Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni is an action game released for Vita in Japan yesterday, but trailers for the game seemed to have gotten one of Marvellous' YouTube channels banned. I say "seemed" because there's no way to be sure — YouTube is confusing that way — but, uh, the anime it's based on is one step away from pornography. The videos are now back, but it's still unclear why they were banned in the first place and why they are back now.
Warning: While there's no nudity in this story, one could easily argue the visuals are not safe for work. Careful!
I first spotted the banning on the gaming forum NeoGAF. The change caught my eye because I've regularly covered the complex world of copyright on YouTube at Kotaku. Despite writing countless stories about the topic, it's still confusing.
If you visited the "movie" section of the game's website yesterday, it was nothing but errors.
Marvellous has not responded to my requests for comment.
Anime News Network describes the anime this way:
In a world where five artificial islands exists, Mamori is a "mermaid" transferred to one of those islands. When Mamori is attacked, a newly transferred girl named Mirei saves her. The enemy doesn't stop, however, and the two are soon cornered. Just when they think all hope is lost, Mirei kisses Mamori, and Mamori turns into a sword. Mirei then wields the sword and launches a counterattack against their enemies.
The genres it's listed under are crucial: fan service and yuri. Not familiar with yuri? Me either, but it's about love between two women. It's really easy to imagine what a fan service-y anime about women in love might quickly become.
In a form that's acceptable to post on this website, it's this:
It doesn't take long for it to get much more intense, to the point that I'm genuinely shocked this was actually broadcast uncensored on TV in Japan.
Valkyrie Drive Bhikkhuni, whose genre Google humorously auto translates to "aggressive tits hyper battle", doesn't appear as overtly erotic as the Valkyrie Drive anime, but there's no doubt it's in the category of aggressive fan service.
Between ladies making out, the anime features lots of fighting, so it's not a surprise the game, which cribs from games like Senran Kagura, looks like this:
Chicks in skimpy clothing fighting mechs isn't a reason for a channel to get banned, though. So I watched the trailer in its entirety, looking for answers.
Another person, like YouTube clockwork, had hosted the trailer elsewhere.
The answer might come at the 1:10 mark, in which one character — 17-year-old Mana Inagawa — grabs the boob of another character — 14-year-old Momo Kuzuryū — and the latter begins to quickly lose their clothes to combine powers.
That's just how I imagined it would happen, you know?
It's ultimately impossible to know why the channel was taken down, as YouTube's default error message doesn't provide any context. If you tried to visit the channel it originated from, you were greeted with an equally vague message:
"This account has been suspended due to multiple or severe violations of YouTube's policy against spam, gaming, misleading content, or other Terms of Service violations."
The channel is now back up, and thanks to archiving we can see what it looked like a few days ago before it was banned:
It's not the only YouTube channel that Marvellous owns. Those were still online.
A YouTube channel isn't usually removed due to a single infraction, and while the ages of the characters in the video is suspect, we've all seen weird shit on YouTube. My hunch? People reported this. It's possible the channel returned on appeal, but without more concrete information, we're only left to speculate.