Shimoneta: Japan’s History of Censorship!

There comes a time in every teenager’s life where they stumble across something that arouses their interest. Depending what kind of parents they have or how they react to the thing that they’re aroused by, it’ll cause them to do one of two things; ask them about it, or explore on their own. When it comes to anime every fan has their favorite titles that they love to indulge in, however once those fans reach a “certain age” they may have stumbled across the endless fanservice pool that is the Harem/Ecchi genre.

with these type of shows pushing the envelope every day, there’s one of them that takes the envelope and sets it on fire. We’ve seen a lot of crazy over-the-top shows, but next to Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, this is one that we’re pretty sure a large percentage of the anime community has seen.

We’re talking about Shimoneta!

That’s one way to get a ‘head’ in life…XP

This is one of those anime titles that takes the history of something and kinda drops it on its head. The whole show is centered on Japan’s strict censorship through their government, and how a group of ‘rag-tag’ degenerates pretty much give em’ the finger to their laws and restrictions about what they can and cannot say, dress, or do. (Remember how the FCC used to be 20 years ago?)

Seeing that this series takes place in 2030 (about ten years from now), Japan’s strict rules on censorship go back waaaay further than that! Article 175 or the Criminal Code of Japan, covers the censorship of pornography and how it is restricted in Japan through its sales as well as digitally. This means that if you were caught in Japan selling pornographic pictures or digital content, you’d be in jail for up to two years and have to pay a fine of 2,500,000 yen (which we think is about $24,000). This also applied to the one(s) who bought the material as well.

Japan was (and still is) no joke when it came to skin flicks and booty mags. In fact the first ever film to get the wrath of the censorship police after WWII was 1965’s Black Snow (sound familiar?). The film’s director Tetsuji Takechi and Nikkatsu distributor Satoru Murakami were indeed charged with violation of Article 175 for their film depicting prostitutes in a U.S. military base near Tokyo. The film itself was ruled out as “not obscure” in 1966, but several things happened later that threw Nikkatsu and Takechi out of the frying pan and back into the fire.

The first hentai case happened in 2004; when Yuji Suwa, Motonori Kishi, and Koichi Takada were prosecuted for producing and selling off the hentai manga anthology Misshitsu. Nine years later another case involving three people from Core Magazine happened, and those three people pleaded guilty in December of 2013. Needless to say; Japan don’t play!

How does all of this tie-in to Shimoneta? If you’re able to grasp the concept of the story (somewhat), you find various fragments and elements of Japan’s history of censorship as well as its references to its movies such as Black Snow (Blue Snow). Even though this show has its fans, it also has a little history behind its conservative nature when it comes to the lewd, the dirty, and the pornographic.

That”ll do it for our lil’ history lesson for today, and as always; love one another! 😉