Anime has many types of content and themes. What is accepted normally by one culture may be viewed differently by another culture. Japan and Canada are not that shy about sexuality as America. What is viewed as censor worth is viewed as okay by Japan and Canada, particularly when it comes to anime. Cool World, a live action/animated fantasy directed by Ralph Bakshi has maintained a certain censorship when it came to sex and violence, but there are strong sexual content throughout anime such as High School of the Dead.
In Sailor Moon, a picture has been distributed in which Sailor Moon stands up on a balcony and declares an outrage of the disturbance of an old man’s lust for a small child. While it is true that pedophilia does take place worldwide, one must objectify if that is what the anime is hinting at, or if something else is meant entirely.
Questionable themes such as violence and sex in anime are not something most come to expect in anime meant for younger viewers. Questionable themes happen in many anime, but what makes such themes questionable? Is it the violence that occurs within the anime? In more violent anime, such as Attack on Titan and Tokyo Ghoul, blood is graphically shown from characters cutting another up, even as far as removing the head of their opponent, if possible. Could it be the view of underwear of the character, (mostly female) during a fight for survival? Certainly these types of anime are not suitable for a child under 13. However, in The Last Unicorn, the violent attack on Mommy Fortuna by the harpy was not graphically shown.
Anime violence remains questionable, but there is a driven desire that causes an obsessive-compulsive need to continue watching it. The reason there is an obsessive need to watch such avenues of anime is strictly related to a psychological phenomena. This psychological need to watch such anime causes a rather ritualistic behavior where nothing else matters to the watcher. When at its worst; eating, bathroom, and even hygiene care become a moot point, particularly when it causes even a few missed moments of an episode. The person may become irate, disgusted, or go into a spiral downward of sadness and longing when a favorite episode is missed, even by just a few minutes.
The relationship between questionable themes in anime and a person’s neurotic need toward it may be in-fact similar to a person’s need for alcohol. The psyche of the person becomes so preoccupied with the idea of watching objectifying content meant for adults that there is no satisfaction until after the anime is watched. Just like an alcoholic who needs just one more beer, one more anime episode of the same content is required to feel satisfied.
Yet, satisfaction never lasts long. By the next day, there is a driven urge to get to the TV on time to watch the next episode. The desire to see Geist rip off an enemy’s arm just to see the blood fly through the air and the look of horror on the victim’s face brings an alluring sense of achievement. The achievement of temporarily satisfying a chaotic need to fulfill a promiscuous and cognitive craving is the ultimate victory to that person.
Tiffany, Stephen T. Cognitive Concepts of Craving, (1999).
NIMH, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, (2012).