Anime and Manga….in China.

In its usual anti-Chinese rants, Artefact posts about how “China in its infinite wisdom has banned Japanese anime from its TV networks,” and how China simply hates Japan. Clearly, he, like many others, has never been to China, or see how rampant its anime and manga fandom is.

The truth is, unlike how he phrases it, anime and manga is still perfectly acceptable in Beijing, and to the Chinese.

I’ve been in Beijing for about 3 weeks now, and the amount of fandom for anime astounds me. I was, admittedly, expecting some kind of boycott on anime or something, given how Artefact talks about the situation in China. (One of the hated anime was 1Shin-chan….) Upon reaching the country, however, I was rather shocked to see how wrong my misconceptions were. Try finding an anime magazine in Singapore. Heck, you’d probably resort to Kinokuniya , or you’d buy the ones from Malaysia. Point is, none of it comes from Singapore, and it’s hard to find.

Welcome to China. True, I dislike the governmental system as well, but you have to admit, the citizenship and fandom is great. The nearest newsstand to my dormitory stocks at least 10 different magazines on anime (with freebies, of course, I counted), excluding the magazines on manga, the magazines on seiyuu, the magazines on anime music, on Vocaloid, and those without freebies (I don’t buy those, you have to see the freebies they give to realize why.) That makes up a minimum of twenty. And of course, the light novels and manga I haven’t brought up yet. Honestly, I only know a few titles they sell at the newsstand, and a few is indeed, a few. About 5-6 titles , that’s all. What if I want other titles? Fret not, the bookstore (within 50m distance)has an entire wall devoted to manga and art-books translated into Chinese. (The bookstore only has two usable walls.) And for 20 yuan a novel, it’s a steal. I’d avoid reading the Bleach comics since it’s in traditional Chinese, which is much harder to read. Even the bookstore owner told me her opinion on the latest arc (which honestly, I couldn’t understand given my poor standard of Chinese.) To be honest, however, I must admit that I find some of the freebies from the magazines a tad suspicious. (One magazine offered 213GB of music. It was only 12.98 GB, and I’m still wondering where it’s from.)

And of course, magazines alone don’t prove a fandom exists. Fine, I admit that.

But something about being given surveys on Japanese BGM and being asked questions by the Beijing students we were having immersion lessons with them tells me otherwise. And something about watching Beezlebub in Chinese on TV really irks me, since I don’t understand shit (I blame my poor Chinese standard again, and because there were no subtitles.) Going to 3Wangfujin and being assaulted by an array of merchandise along the walls wasn’t what I expected, nor was that anime store across the street which challenges my powers to keep my money in my wallet. I must admit, there were bootlegs (much like Singapore and the Philippines), but this is just Beijing, which is part of the PRC, in case you forget, is different from Taiwan. And surely, if the PRC’s people can have such a fandom, surely the Taiwanese and Chinese in Hong Kong can do better, right?

Then again, I realize that the 4silent rule that whenever you read an article on a subject you’re familiar with, it always seems so wrong.

The article, of course, is phrased in a way so that the less-bright readers of Sankaku Complex will immediately post their inane rants on China again. Once again, it should be noted that nearly half of the people surveyed didn’t hate any anime in particular, and that the survey was only on 3000 people. And furthermore, surely, everyone hates some anime, right? (FUCK KANOKON?) In my enlightenment that not all of their user-base are uneducated and unintelligible, unable to read and analyse articles critically (Thanks to a user named William did I regain some faith), I hope that in writing this, I can perhaps,5 correct some misconceptions…

“ah the communist ways……. we don’t dislike them in person, just their radical views and close-minded hatred for everything that is NOT chinese-orientated nationalism =_=”

Looks like I have a long way to go.


1 Speaking of Shin-chan, here’s a possible reason: aside from the heavy emphasis on penis shenanigans, in tea ceremonies we use a certain clay tool to gauge when the water is hot enough to make the tea. In heavy popularity, however, is this clay figure of Shin-chan which tells you it’s OK when you pour the water on its head. It pees if the water is hot enough. I shit you not. (It’s hilarious, by the way, so I’ve bought some.)

