Thailand censors anime into a blur

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anime1Does Goku have his shirt off? Is that an axe that our hero is clutching between his hands? Are those girls in the show wearing bikinis? What is that man drinking, and why can’t I see the bottom of that boy’s shoes?

Anime in Thailand isn’t banned; in fact, you can go ahead and watch many critically acclaimed Japanese animations like Sailor Moon, One Piece or Dragon Ball Z. Yet, one cannot expect to see in clear view all of what occurs in the anime and its contexts, considering that clothes showing cleavage, a man’s bare chest, weapons pointed at people, consumption of alcohol and even the bottom of a shoe (because showing your heel in Thailand is considered rude) are all obscured to such a blinding fuzz that most kids in Thailand are probably growing up thinking they’re nearsighted.

Though Thailand isn’t the only country that goes out of its way to censor explicit imagery, the US is actually known to alter images that come off as too lewd or taboo for younger viewers, turning cigarettes into lollipops, for example.

One user on the video-game blogging site Kotaku described the censorship issues, stating:

“Blurring equals omitting stuff, stuff which you can try and guess what is and what is not. They were proactively changing everything in the anime, changing the meaning and the message the original creator wanted to convey, also hiding their own censorship and passing the changed work as the original: If you see the blurred stuff, you understand the anime has been altered, if you see super soakers, weird stuff like the hammer-gun, lollipops instead of cigarettes, you think the anime plainly sucks (that’s exactly how One Piece got so unpopular in America by the way).”

Freedom of speech was guaranteed in the 1997 Constitution of Thailand, which continues to be upheld in its 2007 Constitution under Section 36. Though the law guarantees the liberty of communication by lawful means, provisions of the law are “specifically enacted for security of the state or maintaining public order or good morals.”

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Does Goku have his shirt off? Is that an axe that our hero is clutching between his hands? Are those girls in the show wearing bikinis? What is that man drinking, and why can’t I see the bottom of that boy’s shoes? Anime in Thailand isn’t banned; in fact, you can go ahead and watch many critically acclaimed Japanese animations like Sailor Moon, One Piece or Dragon Ball Z. Yet, one cannot expect to see in clear view all of what occurs in the anime and its contexts, considering that clothes showing cleavage, a man’s bare chest, weapons pointed at...

Reading Time: 2 minutes

anime1Does Goku have his shirt off? Is that an axe that our hero is clutching between his hands? Are those girls in the show wearing bikinis? What is that man drinking, and why can’t I see the bottom of that boy’s shoes?

Anime in Thailand isn’t banned; in fact, you can go ahead and watch many critically acclaimed Japanese animations like Sailor Moon, One Piece or Dragon Ball Z. Yet, one cannot expect to see in clear view all of what occurs in the anime and its contexts, considering that clothes showing cleavage, a man’s bare chest, weapons pointed at people, consumption of alcohol and even the bottom of a shoe (because showing your heel in Thailand is considered rude) are all obscured to such a blinding fuzz that most kids in Thailand are probably growing up thinking they’re nearsighted.

Though Thailand isn’t the only country that goes out of its way to censor explicit imagery, the US is actually known to alter images that come off as too lewd or taboo for younger viewers, turning cigarettes into lollipops, for example.

One user on the video-game blogging site Kotaku described the censorship issues, stating:

“Blurring equals omitting stuff, stuff which you can try and guess what is and what is not. They were proactively changing everything in the anime, changing the meaning and the message the original creator wanted to convey, also hiding their own censorship and passing the changed work as the original: If you see the blurred stuff, you understand the anime has been altered, if you see super soakers, weird stuff like the hammer-gun, lollipops instead of cigarettes, you think the anime plainly sucks (that’s exactly how One Piece got so unpopular in America by the way).”

Freedom of speech was guaranteed in the 1997 Constitution of Thailand, which continues to be upheld in its 2007 Constitution under Section 36. Though the law guarantees the liberty of communication by lawful means, provisions of the law are “specifically enacted for security of the state or maintaining public order or good morals.”

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