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Old 2009-01-20, 16:20   Link #1
Guernsey
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What is acceptable in anime and what is not

I hadn't watched that many anime as of late but I am beginning to find how that there are things that are praised in anime yet there are things that are considered to be taboo. I know it is from a different culture and people do things differently over there however I beginning the general trends of what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in anime although I am just seeing now. My question is what is considered to be acceptable and what usually gets the thumbs down in anime shows?


Off Topic: I had tried to search for threads that feature this but I had yet to find one in this particular forum. Please lock if there is a thread like this.
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Old 2009-01-20, 16:40   Link #2
koonchu
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I think I see where you want us to go...

The biggest "issue" I can think of is when Episode 4 of Gurren Lagaan became almost totally culturally panned for having changed directors. The fans just HATED it. some of the show staff responded to the critique and the community basically pooped its pants in offense. I believe those two staff members "voluntarily" quit the project.
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Old 2009-01-20, 16:47   Link #3
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If you're really interested, I'd start reading on Japanese culture and etiquette. Because understanding that informs you greatly on how and why characters act like they do in anime. Things as simple as "why doesn't that character speak up?" "why do they let that happen?" "they're using a different honorific now, what happened?".

Example: a kiss almost holds more meaning than sex... its a Big Thing, that first kiss.
Example: most of the world and, for that matter, most of the US permits first cousin marriage -- yet over and over again in forums you'll see some young yahoo just having a fit over its inclusion in an anime as "incest". Its a big example of someone thinking their own values are somehow "the natural state of affairs in the world".
Example: actual brother-sister love is explored sometimes in anime.... its taboo even in Japan but its "exciting" ... taboo things can be exciting in fantasy. Its fantasy fiction - yet people get outraged.
Example: under-age love. Age of consent in Japan is commonly 14 (despite some mixed laws on the matter). Actually its 14 in much of the world including a number of US states. Again, you'll see yahoos on forums getting their knickers in a scrunch and misusing the word "pedo" (which medically refers to sexual attraction to PRE-pubescents <12). Again, its fantasy fiction, only pen and paper were harmed in the production of it. Its taboo, which makes it exciting for some. More importantly, its nostalgic (even if its a "nostalgia for things that never were").

Specifically taboo in anime shown on japanese television are nipples and mature genitals. (Apparently little kid genitals are okay if somewhat abstract). DVDs don't have that restriction. There is an R-15 rating for television (which the series Shuffle! utilized for some episodes) which provides additional leeway in forms of nudity. Those taboos change from season to season depending on censor mood. Violence.... the censors seem to be getting stricter (black blood instead of red, cutting away from the actual violence) but again it depends on the time of day and the rating the producer is willing to take. Kurozuka was fairly violent but no where near as violent as some gore-fests.

One segment of the "japanese otaku" viewership are big on female heroines and their "purity". The recent Kannagi silliness/scandal was focused on whether Nagi (a goddess incarnated as a teen girl) had had a previous boyfriend in the hundreds of years before she encountered Jin. The purity crowd was just incensed at the notion (which proved unfounded but the real question was "so what? she's hundreds of years old ya know."). Basically since the series was considered "shounen" (for teen boys), purity was important unlike for Horo (another goddess incarnated as a teenager) in Spice&Wolf (written and published by a seinen house? or shounen... ?) She had also had a previous 'boyfriend' but no one got upset about that as far as I can tell.

Sometimes what is "acceptable" and to whom is just zany and all you can do is shake your head.
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Old 2009-01-20, 18:01   Link #4
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What I always find amusing in anime, that beating the cr*p out of somebody, severing heads, bloodfest, and spreading guts over the place is pretty acceptable in anime, but an underaged drinking alcohol?? That's a big no-no!

Thought it's not something big as the previous ones, but I always find weird if something like this is get cut from the anime version, while it's in the manga.
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Old 2009-01-20, 19:29   Link #5
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Me too, although I find it even more amusing that spilling black blood seems to be more acceptable than spilling red blood. I sometimes really wonder what goes on in the censors' heads ...
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Old 2009-01-20, 19:32   Link #6
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Originally Posted by Slice of Life View Post
Me too, although I find it even more amusing that spilling black blood seems to be more acceptable than spilling red blood. I sometimes really wonder what goes on in the censors' heads ...
That gets me too. I wonder if black blood has any significant Japanese meaning...?
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Old 2009-01-20, 19:55   Link #7
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I posted this originally in the Genji thread, but it seems more appropriate to ask it here.

Do Japanese live-action television shows have the same casual attitude toward nudity and eroticism that anime works like Tale of Genji do? I realize that anime shows are on late-at-night and serve a niche audience, so I can well imagine the answer is no. In the prudish US no over-the-air broadcaster could ever show a program like Genji (though it would be acceptable on pay-television services like cable), much less its live-action equivalents (think "wardrobe malfunction").

A quick scan of the Wikipedia article for Fuji TV shows they operate a number of networks, three of which are termed "premium." Is Noitamina on one of these networks (the HD one perhaps), and if so, is it a free or pay channel?
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Old 2009-01-20, 21:51   Link #8
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I posted this originally in the Genji thread, but it seems more appropriate to ask it here.

Do Japanese live-action television shows have the same casual attitude toward nudity and eroticism that anime works like Tale of Genji do? I realize that anime shows are on late-at-night and serve a niche audience, so I can well imagine the answer is no. In the prudish US no over-the-air broadcaster could ever show a program like Genji (though it would be acceptable on pay-television services like cable), much less its live-action equivalents (think "wardrobe malfunction").

