Anime fans are used to all sorts of censorship going on in the foreign releases of their favorite shows, from painting over revealing outfits, to changing characters’ genders and relationships to “mask” themes of homosexuality, to even removing entire scenes or episodes deemed inappropriate.

But the Japanese release of a recent episode of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure has been censored even before being aired abroad. Not only is the reason for the coverups confusing, but the terrible job they’ve done has viewers wondering what the point of censoring was to begin with.

The character Jotaro Kujo from the anime Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure is 17 years old. And he smokes. While in most of the US and Europe, the minimum smoking age is 18, in Japan it’s 20 (which is also the legal minimum drinking age). So, it might make sense that scenes of the teen smoking should be cut or covered up somehow.

But surely the best way to hide the sight of the young man smoking isn’t to cover half of his face with a weird black shadow?

4Image: omusubimanman

1Image: Niwaka Sokuhou

But the thing most confusing us is the fact previous episodes of the anime do not censor the character’s love of tobacco, nor does the manga, both of which are still easily accessible to minors. Not only that, but, let’s be honest here, whoever did this censoring job was terrible at it. Not only can you still see the smoke wafting obviously in front of Jotaro’s face, in some scenes you have still see the cigarette’s cherry, and even the cigarette itself.

To echo Japan’s netizens: why even bother?

2Image: animetobacco

5Image: omusubimanman

6Image: s2_sayakaoo0

It’s understandable that the show may not want to condone illegal activities, but if that’s the case then why would they allow this gambling scene? After all, casinos and gambling are technically illegal in Japan, right?


Image: Niwaka Sokuhou

8Image: Niwaka Sokuhou

Instead of poorly censored anime to combat underage smoking, Japan might look into implementing stricter laws to prevent the sale of tobacco to minors in the first place. It is very rare that IDs are checked for either tobacco or alcohol purchases, and it’s way too easy for minors to head over to the nearest convenience store and purchase a pack of cigarettes or a can of beer if they want. Dark shadows over an anime character’s face? Yeah, they’re probably not going to help much.

Source: Kotaku US