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Editing & Censorship in Anime


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Redbeard 101
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 1:11 pm Reply with quote
Let me make something clear Saber1213, being rude and insulting is not going to be tolerated. I removed your last post for this very reason. You're already encroaching on factless political soapboxing as is.

People can have a different opinion than your own, and they're not hijacking your thread (which btw it is not YOUR thread, it's a public thread for anyone to use) simply by disagreeing with you. This is sounding more and more like you just want an excuse to push your own political agenda and not have real discussion that might differ from your own preconceived assumptions. Moving forward I suggest you post more civilly towards other users.


Last edited by Redbeard 101 on Thu May 27, 2021 1:35 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Redbeard 101
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 1:34 pm Reply with quote
As for your topic itself, as I already said this comes off as your own assumptions and prejudices more then anything else. You're equating any changes as having to be related to the "metoo" movement, or other political avenues. The style and topics within animation have always been changing over time. This is nothing new. Long gone are the ultra violent or bloody anime of the 80's and early 90's for example. You seem to think people getting tired of overused tropes and ideas as being censorship. I won't pretend that for some there is a social, or political, bias behind their thoughts, but it's very disingenuous to go all doom and gloom claiming there is this mass anime censorship coming. Especially given the framework of your post that clearly shows your own agenda.

For starters there is a huge difference between the material used for streaming, and what is put on BR releases. Anything on tv has always had some material edited for content. This is nothing new. Even back in the day you couldn't watch something like Robo Cop or Redo of Healer without serious tv edits. Certain material might be getting more of it now in regards to streaming and tv broadcasting, but BR's are still unedited for the vast majority. Secondly, we are seeing shows that are more then ever pushing the boundaries on sexual content in regards to what can or cannot air on tv broadcasts or streams. The material being edited for content on streaming or tv are mostly from shows trying to push this envelope. So it really is no surprise when they get edited more heavily, or pulled when they cross lines. Once again though, you can simply watch the BR release to see the show in all of its glory once they release. It's not as if there is no way to eventually see the unedited versions. Your posts make it seem as if the material is permanently censored for good, which is not the case.

In terms of manga titles, there is a huge rise in titles that push the envelope there as well. Titles like High School DxD, Triage X, Monster Musume, etc are tame compared to other manga titles that are 1 small step below being straight up ero titles. Newer titles like Parallel Paradise, World's End Harem, or Destiny Lovers for example. They push the boundaries of what is considered "normal" material, and not just full blown ero, much as anime shows like Redo of Healer or Mushoku Tensei push the boundaries on that front. There is a distinct line in the sand where titles went from showing T&A to having tons of implied sex in the titles everywhere. So the idea that there is this massive censorship of anime/manga tits and ass incoming is rather baseless.

Society and people change. What is popular, or allowed, also changes. That has always been the case. As I mentioned above long gone are the ultra violent and bloody anime of the 80's and early 90's. You talk about the West and the metoo movement censoring anime when the honest real example of blatant censorship would be places like China and what they do with all forms of media. THAT is censorship. Not allowing a show to air or stream, unless it's edited, because it's damn near hentai is not. Especially when you can still obtain the full unedited version.

Next, your little moniker of saying how we "cultured weebs" like plot and backstory with our plot and backstory simply further signifies your own agenda. Seriously, the whole "man of culture" moniker is stupid. It's a trashy title some fans (as it pertains to anime/manga) have decided to embrace in some ridiculous idea it means embracing T&A itself. All it really does is insult yourself and show you're not interested in any sort of actual discussion on such topics. I know people like to use it as a joke, but seriously it's just a sad term people use to loudly declare they like tits and ass. I have been a fan of T&A titles for over 25 years. I have a plethora of T&A PVC figures and art prints. There is a whole DVD/BR section on my collection for such titles. I have never, and will never, call myself some "man/weeb of culture". I don't need some ridiculous moniker that casts a bad light over myself, and is seen as an insult, to be a fan of titles with more T&A in them. Nobody does. Just as weeb and weeaboo are other self insulting monikers that people think it's cool to call themselves. They're cringy terms.

