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  • The most obvious example is Family-Unfriendly Violence in shonen series: what's acceptable for relatively young children in Japan, such as Piccolo blowing a hole through Raditz and Goku's torsos or the entire Chimera Ant arc or the entirety of Guyver, is generally very much not so in the West. This has slightly leveled out in the age of globalization, however, as graphic violence has become slightly less acceptable in these works in Japan, and America has learned to target these works towards teenagers and up rather than attempting to edit them for eight-year-olds. France is also very permissive of Family-Unfriendly Violence, to the point that they aired Fist of the North Star in a kids slot during the 80's (albeit as a heavily-censored Gag Dub). Though unlike Japan this attitude is met with mockery rather than criticism. Attitudes are however changing there as well as a lot of French people, being a prime victim of The Japanese Invasion, have become very familiar with Japanese terminology and started accepting that sometimes Anime is meant for adults, though it is still messy what they think about it.
  • Japanese Spirit and the Pillars of Moral Character are cultural concepts that many people outside Japan simply do not understand but are nigh-omnipresent in Japanese media, leading to confusion and even outright disgust regarding the actions of characters who are motivated by these tenets. Similar concepts were once present in Western society prior to the Eighteenth Century, but have been replaced by a cult of individualism and the attitude that "chivalry is dead".
  • Frankly, this trope could probably adequately explain a lot of what seems to be Relationship Writing Fumble in the eyes of Western fans. If you are more used to more open Western romances, don't realize that the Japanese are generally more shy about overt romantic affection, don't know what the mythological themes and symbolism mean, and don't pick up on a lot of subtle social cues, you're probably going to be pretty lost.
    • Or, in some cases, it could just be a matter of extending the "will they - won't they" as long as possible. REC is a seinen manga where a young couple meet and have sex on the same night, and the plot follows their relationship afterwards. Their sexual encounter is treated as healthy and ordinary.
    • A related issue is the Japanese attitude toward physical affection and public displays of affection. It should be noted that the Japanese are a touch-averse people (bowing instead of shaking hands, for instance), to the extent that the only people to whom they will generally show physical affection are immediate family members (especially little kids) and sex partners. (It doesn't help that the Japanese word for "hug" (daku) is more commonly understood as a euphemism for sex.) Therefore, it is the understanding in Japan that, by displaying your affection publicly, you are communicating not only that a lot more is going on behind closed doors, but that you are only too eager to boast about such activities to the entire world. Thus, anything more than hand-holding could be considered extremely provocative. (See Sacred First Kiss for some more discussion on the subject.)
    • Another factor is the fact that, traditionally in East Asian cultures, the use of the word 愛 (ai, translated as "love") and its derivatives has been generally disfavored. In China, among older generations, its use in reference to people was considered creepy and disgusting. Even nowadays in Japan, the use of 愛, as in 愛してる (ai shiteru, I love you), is seen as over-the-top exaggeratedly romantic, and it will mostly be heard in soap operas. Most Japanese, when expressing affection, will say 好きです (suki desu) or 大好きです (daisuki desu), meaning "I like you" and "I really like you", respectively (although it is understood that the speaker doesn't just like whomever they're saying this to). Even these phrases are not said as often as "I love you" in the West, as Japanese culture emphasizes actions over words (along with quite a bit more subtlety) in communicating one's love.
    • All of the above issues with how romance is represented are becoming increasingly fraught as both anime and Western media increase their representation of LGBTQ characters and relationships. Many Western (and especially American) fans are quick to accuse Queer Romance series like Yuri!!! on Ice or Revolutionary Girl Utena of "queerbaiting" based on them failing to live up to the much more direct and verbal milestones of Western TV romances. But if they compared them to popular heterosexual anime romances, they'd find they hit a lot of the same beats. Many of the expectations Western fans have of what makes a couple "canon," like an explicit "I love you" declaration, just don't apply to a culture and media landscape that tends to prize subtlety and symbolism over having feelings and messages fully spelled out — even aside from Japan's different attitudes about Real Life romantic affection. So the fact that Western fans can piece things together despite this for man/woman couples, but not for two men or two women, really just reveals their own Double Standard.
  • As mentioned on the main page for Stay in the Kitchen, a lot of Japanese gender attitudes come across as quite sexist to Western audiences.
    • Bastard Boyfriend characters in shoujo and yaoi manga are almost always significantly more popular among Japanese fans than Western ones, where they can be seen as glamorizing or excusing abusive or, at best, dependent behavior.
    • To Western viewers, the Quitting to Get Married trope can seem very strange that a female character would quit her job just because she was getting married, or that marriage would be seen as an alternative to a career instead of a separate issue. In the West, it's uncommon (but not unheard of) for a woman to quit her job due to getting married. Pregnancy or the husband's income is usually the more deciding factor as to why a woman would quit. In Japan and Eastern countries, a woman quitting her job once she gets married is so common, it's more or less expected to happen.
      • The West and East also have different opinions on this issue. In the West, a woman who did this would typically be seen as needy, spoiled, and overly reliant on her husband, or at worst, a gold digger. The East, on the other hand, would typically see this behaviour as someone devoted to their family and a strong pillar of support for the husband and community.
      • It's worth noting that this is something that has changed over time in the West, and likewise is also gradually changing in Japan as society becomes more comfortable with women in the workforce.Western works set in the past, such as Mad Men, often feature a similar type of Values Dissonance in women quitting or being expected to quit their jobs upon marriage. (Though in the case of Mad Men, it's on purpose.)
    • The treatment of sexual harassment is another issue that can raise more than a few eyebrows in Western audiences. In Japan, "inappropriate touching" on trains is so widespread that some stations and trains have signs warning women about perverts. Yet, women are not supposed to raise a fuss about it should it actually happen to them; it's the emphasis on dignity coupled with an attitude of female subordination. The train stations offer women-only cars nowadays though to help alleviate the issue, but this in turn is seen as discrimination, since men-only cars have yet to be implemented. There is still great controversy in Japan over the legality of this, the lack of prosecution in all but the clearest of cases, and the lenient punishments of those who actually do get convicted.
      • It certainly doesn't help that one of the main reasons behind the creation of the separate train cars was an incident where it was found that 3 high school girls were essentially blackmailing a salaryman into getting money or saying that he tried to molest them. Cases like this are on the rise recently, as committed by savvy juniors who know they cannot be prosecuted.
      • In short, the Accidental Pervert trope simply wouldn't be a thing in any other culture; no other society has normalized sexual harassment to such a degree that a false accusation can be played for laughs, especially considering most other culture's de facto "guilty until proven innocent" policy. (Whether or not this is actually any better is a topic best discussed on another site.) More serious plots may feature outright, deliberate harassment, but very often the heroine will be scolded for fighting back or told not to make such a big deal out of it. Often it's not entirely clear whether the story is on the heroine's side ("sexual harassment is bad"), or backing up society's view ("the heroine needs to accept her lot in life as uncomplaining, submissive victim"). This could be due to the fact that Most Writers Are Male. In MARS, for example, Kira, the heroine, is assaulted while at her work. Naturally, she retaliates. Her boss, however, forces her to apologize to her attacker, even though she is the victim. The story is just ambiguous enough to leave the reader wondering if the author takes the manager's side or the best friend's. If you were to look at a lot of shoujo manga, you will notice that the girl is considered "pure" and more "chaste" if she just quietly and tearfully takes the groping from the molester. It is generally up to her boyfriend to call the molester on it and protect her, because a woman should never protect herself. However, most shoujo manga that indulge in this are fantasies in the vein of romance novels and bodice-rippers, so they don't necessarily reflect society's actual opinions.
    • This is changing somewhat; in the manga Sgt. Frog, for instance, Aki Hinata, strong mother and aikido master, is groped on a train and responds by slamming her attacker to the ground. Several other writers have followed this trend, especially when dealing with strong female characters.
      • Also in the Parasyte manga, when one of the infected humans humiliates a groper, the other passengers cheer her on.
      • In one Detective School Q anime filler episode, Megu and a rival DDS student are groped in a train. They actively track down and collar the groper, and proceed to demolish the carefully crafted alibi he presented to "prove" he wasn't guilty.
      • Something similar occurs in Cheeky Angel.
      • The Beach Episode of Ouran High School Host Club turned some heads among Western fans by having the heroine Haruhi be reprimanded by her male friends for confronting two thugs who were harassing some girls, but the source of the guys' complaint is that Haruhi is slight and short, knows no martial arts, and can't swim, but didn't even think of calling for help even though the guys were within earshot and the beach is swarming with armed private police. The lesson is thus less about any notions of "proper" behavior for a girl, and more about recognizing when a situation is dangerous to confront alone and being able to rely on her friends for help. At the end of the episode, it's also shown that the reason she didn't think of calling for help is that she's not used to having help to call on, softening the impact of the reprimand somewhat. (This is also partly a consequence of another cultural disparity, as explained farther down the page, due to the much lower crime rate in Japan than many Western nations, Japanese people are much less inclined to call the cops in the first place because it's seen as an admission of failing your personal social responsibilities.)
      • Megatokyo sort of goes in between when someone gropes Erika on the train. She is at first freaked out with a 'Wtf?" expression on her face and then returns to the conversation she was having while slowly reaching behind her and painfully snapping something on the pervert. However, being written from a American's point of view on the issue, this is probably more of an exception.
      • Change 123 uses this when a pervert begins molesting main-character Motoko. She quietly takes it until she transforms into Hibiki of HiFuMi. Then she proceeds to reach down, place her hand over his, and severely break his fingers. She walks off the train, leaving the pervert on his knees in agonizing pain, surrounded by confused bystanders.
    • This is all but averted now, by the point of creating its own issue.
    • In Naruto, Sakura kicks in the face a man who grabs her butt. When the client she's watching over notes that girls in his town don't look after themselves that way, Sakura declares that they should.
  • The Yamato Nadeshiko trope, when exported to the West, seems a bit sexist... (despite the fact that their Western counterparts like Proper Lady, English Rose or Southern Belle exist as well)
    • ...but the Well, Excuse Me, Princess! and Tsundere types are, for some specific groups of fans, far more popular overseas than they are back home.
      • But not for others. Americans will accept Tsundere girls (due to their like of strong female characters), but only if they have a reason to snap. Otherwise, they will be seen as annoying and overly bratty. It's also easy for the girl to cross the line into Dude, Not Funny! if her actions are seen as unjustified, especially if she's not called out on it.