A quick scan of the Wikipedia article for Fuji TV shows they operate a number of networks, three of which are termed "premium." Is Noitamina on one of these networks (the HD one perhaps), and if so, is it a free or pay channel?
It depends on the time slot it's aired.
If it's after 11:00PM yes but certainly not in prime time.
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Old 2009-01-20, 21:55   Link #9
cicido
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According to Anime censors, a display of unrealistic violence(Super big swords, fancy magical energy) is ok, but a display of realistic violence(Guns) is a no-no.
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Old 2009-01-20, 22:55   Link #10
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Originally Posted by cicido View Post
According to Anime censors, a display of unrealistic violence(Super big swords, fancy magical energy) is ok, but a display of realistic violence(Guns) is a no-no.
It makes sense i guess. Since it is possible to emulate realistic violence. No wonder the violence in anime is often so ridiculous over powered.
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Old 2009-01-20, 23:11   Link #11
ganbaru
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There most be some more taboo in anime than nipples , genitals and red blood, no?
Divorce ?
Teen pregnancie ?
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Old 2009-01-20, 23:45   Link #12
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I know I've read a manga that was about a girl who got raped by her stepfather and became pregnant, twice. First time was an abortion, Second time, the baby was sent for adoption. I think it was called Bitter Virgin.
As far as I know, divorce is not a taboo. It occurs in Bitter Virgin, Detective Conan (Case Closed), to-Love-ru, etc. Teen Pregnancy is probably not an taboo, but I really don't have as much proof otherwise, besides Bitter Virgin.
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Old 2009-01-20, 23:53   Link #13
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The original question didn't specify any conditions... so its almost impossible to just give a list of "taboos" that anime won't touch. What they tiptoe around depends on the intended audience, the time of day, who's producing, and what rating they're willing to accept.

I can think of teen pregnancy or two but they'd be spoilers (unless I've got the ages wrong on the characters involved).
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Old 2009-01-21, 00:13   Link #14
Guernsey
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I was just thinking on things what is considered "taboo" in anime and Japanese society in general such as gender roles, sexuality, manners, lifestyle, music and just the culture in general. Forgive me if I am still not putting in any specifics or conditions, I was just referring to the culture in general.
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Old 2009-01-21, 00:22   Link #15
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Originally Posted by Guernsey View Post
I was just thinking on things what is considered "taboo" in anime and Japanese society in general such as gender roles, sexuality, manners, lifestyle, music and just the culture in general. Forgive me if I am still not putting in any specifics or conditions, I was just referring to the culture in general.
Most Hentai episodes are uncensored, but they are not as well-done as non-erotic anime.
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Old 2009-01-21, 00:34   Link #16
Vexx
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guernsey View Post
I was just thinking on things what is considered "taboo" in anime and Japanese society in general such as gender roles, sexuality, manners, lifestyle, music and just the culture in general. Forgive me if I am still not putting in any specifics or conditions, I was just referring to the culture in general.
Well... one popular example is that nudity is or is not taboo depending on context. Onsen bathing is generally nude whether same-sex or mixed (though mixed is fading, families bathing is still around).

sticking your chopsticks into your rice, which end of the chopsticks to use for what, wearing shoes in a house, how to take a bath .... all have taboos associated with them.

Many taboos are Shinto in origin and therefore more understandable if you think in terms of "purity"(clean). Its almost impossible not to make a mistake at some point and then you have to pull the "zany gaijin" card and apologize (if they let you know you messed up).

in real life... being gay is still very taboo with the average public (hence, "Hard Gay" is both supporting the taboo while forcing average japanese to confront the idea).

There's a very old Edo period social outcast class that was taboo (again because of Shinto ideas about 'cleanliness' and their professions) ... the Japanese have many affirmative action programs to erase the old stigma from their descendants but it pops up now and then (like in a prime minister election).

I could ramble on for pages..... my best advice is just have a google marathon; start with "japanese etiquette" or "japanese taboos" and let Google and the links take you where it may.
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Old 2009-01-21, 01:04   Link #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vexx View Post
Well... one popular example is that nudity is or is not taboo depending on context. Onsen bathing is generally nude whether same-sex or mixed (though mixed is fading, families bathing is still around).

sticking your chopsticks into your rice, which end of the chopsticks to use for what, wearing shoes in a house, how to take a bath .... all have taboos associated with them.

Many taboos are Shinto in origin and therefore more understandable if you think in terms of "purity"(clean). Its almost impossible not to make a mistake at some point and then you have to pull the "zany gaijin" card and apologize (if they let you know you messed up).

in real life... being gay is still very taboo with the average public (hence, "Hard Gay" is both supporting the taboo while forcing average japanese to confront the idea).

There's a very old Edo period social outcast class that was taboo (again because of Shinto ideas about 'cleanliness' and their professions) ... the Japanese have many affirmative action programs to erase the old stigma from their descendants but it pops up now and then (like in a prime minister election).

I could ramble on for pages..... my best advice is just have a google marathon; start with "japanese etiquette" or "japanese taboos" and let Google and the links take you where it may.
Slightly off topic, but as an inverse to this, I've always wondered how many Japanese are aware that slurping noodles is considered poor etiquette in North America, since if I remember correctly it's considered normal in Japan.
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Old 2009-01-21, 01:09   Link #18
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Do America originally have noodles full of hot soup?
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Old 2009-01-21, 01:18   Link #19
Vexx
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yes, but we Americans just have to suffer the pain in silence (thank gods I live in a japanese-american-flavored home; slurp)
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Old 2009-01-21, 01:23   Link #20
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which end of the chopsticks to use for what,
not so much now...i get odd looks from everyone when I still use the back end of my chopsticks to take something from a shared platter...usually followed by "you're too traditional"

personally, I just don't like sharing germs :|
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