Trying to clean up the show could make it look much, much dirtier.
As we’ve seen in the past, anime censorship can be a very difficult thing to do subtly. Being such a visually driven storytelling form means creators are often packing every frame with things for the eyes to take in and enjoy, so when concerned distributors go back in and try to remove or obscure something, sometimes it’s painfully obvious.
Things only get trickier when anime makes its way overseas. Cultural differences can shake out such that what’s totally innocuous in Japan has the potential to offend in other markets, which has Japanese Twitter users snickering over an imaginary extreme case of censorship for a German edition of idol anime Love Live! Sunshine!!
Love Live! is actually a pretty classy show, treating its cast of teen vocalists with chaste respect and leaving more lascivious depictions to certain subsets of its fanbase. But since German law expressly forbids the display of Nazi symbols such as the swastika, one fan jokingly suggested that the choreography of Love Live!, featuring poses with outstretched arms, could be mistaken for the Nazi salute.
However, if censors were to just slap a mosiac over the anime images, things would go from maybe looking fascist to almost defintiely looking pornographic…by making it seem like the young ladies have gigantic penises growing out of their shoulder sockets.
放射精元素 (@RA_genso) September 12, 2016
▼ Sieg idol?
ぁゃty@ミッキーﾍﾟﾛﾍﾟﾛ(^p^) (@ayatyluvmmj) September 12, 2016
While the images cropped up in some corners of the Japanese Internet claiming to be legitimate screen captures of the German ediiton of the anime, the original poster has since deleted them, and admitted that it was all a tongue-in-cheek hoax. We were among those who fell for it hook, line, and sinker, which we’ll have to chalk up to our dirty, dirty minds.
The author of this article would like to thank everyone who politely pointed out his error in the comments, and hopes that his deceased German grandparents aren’t going to haunt him as punishment.
Follow Casey on Twitter, where he’s sure someone is now drawing Love Live! dong arm dojinshi at this very moment.