    • An example of this, albeit with males rather than females, is Yuri's harem in Kyo Kara Maoh!. Gentle, chivalrous Conrad seems to be the most favored candidate for Yuuri's affections in Japan. In the West, however, Tsundere-esque Wolfram appears to have a bigger following. Mind you, this may be due to Conrad being interpreted as a father-figure by some Westerners.
    • On the third hand, presentation is everything...
    • Likewise, in Ai Yori Aoshi, Kaoru's preferred match is Yamato Nadeshiko Sakuraba Aoi for Japanese fans; but western fans prefer hooking him up with Loveable Sex Maniac and Manic Pixie Dream Girl-wannabe Tina Foster.
    • Another notable Values Dissonance is the fact that pure Tomboys, while well-liked in the west, are very, very hard to come across in Japanese works, except in those deliberately aimed at a global audience or set in a western setting written by those who have Shown Their Work and/or have actually grown up heavily exposed to western culture; this can even be seen in those who fit tomboy tropes like the Tsundere, Unkempt Beauty, Passionate Sports Girl, Bokukko, and sometimes even The Lad-ette. Like in real life, it is not uncommon to see masculine girls and women seeing said masculinity as a flaw, wanting to be more feminine, or becoming angry if someone doesn't think they're feminine, to the possible annoyance of western fans who are very much used to independent women who embrace their un-femininity. This is very much shown in the expression "Girl Power"; while in English it means purely Exactly What It Says on the Tin, the expression's closest translated equivalent in Japanese, "Joshiryoku", describes how well a girl cooks, how good she looks, and generally how attractive she is to men.
      • That aside, Japanese viewers who watch a lot of American (and to a lesser extent, European) television will grow accustomed to the pure tomboy character. Some even find them more appealing than their own country's female character archetypes, as is evident in how My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic's Rainbow Dash is actually pretty far up in the unofficial popularity polls for their Periphery Demographic (though 4th in the Mane Six), going as far as gaining the nickname "Air Wife" as so many of them find her assertive and athletic personality so appealing.
    • In Japan and several other Asian countries, it's common to see women cover their mouth with their hand while laughing, as showing your teeth and laughing out loud is considered unladylike and lacking in class. Many anime and manga set in places like America and Europe have female characters do this as well, even though those countries generally don't have this specific hangup.
  • Anime often features underage or underage-looking girls in sexualized outfits and situations. While this is often blamed on Japan supposedly having a lower age of consent than the West, this is a misconception; Japanese sex laws are notoriously complicated, and the common generalization of "13+ is legal" has led to a number of stauatory rape cases caused by ephibophilic foreigners traveling to Japan specifically to diddle teenagers. While nationally, the minimum age of consent is 13, it's set at the prefecture level where it's always 16 or higher, making it comparable to most U.S. states. Additionally, what constitutes "legal" age is dependent on whether or not one is 18 or older: Japanese law expressly forbids sexual activity between 18+ individuals and people below the age of 18, but people who are younger than 18 and at or above their prefecture's minimum age of consent are permitted to engage in sexual activity with people up to one year older or younger than them (so long as they're also between the minimum legal age and 17). This has more to do with a culture that prizes innocence (particularly in women) higher than the West does in the first place; Japan fetishizes innocence in a way that would come off to Westerners as demeaning to women at best and borderline pedophilic at worst. Even so, this is more Values Dissonance with anime otaku culture in particular rather than Japanese culture as a whole, where those images are often used to condemn anime and its fandom in general as perverted.
    • Its most famous and well-talked about example is Sailor Moon when it first aired in the West during the 90s. The show's emphasis on female sexuality and fanservices were particularly loved by male audiences. However, things went downhill when Western viewers learned that many of the female characters whom they have been jacking off to were in their teens. The main character, Sailor Moon, who was given so much visual focus, was 14(!). It caused an uproar in America at that time and made some frowned upon changes in its format as well.
    • In another form of dissonance, America tends to react more harshly to this than other Western countries, as due to SoCalization most media treats the age of consent over there as 18, while several other Western countries (and some other US states) have it at 16, and find it very strange that America reacts so objectionably to teenage sexual activity.
  • Nudity in Japanese culture is viewed very differently. While it's used for plain old Fanservice, it's also used to convey innocence and purity. This really causes a problem with children — a nude child or a panty shot is not intended to be sexual at all in Japanese culture and in fact, a nude child is often intended to emphasize their lack of sexuality. Consider, for example, the bathing scenes in My Neighbor Totoro (in which the father is bathing with his preteen daughters) or the numerous panty shots in Kiki's Delivery Service.note  This does not translate well to a pedophile-wary West, in which any instance of this is thought of as child pornography. Parents bathing with children, even fathers and daughters, is not uncommon in Japan, up to a certain age. Girls taking baths together is considered more a relaxing social thing than anything else, especially if they happen to be visiting an onsen, even (stereotypically) comparing bust sizes and curves and such while in the bath. Even mixed sex baths are OK, as it's not really a sexual thing, just a chance to relax and chat with friends. It should be noted however that this is mainly dissonant with American values. Many European countries share Japanese attitude about children appearing naked and parents bathing with their children. Northern Europe has a whole bathing tradition where mixed sex bathing is seen as a relaxing activity and sexualizing it is frowned upon.
    • Interestingly, America did not used to be quite so uptight about this. Look at classic advertisements for Coppertone sun block from 1953.
    • In some anime programs, Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, any nudity or suggested nudity tends to be censored when ported to the Western viewers; in the Yu-Gi-Oh GX episode "It's all Relative", Bastion takes off his clothes completely before running after his moment of deep thought. In the Western Port, Bastion was still wearing his boxers, but in both ports the rest of the characters just simply watches on and no action in taken, unlike what would've happened in America, where such action was grounds for arrest.
    • This lack of nudity taboo makes the prominent testicles on many Japanese depictions of tanuki highly problematic during localization. Same can be said for depictions of tomcats and male dogs, since the testicles will often be drawn and even joked about.
    • Carrying over from cultural ideas about the Nipple and Dimed trope, Japan has an odd way of balancing it out. Female breasts will be covered, but generally have the nipples present, albeit censored. Male chests will be left uncovered, but instead have no nipples to speak of (or an areola-shaped mark resembling nipples, but no nipples themselves), unlike western works where they tend to be shown in full. The exceptions to the rule tend to be sparse, but when they can be found, it will be in female-targeted works. Fully uncensored male nipples, like female ones, will be mostly in 18+ series, and in their highest density if there aren't any girls involved in the sexual acts within.
  • Then there's the fact that in certain Western countries (like the USA, Australia, and Canada but not most of Europe), cousin intermarriage is treated as almost as bad as Brother–Sister Incest (both as a cultural taboo and, in some jurisdictions, a criminal offense), causing an aversion to cousin Unwanted Haremettes in Dating Sim games and shows based upon them. Cousin marriage is fully legal in Japan and seen more as odd or quaint than Squicky. It is still comparatively common in some social circles as a way to ensure an equitable match. The acceptability of Kissing Cousins varies from series to series. In many it's barely even like they're cousins, but in others it can be a big moral dilemma. For example in Daily Lives of High School Boys, one of the characters has a crush on a boy only to learn he's her cousin, prompting her to abandon said feelings.
  • In many anime, a character will be reprimanded for laughing loudly, crying, or generally showing an "excess of emotion." While this may be universally understood in certain places (such as in an important meeting, in the cinema, or in a library), it can be confusing if the character is just sitting with friends or talking to their parents. It only makes sense once you realize the emphasis Japanese culture puts on Dignity, and not bothering other people with your personal problems. It works both ways, of course. The stereotypical American's emotional and dramatic nature, as well as their infamous Constitutional right to own a gun, is absolutely shocking to the Japanese population. This resulted in "half-crazy, gun-toting American" characters appearing in anime. Examples: Leon of Pet Shop of Horrors, K from Gravitation, and most of the cast of FAKE (except Ryo, who's half Japanese). Another example happens when laws allowing citizens to own guns are passed: Burst Angel, for example, depicts Tokyo as slowly becoming a more rotten place than the lowest favelas of Rio de Janeiro after one of these laws was enacted.
    • France has a similar attitude toward private gun ownership, as has Britain, which introduced some of the tightest gun control laws in Europe after the Dunblane and Hungerford massacres.
    • In Akikan!, the main character had to transfer to a new school after saving a friend from a kidnapper using the kidnapper's own gun. To a Japanese audience, this is apparently considered horrifying and scandalous, while in an American context, he would have been lauded as a hero for his actions.
      • Similarly, Shino Asada's story in Sword Art Online. She and her mother were at the bank when an armed thief came in, and a series of events culminated in her getting a grip on the thief's gun and shooting him. Because of Japan's values towards guns and Children Are Innocent, she sees herself as some kind of monster, until Kirito finds the woman and child she saved and introduces them to her.
    • Perhaps this can be best illustrated by a story. In an unnamed show, the group consisting of two Texans, a Louisianan, a French-raised American, and a Brazilian. When the protagonist of the show pulled out his personal pistol and shot a guy about to cause somebody else harm, the Texans and Louisianan applauded the action as the act of a good Samaritan. In those states, citizens didn't have reliable police services at one time and had to protect themselves from Indian raiders and troublemakers. The French-raised American and the Brazilian were both horrified and thought they saw an act of barbarity, since the protagonist shot the guy rather than trying to talk him down.
  • In Japan, the extended middle finger is seen as a harmless, petty gesture (for Japanese sign language, anyway), like sticking your tongue out. Hence, the reason Old Tom gives one to Star Saber in Transformers Victory, a children's cartoon.
    • Likewise with the tendencies to flip people exhibited in the main characters of the Viewtiful Joe anime and the Naruto manga (though not the anime).
    • In Great Teacher Onizuka, there are times when the titular character did the finger. Apparently, that one's a humorous case of Deliberate Values Dissonance; he's telling whoever it is "f*** you" in a "harmless" way.
    • Subverted in Lucky Star when Akira flips off the camera and her finger is blurred. Likewise, at least one instance of a character flipping the bird was removed from the anime of One Piece.
    • This sort of thing is also why Gurren Lagann's Bruce Ironstaunch is loved in America for giving Rossiu a Bicep-Polishing Gesture when he announces the arrest of Simon. In Japan, the reaction was approval. In America, it was more of a "Who the Hell do you think you are?"
    • However, Japan does have its own equivalent of the middle finger, which is a clenched fist with the thumb sticking out between the index and middle fingers (it essentially means, "get fucked" in most contexts). In the West (well, most of the West), this is a harmless gesture. At least currently, since it DID carry that meaning until recently (it's called a fig). Similarly, pointing with the thumb down accomplishes a similar effect, which may confuse American audiences (as in America it mainly just means "no" or "not good").
