MangaUp is the official manga streaming app from multimedia company Square Enix. Available now in North America, the app includes popular titles like My Dressup Darling, Full Metal Alchemist, The Apothecary Diaries, and more.
Users of the app were quick to point out censorship on the app, with awkward black boxes covering cleavage, fully-clothed hips, and in at least one instance an exposed knee (the horror). After a swift and intense backlash from fans which went relatively viral earlier this week, MangaUp made this announcement.
Regarding Censorship on the MANGA UP! app:
In consideration of each mobile platform’s policies, some modifications were unavoidable to release the app to the whole world outside of Japan (this is not limited to only English-speaking countries).
We are still in the early exploratory stages and will strive to improve while listening to your feedback.
In the meanwhile, some of the content is available uncensored through other official streams, so please continue supporting the artists. Thank you for your patience.
-MANGA UP! Global Team
You can find examples of censorship on the app from Twitter user @AniNewsAndFacts below.
The Censorship in Square Enix's MangaUp app is so absurd and hilarious.
ICYMI, Manga Up is a recently launched English manga reading service launched by Square Enix two days ago.
Also RIP knee !!! pic.twitter.com/Mg2n5wPQP4
— Anime News And Facts (@AniNewsAndFacts) July 27, 2022
Due to the inconsistent nature of the censorship (you can see in the second image that the app decided to not censor the cleavage in the last panel), users have begun to speculate that the censorship may be automated, leading to an excessive amount of false positives. However some fans would argue that any censorship is unnecessary.
While MangaUp has apologized for the poor user experience, nothing in their apology indicates a willingness to walk back the censorship or offer any transparency on their policies, only calling it “unavoidable” and a generic promise to listen to feedback.