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Answerman - Why Is There Still So Much Smoking In Anime?


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Wandering Samurai



Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 875
Location: USA
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 10:51 pm Reply with quote
Keep in mind that the major restrictions/bans that have been implemented are enforced a lot more in the Tokyo/Kanto area than they are in rural areas or West of Tokyo. I live down in Nagasaki and people will be walking around smoking cigarettes or smoking in public places such as parks with no designated areas at all.
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BadNewsBlues



Joined: 21 Sep 2014
Posts: 4506
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:01 pm Reply with quote
leafy sea dragon wrote:


It is still a cool thing to do in some circles, as it's illegal and thus a forbidden fruit. It's practically a rite of passage in some social groups.


While I don't disagree with this notion by and large most people smoke it because of the high (which varies by type and potency) it can give them and because it doesn't have the disastrous and horrifying side effects some other drugs have.

leafy sea dragon wrote:


The high alcohol age in the United States is due to it having a more pronounced automobile culture than most other countries, and so it's more vulnerable to accidents from drunk driving. In my state, at least, the legal age was 18, but injuries and deaths from drunk driving got so out of hand that it was raised to 21.


Raising the drinking age to 21 never really made sense especially since underage drinking while driving was never a really big issue nationally compared to the simple practice of driving while drunk or simply buzzed which is still a problem.


Last edited by BadNewsBlues on Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:18 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PurpleWarrior13



Joined: 05 Sep 2009
Posts: 1881
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:09 pm Reply with quote
I can proudly say I have never lit a cigarette, but I don't mind seeing it on TV. Certain characters can look appropriate (and even cool and sexy) doing it, and it fits some shows/environments well, but that would never make me want to light up. I don't think the media holds much of an influence. I think it's ridiculous Walt Disney (a notorious chain-smoker in real life) couldn't be shown lighting up in Saving Mr. Banks, and Cruella DeVill's trademark long cigarette holder is gone in Once Upon A Time. Like others have said, there is far worse stuff being shown, even on broadcast TV.

I don't mind smoking bans in public places though. I enjoy not having lung and throat cancer.
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Clyde_Cash



Joined: 03 Dec 2011
Posts: 374
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:10 pm Reply with quote
Ryuhei wrote:
And hopefully, weed is not the next "cool" thing, like it´s happening in the USA among a growing number of young people, who would never smoke tobacco, but are very happy smoking weed, saying that is not that harmful (sure, it´s probably slightly less harmful, but still incredibly harmful).


I'd rather smell weed than tobacco. Pot's median lethal dose (LD50) is far, far lower than that of tobacco or alcohol. It's just not toxic enough to kill you like booze or smokes.

That said, I love blazing up some weed as much as the next guy but am sick of the cranks preaching that it cures cancer. Next time someone says it does, ask them what disease killed Bob Marley and Carl Sagan. There are legitimate reasons to legalize pot but it is not the cure-all these wacko-birds claim it is and it damn well doesn't cure cancer. Can smoking pot help ease the side effect of chemo? Yes. Cure cancer? No. For one, the whole canard is a massive oversimplification of what cancer is. It's not one monolithic disease. It's an umbrella term for hundreds of different ones and their cures are rarely easy.

Even if pot did cure all cancers, who in any pharmaceutical company would benefit by suppressing it? They'd sooner make bank! If the CCC cranks seriously believe that hundreds of thousands of doctors, surgeons, pharmacologists, and other healthcare professionals are so easily bribed to keep quiet while they and theirs suffer and die, then that says more about THEIR morals than those of the very professionals they vilify.
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mangamuscle



Joined: 23 Apr 2006
Posts: 2522
Location: Mexico
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:19 pm Reply with quote
Clyde_Cash wrote:
what disease killed Carl Sagan.


pneumonia (probably a complication of his myelodysplasia).
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Mr. Oshawott



Joined: 12 Mar 2012
Posts: 6773
PostPosted: Wed Feb 24, 2016 11:57 pm Reply with quote
Wizard Barristers was the most recent show that I watched that featured a smoking character.

