The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: August 1st, 2000

Censoring in the Name of Children

By: Sailor Vega

This article was sent in on: July 1, 2000

I have to try to stay away from all the "dubbing dilema", being a Mexican who was able to see all the series with little changes or none at all. However, I could not help to respond to Tellu's "Adaptations".

I disagree. Sailor Moon doesn't have to be censored so children love it and understand it. I have worked with children for more than 9 years now, as a children psychologist. In fact, I use anime as a tool for therapy, including Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon.

I think we must not underestimate the capacity children have to analyze the contents of Japanese anime. It is true, it is much more complex, emotionally and intelectually speaching, than usual cartoons, but the rich trama of anime together with the indeep characters portrayed help children. From ages from 4 to 12, children go through a period where they are conforming their idea of reality, their moral values and goals. Sailor Moon, while being fantastic, has a very imporant moral element accompanied by a reality check. Lesbians do exist, so do evil people who kill others, but at the end, what matters is friendship, love, peace, etc.

Overprotection doesn't work. Children do not fire guns because of TV, they do because their parents believe TV could be the 20th century Mary Poppins! If we don't teach them to accept homosexuality now, how will they learn it when they are teens?

Children do know, they are capable of understanding. Once I was in session with a group of 20 children. We were discussing cartoons, including Simpsons, Sailor Moon and the Flintstones. We analyzed the moral values supported in each one, the things criticized, the ideas that each role supported or represented. Do you want to know what they concluded? Sailor Moon had the best moral values portrayed, (and they saw Chibiusa pointing the gun at Usa, Haruka and Michiru flirting, ect) with their characters being the most realistic, the one they could relate better to. They didn't want to have a family as the Flintstones or the Simpson's, that are shows accepted at the U.S.A, they wanted to have Usagi's. They thought that unlike Dragon Ball was fun, Sailor Moon had real reasons for a fight.

I asked: Which is the most agressive one? They answered this: The Simpsons... because they are violent to each other, although they don't physically hurt each other as in Sailor Moon.

Don't underestimate your kids. Give them more credit. They can analyze complex ideas if they have a guide. That is more important than ranting a TV show in a certain category, is the guidance grown ups give. Sailor Moon doesn't need to be censored to be loved, to be understand, to be learned from, it need us to be there for the kids that watch it.

Comments on this article can be sent to: Sailor Vega.

Comments made on this page are opinions of the author. They are not necessarily shared by Tripod and the Amazoness Quartet.

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