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7 TV Anime Affected by Japanese Censorship

by Lynzee Lamb, Aug 16th 2014

Over in the states, we're used to television censorship of our favorite anime. It was par for the course, whether cigarettes were replaced with lollipops, swimsuits painted on bathing scenes, or Japanese characters were suddenly in America. Japanese broadcasts get their share of censorship to, with a main focus of obscuring fanservice to sell more home video releases. Rarely though, entire episodes are pulled because of content, similarities to current events, or because the series' creator really just doesn't like you.



7. School Days School Days' "Nice Boat" episode and subsequent meme status might be the most well known example of preemptive anime censorship. The final episode of of the dating sim-based harem series was delayed for about a week after a real-life ax murder took place in Kyoto. The crime would also cause delays to Higurashi no Koro ni Kai.





6. Madoka Magica The final two episodes of Madoka Magica were delayed a month after events depicted in the episodes were deemed too similar to the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake disaster. Those watching the series wouldn't know why until after they aired, but the depiction of Walpurgisnacht was eerily similar. When questioned by a fan, producer Atsuhiro Iwakami commented that the similarity was purely coincidental.




5. Gokujyo. Gokurakuin Joshi Kōryō Monogatari Many fans probably haven't heard of Gokujyo, and that might be exactly why so many episodes were cancelled. The 12-episode slapstick comedy had four episode cancelled from television broadcast, reasons included the content "being stupid." It's hard to say whether the broadcaster had no idea what kind of show Gokjyo was, or if it was a gimmick to sell more home video releases.



4. Full Metal Panic! The first season of Full Metal Panic!'s airing on the WOWOW network was pushed back to January 2002 after the 9/11 terrorism attacks on the World Trade Center. Another show took over its time slot instead. The decision was likely made based on the content in episode 4, when a terrorist operative hijacks a plane the main characters are in.




3. Excel Saga
Extenuating circumstances are usually the cause of an episode being pulled. Some related event makes airing the episode insensitive. Excel Saga's final episode didn't air because the creators intentionally made it impossible for broadcasters to do so. The episode's content was far too indecent and it was intentionally made too long to fit in its scheduled time slot.




2. Ghost Stories Well known for its wacky dub, Ghost Stories had an entire episode pulled and subsequently vaulted thanks to concerned individuals. The comedic supernatural series had an episode depicting a Kuchisake-Onna (slit-mouthed woman) that never aired nor was it released on home video. Supposedly, people took issue that the Kuchisake-Onna was insensitive to those with cleft palate.




1. Mobile Suit Gundam Yoshiyuki Tomino has a well-developed reputation as the outspoken creator of the Gundam franchise. The guy can also hold a grudge. Episode 15 of the series was pulled from North American broadcast and home video release due to off-model animation. Usually, those kind of issues are fixed for home video release but Tomino also cited issues with the episode's animation director, saying "He knows what he did."





The new poll: What's your favorite blonde-haired, twin-tailed heroine? If your fav isn't listed, add it to the poll!

The old poll: What's your favorite anime couple? Here's the results (all answers under 1% are omitted):

  1. Tomoya Okazaki x Nagisa Furukawa (CLANNAD)
  2. Kraft Lawrence and Holo (Spice and Wolf)
  3. Ryūji Takasu x Taiga Aisaka (Toradora!)
  4. Kirito x Asuna (Sword Art Online)
  5. Edward Elric x Winry Rockbell (Fullmetal Alchemist)
  6. Isaac Dian x Miria Harvent (Baccano!)
  7. Riza Hawkeye x Roy Mustang (Fullmetal Alchemist)
  8. Rintarō Okabe x Kurisu Makise (Steins;Gate)
  9. Hidenori Goto x Masayoshi Hazama (Samurai Flamenco)
  10. Sakura Kinomoto x Syaoran Li (Card Captor Sakura)
  11. Sousuke Sagara x Kaname Chidori (Full Metal Panic!)
  12. Koyomi Araragi x Hitagi Senjōgahara (Monogatari Series)
  13. Usagi Tsukino and Mamoru Chiba (Bishōjo Senshi Sailor Moon)
  14. Utena Tenjou x Anthy Himemiya (Revolutionary Girl Utena)
  15. Howl and Sophie (Howl's Moving Castle)
  16. Shota Kazehaya x Sawako Kuronuma (Kimi ni Todoke - From Me to You)
  17. Renton x Eureka (Eureka Seven)
  18. Toma Kamijo x Mikoto Misaka (A Certain... series)
  19. Haruka Nanase x Rin Matsuoka (Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club)
  20. Naruto Uzumaki x Hinata Hyuga (Naruto)
  21. InuYasha x Kagome Higurashi (InuYasha)
  22. Kira Yamato x Lacus Clyne (Mobile Suit Gundam Seed Destiny)
  23. Yusaku Godai x Kyoko Otonashi (Maison Ikkoku)
  24. Mikiya Kokutō x Shiki Ryōgi (The Garden of Sinners)
  25. Ranma Saotome x Akane Tendo (Ranma ½)
  26. Haruka Nanase x Makoto Tachibana (Free! - Iwatobi Swim Club)
  27. Haruka Tenho x Michiru Kaioh (Sailor Moon)


When she isn't compiling lists of tropes, topics, and characters, Lynzee works as Associate Editor for Anime News Network, blogs about women and LBGT topics in anime and manga on her blog Engendered Dilemma, and posts pictures of her son on Twitter @ANN_Lynzee.

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