Censorship of Anime on western television is certainly not a new issue; some believe that it's a necessary Evil which western fans have to tolerate in the hopes of more anime being released, while others have a contradicting view that censorship is a total violation of free speech and can be disrespectful to the creators' intentions. Keeping this in mind, what are some of the possible pros and cons of censorship? Does it damage anime, or does it have any positive aspects?
To start, one may ask what is anime? To put things in laymen's terms, anime is simply Japanese animation or cartoons. This is a very broad label for the genre as it encompasses all kinds of story lines and target different age groups. There are cartoons for children, for the family, and also solely for adults because in Japan, cartoons are a gigantic and popular form of art.
Because they are so different, Japanese and western ideologies and practices differ vastly. Their ideas on what is considered suitable viewing for children are bound to differ. In many animes aimed toward the younger audiences, swearing and non-sexual nudity often are considered the norm. Due to the common practice of bathing in hot springs, the Japanese view nudity as being natural and it is not viewed in a perverted context. The Japanese have a much more relaxed attitude on topics such as sex and alcohol, and have more liberal views than most western countries, nor do they view animated violence in the same terms. This is something that is unprecedented in American cartoon shows.
When compared to contemporary American cultural standards, the original Japanese programs contain a lot of violence and sensuality. This isn't to say that American cartoons, such as Looney Tunes, where characters blow each other up, don't contain any violence. The difference is, in Japanese shows, characters spit blood and die on a regular basis.
So what's all the fuss about? Why is there such a large debate on why or why not censorship should...