    • Lampshaded in The Legend of Black Heaven: deceased band member Joseph Watanabe doesn't understand what he's doing when he goes waving his middle finger around after getting pinched by a lobster. He was in the US on a solo tour at the time. As a result, a very large, angry man throws him through a billboard. It was clearly emphasized that he really didn't understand what was offensive about it.
    • Subverted in the baseball episode of Samurai Champloo, where one of the Japanese characters was flipping off another in the episode and it was blurred. Of course, half the cast in that episode were Americans.
    • A Tokyo District Court judge in a 2001 assault case noted that while "the finger" may not be as common in Japan as in the U.S., it's a recognized symbol of insult and provocation. As a result, the person making the gesture bore some responsibility for the punch in the face he received.
  • As some specific examples below can show you, Japan has a... different way of dealing with child abuse than the West. Child abuse is treated as something the family themselves should deal with, and that it's no one else's business. Several series where a teacher or fellow student tries to tell someone has the speaker shot back down, told to not get involved, or worse, which is pretty much exactly what happens to them in real life; unfortunately for many Japanese children, this real-life "tradition" is putting tremendous strain on Japan's social services...
  • Related to the child abuse are vastly differing ideas for what makes a good parent, which can presumably be traced back to ideals regarding filial piety. In manga, a parent that ignores or even commits what a Western audience would consider child abuse are more likely to be overlooked or even praised depending on the situation. A parent who is too busy working to pay any attention to their child may be considered hard-working and supportive despite their hurt and confused children and one who verbally or even physically attacks their child for what is considered improper behavior may be simply considered strict but well-meaning and possibly correct. When actual error is admitted in parenting, the child is also expected to forgive them easily. If they don't, the problem is assumed to be with the child and not the parent.
    • For example, Tomoya in CLANNAD was actually given a permanent injury that disabled full usage of his arm by his father, who after the fight began ignoring his child to the point where Tomoya felt like a stranger in his own home and nearly failed out of school as a result of not wanting to come home while his father is awake. However, in the true route, Tomoya is expected to forgive him because his father was trying to raise him on his own and was doing his best until he just gave up.
    • In Binbougami Ga, the main character is the victim of extreme neglect with her parents regularly breaking promises or failing to appear for any events in her life to the point that by the time she was a little girl she'd given up on them. When her father comes back to Japan for the first time in what is implied to be years after having fun as a musician in America, his daughter wants nothing to do with him, especially since his idea of an apology is 'Okay, now that I'm back for the first time in a decade, we can all be a family in a place you've never been apart from everyone you've ever known.' The next couple chapters are all devoted to trying to make Ichiko be more 'reasonable' and forgive her father, who is now considered the victim. Earlier, Ranmaru had been portrayed as noble for sticking up for a father that had beaten her and forced her to live a lifestyle she was not comfortable with because of his own desires.
  • Related to that, it's much more common to see incidents of parents hitting their children being Played for Laughs in Japanese productions. In the west, modern day comedic portrayals of domestic violence towards children are generally limited to intentionally offensive or edgy productions like Family Guy and South Park (and even then, the latter show once got into hot water with the network over an episode where Butter got beaten by his parents), whereas in Japan, it's not uncommon to see incidents like that in various works regardless of genre or content level.
  • The phrase "I'll protect you" in Japanese is often used in anime as a declaration of devotion and commitment — especially when said to a woman by a man — and not a petition to be her bodyguard (although that does come up now and again). It's often translated as just "I love you" in English. Because gender roles in Japanese culture are much more rigid than in other parts of the world, this is sometimes used to show a male character who has been less than macho to be stepping up as a man, and gives a tomboyish girl a chance to showcase her femininity by being protected like girls are supposed to. This can be weird for Western audiences, who are left to wonder why the hero is offering to protect his super-powered/magical/martial artist/psionic girlfriend if she's clearly capable of taking care of herself. Girls who want to be protected despite being capable are similarly confusing for Western audiences.
    • In Princess Knight, Sapphire says this to a female knight who is helping her escape from a dungeon, as they are being attacked by enemy soldiers. The female knight is confused, and yells at Sapphire for talking "like a man".
  • Japanese couples will often use the term Lover to innocently describe their relationship status. This is essentially telling others they are boyfriend/girlfriend in Western terms. However, with a Western context, this statement takes on a much deeper meaning, as the term Lover connotes a sexually active relationship, and often an inherently adulterous one - which can be somewhat shocking to Western audiences when high school couples use the term, what reads to Japanese audiences as a neutral statement that "I am in a relationship" reads to many English-speaking audiences as "I am not only being unfaithful to my significant other but most likely having actual sex on the side."
    • Granted, this is sometimes a translation issue, as with situations where the gender of the potential partner should be ambiguous. Japanese has a gender-neutral term for "boyfriend"/"girlfriend" but English doesn't really have one that communicates the same meaning ("partner" tends to imply something more serious in a romantic context, and also can mean a totally platonic or professional relationship. The verb form "dating" is gender-neutral and quite common, but there is no one-word, gender-neutral term for "the one I date/am dating"). "Lover" is the closest equivalent. This became an issue with Yuri!!! on Ice when the official subs initially translated Victor as asking Yuri if he'd ever had a girlfriend and then talking about his "first girlfriend." The Japanese term, though, was gender-neutral and given the nature of the series, it was kind of important to keep it that way. The official English dub changes the word to "lover" to avoid confusion.
  • Teacher-student romantic relationships can be pretty common, even suggested as ideal or desirable, in fairly mainstream romance manga like Maison Ikkoku or Marmalade Boy. This can be pretty shocking in the U.S., where Pædo Hunt worries have increasingly put the kibosh on media romanticizing those relationships (though exceptions still exist). In Real Life, the stigma is so strong in the U.S. that even American colleges typically fire professors who sleep with their students (as it's seen as either the professor abusing his power or the student using sex as a bribe for a better grade). Japan in general is less uncomfortable with Unequal Pairing in media and even, to a certain extent, real life, though of course teachers of high school level and below sleeping with students are still considered wrong and face severe consequences.
  • Japanese media attitudes about homosexuality differ greatly from Western views. On the one hand, it's a lot more common in anime, and they usually make less of an issue out of them; you'll find a lot less Gayngst and Coming-Out Stories, for example. Japanese media is also more likely to emphasize the romance in these storylines, rather than the sex. On the other hand, the apparent acceptance is largely due to seeing homosexual relationships as a fancy of youth which provides "training" for "real" opposite-sex relationships later in life; this is why you see so many Schoolgirl Lesbians but not so many older ones. As recently as 2013, a lesbian couple made headlines for having a wedding ceremony at Toyko Disneyland despite the fact that same-sex marriages are not legally recognized by the Japanese government. One of the brides even stated in interviews that she hoped the attention their ceremony garnered would help convince the government to stop marginalizing sexual minorities.
    • This attitude is actually discussed in Sweet Blue Flowers. Hinako's mother tries to set her up with a male suitor despite the fact that she knows Hinako is in a live-in relationship with her longtime girlfriend Orie, and when Hinako scoffs at this, her mother dismisses their relationship since they aren't legally married. In the final chapter, the couple state that they'd be interested in getting married if they could find a way to do so, a rarity in Yuri manga. Indeed, the ending drew acclaim from some LGBT rights activists for showing Fumi and Akira in a live-in relationship after they graduate, making it clear their relationship is legitimate and not just youthful experimentation or "a phase".
    • Westerners' attitudes toward anime portrayals of homosexuality have evolved a great deal over the years as Western attitudes about the subject itself have evolved. As recently as the late 90's, worries about Moral Guardians led English localizers to often turn same-sex couples in anime into opposite-sex couples or Heterosexual Life-Partners (the 90s North American dub of Sailor Moon infamously did both). The fact that anime has enough homosexuality to devote two whole genres to it was seen as progressive, but as Society Marches On (and as more Westerners find out what Japanese attitudes toward homosexuality are really like), it gets more criticism from the West for relying on tropes like Bait-and-Switch Lesbians and If It's You, It's Okay. While there are some LGBTQ people in Japan who hold similar complaints, the Yuri and Yaoi Genre tend to get flack from Westerners who assume that the authors are straight and Always Female, who write works geared towards a straight audience, when a good number of authors and readership are male and/or queer themselves.
    • Bloom Into You sometimes discusses this trope. It turns out that at Sayaka's previous (all-girls) school, she had been in a relationship with her senpai, until said senpai broke up with her, saying they were getting too old for the relationship. Later on, the senpai showed up and apologized for making Sayaka interested in girls, hoping she was back to normal by now. Sayaka, who's still a lesbian and in love with Touko, tells her senpai that she doesn't need to worry, since Sayaka doesn't know why she fell for the older girl in the first place, then leaves arm-in-arm with Touko. While many characters don't take the prospect of a relationship between two girls seriously, two adults are in a committed, if secret, lesbian relationship.
  • Characters such as Chocolove from Shaman King would likely be considered highly offensive in America or any other country with a sizable black population. In fact, in the American airings of the show, his name was changed to "Joco", while the English translations of the manga were altered to give him a less offensive physical appearance. However, such depictions of black characters are not anything out of the ordinary for Japan, which has a complicated history when it comes to things like Blackface, with heroic and otherwise sympathetic black characters often being given minstrel characteristics. As Japan lacks the racial history and context, blackface humor is often not portrayed as offensive, and indeed, can even be considered positive, shocking as that sounds. Japan's lack of comparative racial sensitivity makes sense when you remember that Japan is an extremely ethnically homogenous nation, and it is very possible for a Japanese citizen who doesn't leave the nation to go their entire lives without actually meeting a black person.
    • Another prominent example would be Cyborg 008 from Cyborg 009, who despite being one of the protagonists and not a source of comic relief, was drawn as a blackface caricature in the manga and most of the original adaptations. He was finally given a normal-looking appearance in the 2001 anime adaptation and has thankfully been depicted as such in most subsequent appearances.
    • A good example would be Episode 8 of Love Lab, which contains an uncomfortable gag involving several Japanese schoolgirls in Blackface. While the scene was rightfully found offensive by a number of Western viewers, it's made clear that the girls aren't trying to be racist and actually meant to use the make-up as a compliment. They even state afterwards that they find black women to be strong and beautiful.
