Japanese animation ‘Mushoku Tensei’ suspended from Bilibili, accused of lacking morals
Published: Feb 08, 2021 06:48 PM

Photo: screenshot of a video posted on Sina Weibo

 Japanese animated series Mushoku Tensei was suspended from Chinese video sharing platform Bilibili on Sunday, just a few weeks after its official introduction in China. Some content in the anime have been accused of violating mainstream values and morals and being inappropriate for underage audiences.

Some voices, however, have said they blame the platform for releasing not placing the anime behind an age gate in line with requests from viewers.

On Sunday, the same day the fifth episode should have come out, Chinese netizens found that the animated series had been pulled from the platform. The video platform published a notice explaining that due to "technical reasons," the animation has been temporarily suspended. The notice did not mention when it would once again be made available. 

Some viewers suspected the suspension may be related to the opposition of some vocal netizens who have opposed some content in the show. 

The animation currently has a 3.9/10 on media review platform Douban, with more than 68 percent reviewers giving it a 1/10. However, on Bilibili the show has a high 9.2/10. These vastly different marks reflect how controversial the animation has been in China.

The suspension has become a huge controversy on Chinese social media. The related hashtag has earned more than 280 million views on Sina Weibo in just one day.

The animation was adapted from a Japanese light novel about a jobless and hopeless man who reincarnates in a fantasy world. The memories of his past life intact, he is determined to live his new life without regret. 

Some contents of the work have been accused by netizens of being immoral. For example, the lead character's father has an affair with a maid while his wife is pregnant but the main character persuades his mother to accept her husband's cheating.

Another case is that at a funeral, the lead character uses psycholagny to give his underage niece an orgasm. 

Many Chinese viewers have found this content and some other scenes disgusting and so have called for the show to be removed from the platform. 

"The plots in the anime disgust me. I have never watched a lead character with such wrong values. He is always a loser, even if he reincarnates in a fantasy world," a netizen commented on Douban.

"I cannot imagine what would happen if my children watched it. The scenes in the animation would give them a very unhealthy impression," another netizen wrote on Sina Weibo.

 However, some netizens and fans of Japanese anime hold the view that viewers shouldn't blame the work as freedom of creation should be respected and watching TV series does not necessarily have to be a serious pastime. 

"It is just entertainment. We should learn how to accept different kinds of cultures and even though you really cannot accept it, why do you denounce it and make others lose the chance to appreciate it?" a Chinese fan of Japanese anime who watched the third and fourth episode of Mushoku Tensei on Bilibili told the Global Times on Monday.

Some netizens hold a similarview, saying that the real problem is that the platform Bilibili put the animation on its home page and offered it to an all-age audience.

"The animation should have been released according to grading regulations on the platform and only aimed at adults, but Bilibili did not emphasize this. When can China have systematic grading regulations for all cultural worksso that our right to see works that are inappropriate for teens can be protected?" the fan said.