I would also point out comparing the anime/manga market and industry to the video game market is comparing apples to oranges. They are not the same and there are many different factors between them when deciding if material will be edited or not. Let's also not confuse the idea of editing a product, and actual censorship. They are not the same.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 5:13 pm Reply with quote
Redbeard 101 wrote:
I would also point out comparing the anime/manga market and industry to the video game market is comparing apples to oranges. They are not the same and there are many different factors between them when deciding if material will be edited or not. Let's also not confuse the idea of editing a product, and actual censorship. They are not the same.


Maybe, but I think there is places for the comparisons, especially as games are also a very common source for manga, and they share a similar space within geek culture as something primarily for younger audiences. A difference probably exists in Japan not having such a stranglehold, and the mediums are often enjoyed in different ways. I will admit that this comparison may be a me thing though.

But I do think comparison between the different game aesthetics and animation aesthetics is worthwhile, such as rubbing characters to raise their affection was removed from Japanese games into the West, while you are more likely to see a streetwalker in a Western games like GTA, Witcher and Fable. And how even something like the animated Batman and Harley Quinn animated movie despite everything else can have Harley half undressed with Nightwing tied to the bed in a kinky way and insinuated that they are probably both down.
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Past



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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 8:15 pm Reply with quote
Readbeard, I want to say something about your feedback to Saber. I'm not complaining or anything but honestly I appreciated what they said. I didn't feel insulted, actually I found the comment extremely amusing. Yes they there was a personal agenda being pushed, but so was mine. We all post with a bit of personal biases in mind and we vastly overestimate how much they matter to others.

Maybe it's just me but I have this tendency in my posts to say things for the sole purpose of seeing how people will react. I sometimes place the entertainment value of peoples reaction above the importance of actual discussion. Saber called me out on that and I'm really, really grateful for it. So overall, let people have their say. People are going to be offended, as if that's anything new (it's not). I mean this thread is about censorship, do we really need to promote the overpolicing of thought in the same thread? Redbeard, I don't want you to doubt whether you did the right thing it's just that deleting the post was a bit on the overprotective side.
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Redbeard 101
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 8:35 pm Reply with quote
@Past - No offense meant, but we don't allow personal insults or that sort of conduct here. Regardless if you're ok with it, being part of the target of the comments, we're not going to let such comments go. We don't want other users thinking there will be no action done. Just because target 1 of the comments might not care, target #2 or #3 might. So no, we're not simply going to let people have their say if they choose to violate the rules and post in that manner. Especially if they want to violate those rules on top of pushing agendas and passing their own personal conspiracy theory assumptions off as truth at the same time. That just compounds on it. Given the nature of the OP, and it being reported, it was already on the fence as to being allowed already. The topic itself might warrant discussion, but the manner in which it was presented is suspect. I appreciate your opinion on the matter, but those sort of posts are not going to be tolerated here. Sorry.

@Dusky - I can agree that video games share a similar space within geek culture as you said. I would say that the target audience is in question, and not always simply a younger demographic. Regardless, yes they are often targeted at similar audiences, or at least share a similar space in the geek fandom. However, the processes behind creation and distribution of these sorts of games and anime/manga is apples to oranges. They are very different practices that have to consider different markets they will be distributed to.

Comparing the differences in aesthetics is perfectly fine and reasonable. That has nothing to do with the point and inference that was being made though in terms of sexual content. The differences between video games and anime/manga in terms of how they will be marketed, and distribution, change the how's and why's of when games might get material edited vs when an anime title or manga might receive the same treatment. You can't really compare that aspect between them. Plus the internal divisions of large companies (like Sony in this instance) that handle each product are entirely different as well. There's even big differences between the US and Japanese based departments within the company as well. That is my point. That is where it's apples to oranges. Sony might be the biggest player overall combining anime and video games but the various departments that handle each avenue are quite different.


