Sorry Love Live doujin fans, but it looks like the idol anime’s rights holders are putting their foot down on unlicensed merchandise. This is because the official Love Live website announced that they’re asking fans and store owners to stop selling them.
Many well-known doujin stores, such as Tora no Ana, as well as events like Comiket, sell these doujin merchandise. Several arcades also put these fan-made yet unlicensed goods as prizes, while online stores also sell them. The rights holders are also making these people by sending Cease & Desist letters to these sellers and events. And they’re going to be strict, and won’t tolerate any person selling unlicensed Love Live merch. Their announcement also asks other fans not to make, sell, or buy these unlicensed works. They also thanked fans for their support of Live Live and Love Live Sunshine.
It’s also fair to say that the doujinshi industry is booming right now, with the anime industry itself seemingly encouraging fan-made works, particularly manga. Many in Japan view doujin manga circles as potential breeding grounds for legendary creators. In fact, several mangaka have first made names for themselves as doujin artists during Comiket. However, it still isn’t clear whether this ban on unlicensed goods also include doujin manga. Even though the announcement’s language seems to focus on goods, it didn’t really say anything about manga.
While many fans are speculating if this ban includes manga or not, other fans are also speculating why Love Live would go so far as to banning goods now of all times. Many speculate that when Love Live switched to AQOURS, merchandise sales dropped. Many theorize that this has lead to the rights holders to put their foot down and ban unlicensed goods.