When it comes to international entertainment (films, anime, manga) release in China, the government has a very strict censor board which closely analyzes any form of overseas media before finally releasing it to the public. The anime genre has become pretty popular in China over the last decade, which is why, whenever, there is censorship, fans immediately notice it.
Recently, an imaginary earth map was censored in Epic Team Pop season 2. Popuko (one of the main characters from the anime series) is hosting a late-night television show in one of the sixth most recent episodes of the second season. She invites Planet Earth as a guest and then wonders, “Where the heck are we then?”
Sometime after the episode’s release in Japan, it was made available in China. Some users noticed that Earth-chan looks bluer in this version. A comparison image was shared on Bilibili, one of the biggest social media platforms in China, and it went viral.
Why this scene was censored?
At first glance, this looks like one of the most bizarre cases of censorship, but there is a lot of history behind this map censorship. In the original image, although, the Earth map is not exactly accurate to the real world, some of the continents, including Australia, Japan and some part of the Asian continents can be easily identified.
China has territorial disputes with more than 10 countries, including Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, the Philippines, India, Indonesia and even North Korea. China has issues with The Philippines over the South China sea. Chinese Government still considers Taiwan to be their territory. The censorship board most likely doesn’t want to get in trouble with the Government, and fearing that, they censored the whole map.
In a similar case, Demon Slayer was censored for showing excessive skin. It should be remembered that this is not the only country that censors anime and manga. Malaysia previously censored the Attack on Titan manga series, and My Dress up darling anime was censored in South Korea.
On the other hand, if you are interested in watching Pop Team Epic, you can watch the series on Crunchyroll. It is one of the funniest series available on the streaming platform.