Anime

How Far Is Too Far When It Comes To What Can or Can’t Be Depicted In Anime?

Ever since Goblin Slayer episode 1 came out, I’ve been seeing a mixed reception towards the explicit content that was shown in the anime. Some saying that the anime is fine and is just staying true to the source material while others are saying that the anime took it too far and should in fact be stopped from appearing in sites like Crunchyroll. Today, I want to share my own thoughts on this matter and why I feel like this whole thing is blown WAY outta proportion.

I’m not going to drag this answer too long so I’ll get right to the point. For me, I don’t think that Goblin Slayer went too far with anything that was shown in the episode. I’ll address the rape scene first since that’s what everyone and their mama seems to have their knickers in a twist. Let me ask you this, did the episode in any shape or form PROMOTE the idea that rape is cool, acceptable, funny and that it’s OK to do it? No, of course not! What people have overlooked is the context of the episode. I know that it’s 2018 and everyone suddenly became super sensitive and offended by everything but this is getting kinda ridiculous.

Keep in mind that in that very same scene, the goblins brutally and mercilessly massacred the young warrior boy as well. His screams of agony could be heard echoing across the cave but that apparently didn’t bother anyone, but the rape scene naturally did. Seriously, I haven’t seen anyone bring that scene up once during their complaints.

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To clarify, I do NOT nor will I EVER condone any types of assaults towards any human, but this is anime hasn’t done any of that and what’s even worse is that this isn’t even the first an anime has done this before. There’s plenty of anime out there that have depicted rape scenes in the past. Even, media’s like the Games of Thrones have done it the much larger scale. Yes, am aware that they too got slack for it, but just like them, the context is what mattered.

What’s important is the context. In Goblin Slayer, they wanted us to understand right off the bat, just how evil, vile and horrific these goblins are in nature and why the main character has such a massive hatred towards them. In a funny twist, the main protagonist is faceless for a reason. It’s to try and get us the viewers to see ourselves in the Goblin Slayer, and see our fostered hatred for the heinous crimes these goblins unleashed by him.

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I’ve always felt that anime has been the media that never held any punches when it comes to telling a story and is why we all tend to prefer it as our go to for media entertainment. I fully understand that maybe the anime should have given us a warning  as this may trigger PTSD for those have actually gone through something like this and would rather not have go through that again. That argument I can understand. But to outright control what can and can’t be depicted to me comes off as censorship and I don’t necessarily agree with it.

The freedom for anyone to tell a story exactly how one see it is important and shouldn’t be hindered by anyone. Especially if it’s about a controversy topic. This anime only crime was to show the true horrors of violence and assaults, never once glorifying it. Am I saying that this anime is top tier because of it? No! It’s interesting but hasn’t really done anything we haven’t seen before.

I think that the people who’ve gotten offended and triggered by this anime are those who’ve just joined the anime community or are snowflakes because trust me…they’re worse things out there.

This isn’t a one-way discussion, so please, let me know your thoughts in the comments below and lets discuss.

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4 replies »

  1. I don’t think that people who are offended or triggered are necessarily snow-flakes or new to the community, as that scene is definitely the kind of content that will offend people. That said, I also think that scene is perfectly fine within its context and I don’t think censorship is an appropriate response. I really felt that simply providing appropriate content warnings before the first episode would have resolved the whole issue, and the content warning is now there for future viewers, though kind of a little late for some. It is a simple solution and one that more media need to consider as it isn’t about removing content some object to, but rather ensuring viewers can make informed choices about what they are subjected to.

  2. Ive been commenting on some blogs about this. As messed up as the scene was it went with the context of how crazy the goblins are. Another thing, there are many regular TV shows like Game of Thrones and movies that have this kind of content and no one is going Bat crazy with that. I think that scene made since.

  3. Toss up a warning for sure. We have in for stuff like Breaking Bad or Game of Thrones, I’m ok with that. But I fully agree that Anime’s appeal is that it doesn’t pull its punches when it comes to their work. When other places say why Anime proudly says “Why not?

    Be aware, be responsibly, but don’t change your work because of it.

  4. I think anime tends to push things a bit, but when we have shows like Superman and Batman, their live action shows are always gritty and realistic while the animated ones are often childish and pedantic. Though, there is definitely an anime influence infiltrating the ranks as the subject matter and language has become more mature in recent years.
    The Killing Joke is a perfect example. Then again, I think the difference in anime is that the depictions of such acts is not kept off screen where as Americans tend to move similar material just out of view.
    Like, you know what’s happening and now are forced to picture it. And like the jaded, completely broken society we are, tend to gloss over certain things.
    With animation, in both directly and indirectly explicit scenes of sexuality, Americans are generally just unexpectant. So the response is a more extreme version of the already ridiculous over zealous reactionary experience.
    In Japan, I find the culture is more open to expressionism, even though traditionalism is more prevalent. Evil is more evil, good is more good, and the left and right wing mindsets are even more extreme.
    In the end, I think 99% of this is coming from a place where companies like Netflix have normalized (re: exposed) anime to a larger audience, therefore, more responses will be negative, in a medium that 80% of the world’s population still thinks is exclusively for children.
    And obviously, this isn’t on Netflix, but Berserk’s Eclipse movie is. And let’s not gloss over that for a single second either.
    Contextually, I can’t understand people not understanding the significance. But I do know more ‘animation is for kids, queer’ kind of people than people that would ever watch an episode of Goblin Slayer.

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