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The Real Reason China Banned Attack On Titan

Attack on Titan is a worldwide phenomenon among anime. Since the franchise's humble beginnings as a manga in 2009, Attack on Titan has grown to have a fan base in the millions. It's ranked second on MyAnimeList's most popular anime of all time and has found its way onto large streaming services such as Netflix. The franchise even got its own live-action movie adaptation and a crossover comic with the superheroes from Marvel.

It seems like everyone is enjoying Attack on Titan. Well, everyone except for one country is enjoying it, anyway. For some reason or another, China banned Attack on Titan from official circulation years ago. It's illegal for anyone to buy or sell the manga or the anime anywhere. For those who live outside of China, this may seem bewildering. However, Attack on Titan is just one of many foreign pieces of media that the country has officially censored or outright banned.

Why China banned Attack on Titan

China originally banned Attack on Titan over half a decade ago in 2015, according to AnimeNewsNetwork. It was just one of almost 40 anime that China axed at the same time. Other popular anime that also got the death sentence include Death Note, Deadman Wonderland, and the second season of Tokyo Ghoul.

Essentially, the Chinese Ministry of Culture banned anything they deemed inappropriate for public consumption. Per CBR, if an anime "[includes] scenes of violence, pornography, terrorism and crimes against public morality," then chances are that China's government will block it from official consumption.

This is no real surprise for those familiar with Chinese censorship policies. According to the Council on Foreign Relations, "China has one of the world's most restrictive media environments, relying on censorship to control information in the news, online, and on social media."

This means that when it comes to any form of media, from journalism to television, China's government gets the final say on whether it will be distributed among the public. As it turns out, they are particularly sensitive to anything which depicts extreme violence or sexual behavior. Unfortunately, Attack on Titan contains more than its fair share of the former. It was not only a shoo-in for China's list of banned content, it's likely that it will stay there.