Despite my sickness, I still managed to have some time to read a few interesting anime articles around our blogosphere, and here are a few of my little thoughts.
I actually thought of writing something in response to Heisei Democracy’s entry on anime abortion. Despite the lack of commentary within the entry, the essence of the article is to present the different reasons why a story is either canned or how an anime series is affected by various situations. The first thing that came into my mind is the many episodes that have been canned due to social impact, and was censored as a result. Some others have also commented specifically on the School Days’s canning as well.
I am a proponent of censorship, particularly of a suspicious episode on television. As much as we can argue for the truth-seeking mechanism, I cannot but agree that there is a huger social impact if series of very suggestive sexual/violent behavior was shown. As much as academic and social research on the cultivation theory has been inconclusive, it is definitely possible that an easily-molded teenage mind can be malleable and more conditioned to accept occurrences when they flash violence/sexual things to us. From a policy making position, it is indeed logical to can the episode, considering its social sensitivity in the current local context It is the danger of insensitivity due to constant exposure of such things that make it dangerous. I do not deny the human spirit, those that can decipher right from wrong.
However, how many of us can actually see right from wrong clearly without any form of bias? It is hard, and our subconscious minds tend to be shifted without us knowing. I am not trying to say that censorship is all good, but I believe that many of the cases in which episodes are pulled in Japan are justified. I mean, look at the amount of tolerance in their fanservice/violence on local television stations and it’s quite realistic to say that they are mostly resistant to any severe cut of over-reaction.
There is always a gullible boy/girl, believing what they see on television despite how educated they are (not validating the hypodermic needle by the way, but more of media conditioning). That is why censorship has to stay, and pull them away from such pain. Of course, the intelligent/self-discerning viewers will suffer a little, but I am sure that they will be intelligent enough to understand why too.
To add on, issues of censorship, violence, cultivation of values and all have been very prominent in traditional media such as the newspaper, television and among academics as well. I do not think that the Internet has caused it to grow at all, but it has always been around. It is just that our current generation of youth has stopped gathering the information from such media, and hence we only know and become more exposed to them online.
We can all be selfish and say that the television channel has over reacted. However, can we truly say that such crimes might be preventable if we practice a little censorship over extremely suggestive themes that might be led themselves to copy acts? As much as we like to accuse of things after we are deprived of our entertainment, we have to sit back and perhaps think of the wider consequences to society.
Yes, a very old theme in anime, and all of entertainment. However, I really enjoy how “What is eternity doing tonight””s take on this issue. It is definitely easy to slip in the cliche that all sequels suck, but it’s perhaps due to the growing expectations of the original (which is possibly very high quality) and hit it to a clearly impossible level of goodness. Even though it is very hard to answer this questions, even through research to see viewer sentiment, the blog entry hits the spot where it is supposed to be.
Merchandise is perhaps the driving factor for many companies, and the reason why they want to bring up a sequel. For every one critical viewer of this sequel, there will also be a rabid fan ready to worship the series no matter how bad or good it is. It is the power of sequels, and I also believe that it is mostly the expectations that has caused the burden of the series. Series like Nanoha had a very good sequel in Nanoha A’s, or perhaps Fumoffu with 2nd raid, Aria with the equally tranquil Aria the Natural, Saiunkoku Monogatari’s second season is doing as well as it is. It is also important to remember the ode, “we only remember the bad things in life”.
As the author did not allow comments, I will reply here. I currently have 4 conference papers right now and I am in fact preparing for another paper that hopefully would finish in time for the ICA conference in May (The deadline of submission is November though). To add on, I have 2 peer journal articles to the International Communication Gazette, as well as an European journal whose name exudes me now. The good thing is that both articles will be indexed, which will put me in good stead. Nevertheless, there is little time to dilly dally around and I have to start working a little in order to get more papers published in time.
Sigh, life is never easy for an academic.