Last edited by Redbeard 101 on Fri May 28, 2021 2:51 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2021 11:47 pm Reply with quote
Of course, totally well said reminder. I think many of us post with only the "don't be a d*ick" policy in mind (myself included) forgetting there are specific expectations we all must adhere to. Its not policing thoughts or being overprotective of those who may feel offended. There are policies in place for a reason and by contributing here it means users understand and effectively agree to them (even if they may not personally agree with them). Those rules are all clearly posted for everyone to see. Redbeard, you were doing your job excellently by removing the policy violations and reprimanding the user at fault.
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Redbeard 101
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 2:54 am Reply with quote
I appreciate your understanding. I went back and edited my comments to you a bit. Upon re-reading them I felt they came off a bit harsh, as opposed to simply being matter of fact regarding the rules, which was the intent.

As for the topic itself, despite the more dubious nature and intent of the opening post I think there is merit in the discussion. So let's get back to that in a more civil manner and get away from the more baseless aspects of the discussion.
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DuskyPredator
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 6:53 am Reply with quote
I don't believe that I have gone off topic at all, I have stayed right on the topic of whether "fanservice" is going to end, and have commented on your own claim of an inherent problem of something like a westernisation of anime, by talking about the differences of sexuality between the cultures and industry. Do you have anything actually to say other than a vague gesturing of saying that people who care about social justice are going to ruin anime fanservice because of some element of social awareness censor things?

I frankly think that the implication that diversity of things like sexuality will ruin things like anime fanservice, is a ridiculous. I brought up those things to make a point that there already is limitations anime fanservice just on the Japanese side that often treats anything that is not bland vanilla as some sort of joke. What side of the political aisle do you think had a problem with the likes of Interspecies Reviewers? At least to my knowledge, the more left leaning side is much more sex positive and are for groups like sex workers.

The same "people who care about social justice: being accused of ruining good fanservice are the same the word TERF to defend trans people from radical feminists along side using SWERF to defend sex workers. The idea that these are the types that want to censor all sexy fanservice is really ridiculous.

I have otherwise talked quite a bit about things like the nudity and stuff from a show Redo of Healer, how it might be a tricky spot in this discussion and the Japanese animation industry can do better if it wants to sell fanservice stuff.
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Past



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 7:29 am Reply with quote
Newsflash Saber: threads can and will deviate a bit from your precise, specfic purpose. You can't expect every user to get inside your head and know your exact intentions. I honestly feel Dusky's comments were all relevant and my comment about representation was actually simply acknowledging that different types of fanservice exist. I don't know where you get this idea it is some kind of baited political statement on social justice. The point is, different perspectives are not inherently off-topic just different ways of thinking. What is off-topic is your continued insults, attacks on character and a greater-than-thou attitude. And this time I'm reporting you too.
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Redbeard 101
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 1:23 pm Reply with quote
The latest trollish post was removed (by a different mod - don't want anyone thinking it's just me watching the chat here or moderating it) and the user has been dealt with by admin. I went and re-titled the thread to better encompass the discussion and other types of discussion that can be discussed in here. So consider this a thread now in which users can discuss the idea of Editing and/or Censorship, and any concerns they might have related to those topics. All users please refrain from political soapboxing and conspiracy theory posts when discussing these topics. Thank you.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 2:03 pm Reply with quote
The Sony concern is really a non-issue. Aniplex is a strong company in Japan, but they do not dominate the market, there is plenty of competition. The anime created in Japan will be mostly determined by Japanese social norms and what Japanese television broadcasters will allow.

(Note, Aniplex belongs to Sony Music Video Japan, Funimation mostly belongs to Sony Pictures and Television America. Crunchyroll does not belong to Funimation yet).

