Over the last decade, anime has achieved widespread popularity, but some series have also been considered inappropriate by specific countries. Often, anime can get a bit wild. It could be due to brutality, incest, and a large variety of other issues. As with any other means of storytelling, anime’s plots, characters, and their relationships may also become offensive. Because of this, anime fans will definitely be the first to say that it is not child-friendly just because a show is animated. Everyone enjoys anime. There’s a reason that so many anime series, live-action adaptations and lots of merchandise have achieved worldwide recognition. That said, often anime contains inappropriate content that some countries, especially if it is targeted at a younger demographic, do not want to broadcast to audiences. In this video, we have anime series that have been banned somewhere in the world, and what makes the list might surprise you.
1. Attack On Titan- Banned in China
Mankind was slaughtered to close to extinction centuries ago by monstrous humanoid beings called titans, causing humans to retreat behind massive concentric walls in fear. What truly makes these giants terrifying is that the desire for human flesh isn’t born out of hunger, but out of pleasure. The remains of mankind started residing behind protective walls to ensure their survival, resulting in one hundred years without a single titan encounter. However, as a colossal titan manages to breach the seemingly impregnable outer wall, reigniting the battle for life against the man-eating abominations, the fragile calm is soon shattered.
It is unlikely that fans of Attack on Titan would be shocked to see this anime on this list. The show features humans being destroyed by giant titan creatures. There is a lot of gore, acting as nightmare fuel for the whole show. In China, the whole show was banned. The abuse was not the only reason it was banned, though. China disliked how the anime contained a powerful theme of opposing power. When the societies in the show often build striking parallels with the relations between Japan and China, it gets even more awkward. Attack on Titan is only one of many anime that China has banned out of concern that their society will be damaged by the show.
2. Death Note- Banned in China
As a god of death, a shinigami can kill any person, given that they see the face of their victim and write the name of their victim in a notebook called a Death Note. Ryuk, bored with the lifestyle of shinigami and interested in seeing if a human can use a Death Note, drops one into the human realm one day. High school student and prodigy Light Yagami stumbles upon the Death Note and tests the fatal notebook by writing a criminal’s name in it since he deplores the state of the world. Light is deeply shocked when the criminal dies instantly after his experiment with the Death Note and soon realizes how devastating the power which has fallen into his possession could be.
A lot of anime has been banned by China. One of the most internationally famous examples is the Death Note. Its grim premise revolves around justice, death, and murder themes. Real-life incidents, such as children making their own Death Notes where they would write names of individuals they did not like, were influenced by the franchise. It is real-life events like those that has caused Death Note to be banned in China. Some schools around the world, such as Albuquerque, New Mexico, have also tried to ban the manga. But, they could not get enough support for the district-wide ban.
3. Violence Jack- Banned in Australia
A disturbing and aggressive look at a future that is post-apocalyptic. In this bleak setting, several diverse storylines centre on an assortment of characters coping with life. All the stories feature a big man called Jack who is battling a criminal named Slum King in an ongoing war. In three separate OVAs released in 1986, 1988 and 1990, a collection of sagas from the manga were adapted. On December 21, 1988, the second OVA, named Violence Jack: Evil Town, was released. Because some of its themes included necrophilia and cannibalism, it was a particularly controversial entry for the classifications.
In the United States, France, Italy, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia these OVAs have been released. The content of the OVAs has created censorship problems in some of these countries, although the second OVA has been completely banned in Australia. The OVA with the most issues with censorship was Violence Jack: Evil Town. When this OVA was submitted to the Australian Office of Film and Literature Classification in 1997 by Manga Entertainment, the OVA was denied a rating. The print reviewed ran 55 mins, although the initial print runs 60 mins, it is believed that this edition was the already censored version from the UK. The release of the remainder was scrapped because this OVA was banned.
4. High School DXD- Banned in New Zealand
Issei Hyoudou is a high school student who is your run-of-the-mill pervert who has done nothing fruitful with his life, peeps, at women and dreams of someday having his own harem. When a pretty girl invites him out on a date, things seem to be looking up for Issei, although she turns out to be a fallen angel who murders him brutally! However, when stunning senior student Rias Gremory, who is a top-class devil, revives him as her servant, recruiting Issei into the ranks of the Occult Research Club of the school, he gets a second chance at life.
High School DxD is a very popular anime series, but since it does have aspects of typical harem anime, it is notorious for being very sexual. New Zealand wanted to ban the series since they considered it sexually exploitative of underage people due to the young age of its cast of characters.
5. Kite- Banned in Norway
Sawa is an orphan, a schoolgirl and an assassin. A corrupt officer who brings her targets to kill controls her, describing to her every crime these men have committed to validate their death. Some of his authority over Sawa has to do with the vow of revenge and her dead parents. The two teenage assassins form a bond of sorts when another orphan, a teenage boy named Oburi, is brought in to support Sawa. They begin to dream of a life that wouldn’t be spent under the shadows of murder while they heal each other’s emotional wounds.
