Why can't we have gay characters in our anime? I almost understand the alteration of Christian symbolism, I don't object to certain Japanese cultural references being removed, and I can't do anything but laugh when sake gets turned into tea. What I find difficult to swallow is the removal of certain "unacceptable" relationships. Television dub companies have had to go to great lengths to do this. Cloverway even goes overboard.
The first relationship that comes to mind, and possibly the most familiar to anime fans in the US and Canada is that of Zoisite and Kunzite. Or Zoycite and Malachite in the English version. It would've been difficult to explain why two bad guys seem to care so deeply for each other. So they made one of them a bad girl. Poor Zoisite. Being the more feminine-looking of the two, he was the one chosen to this fate. Possibly his later crossdressing stint as Sailor Moon contributed to this choice.
It was said when Sailor Moon first came out here (no pun intended), that Zoisite and Kunzite couldn't keep their gay relationship because gay people couldn't be portrayed as evil. Okay. That didn't make a whole lot of sense, but at least it seemed to be a pro-gay stance.
This reasoning does not account for the succeeding censorship.
Sticking with Sailor Moon for now, we'll move on to Haruka and Michiru. In season S, the only season with them in it that is planned to be dubbed, their relationship carries very few sexual or romantic overtones. The inner senshi debate amongst themselves for the entire season about whether or not they're involved. So it would've been very simple to remove those conversations or write over them. Haruka and Michiru themselves could've been kept entirely intact. I personally, if I had to do this, would've removed the Love Contest episode.
Not so Cloverway. They felt it necessary to make them cousins. Not only that, but we have to be bashed over the head with the word "cousin" at least three times an episode, so we'll remember it. So inner senshi, who don't yet know the outer senshi's identities, start randomly calling both Amara and Michelle and Uranus and Neptune, cousins.
Sigh. All right. Fine. They're cousins. It makes no sense, especially later on when we see flashbacks of how they met and Haruka became Uranus, but I'll deal with it. Did we also need Michiru to be a slut? Pardon me, Michiru, I meant Michelle. Michelle's first kiss was with a boy named Brad. She later reminisces about a boy named Mike she used to date. She's constantly swooning over Darien.
Boy, Amara, your girlfriend sure gets around. And you don't even remember your first kiss. I wouldn't be surprised if it's because you've never kissed a boy.
Cloverway later makes up something totally random to cover Elza Grey, a girl, pinching the butts of two inner senshi. After one exclaims "Yucko!", Elza explains to them that she's just doing a "spider stretch". Apparently wiggling your fingers is good for running. I'll take that secret and go to the Olympics with it!
Sailor Moon is not the only series to suffer such de-gayifying tactics.
Cardcaptors, the bastard child of Card Captor Sakura, recently began airing. Now, call me jaded, but I didn't really expect to see any of the Yukito/Touya relationship. Sakura/Tomoyo was also too much to hope for. So far, in the three episodes I've seen, they haven't come up with something totally random or over the top like Cloverway has. At least there's that.
Li's crushing on Yukito, however, does not have a sexual or romantic basis. Why he acts like he's infatuated with Yukito is later explained. So Nelvana could have safely kept it in. Couldn't they? Apparently not. Any scenes of Li blushing or "fantasizing" about Yukito have been cut, aside from the scene where he first meets him when he acts all weird. You're probably supposed to think he acts weird because these two older kids came to beat him up.
It will be interesting to see how Julian and Tori's non-relationship develops. If they're suddenly announced to be cousins, it will be beyond ludicrous. This cousin thing has gone far enough.
It's even extended into heterosexual, childhood, romantic relationships. A girl and a boy in Sakura's class like each other. Is that so terrible? Yes, says Nelvana. They're now cousins.
With all these cousins floating around, you might think these dub companies are trying to promote incest. And you'd be right. In Tenchi Muyo, now airing on Cartoon Network, Ayeka is very verbal about wanting to marry her brother. She later transfers that desire onto her grand-nephew. Much better. Her sister is also interested in him. Just one big happy family.
I'm not condemning Tenchi, many anime have some incestual overtones in spots. Fushigi Yuugi to name just one. Sailor Moon to name another.
Oh, you haven't forgotten Chibiusa have you? She crushes after Mamoru like nobody's business. He's her father. DiC and Cloverway kept that part in.
It doesn't stop at incest. Minako has a few scenes with Artemis. Artemis is a cat, remember. These scenes weren't altered. In the next season, Chibiusa is going to start getting involved with a pegacorn. That's a cross between a unicorn and a pegasus. Another animal.
Apparently our society finds nothing wrong with incest and bestiality being portrayed on television. Watched by children. That's just fine and dandy. They know it's just fantasy, after all.
Just don't show them healthy gay and lesbian relationships.
They're impressionable children.
We must protect them.