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Thesis Chapter 1 - Censorship In Animation

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Background of the Study

            Animations came from the Latin term “animare”, which means to provide something alive.  This word is related to the word animate which means to act. In the 1970s, diverse individuals have been able to develop the word animation which means that the picture is drawn on the movies directly and broadcast such movies instantly. (Charles Soloman, 1990)

The historical background of the context of animation movie had lasted for a long time.  In 1906, the first animation movie has been filmed which is entitled: “The Haunted Hotel” Its producer,  Stuart Blackton had invented a new technology which have the ability to approach single pictures which are made to generate illusion of the action. Balckton had utilized the single picture as a substitute of the movable pictures that was shot by video camera in animation movies (Chronik Verlag, 1995).

The golden age of the US animation was given consideration in 1930s and during this period, the progress of technology as well as the research and development have been able to display clearer the characters. There is no culture and framework for animation but the basic contexts is that it should be fun and encourage imagination.  The animations of Walt Disney have become very popular and highly recognized worldwide. It was held as the leader in cartoon industries and nurtured by diverse young artists in animation. The most essential cartoon figure is Micvital Moutilise and it was considered that the major development for animation was brought by American. (Lee Dao Ming, 1990)

The Disney firm was established by Walt Disney who have been able to make good movies, both animated as well as live action which is more appealing to the young audiences around the globe.   Before the Second World War, the animation on the other side of the globe (Japan) had not prospered yet. There were only few individuals who are producing animations and their potentials were very rough those days. In this generation, Japanese was considered to be highly famous when it comes to animations. The country has been given consideration to be a major nation which produces children’s animation movies, and it has been known as the major animation movie industry in the global market and there are more than 25,000 individuals who are working in animation industries in Japan. Yoji Kuri has been able to open up the gate of Animation in japan in 1960s and enable the Japanese animations to make an impression from the Western people (Lee Dao Ming, 1990).

Because of the development of information technology, computer animation has become major progress for the American animation in the 1970s.  In this modern age, computer animation is being considered as the new design of having a full grown animation.  In this regards, the manufacture of animation had progressed and advanced diverse skills (Lee Dao Ming, 1990).

Over the past few years, guite a few numbers of studies have been made about the perception of young individuals in terms of the TV programs they watched. nevertheless, it is seen that there are very limited studies on the context of censorship in animation. Thus, the main goal of this paper is to conduct qualitative and empirical studies which will attempt to identify the factors that make an animation movies or program to be classified as censored.. In animation series, most animation is considering tales and narratives which are considered as experimental tale telling and utilize animation techniques to imply this tale, or sophisticated tale telling. Some animated movies are also considering risqué themes, portrayal of violence, as well as sexuality in a way that is unsuitable for younger audience.

 Accordingly, the animations industry is one of the most successful and bustling industries in the global market. The censorship in animation is a common object in animations specifically those marks and attributes tales and narratives in human relationships and even sensualities. Since animations basically cater to the young audience they are exposed to such imagery which could eventually lead to idolization. It is according to what they see, hear and perceive that they create their own notions of what they have watched.  There are some industries which have been affected by censorship and this includes Looney Toons. Primarily, the goal of this study is to investigate censorship in animation and determine how this affects the animation industry,

Accordingly, it is really a wonder how media can bring so much influence on diverse individuals. Way back in hitale, diverse individuals from all over the world have developed great interest in terms of watching people act, either on television or stage.  As time goes, the television genre has changed into diverse types in which not only people can be seen acting but also some cartoons characters and animations.  Interestingly, individuals, specifically children seem to become attached to diverse animations as it attracts the attention of children based on the character, the imagery and other factors.

Japanese animation and comic books, commonly known as anime and manga are highly popular in Japan among consumers of all ages.  In the US, and other countries, the international manga and anime fan base are expanding rapidly. yet, in some western nations, like US, cartoons and comic books have conventionally been relegated to the reality of childhood, whereas in Japan, some manga and anime series are targeted at adult and child as audiences. In this regard, such titles typically deals with issues which are not universally considered in both Japan and other countries appropriate for children. Nonetheless, even in some anime and manga targeted at youth, there are some issues of sexuality as well as violence that the general Japanese or non-Japanese public considers acceptable for younger audience, whereas most US consumers possibly marks that such content do not belong in children’s media.

