Cartoons: are the old times always better?

Geek Pride Day II or generation defence against clichés.

One week ago I read a comment on a blog with the typical opposition Bugs Bunny [cartoons from before the 80s, most of them American] against “all that ultraviolent manga” that came later. I could answer with the typical observation about Heidi and Marco being as Japanese as Dragon ball or Pokémon and still a recurrent model according to our parents.

But I don’t want a clichés exchange; I want to think over it with you. Let’s imagine a violence scale and place these types of cartoons in it:

1. People with superpowers fighting evil people with their fists and shining effects.
2. Animals fighting in a contest which finishes when one of them gets tired.
3. An animal which chases another animal constantly and that prey mutilates, cuts into pieces, smashes… their aggressor repeatedly.
4. Girls who chase demons and send them to a different dimension with a kaleidoscope because they tried to break couples and steal all the cakes of a city.
5. A robot who helps a boy to study and be a better person.

Bear in mind that the violence in 3 wants to make you laugh and all the other make lots of speeches about friendship, love and other values. Make your own ranking, I’m just going to tell you the names of the cartoons:

1. Dragon ball (Japan) and any American superhero (USA)
2. Pokémon (Japan)
3. Any Warner cartoons (USA) and Itchy and Scratchy from the Simpson (USA)
4. Sailor Moon (Japan)
5. Doraemon (Japan)

Some defend type 3 because they are unreal animals and nothing bad happens to them. The same people criticise type 2, even if the animals are even more unreal and there’s a moral speech in every episode. I won’t deny that my opinion must have shaped the issue to match with my thoughts, but there’s one sure thing: Violence existed long before television and it’s up to the parents how their kids process it. I’ve seen lots of Japanese cartoons and they are often too much Disney. Well, Disney is much crueller; but let’s save it for a future post.


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