The Double-Edged Sword


There is a double-edged sword sometimes of being a fan of media and being a parent I find. While I write this blog often referring to what I see in shows that might be red flags to parents of kids who like to watch anime there are times when we make exceptions. I guess what I am saying is: I can be a hypocrite at times.

It is not intentional hypocrisy. It is more that exceptions are made at times that overrule our normal censoring.

The first case in point for me was : “A Certain Scientific Railgun”. Now I have written about this, but to recap. I had watched the show. I thought it was well done. It was entertaining and had good animation. The show did have some ecchi bits without a doubt. I kind of glossed over those in my mind in favor of what I thought was a compelling story that took the issue of when science goes to far and a moral center is lost for the sake of progress. I weighed the options: story vs some ecchi scenes. It did backfire on me. My son’s mother was upset with one of the scenes and I suppose I can’t blame her (I had forgotten about the shower scene), but choices were made and what was done was done.

It happens that sometimes that one will have different measures of what kind of violence is okay. The more realistic: the less likely I am to let my younger son watch it. “Chaika: The Coffin Princess” is one of these cases. His mother was disturbed by the dark nature of the show (ie; a girl collecting body parts), whereas I saw it as so far removed from our reality that it’s premise, while gruesome, was acceptable since he could see it as unrealistic fantasy. Sometimes the compromise in my brain isn’t just the gore or gruesomeness, but the context in which it is presented.

Sometimes there is something you want to watch and the kids are there and you think: How bad could it be? This weekend the boys and I watched “Kung Fury” (obviously not an anime). It was 35 minutes of over-the -top violence. Arms getting ripped off, peoples heads exploding, etc. But it was so ridiculous that no one could truly take it seriously. It was closer to reality ( as it was not animated), but it was also far from reality in it’s complete ridiculous nature (Hitler traveling through time and dinosaurs shooting lasers from their eyes). Was it a hypocritical choice? Holding one standard, but making an exception due to “reasons”? I don’t know. Maybe?

And then there was the issue of: “I had already started watching this thing with his older brother”. I was watching the first episode/ movie of “GTO” (Great Teacher Onizuka). Now, I’m not going to let my younger son watch this show. Onizuka is a bit of a pervert and this is highlighted in the show often. We had started watching it one morning while he was asleep. He woke up and caught the tail end of it. Will I let him watch more? No. Is it bad that I let him watch some of it? Not too much happened that will scar him. Is it hypocritical that I let him see some, but won’t let him watch more? Perhaps.

I guess sometimes, for myself, parenting isn’t straightforward. It is filled with grey areas and these grey areas are different for everyone. The goal is that we keep trying to do the right thing. Measuring what is appropriate for a kid’s age vs not. Letting them see things and have a mature reaction to it as well. Every kid is different in how they react to media as is every parent. I will keep swimming through, making mistakes, and having successes. I am confident of one thing though: They will be fine and that perhaps I worry too much.

BTW: I am not letting him watch “Crayon Shin Chan”.