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Unlocking the Oppai Code

Unlocking the Oppai Code 

 Too Much??
 Too Much??
It's pretty well known on the Anime Vice community. I am not a fan or supporter of censorship. Art should never have to be toned down, and have to bend to the wills of those who just happen to not  like it or disapprove of the content. In many of my postings and articles, I have written at length about my issues of the censorship of mangas in the US by publishing companies, but there is actually another kind of censorship I would like to bring to your attention. It's the censorship of Japanese manga when they are translated into anime. I'm not talking about the reduction of violence or gore. It's something far more insidious. It's the BREASTS!!
It's taken many years of research(actually, it's closer to two hours and some change), but I believe I have finally uncovered the code for the censorship of the breasts in anime. This is what they don't want you to see on your televisions. Sure, animes and mangas love their insanely, large chested characters. Just look at Rangiku MatsumotoOrihime InoueTsunade, and much of the cast ofHigh School of the Dead. The list can go on, and pretty much every series has at least one, I find it hilarious that violence is often shown in it's purest forms on TV, but somehow seeing too much breast is going too far. Cleavage shots are abundant. You see those all the time in animes, but as it turns out. There are just some parts of the breasts that are too provocative for anyone's eyes, outside of the gray scale pages.
It's the Japanese censoring boards that want to prevent you from seeing too much of them. How do I know this be true and not some crazy, conspiracy theory? I flipped a coin,... but that's not all. I'll show you the evidence of side by side examples of how the original mangas have been censored for their TV appearances. How much is too much? What angles can you see them from, and why are some angles more provocative than others? I'm going to break it down for you.


I think one of the first times I ever noticed this odd changes was on the BLEACH series from Tite Kubo. I had followed the series in scanlations for a while and later started watching the anime. It was when it came to one particular fight scene during the Soul Society arc did I notice a small touch that was different than I remembered from the manga. These were straight out of Japan. So, I knew it wasn't something that was added after the fact. It was the fight of Yoruichi Shihouin vs. Soi Fon. I noticed that clothes were added to the scene.

Yoruichi Shihouin

In Yoruichi's outfit, the back is always exposed. It's part of the regular inform for the 2nd DivisionCaptain. The manga version is rather provocative. All that side boob is exposed. It's a wardrobe malfunction just waiting to happen, but it seems this was far too much for the TV audiences in Japan. When it aired on TV, a convenient undershirt had been added.  

Soi Fon 

Just to prove that this censorship of the mangas isn't isolated to the big breasted. Soi Fon fell victim to it in the very same scenes. As you can easily see in the picture. Soi Fon was also given a conveniently placed undershirt. Though, in the anime the angle was changed. No breast at all was seen. The outfit has been shown to the TV audiences in this manner ever since these two were first shown. This issue only seemed to be present with these two. The series is never shy about showing off Matsumoto's massive cleavage. Mind you, that's in no way a complaint. It also isn't the last time such censorship would be seen in BLEACH.

Tia Harribel 

Tia Harribel is one of the more alluring of the Espada in the BLEACH series. Kubo loved his tanned girls to wear as little as possible, and this one really wears very little. Too little for the censors it would seem. Her normal appearance has an outfit that only covers the top portion of her breasts. The lower half was completely covered for the anime, but this alteration was never more in your face (as it were) until the episode came where she joined the fight, and her top opened up to "expose"  her ranking among the Espada. They knew that they had to show some level of the breasts to show off the number, but still keep their censorship. So, they created this elaborate sort of cup to the outfit, including a little pattern in it. This is an example of showing us that the lower breast is forbidden. It's ironic when you consider the series has such prolific "coverage" of breasts. Despite the utter lack of a titular character in the series. (pun intended)

Soul Eater 

It wasn't just BLEACH that was subjected to these kind of edits. I've also seen this censorship in the series of Soul Eater fromAtsushi Ohkubo. Throughout the run of the anime. There were a few provocative scenes that were toned down from the manga versions. Others that were completely cut. It was for the character's LizPatty, and especially Blair. Yet, there is one character that seemed to show too much, and it's one you probably wouldn't of expected. 


Mizune is a witch from the Soul Eater series. She is actually a group of witches that are as small as children, but when they all fuse together. They form into an adult, busty woman. This fusion was first seen during the Rise of the Kishin arc. When Mizune went up against Blair in her cat form. Her individual selves were getting easily defeated. So, they all combined to create what you can see the the image. Blair retaliated by transforming into her human form, in hot pants.  
Nothing was changed much about Blair, but notice Mizune. The top portion of her clothes was extended to cover her breasts completely. This is yet another example of showing that the southern hemisphere is a no fly zone for the eyes when it comes to anime. 
The stark contrast of what is or is not allowed in anime was something that caught my attention recently.  After I watched the One Piece - Episode 455. In this episode Robin Nico spends the majority of her time with her top completely open. When it comes to cleavage,  it seems breasts are allowed to be shown as much as possible. Just check out these examples in the screen shots below from that very episode. If it wasn't for the piece of bread in that one shot. Who knows how much could be seen? (lousy bread) 
One Piece Episode 455 - Robin Nico

In closing, I believe we now know the code of when it comes to breasts in anime. Though, it gets more confusing when it comes tobath scenes. In those kind of shots. There is only one particular area that can''t be shown. That's normally covered by conveniently placed steam or long hair, but you get the point. It's just peculiar how some regions are off limits if the others are covered.

The Oppai Code *

  • Cleavage
  • Northern Hemisphere

  • Side Boob
  • Southern Hemisphere
* (Code not valid in hentai series.)