In today’s world the media is exerting an ever included influence on the minds and actions of the people. The media because of its structure is influencing and manipulating the hearts and minds of the people and the society that contains it. Media is powerful and dominant tools that can be utilize to influence, sway, and control, persuade and manipulate the feelings, thoughts and consciousness of the society. The media is also a powerful tool for change and social transformation. The media aside from its main function which is to propagate news is also a potent instrument for exposing corrupt practices, immoral dealings and illegal transactions being made by people who are in power.

            But when viewed in its totality, the media does not only exert positive values and histories but also negative and damaging opinions and viewpoints regarding certain topics and social issues. The part of the corporations and organizations that composed the media advocates their own viewpoints and opinions and beliefs which are readily accepted by the society because individuals perceived and incorrectly think that the media does not have any tint of bias or prejudice. Some group of individuals and organization from the media sector are  catering to the lowest intellectual abilities and destroying cultural awareness and cross-cultural sensitivity in the guise of providing the audience a “balance, fair and accurate” reporting of facts. These hypotheses about the media are clearly diversities by providing examples, cases and illustrations.

Censorship has been considered to be an integral part of the life of the animators. It can be said that this context is even more critical in the animation since (a) until recently, most individual considered animation to be strictly for children and (b) the animators can do a lot more with animated characters than having an actor and actress perform it.

For some evidence see the Cartoon Brew's reprinting of an old Look magazine article from January 17, 1939, that tackles about the censorship of cartoons in Hollywood. During those times, Hays organization checked out all toons to determine if these were suitable for kids. In this entire issue, the big discrepancy between how Hays dealt with live-action as well as toons was that live-action movies were only censored in terms of the level Though toons were vetted post-production. In this censorship of Porky Pig was not permitted to kiss his partner, Petunia. On the other hand, monsters were watched to see if they were too frightening for the kids. In addition, cruelty to animals was also restricted since censors thought kids would imitate the movies. Spitting as well as the raspberry was also verboten (both the visual as we’ll as the sound), as was depictions of "men who appear too effeminate."n

            Animation has attracted the attention of censorship because of some reasons. First, animation have been presume to be aimed at kids or (much the same the thing) the 'lower orders', that is those distinctively susceptible to corrupting the mind of the children. Second, animation has also often been unsurprising, lurid, in a genre which extends from the inanities of Daffy Duck to the more extreme Japanese animations.  Most animation nowadays can be construed as promoting inappropriate behavior which includes underage sexual activities, violence, and disrespect for elders and these were provident emphasis in the 1954 New Zealand Inquiry into Moral Delinquency in Children and Adolescents ('Masengarb Report').

Since animations are now distributed easily through broadcast networks and the internet, diverse children easily access on these animations. In this regard, it is significant that a research will be conducted to investigate the censorship in animation as well as the factors which government authorizes consider establishing such policies and regulations in animation.

Research Objectives

            The highlight of this research is to investigate censorship in animation and the factors that leads government authorities to consider this kind of policy in animation shows. Specifically, I will try to achieve the following objectives.

1.    Determine the factors that lead to the censorship of Japanese anime and manga series.

2.    To identify the mainstream cultures in Japan which are considered as appropriate material for younger audiences.

3.    To identify some anime series which has been regulated through censorship?

4.    Gather relevant studies regarding animation censorship.

Research Questions

            Animation programs and images have become more appealing to most audience because of the unique and distinctive technique utilized by the producers. Most animations nowadays tackle on diverse tales and narratives which vary from being realistic to unrealistic. nevertheless, it seems that younger audience tend to watch animations and there are animation series which are not suitable for very young audiences. The research attempts to answer the following questions:

1.    What are the factors that lead to the censorship of Japanese anime and manga series?

2.    What are the mainstream cultures in Japan which are considered as appropriate material for younger audiences?

3.    What are some animes which has been regulated in terms of censorship?

The study will consider descriptive technique and empirical technique in achieving the research objectives.  This research study will be conducted under the qualitative paradigm using the qualitative means of data gathering of secondary research. According to Gereffi (1999), in general, qualitative method has provident emphasis the quality of the collated data rather than the bulk of informants who participated in the research. As such the study will operate primarily under the qualitative research technique in which the quality of the data gathered rather than the quantity of sources which are available for my study, is highly recommended so as not to concede the quality of the data (Guba & Lincoln, 1998; Lee, 1999; Gummesson, 2000).Because of the limited capability of the quantitative method as a single resource there is a need to  consider exploratory research procedure that will enable me to perform in-depth analysis as well as extensive interpretation of the findings of the research (Flick, 1998).

