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Values Dissonance / Anime & Manga

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It probably should not come as a surprise that there can be a fair amount of Values Dissonance when Western audiences watch anything made by Japanese people and intended for a Japanese audience.


  • Rumiko Takahashi:
    • The general attitudes on sexuality is always a bit played for laughs in Takahashi's Ranma ½, but there are some cringe-worthy moments. Most notably, a short arc concerning a Stalker with a Crush named Tsubasa Kurenai, who was obsessed with Ukyo. The on-going gag was that everybody assumed Tsubasa was a girl, and 'her' lesbian crush on Ukyo was Played for Laughs. Towards the end, male!Ranma attempted to cure Tsubasa's lesbianism by asking her out on a date.
      • In a flashback, Dr. Tofu is shown crushing on a high school-age Kasumi. Kasumi should be 16-18 in the flashback, while Tofu can be presumed to have been his late teens or early 20s.
      • Nodoka Saotome and her seppuku pledge; a Western attitude would have been to dismiss the stupid thing on several grounds (she never agreed to it — it was Genma who declared he'd do it and then wrote it up before running off, she really does love her son and doesn't want to have to kill him, the pledge is so ambiguous as to be impossible to live up to it). The Japanese attitude is that Nodoka is, while suffering, a good, loyal, dutiful woman to keep it alive and be condemned to murdering her own family if she decides they haven't lived up to it. Being willing to commit suicide herself after executing them is seen as romantically tragic — or at least Nodoka can be played as "humorously old-fashioned".
      • The teenage characters given or buying alcohol (such as from a vending machine or to celebrate like how alcohol was around to party during the Orachi arc) can be Values Dissonance for places that have strictly enforced no drinking/selling to policies for teens.
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    • The dissonance happened earlier in Takahashi's earlier series, Urusei Yatsura. In this one, secondary character Ryuunosuke Fujinami is a girl who has been raised as a boy by her father (because he wanted a boy). Once she hits adolescence, she becomes torn between her ingrained nature and her desire to embrace her gender, something which her father violently opposes (and she violently counter-opposes). Naturally, being a Takahashi series, the whole thing is Played for Laughs, which would be fine, except that nobody in the cast even considers calling child services for Mr. Fujinami's years of abuse. Even the teachers refuse to help... except for that one time when Onsen-Mark tried (and failed) to teach Ryuunosuke how to be a proper lady (that episode itself has issues due to looking way too much like he's dating her, which is – as mentioned above – a huge no-no in the West).
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    • Maison Ikkoku features a big one in the main character Godai's relationship with an annoying teenage high school girl who follows him around, insists they're "meant to be", and tries to ruin his maybe/maybe-not relationship with his beloved out of jealousy. The problem everyone has is that she's annoying and Godai doesn't really lover her... not that she's sixteen or seventeen years old, and he's at least twenty. In fact, everyone acts like he just may hook up with her anyways, and they don't particularly comment about the morality of it aside from breaking the "true love"'s heart. Even worse, his "true love" had married her teacher years earlier, when the age difference was even bigger, and it's viewed as a perfect relationship. It must be noted that in many countries (not only in Japan) a consensual relationship between a teenage girl and an adult is not only not taboo but very common, unlike in the US where it is generally seen as abhorrent. The level of acceptance depends from country to country. In some countries, it won’t be an issue if the age difference is not too high (for example 16/20) but it can be an issue if the age difference is quite notable.
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  • 7 Seeds has an in-universe example with Team Summer A and the other teams. Summer A went through hell and back to be chosen for the 7 Seeds Project. Since they were brought up in a sheltered institution, they know nothing about the other teams but simply expect them to have gone through the same Test to be chosen, to be fully taught and trained in survival and expecting almost inhuman levels of deep knowledge or athletic abilities from everyone, including young children. They certainly see the value differences when they learn that the rest of the Teams were chosen from the general public and Team Summer B is even made up of "mundanes" who were considered social failures!
  • Arashi no Yoru ni is a family film featuring a goat and a wolf becoming best friends (or maybe something more). It also features a somewhat gory scene early on, and implications of suicide, which don't really fare well with Western audiences.
  • Armitage III: Depending on the interpretation one takes, the series can cause this. Japan (at least at the time of the series' production) had a falling birthrate and was very uncomfortable with that fact, and had a well-entrenched conservative movement who blamed the falling birthrate on the promotion of "women can be things other than homemakers" by feminism. Thus, the plot of the series: The Greater Scope Villains, the Straw Feminist Earth government, threaten The War of Earthly Aggression — and send assassin/saboteurs to Mars — because they fear the loss of political power that will follow if Mars' Thirds successfully manage to combine the roles of Sex Bot and Uterine Replicator, thus meaning men will abandon human women for quiet robot housewives instead. Whether or not the fears of the government are accurate or just an attempt to maintain power are left to the viewer.
  • Assassination Classroom:
    • Unlike most of the students, Yuuma Isogai was placed in Class 3-E for having a part-time job, which was regarded as serious a violation of the school regulations. Though this looks like another one of Kunugigaoka Academy's ridiculous, unfair policies to some readers, it's actually pretty common for schools in Japan to forbid their students from working so they can focus on their studies.
