Just three days after the famous Japanese TV series Ultraman Tiga was taken down by Chinese streaming websites, the show returned to the country’s major video platforms, including Bilibili, Youku and Tencent Video, on September 27.
The reason behind the show’s removal is still not entirely clear. However, some people have suggested a link to the announcement from China’s National Radio and Television Administration on the same day the show was removed, which stated that the agency “firmly resist[s] broadcasting cartoons that contain violence, blood and pornographic scenes.”
Others have credited the show’s disappearance to an investigative report by Jiangsu Province’s Consumer Protection Committee that named Ultraman Tiga among 21 cartoons to monitor.
Screengrab via YouTube
According to reports online, including one from China Youth Daily, video platforms made a few changes to the version of the series that was re-uploaded — a few episodes are missing, and running times have been reduced for individual episodes.
The removal of Ultraman Tiga triggered a social media backlash nationwide, unsurprising given how well-received the show is in China and its popularity among people who grew up during the ’90s (when the show was first introduced in China). Also unsurprising: The show’s return to the Chinese internet has garnered significant attention.
The hashtag #Ultraman Tiga is back on the market# had received more than 190 million views on China’s Twitter-like microblogging platform Weibo at the time of writing.
“Do you still believe in the light,” the popular magazine Sanlian Lifeweek asks under a relevant post on Weibo, citing a classic line from the show.
“It will all depend on whether plots were deleted,” reads the most popular comment, implying suspicion over whether video-streaming platforms altered the show’s storyline.
“Establishing a classification system is way more important than a ban. Also, the National Radio and Television Administration should understand that cartoons are not only for children,” reads another comment calling for a cartoon categorization framework.
The removal and subsequent return of Ultraman Tiga comes amid a crackdown by Chinese authorities on the entertainment industry. On September 2, China’s National Radio and Television Administration announced a ban on “sissy men and other abnormal esthetics” on TV and put an end to idol reality shows.
Cover image via YouTube
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