Top 10 Most Censored Anime

Sometimes, an anime goes beyond reasonable television edits, turning into something that is honestly a bit embarrassing to watch. How could someone think that this was okay to force on the general public?

These are my top ten most censored anime.
The Top Ten
1 One Piece One Piece is a manga franchise created by Eiichiro Oda. The manga has been adapted into an original video animation (OVA) produced by Production I.G in 1998, and an anime series produced by Toei Animation, which began broadcasting in Japan in 1999 and has aired 851 episodes to date.

Censored in North America, South Korea, and probably other countries.
The 4Kids Entertainment dub of One Piece is best described as a complete mess, and something that anime fans will never forget. The editors mercilessly chopped out entire arcs while also making hilarious censorship edits (such as turning Sanji's signature cigarette into a lollipop and a pistol to the head into...some kind of hammer-like thing).

The South Korean version of One Piece, despite being edited for a higher age rating then the US (a "12" rating), features the same humorous edits of Sanji's cigarettes and poorly done digital paint over Nami's cleavage.

2 Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

Censored in America.
The original released version of Nausicaa in North America, "Warriors of the Wind", chopped out a whopping 22 minutes in order to turn it into a fast-paced children's action film. When Ghibli found out about this mess, they were understandably horrified, and have asked anyone who saw this heavily edited hackjob to "remove it from their memories". Studio Ghibli has enforced a strict "no cuts" policy on their films ever since.

3 Cowboy Bebop Cowboy Bebop is a 1998 anime television series animated by Sunrise featuring a production team led by director Shinichirō Watanabe, screenwriter Keiko Nobumoto, character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto, mechanical designer Kimitoshi Yamane, and composer Yoko Kanno.

Censored in both America and Japan.

The original American broadcast on Adult Swim removed a significant amount of blood and language, as well as being forced to pull three episodes from the original rotation post-9/11.

The Japanese broadcast on T.V. Tokyo aired in a timeslot previously composed of children's anime - of which Bebop is certainly not. This was also after the fiasco and parental complaints involving Evangelion's surprisingly graphic content. As such, T.V. Tokyo only broadcast 14 of the 26 produced episodes. It wasn't until satellite station WOWOW picked up the series that it was able to be seen in its complete format in Japan.

4 Sailor Moon Sailor Moon is a Japanese shōjo manga series by Naoko Takeuchi. It was originally serialized in Nakayoshi from 1991 to 1997; the 52 individual chapters were published in 18 tankōbon volumes... read more

Censored in North America,

A classic well-known example of heavy anime censorship by DiC: from removing even slapstick that was determined to be "too intense" to completely changing the genders of characters - if something could be changed, chances are high that it was changed. A lot of the original Japanese script was also rewritten to force in more humor and an emphasis on morals into the series.The most edited episode, according to Sailor Moon Uncensored, has a whopping 32% of the original retained.

5 Naruto Naruto is an anime and manga franchise Naruto, created by Masashi Kishimoto. The manga was later adapted into a television anime, which was produced by Studio Pierrot and Aniplex. It premiered across Japan on the terrestrial TV Tokyo and other TX Network stations on October 3, 2002. The first series... read more

Censored in North America, the UK, and Germany, and probably other countries.

For once, the North American version was the least censored - edited for a PG rating in a primetime slot, the only edits were for major blood and language.

In the UK, the show wasn't so lucky, airing for all ages on Disney's Jetix - as such, much heavier edits had to be made. Showing direct hits/violence seemed to be a major problem - as such, scenes were awkwardly cropped, frozen, or simply cut to avoid showing anything beyond the very mildest of violence. (In a show about ninjas fighting.)

In Germany, the show was similarly censored for an all-ages timeslot. Though their dub has become more infamous for it's theme song...

6 Outlaw Star Premiering in 1998, Outlaw Star is a space western anime series based on a manga by Takehiko Itō. It chronicles the adventures of a group of outlaws in a spaceship as they search for a legendary treasure. The series is known for its blend of science fiction and fantasy elements.

Censored in America and the UK.

A favorite of the Toonami crew, so they decided to heavily edit this seinen title into something that could be deemed acceptable for seven-year-olds. This meant heavily editing violence, language, womanizing, nudity, and other such lovely adult material. An entire episode, "Hot Springs Planet Tenrei", had to be cut for overall sexual themes and nudity despite actually having plot importance.

The show aired mostly unedited in the UK on digital channel CNX, though an edited version of "Hot Springs Planet Tenrei" with digitally-added bikinis was aired.

7 City Hunter

Censored in France.

A show about a womanizing hitman is perfect for a children's timeslot...right? Someone in France thought so. The protagonist no longer goes to love hotels to find beautiful ladies: he goes to "vegetarian restaurants". Yes, you read that right. Furthermore, his bullets now simply render his victims unconscious. They'll wake up eventually.

This one is on the list simply because of how bizarre it seems: France is the same country that rates graphic R-rated films such as Eyes Wide Shut and Kick-Ass as for all ages, yet this relatively tame series was censored. (This could possibly be due to weirdly stricter standards for television.)

8 Paranoia Agent Paranoia Agent is a Japanese anime television series created by director Satoshi Kon and produced by Madhouse about a social phenomenon in Musashino, Tokyo caused by a juvenile serial assailant named Lil' Slugger.

Censored in the UK.

The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) determined that adult viewers weren't mature enough to see images of a child hanging herself - as such, they forced cuts on an episode of the series for DVD release for an 18 rating. (Yes, an 18 rating on DVD required censorship, despite legally no one under 18 being allowed to purchase the series.)

All other international releases of the series are uncut, and most carry lower age ratings - 16+ in America, MA15+ in Australia, 14A in Canada, etc.

9 Cardcaptor Sakura Cardcaptor Sakura, abbreviated as CCS and also known as Cardcaptors, is a Japanese shōjo manga series written and illustrated by the manga group Clamp.

Censored in North America.

Nelvana wanted to turn "Cardcaptor Sakura", a shoujo intended for young girls with romantic subplots, into something mainly drawing in young boys. You can imagine how well that turned out.

Episodes focusing on Sakura were never seen on American television since boys wouldn't like them. All crushes were written out because girls are icky.

Thankfully, the series is now readily available on Crunchyroll and DVD in uncut dubbed and subtitled formats.

10 Yu Yu Hakusho Yu Yu Hakusho is a manga franchise created by Yoshihiro Togashi. An anime adaptation consisting of 112 television episodes was directed by Noriyuki Abe and co-produced by Fuji Television, Yomiko Advertising, and Studio Pierrot. The television series originally aired on Japan's Fuji TV network from October... read more

Censored in America.

This one hurt for anime fans in the early 2000's simply because they got a taste of the original first. The series initially began airing on Adult Swim in 2002 almost uncut, much to the delight of fans who had expected the series to end up in a heavily edited format on Toonami.

Alas, their hopes were dashed. Due to high ratings from younger audiences and an edited version already being released on home video by FUNimation, the decision was made to move the show to a daytime Toonami timeslot - leading to the usual heavy edits for blood, smoking, language, etc.