I’m not a fan of censorship. That being said, I understand the guidelines of why it is necessary. It could be due to timeslot, target audience, content or even controversy. Why am I saying this now? It is because of the debut of Dokuro-chan 2. On the 2nd half of the episode, censorship covered a scene lasting approximately 33 seconds. I am not talking about some small restriction you see in Hayate no Gotoku! or Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. I am talking about the full-blown suppression of a scene. Nothing was shown – no characters, scenery, animation. Nothing. Zip. Nada. It was probably the longest cutting I have ever experienced. This is far worse than an animation studio airing an incomplete episode of an anime due to time constraints and budget issues. In the entire episode, you never actually see Dokuro-chan beat the crap out of Sakura with her Excalibur using her own two hands.

 

There is nothing wrong with censorship. I may not like it, but I respect it. It gets the job done if necessary. It fulfills an obligation that protects the station’s corporate responsibility. What really annoys me is when production studios do not know the boundaries of how far censorship can constrict an anime.

 

I’ll give you an example. As you may all remember, Moetan aired a recap episode this past week. Many wonder why it was aired instead of episode 6. ANN reported that:

 

Takayuki Nagatani, a producer of the Moetan moe television anime series, posted on the official series blog that the next episode will be replaced by a highlight clips episode in Japan “for various reasons.” Episode 6 “Hajimete no Date” (“The First Date”) will be only available on DVD, while Episode 5.5 “Sumi to Ruriko no Moetan Diary” (“Sumi and Ruriko’s Moetan Diary”) will takes its broadcast slot. The TV Osaka affiliate has previously edited its Moetan broadcast by fading the entire screen to white in some sequences.

 

This is an appropriate action taken by both sides. The producer realized the content may not be appropriate to broadcast standards. Therefore, he made a wise decision by pulling the episode in order for fans to enjoy it uncensored. It may come at the price by purchasing the DVD, but in my opinion, that was the right assessment.

 

This is where Dokuro-chan 2 failed. Remember The Simpsons episode where Bart was in juvenile jail and was watching an edited version of Itchy & Scratchy? That’s what Dokuro-chan 2 episode 1-2 was. Luckily, I did not care as much since those episodes bored me to death before even the halfway mark.

 

Heavy censorship helps no one. It does not help the TV station nor does it please the fans. It leaves everyone bitter. This was just a poor decision made by the producer who is responsible for Dokuro-chan 2. There is no upside to this. Fans are already well aware of the franchise from its first season or from the novels. For that reason, the episode should not have aired since it is targeting its existing fans. It is not reaching out to new audiences because if you did not like the first season, your opinion will probably remain unchanged about the second season. The DVDs will sell themselves without any extravagant advertisement. Why air an episode that was going to be spliced heavily due to gory scenes of limbs flying all over the place?

 

Is it better to show something censored than not showing it at all? Yes and no. Hayate no Gotoku! demonstrated that censorship may interfere but it has no effect to its main objective of the anime. Dokuro-chan’s trademark was torturing Sakura with her Escaliborg and guts being spilled all over place. If you take that out, what’s left? It would just become another unoriginal anime filled with fan service. In the end, this anime episode should not be aired if censorship obstructed its true intent.

 

Censoring is a medium that tells you when you have crossed the line. It is up to producers to realize if their content fits the TV station’s regulations. In other words, producers have everything to lose if they make the wrong choice.

33 Comments

  1. I totally agree with you. I’m not a fan of censorship, although I don’t think it will ruin the anime (or any other series) if the producers use it well. But Dokuro-Chan can’t be censored… After all it will lose all the anime has got to offer. I havent’ watched this episode (No subbed version yet/no japanese knowledge =P) but from I read, I don’t think I’ll donwload this one (I know I should buy the DVDs, but where I live it’s unlikely to get a way to buy the DVD and importing is out of question because it would be really expensive to get.), at least until the DVD Version is out.

    Oh, this is my first comment (I think…) so I just want to tell you this blog is great and I really love all the reviews you make. Thanks ^^

    PS.: Sorry for my English, I know it isn’t very good =P

    Fye_DX
  2. you’re right, without the whole gore and beating people, it loses its highlights. Cuzz i’m sure most people which this should because of the all gore and comic moments anyway

    Harbin
  3. Actually, I thought that the censorship in Dokuro-chan 1 was done quite well. There was something rather humorous about having the signpost up for a few seconds but still hearing exactly what was going on in the background. But some of the censorhip of Dokuro-chan 2 went too long.

    It’s akin to having a joke being extended well past the point it stopped being funny

  4. Artificial scandals are a common part of the Japanese entertainment landscape. I suspect this instance of “censorship” was not a decision on the part of the broadcaster, but rather a decision on the part of the show’s producers intended to drive DVD sales.

