Anime Reel – Anime & Manga TV News

Censorship As Marketing – Thursday Talking Point

Posted on: February 4, 2010

Omamori Himari, the show that just likes to service its fans.

Thanks, Photoshop, we needed you!

If you’ve watched anime enough, you know what “Steam Girls” are, even if you haven’t heard the term before. “Steam Girls” refers to a time-honored anime tradition: in the obligatory “onsen episode,” the animators show a bunch of naked girls in a bath house, but cover their naughty bits with artfully placed bands of steam to avoid the wrath of the TV censors. Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu has perhaps the most hilarious variation on this decades-old workaround, doing visual gymnastics with everything from butterflies to rubber duckies to keep the viewer from seeing anything truly indecent.

In recent years, advertising revenues have plummeted, and DVD sales have become more and more important to the success or failure of a TV series. Accordingly, the focus of steam censorship has shifted away from making the show fit for TV, and has become a way of telling pervy fans “Buy the show on DVD and we’ll take this digital steam away for your viewing pleasure!” This season, the censorship has hit new heights (or new lows, depending on who you talk to) with the shows Omamori Himari, Seikon no Qwaser, and Ladies versus Butlers!

This week’s episodes of Omamori Himari and Ladies versus Butlers were especially butchered, with giant ham-fisted white splotches all over the screen (see above – other sites have more screen caps, or you can see it yourself on Crunchyroll) that basically scream “I am a crippled version of this show!”

Do you think it’s smart business, or does it just annoy you these days?

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4 Responses to "Censorship As Marketing – Thursday Talking Point"

I think some shows take it a little far, and others do some other HORRIBLE things to increase DVD sales (Tsukuyomi: Moon Phase anyone?), but overall, censorship is a good excuse, when it’s not taken to the point of being overly “We don’t really have to hide this, but are just so you buy the DVD”. And then again, as shown by the Endless Eight Haruhi DVD sales, you can be stupidly horrible, without showing “naughty bits”, and still sell DVDs.

I would say it DOES sell the Anime… on DVD at least. Most Anime I fell in love with is the censored version, having the “steam” or whatever they decided to place in the way of nudity removed wouldn’t make the Anime any better for me personally. I fell in love with the show for a reason and 9/10 times it is not foe the female characters and implied nudity. Too much censorship can just get plain annoying occasionally, why put so much in when you know it’s going to be covered up?

In cases like these, I’ll just turn to the manga. (It surprises me how the paper versions can be so much ‘raunchier,’ yet escape so much censoring.) It’s the same thing I did with Kanokon, and likely do with Omamori Himari. Though I will missing Koshimizu Ami, I’ll be glad to be rid of blatant censoring and a rather miscast Hirakawa Daisuke.

That is a very good point there

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