There have been notable anime and manga titles I've come across in my eight years of fandom that are well known for either shaking up debates among fans, running into legal issues, censorship or stirring up issues in the news connected to said title. I'm posting this blog entry today to highlight on some of anime and manga's most infamous moments in the spotlight for one reason or another. Of course, be warned that this is just my personal opinion so don't get in a bind over anything else you would deem as more infamous than the examples I have provided. 10. Macross Frontier
This might seem like a strange entry for most folks, but the licensing issues regarding Macross are enough of a mess where this is worth mention and explains why it would be very difficult to see Macross Frontier legally outside of Japan. Back in 2004, there was an ugly series of lawsuits filed over who had rights to trademarks and copyrights to the Macross series. It was ruled that Tatsunoko legally owns the rights to the Macross series and they had licensed the series here in the states to Harmony Gold USA, the TV company responsible for the original TV series' US airing in the 1980s under the name Robotech. Because of this ruling, any North American distributor desiring to pick up any of the later anime adaptations of the Macross franchise would have to get consent from Harmony Gold before licensing it in North America. However, Big West, an advertising firm in Japan that also owns a good chunk of the legal rights to the Macross series, has not been on good terms with Harmony Gold in recent years. Long story short, legal complications and tensions between the American and Japanese companies that have rights to the series are the major hurdle keeping Macross Frontier from potentially being licensed. 9. School Days
A good number of folks who seen this series should be familiar with the reasons I have for this entry. The novel game that School Days is based on is infamous for its violent "bad" endings that involve Makoto, Sekai or Kotonoha suffering brutal deaths from one another or inflicting death upon themselves. It was planned by the anime makers of the TV adaptation of the series that they would adapt variations of the "bad" endings for the final episode of the series. However a day before the premiere of the final episode, real news got out of a high school girl in Kyoto killing off her police officer father with an axe. In response to the shocking news, many Japanese TV broadcasters pulled the episode from airing to prevent showing any similarities to the murder that occurred. The sattelite channel AT-X would be the only network to air the episode albeit in an edited version. The episode was shown uncensored during a public screening by the maker of the game version to the series, 0verflow and later released on DVD. 8. Death Note
Death Note has led to some rather strange happenings in countries outside of Japan. There have been several incidents here in the United States where grade school kids and teens have been suspended or expelled from school for creating replica "Death Notes" that contain the names of their classmates. In Belgium, there was a crime scene with two notes found near the severed body parts of a white male which said "Watashi wa Kira desu," or "I Am Kira" which is a nod to Light's alias while killing criminals and those he considers a threat. Four people later were arrested for the crime and two of the suspects left the notes at the murder scene because they were fans of Death Note. Plus in China, the country has banned the sale and distribution of the manga series for the "physical and mental health" of their younger population as they have been creating replica Death Notes as well. 7. Narutaru
This is one area many of you might not be familiar with. Narutaru is a series that tackles a number of controversial subjects involving preteens and teens such as teen pregnancy and sexuality, rape, self-mutilation and psychopathy in which the mood of the series is deceptive starting off light-heartedly and getting increasingly darker and more graphic in content as the series progresses. Narutaru's American publisher, Dark Horse Manga, was completely taken by surprise over the content to the later volumes of the series when they had originally published the manga adaptation of the series. Upon seeing the content to the seventh volume that depicted more graphic content than the six earlier volumes, Dark Horse edited the content of the volume's more intense content such as the graphic killing of a classmate and a rape scene involving a test tube. After the seventh volume, Dark Horse halted publication on later volumes of Narutaru with three later volumes being printed in Dark Horse's Super Manga Blast magazine up to its cancellation.6. Pokemon
