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Chicks On Anime - Censorship Part 1


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LordPrometheus



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
Posts: 422
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:10 pm Reply with quote
I find it interesting that Casey is more offended by perceived homophobia in a manga than sexualizing of young girls and tentacle rape. Call me crazy, but that just seems wrong. (Note: this is the impression I got from the interview. If I'm wrong, I apologize in advance)

Showing a character being afraid of getting AIDS isn't "homophobic", regardless of how accurate Japan's knowledge of AIDS was at the time(especially considering that AIDS in humans started with gays). Branding everything that isn't a ringing endorsement of gayness as "homophobic" is like a reverse witchhunt (ie, everyone's a homophobe who doesn't agree with me!).

Of course, I'm going to get blasted for daring to buck political correctness, but I'm used to that.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
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Location: Snake Mountain Cocktail Lounge

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:25 pm Reply with quote
LordPrometheus wrote:

Showing a character being afraid of getting AIDS isn't "homophobic", regardless of how accurate Japan's knowledge of AIDS was at the time(especially considering that AIDS in humans started with gays).


It is if your immediate reaction to an image of a same-sex couple is "I'm afraid of AIDS!" like all gay people have AIDS or will give you AIDS. That's homophobic, and ignorant.

Quote:

Of course, I'm going to get blasted for daring to buck political correctness, but I'm used to that.


I'm actually more offended by your attempt at posturing as some kind of edgy maverick who plays by his own rules than anything else. Oooh, everyone look at this guy, he doesn't abide political correctness! Watch out, he's walking on the razor sharp edge!!
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gynocrat_rex



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 57
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:30 pm Reply with quote
LordPrometheus wrote:


(especially considering that AIDS in humans started with gays).

Of course, I'm going to get blasted for daring to buck political correctness, but I'm used to that.


No, you're going to get an eye roll for being so wrong.

A recent study by researchers has charted the actual virus as originating in Africa among Chimpanzee populations, and then moving from Africa to Haiti and entering into the US in the late 60's. AIDS did not start or strike gays first-- it was just diagnosed within the gay community first; that's not the same thing as 'starting with gays'.

In the early days of research, they couldn't call it 'GRID' Gay-related immune deficiency because they found that it affected Haitians, hemophiliacs, and heroin users with the same veracity. The term AIDS was used because it wasn't exclusive to gays.


Google please.
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tmsidr



Joined: 16 Sep 2008
Posts: 26
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:36 pm Reply with quote
It's very interesting to read this censorship stuff from other countries. I'm living in Germany and I think nudity in manga is normally no big issue (nudity in TV is no problem at all, only pornography isn't shown on normal channels) and I'm not aware of any edits. Most simple curse words are also no problem here, because R rated movies because of bad language are here very often 12 up. Here normally only violence is a problem, which isn't changed normally in manga and anime (only on TV, e.g. Naruto is censored to protect the younger ones). At the moment nobody looks at comics and mangas. Video games are the bigger issue and there a lot of violence is removed here. And of course it's forbidden to use Nazi symbols because of our history, and as far as I know they are always removed (at least in mainstream manga), with the consent of the Japanese publisher. I think the Nazi symbol removement is sometimes a little bit strange, because they are normally not used to advertise for Nazi ideology in mangas, but I think I can live with it.

I think in Germany the freedom of speech stuff is sometimes interpreted in another way than for example in the USA, with both advantages and disadvantages for both sides. I often have to laugh about the nudity scare in the US Anime smile + sweatdrop , but on the other side that even adults can't buy uncensored video games here the most stores, is a little bit strange. At least we can legally import the most stuff.
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gynocrat_rex



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 57
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:42 pm Reply with quote
tmsidr wrote:
And of course it's forbidden to use Nazi symbols because of our history, and as far as I know they are always removed (at least in mainstream manga), with the consent of the Japanese publisher.


