Anime is a popular form of entertainment worldwide, and China is one of the biggest markets for it. However, the Chinese government’s strict censorship policies have a significant impact on the anime industry. In this article, we will provide a comprehensive overview of Chinese censorship in anime, its impact on the industry, and the reasons behind the Chinese government’s censorship policies.
Overview of Chinese Censorship in Anime
Chinese censorship in anime dates back to the 1990s when the government introduced regulations to control the content of imported anime. The censorship policies have been getting stricter over the years, and now all foreign media, including anime, must be approved by the Chinese government’s State Administration of Press and Publication (SAPP).
The censorship policies focus on removing any content that is deemed politically sensitive, violent, sexual, or against Chinese culture and values. This has resulted in the banning of several popular anime series and the need for significant changes in others to make them suitable for the Chinese market.
Impact of China’s Censorship on Anime
The impact of Chinese censorship on the anime industry is significant. For anime producers and distributors, the censorship policies create additional costs and complexities, as they must navigate the regulations to ensure that their anime can be approved for the Chinese market. This includes making changes to the anime to meet the government’s standards, which can result in a loss of artistic integrity.
For anime viewers in China, the censorship policies limit their access to anime content and restrict the types of anime they can watch. This has led to the growth of illegal anime streaming websites, which provide access to banned or censored anime content.
Examples of anime that have been censored or banned in China
- Attack on Titan – In 2015, the Chinese government banned the airing of Attack on Titan on streaming sites due to its violent content.
- Death Note – Death Note was also banned in China due to its violent and gory scenes.
- High School DxD – This anime was banned in China due to its explicit sexual content.
- Naruto – Naruto was censored in China due to its depiction of blood and violence.
- One Piece – One Piece was also censored in China for its violent content and for allegedly promoting piracy.
- Tokyo Ghoul – The Chinese government censored scenes of cannibalism and extreme violence in this anime.
The limitations on the content and themes of anime available to Chinese viewers are a direct result of the Chinese government’s censorship policies. The Chinese government has strict regulations on the media content that can be consumed by its citizens, and this includes anime. The government’s censorship policies aim to promote “positive energy” and maintain social harmony, and any content that goes against these values is subject to censorship.
As a result, many anime series are censored or banned in China if they contain content deemed to be inappropriate or offensive. This can include depictions of violence, sexual content, political themes, and religious references. Some anime series are heavily edited to remove or alter controversial content to comply with Chinese regulations.
Reasons behind the Chinese Government’s Censorship
The Chinese government’s censorship policies are driven by their desire to maintain social stability and control the narrative. The government believes that censorship is necessary to prevent the spread of harmful content and ideas, which could destabilize society. Additionally, censorship serves to reinforce the Chinese government’s agenda and promote Chinese culture and values.
The response of anime producers and viewers to Chinese censorship policies
The response to China’s censorship of anime has been mixed. On the other hand, some anime producers and distributors are willing to comply with China’s censorship regulations to access the large Chinese market. For example, some anime series have been edited to remove or tone down scenes that are considered too violent, sexual, or politically sensitive for Chinese viewers.
On the other hand, there are also anime producers who refuse to compromise the artistic integrity of their works and have chosen not to release their anime in China or have their anime censored. In some cases, anime producers have even criticized China’s censorship policies publicly.
Anime viewers in China also have mixed opinions on the issue. Some viewers are unhappy with the censorship of anime and have voiced their discontent on social media platforms. However, some viewers are content with the censored anime and believe that it is necessary to maintain social stability and protect the youth from harmful content.
Chinese censorship of anime has a significant impact on the industry and viewers in China. The government’s censorship policies restrict access to anime content and limit artistic freedom for anime producers and distributors. As the Chinese market continues to grow, the anime industry needs to navigate the regulations and find ways to produce content that meets the government’s standards while maintaining artistic integrity.