There may have been issues raised in America with Pokemon over the treatment of animals or racial and religious discrimination, plus some episodes being banned either for content or events in the news. But the major reason this cash-cow from Nintendo makes it on the list is thanks to the Electric Soldier Porygon episode. Featuring a three second clip of flickering coming from an attack by Pikachu, the intense light strobing from the scene led to seizures being inflicted upon 685 Japanese people during the original Japanese airing of this episode. As a result of the health problems inflicted, the Electric Soldier Porygon episode has been banned from being aired internationally, it became frequently parodied in other forms of media like South Park and earlier episodes of Pokemon were edited to reduce the flickering coming from Pikachu's electric attacks. 5. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind
Before Walt Disney Pictures picked up the rights of distributing Studio Ghibli's first major hit film, New World Pictures had picked up distribution rights to Nausicaa during the 1980s. Hoping to gear the movie for children, New World altered the content of the movie by changing the title of the movie to Warriors of the Wind, changing the character names, cutting out scenes that were considered "slow moving" and completely changing the plot to the movie where the Ohmu were depicted as enemies. This led to great outrage from Ghibli fans and even Hayao Miyazaki himself who hated the complete alteration of Miyazaki's work from New World. Miyazaki himself even recommended that fans of his work remove any memories that they would have of the heavily edited film. As a result of New World's handling of Nausicaa, Studio Ghibli adopted a strict "no edits" policy where they would have say on whether or not any of the content in their films are edited. This was first demonstrated during Miramax's handling of Princess Mononoke where the co-founder of Miramax received a katana with the words "no cuts" embedded on it when Ghibli got word that Miramax wanted to make edits to the movie to make it more marketable in America. 4. Kite
This hentai title has been heavily edited or banned in a number of countries thanks to its graphic sexual content and violence. In particular, Kite depicts the main heroine Sawa being raped by her corrupt employer Akai in the present while working as an assassin under him and as a child when she was found by him following the murder of her parents. In America, the movie was originally released heavily edited and was eventually released unedited from the title's distributor, Media Blasters. Three versions of Kite have been released in America. The general release version removes nearly all of the movie's sexual content. A later Director's Cut version restores many of the sex scenes removed from the edited version though some scenes depicting a younger Sawa getting raped were still cut from the movie. The Special Edition version of Kite fully restores all the content removed from the original edited version. 3. Kodomo no Jikan
One of the more well-known infamous lolicon titles, Kodomo no Jikan's manga source material was going to be licensed by Seven Seas Entertainment here in America under the name of "Nymphet". But feeling pressured by the tightly conservative views of mainstream America's thoughts on depictions of pedophilia in fiction, Seven Seas chose to cancel their plans of publishing the series. 2. Neon Genesis Evangelion
There's enough controversy regarding Eva that I can mention here regarding its content, fan reaction and choices from Hideaki Anno's direction. Because the show was featuring more intense content for its later episodes in its early evening time slot during its original TV airing in Japan, many of Gainax's sponsors were pressured into cutting off their funding for Eva's animation budget which resulted in the later episodes having to cut back on animation to conserve on the show's tightened budget. The final two episodes of the series led to heavy debates and backlash from fans of the show for the radically different approach it went for in exploring the mentalities of the characters over the plot developments that the show had been building up on. Gainax received enough scrutiny from fans and Hideaki Anno even received death threats. This supposedly led to Anno having a "break down" and he made criticisms against the otaku culture in an interview for Newtype magazine in response to the fan reactions he received. For the End of Eva movie, the open-ended resolution to the movie combined with a number of plot developments left open to interpretation (which even include developments from the TV series) have led to enough heated debates and speculations over the years from fans of the series over what was happening leading Evangelion to be one of anime's most heavily debatable titles.
This hentai title really shook things up outside of Japan. Infamous for its graphic violence and tenatcle rape scenes, Urotsukidouji has been banned or heavily censored in many countries with the title single-handedly being responsible for denting the reputation of anime for a number of years in Britain when originally released. The OAVs were released in a movie format for theaters in Western countries with the more explicit and graphic content being removed and scenes being reanimated to keep the narrative smooth from the edits. Even with all the censorship, Urotsukidouji still received an NC-17 rating when it was screened in American theaters.