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November 21 2017

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Sigh. My job will never be done. Just a few years ago, a no good, know-nothing executive put the hammer down and proclaimed "No Girls Allowed!"

The scariest words in the human language are "Think of the children!" Often times, these words are being said by people who know nothing about children, but think they know more than them. Case in point, a bill in Japan called for the end of "pornographic content", but was so vaguely phrased it basically meant censoring everything to the ends of the earth. When prodded about stuff like Shizuka's bath scenes in the cultural cornerstone Doraemon, the bill's owners said "that's an example of things that won't be censored."

So when a new Doraemon movie comes out and has a scene where Shizuka's clothes accidentally get vacuumed up, and her butt is shown in the process, you'd expect the people in charge of the bill to keep their promise and not censor the Shizuka scene when it aired on TV, right?

You don't know anything about politicians, do you?

Indeed, on the TV airing of the exact same movie, the scene was completely censored, completely blatantly with a big bright light that obscured just about everything, and I do mean everything. You had to buy the DVD to get the real thing. For those who don't know, this is the exact same strategy used by late night anime. Doraemon is considered in the same category as To-Love-Ru and Strike Witches in that their content has to be censored on TV. The only difference? Those series were for adults.

This is why we can't keep doing this. Despite all signs saying that this kind of scene won't be censored, it still is, for no reason other than it's a girl, as Nobita's numerous scenes show. What is it about a girl that makes it pornographic, other than the female body being "inherently sexual"?

When kids TV is given the same treatment as series for hardcore adolescent nerds, it's time to stop.

October 10 2017

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There's nothing scarier than some no good executive saying "No Girls Allowed!" But this time, not even a boy goes unscathed.

Another one with the Doraemon dub, this time the episode "Transform, Transform, and Transform Again!" In that one, Nobita drinks too much of a drink that lets him transform into whatever's on his mind, mostly turning himself into animals. He quickly loses control of his power, and turns back to human form naked, then later on for a gag turns into Shizuka.

Of course, Disney XD, despite just having moments like the last show, ended up censoring the episode for their version, "Transformade." Indeed, Nobys lower half is totally censored, and Sue ends up being covered in smoke. Worse, a very revealing shot of Shizuka is removed completely. I'm not even sure why this is allowed; because it's Disney XD could be one reason, but...

A lot of anime has a history of being comparatively censored in comparison to western cartoons. Whereas a cartoon would make moments of showing blood special like in Batman, anime on kids networks can't show it at all, like with Dragon Ball Z. The same goes for nudity; anime nudity is often a lot more censored than cartoon nudity over on kids networks, even for boys in children's cartoons. I'm not talking about the fanservice stuff, I'm talking about stuff Dexter's Lab does all the time, but other anime dubbed for children's networks can't do once. It's clearly not a matter of material being "too sensitive for children" since the situations are the same!

I'll probably have more on this later, but that's for another time. In the meantime, witness another failure on the broadcaster's part.

September 26 2017

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Ah, the rancid joys of censoring young girls on the basis of them being young girls. It's time to take a look at another time the staff stepped in to say "No Girls Allowed!"

Not too many people know this, but the most recent Doraemon series had a short-lived dub on Disney XD. The whole thing being so Japanese, it didn't last very long, and the joys of being able to watch Doraemon didn't last either, mostly because the whole thing was edited to heck and back. All Japanese cultural icons were removed, the script and music were changed, and heavier jokes were censored. It's practically as bad as the Saban/4Kids days, which is even worse because those days are long gone.

Case in point, in the episode titled in the dub "The Horizon Tape", Doraemon and Nobita, er sorry... "Noby" get lost in the endless horizon of their own creation. They stumble across Shizuka in a tub. That part was the same. In the Japanese version, she's taking a bath, as she tends to do. But... in the dubbed version, cowardice takes hold, as the bath is changed in dialogue to a hot tub, and "Sue" as she's called there is given a bathing suit. Because why would you want to do laundry and get clean separately when you could do both at once? Or not get clean at all because baths don't work that way, but hey, gotta protect the kids!

