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Is Censorship Killing Terraformars?

Posted on the 20 October 2014 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG

Is Censorship Killing Terraformars?

No anime season is complete without a little bit of controversy, and the 2014 fall season is no different. One of the first shows of the season to get simulcast, Terraformars, seems to be at the center of the latest “controversy” with its abundance of black boxes and gradients going and censoring the gratuitous violence.

Before I knew about the controversy surrounding the show, I was confused by the generic negative backlash the show was suffering. After some research, the first red flag I noticed was when I decided to check the show out on Crunchyroll and saw that the rating was a whopping two-and-a-half stars out of five. To put that in context, the normal rating you’ll always see on that site ranges from four to five stars. So a rating that low seems incredibly fishy. Reading some of the user reviews put it all in context, though.

Is Censorship Killing Terraformars?

Surprisingly negative for a CR show it is

Now, us anime aficionados are fully aware that censorship is just one of the things we have to deal with, especially if you’re a Crunchyroll subscriber. The most memorable incident I remember in terms of censorship on Crunchyroll is when I was watching JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders. Sometimes, the excessive gore would be censored out, which is understandable. However, the decision was also made to censor Jotaro from smoking cigarettes, which was done laughably bad. If these parts of shows are going to get censored, then why waste time even including them?

Is Censorship Killing Terraformars?

Gee, I wonder what Jotaro is going behind that veil of darkness?

As for my own personal stance on censorship, I believe that it’s (for the most part) pointless, especially with the shows I’ve watched in my lifetime. Obviously, I’m very much against censoring language (come on, kids are going to learn those words eventually), and censoring certain forms of nudity (no! we should be ashamed of our bodies!). When it comes to anime, though, the most scrutinized aspect that gets censored is the violence. I don’t know what it is, but I can take animated gore much, much easier than I can for simulated, realistic gore. That’s just my own personal bias, but I think that a good portion of people would agree with that statement.

Now, let me be perfectly clear; I can understand why certain aspects of a show as violent as this are censored. Some people can’t take large amounts of violence, especially when it comes to decapitations, dismemberments, eye-gouging, and even bifurcations. I get that. However, I believe that most people know what kind of show they’re getting into when they read a rough synopsis of this show. It just seems to me that there’s this general lack of personal responsibility today. If you don’t want to watch a gory show, then please don’t watch it. Don’t watch it, then feel like you’re entitled to complain. You knew what you were getting into, and this lack of personal responsibility seems to be a contributing factor to shows like this getting massively censored.

For example; in the first five minutes of the first episode, the main character, Hizamaru Akari, is fighting a bear. Everything seems fine, even after the bear looks to be eating him alive. But when Akari gets up and starts gruesomely attacking the bear, everything is censored out. It’s easy to infer that Akari was destroying the bear, but as the series goes on, some things become less clear. Another example; when one of the crews lands on Mars, they encounter a roach. The roach sneaks up on them and cuts one of the member’s arms off. When this happens, half of the screen goes black, and every instance of the dismembered arm is mostly censored. I had to watch that scene a couple times to fully grasp what happened. In that respect, the censoring is not benefiting the show at all.

Is Censorship Killing Terraformars?

Bet you didn’t know an eye-gouging looked like this!

Is Censorship Killing Terraformars?

Doesn’t this just add to the experience?

Honestly, for me, the censorship isn’t the worst thing that I see in this show. Yeah, it gets real annoying real fast, but it doesn’t make the show entirely unwatchable, at least up to this point. For me, the biggest problem present in Terraformars is the hurried pacing. It’s a show that basically doesn’t try to introduce situations or characters in any meaningful way. Coupling that rushed pace with the censoring, though, is making the show a lot less enjoyable than it should be.

Is it killing the show? I wouldn’t go that far. Is it hurting the show? I don’t think anybody could argue with that statement.

However, there is some good news! At NYCC, it was announced that Crunchyroll will in fact be streaming an uncensored version of Terraformars sometime in the future. Hopefully this can serve as a lesson that censorship to this degree is completely unnecessary.

I’d probably advise you to wait for the uncensored version. It’s what I’m going to be doing, anyway.

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