15 anime that got banned in different countries and why

Four examples of anime that got banned (Death Note, Pokemon, Attack on Titan, and Highschool DxD) (Image via Sportskeeda)
Four examples of anime that got banned (Death Note, Pokemon, Attack on Titan, and Highschool DxD) (Image via Sportskeeda)

Usually, anime that got banned across various countries are done due to laws or ideological differences being inconsolable. There are many reasons why an anime would get banned, such as excessive violence, overt s*xual content, or general depictions of subjects that are taboo to a country's government or beliefs.

Examples of famous anime facing the same luck is Death Note when it was banned in China for the supposed corruptive influence it had on the youth of the country. Another example includes High School DxD, which was banned in New Zealand for fanservice and harem antics involving high school-aged children.

As such, this article will chronicle 15 anime that got banned in different countries and further expound on why.

Disclaimer: These examples will contain many controversial elements and spoilers, both in the subject matter of the anime that got banned and why. The opinions expressed in the article are only those of the author, and summaries of countries that banned the anime.


Attack on Titan, Crayon Shin Chan, and 13 other anime that got banned in various countries, detailed

1) Attack on Titan (China)

Eren in his Attack Titan form in Attack on Titan (Image via MAPPA)
Eren in his Attack Titan form in Attack on Titan (Image via MAPPA)

Attack on Titan is one of the most popular contemporary anime. The overt violence, themes of war, and generally horrifying visuals have catapulted it into many fans' hearts faster than the survey corps' ODM gear.

This is the first, but not the last, anime that got banned in China. It was declared too violent for younger audiences and was banned in 2015 by the Chinese Ministry of Culture alongside over 30 other anime.


2) Shojo Tsubaki/Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show/Midori (Almost everywhere globally)

The titular Midori seeing some puppies (Image via Studio Mippei Eiga Kiryūkan)
The titular Midori seeing some puppies (Image via Studio Mippei Eiga Kiryūkan)

Going with an anime that got banned globally, and for good reason, is almost cheating because of the subject matter. Shojo Tsubaki/Mr. Arashi's Amazing Freak Show/Midori involves a little girl of the same name being kidnapped into a circus, wherein she witnesses various scenes of abuse, is abused, and other horrifying things too gruesome to repeat.

Just know that this anime has had many of its tapes burned or destroyed due to the audience being traumatized. Moreover, it's banned almost everywhere globally for its gruesome content.


3) Kodomo No Jikan/Nymphet (The United States of America)

Rin Kokonoe in Kodomo No Jikan (Image via Studio Barcelona)
Rin Kokonoe in Kodomo No Jikan (Image via Studio Barcelona)

Kodomo no Jikan anime got banned from the USA, or at least heavily censored, and had its license pulled for manga distributors Seven Seas Entertainment. The show is an ecchi anime, which involves the attempts of third grader Rin Kokonoe to romance her teacher.

Nothing more needs to be said since it caused a months-long controversy before the publisher canceled the official license after much discussion between publishers and businesses.


4) High School DxD (New Zealand)

Moving onto other less horrifying subjects is a show called High School DxD. The anime revolves around the antics of Issei Hyodo, a perverted teen that got killed and reincarnated as a demon.

New Zealand declared the series nonviable for sale there, as the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) classified it as objectionable. According to them, High School DxD encourages and legitimizes the pursuit of young people as viable adult s*xual partners, which is why they banned it on the same grounds.


5) Hetalia: Axis Powers (South Korea)

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For most, Axis Powers: Hetalia is a funny anime making fun of different countries before, during, and after WWII. However, South Korea banned the series due to the South Korean character showing an offensive depiction of its citizens.

This resulted in a petition that accrued over 15,000 signatures, many protests, and death threats towards the studio until the anime was pulled. Even pulling the South Korean character out didn't spare the fact that the anime got banned.


6) How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega (Australia)

How not to summon a demon lord omega (Image via Studio Tezuka Productions/Okuruto Noboru)
How not to summon a demon lord omega (Image via Studio Tezuka Productions/Okuruto Noboru)

How NOT to Summon a Demon Lord Omega is an isekai anime involving a gamer that gets transported into a video game and has to act like a slave driver to survive.

The Australian Classification Board refused classification for this anime but failed to provide a reason. The decision means that the anime got banned in the country and cannot be sold, advertised, or legally imported within Australia. This was considered confusing by many fans due to the lack of a reason, though not surprising given Australia is heavy with censorship.


7) Crayon Shin Chan (India)

Shin Chan himself (Image via Shin-Ei Animation)
Shin Chan himself (Image via Shin-Ei Animation)

Shin Chan is the story of five-year-old Shinnosuke "Shin" Nohara, his family, and their various comedic escapades that happen in this comedy anime. The anime that got banned in India in October 2008, following mass protests by parents and the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting due to heavy nudity and the negative influence on children. The anime was brought back, although heavily edited, after a counter backlash from many fans in March 2009.


