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View Full Version : Is the "never say die" censorship needed?


matt0044
December 4th, 2012, 08:40 AM
One thing that I noticed (with few exceptions) is that Anime shown to kids in America tend to not use the words "die," "dead," "death" and "kill" and it's usually implied (Nicktoons DBZ Kai) or removed entirely (4kids). Either they don't want kids making death threats to others or they don't want to scare them with something that a part of real life and bulls**t them. Other cartoons do this, of course, to a ridiculous extend.

There are some shows that go against this such as The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy where Death itself (Grim) was a main character on the series. Hell, even Hell was shown (though called the "Underworld" and not actually "Hell"). But if that show can have the word "Death" said, why can't other cartoons that are meant for older kids (around ten and up) do the same?

It seems ridiculous too when they imply death but don't say the word like it's a curse since it's like the kids know what death is but they can't say the words that are related to it. I know that death threads aren't appropriate, even if you don't mean it but if that's the case, parents should tell their kids not to make such threats instead of treating the words like curses.

What do you think? Is this whole "Never Say Die" thing really necessary? Death is part of life (the end, actually) and you can deny your kids from knowing about it or saying about. Who knows? They're grandparents could kick the bucket anytime and they wouldn't know how to handle it. Or even there pets.

Mr Cat Dog
December 4th, 2012, 11:38 AM
There are plenty of shows that family friendly animated shows that show and talk about death. Just off the top of my head, I can think of Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, Futurama and King of the Hill that have all dealt with death in the last few years. Granted, before the millennium there was probably more caution around the subject. But the last few years have been quite a push-through for conversation about the topics.

So, no. It's not really 'needed', but it's not happening as much as one would instinctively think.

Shiny Celebi
December 4th, 2012, 11:56 AM
I dont think its nessesary. Death is a part of life, it happens. The truth is, everyone will die sometime. This is a basic thing understood by humans. I dont agree with showing kids lots of graphic violence and killing people, but thats a different subject. I think censoring all death is overkill.

Esper
December 4th, 2012, 12:04 PM
Well, I believe that psychologically younger kids actually don't understand death. That's not just something I believe, but I'm sure I've read that it's been shown through studies. The age was... around 7, I think. But I'm sure it varies.

Anyway, I'm sure this is done to appease the moral guardians who worry about television corrupting their children. Really, I'm not bothered if cartoon characters say "I'll destroy you!" instead of "I'll kill you!" Smart people will even find clever ways around the topic that don't seem heavy-handed.

Brynjolf
December 4th, 2012, 04:58 PM
I dont think its nessesary. Death is a part of life, it happens. The truth is, everyone will die sometime. This is a basic thing understood by humans. I dont agree with showing kids lots of graphic violence and killing people, but thats a different subject. I think censoring all death is overkill.

This, this, and exactly this.

Death is a part of life that we cannot avoid. Why hide people from it? It's going to happen eventually. I mean sure, death threats are bad, but how many SERIOUS death threats has a CHILD ever made? It's usually a "you stole my lolipop, I'm going to kill you" type of thing.
4kids is just ridiculous, in my opinion.

I'm definitely not saying they should show morbid things on TV like grotesquely deformed dead bodies who are 3 weeks old after drowning.. But.. People die. We can't hide from that.

matt0044
December 6th, 2012, 11:26 AM
Let's not for extreme example like in Voltron or Saber Riders where NOBODY dies. At all.

The Mega Champion
December 6th, 2012, 12:39 PM
Of course it's not necessary.

That's pretty obvious and common sense IMO.

Taking out death, avoiding death, censoring death, and just death censorship in general is utter BS IMO.

If you have a show that deals with death and makes references to death... and you don't want to 'scare' the stupid bratty little kids who probably SHOULDN'T BE WATCHING THE DAMN SHOW TO BEGIN WITH IN THE FIRST PLACE... and you censor it... yeah... that's BS IMO.

If the show deals with death...

Maybe it shouldn't be pushed towards bratty little kids and SEVERELY censored just so they aren't 'scared'? Hmm? Ever think of that?

Basically... if you've got a show with references to death...

Don't try to sell the show to bratty little kids who shouldn't be watching the damn thing in the first place.

But hey... that's just IMO...

Most people hate me for my 'controversial' opinions I have.

So go ahead... hate me for my opinion of this. Because I don't give a damn. I won't be changing my opinion on this.

EVER.

