Re: Dealing with disturbing content

Gilles Poitras (
Wed, 27 Feb 2002 09:05:57 -0800 (PST)

Occasionally I get email (at my home address) from librarians regarding
responses to scenes in anime (Japanese animation).

In one case a mother had objected to the bath scene in the first episode of
the Ranma 1/2 TV series. She did not express a concern over the nudity but
that one girl was planning to share the tub with another girl who had just
arrived to stay with her family.

The librarian pointed out that bathing together is a traditional bonding
activity in Japan usually between parents with their children (as in My
Neighbor Totoro) or between friends. The mother accepted this explanation
and checked out the next two videos in the series. I pointed out to the
librarian that a bath in Japan is really what we would call a hot tub in
the US as you clean yourself before soaking. In fact the hot tub has its
origin in Japan.

But it is not only library patrons.

Today I recieved an email from a librarian in the mid west who has been
talking to other librarians about anime. The response he is often getting
is that they 'know' that all anime is violently anti-women. The librarians
he is talking to can't point to any titles (some do exist) as they have not
seen any anime at all.

I suggested a few delightful and well made titles that range from little
kids shows to dramas for them to view.

Among the titles I recommendad were the delightful children's show Card
Captor Sakura (the uncut subtitled version), Maison Ikkoku (aimed at
women), and the slow paced suspenseful Patlabor movies.

For more on these see:

For more on on anime in general see my Librarian's Guide to Anime and
Manga, which I hope to update soon.

Gilles Poitras
Learning Studio, Exploratorium Museum