Hi, I can add to this actually-- it's reviewed on a case by case basis for context. My title was recently licensed by a German publisher; and she is allowed to use the American cover of my book--which does feature the swastika. Same goes for Art Spiegelman's German edition of Maus, published from Rowohlt Verlag. Smile
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12skippy21



Joined: 25 Nov 2008
Posts: 489
Location: Derby, England

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:45 pm Reply with quote
It is an incredibly complicated issue for sure, you must also consider size of a country. America is bigger than Japan and so offer a greater variation in ideologies. We all know how the South is stereotyped compared to the North for example.
America's culture is more excepting of violence and not nudity while Japan's is vice versa. An example is when a 14 year old girl in Japan killed her father with an axe and the School Days finale and an Higurashi episode got cancelled. Has this happened in America? (it has annoyingly in the UK).
America's manga industry has been less unscathed because the scapegoat in America is movies and videogames (Japan's scapegoat is anime/manga hence what Jason said about more censorship).
My opinion on censorship is that their should be none. I'm also against political correctness because it has destroyed the UK. To be honest I find "racist" jokes funny, everyone finds some of them funny, but people avoid the issue because they feel they will be branded a racist. Stereotype jokes are funny you just don't treat an individual like a stereotype because everyone is different.
The UK bans anything "offensive" but never follows its legislation. I could be arrested for reading Kodomo no Jikan for example, thats how vague our legislation is. I hate my government Very Happy
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billborden



Joined: 09 Jun 2007
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:46 pm Reply with quote
I'm actually surprised that no one mentioned one of the more high-profile cases of corporate self-censorship in the last few years; Seven Seas dropping "Kodomo no Jikan" before they even started. Actually, this is my preferred form of censorship--don't even try. So often, the process of editing dialog and artwork to make a show/manga "acceptable" actually changes the message that is being carried, regularly calling more attention to what is being edited than to what is actually going on.
The best example of this I know is not actually from anime, but a US movie "Alice's Restaurant", but the concept still applies. Many years back, I watched a televised version of it that altered the scene where the young groupie tries to talk Arlo into having sex with her. By the time time the editors had removed the finale references to her age (she was 13-14, I don't remember which) and her toplessness, a scene that was supposed to show Arlo as a generally nice "I don't take advantage of girls so get dressed" guy turned into what appeared to be him giving his bandanna to a girl who took her shirt off for him; a significantly different meaning. If you have to edit something to death to make it acceptable, don't do it.
God only knows what Seven Seas would have done to make KnJ acceptable, but it almost certainly would have actually destroyed the deeper content and turned it into just another lolicon farce.
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LordPrometheus



Joined: 02 Sep 2007
Posts: 422
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 2:55 pm Reply with quote
Quote:
I'm actually more offended by your attempt at posturing as some kind of edgy maverick who plays by his own rules than anything else. Oooh, everyone look at this guy, he doesn't abide political correctness! Watch out, he's walking on the razor sharp edge!!


It's actually not posturing; I have been blasted so many times for speaking up against political correctness that I've come to expect it everywhere I go. If you don't mind my views being politically incorrect, then great. My last sentence wasn't directed at you.

Besides, if you'd seen people freak out the way I have about me being politically incorrect, you'd think it really was "the razor sharp edge".

Quote:
It is if your immediate reaction to an image of a same-sex couple is "I'm afraid of AIDS!" like all gay people have AIDS or will give you AIDS. That's homophobic, and ignorant.


The context of the manga Casey was talking about was that a little girl saw what she thought was two gay men and then freaking out. Sorry, but I'd freak out too if I was a little kid who'd never seen/heard of something like that before and only vaguely knew about AIDS. There's nothing "homophobic" about that.

Quote:
A recent study by researchers has charted the actual virus as originating in Africa among Chimpanzee populations, and then moving from Africa to Haiti and entering into the US in the late 60's.


I'm well aware of these facts; my entire point was that AIDS was first diagnosed in gay humans. I should have chosen my words more carefully, I suppose.
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ANN_Bamboo
ANN Managing Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 3770
Location: The OC

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:02 pm Reply with quote
billborden wrote:
I'm actually surprised that no one mentioned one of the more high-profile cases of corporate self-censorship in the last few years; Seven Seas dropping "Kodomo no Jikan" before they even started. Actually, this is my preferred form of censorship--don't even try. So often, the process of editing dialog and artwork to make a show/manga "acceptable" actually changes the message that is being carried, regularly calling more attention to what is being edited than to what is actually going on.


Actually, KnJ is brought up in the second half of the conversation, which we'll post next week. Smile
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amarythia
ANN Reviewer


Joined: 01 Jan 2005
Posts: 14
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:05 pm Reply with quote
Zac wrote:
LordPrometheus wrote:

Showing a character being afraid of getting AIDS isn't "homophobic", regardless of how accurate Japan's knowledge of AIDS was at the time(especially considering that AIDS in humans started with gays).