=/

ZetaZaku
December 6th, 2012, 12:57 PM
Hey, at least it's better than in the 90s. Just remember Spiderman where people couldn't even fire guns, and death was absolutely not allowed, so Mary Jane ended up in another dimension instead of dying. I mean, come on, even Disney dealt with death in that time, the most memorable, Mufasa's death.

I find it funny when they try to censor death, and make things worse. Yu-Gi-Oh! for example. Instead of dying, people went to the Shadow Realm in the 4kids dub, which seem like a fate worse than death.

matt0044
December 6th, 2012, 01:32 PM
I find it funny when they try to censor death, and make things worse. Yu-Gi-Oh! for example. Instead of dying, people went to the Shadow Realm in the 4kids dub, which seem like a fate worse than death.

Trapped in a realm where you can't get back home and nothing to entertain you. No iPods or whatnot. Yeah, I'd prefer death.

TRIFORCE89
December 6th, 2012, 02:04 PM
Hey, at least it's better than in the 90s. Just remember Spiderman where people couldn't even fire guns, and death was absolutely not allowed, so Mary Jane ended up in another dimension instead of dying. I mean, come on, even Disney dealt with death in that time, the most memorable, Mufasa's death.

I find it funny when they try to censor death, and make things worse. Yu-Gi-Oh! for example. Instead of dying, people went to the Shadow Realm in the 4kids dub, which seem like a fate worse than death.
Even Sesame Street dealt with death XD

For Spider-Man and such, I think it's more of a timeslot and marketing thing though. That was Saturday morning TV, I think. Right? They don't want it all that heavy in the kid's lineup while eating sugary cereal and watching toy commercials. But, Batman, which was at the start a primetime show (and on weekdays too, I think?) that had guns and all of that. More of an audience and purpose thing, than medium or era issue

Kura
December 6th, 2012, 03:09 PM
Well even in the original Yugioh Season 0.. the shadow realm was a mind-game where Yami messed with their minds, then brutally crippled them or killed them. So I guess they just brought that over.

I sorta get it though, the main focus about the show isn't death, it's cardgames and saving the world! :3

matt0044
December 6th, 2012, 05:13 PM
You know how gun are censored with lasers? Wouldn't that be ironic if lasers became commonplace like guns? Hell, you think in a bizzaro world, lasers are the norm while on TV, they're censored with guns and bullets?

Pinkie-Dawn
December 6th, 2012, 06:49 PM
There could be another reason why they never say "die" or "kill." They're too simple thus falling under bland dialogue. They're trying to find more creative phrases that mean the same thing as "die" and "kill."

There are plenty of shows that family friendly animated shows that show and talk about death. Just off the top of my head, I can think of Adventure Time, Gravity Falls, Bob's Burgers, The Simpsons, Futurama and King of the Hill that have all dealt with death in the last few years. Granted, before the millennium there was probably more caution around the subject. But the last few years have been quite a push-through for conversation about the topics.

But those shows are TV-G to TV-PG; we're talking about TV-Y to TV-Y7 shows that are avoiding the saying of "die."

The Mega Champion
December 7th, 2012, 12:39 PM
'die' and 'kill' are bland?

Yeah right.

They're just using that as an excuse to make up for the OBVIOUS BS death censorship they are making to shows.

You say 'I'll destroy you!!' is better than how things used to be?

ROTFLMFAO.

NO.

I'd argue that's WORSE censorship than how things use to be.

IF THERE IS GOING TO BE DEATH REFERENCES THEN DON'T PANDER THE DAMN SHOW TO KIDS WHO SHOULDN'T BE WATCHING THE DAMN SHOW IN THE FIRST PLACE.

But hey... again... that's just me...

=/

Pinkie-Dawn
December 7th, 2012, 05:04 PM
'die' and 'kill' are bland?

Yeah right.

They're just using that as an excuse to make up for the OBVIOUS BS death censorship they are making to shows.

You say 'I'll destroy you!!' is better than how things used to be?

ROTFLMFAO.

NO.

I'd argue that's WORSE censorship than how things use to be.

IF THERE IS GOING TO BE DEATH REFERENCES THEN DON'T PANDER THE DAMN SHOW TO KIDS WHO SHOULDN'T BE WATCHING THE DAMN SHOW IN THE FIRST PLACE.

But hey... again... that's just me...

=/

Kids are still smart enough to know what those phrases mean. It doesn't have to be limited to "I'll destroy you," they use other phrases like "execute," "terminate," or "kicked the butt." It's a way of using jargon/complex words and avoiding the very simple ones, so kids can expand their volcabulary without limiting to only easy words like the dialogue from the Pokemon anime dub.

