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Censor Shadow
A character (male or female) is full-on naked, but the artist doesn't want to reveal all. Yet an outright Censor Box will be just horrible (unless this was a comedy). This is a dilemma. What to do? Eureka! Just add some crafty shading and voila! A convenient shadow! Now we can keep those private parts, well, private.

Not only used for nudity, it's often used as a result of Executive Meddling last-minute censorship of something gory, causing a random dark slash covering half the screen and the Gorn behind it. Almost like a Gory Discretion Shot, only a bit sloppy.

See also Censor Steam, Godiva Hair, and Scenery Censor.

Examples

Anime and Manga

Comics
  • In the Comic Book version of Anita Blake, a wererat's genitals are covered this way.
  • In a Story Arc in the Anthology Comic Marvel Comics Presents showing the origin of Wolverine (running away from Project X), he's nude the entire time, but for shadows. The one time the artist couldn't justify any shadows, he was suddenly in a pair of tighty-whities.
  • ElfQuest: In "Siege at Blue Mountain Part 1" Leetah and Nightfall dance in the moonlight. In the first panel, a shadow covers Nightfall's genitalia.
    • In "Hidden Years Part 1", we get a full-frontal shot of Strongbow, with a shadow obscuring the (in)appropriate bits.
  • For a female example, in X-Men Versus the Fantastic Four, Susan Storm momentarily becomes extremely fed up with her husband, Reed, because Reed is balking at using a machine to cure Kitty of permanent phasing. (It's complicated.) When in private, Sue uses her forcefield to blast off her entire uniform and most of her body is conveniently in shadow, but not so much you can't tell she's nude.
  • In an early issue of The Incredible Hulk, Betty Ross is transformed into the Harpy sans culottes, with her breasts and genitals hidden by shadows.
  • The Mercy Thompson: Homecoming comic uses anything even shadows to cover up Mercy's breasts and genitals.
  • This happens quite frequently in Hellboy with Hecate, the Baba Yaga, and the occasional demon. Partially justified thanks to Mignola's black-on-white Chiaroscuro art style. Sometimes Mignola chooses to show nipples, so it must be a stylistic choice.
  • Frequently happens to Wolverine when he ends up naked, especially in Weapon X flashbacks.
  • Used in The Smurfs comic book story "The Smurf Threat", depicting the Smurfs who gave up their...uh, pants to create a Bedsheet Ladder for Papa Smurf, Jokey, and Hefty to escape the Grey Smurfs prison camp.

Film
  • Used in Gone with the Wind to depict a woman in labor, as back in the days of The Hays Code, showing pregnancy and a woman going into labor was considered too risque.

Live-Action TV
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Chain of Command": Picard would show his butt, and have five lights FOUR LIGHTS cast shadows, preventing anything from being seen.

Video Games
  • The "Anubis" enemy in the First-Person Shooter PowerSlave (Exhumed in Europe) has shadows under his kilt. Good thing too, because he does not know how to sit politely.
  • The trophies depicting Peach, Daisy, and Zelda (their bases are translucent) from Super Smash Bros. Brawl actually did this to avoid showing a potential Panty Shot.
  • Applied to Duke Nukem's kilt in the Medieval levels of Duke Nukem: Time to Kill (except in a Braveheart-inspired Easter Egg, where he moons the camera).
  • Used when Female Shepard is wearing her little black dress in Mass Effect 2, due to the fact that they kept the body language identical between male and female Shepards, resulting in what would be a complete upskirt shot when she sits down if not for this trope.
  • Several instances in Danganronpa place the camera in the position to look up Kirigiri's skirt, with this trope coming into play (such as climbing a ladder or squatting down to look for clues). In the Updated Re-release that includes a What-If side-story called School Mode, this gets lampshaded by the game with each character's School Mode ending including a pair of their underwear as a prize: apparently hers are so dark that it's virtually impossible to see anything anyway.

Webcomics

Web Original
  • Linkara laughed at such shadow in "Hardcore Station #1" for being so small that one could conclude that "Space Stalin has a tiny penis."

Western Animation
By the Lights of Their EyesLighting TropesChiaroscuro
Barbie Doll AnatomyCensorship TropesCensor Steam
Brown EyesImageSource/Anime & MangaEnergy Bow
Casts No ShadowDarkness And Shadows TropesChiaroscuro

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