    • Case in point: in 2006, the Japanese government issued illustrated earthquake safety pamphlets to English-speaking tourists which, in an attempt to show diversity, included black/African-American characters. Unfortunately, these black characters were drawn in a manner which would be seen as embarrassingly outdated in Western society at best, large pink lips and all. Complaints were made, assumptions were formed, and Japan was left wondering what the big deal was.
    • This is a very common cause of Cross Cultural Kerfuffle between Japan and Western nations, lack of exposure to other racial groups means that Japanese creators or citizens are on average less familiar with the negative stereotypes associated with them. Case in point, this Barack Obama Sock Monkey plushie. Japanese viewers, who were less cognizant of the long history of racist images comparing black people in the US to monkeys, just saw the cute stuffed toy celebrating an important politician, and without the important cultural context, were left wondering, how could it be a bad thing to have yourself represented as an adorable stuffed toy? Conversely, Americans were unsurprisingly outraged by what was perceived as a racist comparison denigrating the achievements of the first black president.
  • Japan has a very odd view on humility when it comes to talking about family members within their vicinity. In places like America, we tend to agree when other people say "your child is so good at this-and-that." For Japan...when someone says your child is good at something, people respond like this, "Oh, no! She/He's such an embarrassment to the family!" This has been going on since ancient times, and this is considered the highest form of humbleness and humility, while Americans might construe it as either demeaning or even verbal abuse. The Japanese consider bragging about their child's talents to be impolite and rude. It's not restricted to children, either—when given a compliment in Japan, you are expected to deny it. Agreeing makes you sound extremely arrogant. This is even lampshaded in a comedy manga called My Darling Is A Foreigner.
  • This leads to another point: Heroic Self-Deprecation is seen very differently between Japan and the West. In Japan, you are obliged to talk-down your own achievements when speaking to others, even to the point of outright calling yourself bad at the things you do. This is seen as polite and humble. In the West, a character who does this is considered to have major self-esteem issues or having cynical attitudes at best, and as an unsympathetic spineless wimp at worst. Conversely, being assertive and taking pride in your own accomplishments is seen as extremely egotistical in Japan.
  • In general, Germany gets far better treatment in Japanese media than other Western countries, say France/Italy/UK/USA:
    • For example, a Japanese audience would have huge difficulties understanding why the All Germans Are Nazis trope is bad/a portrayal as inherently evil, as to them it's just "part of German history", thus it gets used more unironically (even positively!) in Japanese media than in European or American productions, even when talking about the questionable portions of German history (again, "it's just history"). There are three possible reasons for this; Germany played a large part in modernizing Japan economically and politically in the late 19th century, and the Japanese are grateful, Germany has no history as a colonial power in the Far East beyond a Chinese port and some pacific islands, and Germany and Japan were allies during the Second World War (Japan was an ally of Britain and fought against Germany during the first world war, but their part in the war was mostly taking ports and islands in the pacific and the fights were over quickly and without much loss on Japan's end. Due to this, German characters tend to be disciplined, straight-laced no-nonsense types and often have military backgrounds (like Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion, Elise from Sky Girls, Laura from Infinite Stratos (complete with SS style uniforms for the Schwarzer Hase special unit), Leo from The Irregular at Magic High School etc, just to mention a few more recent examples). That said there are of course also the opposite types, special mention going to the Vampire Nazis of Millennium from Hellsing.
      • Perhaps part of the reason for the different attitudes can also be tied into the respective outcomes for each country in the wake of WW2. Germany's international name was soiled, with the world-famous Nuremburg Trials and other, more informal acts — like Allied units forcing German townspeople at gunpoint to march out to the concentration camps and see the human refuse left behind by the atrocities committed there — cementing the "evil that Germany did" into the minds of the Allied countries. Even in the present day, the German government and media work tirelessly to keep that feeling of shame alive, to imprint into the social consciousness that "this must never happen again", even when the public's opinion is shifting to "Give it a rest already, we get it!" In contrast, Japan's war crimes, such as the Rape of Nanking and the horrific human experiments carried out at Unit 731, are comparatively obscure outside of China, so other countries don't forcibly remind Japanese people of them the way they do Germans of Nazis. Furthermore, the Japanese government has attempted to downplay, obscure or outright cover up these crimes, so most Japanese people have no idea that they acted as bad as the Nazis during WW2. It's easy to not feel ashamed when nobody tells you that you did anything to be ashamed of.
    • On a side note, this is also true in other countries with similar relationships that Japan has to Germany, like Mexico. Rammstein had a concert there and a fan brought a t-shirt with a swastika and wanted it signed. Rammstein had to inform him that they, as Germans, are deeply ashamed of this part of history, which got a confused reaction along the lines of "Why is that? It's your history, you should be proud of your country's history." End line was that a local radio station send messages that no one please bring any stuff with Nazi iconography since modern Germans completely reject it and are ashamed that it ever even happened.
  • Calling the police, especially in a domestic dispute. In the West, it's never something you want to do, but you do it if you must, and there's no shame in it if you're the victim. However, the Japanese pride themselves in being a civilized people, who can resolve conflicts in a socially acceptable manner. Calling the police is proof that one has failed at doing so, and is consequently seen as disgraceful. Japan also has both a very low crime rate and very low rates of gun ownership (see above), unlike the West (especially the United States), where the default assumption is that if you are calling the police it's an emergency and you or someone close to you is in immediate danger. Consequently, calling the cops in Japan is seen less as "officer, I fear for the safety of myself or a loved one or the personal private property of myself or a loved one" and "officer, I need you to take time out of your day to help me resolve this civil dispute I am incapable of dealing with on my own."
  • A common Japanese phrase used at introductions or on New Year's Day is 宜しくお願いします note , or, more informally, どうぞ宜しく note . Literally translated, they mean "Please take care of me," which, especially if said to a complete stranger, would sound comically needy in the West, and can seem rather odd to Western viewers of more literally translated Japanese media. However, in Japan, these phrases have the same purpose as "Nice to meet you" does in English, and many language courses and official anime dubs translate them as such.
  • Animal Cruelty is not considered to be okay at all in the West and everyone who takes part in it, whether or not it is in a fictional story or in real life, is considered to be a Psychopathic Manchild at best, but works that portray it as being that humiliating are accessible there for everyone. In Japan it's considered taboo and works about it are there as hard to obtain as Lolicon and Shotacon works are in the West. The anime Midori (Shojo Tsubaki) is a good example of this, because it has scene in which animal cruelty was shown to show how morally low the standards of the people in the circus have become. In Japan the anime was temporarily banned because of those scenes, with even the creator saying that he refuses to screen it unless the avenue is presented as a carnival highway. In the West it premiered to much acclaim in a few film festivals and got a French DVD release with multiple dubs for those Europeans interested enough to import it, with the main point of discussion for Western critics being how well it succeeded at being a Darker and Edgier take on Cinderella. It is therefore often used in the same reviews as an example to show how much more tolerant Western culture is in comparison to the Japanese culture.
    • Interestingly, the Westerners' reaction to JoJo's Bizarre Adventure penchant to having animals, both good and bad, being brutally killed was really shocking. But apparently that's because Hirohiko Araki has no qualms about showing how horrific his villains can be.
    • It did however evoke the same feelings on both sides of the Pacific when it showed up in Elfen Lied, where a couple kids murder a defenseless puppy just to mess with one of the protagonists. Even though in return she retaliated and killed them all for it, there is almost nobody who thinks they didn't deserve it.
  • A lot of discussions about feminist media in the West stumble when they try to apply the same standards to anime, where some of the fault lines and stereotypes are different. For example, The Bechdel Test, which requires that a work "has two named female characters who talk to each other about something other than a man," can be seen as reductive but as addressing a real problem with female character representation in Western media. Yet the results are strange when applied to Japanese media, where a lot of male-oriented Fanservice features all-female casts (who therefore, mostly don't talk about boys) who are, nevertheless, full of shallow and/or stereotypical characters. Another issue comes with interpretations of Magical Girl shows, which Western viewers often see as positive for showing that feminine girls can be strong, too, and don't need to fit the traditional tomboyish Action Girl. In Japan, however, being a tomboy is rarely portrayed as a positive trait (as mentioned above), and even Action Girl characters tend to be realistically feminine. So the extreme girliness of the Magical Girl aesthetic could be seen as just furthering traditional gender roles. That said, a lot of the more basic stuff, like female characters needing to be well-rounded, realistic, not overly-sexualized, and have lives outside of male characters, apply across cultural boundaries. It's worth noting Japan does have its own feminist movement that criticizes Japanese popular media like anime, too, even if not enough of their works have been translated into Western languages.
  • Dairy products are not part of the traditional Japanese diet. In particular, cheese, due the method of its making (curdled milk laced with stomach enzymes), is considered absolutely disgusting by some of the older population. It helps that in general, most of the Japanese population is lactose intolerant, as being able to process lactose is a trait that comes mostly from Europe in origin.
  • The Real Men Hate Sugar trope comes off as this to certain audiences. It appears in a lot of Japanese works, but it tends to come across as overcompensating in many other countries (with the exception of alcoholic beverages and sometimes coffee). If anything, the notion that hating sweets is "manly" comes off as immature.
  • Ever wonder why you never see characters in Japanese works with braces, even in live action? Aside from the procedure being more expensive and not covered by insurance, straight teeth are not considered all that important in Japan, and crooked teeth are even considered cute. There is also an attitude resulting from this where the Japanese assume that dentists are not only overly expensive, but also actively malicious and may intentionally slow down the procedure to get paid even more. Few professions, bar judges, have such a negative reputation.
  • Speaking of, it is judges, not lawyers, that are distrusted (sometimes even hated) in Japan. This has historical reasons: a lawyer was generally a common person educated in law, while a judge would always be a noble, and Japanese nobles, just like any other, tended to be arrogant and malicious towards peasants. For this reason, the judge in Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney gets off a lot worse than a Western audience would normally expect and thus in the translations, the judge is portrayed as a Cloudcuckoolander to balance the original script and Western expectations.
  • The Senpai Kohai and various related tropes are commonplace in many, many anime and manga (it would be easier to list those in which they don't appear) and are an accepted part of Japanese society. In the West, however, where respect is usually given equally on the basis of talent and seniority, rather than just the latter, the opinions of such a system can range from hopelessly quaint to downright insulting, especially if the kohai is more competent, few years of experience separate the two, or both.
  • The age ratings you'll find on anime and manga—specifically shonen and shoujo—outside of Japan will often not match the intended target demographic. For example, VIZ Media has a separate "Shonen Jump Advanced" line, which publishes more mature Shonen Jump titles such as Death Note and Shokugeki no Soma with at least an "Older Teen" rating and sometimes parental advisory labels. Despite this, these same titles are read by elementary and middle schoolers in Japan, and no one bats an eye with them being shelved/ran in the same magazine as tamer titles.
