UPDATE 11/4/19 : Since this article’s publishing, the official Azur Lane English staff and the artist both responded to the controversy :
— Azur Lane Official (@AzurLane_EN) November 4, 2019
The Azur Lane’s official Discord server held a fanart contest where they let the fans vote on their favorite fan art for the loading screens on Halloween day. The artist chosen subsequently had their art removed less than 12 hours after it went up.
In short, the art was pulled because people took issue with it being too lewd, with one Discord moderator from the official Azur Lane English speaking Discord, saying there are “several reasons.” You can find the original art posted by the artist here. The art was quietly removed later, with the original artist not being notified either.
I browsed their official Discord, only to find another mod giving a different, albeit extremely vague reason why the art was pulled. I questioned the moderator staff as well as the Azur Lane staff, only to later get an official response from the development staff.
Here’s their response:
In answer to your recent feedback, we removed a Halloween artwork, which had brought inconvenience to commanders when the game was played in public, from the current loading screens during yesterday’s hotfix. We intended to make a contact with the artist to clarify such situation before the artwork was removed, but he/she was unable to be reached on our Discord server. Hereby, we want to express our sincerest apology to the artist, and to all his/her fans. We will keep trying to contact the artist and solve the issue in a proper way.
We reiterate our respect to all kinds of fan arts, and we will be more careful with such issues in the future. Thanks for your understanding and support for HQ.