Anime received complaints after violent scene in episode 12
Although many new anime series typically air late at night, the Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury anime aired on Sundays in Japan at 5:00 p.m. While this prime time slot is ideal for appealing to younger viewers—an explicit goal for the producers—it has come with certain expectations about the content. After the anime’s 12th episode premiered on January 8, the Broadcasting Ethics & Program Improvement Organization (BPO) reportedly received complaints from viewers about a violent scene.
[spoilers for Mobile Suit Gundam: The Witch From Mercury‘s 12th episode below, highlight the white text to read]In the climactic scene, the heroine Suletta uses her giant robot’s hand to physically crush a human being. A pool of blood appears after she crushes the person, and their severed arm is shown hitting the wall.
The BPO reported on Friday that it discussed the scene at its 253rd meeting on January 24. A parent wrote to the organization claiming they were watching the series with their elementary school aged child and that “the scene was so shocking that both me and my child were stunned speechless.” Another viewer complained that the gruesome scene was not previewed ahead of time and that they thought that the visuals were inappropriate for the time slot.
In response, BPO members expressed mixed opinions, summarized below:
- “Although the blood from the severed arm is changed to a darker color when dancing through the air, it is not a scene to watch with the family at five o’clock on Sunday.”
- “This series was relatively light-hearted until the abrupt, violent scene. I suspect that it would have come as a shock to viewers.”
- “Small children may be frightened. However, the crushed person is never actually shown, and the flying blood is of a darker color. There is a certain level of care in this depiction.”
The anime’s second part will air in April in the same Sunday 5:00 p.m. time slot on MBS and TBS as the first part. Crunchyroll streamed the anime as it aired.
Every month, the BPO publishes submitted viewer opinions and complaints about what’s appearing on television. Past submissions have included concerns about character designs and sexual content in the children’s anime Yōkai Watch, nudity in JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure, and violence in Magical Girl Site, Goblin Slayer, and Redo of Healer.
Disclosure: Bandai Namco Filmworks Inc. (Sunrise) is a non-controlling, minority shareholder in Anime News Network Inc.