While I have never smoked in my entire life, I once been at a community center where smoking was a frequent activity. Not a fun place to visit if smoking isn't your forte.
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Randamo



Joined: 18 Dec 2014
Posts: 23
Location: Central Coast, Australia
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:32 am Reply with quote
I found it interesting to come from Australia, which has plain packaging on cigarette boxes and very high taxes that are set to rise in the future, to places like Germany and Japan, where I see the cigarette vending machines and tobacco shops, not to mention the advertising for cigarettes. I was a bit annoyed to go into a restaurant in Japan and endure someone smoking in the corner while I eat my eel donbouri.

Smoking has always seemed like something unintelligent and wasteful to do. It was always a few disadvantaged youths who smoked at school and were certainly not seen as cool for doing it. If I imagine someone who does smoke, it's some old crone, withered and yellowed, puffing between sips of cheap beer and pulling the slots on the pokies at the local pub. It just seems sad. And that's how I was raised to view it.

When an anime character smokes, I don't think they're cool. I see it as a weakness. Maybe I'll see it as a human frailty that gives a character an adult, tired aspect.
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Desslok



Joined: 10 Aug 2014
Posts: 161
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:39 am Reply with quote
Of course in some instances, smoking is so ingrained in the character, you cant separate them. I cant imagine seeing Jigen without a bent cigarette in his mouth, and that one card from Cagilostro with Jigen by the Fiat and Lupin on top, sharing a middle of night smoke is one of my favorite shots of the pair.
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NeoStrayCat



Joined: 14 Sep 2011
Posts: 524
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:08 am Reply with quote
7jaws7 wrote:
It depends on the content, really. In the Bamboo Blade manga, Miya-Miya smokes. We don't see her do it in the anime, but I can understand why.

Well, something similar happens in Cromartie High School, in the manga, the characters that smoke, actually smoked cigarettes, but in the anime, they use sticks with whatever weird stuff is on the tip.

Also, besides that One Piece comment with Sanji, I doubt people will still remember him with a lolipop, lol. And also Smoker...I mean Chaser's...smoke...I mean fog mouth, lol.
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CandisWhite



Joined: 19 Apr 2015
Posts: 282
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 1:11 am Reply with quote
I have Cystic Fibrosis and am currently a Status 0 on the transplant list (They've got my info but are not actively looking for lungs for me).

There are quite a few cultural things about Japan which, as a person with CF, make me shudder [no central heating, face masks, no blowing noses in public (What do they think of coughing up mucus-something that people with CF NEED to do?)] and that's even ignoring the bureaucratic hell that has kept everyday and lifesaving medication, available for decades in other wealthy industrialized countries, out of the hands of Japanese people with CF; Japan's average age of survival is 15 ( That information's a decade old and, someone, PLEASE, tell me it has drastically improved since then).

Smoking, and the behind-the-times attitude towards it that is, apparently, still strong in Japan, helps no one but, especially, hurts people with lung issues.

As a 30-year-old Canadian, I remember the days of indoor smoking, and my parents having to do the dance of keeping me away from public smokers (The smokers I've known privately have never smoked around me) but not restricting my life, and being told over and over that when I got older there was no way I would ever be able to go to places like bars because of the "fog": God bless the blanket ban on indoor smoking that Canada now has.

I'm glad that things in Japan are improving and that bans are starting to seriously come into play but there is still room to grow.

I would suggest a massive, concentrated, education campaign, and a nationwide ban on indoor smoking with restrictions on outdoor smoking (must be X metres from doors; can't smoke in parks).

This will be good for everyone: No one should have to deal with secondhand smoke, regardless of their physical condition; People, overall, would lead better, stronger, longer lives, thus putting less strain on the healthcare system, and making people better able to participate in society.