Significance of the Study

In general, the main goal of this research is to investigate censorship in animation and the factors that leads the government to establish such kind of regulation and policies.  In this regard, the dissertation will specifically seek to investigate some animations through the utilisation of descriptive technique.   This study will benefit the media, the society as well as students in the field of arts and animations. With this report, awareness of the animation censorship will be promoted, thus active participation and more aggressive rules and regulations for censoring animations for the children’s benefit can be implemented. This research can also be a plausible contribution to the fund of media knowledge. At included, censorship in animations are facing a lot of issues because of the vast effect of animations among children. Thus, it is significant that policy makers should have knowledge on its prevalence.

Definition of Terms


Regarded as the suppression of speech or the deletion or elimination of communicative material that may be given consideration as harmful, objectionable, sensitive or inconvenient to the media organizations or government as identified by a censor


Immediate display or illustration of a sequence of images either 2D or 3D artwork or framework positions so as to generate an illusion of movement. It is considered as an optional illusion of motion because of the phenomenon of persistence of vision and can be generated or shown in diverse techniques. The most usual technique of including animation is through video program or motion pictures, though some forms of including animation also exists.

Research Philosophy

This research approach is aiming to comprehend the influencing factors concerning Censorship in Japan Animation. It gives emphasis on a given situation of an in-depth analysis. The vital theme in this study is the investigation of Censorship in Japan Animation which has been examined using a wide range of relevant literature reviews as well as other secondary sources and concepts intensively and thoroughly. Thus, for this specific research project, the research philosophy is mainly interpretive, in a way that all data are based from literature reviews and other secondary research materials.


Accordingly, the essence as well as status of qualitative inquiry has risen in diverse fields. Still, given the remarkable supremacy of research by conventional, , I may well have to develop a justification for qualitative techniques, in general. It is significant to ensure that the entire study will highlight on the approach of seeking the cultural description as well as ethnography; extracting multiple constructed realities, drawing out unspoken knowledge and also the subjective comprehension, together with interpretations; investigating into the diverse complexities and approaches; highlighting on little-known condition; exploring where and why policy as well as knowledge and practice are odds; giving emphasis on the informal and unstructured linkages as well as diverse approaches in the organizations; highlighting on real, as opposed to stated,; pertaining on matter that cannot be done in experimental approach due to practical as well as ethical reasons; and highlighting relevant variables (Marshall,& Rossman 2006, p. 53). And since this research will be using literature review method then the qualitative research study approach was the best way to present this study.

As mentioned by Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, (2004), all studies may probably engage categorical data that can be utilise for analysis to help I answer the research queries.  Qualitative is the converse of quantitative, which more precisely describes information and data in terms of quantity.

            Essentially, the main qualitative methodologies are: ethnomethodology, reception studies, , ethnography, content analysis, cultural studies, and textual analysis (Wolcott, 1992). There may be other approaches at the fringes of qualitative technique, and there might be qualitative scholars developing other methodologies.         

Data Gathering and Analysis

The data interpretation and analysis needs to be explained, which include diverse aspects on how the data were coded as well as categorized, as well as how theoretical construct were established from the data (Holloway & Wheeler 2002, p. 273). It is the approach where in the data that had been gathered is broken down, analyzed, compared as well as conceptualized and interpreted (Jacelon & O’Dell 2005, p. 217).In the case of this paper, the approach as well as method that had been utilized in the data management as well s data analysis and also the categorization, were properly identified and explained (Thompson & McCaughan 2004, p. 16). In addition, it can be seen that the approach that had been utilized in the data analysis was compatible with the history of the research, as well as the nature as well as form of the data that had been collected and gathered. In addition, the entire data compilation and gathering and interpretation of the study give emphasis on the approach of discovering as well as investigating the views and opinions by the qualitative content analysis in identifying the diverse categories (Hagren et al 2005, pp. 249 – 295;).  Polit & Beck (2006) stated that the findings of the study must be presented with the identified themes from the data as well as all of the said themes must be backed up with diverse aspects from the original source of data. Thus, it must be shown in details, in the original content. The utilization of the excepts will identify the diverse themes that were established in the result of the analysis of data that will give insightful, provocative as well as meaningful picture of the situation that is being investigated (p. 74; Hagren & Pettersen 2005, p. 249).

It is significant for the research to connect or links its interpretation and discussion to the recent or prior studies as well as researches that have been done and published; this is due to the notion that it can help to know if the past studies are still applicable and usable in the recent condition or status of the subject matter or not.





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