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KissAnime and KissManga taken down permanently as Japan tightens piracy law, Internet mourns 'end of childhood'

A user wrote: 'So many memories! The thing I loved most about these sites were the conversations I had with fellow viewers/readers in the comment section'
UPDATED AUG 15, 2020
(Studio Ghibli)
(Studio Ghibli)

Anime fans, apologies for being the bearer of bad news. Popular websites, "KissAnime and KissManga" have been taken down permanently. In a June 2020 report by Kyodo News, it was reported that the Japanese parliament had endorsed a revised anti-online piracy law for copyright control, banning illicit downloading of manga, magazines, and academic texts, in addition to music and videos that were already covered by the existing legislation. According to the report, the law also regulates “leech websites” that facilitates users with hyperlinks to download pirated materials. The ban on illegal downloading will take effect on January 1 next year, while restrictions on leech sites will come into effect on October 1, as per the story.

This law revision was proposed due to the rising number of leech and piracy websites. The report states that notably the Mangamura site, which had over 100 million hits a month before being disabled in April 2018, had caused an estimated loss of more than 300 billion yen ($2.75 billion) to publishers. The website used to host pirated copies of popular manga titles, including ‘Attack on Titan’ and ‘One Piece’.

As reported by Complete Music  Update, the Japanese government has appointed Kitty White – better known as Hello Kitty – as their brand ambassador to educate and raise awareness of recent changes to copyright law in the country. According to a statement quoted by the website, the fictional character said, “I will do my best to make everyone aware of copyright.” Kitty will make Japanese internet users aware of what the changes in the law mean and about the new penalties that have been implemented for sharing or downloading digital comic books, magazines, and academic texts without permission.

The Kyodo News report further states, last year, the government had to shelve a similar anti-online piracy bill because manga artists and experts didn’t agree with it and said the restrictions were too broad and could hinder lawful research activities. According to the report, as of last November, there were more than 500 piracy websites that provided Manga and photo books, and the top 10 sites were getting almost 65 million hits a month.

While the effects of the law started to show slowly with websites like KissAnime and KissManga being shut down, fans expressed their ‘sorrow’ on Twitter.

One user wrote: "Heard KissAnime got taken down. R.I.P to a goated website, we lost a real one today. Rest Easy King."


Another expressed disappointment by saying, "Kissanime was there when no one else was."


Another wrote: "Damn RIP kissanime, site was legendary and helped the poor and people who couldn’t access anime in other countries. It’s a damn shame. Farewell Kissanime"


Another wrote: "All files are taken down by copyright owners. this site will be closed forever. thank you for your supports.I don't use kissanime anymore but it really has been a part of my weeb life as being the main website to watch anime. rest in peace, you will be missed"


Another said, "So many memories on kissanime and kissmanga the thing i loved most about those sites were some of the conversations i had with fellow viewers/readers in the comment section im gonna miss that timeless kissanime jingle as well I hate goodbyes."


A heartbroken user wrote: "childhood is GONE now that kissanime is shutting down f**k 2020 all my homies hate 2020"