Australia Bans Three No Game, No Life Light Novels

Australia Bans Three No Game, No Life Light Novels
Image: Netflix

Some of the No Game, No Life light novels has just been refused classification in Australia, following a push by a South Australian political party to have them removed from sale.

No Game, No Life was one of the series targeted by the Centre Alliance political party earlier this year. A representative of SA Best — a party also founded by Nick Xenophon that runs candidates for state office in South Australia — appealed to the vice president and president of Australian manga distributors Kinokuniya, asking for several titles to be pulled from sale.

The appeal was successful, with Kinokuniya pulling seven manga series from sale including No Game, No Life. Following the complaints from Centre Alliance and SA Best, retailers had to wait until each individual volume of the series were classified in Australia — a cost Kinokuniya argued should have been borne by the original publishers.

However, following that classification process, it seems like some titles will never be available for physical purchase again. The Classification Board recently banned three No Game, No Life volumes from release in Australia, saying the titles “describe or depict in a way that is likely to cause offence to a reasonable adult, a person who is, or appears to be, a child under 18”.

no game no life ban
no game no life ban
Images: Classification Board

At the time of writing, No Game No Life is the only publication to be reclassified in Australia. Given that Centre Alliance are listed as the applicant, it’s the political party who is bearing the cost of having the series reviewed. In practical terms, that means Kinokuniya and the original publishers of the series aren’t seeking to have the removed manga titles, which includes Eromanga Sensei and Sword Art Online, re-released in Australia.

The legislation requires that each individual volume of a series be submitted for review once it’s been determined that a piece of literature or publication should go through the classification process.

“When these titles were brought to the attention of the Classification Board, by some politicians, it fell to The Board to decide if the titles needed to be officially submitted for classification, before we are allowed to sell them,” Kinokuniya told Kotaku Australia in a statement.

As noted by Crunchyroll, No Game, No Life was also removed from Amazon’s Prime Video streaming service earlier this year. Eromanga Sensei was pulled at the same time, and under these conditions, it seems unlikely that either will return.

Thanks to Bartley for the tip! 

Correction 2:10pm AEST: The original headline classified No Game, No Life as a manga series, but it’s three volumes from the original light novels that have been banned in Australia, not the manga adaptation. I’ve updated the headline and the body copy to reflect the difference (thanks David!)

It’s also worth noting that some Australian retailers, however, still have the banned volumes available for sale.


  • These are light novels, not manga. Someone on Twitter posted some of the illustrations that were likely the cause of the ban, and uh, yeah… not terribly surprised this was the decision.

    • I’ve watched bits and pieces of anime for years but have really gotten into watching a lot more during covid.
      I have to say figuring out the differences between light novels, manga and the anime has been more than a little confusing.

      • Anime = TV shows / movies
        Manga = Comics
        Light novels = Written novels, usually with the occasional illustration.

        Gotta say I’m not entirely sure why they’re called “Light novels” as opposed to just “Books” or “Novels” though.

        • Yeah I think I have it now.
          But it honestly took me a while to figure out that manga and light novels are two different things.
          Also, it’s confusing to figure out what is based off what. So if an anime is based off a manga or light novel and which I should read if I want to continue on from where the anime may have finished.

          • Yeah there’s no surefire way to know what’s based on what. Most shows are generally based on either a light novel or manga, but some original shows will get manga adaptations after the fact.

            Some series have novels, manga AND anime series. It’s super fun to try and get the next novel in a series without accidentally buying the manga version instead.

  • I guess anime and manga fans will just revert back to the yesteryear of fansubs and translations on the web….

  • … and this will have zero effect on anyone who actually wants to read/watch those series because INTERNET!

    Besides being a few sound bites for politicians, what did this actually achieve? I wish that party put more effort into something tangible and of wider community benefit.

    • I really doubt the party put much effort into this, they lobbied the publisher and got the attention of the classification board.
      That only takes a handful of emails and their speech in parliament to get the medias attention.

      Easy win for them and it’s 3 less novels that normalise the sexualisation of 11 year olds available to Australian consumers.

  • Sooo…. by the political party bearing this cost..

    Do we mean the actual party themselves will footing the full cost of this excercise? Or as a member of local parliament will the senator deduct these as costs under the tax payers behest?

    Because i sure as crap wouldnt want bloody tax money being wasted on pointless conservative save the children style vote buying of this scale..

    • The “party paid the cost” of the re-review which is out of the pocket of either the developer or third party requesting the review…. but before that they would of tied up a lot of ACB resources slamming them with queries.

      (not sure if the party paid for it, we didn’t see the invoice, they could of expensed their political office, plus tax payer salary for them and their staff while they chase this unicorn)

      They been at it for over 6 months, first complaining about anime, then manga, and then the light novels, thats a lot of request for information to the ACB costing money and time.

      I would of preferred that money being spent on real issues like Child Protection or Domestic Violence, cause at the end of the day, this is not stopping anyone reading it cause we have the INTERNET!!!

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