  • Curly hair being portrayed as inherently ugly or unappealing is a no-no in many places such as the Americas or UK and can even lead to accusations of racism. In Japan most people have straight hair, given how ethnically homogeneous the country is. Naturally wavy/curly hair is uncommon and often associated with Japanese Delinquents. As a result, manga and anime are more likely to make fun of a character for having curly hair (and without the mockery being portrayed as negative in the narrative). Funny Afros are also more common in Japanese media, as are characters whose ethnicity is unclear. Since Japan is such an ethnically homogenous country, and most of its citizens have very little exposure to people of other races, so traits like dark skin, curly hair, or large lips are perceived by anime fans as just another "neutral", if exotic, characteristic regarding someone's appearance, no more ethnically significant than their haircut or the color of their eyes or hair (especially the hair) without the racial connotations that they inherently carry in more diverse nations. As a consequence, most Japanese fans don't see those characters as actually representing any specific ethnicity at all, (and they usually aren't), compared to Western countries like North America or the UK where these characters are assumed to be representative of something, even if it's just "mixed ethnicity."
  • Similiar to the above, red hair and, to a lesser extent, blonde hair, while normal colors in the West, have different connations in the East.
  • The Huge Schoolgirl trope often confuses non-Japanese fans. In many countries, the typical height measurement given for said girls would be average height if not a bit short for their age, but by Japanese standards, they're abnormally tall. This makes sense when you remember that Japan is, statistically speaking, a very short nation by height. note  Above-average height for females is much more of a severe downside in a country where cuteness is a pervasive cultural force and the standards of beauty for females heavily prioritizes petite cuteness, often in a very young or childlike manner (there's a reason why the Magical Girl genre is almost entirely represented by women and girls who are both A: very short or petite, and B: appear to be somewhere between 12 and 17 years old) rather than "highly-developed and sexy", as is the standard of beauty in most Western cultures, and one to which being tall does not inherently interfere with. Even in cases where female characters or school-age girls are tall by Western standards, this is not usually seen as a bad thing, and sometimes even as a bonus by many men both in fiction and in real life.
  • Third-Person Person characters are common in Japan, as it's usually viewed as either a sign of childishness (whether it's from actual children or older characters with childish personalities) or a sign of humility. Dubs and translations often remove this as it either comes off as either annoying in the language or it unintentionally sounds cocky. The dissonance is even worse in Spanish, especially Mexican Spanish, where talking in third-person is often associated with, and used to bully, people with intellectual disabilities. Verbal Tics are often removed or downplayed for similar reasons.
  • A character being Put on a Bus by being sent to prison creates much more Fridge Horror in some Western countries than it does in Japan. Prisons in Japan are fairly safe and their conditions aren't even expected to be much of a punishment...it's the shame that being sent there causes that provides it. In America, the UK, and some other Western countries, readers are more likely to associate prisons with hell on earth and see the implications as being far less benign.
  • Japan makes a much bigger deal in the 'purity' of female characters than the west, which is why Idol Singer contracts often have restrictions against dating and other activities. Similarly this affects a character's ability to be considered attractive to an audience: Japan does not have the same level of interest in attractive mothers as the west does and having a child is considered a negative in a characters ability to be a 'waifu'.
  • It might shock Westerners, especially Americans, how the police are portrayed as Unacceptable Targets in Japanese media. Corrupt Cops are a dime a dozen in American Cop Shows, and American police have had a long history of dealing with corruption scandals, most notably in The Roaring '20s when practically every single police officer in every major city was on the payroll of The Mafia. In addition, there have been many notable cases of Police Brutality in America during the Civil Rights era and beyond, which led to a popular public perception that a lot of police are racist, thuggish criminals who just happen to be wearing a uniform. In contrast, Japan has never had major issues with corruption or brutality (the much lower rate of violent crime helps with this), and so police are looked upon as dutiful public servants who put themselves in danger in order to keep the streets safe. While a Corrupt Cop may occasionally show up in anime or manga, it's usually more common when the series is not set in Japan, and depictions of Japanese cops as anything other than morally upstanding are so rare you could probably count them on one hand.
  • Some Japanese stereotypes of other countries, particularly those of other Asian countries, differ so much from Western stereotypes of those same groups that socially-conscious Western fans are often far more forgiving of these characterizations than their counterparts in Japan, who see these characters as something like an Ethnic Scrappy. This is particularly clear with Chinese characters, with the Japanese stereotype of Chinese people as loud, duplicitous, martial arts masters differing so much from the American stereotype of Chinese people as high-achieving nerds with strict Education Mamas. It's to the point where you'll find some pretty grossly stereotypical Chinese (or Chinese-coded) characters in anime such as Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, Black Butler, or Banana Fish called progressive by clueless Western fans.
  • Japan has stricter views on recreational drug use than a lot of other countries. This is especially noticeable with marijuana. In a lot of western media, Stoners Are Funny and a lot of characters are implied to use drugs (or at least riff off of stereotypes). In Japan, this is much less common.
  • In Japan, the legal drinking age is 20. This causes dissonance with many European countries where the age is 18 (or even lower). This is the rare case where the cultural values of the United States align much closer with Japan than they do with Europe, in the United States, drinking alcohol is seen as an inherently "adult" activity (which, of course, makes it that much more appealing to teenagers) and the last milestone to becoming a fully-fledged citizen (after being legally able to smoke, vote, drive a car, buy a gun, and engage in sexual intercourse with someone else above the age of consent) whereas many European children start drinking with their parents' moderation much younger and don't really see what the big deal is. Drinking culture in Europe is in many ways similar to the way some adults in parts of the United States treat teaching their children to shoot a gun - not something you ever want your kid doing without strict adult supervision, but perfectly acceptable as long as there's a responsible adult present who makes sure that the child follows all the appropriate rules.
  • Anime and manga have many Wholesome Crossdressers, Bifauxnens, androgynous men, and androgynous women. Many of these characters might dress or act a certain way but they're intended to be cisgender. There are comparatively far fewer explicitly transgender characters. Fans, especially western fans, often get confused on these characters gender identities due to a combination of Values Dissonance, mixed messages in the writing (including making the mistake that Trans Equals Gay), and language barriers. This can lead to characters having an Ambiguous Gender Identity. As a result of the popularity of crossdressing boys in anime, many western fans assume explictly transgender characters are crossdressers and it's only western fans who assume otherwise. After Lily from Zombie Land Saga was revealed to be trans, there was a controversy about whether the episode meant to imply she was a trans girl or whether, similarly to Ryo from iDOLM@STER, she was intended to be an effeminate cisgender boy.
  • Many Japanese schools forbid students from making stops on the way home, out of concern for their getting in trouble and negatively affecting the school's reputation, not necessarily for anything they do while there, a rule many Western viewers find overly strict. For example, in Citrus, after Yuzu gets home late, her stepsister Mei realizes that Yuzu and her friend Harumi went to karaoke on the way home, and assigns them cleaning duty as punishment. That said, many characters in various series flout this rule, and it's often only acknowledged by their hoping that they don't get caught.
  • Somewhat similar to the above, many other Japanese schools forbid students from taking part time jobs, or won't let them take jobs under very specific circumstances.
    • In Yu Yu Hakusho, one early episode involves Mr. Akashi threatening to revoke one of Kuwabara's friends' permission to work unless the group stays out of trouble and does well enough on their exams. This seems fairly understandable, at least from a Japanese perspective... or at least it would be, if Akashi hadn't lowered Kuwabara's score to make him hit Akashi and break the agreement.
    • In Yuri Is My Job, the main character works at a salon in which she and her coworkers roleplay as students at the prestigious Liebe Girls' Academy. While her high school lets students have part-time jobs, she's understandably confused why the Elaborate University High portrayed would let its students talk about how best to serve customers.
  • Although Japanese media has no shortage of strong, assertive female characters, many of them tend to end up in situations where a male love interest, family member, or friend has to save or stick up for them, as if this weren't something they could do themselves (and most such characters will accept this without question). Japan has gotten more socially progressive over the years, but some attitudes on traditional gender roles still linger, and there's a nagging belief that women should know "when to let a man handle things"—female characters who are unafraid to stand up for themselves are viewed as overly pushy, rude, or even downright bossy, an attitude which rather evokes Stay in the Kitchen to Western viewers.
  • The Japanese have a rather apathetic view towards bullying. In Western areas, bullying is treated very seriously, and schools have been cracking down hard since The '90s due to waves of suicides and school shootings brought on by bullying to the point of harshly punishing anyone they even suspect to be bullying others. Even before that, Western students were always taught to fight back, or help others who couldn't. But in places like Japan, bullying is swept under the rug, and because of Japan's rigid, conformist views, kids who get bullied are often told that it's something they themselves have to deal with, or that they somehow brought it on themselves, even if they're bullied over something that isn't their fault and should reach out to the classmates bullying them, regardless of whether they'd actually resolve things or get along. This is why tropes such as Loners Are Freaks or Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics are so prominent in Japanese media. Japanese society wants everyone to conform to the group ideology, and if someone stands out in any way or disrupts the status quo, from something as simple as having low or high grades, or disagreeing with the group, to having a disability, they are ostracized for not meeting society's standards. Plus, bullies are rarely, if ever punished, and the victim is often told that they need to be the ones to change themselves in order for any bullying to cease.These two articles here can explain it in more detail.
  • There's a difference in treatment between hikikomori in Japanese media and in some other countries. It's often treated as a quirk of being a socially awkward otaku similar to how American media portrays Basement Dwellers as lazy nerds. Even if it's not, it's treated as an easily treatable weakness. In other regions, such repression would be seen as a sign of severe social anxiety or another mental illness that needs medical attention. It's also not uncommon in Japanese fiction for even teenage students to suddenly quit school and stay home, with little issue. That'd quickly lead to Child Protection's Services appearing in places like America.
  • Japanese high school is much harder than Western secondary education, which leads to much lower grades. Grade inflation never hit Japanese education like it did the West, so characters in Japanese fiction end up getting low grades that a Westerner may never see throughout their entire educational career, except in some college science or engineering classes:
    • A common gag in many Slice of Life anime is a dumb or airheaded character getting scores in the single digits on exams. In the West, you have to be deliberately trying to get such low scores, as most Western high school classes are a fair bit easier than their Japanese counterparts, and many use multiple choice exams where a fair amount of points can be earned just by guessing.
