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If there’s one defining aspect of the star of raunchy comedy Ted, it’s that he doesn’t give a damn what anyone thinks about him. As a matter of fact, if he were describing himself, Ted’s first instinct would probably have been a stronger word than “damn,” but being neither a magical living stuffed animal nor the on-screen avatar of massively influential and wealthy comedian Seth MacFarlane, I have to be a touch more careful in my choice of vocabulary.

But shockingly enough, it turns out Ted is capable of self-censoring, as the recently released sequel Ted 2 is being edited into a family-friendly picture aimed at kids as young as 12 in Japan.

Family Guy, the resurrected TV series that MacFarlane rode to stardom, is virtually unknown in Japan, but that didn’t stop the first Ted movie from being a massive hit. While sarcastic English-language comedy usually doesn’t translate very well into Japanese, Ted had enough universally understandable visual humor with its slapstick and gross-out gags to draw plenty of Japanese moviegoers to theaters.

There’s no doubt the film also benefited from Japanese adults’ lower resistance to animated entertainment, plus the country’s general affinity for cute things. Honestly, Ted actually is pretty cute when he’s not spouting vulgarities, and the relative lack of indisputable obscenities meant that the dialogue’s Japanese translations (whether in dubbed or subtitled form) weren’t as out-and-out foul as many of the English lines they were matched to.

▼ For example, in this scene from Ted 2, Mark Wahlberg’s English exclamation of “What the f**k?” is subtitled as “Uso daro?”, literally “It’s a lie, isn’t it?” but essentially the equivalent of “Are you kidding me?”

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Still, Ted 2 was still judged adult enough in content to warrant an R15+ rating in Japan, for which admission is restricted to those 15 and above. Nevertheless, Ted 2 had a great first weekend in Japan last week, with ticket sales 141 percent above the opening for its predecessor. And while Western audiences might find the film’s moments of supposedly heartfelt emotion to simply be surrealistically corny beats that heighten the comedy, many Japanese moviegoers took them as genuinely sentimental. So while after watching the movie some said “It’s even raunchier and funnier than the first,” others reactions were along the lines of:

“It’s crazy, but I felt moved by Ted.”

“I laughed a lot, but in the end, it had me feeling sentimental.”

“I want to see this movie with my family!”

Actually, in the run-up to Ted 2’s release, an edited version of the original Ted was shown on Japanese broadcast television. After taking a look at the high ratings it garnered, as well as listening to audience feedback, the sequels producers have announced that they’ve created a version of Ted 2 with “milder dialogue” and “reedited scenes,” which will play concurrently with the unedited version in Japanese theaters.

Ted himself appeared in the movie’s official Japanese Twitter account to help spread the word.

“【Mr. Ted’s emergency apology press conference】

‘Eh, so sorry for all the dirty language. In order to show myself as an earnest middle-aged dude, we’re releasing a Ted 2 PG12 version right away, one that’s less vulgar and that you can watch as a family. That’s all I’ve got to say.’”

And then he bowed in contrition.

The new version, for which parental guidance is recommended for viewers under the age of 12, is officially called the Ted 2 “I Can’t Wait Until I Become an Adult” Version, and will only be shown in Japanese-dubbed, 2-D format. The edited version opens in Japan on September 12.

Source: Eiga Fan via Jin
Top image: Ted 2 official Japanese website
Insert images: Ted 2 official Japanese website