It won't kill smoking overnight, even in public (Canadian puffers have willfully proved that point- Hey, did you know that almost half of my province's cancer cases are preventable- Way to go, guys!) but it will improve quality of life, and society, overall.
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AnimeLordLuis



Joined: 27 Jan 2015
Posts: 1626
Location: The Borderlands of Pandora
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:35 am Reply with quote
This reminds me of that South Park episode Butt Out! when the boys see "uncool" people at school teaching them that smoking is bad for you and when they say "if you don't smoke you can grow up to be just like us" the boys take up smoking and set the school on fire. The episode teaches you that anti smoking advertising can be counter intuitive and that if someone wants to smoke it's their life so let them make their own decisions.

I however don't smoke and prefer that people who choose to smoke do so in the privacy of their own home and not in public. Cool


Last edited by AnimeLordLuis on Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:11 am; edited 1 time in total
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Triltaison



Joined: 03 Jul 2011
Posts: 434
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 5:06 am Reply with quote
Saffire wrote:
Mamimi is 17, smoking age is 20, and you just stole my first thought.

Hayato Gokudera (Reborn!) and Yusuke Urameshi (Yu Yu Hakusho) both smoked in the manga but not in the anime.


There are a few children that smoke in some older series based on Western books, like Jimsy in Future Boy Conan. The character is generally a ruffian sort of boy (like Lampwick the ill-mannered boy who turns into a donkey from Disney's Pinnochio). They usually do it in the book, so if it gets a World Masterpiece Theater sort of adaptation they don't usually change it.
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yuna49



Joined: 27 Aug 2008
Posts: 3457
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:55 am Reply with quote
zrnzle500 wrote:
The only anime I can think of with any anti smoking sentiment is Zvezda, which had an episode where the leading loli tried to ban smoking in the town.


In Planetes, Fee Carmichael has to smoke in a special chamber on board the space station. I always saw that as a subtle anti-smoking message.

As for the 21-year-old drinking age, that is the result of a Federal law that requires states to adopt that age if they want to receive Federal highway funds. The same strategy was used to impose, first, the 55-mph speed limit, and nowadays a mix of slightly higher speed limits.
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Color2413



Joined: 08 Jul 2014
Posts: 47
PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:33 pm Reply with quote
PurpleWarrior13 wrote:
I think it's ridiculous Walt Disney (a notorious chain-smoker in real life) couldn't be shown lighting up in Saving Mr. Banks,


Walt Disney died of lung cancer.
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Paiprince



Joined: 21 Dec 2013
Posts: 593
PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:47 am Reply with quote
CandisWhite wrote:

There are quite a few cultural things about Japan which, as a person with CF, make me shudder [no central heating, face masks, no blowing noses in public (What do they think of coughing up mucus-something that people with CF NEED to do?)] and that's even ignoring the bureaucratic hell that has kept everyday and lifesaving medication, available for decades in other wealthy industrialized countries, out of the hands of Japanese people with CF; Japan's average age of survival is 15 (That information's a decade old and, someone, PLEASE, tell me it has drastically improved since then).


Heh, Japan's mortality rate being among the ranks of African countries, even during pre-smoking laws. That's funny. Rolling Eyes

Smoking only ever looks good, if the smoker is already cool and elegant to begin with. Anything else makes it look like you're either trying too hard or coping for something. In fiction, they rarely touch on the latter for fear of incurring the wrath of the tobacco companies which still hold a lot of political clout. The Simpsons' have made several episodes concerning smoking and its influence and all are relevant to this day.

In regards to the main question, no there isn't much of it in anime anymore. When about 3/4's of a season features casts of teens and younger, either the guy who asked this cherrypicks his anime or somehow makes this disconnect that Anime = IRL Japan. Manga, on the other hand, with its wider variety, remains relatively unaffected from the smoking stigma. Maybe because tobacco smoke doesn't come off as much as a bother when in print form or that it's less likely for kids to gain access when they have to buy manga from the store as opposed to just turning on the tube at 1AM to feel "bad."

Romanticizing taboo acts has always been an MO ever since art was a thing so the US' nearly fanatic stance against smoking is just laughable just as much as their attitude towards sex in the media. It's a shame Japan is trying to take cues from them instead of Europe which has its priorities straight when it comes to mature content.
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