*DB realise on lea to post on this blog (bad squirrel)*
With it being Easter, I thought it was time the Dango Bunny made a return. How often I post will depend on finding the time to write about things, but I would like to make it a fairly regular event. Another problem has been finding things to write about although for this post I have found a subject that been causing me confusion for some time now.
My chosen topic for this post, are the age ratings concerning manga and anime as well as the content that seems to escape review when deciding a certificate. Don’t worry this won’t be a rant about what we can see and what we can’t, it is more about things being consistent and that material is checked properly.
To start with I am going to pick on a series that is actually a favourite of mine, but does make me question what those who have to decide these ratings were thinking. The books get an older teen rating and in the U.K., it get’s 12 certificate for season 1 and a 15 certificate for season 2. In a lot of ways the certification is correct as the second season is more fan service heavy than season 1. My problem lies in what the fan service is telling the audience. Spoiler Alert! In one particularly fan service heavy episode, we are treated to many lingering bathing scenes allowing us to have long looks at the female protagonists in the nude. Normally this isn’t too bad, if the ages of the girls are left open to question, in other words you think that the girl or girls in question are of a legal age, but with this episode the story pointedly tells you one of the girls is 15 and another is 14, making them underage. So they have got the audience to ogle underage girls. Now I admit that it isn’t done in a sexual as such but that fact that you end up watching underage nudity is a bit unsettling.
Now I admit that this isn’t the first or only manga or anime to do this. Dance in the Vampire Bund has a great exciting and violent story which gives it a mature/18 certificate but it’s most disconcerting aspect is its lead character. Most vampire stories make the point that vampires are immortal and are trapped at the age at which they become a vampire, in this case our protagonist is ancient but has the body of a little girl. This wouldn’t be a problem if it weren’t for the numerous times that she appears naked or in sexy underwear.
Then you get something like Negiho. Negiho is a spin-off from the Negima series. The difference is that the teacher is an adult and the girls are pre-schoolers. This proves very disconcerting as the girls try to impress their teacher in a bid to win his love. Visually there is nothing to worry the censors but it is just the concept that is worrying. It doesn’t do anything wrong except just constantly gives you an unsettled feeling.
My problem is what is to be done about it all. You see it’s not just anime and manga that has these kinds of issues. Modern TV is having these problems too. With the rise of historical and fantasy TV shows there seems to a greater tolerance of rape. The problem to me seems to be it happened in history so it’s permissible. The books that these shows are based on don’t help as scenes are already in the pages, it’s just where these books appealed to a niche audience, and thanks to shows like Game of Thrones these books are receiving a new popularity with a wider audience.
It may seem like I am on a bit of a downer here but to me that’s not the case, I still enjoy shows like these (except Negiho, which always makes me cringe) and always will but I just had these thoughts that I wanted to get off my chest. I suppose the question I am asking myself is are we getting too tolerant and is that ok? Other people may see these things a completely different way and I have no problem with that as after all it is our differences that make us fun.