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‘Dear Fucking God:’ The ‘Alexandria Library’ of Hentai Has Suddenly Vanished

Sad Panda, a huge hentai-hosting website, is gone, and another 50 terabytes of hentai is also in danger of deletion.

by Samantha Cole
29 July 2019, 5:30am

Sad Panda via exhentai/Composition by author

The admin of two of the internet's largest hentai repositories announced Friday that they're considering shutting down operations, and potentially taking 50 terabytes of anime and hentai down with it.

One of the sites, known as Sad Panda, or exhentai, is already gone. The other, e-hentai, is still online. Both hosted original artwork and English translations of Japanese art and comics—some that didn't exist anywhere else—for more than 10 years.

Overnight, data hoarders and hentai enthusiasts scrambled to archive Sad Panda, with only a few hours' notice.

"In the end, I worked fervently for 10 hours, but collapsed from fatigue, and even now am back up with a whopping 3 hours of rest," one user on 4chan wrote.

"I've been using your site for the last 15 years, more than halve my life," a user on the e-hentai forums posted, in response to the announcement. "Shutting down sadpanda would be akin to the burning of the Alexandria library for not only hentai but the whole anime and manga culture."

Sad Panda was known for hosting more fringe content, including loli (hentai depicting underage-looking girls), shota (underage-looking boys), incest, and guro (hentai involving gore). Some users are speculating on Reddit and 4chan that this content has gotten the administrator into legal trouble.

Some users said tearful goodbyes, but others were livid at the suddenness of the shutdown. "New laws don't just pop up out of thin fucking air, how the fuck did you not see this coming?" one user said. "A huge section of this site is now gone and you gave barely anyone any kind of warning. Thanks a fucking lot."

The owner and administrator, who goes by Tenboro, wrote in a post on e-hentai that the more mainstream site could also go down by 2020.

In the e-hentai forum post, Tenboro blames a persistent tendon injury for not being able to keep up with admin duties on the site, but also cites new legislation that's threatening the site's existence.

"Unfortunately, recent legislative changes in the Netherlands, confirmed by our host, has made it impossible to keep the status quo going," Tenboro wrote in a post to the e-hentai forums on Friday. "While it may have been possible to move the necessary servers to some other country with more lenient laws, at this point in time it's probably a game of whack-a-mole, so even if I wanted to attempt it, the aforementioned tendon injury makes it impossible for me to play that game."

While it's not clear what law they're referring to, specifically, it's possibly the European Union Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market, which the European Parliament voted into law in April 2019.

This law is designed limit how copyrighted content is shared online, but critics say the directive—specifically, Articles 11 and 13—are a disaster for internet freedoms. The Electronic Frontier Foundation calls it a "controversial proposal to make virtually every online community, service, and platform legally liable for any infringing material posted by their users, even very briefly, even if there was no conceivable way for the online service provider to know that a copyright infringement had taken place."

Tenboro could also be referring to a new proposition made by Dutch Minister of Justice and Security Ferdinand Grapperhaus, which would impose stricter consequences for websites that host child pornography and fail to remove it within a few hours.

Either way, for a site hosting 50 terabytes of content—some of it original, some likely copyrighted, and most of is sexually explicit and possibly portraying underage characters—these legislations would be a death knell.

"If you saw it coming, you could've give warning earlier," another user said. "Now it burns. Dear fucking god."

This article originally appeared on VICE US.

Tagged:
Anime
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data hoarding