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China’s Ministry of Culture announced that it would ban Death Note, Attack on Titan, Afro Samurai and 33 more anime titles from the internet.
This is only the latest addition to an ongoing campaign to purge China’s heavy-moderated region of the internet of the scourge of anime. The ban began late last March with a blacklist of 62 manga titles, including Sailor Moon, Naruto, and Case Closed.
Here’s a list of the most recent additions to the blacklist from Anime News Network.
Terror in Resonance
Highschool of the Dead
The Skull Man
Tokyo Ghoul √A
Sword Art Online II
Devil May Cry
RIN – Daughters of Mnemosyne
The Testament of Sister New Devil
Attack on Titan
Strike the Blood
Date A Live II
Those Who Hunt Elves
High School DxD
So, I Can’t Play H!
Girls Bravo: Second Season
Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero
Dance in the Vampire Bund
The Ministry of Culture claims that the move is intended to protect China from media that promotes violence, vulgar sexuality, terrorism and juvenile delinquency.
One can’t help but wonder if part of the motivation is rid China’s youths of the influence of Japanese culture. Anime is wildly popular in China; youths constantly watch it on their smartphones, and unauthorized Totoro and Doraemon plushies line the shelves of countless toy shops.
This is despite the fact that China and Japan have an ugly history together. Anti-Japanese WWII propaganda dramas fill China’s airwaves, depicting heroic Maoist soldiers committing outlandish acts of graphic violence against monstrous “Japanese devils.” As recently as 2012, there were dozens of anti-Japan rallies in China, some of which turned into riots in which Japanese-owned businesses were vandalized.
Chinese schoolchildren learn all about Japan’s horrendous treatment of China throughout the 20th century. They taught to hold the nation in contempt. And yet the siren song of magical blue-haired catgirls is just too powerful for the kids to resist.
Any website hosting the blacklisted anime will be investigated. It may be hit with a fine or even lose its business license.
The list of banned material is expected to grow in the future.