    • In Kuroko no Basuke, the main character shows his test scores, which are 50s and 60s. The others talk about how average those are, as part of a gag about him being so average he goes unnoticed. In the West, those grades would not be average unless the majority of the class is failing.
    • To pass an exam in The Quintessential Quintuplets, students must score above 30 percent, which proves to be so challenging for the five sisters that they have to hire a tutor. In the West, for reasons mentioned above, it's difficult to imagine a student needing everyday tutoring just to get a score higher than a 30, and no student would be crying Tears of Joy after scoring a 34 on an exam.
  • Headpatting. In Japan and other Asian countries the gesture is, while considered to be a bit patronizing, acceptable for men to do to their girlfriends, female friends, or younger siblings. In the West, doing it to anyone older than eleven is grounds for you to get smacked.
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    Film — Live-Action 
  • Cheering in the cinema is generally more accepted in North America than in the UK and Europe (hence the "mfw Americans clap" meme), though there are exceptions. Japan and other Asian countries are even worse about this. Clapping during a performance is considered quite rude as you are distracting from the show. Live performers such as Cirque Du Soleil were actually coached about this as they were used to boisterous applause after every major trick. And when the first Star Wars film, A New Hope had its Japanese premiere, the then-head of 20th Century-Fox, Alan Ladd, Jr., was worried that they'd hated it until being reassured that silence was the greatest compliment a movie could receive.
  • Voiceover singing in Hollywood vs. Bollywood. American audiences frown on the practice, viewing it as inauthentic and cheating (one of the reasons Audrey Hepburn was not nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for My Fair Lady was because she didn't do her own singing). In Bollywood it's openly acknowledged and accepted; actors are dubbed over to the point where one woman, Lata Mangeshkar, provided the singing voice for every female actress in every major Bollywood movie for several decades and was a celebrity in her own right. note 
  • In the United States, the average running time of a blockbuster is slightly more than two hours, movies that run for longer than two and a half or up to three hours are usually either gunning for an Oscar or get criticized for being overly long and self-indulgent (and sometimes even the ones that do win Oscars still get criticized for this.) Indian audiences very strongly believe in getting your money's worth of movie for a ticket, so three hours is about the average runtime of a summer blockbuster over there. The United States usually produces about one or two epics a year, in Bollywood it's the rule and not the exception.
  • The whole idea of the Cowboy Cop, omnipresent in cop movies of the 1970's and 1980's has come under fire since the late 90s and 2000's. Back in the 70's, rising crime rates and then the "tough on crime" rhetoric of the Reagan era in the 80's made actions like beating up suspects for information, executing helpless criminals if they were evil enough, disregard for warrants, and all around tons of violence seem not just acceptable for police officers and displays of their badassitude, but necessary for combating crime. This ended after a string of high-profile incidents of Police Brutality and shootings of unarmed suspects, most infamously the Rodney King beating and several notable instances in the mid-2010s, which also revealed these actions targeted racial minorities, especially African-Americans, disproportionately. As a result, characters like Dirty Harry and Cobra come across as a lot less sympathetic nowadays. Lower crime rates beginning in the mid-90's also led to the demise of the "vigilante hero" and "future big city in ruins" subgenres extremely popular in the late 70's to early 90's. In a pretty good illustration of just how far this trope has fallen out of favor with modern audiences, when Eli Roth attempted to reboot the once-popular Death Wish franchise in 2018, it flopped at the box office and was absolutely savaged by critics, many of whom called it a wildly irresponsible piece of filmmaking.
  • France doesn't usually dish out age restrictions on mainstream movies, likely owing to the rough history with censorship. Many movies rated R in the US or the UK are given "all ages" ratings unless they are very violent or patently adult.
  • In general, Western European countries (including the United Kingdom) and some of their former colonies (like Australia) tend to be much more lenient about sexual content and profanity in films than the United States. For example, Silver Linings Playbook, rated R in the US mostly for the Cluster F-Bombs, received the equivalent of a G rating in Sweden and France and an unrestricted M rating in Australia and New Zealand note . Magic Mike was also rated G in France and Sweden, despite being a film about strippers. Conversely, they're stricter towards violence and gore than the United States. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies received the equivalent of an R rating in most countries (but only a PG-13 in the US.)
  • In the United States, the NC-17 rating is seen as a death sentence for a film's commercial viability, basically limiting it to arthouse/independent cinemas. Major retailers like Walmart and Best Buy refuse to stock NC-17 films or DVDs, and theater chains like AMC are reluctant to book them. Although the MPAA specifically states it does not denote pornography, in practice it has been used for films with strong sexual content. Producers fight for an R rating and are often dismayed to get an NC-17. On the other side of the pond, however, the 18 certificate (roughly equivalent to the NC-17) not only has little effect on commercial viabilitynote , it is seen as a badge of honor. In fact, one horror director was disappointed that his film didn't get an 18 certificate. Films cut for an NC-17 in the US for commercial reasons usually receive an 18 certificate uncut in the UK, with none of the stigma attached. This highlights another example of disparity between the US and other countries, part of the reason that (in the US) the NC-17 rating is so heavily associated with porn is because it is damn-near impossible to get a movie rated NC-17 for violence alone, most films with the rating almost invariably feature explicit sexual content or heavily sexualized violence as a result.
  • In the Golden Age of Hollywood, Chinese-American star Anna May Wong was heavily exoticised in the fan magazines - “Anna May Wong symbolizes the eternal paradox of her ancient race,” wrote one fan magazine. “She reminds us of cruel and intricate intrigues, and, at the same time, of crooned Chinese lullabies. She brings to the screen the rare comprehension and the mysterious colors of her ivory-skinned race.” - and could never play a romantic lead because The Hays Code would not allow her to kiss a white man on screen. In another example of this trope, she took her career to the UK and took advantage of their lenient censorship laws to play less stereotypical roles.
  • Yellowface was far more accepted back in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Most Asian characters in films like The Good Earth, The King and I and The Son-Daughter were played by white actresses in make-up - and the magazines would talk freely about the "exciting" make-up process.
  • In modern day films pregnant women will never drink. In Golden Age films? Not so much. The effects of alcohol on fetuses weren't well-known at the time. Take Blackboard Jungle from 1955, where the protagonist's wife drinks champagne while four months pregnant despite also having a miscarriage in the past. She would be framed as a neglectful parent in modern works, however it's just a matter-of-fact in the film.
  • A lot of classic films are based around cute children acting like adults for laughs. Some of Shirley Temple's earliest films, such as War Babies, revolved around this. At the time it was just seen as funny to see little kids acting so grown up, but these roles have since been critiqued for over-sexualizing children. As an adult, Shirley Temple critiqued the Baby Burlesks series she got her start in for this reason.
  • In a similar vein, in teen comedies produced during The ’80s (such as Porky's), much of the behavior exhibited by the male characters in those types of films (which included thinly-veiled sexual comments in public, public hazing, stalking female characters or spying on them in showers) were seen as "raunchy, but amusing" during the decade. Try that kind of behavior today, and the consequences will be much worse than a few eyerolls or a stern talking-to from an authority figure.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In most Western countries, the appearance of bare breasts on TV isn't particularly unusual, being common on European TV since the late 1960s. In North America however, the idea of a flashed nipple will stir controversy, as it happened with the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show in 2004, when Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" resulted on the American CBS and the Canadian Global networks being forced into paying huge fines, as well as having further effects on North American TV censorship. International reactions were more of "What's all the fuss about?" kind.
  • While America's tolerance for strong language on network television has been increasing over the years, it still lags behind other western nations, which can use "shit" at noon with little complaining, while stronger words such as "fuck" are often only permitted at night-time. Americans watching mid-day or early evening programming from across the pond might be surprised by a casual curse word thrown into an otherwise innocuous show (and that's not getting to the more liberal use of swearing outside the Anglosphere)
  • Come to Gawk-type documentary shows of the 2000s that poked fun at others' misfortunes (which they always deserved), most famously 1000 Ways to Die and World's Dumbest..., faced severe criticism during the 2010s for making light of traumatic situations, no matter if the victims were just asking for it. While Spike TV decided to drop the former show, the final two seasons of the latter series were actually re-tooled by TruTV (disposing of its "felon celeb" panelists) in an attempt to tone down the more offensive content, to very little success.
  • Stand-up comedy, especially when a performer is translating their act from stage to TV, gets hit pretty hard with this trope; some jokes that may have been fine even ten years ago would not fly today. Big names in comedy in The '60s and The '70s such as Bernard Manning and Jim Davidson were particularly vilified since the 1990s. Manning's career never really recovered after he was ambushed on TV on a spoof chat show, and incited into making seriously racist and homophobic references which were a large part of his stand-up routine. Again, as with Bill Oddie, this was a case of a man who simply did not realise the world had moved on and outside a circle of devoted fans, his humour wasn't thought of as acceptable in the mainstream (as well as TV) any more. Meanwhile other comics such as Roy "Chubby" Brown simply didn't care and took Refuge in Audacity.
  • The treatment of transgender people in general is a big example of this. For years, their very existence had been used as a comedy punchline, particularly transgender women who are frequently misgendered and seen as little more than men in dresses. If a trans character appeared in a show, they would be played by a cisgendered actor, be the butt of jokes, and the audience would be expected to agree with other characters' disgust and/or outrage at "being deceived". Throughout the 2010s, being trans has become much more acceptable and trans issues are increasingly visible (particularly among younger people), and any show that makes the kind of jokes that were perfectly acceptable as little as ten years ago would provoke huge outrage.
  • Depictions of underage drinking in American television often runs into this as the legal drinking age in the U.S. is twenty-one while almost every other Western country has it at eighteen and quite a few have it even lower at sixteen. If you're from Europe, it can be very jarring to watch a show where college students get in trouble for drinking alcohol and you're left wondering what the issue is.

    Video Games 
  • As a general factor to note when it comes to values dissonance and video game storytelling, Japanese gamers and critics alike are generally more accepting of wacky, over-the-top, and - above all else - heavily disjointed plotlines that western gamers often find difficult to keep up with or make sense of. In Japan, games such as Bayonetta, Killer Is Dead, Final Fantasy XIII, and Devil's Third have been praised for their wild and exciting plotlines that take players on a multitude of different setpieces and plot twists. In the Western world however, such games have been criticized by many discerning gamers and critics (i.e. Yahtzee and Jim Sterling) for being poorly thought-out and all over the place; a jumbled mess of ideas thrown randomly together with no overarching theme, concept, premise, or focus point that would otherwise tie everything together. As Jim points out in this video, this is likely the reason for Square Enix's infamous downward spiral in the West post-2001.