  5. Isn’t the “censorship” in Hayate no Gotoku intentional and meant for comidic effect (i.e. they never really had anything they were going to show, and thoght the “censored” scene was better)?

    LoliHat
  6. censorship of ecchiness or nudity like for moetan (which also only targets the lolicon audience) is understandable no matter how frustrating. however, censorship of violence or gore is really stupid in this day and age, just one bloodied head or splash of blood is not enough to frighten any kids these days.

    xcswmboy
  7. i agree with lolihat, i thought that hayate no gotoku and Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei censorship was intentional? if that the case?, can it still be the same with dokuro( i havent’ watch it yet, so i didn’t know)

    lkaze
  8. Agreed. Can’t remember how many times a cencored scene (be it intentional or unintentional) pissed me off. Even if they’re used for comedic effects, I find excessive usage to be a HUGE turn off. Eg, Hayate and Zetsubou Sensei. Well, at least Zetsubou Sensei has a little more meat instead of jumping all around the place with cheap parodies.

    Jayars
  9. I believe that the censorship in Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei is not truly censorship – it seems more to be part of the humor as opposed to being there to block objectionable content. This idea is reinforced by the fact that the show airs at 12:30 a.m. on Saturdays, so its not like its going to be viewed by children.

    Fuyumi
  10. Censorship has been happening since the advent of entertainment, and that’s not gonna change any time soon. It doesn’t matter what timeslot it is on, there are things that people shouldn’t see at all. While I don’t watch Moetan, I found them removing episode 6 off the airwaves as a really good decision by everyone involved in it. Virtually everybody in Japan has access to Moetan, even kids who happen to surf over the channel can see it, hence why I believe they took it out because of the fear that the show can get canned because of it. If it did air, then it would get a lot of backlash from Mom’s, anti-pedophile groups, Dateline NBC, and pretty much anyone with a sane mind. I’m still actually surprised that Moetan is airing, considering how much the whole show is based on the risque topic of pedophilia, and that people are actually enjoying this.

    But anyways, the same goes for Dokuro-chan I believe. Not even CSI goes really that far to show how brutal some guy was killed, they’d show a couple of bullet holes, an arm and a leg maybe, but we don’t see the guy get hammered by the criminal do we? Sure, we may see the silhouettes of the criminal and victim, and blood spatters, but we don’t see the two duke it out in full-color film do we?

  11. They know when and on what channel(s) it will air, and that it will be censored…then why put out the anime in its original state? It’s like making a Pokemon episodes that has a scene of 2 of the human characters having graphic ‘porn-style’ sex with each other, and having a blank screen during that scene, then return to the normal pokemon fighting and anime. What’s the freaking point? it’s just plain stupid!

    Gurren-King
  12. the above comments are absolutely right – you fail to make the distinction between intentional and unintentional censoring; whereas hayate, zetsubou, AND dokuro have the production team doing it for the humor, censoring of moetan was done completely by the tv networks.

    furthermore, the airing of dokuro’s first season was censored exactly the same way, with the safety monkey and some random backdrop. the dvd release comes out within 2 weeks of the tv airing with no censoring (the dvd for season 2 eps 1-2 will be out aug 24). my memory is a bit hazy as i have not watched the first season in over a year, but the tv releases didn’t have “Dokuro-chan beat[ing] the crap out of Sakura with her Excalibur using her own two hands” either. i question if you are confusing the tv version with the dvd version and making your argument based on that.

    as jeff lawson says, it’s a simple and very effective ruse to drive dvd sales – having the dvd release date less than two weeks after each tv air date makes this quite obvious, and should definitely not be a cause for alarm.

    imus
  13. Imus,

    I don’t know if the first season had a censorship that lasted more than 33 seconds when it aired in TV. However, I let the first season slide because it needed attention and awareness. How else will people know an anime was created for Dokuro-chan? Magazines, web sites, and interviews does no justice because you need the full experience to know if it’s worth it or not.

    I’ve checked out the DVD version of Hayate no Gotoku!. It did include the censored parts. Despite that, certain dialogs were censored in order to not get sued from the production company who own the rights to a certain phrase or franchise. In Hayate’s case, censorship includes audio as well.

    Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei is a bit of a tough call. The only way I can find out for sure is when the DVD is released. For now, I still stand by that it is censored unintentionally.

    Kyouya
  14. hmm…
    if your against intentional censoring like hayate or zetsubou sensei (for comedic effect), then why isnt anyone complaing about:

    lucky star (episode 19, gundam scene) or

    suzumiya haruhi (computer blackmail scene, “then i’ll have to say the whole club was going to ****-**** her after hours!”)

    i think that censoring is ok for comedic effect, but the dokoro chan one was pretty off? and the moetan one…(no comment)

    just my opinion

    Nawk
  15. “censorship of ecchiness or nudity like for moetan (which also only targets the lolicon audience) is understandable no matter how frustrating. however, censorship of violence or gore is really stupid in this day and age, just one bloodied head or splash of blood is not enough to frighten any kids these days.”