Katamari
December 7th, 2012, 05:13 PM
I like how ZetaZaku mentioned Mufasa's death in The Lion King, as that was probably my first real 'experience with death,' since that was and still is my favorite Disney movie. I watched it obsessively when I was 4-5 so I'm guessing that's when I started to understand it; I'm glad I wasn't really sheltered from it. Let's not forget Bambi's mom and The Fox and The Hound u_u

Death wasn't so censored in the 90s, either, I remember Chuckie's mom in The Rugrats had a big part on his character and development. Hey Arnold! had his parents who were either dead or missing, but either way they were out of the picture and it was implied that Arnold was pretty much orphaned.

God
December 7th, 2012, 05:28 PM
Smart people will even find clever ways around the topic that don't seem heavy-handed.

Thank you! Even though I agree with Jon in the idea that death is being/has been covered extensively by numerous shows as of late, if people really are getting hot and bothered about it in the second decade of the 21st century, smart producers/writers/whatever can find ways around the topic that makes it, uh, morally acceptable to the public.

matt0044
December 7th, 2012, 06:09 PM
Then what's the point of dancing around the subject if kids can tell what's really happening?

God
December 7th, 2012, 07:19 PM
Then what's the point of dancing around the subject if kids can tell what's really happening?

It maintains a formality of the situation, I suppose. I can't profess to knowing how these things work - maybe Cat Dog would be able to clarify. If the writers of the show have legally fulfilled their obligation to not mention those specific words then they're okay? I'm really not sure of the situation.

The Mega Champion
December 8th, 2012, 10:38 AM
Kids are still smart enough to know what those phrases mean. It doesn't have to be limited to "I'll destroy you," they use other phrases like "execute," "terminate," or "kicked the butt." It's a way of using jargon/complex words and avoiding the very simple ones, so kids can expand their volcabulary without limiting to only easy words like the dialogue from the Pokemon anime dub.

That's still death censorship.

The show doesn't need to pander to kids if the show involves death. They shouldn't be watching the show in the first place if the death reference is just going to be avoided/censored.

Esper
December 8th, 2012, 02:27 PM
That's still death censorship.

The show doesn't need to pander to kids if the show involves death. They shouldn't be watching the show in the first place if the death reference is just going to be avoided/censored.
Is it self-censorship or an artistic choice if you chose to engage with the audience in a way that gets across to them whatever you want to get across to them?

Okay, so let's say that we've got a show that does involve death. Is it the focus of the show? The main theme of the story? Is what you're saying about death above the heads of your target audience? All these things can be valid reasons not to bring up death explicitly.

Also there are shows that involve death without ever mentioning death by name, not because they're censoring but because no one is making death threats or the focus is on some other element of the story. Granted, I'm probably not talking about children's shows, but still.

Pinkie-Dawn
December 8th, 2012, 08:35 PM
That's still death censorship.

The show doesn't need to pander to kids if the show involves death. They shouldn't be watching the show in the first place if the death reference is just going to be avoided/censored.

Try saying that to the Transformers cartoon (more specifically Beast Wars and Prime), where they don't say "die," but they often use phrases that means the same thing such as "turning to scrap metal," because they're robots.

The Mega Champion
December 9th, 2012, 09:29 AM
That's nice.

Enjoy your death censorship then.

One of these days these shows need to stop pandering to bratty little kids if the show is going to involve death.

They don't need to be watching those shows in the first place. Especially if they don't want to 'scare' the little children who apparently the networks think are scared of everything involving death/blood/etc.

Pinkie-Dawn
December 9th, 2012, 09:35 AM
That's nice.

Enjoy your death censorship then.

One of these days these shows need to stop pandering to bratty little kids if the show is going to involve death.

They don't need to be watching those shows in the first place. Especially if they don't want to 'scare' the little children who apparently the networks think are scared of everything involving death/blood/etc.

Well that was a really rude response. Have you even watched those shows I've mentioned before? They're pretty dark for a kids show, even without saying "die" explicitly. As Scarf said, it can be an artistic-choice for the show in question.

The Mega Champion
December 10th, 2012, 12:33 PM
You never said what this 'show' is.

matt0044
December 10th, 2012, 01:00 PM
To be honest, I knew what death was after age 7 (I think) thanks to Disney. Not mentioning death seems to be a TV thing.