    • As a side note, this style of storytelling was, and still is, prevalent in Japanese media such as anime, manga, and light novels, and so it is natural for contemporary Japanese video games to follow suit. Said method of storytelling has been hit or miss with Western fanbases though, and it doesn't help that some adaptations either leave with a Gecko Ending or are just left unfinished compared to the source material.
  • Another major difference between Japanese and most other nationalities of gamers is that Japanese gamers are generally more tolerant of grinding, to the point that in some games its a feature. American gamers, for example, have far less patience for the concept, especially outside MMOs where it grants an advantage over other players.
  • The "Lifespan" of game systems also varies from region to region, part of this is due to laws and availability. Ergo, some systems will appear to have a much longer life in another region.
    • North America and Europe (Particularly Western Europe) tend to push "successor" systems as hard as they can. With the exception of The Seventh Generation of Console Video Games (Where one could still find sixth generation software and hardware on store shelves well into 2008), whenever a new generation is released, it quickly starts to take over the store shelves. The hardware and software for the previous system is usually rotated out. This wouldn't be an issue, were it not for the fact that Japan tends to "hold on" to systems much longer and that some games released at the end (or even after the "end") of the pervious system's lifespan sometimes get kept in Japan. If they do get a release, they often become quite rare due to its limited run and despite sometimes getting good review scores, don't sell well since people are busy playing the next generation system. Some games like Kirby Super Star are a notable example of this. For reference? The Famicom and Super Famicom were discontinued in 2003 in Japan. In North America? The SNES was discontinued in 1999, and the NES was discontinued in 1995. The Sega Saturn was discontinued in Japan in 2000, whereas it was discontinued in 1998 everywhere else. Japan's not quick to abandon "outdated" systems.
    • A lot of people (depending on where you ask) will say Digital Piracy Is Evil and often point to Brazil as an example since a lot of games available there are pirated. However, this is due to regional taxes that inflate the price of video games (and other import electronics) for about over one hundred US dollars. Ergo, people in Brazil usually don't see digital piracy as evil, as much as it being the only way for them to even have a chance to try these games out - unless some changes are made to the law to make games easier to sell. Confounding this is that many console services weren't available there, either.
    • This has been a diminishing trope in there due to the prevalence of digital media services, like Steam, eShop, PSN and XBLA. In comparison to physical copies, a game can be taxed considerably less, back into a very acceptable double digit price range.
  • Gambling in general - CERO appears to have little to no problem giving an "A" (all ages) rating to games with in-game casinos (such as some Dragon Quest games or Ni no Kuni), neither does ESRB, as you will see these games with an "E" or "E10", not listing it as one of the reasons behind its rating. Other countries and regions, however, are much stricter. This has resulted in some discrepancies in rating (ie, Dragon Quest VII being "PEGI 12" but "E10" in NA or Ni no Kuni getting the Korean equivalent of an "M" rating yet everyone else listed it as "T" or "PEGI 12") or even affecting future development. (See Pokémon)
  • If it's historical and has a level of detail beyond personally killing things (effectively, a strategy game), it probably qualifies. Take Rome: Total War: the men in your family line are the most important characters in the game, providing bonuses when they lead armies and run your cities, with stats and intricate trait and retinue systems; the women don't even have stats, they're used for making babies and bringing new men into their family.
    • Slavery is a particular problem with historical building games. Some use it as a critical game mechanic, others pretend that it didn't happen. In Medieval: Total War, if one is playing as a Muslim faction, it is possible to sell captured soldiers/rebels into slavery (for Christian factions, the option is "execute"). It is also possible to launch Crusades or Jihads against another group.
    • Each province in Europa Universalis III produces a particular trade good. In Africa, one of the possible trade goods are slaves. The game, however, gives the player no benefit for finding slaves other than the actual direct profit from the trade good... and even then, one prefers to find gold or ivory (Another resource that conjures values dissonance) in Africa. It's possible to abolish the slave trade, at which point all of a player's provinces that "produce" slaves start producing something else; this is usually beneficial, because it gives players another shot at finding gold in their provinces.
      • Whether you want slaves or not actually depends on economic reasons, just like in actual history. Slave producing provinces give a big bonus to provinces that produce cotton, tobacco, or sugar; and if you abolish the slave trade, you're just as likely to find near-useless millet as you are ivory or gold. Even if you do find ivory or gold, it isn't a huge step up from slaves; and if you own more than a few of the aforementioned provinces that benefit from slaves, you're likely to lose money even if you strike nothing but gold.
    • Victoria: An Empire Under the Sun and its sequel have gotten a lot of flak over the use of the terms "civilized" and "uncivilized." All the countries in the world are divided into these two categories, with "civilized" countries being able to industrialize much easier and research technology much better. This rather simplistic dichotomy works well for game balance purposes, but still generates controversy. The developers respond that the game, which covers the period of neo-imperialism and the heyday of scientific racism, is by its very scope Eurocentric, and that their detractors are just reacting badly to values dissonance.
    • Civilization has whales and elephants as exploitable resources your civilization can take advantage of, often as luxury trade goods. For modern, western civs, that might mean tourism, but for most civs in most time periods it really means whaling and hunting for elephants as labor and ivory.
      • Civilization IV also have the Civic Slavery, which is derided by some players to be inherently evil. Yet in practice is both quite normal given the time period where it's most worthwhile in, which pretty much is everything pre-Renaissance/pre-industrial depending on your game-plan. And it's such a strong civic that deliberately not using it might put you back a couple of levels of play.
    • Similar to the above is the "Heresy" technology from Age of Empires II, which kills any of your units that are converted by an enemy priest. It fits the time, and from a pure gameplay standpoint it's a very beneficial upgrade (you still lose the unit, but your enemy doesn't get it), but many players consider researching it a Moral Event Horizon.
  • In Western territories, gamers complain about Bullet Hell shooters being crazy-hard Japanese bullshit. Meanwhile, in Japan, First Person Shooters get similar treatment instead.
  • To some extent, most Western gamers have a dislike (if not outright hate) of mobile gaming for having a bunch of Shovelwares designed for "casuals" with microtransactions that they consider to be greedy cash-grabs. Most Eastern gamers (particularly in China and Japan) are particularly okay with mobile gaming, but most Japanese gamers hate PC games for being Shovelwares that are "too expensive" or "too complicated to set up" and would rather keep their gaming console and computer functions as separate. Most Chinese and South Korean gamers Take a Third Option and throw some soft spots for PC and mobile gaming, since console gaming faces difficulties in these countries. The increased smartphone adoption in many, especially Eastern, countries certainly don't help. The difference between American and Chinese reactions to pay-to-win gameplay models, in particular, is apparently so obvious that even mainstream media outlets feel the need to point it out.
  • This trope is part of the reason American Kirby Is Hardcore exists. While video games make cute characters and box art a common selling point in Japan, in America it is relatively a niche market outside children or casual gamers. Attempts to move towards the happy box art of most Japanese games is far outweighed by the amount of box art that turns them into sword-wielding warriors or have them wear scowls on par with Jean-Claude Van Damme. Case in point—The Legendary Starfy series was a big hit in its native Japan, but despite a fun and unique gameplay style, the cutesy appearance of the title character caused the series to be a commercial failure in America and no games have been released since in any country.
  • Quite a few games with an ESRB rating back in the 90s when released today have had a change. For instance, a few K-A (Ages 6+) games get slapped with the newer E10+ (Ages 10+) or even T (ages 13+). The new ratings come with extensive lists of possibly objectionable content listed on the website as well, which allows consumers to make a more informed decision based on their own values and avert this trope. Sonic Adventure 2, when released for Dreamcast and Gamecube back in '01, got an E for Everyone rating, but when it was re-released for XBLA, PSN, and Steam in 2012, it got bumped up to E10+, because its content is now considered too dark and mature for an E-rated game. See Same Content, Different Rating for more about the topic. The opposite can happen too: In 1984, Germany banned River Raid for its violent content; in 2002, the ban was lifted, and it was rated free for all ages. In America, the Streets of Rage series usually got MA-13 ratings (Sega's equivalent to the T rating) because they were considered very violent for their time, but with modern-day re-releases, they are now rated E10+ because they're not as violent as games you'd see today.
  • Pretty much a given for any Romance Game or Dating Sim. Cultural differences in gender roles have a lot to do with that.
  • One theory that has been made to explain why JRPGs are popular in Japan but not in the West is the fact that JRPG require a lot of level grindingnote . Japanese gamers are perceived as being more patient than Western gamers and perceive the idea of level grinding in order to get some ultimate reward in the end. In the West most people do neither have that kind of patience nor the wanting for a reward, which is the reason why many Western gamers get frustrated with those games and give up on ever trying one, which results in low sales. This may be the same reason Monster Hunter is a best-selling series in Japan, but is a Cult Classic at best in the United States. On a similar vein, Random Drop and Rare Random Drop when it comes to items are seen as widely accepted in many Asian gaming circles since they don't mind potentially waiting a long time to finally get that Infinity +1 Sword. Western players greatly despise those game mechanics for being too reliant on luck.
  • In addition, JRPGs are criticized by western gamers for their linearity, as they are used to open-world WRPGs centered around making decisions and having the plot continue based on those choices. In addition, WRPGs tend to have a high level of character customization. Inversely, Japanese gamers have a tough time getting into WRPGs because they tend to find the open-world gameplay too overwhelming (any choices made in most JRPGs, will have one correct answer with the others either not allowing you to proceed or triggering an alternate route or even a bad ending) and inhibits the writers' ability to tell a compelling story. In other words, the conflict seems to be that western gamers want to be the protagonists of their RPGs, whereas Japanese gamers would rather just follow along with the narrative.
    • This has seemed to be turned on its head that both are successful in the west while flipping the common perceived stereotype, what with the Western-made "JRPG" Undertale and Japanese-made "WRPG" Dark Souls. Even the aforementioned Monster Hunter franchise proved the stereotype wrong when Monster Hunter: World released globally, to critical acclaim.
  • The Official Couple trope, especially in RPGs, is a huge point of contention in the west, due to differing ideas of how RPG storytelling should work. Westerners put more emphasis on player-created stories, so prefer having freedom of choice in love interests, whereas Japanese players prefer a well-constructed fixed narrative. So often, even in JRPGs with Relationship Values, there will still be one love interest that is hinted at as "more canon" than the others note , something completely unheard of in western RPGs. This character tends to be utterly reviled in the west, both for defeating the point of giving the player a choice in the first place and for other characters being more appealing as love interests by western standards. It's telling that a large number of characters on the Americans Hate Tingle page are either one half of an Official Couple or an Implied Love Interest in a game with Relationship Values.
