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Anime Debates
(and some of my own rantings)

A quick note before you press onward.  I may have made some mistakes or horrible examples for each of these debates.  Feel free to contact me if I made a mistake or if you have a better example or scenario that I could possibly throw into these debates.

Censorship | Rules & Drools | Dubbed Vs Subbed

Controversy & Censorship of Anime in America:

Anime, like everything else in life, is going to have a minority of people who literally hate the medium and will trash it to death.  Just as I'm not too crazy about 'boy bands' or 'teen pop' music, there are those who feel the same about anime.

The controversial aspects of anime that are pointed out by the major critics of the medium, have existed since the days of "Astro Boy"......saying that anime is just 'too' violent and the stories 'too' deep or controversial for it to become widely accepted among Americans.

To understand why anime gets away with so much violence and controversial aspects related to, but not limited to, religious, sexual preferences of characters, and ....'coughs'.... hentai in Japan, you'd have to first look at the home country where most of the anime product comes from.

Now don't get me wrong, Japan DOES have limits as to what can be shown on TV stations, but compared to what the FCC lays down here in the USA, their rules are pretty lenient.  For example, in Pocket Monsters (Pokémon), the comedic elements are more 'risqué' than the 'toned-down' 4Kids dubbing of the smash-hit TV series.  A classic example is in the episode where James entered a swimsuit competition and he was wearing a body suit......with an obvious part of the female anatomy showing......not quite what parents here in the USA would like to see their kids watching.  Thus when the episode in question went to the editing room, they cut all of that out.

It is also ok to show bits of nudity in TV shows, but this totally depends on the situation.  If it's meant as a comedy element (Ranma 1/2  is a good example of where it's used for comedic elements), it's fine.  If they were to show characters actually doing something, then they may draw the line at some point.  In America, any of that stuff is seen as inappropriate for TV, thus any titles that have too much of this 'comedic' nudity will never see a running here.

As for the violence aspect, there's a whole mess of anime that falls into that area.  Basically what it boils down to here is that too much violence is seen in a 'not a very good example for our kids' approach.

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My Rant:

Well, seeing as the above debate focuses on censorship of anime's 'controversial' elements, I say yes and no.  

Yes, to the censorship of nude scenes......they just don't carry on the story of an anime series, and are just there for kicks.

No, to some of the more unnecessary edits that depict violence.  I think anime should get the same treatment as American animation does.  I see more violence in all the American animated product out there today, than in the 5-6 anime series running on TV combined.  Plus it seems as it's OK for American 'cartoon' characters to carry weapons around and stuff, while in anime, these elements sometimes see the editing scissors.

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So, what are your thoughts on this topic?  Send your opinions here, and they may see a spot on this site someday.

Top of Page

(Insert Title Here) Is The BEST Anime In The World
~ or ~
(title) Rulez, (title) Droolz:

OK, picture this scenario.  You're in a chatroom, newsgroup, or message board.  Someone posts a message saying (insert title) rules and something the likes of "Pokémon" sucks majorly.

First, I shall get this out of the way......Anime is anime, as long as it's origins are Japanese.  "Pokémon" IS anime...love it or hate it to death.  Same goes for "Digimon", "Card Captor Sakura" and all those other TV run anime that exist in the realms of Fox, WB, Cartoon Network & YTV.

I think the reason these TV run anime here in North America get bashed so much, is because of the ...well....in die-hard anime fans' terms....'less than average' quality dubbing, and numerous edits.  Lets face it people....anime as it stands right now, will never see a totally 'unedited / uncensored' TV run here.  This is due to the beliefs that Disney set a LOOOONG time ago, that animated stuff is 'just for kids & kids at heart'.  The FCC and TV stations took these 'beliefs' in stride throughout the years, and explains why most anime.....the better anime anyways, will never see North American TV screens.

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My Rant:

I've been through so many chatroom, newsgroup, and message board arguments with this topic, I wish I would have gotten $20 for each time it's happened.  I would be rich by now.

