as the original. They’ve been “special editioned,” in a sense, except in this case Han shooting first was a graphic lesbian threesome. This may be fine by fine you, but you should be informed about your purchase. So, uh, Merry Christmas.

For fans that require the uncut experience however, who are unable to acquire one of the old Dark Horse printings, that leaves just the upcoming deluxe edition, due out on January 31. We’ve reached out to Kodansha for comment on whether those editions will be the updated or original versions. At press time, we hadn’t heard back yet. We’ll update this article if they respond.

(Last Updated December 25, 2016 12:01 pm )

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About Jude Terror

Former siterunner of TheOuthousers.com during its golden age, Jude Terror now delivers his modern take on entertainment journalism EXCLUSIVELY to the readers of Bleeding Cool, whether they like it or not.

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