    I am sorry but I am going to call BULLSHIT on this.

    I cannot stand gore, I lasted around 3 minutes of Dokuro-Chan before I became sick.

    But that is not the reason I call bullshit, I call it because when did violence became more “natural” that seeing what you get to see on a anatomy lesson … its idiotic to say nudity is worst that blood flowing.

    What you ARE doing is setting YOUR country (I bet its the US of A) standards on the rest of the world, I might not have a problem with seeing nipples (hell I see mine every day) but I have with blood and gore.

    So Japanese broadcasting standards take censorship on showing that nudity and blood and gore … what is exactly the issue here?

    I do not like blood and gore and when I realized Dokuro-Chan was going to be blogged here I was not very happy about it since I know what kind of UNAPPROPRIATED images would end up being posted here and I would have NO WAY to avoid then …

    Drakron
  16. drakon, then you better watch out for claymore, higurashi, bleach, and to some extent dtb and gurren, not to mention ikuto’s tendency to gush liters of blood out his nose.

    i call b******* !! like **d****i* w**t *h* *e** a** **u **y*n*!!!

    jaalin
  17. I hate censorship of almost all sorts. I find it funny how they censor sexual stuff while they leave in all the violence instead. Now I’m not condoning censors of violence either, but making a huge brouhaha over sexuality does not make sense at all to me.

    Shippoyasha
  18. First of all, how do you know that they censored a 33-seconds scene?
    Anyways, I think this is understandable. Dokuro-chan is very gorey, they cannot show certain scenes on tv, even in Japan. You can always buy the dvd for the uncensored scenes. They do this all the time, with Higurashi, Gurren-Lagann, Chokotto Sister…
    What could the production company do? Tame down the violence (thus displeasing the fans) or cut an entire scene, but insert it in the dvd version. I think that the latter option is more acceptable. Also, if they cut the scene, it was probably irrelevant to the plot in the first place.

    Son Gohan
  19. You know… I would like to go into the meat of this problem:

    There’s Claymore; where blood, guts, and body parts seem to fly around like nobody’s business. I’m going to compare this show with Dokuro-chan.

    Why doesn’t Claymore get that edit witch hunt like Dokuro? Is it another one of those stunts to get you to buy the DVD like Moetan?

    Or maybe: Claymore isn’t as vulgar and tacky as Dokuro. Maybe, after the world heard of Don Imus calling a hard-working female basketball team “nappy-headed hoes,” that some bodies at the top thought their job was at stake and decided to put their foot down.

    Unoriginal fanservicy anime is not a problem for me since, due to competition, everyone will eventually force themselves to stand out (or else be out on the streets). It’s also problematic to find out that unoriginal fanservicy anime will flop if it gets licensed for Region-1 release. The drugs utilized for the idea behind Dokuro can only get these people so far…

    See, kids? That’s why we can’t have nice things. 🙁

    Slightly Bald Wizard
  20. like you also, I am not a fan of censorship. I am sure all people feel annoyed by this but then, censorship also has it’s own reasons and I do respect it. sometimes, it can also give a good laugh like what you said, hayate no gotoku and zatsubo sensei. but then, censorship has it’s own limits and I do agree it gets annoying at times cause it sometimes cover the highlight or climax of the episode. that’s why there is such such a thing called TAGS.

    Sei
  21. Maybe other posters have already said this, but I want to clarify something. The Dokuro-Chan 2 is the OVA, and what the blogger here saw is most likely a “preview” broadcasting on a TV station, such as TVK. Okay, we all know current TV anime series are more or less like OVA in a sense (sensor scenes in TV, add them in DVD), but this one is not one of such titles. Rather, Dokuro-Chan 2 is THE OVA. Viewers of the TV-version were informed that this is just a preview before it starts. So in this case, I don’t see much probrem.

    Mr.Monday
  22. There were a couple of comments that mentioned it should be censored because children can see them. This makes sence if the show airs at a time kids are normally up. But when a show airs at 1 or 2 in the morning, the show shouldn’t have major censorship that would anger the main audience (such as moetan 6 being cut) because a kid might be up well past his bed time. The show airs at this time so that it dosn’t attract kids, they shouldn’t be censoring the show to appeal to the group of people they don’t want watching. Someone under 17 may see a M-17 show in america usually past prime time. Should the M rated show be edited to make sure it is kid friendly since there is a chance a kid may see it? Then why should something that airs at 1:30 in the morning be edited incase a kid can see it?

    dan187
  23. Watch out for that series with the hamster too! What’s its name? It’s a girl that doesn’t understand that her “boyfriend” is cheating on her and the cute hamster tries his best to help her but gets beaten up all the time. I think AnimeONE/ANBU has subbed it back in the day. Dokuro-chan is such a weird anime, some anime are…

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