Now, to it's credit, I don't mind the edits too much. The localized tests are hilarious, showing the dubbers know all too well how ridiculous the prospect is. And if you're going to sidestep around nudity, changing the bath to a hot tub is a good way to do it. But my point is that you really shouldn't have to. Nick and Cartoon Network got away with this kind of thing all the time, and there's little in the actual episode that needed to be changed with regards to that. Not to mention Doraemon is already a kids show, and I mean for little tikes, and this is the censored Doraemon series after standards have changed and gotten stricter.

I'm just saying, censorship like this is unnecessary and should never have to happen under any circumstance, and if Japan realizes that, why can't we?

July 29 2017

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There's this one Shizuka artist I just found. He does his own take on certain scenes from the series. I think his version of the Waterplay scene is pretty good, capturing the essence of the scene with a charming art style. I'd love to see him do some other moments from the series, too. But then, lightning can only strike so many times...

March 10 2017

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In 2006, three weeks after the airing of the Water Play episode, tragedy suddenly and unexpectedly struck the Doraemon 2005 anime. For one reason or another, parents groups complained about the episode featuring too much nudity, which negatively affected production of a future episode. The episode, which was already completed, was scheduled to air three weeks from then, but due to the complaints, the staff had to censor it in a very obtrusive way, using large amounts of steam that blocked everything.

This had a very negative effect on the nature of Shizuka nudity on the show. From then on out, all scenes with Shizuka in the bath were comparatively censored to not just their original counterparts, but to scenes that had aired just previously! She'd only be seen shoulders up, her whole body hidden in silhouette, or she'd be wearing a towel or something heavily covering. Of course, none of this level of censorship made it to the boys, predictably and cowardly. They still got to show a lot, save the privates they used to.

The picture on the bottom I've provided is not a typical censorship reduction picture. Whereas it was never the intent for other examples to be anything other than censored, this one represents an attempt to bring the picture closer to the idea of the original intent. To that end, Krizeii did well; he didn't show things on Shizuka that weren't allowed in the original anime.

But that the girl has her scenes butchered while the boys go off free, in an anime that has previously never done this... that's a tragedy.

March 08 2017

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The last gleaming for Shizuka nudity was in 2006, with an adaptation of the story with solid water. While Shizuka's nipples and the boys' doodles were out of the question, Shizuka showed quite a bit once disrobed. No longer a view above the waist, this full-body view shows us a covering Shizuka, which ends up showing off a great deal of skin.
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In order to bring Doraemon to a new generation, save kids from dealing with years of backstory, and to let the voice actors retire from having voiced the same characters for over a couple decades, a new Doraemon anime was created and broadcast in 2005. By this point, censorship standards had gotten a lot more strict in the new era of anime, as what was acceptable for children years ago is not acceptable anymore. This is the reason Dragon Ball Super does not have much gore in it, as opposed to the earlier series. Even the 1989 and 90's anime Dragon Ball Z was censored comparatively in its recut in the late 2000's, Dragon Ball Kai. They're the same series, essentially, but Kai is allowed to do less than Z can despite the target age group not having changed a bit. (This does not apply to the English Dub of Kai, which is often more adult than the original Z dub.)

Still, Doraemon tried to find its way, and so tested the waters, so to speak, with an adaptation of the portable pool story, with the same ending; the boys stumble across Shizuka's bathwater. And in the end, Shizuka shows a bit of her back, and some of her side; not as much as she used to, but still quite a bit.
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Exhibit G:
The anime version of the hot air balloon story. Nobita and Shizuka's lines were separated, and Nobi has to wear a cloth for his lower section.
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Exhibit F:
The anime version of the Solidifying Lantern. The shot of Shizuka falling out of the tub isn't so comedic, and seems a bit more like fanservice now...
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Exhibit E:
The anime version of brainwashed nudist Shizuka. Keeps things slightly more innocent by not showing much of her for very long. She even exits the room in a towel, a far cry from her manga self who went out butt-naked!
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Exhibit D:
Another notable one; Nobita and friends play with something that makes water solid. When their clothes get drenched, they make themselves new ones and enter a castle made of the stuff. The sun shining in leads Nobita to try and correct things, but he accidentally ends up bringing down the castle, and Shizuka, Sueno, and Gian's water-clothes along with it. By this point, Shizuka had started to be depicted with budding breasts and a more "adult" anatomy, though that may be on part of the art team. It would be consistent with the manga's portrayal of her, though.
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Exhibit C:
These pictures of Shizuka getting interrupted in the bath are so common there's really no point in doing all of them, but this one stands out for giving Shizu-chan dot nipples for a few frames. And yet, despite her best attempt to cover, she still turns around and shows her butt, anyway. Shizuka's rear was just as much a staple of the 79 anime as her baths were, and it would be drawn many different ways. Even when her front could no longer be shown even when the manga did, it still would showcase her rear with no difficulties.
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Exhibit B:
Nobita and Doraemon use a gadget to find bodies of water, first for fishing, then for swimming when they spot hot water. It turns out that hot water they find was actually Shizuka's bath. Still early in the run, meaning Shizuka's design isn't finalized. Also, the in-between frame of Shizuka moving her arms across her chest to cover lacks nipples, even as black dots.
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(With apologizes for being late due to needing to complete important homework.)