  • The idea of allowing player to buy items, gear, or even skipping several character levels via cash shop in an MMORPG is heavily divided among gamers. For Asian players, they don't see cash shops as a problem since they can buy exactly what they want without any fluff and can level up faster (most Asian countries enforce a law that heavily limits how much time someone can play an online game). For Western players, cash shops are seen as pay to win that devalues the idea of working towards your goals purely on your effort instead of Bribing Your Way to Victory while also making content locked behind a paywall instead of allowing them to be earned in the game.
  • America's ESRB is much harsher on sexual content than most other countries, and many games that get M ratings for sexual content in America get lower ratings overseas (such as Akiba's Trip, which is rated the equivalent of T in Australia). "Partial Nudity", which even extends to exposed breasts on monster enemies not intended as sexual, is grounds for an automatic M rating in the ESRB's system, while other countries allow it in lower ratings and only give high ratings for full-frontal, explicitly sexual nudity. And the gap between the ESRB's M and AO ratings is only sexual content in most cases, leading to Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas getting pulled from shelves and re-rated due to the "Hot Coffee" mod (there was little fanfare in Europe since the game was already rated 18+ for violence anyway). Skimpy outfits on characters is sometimes enough for an ESRB M rating, which often results in outfits being censored in US releases (for example, Tharja's swimsuit scene in Fire Emblem Awakening's DLC was censored in the US version, but not in the European version). It may be getting better, if one does wanna take a look at the Shantae series. For having a lot of cute girls in skimpy outfits and braless mermaids, it does go pretty well in the E10+/T rating. On the other hand, it's almost impossible for a game to get an AO rating in the US for violence alone, while most other countries will give 18+ ratings for violent content: In America, Bayonetta and Lollipop Chainsaw both received the Mature 17+ rating, whereas Europe gave both of them the 18+ rating due to having lots of gore and sexual content/dialogue.
  • Australia didn't have an R18+ (i.e. adults only) rating for games until 2013. The reason they didn't have one boils down to one politician believing "... it will greatly increase the risk of children and vulnerable adults being exposed to damaging images and messages." (Video games are a relatively niche market in Australia compared to other countries) As film and videogame ratings are a government body with legal authority in Australia, this meant games could be banned for having content exceeding the MA15+ rating. Even after a bill was passed allowing 18+ games, Australia's game classification system in general can be a case of this trope for other countries, as several games are rated higher or lower there than everywhere else. It seems that sex and violence are really the only things that can push a game into the two highest categories (MA15+ and R18+), while countries like America can have games rated M due simply to mature themes (the MegaTen series being a prime example). Australia also views cartoon violence as less "harsh" than realistic violence, hence why games like Super Smash Bros., Ratchet & Clank, and Team Fortress 2 get lower ratings there than America. Meanwhile Atelier Totori: The Adventurer of Arland, rated T by the ESRB and 12 by PEGI, was classified R18+ in Australia simply for "references to sexual violence", EarthBound is slapped with an M (13+) for crude humor and "sexual references", and The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword got a 15+ rating over there, but an E10+ rating in America and 12+ in Europe.
    • As a whole sexualizing violence in any form whether it be depictions of rape or any way of mixing sex and violence really gets up Australia's nose: the reason why Thrill Kill was banned was not because of the violence but the way it seemed fetishised. Night Trap made censors believe part of the game was about kidnapping and torturing women. The alien anal probe from Saints Row 4 was one of the reasons Australia was outraged and banned the game. They didn't like the sexually suggestive character models and the damage shown in Mortal Kombat 9 and went to the point of having boarder security and the Australian Navy prevent the game from reaching their shores. And games that depict or hint at rape or sex slavery are now given an automatic R rating (older games that had it are seemingly unaffected) for sexual violence.
    • One other notable feature about Australia's videogame classifications is that they take Gameplay and Story Integration into account. If a player is given "incentives or rewards" for sexual acts or inflicting violence, it's treated a lot more harshly than, say, if the act was performed by NPCs in a cutscene. This might be why Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies got only a PG rating while the US rated it M: it features a lot of bloody murders and at one point a bombing, but none of it is interactive and it's all done by the villains in cutscenes. Interactive drug use as a buff is a huge Berserk Button for the ratings board and isn't allowed even in R18+ games, something that's incredibly contentious among Australian gamers.
  • The way players at arcades queue up for gamesnote  varies wildly from country to country:
    • In the United States, a common practice for queueing up is to put down some sort of object to symbolize your position in the line, often a coin or a card; once your marker is at the front of the line, you drop your credit in and play. In fact, for a long time, arcades could purchase "Competitor" coin racks for players to put their queue-marker coins on. Once your credit is up, it's time to hand your turn to the next player and move your marker to the end of the line if you intend to play again; playing another credit when someone else is waiting is seen as selfishly hogging the machine.
    • In the Philippines, you drop your credit(s) in to indicate lining up, and however many credits are before you indicates when your turn comes up. Most players will often stack multiple credits; while some players will get irked at the practice, it's widely accepted, if grudgingly.
  • Bug Catching minigames and child characters who like bug catching are commonplace in Japan, where it's an innocent childhood activity. In many other places, being so fond of bugs is much more niche and is often seen as odd.

    Western Animation 
  • Not all animation is for kids however the idea is extremely popular. This concept didn't become prevalent until the mid-20th century. Most early cartoons were either made for adults or for general audiences. Not all Golden Age cartoons such as Felix the Cat, Looney Tunes, and Classic Disney Shorts were made for kids, however most are kid-friendly enough that they get treated as such. This makes shorts with sexual innuendo, use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs, or other potentially mature material (especially suicide, with the infamous Tom and Jerry short "Blue Cat Blues" playing it for dramatic effect) stand out. They weren't made for kids but years of being depicted as so causes people to think of them as such.
  • The Four-Fingered Hands trope is this to Japan. Although it's not the only reason, this is because the Yakuza used to chop off their own fingers as punishment for failures that weren't enough to warrant death, which is why it's extremely rare for characters in anime to have less than five fingers (even Super-Deformed characters). This even goes to the extreme of editing the tapes to add a finger on when exporting Western animation for Japanese audiences.
  • Due to changing attitudes towards violence in media, what was acceptable for children in The ’80s and The '90s (and even the early 2000s) gets very different treatment today. The TV ratings system did not exist in the 1980s, so a show like ThunderCats (1985) generally would have been a TV-Y7 if it had. The show got bumped up to a TV-PG when it was rerun on Toonami. The 2011 reboot also got slapped with a TV-PG. Similarly, reruns of G.I. Joe and The Transformers on The Hub are now rated TV-PG. Meanwhile, Transformers: Prime gets off with a TV-Y7, and has just as much violence as the shows rated TV-PG.
  • Animation programs from the 1980s and 1990s would face problems today if set in from a kind of school setting, especially bullying. While The Simpsons have continued to focus on this since the character stayed the same age, others that has came and went would faced this with social media being part of it, forcing laws to be passed. Speaking of a school setting, considering the school-to-prison debate... some of the characters would've been subject to it. Doug would be a good example of this considering Roger is a known Jerkass and deliquent and would've been serving time in juvenile hall for his actions these days instead of Bone making him just clean his trophy collection.
  • Any TV show or movie for families or kids that contains the words, "spaz", "spastic", or "moron" (which in America are fairly harmless—a little insulting, but not so bad that they can't be said) will be met with values dissonance (and a compulsory editing for a U or PG rating) in the UK, as those words are used to describe someone who has cerebral palsy, is epileptic, or overall mentally disabled.
  • Teletoon and YTV shows like 6teen and Total Drama often have different standards compared to American shows. Canada isn't afraid to show gay characters and/or couples,note  menstruation, and dirtier words to preteens while the States are bit more sensitive to these sort of topics, and thus edit those certain episodes or downright omit them from syndication. While the aforementioned examples are justified by the fact that they were more for teens and older tweens than younger kids, other more traditionally "kiddie" shows like Spliced and Rocket Monkeys may sometimes use words like "crap" or "suck", since they aren't considered to be as dirty in Canada. However, series that are tailored for more international audiences tend to reduce this to make global distribution easier.
  • The treatment of same gender couples in kid's cartoons, especially American ones, has had this occur. In the early 2010s with rising acceptance of LGBT people, cartoons began being more explicit about them, while cartoons not even six years prior went out of their way to hide characters between subtext. Many characters wouldn't even be revealed to be gay until Word of Gay (sometimes decades after the cartoon ended). To show this trope in action, the 2011 episode "What Was Missing?" from Adventure Time received a lot of publicity for heavily implying feelings between Princess Bubblegum and Marceline. One official online show was outright canceled because they implied it. Come 7 years later and shows like Steven Universe, Clarence, The Loud House, Gravity Falls, and even Adventure Time itself with Marceline and Bubblegum's Relationship Upgrade in the 2018 finale casually featured gay and bi characters. Values Dissonance still occurs depending on the country. For example, Steven Universe has been censored in the UK for some of its female/female Ship Tease.
  • Nudity of young characters in cartoons. In many European and Asian countries, like in the United Kingdom for example, it is treated in a nonchalant manner as long as it is innocent. In America and Canada, it is treated with much more controversy due to being seen as inherently sexual. Cartoons from the 1980s, like Alvin and the Chipmunks, and the 1990s (even the early 2000s), like The Powerpuff Girls and Dexter's Laboratory, got away with casual bathing scenes or Naked People Are Funny, and still do when shown in Europe and Asia. But from circa 2005 onward, such scenes in USA-produced cartoons have become much rarer, mostly as an excuse to be "edgy".
  • French cartoons like Code Lyoko and Miraculous Ladybug are more into fanservice than cartoons from a lot of other Western countries. While nowhere near Japanese levels, many French cartoons aren't shy about making a few risqué jokes or having rather skimpy attire.
  • The aversion of Family-Friendly Firearms is quite notable in kids cartoons made in Europe and other countries outside of the US, which is ironic, considering how liberal America's gun laws are in contrast to Europe's. European casualness with animated depictions of realistic firearms is likely a consequence of their relative exoticism. In Europe, where very few citizens own guns, they are chiefly understood as a comic prop that no child would have any more access to than they would a Cartoon Bomb or sci-fi ray gun, whereas in the States, gun ownership is higher than any other wealthy country on Earth and playing with a firearm is not something you want television influencing your children to do with the revolver you keep upstairs.
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