8) Tokyo Ghoul (Russia)

Ken from Tokyo Ghoul (Image via Studio Pierrot)
Ken from Tokyo Ghoul (Image via Studio Pierrot)

Tokyo Ghoul involves fighting ghouls and other creatures of the night using violent methods. Russia's St. Petersburg court system deemed that every episode of Tokyo Ghoul contained cruelty, murder, and violence. Moreover, it was considered an anime that was banned on the grounds that teens could recreate those violent acts.

However, many anime fans, particularly those in Russia, consider this rather ironic, given the country's violent history. Not to mention, most of the said cruel acts depicted are not replicable.


9) Death Note (China)

Light and Ryuk (Image via Studio Madhouse)
Light and Ryuk (Image via Studio Madhouse)

Yet another example of an anime that got banned in China is Death Note. While the series has been considered controversial before, in this case, the anime got banned for numerous reasons.

One of which was students altering notebooks to resemble "Death Notes," and writing the names of enemies, acquaintances, and teachers in the books. While the idea of protecting children isn't a bad one, the totality of the ban across several cities and the country at large has been considered quite the overreach.


10) Pokémon (Saudi Arabia)

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In what is considered to be possibly the most bigoted reason for an anime that got banned, Saudi Arabia has Pokémon on the ban list due to numerous conspiracy theories. To summarize, the entire franchise was banned owing to supposedly encouraging gambling, and promoting Zionism, Christianity, and Freemasonry.

Many of these reasons have been cited elsewhere as ludicrous. Morever, one of the other reasons it was supposedly banned within the country was the Evolution vs. Creationism argument, which favored the latter.


11) Kinnikuman (France)

Kinnikuman poster (Image via Toei Animation)
Kinnikuman poster (Image via Toei Animation)

The prequel to Ultimate Muscle is a silly comedy about a superhero fighting aliens, robots, and other entities in various over-the-top wrestling competitions. As it is wrestling and superheroes combined, the gimmicks tend to be so outlandish that the anime got banned in France.

The reason is because one of the characters, Brocken Jr., had the gimmick of wearing a Nazi uniform. Although he wore the uniform, he didn't ascribe or adhere to the same beliefs. However, this was enough reason to ban the show in France, and the character was eventually phased out of merchandise.


12) Voltes V (The Philippines)

Voltes V (Image via ANN (TV Asahi))
Voltes V (Image via ANN (TV Asahi))

An older anime that got banned is Voltes V, which is a Voltron/Super Sentai giant mech story about a giant robot and a family fighting off alien invasions that premiered in 1978.

A year later, the anime got banned under a period of marital law under former Filipino president Ferdinand Marcos for having harmful effects on children. It wasn't brought back until Marcos was removed from office in 1986, wherein the anime returned in 1990. Despite efforts by congressmen to remove it, Voltes V stayed on the air until 2010s.


13) Kite (Norway)

Sawa in Kite (Image via Studio ARMS)
Sawa in Kite (Image via Studio ARMS)

An anime that got banned for violating CSAM (Child S*xual Assasult Material) laws in Norway is the two-part OVA Kite. Long story short, the series features a young girl named Sawa under the guardianship of two detectives who trained her to be an assassin.

What got it banned was a graphic s*xual assault scene featuring said guardians and the aforementioned girl. Despite this, the anime got a sequel with censored scenes, which was available elsewhere.


14) Inuyashiki: Last Hero (Russia)

Inuyashiki: Last Hero poster (Image via Studio MAPPA)
Inuyashiki: Last Hero poster (Image via Studio MAPPA)

Another anime that got banned in Russia is studio MAPPA's Inyashiki: Last Hero. This anime focuses on the story of two people endowed with superhuman abilities and their different paths with their powers, where one becomes a hero and the other a villain. Other anime that got banned alongside this anime include Death Note, Tokyo Ghoul, and Elfen Lied. These shows were prohibited from streaming in Russia due to the lack of age restrictions.


15) Record of Ragnarok (India)

A story about gods fighting each other isn't new to anime or video game fans. However, some countries don't quite take depictions of gods very well.

An example of an anime that got banned in India for its subject matter and characters is Record of Ragnarok. Simply put, the President of the Universal Society of Hinduism banned the anime and manga because of how Shiva is shown, stating that the anime trivializes the deity.


This long list concludes with 15 anime that got banned in various countries and details regarding why. Most of these series were banned for one reason or another, and it's interesting to see what criteria count for banning something. Readers are encouraged to comment on any anime that got banned that we missed in the comments.

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