New Dragon Ball anime Blu-ray removes flipped birds, ruffles fan feathers【Photos, video】

Throwing planet-smashing energy beams at one another is OK, but those martial arts masters better keep their middle fingers down.

As one of the very greenest of anime’s evergreen hits, it’s easy to forget just how old Dragon Ball Z is. The most popular and influential arc of creator Akira Toriyama’s generation-and-galaxy-spanning martial arts epic, Dragon Ball Z’s first TV episodes aired all the way back in 1989, and if you go back to its anime predecessor, Z-less Dragon Ball, that anime premiered in 1986, with the manga it’s based on starting in 1984.

In the decades since, attitudes about what is and isn’t acceptable in anime primarily aimed at young children have changed, and that’s manifested in a way that’s extremely upsetting to Japanese Twitter user @nappasan.


ナッパ教信徒 (@nappasan) December 15, 2018

The above tweet shows a brand-new Japanese Blu-ray release of Dragon Ball Z, which went on sale from publisher Toei December 5, on the left, and the original version of the same scene on the right. While fan favorite Trunks used to be seen flipping the bird to his adversary Broly, he’s now just raising a clenched fist, in a much less aggressive/offensive gesture.

▼ Video comparison


ナッパ教信徒 (@nappasan) December 15, 2018

What’s got @nappasan, and presumably the many people who have retweeted his comparisons, especially upset is how this digital altering of the anime’s visuals doesn’t seem to mesh with what’s written on the back of the Blu-ray box, which promises:

“A portion of ths anime’s visuals and dialogue are considered to be inappropriate in the current era, but in recognition of the importance of the work’s historical value, the existing original materials are presented in their original form. Thank you for your understanding.”

▼ The notice, boxed in red by @nappasan, as it appears on the Dragon Ball the Movies #6 Blu-ray.


ナッパ教信徒 (@nappasan) December 15, 2018

It’s definitely odd that Toei would go to the trouble of printing such a confidently worded disclaimer on the box only to do the opposite. “This is an upsetting and serious betrayal of past visual expression,” Tweeted @nappasan, who later came across yet another example of middle finger-repositioning in the new Blu-ray.


ナッパ教信徒 (@nappasan) December 15, 2018

The digital self-censorship highlights an evolution of how flipping the bird is seen in Japan. @nappasan claims that the gesture used to be less widely recognized in Japan, and was something that could fly under the radar without causing widespread offense.

▼ The raised middle finger pops up in Toriyama’s original manga as well.


ナッパ教信徒 (@nappasan) December 15, 2018

Raised middle fingers actually enjoyed a brief spurt of



Read Story >>

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *