If you were to ask the question of, “What’s the difference between Western animated shows and Japanese anime?”, the answer would likely be two-fold: style, and content. Anime typically has a certain style to it that makes everything feel “like the real world” in terms of bodies and proportions and such. While Western cartoons (especially recently) don’t have a problem…squishing or elongating things. The other difference is content, because animes never shy away from certain scenes, even if it makes them controversial. But at times, there are concessions, as My Hero Academia has recently shown.
To be fair, My Hero Academia is one that goes farther than certain animated series will, including All Might coughing up blood constantly, characters like Midnight and Mt. Lady being very voluptuous, and more. But in a recent episode, fans noted that they totally got censored.
In the recently released subbed episode, the villain Shigiraki underwent an experiment at the best of All For One, and in the manga, it showed that he was being straight-up tortured in order to bring out his abilities more. A Reddit user pointed out the scene in the manga, and then pointed out that the anime scene was MUCH more tame.
This was only compounded when the animator for My Hero, Ian Zhang, posted on Instagram the original animatic for the scene that showed a LOT more blood.
Now, is it true that it may have been “too much” as Zhang alluded to in the post? Possibly, but then again, certain anime have never been afraid of showcasing blood. Look at the recent Castlevania cartoon, or ones like Kill a Kill. So did this show pull it back?
It’s likely because the show is an anime…but also very popular with children, and thus they likely didn’t want to “turn them off”. As in many things, it all comes down to the brand.