Some consideration is absolutely given to licensing. Japanese producers will produce more anime that is easy to license overseas. Multiple markets are looked at, predominantly North America and China. Both North America and China are very different, almost anything goes in North America, whereas China is extremely restrictive. China also likes completely different genres than North Americans (example, sci-fi is not popular in China). However numerous other market difficulties in China make it's ability to influence the anime that is being created in Japan pretty minor; even if a Japanese company fulfills all the content requirements stipulated by the Chinese government, they have a quota system, and now also require that the full series be delivered in advance. Most Chinese fans just watch pirated anime currently.

North American licensors have learned that their customers don't like censorship. Very little anime released in North America is censored. Most of the time when censored anime happens in North America, it's actually because the Japanese licensors sent the Japanese "TV edit" and neglected to send the uncensored version. In the rare cases where Funimation passes on a title because it's too raunchy, Sentai will pick it up. Generally, Funimation and Crunchyroll don't license series they expect to need to edit, when edits happen, it's usually because they received content that was more raunchy than what they were expecting. When the edits do happen, they aren't ordered by Sony, it's Funimation or Crunchyroll acting independently and thinking about their consumers reactions and community norms.

I'm not aware of Sony ever handing an edict regarding censorship down to Funimation, and I'd be extremely surprised to ever see it happen unless Funimation published something that was so questionable that a massive number of complaints reached Sony at the corporate level.

So what does happen. As I stated before, anime companies only make what they can sell. Netflix, Crunchyroll and Funimation all have limits on what they are able / willing to display, and so animation companies work within those limits. If they are targeting Netflix, they will be more conservative, if they are targeting Funimation/Crunchyroll/Sentai, they know they can get away with more. If they are targeting primetime Japanese TV, they need to be a little careful, and if they are targeting China, they will be the most conservative.

Sorry, wrote this off the top of my head, it's not extremely well organized, but I hope it helps.
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Past



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PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2021 11:43 pm Reply with quote
Tempest wrote:
Most Chinese fans just watch pirated anime currently.
.
Great, informative post but I want to clear up this misconception. I have my gripes about China but one thing I like is their stiff crackdown on piracy. Yes its illegal here and pretty much everything you see sold in stores is authentic stuff. The big caveat is anything unbranded like keychains, mousepads and dakimakura there's really no way to enforce whats real and reproduced. Videos are a non-issue because Chinese people don't buy DVDs or blurays, period. CDs? hahaha yeah that's funny... So where do they watch anime? Online streaming sites of course, same way as you. Just because its a Chinese site doesn't make it pirated, there are ones like bilibili and iqiyi, I don't see how they're any less legal than Crunchyroll or Netflix.
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Blood-
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 7:42 am Reply with quote
I had heard that things had gotten better on the legitimate streaming side of things as well. Naturally, I can't personally verify that as I do not live in China.
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Tempest
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 12:53 pm Reply with quote
Past wrote:
Tempest wrote:
Most Chinese fans just watch pirated anime currently.
.
Great, informative post but I want to clear up this misconception. I have my gripes about China but one thing I like is their stiff crackdown on piracy. Yes its illegal here and pretty much everything you see sold in stores is authentic stuff. The big caveat is anything unbranded like keychains, mousepads and dakimakura there's really no way to enforce whats real and reproduced. Videos are a non-issue because Chinese people don't buy DVDs or blurays, period. CDs? hahaha yeah that's funny... So where do they watch anime? Online streaming sites of course, same way as you. Just because its a Chinese site doesn't make it pirated, there are ones like bilibili and iqiyi, I don't see how they're any less legal than Crunchyroll or Netflix.


Iqiyi, Youkou and Bilibili are absolutely legal (I've been to Bilibili in Shanghai for several meetings and have a friend at Youkou, don't know anyone at Iqiyi). Almost everything I'm saying below is based on conversations with Bilibili and Youkou. Some of it is based on conversations with the licensing sales agents at Japanese studios (I make a point of asking them about China every season over coffee.... but I haven't had coffee with them in over a year now - I doubt much has changed in the last 12 months).

