The BBFC issued their verdict on the first season of the anime Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid. Outlets like Anime UK News and Sankaku Complex picked up the news from over on the official BBFC website, where the verdict was handed down.
Basically the show won’t be available in the U.K., until various cuts are made throughout the entire season, specifically all of the “sexual activity” involving the female characters. The verdict reads…
“Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid [Season 1, Episodes 1 – 12] is a Japanese anime series submitted for DVD classification with an 18 request. Two of the main characters are described as being 15 – years-old and 16-years-old respectively. They are shown engaging in sexual activity, both with each other and with other characters. They are also sexualised. Sections of the submission were viewed by the Chief Executive, the Head of DEA, the Head of Compliance and the Compliance Manager. It was concluded that the submission is not in violation of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 but that the scenes showing the children engaged in sexual activity, or otherwise being sexualised, are in violation of the ‘harm’ provisions of the Video Recordings Act 1984 and the BBFC’s Guidelines which prohibit portrayals of children in sexualised or abusive contexts. Accordingly, a general cuts list has been issued instructing
the distributor to remove all such material throughout.”
Apparently the company that submitted the anime for review so that it could be distributed within the region didn’t bother changing the ages on the characters, so the BBFC moved forward with the committee decision based on the idea that the characters are underage.
Typically, most anime and video games when being released in the West bump up the ages to 18 or they simply don’t identify the ages of the characters. This allows them to avoid being penalized, forced to censor content, or outright banned. In fact, Omega Labyrinth Z was actually banned in the U.K., for the exact same reasons as Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is being requested to have its sexual content removed, with the ratings board claiming that the game promoted underage sex.
However, the Valkyrie Drive series is no stranger to harsh penalties when it comes to distribution and censorship. The video game Valkyrie Drive: Bhikkhuni is banned from being sold in Australia, along with being denied a release in Germany.
Given that the entire gist of Valkyrie Drive: Mermaid is themed around yuri content, where one character most sexually arouse another character until they turn into a weapon, it’s safe to say that either the series will get butchered to the point of being unwatchable, it won’t release at all, or they’ll have to find a way around the BBFC’s restriction.
(Thanks for the news tip npcomplete)