Author: Gabriel Persechino-Forest Published: March 24th, 2018
With Phase 4 completed, we move towards the next phase, which deals with an issue that is becoming more relevant as we speak. In this last article I will be dealing with the topic of censorship. Since censorship is the end goal of this charade, it makes sense that it would be the topic of the last segment of this series.
Phase 5: Indirect Censorship
Image Source: Gundam Info
Censorship serves the purpose of restricting and controlling thoughts. It is always introduced under the guise of good intentions but always serves the same purpose: Limiting or outright removing your ability to make individual choices based on your own opinion and initiative; once censorship is in place, whether it be the state, corporations, political activists, religious institutions… It then becomes a fact that they know better than you and therefore will decide for you. Due to how bad censorship actually is, they know that no one would willingly accept it without encouragement. This is what it is all about, all the phases up to this point are to prepare us to accept censorship.
There are many forms of censorship. The simplest one is state-sponsored, which aims to make certain things illegal through laws. Another is indirect censorship; more often than not dispensed by having corporations self-censor (Thereby making it appear that companies are making individual decisions for their business but collectively piles up through multiple corporations through the industry until it becomes de facto censorship implemented “voluntarily” through every relevant player in the business) or to have political pressure groups implement financial, social and political pressure (Usually through campaigns, fundraising, bribes, collusion, social manipulation of the popular will, misinformation…) that force the relevant parties to censor in response. As this issue progresses, we are likely to encounter all of these forms of censorship and more.
Image Source: Code Geass Wiki
Anime is no stranger to censorship. Due to the imperialist values Japan was imposed after the Second World War, the nation has endured censorship of sex. This can still be seen in how genitals must be censored in Japanese pornography. And much like everywhere else, certain forms of self-censorship are imposed on anything that plays on TV. But that is not the sort of censorship we’re talking about. This time they want to establish a new standard that will force companies and studios in Japan to self-censor whether the shows play on TV, stream on the internet or are released on physical media. We are talking about a new politically correct standard that will make it socially unacceptable to present certain topics in a certain way and will make other topics outright inappropriate to deal with at all.
Short of a few incidents which were unrelated to this crisis, we have not yet seen an attempt at censorship in the North American market (For anime). Obviously, given the aim of this operation, it is easy to figure out that it is coming sooner or later. To know what to expect we can perhaps take a look at the video game industry and how it is currently faring, since this industry, at least in North America and Europe, is currently confronted with an attempt at mass censorship.
Image Source: Meme based on The Simpsons TV series footage
Recently, the game Super Seducer was banned by Sony from being released on the PlayStation 4. This was following a massive campaign by the mainstream media who were led by Vice (Pun unintended). This wasn’t the first such campaign but it is significant in being the first to achieve a ban. The campaign is not done though, those who despise free speech are now attempting to have the game banned from Steam as well. This is in addition to a recent move by the makers of Dead or Alive to not have Beach Volleyball 3 released in the West due to the current climate. To put it bluntly, when they laughed at you and told you that no one was going to take your games away, they lied.
Video Source: Based Vidya
Now going towards Japanese games, Maidens of Michael, a lesbian game that had already been censored, was recently completely removed from Steam and the game Omega Labyrinth Z was also banned from being released in the UK, Germany and Australia; both issues had to do with sex and how it should “Appropriately be presented in games”. The ban on Labyrinth Z cannot even be called self-censorship as it is enforced on the state level and is a straightforward example of anti-democratic and authoritarian oppression. The reason: The depiction of the under-aged girls in the game and the so called “risk” that it might influence young gamers (Who aren’t allowed to play mature games anyway). Also, it was fairly recently that a deal that would have allowed uncensored patches of games to be made available on Steam was cancelled, this time due to Christian pressure groups.
Image Source: Screenshot from the Kill la Kill TV series
The movement of political correctness is censorship, there is no doubt. This should be seen as apparent by France and the UK attempting to add special labels to video games that would classify them as “sexist”. It’s like being in a Sci-Fi dystopia except none of this is fiction.
As if there were any doubts that political correctness is a bane on society, there is now a coordinated media effort to censor speech across the entire internet by simply labeling any form of speech they disagree with as “Nazi”, “Racist”, “Insensitive”, “Culturally inappropriate”, “Fake news”, “Hate speech”… And then having the various social media platforms and online marketplaces simply ban and censor any discussion on topics they disagree with or simply censor specific individuals when their opinion does not match the list of accepted opinions we are now allowed to have. This has been made clear in a number of instances, including the current push to force Valve to crack down on so-called “Extremist” and “Nationalist” groups. Not satisfied with that alone, they are even asking for the removal of groups that simply do not agree with modern feminism. The thought police is real and it’s not coming in some faraway imaginary future, it is already here.
Image Source: Gundam Info
How long will it be before anime is a target as well? Since it has now officially entered mainstream, I would say not long at all. To make one thing clear as we prepare for the storm, this is not a political issue. It seems like I’ve said this before and that’s because I have. Too often we are divided by politics and too busy being at each other’s throats to realize that both political parties are seriously trying to screw us, each with their own brand of censorship: The Liberals are attacking sex and the Conservatives are pouncing on violence.
It doesn’t matter if we are talking about progressive, liberal censorship, conservative censorship, communist censorship, Islamist censorship or Christian censorship. If you walk into a muffin shop and you see five chocolate muffins each with a different wrapping, they might look completely different but once you remove the colorful wrapping, you’re still left with the same damn chocolate muffin.
Image Source: Image of Shimoneta series
Therefore let us understand that if we’re going to put any resistance to this authoritarian movement, we’re going to have to abandon our petty politics and actually come together as a community to fight against the ongoing assault on free speech and the right to choose. While this battle is ongoing at every level of society today, we’re only one community, the geek community, and as such we can only fight our battle. But that battle is no less important as every level of society, including art, should be free. There should be neither negotiation nor compromise on this point. And every group has the right to exist as well; which includes us, the geek community. So enough politics, enough activists with an agenda, enough fake feminists, enough scapegoating conservatives, enough Christian “Values”, enough of it all… Time for us to refuse them all and stop accepting to be dictated what we can and cannot do on our own time in our own community.
Source: Article Image: Screenshot from Testament of Sister New Devil series