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No More Anime

China extends ban on foreign cartoons

 So this is an article on Yahoo news about how China’s banning foreign cartoons during prime time slots so that the domestic cartoon industry can flourish. The main problem is that Chinese cartoons are absolutely horrid. There’s all those cartoons starring the Olympic mascots, which can probably find it’s nearest equivalent in the Teletubbies. Then there’s that one with a bunch of kids set in ancient times, animated in poorly imitated Japanese style and voice-acting worse than English dubs. Finally, the only one that can be called decent, is the one about that blue fox. That one obviously has a higher budget, but even then it’s directed entirely towards small children.

Anime is huge here in China. Even my most patriotic and nationalistic brainwashed tool of the CCP likes to watch Naruto. In almost every provincial level TV station that could afford it, Chinese dubbed Japanese anime is shown. There’s even a TV program back in Guangdong entirely devoted to recapping episodes of popular anime as if it were a sports show going over the most exciting moments of various football games. Let’s face it, Japanese anime is an entire level above even the top American cartoons. GI Joe would kick his face kicked in by the Full Metal Alchemist.

Now I understand why China is doing it. Japan’s cultural power, its soft power, has expanded rapidly around the world mostly through food, anime, and manga. Korea has also become dominant with their excessively feminine looking men, hot girls with artificially created faces, and those Korean dramas that increases the expectations of adolescent Asian girls to unattainable levels. Taiwan has those pretty empty-shelled pop singers that fills entire stadiums whenever they step foot in the mainland. Hong Kong’s kung fu stars have made it big in Hollywood and Gong Hay Fat Choy is taught in primary schools during Chinese New Year instead of Gong Xi Fa Cai. 

Mainland China, on the other hand, has been lagging behind in their cultural development. Their TV shows are dominated by communist war epics and Qing dynasty dramas. Movies are confusing, dark, depressing, and almost completely unexportable. Food has made some inroads, with Sichuan fast food and Peking duck being a commonplace in most Chinese restaurants abroad. And let’s face it, calligraphy is a little hard for someone who can’t read Chinese to appreciate and Chinese opera isn’t watched for enjoyment.

For a country that considered itself to be culturally superior for so many hundred and thousands of years, the fact that their soft power has been diminished to a few plates of sweet and sour pork in Chinatown and a replica terracotta soldier that some foreigner paid way too much for sitting in their suburban living room must be pretty damaging to their pride.

So I guess banning anime during the prime time slots is one way for the CCP to both stem the influx of foreign cultures while encouraging domestic popular culture to grow. Of course, if the future is reflected by history, we’re just going to end up with Chinese cartoons starring some orange haired death god with a big sword running around fighting evil spirits. He’ll be obviously Chinese because he’ll have a queue. And his sidekick will be the monkey king. Or Zhou Enlai.

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