It is if your immediate reaction to an image of a same-sex couple is "I'm afraid of AIDS!" like all gay people have AIDS or will give you AIDS. That's homophobic, and ignorant.

Casey here. I should add, for those of you who have never read Please Save My Earth, something that it didn't occur to me to mention when we did the discussion: The heroine Alice is supposed to be a sweet, generous soul who loves all living things (and all living things love her back). Back when the manga was first written, her "I'm scared of AIDS!" comment would have looked like common sense in Japan. Now, with better dissemination of knowledge about HIV, it just looks like the misguided prejudice we know it to have been--and the mangaka certainly didn't intend for Alice to be read as a gratuitously prejudiced young person.
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Berserkfury819



Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 229
Location: Detroit Mi. Spider-Man is dead. R.I.P.

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:08 pm Reply with quote
What was the manga that the guy had? I've heard of this case brought up, but no one says what the manga was that had him charged with indecency.

Frankly I find child rape a lot more disgusting than "homophobia," or just about anything else for that matter.
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Zac
ANN Executive Editor


Joined: 05 Jan 2002
Posts: 6826
Location: Snake Mountain Cocktail Lounge

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:10 pm Reply with quote
LordPrometheus wrote:

I'm well aware of these facts; my entire point was that AIDS was first diagnosed in gay humans. I should have chosen my words more carefully, I suppose.


No, you didn't know that. Nobody who had knowledge of those facts would say "AIDS started with the gays!" unless they were intentionally trying to spin it. So unless you're just catastrophically bad at making your point and actually did know the origin of the AIDS virus and chose to say "AIDS started with gays" instead of something that actually resembles the truth of the matter, then I call BS.
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The World We Know



Joined: 01 Dec 2006
Posts: 30
Location: Austin, TX

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:17 pm Reply with quote
I would love to hear a more conservative voice in this particular column. There was a lot of agreement in this column because the contributors have similar leanings. The conclusion of this column can be summed up (albeit, in a elementary way) as "some things are reprehensible, but they should still be made available unless proof of harm can be shown."

I think we need to think about the moral quandries presented by having this type of material readily accessible. What kind of influence is this material having on generations of young men and women? Despite the lack of evidence showing violence against women resulting from pornography (as pointed out in the article), how can one deny that it has a negative effect psychologically and socially? Likewise, doesn't it just logically make sense that sexual depictions of underage girls would also damage us in the same way?

However, I do understand that morality is largely considered relative in America, and that freedom is part of the "American morality." Freedom of speech outweights almost any universal morality that might exist. It's unamerican (and admittedly, dangerous) to restrict free speech; but can a compromise be reached? Can restrictions be placed? And what is the line where the value of art is less or more important than the value of morality?
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sunflowerseed



Joined: 16 Nov 2008
Posts: 106
Location: South Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:19 pm Reply with quote
I do not go looking for Manga with like a R+ or worse sex topics in them at all. The creators of the Manga stories should all be re educated to not dabble in the fringes of not acceptable behavior.

Partial and stable sanity should be the rule which is do not create stuff that happens to people you wouldn't let happen to you're own family. Creating stories about children period getting raped and abused is more like the continuance of condemned behavior or more like stuff humans death row would try to right.

Raise the ages to at least 19 of all characters in the manga stories that involve 'sexual issues' rather drawn or just implied. A touching story about 2 people finding love between them can turn more people red with flushing that all of the rampant magnum sex seen in all the fan made manga issues put together in one.

So basically, they have shown themselves there is not any worthy story content to most of the titles that need censored anyway 'cause every one of them is trying to out do some other writer with really 'nasty' sex scenes.

There clearly is a lot of stuff that has no business in print and all of the stuff with children doing things 20 year olds don't even do is just that.
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Kaolin_Yatsura



Joined: 03 Jan 2005
Posts: 64
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 3:37 pm Reply with quote
I just wanted to ask. What's wrong with Nipples? Why does everyone seem to have such an issue with nipples? I just don't get it a boob is still a boob nipple or no it's just you're seeing less of it. *sigh* Nipples are kinda the best part you know. Maybe that's it. (I'm trying to give a little levity to something which ought to be laughed at sometimes)
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