It's unfortunate that die-hard anime fans and 'newbies' can't get along because of the constant arguing that one title rules and the opposing title sucks.  What is being said here, for example, is that a person may like Dragonball Z, but thinks Pokemon sucks, so he/she is going to bash Pokemon to death and say it isn't 'true' anime, while they'll praise and rave about DBZ.  What these DBZ lovers seem to throw out the window, is that BOTH TV SERIES ARE ANIME!!  END OF STORY, CASE CLOSED!!

I myself, have disagreements as to what people like/dislike for anime.  For example, I may not like Pokemon as much as I used to, but I sure as heck aren't going to bash it to death, and I still have the Pokemon section of my site that's survived the days when I liked Pokemon very much.

I like Digimon a lot more, but I'm not going to say its the "BEST" anime in the world, because I KNOW for myself that it is not, plus I've seen more anime than Pokemon & Digimon, and most of what I seen is better than both those titles.  There's really only a few anime titles I could care less for, but it's due to their lack of a good story, and/or horrible dubbing and animation editing, not just because 'they suck'.

On top of that. I don't bash anime I've never seen.....that's unfair.

To wrap this topic up, I'll leave you with this.  If you're going to BASH an anime title to death, you better have some darn good reasons as to why you hate it, or else I'll disregard your opinions.  I'll also disregard them if you've never seen the title that you're bashing.....going that route is just plain stupid, and you'll end up having people hate you.

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Any thoughts or opinions? Send 'em In

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The Ultimate Debate - Dubs vs. Subs:

(NOTE:  Because of DVD, this topic is pretty much moot, but I feel I must still bring it up, because anime is still available on VHS, even though within a few years, it'll be limited to just the TV run versions of anime titles.)

Yes, I saved the biggest anime debate for last....."Dubbed Vs. Subtitled"

First we have subtitled  anime.  Subtitling is where the original Japanese scripts are translated, and then are typed out and shown as captions at the bottom of the screen.  The music and voice tracks are kept intact, and there is very little, if any, changes or edits made to the images.

Next we have dubbed  anime, which is where a team of Japanese to English translators, voice actors/actresses, and, in the case of TV run anime like "Digimon", music composers to write up new soundtracks, do a complete reworking of an anime series so it is able to air on network or syndicated TV.  

Dubbed VHS of TV series and movies not run on North American TV is for the most part, left intact as far as animation/drawings goes, and sometimes even the original Japanese music score and opening/closing credits, but the voice track is English.

In TV dubbed anime, the voice track, music score, and opening/closing credit sequence are all done over for North American audiences, and numerous edits to comply with FCC regulations and so various groups out there don't criticize it, are also done to the scripts and animation.

Now, what you, the newbie to anime, decide to watch, I'll leave totally up to you.  However, understand that if you go out and spend hard earned money on subtitled anime, you're going to be doing a lot more reading than watching the actual animation.  Plus those captions can fly by pretty fast, so you have to have a quick eye.

On the other hand, dubbed anime is all done for you....all you have to do is sit back and enjoy.

However, respect those fans that like subs and hate dubs, because it seems as they know their anime and have good taste, and more than likely, have been around longer.  The reason dubs, whether they're on TV, or only on VHS/DVD get bashed so much by the die-hard anime fans, is because companies (eg: Pioneer, VIZ, ADV, etc).....and trust me....they try hard, sometimes don't hit the correct translation of Japanese scripts.  What some fans don't realize is that Japanese to English conversion is VERY VERY HARD and tedious work, so to 'compensate' a hard translation, they'll make up something in English that's 'close to' what was said in the Japanese original.  

Another fair argument here is some of the acting by voice talents can be rather ....well.....annoying.  Some voices are 'too' squeaky (Miaka = Fushigi Yuugi ), while others are too 'monotone' or do not correctly match up with the character's personality (Xelloss = Slayers NEXT/TRY ).  It all depends on the producer's (for the dubbed version of an anime series) vision of the character and how he/she thinks the character should sound.

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My Rant:

Seeing as most better anime is ending up the route of DVD, and because I have access to a DVD player now, my rant need not apply.

However, I'll say this.....some people (like yours truly) don't have the kind of money, or a retailer that readily carries subtitled tapes or anime DVDs, that die-hard anime fans might have to obtain a gazillion subtitled tapes or DVDs, thus they have to or are forced to resort to dubbed versions.  

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