"Blood, Guts and Bambi Eyes": Urotsukidoji and the Transcultural Reception and Regulation of Anime

Emma Pett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
46 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

The regulation and reception of anime in Britain has, historically, been fraught with difficulty. In 1992, the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) rejected the first instalment of Urotsukidoji, a controversial series of erotic anime, on the grounds of its sexually explicit content; this decision set a precedent for the way in which they would continue to censor anime for the following two decades. Nearly twenty years later, in 2009, the Coroners and Justice Act, also known as the ‘Dangerous Cartoons Act’, made it a criminal offence to possess non-photographic pornographic images of children, including CGI, cartoons, manga images and drawings. Through an examination of the BBFC’s archival materials on Urotsukidoji - Legend of the Overfiend, supplemented by references to a small number of newspaper articles published during this period, this article offers a range of insights into the historical context in which the current series of debates surrounding the ‘Dangerous Cartoons Act’ can be situated and assessed. These are used to consider the transcultural flow of genres across national borders, and the difficulties a regulator from one culture encounters when dealing with controversial material originating from another, such as Japan, that has a substantially different set of social values and artistic conventions. Furthermore, this case highlights the important role played by distribution companies in shaping the production and evolution of genres within the transcultural marketplace.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-408
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of British Cinema and Television
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

Keywords

  • Anime
  • BBFC
  • Dangerous Cartoons Act
  • distribution
  • genre studies
  • orientalism
  • transcultural marketplace.

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