Cartoons aren’t just for children. Animation has been used as a medium to take on every type of story possible, and Japan is no exception. Anime is made in all genres, including ones that deal with risqué themes like sex and violence.

The Japanese organisation BPO (Broadcasting Ethics and Program Improvement Organisation) is the equivalent of the FCC in America or Ofcom in Britain. They deal with complaints from viewers regarding television shows, communicating these worries down the correct avenues and ensuring that proper standards are being upheld.

Recently they say they've had a slew of complaints about anime shown late at night. Because they contain adult themes, many people worried about the effect it would have on young minds if they happened to watch it.

It’s true that some of the content in anime can be extreme, and compared to other countries, Japan doesn’t have strict age restriction laws. Sometimes the lines of what is acceptable gets a bit blurred and with the colourful characters and cool action scenes, a child could mistakenly think that they are the target audience.

But surely broadcasting the anime late at night is enough of a precaution? If we censor everything just in case children see it, we would lose a whole host of great media that could otherwise be enjoyed by adults.

There are good arguments on both sides, but what was the BPO’s take? They made an announcement on their website.

"We receive too many complaints about late night anime. These anime are broadcast late at night so that children will not be accidentally exposed to them, so it’s strange to ask ‘what if a child sees this?’. If a child is awake during the time these anime are shown, it is the responsibility of the parent who didn’t put their child to bed. It is not the responsibility of the programme.”

Rather than being at the mercy of the general public, it's nice that Japan's media watchdog can bluntly say when they believe the complaints are unfounded. Hopefully this announcement will put the complaints about late night programming to bed once and for all...


By - Jess.