Everyone knows that kids form their perspective on life through television in this age. How can they not when everywhere they go, it is there?
The real problem isn’t that they are learning about inappropriate things on television that need to be edited out. The real problem is that they are learning the wrong ways to react to these inappropriate things that are in plain view, even with the editing.
If you see someone get cut on TV, but no blood comes out, and yet the characters are talking about how to stop the bleeding, it can bring a youth to respond to a situation incorrectly.
These kind of false lessons about reality are especially apparent in anime. Whether this is simply because it’s from another culture that has less censored material remains to be seen. It is mostly unnecessary either way.
According to the edit list on Anime News Network, in episode II of Outlaw Star, one of the most horribly edited anime for American television, they changed the word “gun” to “blaster.” Kids know what guns are and if you try to tell them that they aren’t guns and that they are “blasters” it literally changes their entire image of what they had thought before. This is wrong.
It also had a huge influence on my general knowledge of consequences. When Gene, Outlaw Star’s main character, said “I’d rather eat crow” instead of “I’d rather eat shit” in response to giving an innocent robot girl over to pirates I was utterly baffled.
For one thing, as a child, I had no idea what that meant.
For another thing, this makes it sound as though he actually wants to give her to the pirates after I looked up the phrase, which means to apologize.
The defining of sexuality is also being ruined by editing. Not missing, mind you, just being ruined. The lesbian relationship between Sailor Uranus and Neptune was horribly construed according to The Sailor Moon Wiki. Not only did they label them as “cousins,” but they made Uranus a man.
Come on. A man? Really?
As if lesbianism wasn’t enough, they had to make her appear male. This could do nothing but ruin the image of them being cousins, which wasn’t something hard to look past in the first place. Kids figured out that they were in a relationship much more easily this way. The fact that they were “cousins” just confused the children even more.
On a side note, when I later found out that Uranus was a woman there was a sharp pain in my brain and I felt the ever-watching eye of 4K!ds beckoning me into the abyss.
The fact that these kinds of horrific edits blur a child’s grasp on reality to the point of causing problems in actual reality is a problem. It is not fair to them. This unfairness is much better represented in the destruction of plotline from this horrible censorship. Sure life isn’t fair, but if that’s the argument, why have censors in the first place?
The first episode of Sailor Moon was so heavily edited that they had to bring in clips from somewhere.
Where did they get these clips?
From the very last episode.
What did this do?
Ruin the entire show.
It is at times like these that one begins to lose hope in American taste in general. There is hope, but someone needs to realize that these edits are not only unfair, but can cause problems for children’s understanding.
Half the staff required to edit should be allocated to make sure these edits are satisfactory. Right now they don’t seem to adhere to any standards, free to splice and burn as they please.
In an interview with Cartoon Network editor Jason DeMarco, the limits and actual practice of the editing process were touched on when he was asked about why the standards for editing out blood vary so randomly from show to show and episode to episode. He said, “They can change for any number of reasons – with network directives, by request from the distribution companies, etc…”
All censoring is, is large corporate money-mongers barking orders at editors, essentially telling children what to believe.
There is no standard.
When he was asked about why they edited two corpses out of Gundam 08th MS Team, a show literally about the horrors of war, he said, “If we can bring this show to America, even if we have to cut some carnage, I view that as an even trade. We try to keep in as much content as we can until our S&P department says ‘whoa.’”
The question I’m posing is simply: Why should TV editors not be held to any standard whatsoever and always get what they want?
The fact that these concessions are forced on people who want to put good media out is simply inefficient and hypocritical. I know it sounds redundant but these “corporate editors” (that’s right, I said it) need to be edited. They need more than just their point of view as the bottom line.
This is why in court there are lawyers on both sides, rather than just one.
I don’t know how they should do it. Maybe give the people who actually care more pull, or have a counter-edit staff on the team. There are many possibilities.
What it comes down to is simply explaining what someone is about to watch. If the parent actually cares, they can look up the issues in the show and deem whether or not they are appropriate. Most of the time, more time needs to be spent on the description for the MPAA rating than the editing in the show. In an age where these qualities that are deemed “offensive”can be looked up instantly with just the title of the media, there is no excuse for these horrendous edits that ruin not only the plot, but children’s images of reality.