In the world ofanimation, overseas audience sometimes does not get to see the actual show thatis originally created due to localization in the form of censorship. Many animeshows that first came to the United States were dubbed and heavily edited toremove elements of Japanese culture.Sailor Moon which is a very belovedshow in the world was originally produced by Japan with LGBT content and nudecontent.
However, in the United States, producing companies like DiCEntertainment and Optimum Productions had decided to change the lesbianrelationships between Sailor Uranus and Sailor Neptune to just being cousins.Other countries such as France also tried to hide homosexuality content in thisshow by making Sailor Uranus’s secret civilian identity as a male in the Frenchdub version. In the Japanese version, Sailor Moon is completely naked duringthe last episode as Japan thinks the naked body as a representation of purity.However, other countries such as South Korea and America find it extremelynecessary to make the near-nude scenes less obvious as most of the audiencesare kids. In the South Korea version, the heroine is covered with an elegant whitedress. As for DiC Entertainment version, the breast size of the Sailor Scoutswas being toned down to be more wholesome for the kids. Another examplewould be censorship by the subsidiary 4Licensing Corporation, 4Kids Productionswhich English-dubbed and censored Japanese animation to make them more kid-friendlyand to adhere to American cultural norms.
They removed all materially suggestiveobjects such as guns and replaced them with water guns or popguns; all elementsof ale were replaced by juice. Not only that, Sanji’s famous cigarette wasreplaced by lollipop, making most of the dialogues sounding odd as they changedwith this edit. The whitewashing of roles is shown as a form of censorship inthe American version of One Piece by changing the skin color of the blackethnic characters as they want to avoid any sort of stereotypes that will causeracial controversy. Some scenes are confusing as well because Zoro’s swords canno longer cut people open. These edits by 4Kids were apparently overdone as it hadbutchered the original version, leaving many plot holes in the show.
Sexualization is an idea for anime shows to make it sellas it is a big part of what the audience wants and it also part of the cultureof Japanese anime. Sexualization has been very prevalent in recent anime showsas it is the key to profit in this generation. Plus, objectification within inthe anime contributes to the comedic factors of the show as most of the humoris surrounded by sexual situations of the characters. Young female sexualattraction is often being used as a pull factor to appeal the male viewers asthey are the dominant group among the entire anime audience. However, sometimesthe female characters are being overly sexualized to the extent it might besexist and distracting. For example, there is a female character called”mune-mune” which means “chest-chest” in ScorchingPing Pong Girls which shows the close-up of her chest. Not only that, it ishorrendous to find the entire show of HighSchool DxD is centered around naked underaged high school girls withextremely large boobs that sometimes rub into the male character’s face inalmost every episode.
I would never agree with hypersexualization andinfantilization of adult women, but to think in the anime industry’s point ofview, sexualization is tolerable if it does not take it too far where it ruinsthe integrity of the entire show. Fan service is giving the audience what theywant by adding certain elements to please them, may it be sexual, love or violentelements. Fan service is an essential aspect of the anime commodity fordomestic and global audiences as it has become a common expectation for a widevariety of anime shows because of its vast appeal to Otaku male audience. However,just like candies, fan service is nice to be consumed but cannot be given toooften as it is not healthy for us. We must admit the fact that it has gotten toa point that it has negatively impacted the modern perception of anime frompeople who are outside the anime viewership.
As much as the Otaku fans enjoy indulgingin the series despite the various racy and lustful elements in the shows, it alreadycauses various controversies among the people who do not normally watch them. Somepeople may feel uncomfortable and even hesitate before they start watching oneas they may find some anime shows very discouraging and unrealistic that makesthem doubt the whole purpose of the show. It frustrates many people that thefemale characters always come with exaggerated size breast, cleavage, smalloutfit and overly short skirt, knowing these characters only exist to befetishized.
Female characters are always supposed to be good looking and have aperfect hourglass body unlike male characters who come in many shapes and typesof physical appearance. Fan service serves well for Otaku fans as these groupof people are very obsessive that production companies would just create animeshows full of fan service merely for fulfilling their fantasies and keepingthem interested. For instance, Rosario +Vampire which has been heavily criticized for its fan service as it oftenseen as unnecessary and out of place. While fan service can enhance an anime,there should be a balance between fan service and the main story.When consideringfuture anime productions, we can expect a whole bunch of not-explicitly-ecchianime shows with inappropriate fan service that merely exists just to satisfythe needs of the audience and lack the essence of a good storyline. Rather thancreating a female character with a complex range of emotions, with personalgoals and motivations, anime creators chose to sacrifice its meaningfulideology to create a fan-service product of sexualized ideology. They cater to creepyand immature male audience which has isolated many female viewers and distractsthe audience from the show’s intended narrative. Nevertheless, there are stillmany good-quality anime shows that do not really promote sexualization or fanservice such as Attack on Titans butstill manage to gain popularity among audience from all other the world.
Perhapsthe production companies should consider the needs of the female viewers and createmore anime shows that are relevant to both genders so the whole anime situationwould not be tilted heavily towards the male Otaku group.