China bans “Death Note,” Attack on Titan,” other anime

The heroes from “Attack on Titan,” an anime series which gained international popularity. In China, this show and 37 others were recently banned to protect the nation’s culture and younger population.

The Chinese government is very protective of their culture. This is no surprise, considering the nation’s highly restrictive past policies. According to a variety of sources, China recently banned 38 anime from internet streaming sites. Anime in this list include Attack on Titan and Death Note

Ministry of Culture official Liu Qiang said the ban is to “protect the healthy development of youth.” Back in April, the BBC reported that other anime were banned for similar reasons.

It is perfectly understandable to shield children from violent shows like Attack on Titan; it is incredibly graphic and its popularity is spreading across the world like an epidemic; the concern is justifiable. Business Inside just wrote a whole article devoted to the phenomenon, aptly and matter-of-factly titled:

“Teens are absolutely obsessed with this gory series about giant cannibal monsters”

I’m sure that got your attention. That’s pretty much Attack on Titan in a nutshell. However, I do not see the reason why the Chinese government has completely banned access to this show and 37 others. What if responsible adults want to watch these series? Shouldn’t they be allowed to access them somehow?

On to Death Note. In reality, this show is not very gory. If you were to compare Attack on Titan and Death Note based on goriness and other objectionable content, the former would be a ripped-out lung and the latter a paper cut. At its core, Death Note is a detective-crime thriller that focuses in the characters and the story, not on offensive or obscene materials. That is not to say Attack on Titan focuses on its gore, its simply more in the audience’s face.

In a perfect world where expression and art are protected, all responsible adults would have access to these anime series. But until that happens, China is not a good place to be an anime fan.

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