Petition in Japan over Doraemon triggers discussion among Chinese netizens

By Lu Yameng Source: Global Times Published: 2020/12/11 3:50:47

A woman poses for photos with a Doraemon figure at the "Doraemon's Time-Travelling Adventures in Singapore" exhibition held at the National Museum of Singapore on Nov. 3, 2020. The exhibition will run till Dec. 27, 2020. (Photo by Then Chih Wey/Xinhua)

A Japanese netizen filed a petition to delete Nobita’s entry into Shizuka’s bathroom in Doraemon, the Japanese manga series, saying that it could be misleading and inappropriate for children. The petition triggered hot discussion among netizens on how to treat unsuitable plots in cartoons on Thursday.

A netizen in Japan petitioned TV Asahi and the Doraemon production company to delete the segment with Nobita’s entry into Shizuka’s bathroom during her bath time in case it encourages such behavior and gives children the wrong guidance, according to Entertainment Sina Weibo.

The topic has been viewed more than 620 million times on Sina Weibo and generated about 30,000 comments as of press time.

Most Weibo users expressed support for this petition. “It’s hard to disagree,” said a Weibo user named @Zhanghairou, who gained more than 145,000 likes for the comment. “Support! Cultural products should keep pace with the times,” said another one.

"As a parent, I do worry that some cartoon segments could have a bad impact on my son,” said Qi Xiuli, a parent in Weihai, a city in Eastern China’s Shandong Province. “For example, he loves to see cartoons about cars and he is excited when he sees big cars crashing into small cars,” she told the Global Times.

Some netizens gave different opinions on how to treat segments which adults view as unsuitable for children. “We cannot count on cartoons too much to educate the children. Parents are needed to explain behavior in cartoons to their children so as to let them understand right from wrong,” said Weibo user @Bai_RuinuiR.

"Cartoons should not encourage wrong practices,” said Liu Yang, who is a middle school teacher in Beijing. “It would be better if cartoons can be used for proper sex education for children, such as teaching children to not allow others to touch certain parts of their bodies.”

On April 6, 2013, a 9-year-old boy in East China’s Jiangsu Province set a fire to imitate a storyline of roasting a goat from a Chinese cartoon, Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, resulting in severe burns for his two friends.

"Violent scenes should be avoided as children do not understand the pain of the victims, and they would only think that beating others is cool,” said Liu.

A lot of netizens also spoke out for women. A Weibo user named @YourFashionGirlFriend commented, “Do some people really think that it’s okay for girls to have their skirts lifted and to be peeped at in the bath?”

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