For a while around 5 years ago, those three companies were paying way more for anime than North American licensees. China was the #1 export market for anime. However they are now heavily restricted on what and how much they can license each season. Now licensors are again looking mostly to the West, and any sales they make in China are icing on the cake. This does vary somewhat from licensor to licensor, some of them focus more on making content that can be sold to China.

Any anime with excessive violence, nudity, sexuality, anti-social behavior, negative influences, or material suggestive of rebellion against the establishment will not be permitted in China (There's a massive, official list of things that aren't acceptable that is regularly updated. I haven't seen the current list). When China started clamping down, the licensees had to provide the censorship board with the first 1 or 2 episodes, and a rundown of the rest of the series. They now have to provide the entire series before it gets approved. This is very difficult for Japanese studios that mostly work on a "just in time" delivery basis.

The Chinese platforms won't license a title later, after all ~12 episodes have been completed and aired in Japan because by then their customers have all already watched the episodes pirated.

On top of content limitations, China also imposes a quota on each platform, this quota changes every season, at the beginning of the season they learn how many titles they are able to license that season. One of the things impacting their quota is how much Chinese animation they are showing, showing Chinese animation beside Japanese animation pleases the Chinese censors, but ultimately they want to see the percentage of domestic content grow and the percentage of foreign content shrink.

At the end of the day Chinese platforms no longer manage to license most anime the way North American licensees do. Although it varies greatly from season to season, and I admit I haven't been paying attention in 2021, but my assumption is that the trend will continue in the same direction.

The remainder of the anime is watched pirated. By pirated I mean downloaded off the internet or watched on pirate streaming sites. I suspect that there are many pirate streaming sites hosted outside China, but only accessible from Chinese IPs.

Somewhat related side note: I went to a Chinese doujinshi festival in Shanghai, and it was super interesting that the only fan-made artwork on sale was for properties that are available in China. This isn't because there aren't fans for unlicensed titles, there are tons, but simply that if the title hasn't been approved for release in China, it's not approved for display in comic conventions. Putting up an Attack on Titan piece of artwork for sale at a booth would get that artist immediately booted from the convention. Failure to keep the convention's content "clean" could get the convention in trouble with the authorities.



-t


Addendum: Pinning a link to a just published article on this the subject of anime delivery to China: animenewsnetwork.com/interest/2021-05-31/anime-director-shinji-takamatsu-discusses-influence-of-chinese-streaming-on-anime-production-schedules/.173408


Last edited by Tempest on Mon May 31, 2021 2:27 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2021 7:48 pm Reply with quote
Yeah, what you said about current restrictions totally lines up with the trend I've noticed being a frequent iqiyi user and living in China for 6 years now. Back in 2017, I started noticing an uptick in quirkier and slice-of-life Japanese anime on iqiyi and remained pretty consistent a while then started dropping off around late 2019, then bam 2020 happened and now the only foreign anime I see are stuff like Naruto and Detective Conan. Chinese made shows completely dominate the lineup similar to 2016 and earlier, just alot more of them. I don't visit youku much and this trend would not be as evident on bilibili because its naturally more fan-focused.

Thanks for clearing that up about piracy. I know everyone thinks of China as the place bootlegs come from. I just didn't want people thinking that China itself was some kind of piracy mecca. The strict piracy measures don't apply to stuff sold overseas, but maybe that's changed recently too. I don't know.

I don't hang out with other anime fans in China so I'm not on the up and up with any of those unauthorized sites or methods to watch. None of them would have English subtitles anyway.

Uh oh, someone say something to get this thread less derailed than it already is. Uhh I don't have anything. Maybe this... since China blocks any title that doesn't meet their bottom-line you don't have to worry whether things are censored like the with the Seven Seas snafu. They just prefer not to bother with it.
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