2Fine, it wasn’t only one magazine, catch my drift? One had lots of fanmade games and articles in Chinese I was simply too noob to read. Multiple CDs, not just one, held 13gb in total. And posters were nice too, they have this poster for a fanmade game, Witches’ Sabbath, released at some event I can only call a doujinshi convention in China. Think of it as Comiket but less grand.

3 A shopping district. Try their scorpions and starfish, in the area with street food everywhere. (I didn’t, of course, but tell me if you do.)

4 TVTropes for the win.

5 I know it won’t.

P.S. I like China a lot, but I don’t like its government too. I think less media censorship would be nice. The internet’s so SLOW! (Hotspot shield keeps assaulting me with advertisements for, so I turned it off.) If you ever visit the country, I could recommend you to some good tourist locations ;D

P.P.S Remind me why I read this site again? I’m starting to feel a little dim already.

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24 Responses to Anime and Manga….in China.

  1. ~xxx says:

    How about H.K.
    Is Anime banned?

    But hey, I remembered that Geass really medded up China…
    and the Chinese hated that.

  2. Peter S says:

    I wonder if geography and internationalization help out. Here in Heze there’s no one I’ve encountered (in, I admit, only four months of living here) who even knows what anime is, but I haven’t inquired too deeply …

    • Valence says:

      Honestly, I had to google Heze. I apologize.

      Geography’s a big part, but internationalization and globalization go a long way.

      You know what I think? You know how some people worry that if China ever becomes a superpower the world will (i quote) be flipped upside down? If you ask me, if China ever becomes a superpower, it’ll have to be exposed to the ideologies of the world first before it can ever reach there – a win-win situation if you ask me.

      • Pearz says:

        Implying China isn’t already a super power


        • Valence says:

          Well, it isn’t accepted to be one yet, as with India and the other members of the BRIC. Currently I think the only widely accepted superpower is the USA.

      • Peter S says:

        Heh, please don’t apologize. I can barely find it on a map, myself. But Heze is a medium-sized city away from the more worldly cities (12-hour train ride from Qingdau), and it only sees visitors when the peonies are in bloom. It’s by no means a backwater, but when I read posts like this I feel like it is, culturally.

        • Valence says:

          I see..I had some impressions of the place but I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

          I’ve been to China a lot, but this is the first time I’ve been to Beijing, for such a long period of time. Other times it was Shenzhen and Xiamen, to visit the farms and some distant relative.

  3. Anonomyous says:

    I visited during Madoka’s run and it shows how many people in China actually watch anime. A lot of the stuff never filters over to the english world like the hilarious hitler parodies, you know the ones where he gets mad or some very nice images or funny self made 4-koma for Madoka.

    I remember one 4-koma style image that showed Homura upgrading from machine guns to tanks to Gundams to the galaxy level Gurren Lagann in the WN fight and each panel with QB telling Madoka how tough it was for Homura to fight alone (until the last one where Madoka tells QB that she thinks Homura will win). Never did see that one in the english sites

    • Valence says:

      There is always the language barrier. Plus, another barrier : frankly speaking, China’s reputation isn’t the best. You know that, so do I- hence we (i hope) can both see this barrier. Once China exposes itself to the world’s ideologies I wish for the best.

  4. I bought at least 4 of the shin-chan .___. i made them piss all day. its funneh.

  5. abscissa says:

    First time I heard China banned an anime was during the Death Note hype, I didn’t that they aapplied it for all. Also, it’s funny how it bans anime when lots of anime goodies and stuff are made in China.

  6. Yi says:

    Sankaku is too sensationalist for my tastes. A lot of their stuff, like the post you’re responding to, is reason enough not to follow it…

  7. Anonymous says:

    code geass is not banned in china…..there are many code geass videos posted on youku(pretty much the chinese counterpart of youtube) and death note isnt banned in china either, there is a death note forum in baidu tieba

    • Valence says:

      I’ve said that already in the earlier comments. Besides there are plenty of Code Geass and DN goods in anime shops. They might draw some flak by the old guard but to youngsters we feel no problem with them…

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