China’s Ministry of Culture is investigating and punishing some of the country’s biggest internet companies for hosting anime the government has deemed unsavoury.
According to China Digital Times, the Japanese animated series in question “lure minors to delinquency and glamorize violence, pornography, and terrorist activities.”
The ministry cited three anime series: Blood-C, for showing severed body parts, Highschool of the Dead, for imagery that the government said were near pornographic, and Terror in Resonance, for showing “terrorist bombings” and the theft of nuclear material.
Here, you can watch some of Blood-C‘s more gruesome scenes:
And this should give you a vague idea of what Highschool of the Dead deals in:
And finally, Terror in Resonance, which might be the tamest of the lot — unless you’re controlling a single-party state and aren’t keen on freedom of expression.
Online in China, a rumoured list of 29 blacklisted anime has been circulating. Of course, this could also be a move to promote domestic anime production, which the government can monitor much more closely.
BBC reports that streaming sites now need publication licenses and unregistered clips will be deleted.
“Most websites and publications have a pretty good idea of what they can get away with,” Prof Karl Gerth, a specialist in Chinese studies at the University California, told the BBC.
“And, for the past few years, they have internalised the more restrictive preferences of the new Xi Jinping regime. For this to break out in the open suggests the leeway to publish online or in print ‘controversial’ material of all sorts continues to narrow.”
According to Reuters, the ministry did not disclose how it will punish these Chinese internet companies.