-Kristoffer Remmell (FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.-    
EganTheVile1on Aug. 25, 2010 at 10:23 a.m.
Guess Peter Griffin's side boob hour wouldnt go over well!
YotaruVegetaon Aug. 25, 2010 at 11:07 a.m.
I am oppai 4 life, but I think boobs hanging out all over these shows is not going to turn people away. It's not the big selling point. 
I wouldn't count these examples as censorship anyway. It's an adaptation, so if they want to give Ichigo a different hairstyle, for instance, that's the anime version.
It's more of a toning down. I see censorship as another party influencing the original design of a show. The  animators policed themselves. I suppose.
Dream moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 11:16 a.m.
Think you might be overreacting a wee bit. There's more focus on action and plot than boobage shots in major shounen anime franchises like Bleach and One Piece. It's just small visual changes between the anime and manga. Unless said changes radically alter events that were shaped in the manga, then it's nothing really to fuss about. It's no different from the Inuyasha anime not including nipples on the breasts of female characters when they were bathing or in a form of undress in the manga.
Daniel_Newton moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 11:19 a.m.
These are the kinds of articles I find interesting, not just because it's on the subject of boobs (though that helps) but I find articles on censorship, what gets changed, what happens when manga becomes anime, or Japanese becomes English and so on.
However! The oppai code does not apply to everything but hentai, don't forget ecchi-heavy series, that often show as much as possible without crossing the line into hentai.
Kiss X Sis being possibly the most extreme example, jumping over that line, doing a naughty dance and then running back over giggling and blushing.
Was pretty disappointed when they added Halibel's "cups" but didn't really expect anything less. I imagine they'll give Yoruichi's new outfit an undershirt too and ruin that. It's such a shame.
Daniel_Newton moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 11:21 a.m.
Oh also, while I find it funny this article is filed under Booby Life, I think it would be better filed under Convenient Censoring, Censorship and Localization, and Big Boobs.
YotaruVegetaon Aug. 25, 2010 at 11:41 a.m.
Booby Life is also the name of a hentai anime
sotyfan16on Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:14 p.m.

This was enlightening. Having not seen/read any of the manga of the above mentioned series I haven't noticed the additional censoring for the anime. I really don't like the censoring of boobs and, while FoxxFireArt points out some small changes, I get more upset about the convenient covering with hair, little signs, other characters, steam, etc. One anime in particular right now that upsets me in that regard is Highschool of the Dead as the creator used to do hentai. A real shame that it seems side boob and under boob are no-nos.  
KissxSis may as well have been a hentai and would have maybe been more successful that way.

Kelleth moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:22 p.m.
God i <3 boobies too XD censorship is always lame.
FoxxFireArt moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:25 p.m.
This does count as censorship. If you alter something from it's original form because you believe something is being inappropriate due to sexuality, violence, religion, or just being offensive to someone. That is censorship.
They added clothes to the characters, because they felt exposing the breasts in those scenes are inappropriate. As I pointed out in the end. You see far more in bath scenes of these series. It's just strange that breasts need to be covered more in certain situations than in a scene where the character is completely nude.
Point one, any alteration from the artist's original intent is not alright. Alterations of the art is censorship. Some are just more extreme than others. Ever notice in BLEACH that they always added a prosthetic arm on Kuukaku Shiba. That's another form of censorship.

Point two, about your idea that I am "Overreacting". You might want to look up the term "satire". I would of thought the fact that this was one big joke article was pretty obvious.
I didn't categorize this. I just wrote it.
Sonata moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:25 p.m.
@Kelleth:  Amen!! my Oppai brother:P
Daniel_Newton moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:39 p.m.
@Kelleth: Wait I'm the booby meister? Eh, I'm cool with that.
@FoxxFireArt: Never said you did, actually I assumed it was the staff who did that anyway.
Perhaps one day they'll remaster Bleach in HD for Blu-ray release, remove the filler and de-censor it to make it more true to the manga, kind of like what Dragon Ball Kai is doing for Dragon Ball Z, that would be pretty cool.
metalsnakezeroon Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:40 p.m.
I remember a blog complaining about the weird alteration of Tia Harribel outfit in the anime. Out of all the blood and nudity, its weird to see that they forcing censorship on cleavage. 
Kelleth moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 12:53 p.m.
@Newten: Of course your the booby meister!! all 735 points say that :P
@Newten: Well your pretty close too :P

 I'm still the biggest Yuri an here (not counting the actual lesbians on this site that is)
AURON570on Aug. 25, 2010 at 1:20 p.m.
I'm against censorship, but that doesn't mean I want to see naked women all the time.
ethan staff on Aug. 25, 2010 at 1:22 p.m.
@Newten said:
" Oh also, while I find it funny this article is filed under Booby Life, I think it would be better filed under Convenient Censoring, Censorship and Localization, and Big Boobs. "
Good idea.
Daniel_Newton moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 1:29 p.m.
@Kelleth: I right yeah! Of course! I AM the booby meister!
And you replied to my name twice, did you mean to do that?
Kelleth moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 1:36 p.m.
@Newten:  Oops! no i thought i pressed on Son's reply button lol :P
Sonata moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 1:41 p.m.
@Kelleth: I see myself as the Hentai Guru, dont know if I should be proud of that or not:P
AK_the_Twilighton Aug. 25, 2010 at 2:05 p.m.
(Anyone who gets that reference wins a cookie.)
Seriously, though, censorship is censorship. This still is a unique article, albeit a pretty...well...mature one. Kudos.
Daniel_Newton moderator on Aug. 25, 2010 at 2:07 p.m.
@Nanashi: Yeah but that's a little different, it has to be censored so they can show it on TV first.
This article is talking about censorship that isn't completely necessary. Showing some underboob isn't the same as showing full-on nudity.

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