The sexual content of ‘Dragon Ball Super’, censored, should we cancel Muten Rōshi?

The new anime of the franchise greatly lowered its level of violence and sexual content compared to its predecessors, but it is not free of controversy.


The turtle master has brought more than one problem to the series that saw him born, Dragon Ball. Since we met him in the 80s, the famous character has had a rather invasive attitude towards women and, although 30 years ago his scenes caused laughter, now what they generate is controversy and censorship. That is what has happened in several countries such as Argentina, Spain or Japan itself, where it seems that they are tired of the old man’s manias.

Recently, the Argentine authorities have decided to review the series to eliminate scenes of “symbolic violence.” According to his review, a specific episode “reproduced the exercise of sexual violence by an elder towards a minor, in a context of social acceptance, in which the violation of a girl was naturalized ”. For this reason, they have removed the animation from the schedule until they could review all the episodes and make sure they are suitable for young viewers.

Seen in this way, Muten Roshi’s practices sound especially inappropriate. That reaction is just one of the many criticisms that the chapter elicited, where the character is seen doing exactly what the complaint raises: harassing Puar after he has assumed the form of “a beautiful young woman.” “My real weakness is … my perverted thoughts that I want to overcome,” acknowledges the character. This is the scene in question:

It is not the only bad thing that is removed from the scene, the Ministry of Women, Gender Policies and Sexual Diversity of Buenos Aires points out that “it portrays how the girl’s refusal is ignored by Mestre, who continues forcing her to do what she does not wants, while other characters, visibly moved and anguished by the situation, silently observe the violent and abusive actions of the adult man“.

In the 80s it could have passed the cut, but in recent years the networks have decided that their programming is not the right place for an old man to show his “soft spot” for young girls. After its broadcast in the Japanese country, the Ethical Organization and Program for the Improvement of Radio Broadcasting of Japan, a group that is in charge of denouncing this type of sequences, reported certain sexual scenes in a program aimed at children: “In the program of animation, there are scenes of an older gentleman touching the bodies of young women and looking at their underwear against their will. Those scenes are irrelevant to the story. ”He wasn’t pointing directly to the anime, but everyone knows which old man he’s talking about.

It is something that we have also experienced in Spain at the beginning of the year. Specifically, on the regional television of Valencia, where they directly decided to withdraw it. Faced with the complaint of the Compromís political party, the government declared that it was difficult to reschedule the series due to “gender legislation, value codes and children’s codes, in addition to price.”

Even a candidate for the United States Congress joined this wave of comments and defined Dragon Ball like “anime porn”. Perhaps it exaggerates a bit, but it serves to give us an idea of ​​the scale that the controversy reached.

It is surprising that the scene in question reached the final cut, especially knowing that the team of Dragon Ball Super has taken into account the change of mentality in society. Super comes with much less violence and blood than Dragon Ball Z. Unlike its predecessor, the fights do not end here covered in bloody wounds. Animator Naotoshi Shida explained that the reason was mainly due to the audience they were targeting: “Censorship is fine if you have the audience you are targeting in mind. However, that creates a lot of problems for older fans.”

In ‘Dragon Ball Z’ there are scenes like Vegeta’s death on Namek, which moved many fans. Or when Vegeta escaped from Earth after its invasion. Now imagine her without blood. If those scenes didn’t have blood, they wouldn’t have been so fascinating

Surely more than one out there agrees. But it must be admitted that, while the presence of blood or violence can be debated, seeing how an older man has abusive behavior with much younger girls is totally out of place.

If you want to be up to date and receive the premieres in your mail, sign up for our Newsletter