If you thought America was gung-ho about censorship, wait ’til you see Thailand’s approach. As the following gallery will show, the broadcasting department’s censors have been unleashed on kids’ anime favourites with a lethal force.
Exhibit A is a scene from Sailor Moon, where the girls are hanging out at the pool.
There’s so much blurring here it’s kind of hard to tell what’s going on, and we can even imagine that a few viewers will be rubbing their eyes or banging the sides of their TV sets before they realise that this is purely censorship gone mad. Maybe it’s just me, but the blurring here seems to make the whole thing look far less innocent than it actually is!
Serena’s one-piece seems downright demure to me – maybe it was the design that offended them?
For Exhibit B we have boys’ favourite Dragon Ball. I’m not sure if the censorship is for the ripped clothing or the bare chest. Either way, the censorship department’s going to have their work cut out for them with the rest of the series…
And finally, Exhibit C is from kids’ classic Doraemon. Here, Shizuka’s orange two-piece swimsuit has suffered the wrath of the prudes, although it seems kind of half-hearted compared to the other examples. Maybe someone was eager to get home on a Friday night? Interestingly, the guys’ bare chests have got away censor-free. Not enough muscles to qualify?
Below are some of the online reactions from Thai people shocked by the overkill.
This is too much!
Most people probably won’t think anything of it, but it makes me feel weird to see characters blurred like this!
We’re paying taxes for people to do this. What a waste!
Why have they blurred it? Do they think kids will get excited looking at it or something?
It wasn’t like this when I was a kid. Why have they introduced this regulation now?
Why do they need to censor such minor things? Thai idols perform in swimsuits, and that’s ok??
It’s not just Sailor Moon! Fairytale is always censored. So lame.
Moon Prism Power Make-up!! (There’s always one…)
While it may look like the censors are trying to shield young viewers from the corrupting influence of a bit of bare flesh, it’s also been suggested that these characters are being blurred so as not to present indecent images of children. Sounds mad, but with the current debates in Japan over what constitutes child pornography, perhaps they’re just erring on the (incredibly) extreme side of caution. Either way, I think it’s sending out a very strange message to kids, but what do you make of this?