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
Anime and Manga
- Bleach, as seen on the right.
- Covered nicely in A Cruel God Reigns; The manga often pans away when Jeremy is raped, and when it does show any of what is happening, it is shadowed out or left blank.
- Junjou Romantica used this during the more explicit scenes. The shadows were removed for the DVD.
- Although Seikon No Qwaser has no problem whatsoever showing nipples (hell, it's been called borderline hentai), when Katja lifts up her skirt, telling Hana she can kiss in "a much nicer place", her "nicer place" is enshrouded in shadow.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni: The murder scenes and aftermath were shrouded in shadows for the TV broadcast. The DVDs were uncensored.
- Umineko no Naku Koro ni utilised this to censor the gore.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. During the prison fight episode risky angles were covered by shadows.
- Black Cat does it, when Creed is naked and having nanomachine treatment to make him immortal. The camera pans extremely low, but his crotch is blacked out by the shadow of some of the machinery.
- Kaiji uses these in the losers' room on the Espoir.
- Change 123: An apparently in-world example here.
- Deadman Wonderland uses it to hide gorn.
- Soul Eater puts a shadow under Giant!Asura's robes, as well as when Weapons are naked in, well, Weapon Mode.
- Blood-C does a number of shadows during incredibly violent scenes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Linkara laughed at such shadow in "Hardcore Station #1" for being so small that one could conclude that "Space Stalin has a tiny penis."