If there's one thing the animated adaptations of Osamu Tezuka's work, especially the 1950's adaptation of Astro Boy taught Japan, it's that if you take a popular manga and turn it into an anime, you get a popular anime as well. Indeed, anime and manga tend to be thought of as one continuous thing that shares and shares alike, and many manga and Japanese novels tend to be adapted into anime as well. As the top children's manga of the time, it made sense that Doraemon would make this transition, too.

There was a brief false start in 1973, one that was so disliked that it only adapted a few chapters before dying in a fire, literally! The second adaptation, however, one that premiered in 1979, was much more successful. The 1979 anime made it across various countries as well, meaning our boy Doraemon got to see some real exposure.

As a side note, many companies tried to bring the 1979 anime over to America as well, all with minimal success, and all because of one problem: Shizuka in the bath. See, the attempts came around the time when anime was really starting to break out thanks to Toonami's airing of Sailor Moon, Dragon Ball Z, Gundam Wing, and many others. And, as our countless entries of No Girls Allowed! are any indication, cowardly American animators don't know what to do with a naked little girl other than panic. (Should've just done what Miyazaki did with Totoro, which we'll get to eventually...)

So, let's round up some notable Shizuka scenes from this period of time...

Exhibit A:
The first Shizuka scene from the 1979 anime, an x-ray camera is used to take a picture of her. That would explain her vastly simplified anatomy.

March 07 2017

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Exhibit C:
This one is about a hot-air balloon that uses alternative fuel sources to stay in the air. Unfortunately, Nobita and Shizuka get lost while in it, and find themselves dwindling ever closer to shark-infested waters. The escape, but only by burning their clothes for fuel, a fact which Shizuka is not happy about. Notably, this is one of the few times both Nobita and Shizuka share a nude moment together. It's super awkward, I bet.
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Exhibit B:
This story talks about something called a "solidifying lantern", which can turn gas and liquids into solids. Unfortunately, Shizuka finds out all to quickly that this includes her bath water and the steam in it, and she can't enter it. The effect wears off, but only so much, as she finds herself stuck in the tub. And while she manages to make it out, she totally faceplants while doing so. That last panel in particular is such a cartoony panel I just love it.
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The Doraemon manga began in the 1970's under the duo collectively known as Fujiko F. Fujio. The name was noted for being associated with a unique art style one can instantly spot by looking at it, and aside from Doraemon, it has been used in Perman, Chinpui, and ESPer Mami.

The basic premise is that the manga centers around a bit of a loser kid, Nobita Nobi. He's on such a track to failure that a robotic cat named Doraemon has been sent to make sure things go better. Nobita, on the other hand, purely has his own desires in mind for Doraemon's tech, and uses them to try and be as cool as the showoff Sueno, outsmart the bully Gian, and win the heart of our focus character, Shizuka Minamoto.

It backfires. All the time.

One notable aspect about the manga is that Shizuka loves to take baths. She takes them constantly, on a regular basis. And she never gets to finish them, because she's always interrupted by Nobita using his gadget of the week. Her catchphrase when this happens "Nobita, you pervert!" has become something of a meme in the Japanese fandom, as has the moments themselves.

The manga's been going on for a long time, so I wanted to present some of the more notable scenes.

Exhibit A:
In this chapter, Nobita has a device on him that he can use to get other people to do what he wants, sounding suave while doing so, too. When he stumbles upon the bathing Shizuka, he tries to convince her that nudity is natural, citing Adam and Eve. Shizuka agrees... and becomes a militant nudist, stepping outside her house totally naked.
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