Archive for August, 2018

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A short news reaction post from me this week, but first a simple quiz for my dear reader. Name the common trait linking the following anime series: Engaged to the Unidentified, Hana Saku Iroha, Toradora, and A Certain Scientific Railgun.

If you guessed that those represent “perverted and vulgar anime content undermining public morality”, you apparently guessed right. Or so say China’s state officials, as they banned Bili-bili’s apps from most shops until all such corrupting content is removed.

There is worthwhile if genuinely perverted content on that list, like KonoSuba (Blessings to This Wonderful World), No Game no Life or Prisma Illya. And then there is drivel like Hand Shakers. But I do not want to argue over an imaginary line of “value” that would make a title of exempt from censorship. If you can see Engaged to the Unidentified or Toradora as immoral, the work’s values probably are not your main concern.

Part of the official statements regarding the matter bring up another point: “[Bili-bili’s anime lineup] contains morally problematic content such as incest, with certain titles earning tens of millions of views”. Would those shows be tolerable if they were unpopular franchises instead? Since they are aware that they are blocking exactly what people want to see or are interested in, I can only see this as China’s very mature “sweep it under the rug” approach I have previously discussed in my fanservice entry.

I believe the state has the right and moral obligation to protect minors from accidental and unintended exposure to controversial material. It is acceptable to err on the side of caution in pursuit of that goal. But when limiting the fully-aware choice of your adult citizens, you can only only end up a hypocrite one way or another.

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