Shocking generations of fans in China, the latest piece of pop culture to disappear from streaming sites has been the Japanese superhero show Ultraman Tiga.
The show, which features giant hero androids fighting a bevy of monsters and supersized villains, was pulled off multiple Chinese video platforms last Friday. The vanishing act came after an official from China’s National Radio and Television Administration released a notice stating that they “firmly resist broadcasting cartoons that contain violence, blood and pornographic scenes.”
In an investigative report by Jiangsu Province’s Consumer Protection Committee the previous spring, Ultraman Tiga was also named among 21 cartoons to watch (or not watch).
The committee cited violent plots and armed beatings, arson, explosions, and intimidation as reasons for its inclusion in the list of programs that could potentially affect minors’ growth.
GIF via Giphy
Other cartoons listed included Detective Conan, Pokemon, Peppa Pig, My Little Pony, and a Chinese cartoon about bears protecting their forest from destruction titled Boonie Bears (Xiong Chumo 熊出没).
Netizens have mostly been equal parts baffled and upset by the decision.
Some pointed out that the whole point of Ultraman Tiga is to be a hero, and some of their most cherished memories involved the good lessons the TV show could deliver.
“When I was a child, my mother told me to put a mini Ultraman Tiga on my headboard to protect me. Once I grew older, I should stand up to and defeat the bad guys just like Ultraman,” writes Weibo user @avqa.
Another Weibo user, @_xjxjxkeks, writes, “Ultraman is so popular not just because it carries so many people’s childhood memories, but more importantly, it delivers an idea to people that ‘no matter how terrible the world is, just believe in light’ — this is a spiritual support for many young people who have been suffering from adversities.”
Others employed sarcasm as a method of dealing with this and other recent bans on entertainment for children.
“It’s a hard era for parents — they not only need to worry about their children getting misguided by teachers, but also by cartoons and games. Since we’re flagging everything for kids, maybe we should stop having children altogether,” writes @给你比两个two.
Another opines, “Take down the Four Chinese Classic Novels too. Three are violent, and one is erotic.”
However, there was a contingent of parents arguing that cartoons like Ultraman did, in fact, lead to ‘errant’ behaviors in their children.
“Previously, my daughter would never say she’d ‘kill’ anyone — before watching an episode of Ultraman. She now says she’s going to ‘kill’ people every day. Previously, she never mentioned being scared, but now she keeps saying she’s afraid of monsters. I will never let her watch it again,” writes one concerned parent.
For its part, the Jiangsu Provincial Consumer Protection Committee has clarified that it has not ordered Ultraman Tiga to be delisted but that the removal was the voluntary behavior of the video platforms.
Additional research by Vivian Qihan Wang.
Cover image via YouTube
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