The one thing that can be said about 80’s/90’s anime, aside from the fact that the majority of them had awful dubs, is that a lot of them were waaaaaayyyy darker than most of us remember. And I’m not talking about the ultra violent ones like Akira, Ninja Scroll or Fist of the North Star. I meant shows there were “supposedly” for kids like Dragon Ball Z, Yu Gi Oh and Shaman King. Yeah, that show about a simple trading card game doesn’t seem so innocent when you realize people DIED in it without you even noticing!!
Oh yeah, Yugi’s grandfather, Mai and even good ol’ Pegasus himself all get the ax in that show. There was no Shadow Realm as 4Kids wanted us to believe as kids. Just like there was no “other dimension” in Dragon Ball Z. You remember that, right? How people would gloat about sending opponents they offed to “another dimension” as if they were sending them to some 5 star resort that served margaritas 24/7. Yeah….no. They got killed and sent to the underworld, which I admit had the best substitute name ever in that show.
Do I even need to go over the reasons why a show like Ronin Warriors was extremely dark? Hell basically opened up on the Earth and the Lord of Demons was trying to capture the souls of everyone on Earth. Seems kinda self-explanatory, don’t ya think? And yet this sort of show was marketed to kids! Kids, people! Of course we never paid attention to the over arching Armageddon plot line of the show. To us it was just like the Ninja Turtles only with one extra guy and they transformed. Life was simpler back then, man.
With as prissy as parents were back in the day compared to know, it amazes me just how much got past the FCC despite their gratuitous censoring habits. These are the same people who led me to believe for a long time that women in Japan wore bathing suits while they used public bath houses.
Let me explain. See back when Tenchi Muyo originally ran on Toonami the dubbing company Pioneer thought a good way to censor the nudity in the show during the bath scenes was to horribly draw bikinis on the girls. You can see where the confusion comes from, right?
Don’t judge me!!
Remember any shows as a kid that seem way darker than you remember them being? Let me know in the comments section below. I’m NEETaku and this was Just…My 2 Cents!