China Declares War on Japanese Anime, Saying it Corrupts Chinese Youth

"Children must be protected against juvenile delinquency"

Do you remember the cartoon with the robot cat, Doraemon? Of course you do, thanks in large part to the decades-long broadcasting success that Japanese cartoons have enjoyed in China. That is about to change, though, as Chinese regulators fear that these cartoons contribute to juvenile delinquency by promoting violence, terrorism, gambling, pornography and crimes against morality.

The Ministry of Culture is blacklisting a number of offending cartoons, the majority of which are Japanese, which appear on some of China’s most popular video streaming platforms, including Tencent, Youku Tudou, iQiyi, Sohu, Kumi, and LeTV. The Ministry vowed to punish any offenders that did not comply with its order to remove the offending material from their platforms. The Ministry’s actions are part of a broader attempt to control the Internet in China, which includes eliminating content that it considers a threat to Chinese society and the Communist Party.

Known as “Anime” elsewhere in the world, cartoons to be banned include Blood-C, Terror in Resonance, and High School of the Dead. Many programs are not suggested for younger audiences, and are given ratings that exclude viewing by children. China, however, has no viewing rating system, and films and television must be watchable by the entire public, or not watchable at all.

Charles Liu

The Nanfang's Senior Editor