Did you hear the recent kerfuffle about a concerned parent finding explicit content in a manga comic, located in a library somewhere? And how this person freaked out when she found out her nine-year-old had borrowed it? Well, I will elaborate on that story just now but this story did give me the idea for this article. I wanted to find out various instances of manga/anime being banned or challenged in different countries. So here goes.
The Manga Fuss in Maryland
The aforementioned incident took place in Maryland and the school in question is the Pittsville Elementary and Middle School. And it involves, of all things, Dragon Ball! I think the parent in question was worried about instances of implied hanky-panky moments between minors and other such offenses. That seems sort of bizarre, especially if you are a fan of the series. I would have said it was somewhat appropriate for 11 year olds, maybecomics in general?
The 'What's with the Exhibitionism?' Moment in Dallas
This is not the first time manga has been in trouble with parental figures. In fact, this next instance also involves Dragon Ball. It all started with a mortified parents reeling back in shock when he saw some of the images of naked kids in Dragon Ball Z comics. Guess he bought it, saw it and flipped. Apparently this led to Dragon Ball comics being edited for appropriateness in all the following publications released in US. Again, I am wondering why parents are not reading comics /watching the cartoons before their kids watch them. I've had to sit through some mind-numbingly boring Barney nonsense but that's also part of the whole 'making sure it is right for kids' move.
NZ Freaks Out: They did what in PPP?
US is not the only country having trouble with manga's so-called unusual content. One particular anime show called Puni Puni Poemy was banned in New Zealand in 2004. PPP is a sci-fi comedy of sorts that also served as a great spoof of comic-forms. The show got into trouble for its treatment of sexual content and the way younger characters were factored into such content. A lot of fans of the show seemed shocked by this move. Wiki actually mentions how one fan, Simon Brady, tried to get powers that be to reconsider but that didn't quite work out.
India not so Sure about Crayon Shin-chan
Folks from other countries have also shifted uncomfortably in their chair when viewing anime. Take India for example. In 2008 they apparently banned Crayon Shin-chan, of all the things, because the authorities were unhappy about its overall message to kids. I found that rather weird; isn't Dennis the Menace a bit like that? And Dee Dee from Dexter's Lab? I suppose I could write that off as a cultural difference but I've also seen a fair share of questionable Hindi movies. Yes, I have seen Ajooba Kudrat Kaa and boy, that was bad! We certainly are undermining kids' intelligence if we expect them to act like that.