A girl that can use bullets to make a person explode is featured in this anime film. It is not, however, the violence that has generally made Kite uncomfortable. No, it will be an extremely explicit sexual assault scene. The protagonist, who is a minor, is the victim. The entire film has been banned due to Norway’s laws against child pornography. While the United States hasn’t banned the anime, but several versions remain censored.
6. Puni Puni Poemy- Banned in New Zealand
Poemi Watanabe a.k.a. Kobayashi is a 10-year-old girl who dreams of being a popular voice actress. Her school grades, unfortunately, are poor and her voice acting is much worse. But when a strange alien murders her parents and wreaks havoc all across Tokyo, Poemi picks up a talking fish, skins it into a wand and becomes a magical girl called Puni Puni Poemi to save the day.
Like its predecessor, the series contains sexual scenes that often involve minors, senseless violence, and cruelty. These factors were deemed sufficient enough by the Office of Film and Literature Classification in New Zealand to not allow Puni Puni Poemy to air in New Zealand. A lot of anime fans have asked why Puni Puni Poemy has been banned by New Zealand but it has left others untouched. The best explanation seems to be that the anime is not very mainstream, so it’s not on the mainstream radar. In terms of its impact on society, it is not like Death Note or Pokémon.
7. Midori: Shoujo Tsubaki- Banned Everywhere
The sinister side of circus life, far away from the laughter and praises of the crowd, lies behind the bright curtains and lavish shows. Set in Japan at the beginning of the 20th century, Midori: Shoujo Tsubaki emphasizes the misdeeds that occur in circus camps. Midori was an innocent young girl, enjoying her childhood to the fullest as an elementary student. Something changed, however, when her mother became ill. Midori is finally forced to avoid going to school and sells flowers in the city instead. Midori encounters a stranger after her mother dies tragically, who leads her into the circus. What awaiting her would permanently change her life.
There is a rather dark and depressing plot for Shoujo Tsubaki that will make you understand why it was banned universally. The anime was about a young girl who, until she found an ally in the role of a mystical dwarf magician, became part of a freak show and ritually humiliated and abused her. Due to its graphic content, it is considered a lost anime film. When it was first released, many people destroyed the film because it disturbed them.
8. Kinnikuman- Banned in France
Kinnikuman is a superhero, one of the bad ones. A person named Meat tells Kinnikuman one day that he is the prince of an alien planet. Kinnikuman has to save the day by battling evil chiyojins several times and engaging in tournaments to demonstrate himself to his family and gain respect and wealth.
The story of Kinnikuman was innocent enough, but all controversy was laid on a certain character: Brocken Jr. He is depicted as a “good Nazi,” which has left several people uncomfortable. To clarify, since his father was a German Nazi, he wore a Nazi uniform but did not adhere to all other views relevant to the ideology. The character of Brocken had the whole show banned in France. France was certainly not the only country with Brocken Jr. that was uncomfortable too. With the others from the show, his toy was never really brought to America. In addition, Brocken was frequently ignored by tie-in Nintendo games. The manga eventually changed his design, with him no longer sporting swastikas.
9. Excel Saga- Banned in Japan
It’s hard to conquer the world, and this is known to the enigmatic Il Palazzo, head of the ACROSS organization, so he intends to start small by conquering Fukuoka City. Two young officers, Excel and her partner Hyatt are charged with pursuing this strategy, but the City Security staff, a group of three relatively average men, a rather severe girl, and some robots, are standing in their path. Excel and Hyatt always tend to mess up their missions regardless of simplicity, which typically ends in death and lots of damage.
This show only got its last episode banned in Japan in a strange twist of fate. First of all, it was three minutes was too long for the episode to air. In addition to that, the whole episode is as violent and obscene as possible. The episode was quite fittingly named “Going Too Far” which can only be found in the show’s DVD releases. Shinichi Watanabe, the director of the show, admitted he deliberately wanted the episode to be banned.
10. Hetalia: Axis Powers- Banned in South Korea
The plot focuses on the Axis Powers and sometimes shines the spotlight on the turbulent relationship between the Allied Powers, mostly during the events of World War I and World War II. North Italy, who is clumsy, carefree and enjoys spaghetti, is the titular character of the Axis Powers; Germany, who is very serious but frequently flustered; and Japan, who is stoic but has peculiar interests. Hetalia: Axis Powers is a historical comedy based on the highly popular webcomic turned print manga by Hidekaz Himaruya, which pokes loosely at culture, explores the relationships among nations and breathes humor into history.
The design for this show’s characters was bound to provoke some. Each character portrays a country, so a lot of stereotypes are used. Despite their military background during World War II, Italy, Germany, and Japan share a cute friendship. South Korea finds the show less amusing and cute. Their character insulted them. A particular grievance is the fact that the hanbok of the character was drawn wrong and his perverted behavior too was offensive. They also did not like the character, Korea’s character praising the Japanese character since their countries did not have the most friendly history with each other.