    • The concept of Class E and the school system in general tend to have some Westerners wonder why no one has come and shut down the school for mistreatment of its students. In Japan, and other Asian countries, it is not unusual to place students into a class based on their overall performance, putting smart students in one class and the more academically challenged ones in another, such as Class E. In addition, bullying children simply for not being smart or for standing out too much is a seriously common occurrence among students and families, and most schools in Japan would respond to the bullying with maybe a verbal warning or even victim blaming. A more in-depth explanation can be found here but overall while Assassination Classroom may exaggerate the school system, it's not too far off in its portrayal of how the outcasted students are treated by those around them.
      • However, at the end of the series, once the full details of the Class E system are revealed to the public, the public outrage forces the school to disband Class E and sack the Chairman.
    • Some Americans may feel shocked by the stag beetle episode. Bug hunting & selling is acceptable in Japan, but it'd be considered poaching across the sea; especially since they're selling the animal for its abnormal coloration.
  • Volume 7 of The Asterisk War has Sylvia Lynneheym's musical and fighting circuit rivals, the Girl Group Rusalka, plot to ruin her by starting the rumor that she has a boyfriend. This is potentially incomprehensible to Western viewers and has to do with the extreme Contractual Purity culture around Japanese Idol Singers (talent agencies exercise very tight control over their lives to produce a particular sound and stereotypical image, to say nothing of the behavior of idol otakus). It doesn't help, though, that author Yuu Miyazaki seems to have inferred Japanese mores for (apparently) non-Japanese singers who have a worldwide fanbase. If anything, relationship rumors would make Sylvia more popular in the West, since media outlets and fans love celebrity relationship drama.
  • Mikasa from Attack on Titan sometimes receives flak from Western audiences concerning her devotion to Eren. This generally stems from a misunderstanding of her devotion, which is driven by the Pillars of Moral Character. She owes him a debt for coming to her aid, helping her to accept the harsh reality of life, and adopting her into his family. To repay her debt to him, she has become his champion and protects him with her life. This reversal of roles, with the heroine protecting the hero, is incredibly progressive for a Shonen series. Her honor-driven devotion also doubles as Fridge Brilliance, as the lone character of Asian heritage in a European-styled society. However, some viewers' confusion may also stem from the slight romantic undertones that Mikasa is shown to have towards Eren (who only views her as a sister), which is considered quite Squicky by Western standards since they're introduced as adoptive siblings. Anything remotely sexual or romantic between adoptive siblings is just as taboo as between blood siblings in the West. Mikasa's devotion to Eren is somewhat mediated by the fact that Eren has a nasty tendency to get himself in fights he cannot finish, and as such, she needs to bail him out. This is alike to how an older sibling protects the younger from danger. It's because of this quality that another camp of fans in the West hate Eren for constantly endangering himself and forcing Mikasa (or anyone else) to come and save him. In fairness, this is not portrayed as an entirely positive trait in the series itself. Eren get rather irritated at Mikasa for always trying to look after him, specifically calling her out on trying to disregard her placement in a battle plan to bodyguard him. Also, Mikasa's extreme devotion is shown to have the dark side of suicidal recklessness when she believes Eren has been killed or he has been taken captive by the Female Titan. The first case results in many of the cadets under her command (or following her because she's The Ace) getting slaughtered in an aimless, mad rush with Mikasa herself only surviving out of dumb luck. The second case gets Captain Levi injured when he saves her after she heedlessly accepted a feigned opening.
  • The Beautiful Skies of Houou High is about a Butch Lesbian who gets sent to an all-boys school by her abusive mom hoping that she'll become straight and give her grandkids. While it's a comedy, the story is on the side of the mother and dead serious about it. Western audiences didn't bite, and it bombed so badly the English publisher discontinued the release after the first volume. It didn't go over well in Japan either, but more because of its misogyny than homophobia.
  • Bitter Virgin goes into the topic of Abusive Parents. Very early on, Hinako Aikawa reveals how she was raped more than once by her stepfather and was made pregnant twice. The first time she miscarried. The second time the doctor said that she would never be able to have a child again if she has an abortion. So she gave birth to the baby via Caesarean section, and gave him away to be adopted. Her mother was in denial over it, but after the second time, she could deny it no longer. Her mother drove the stepfather out of the house with a knife. Needless to say, Hinako has a load of issues. By Western standards, it would be considered horrible that the stepfather was apparently never punished and society seems to be mostly against Hinako. By Japanese standards, Hinako would be considered Defiled Forever, and Hinako would probably be blamed for the abuse and be unable to seek help.
  • Bleach:
    • Momo Hinamori has loved and respected Aizen even before she became his lieutenant, and he used this to manipulate her into trusting him unconditionally and essentially worshiping him. After discovering Aizen's (fake) corpse, she attacked Gin (of whom her childhood friend Hitsugaya had warned her about earlier). Not long after, she received Aizen's last letter addressed to her in which he named Hitsugaya as the murderer. Half-crazed from pain, she tried to fight him, but had a breakdown in the middle of the fight. Later on, she was informed of Aizen's deceit by the man himself, who went on to stab her. Yet even after this she still couldn't accept the fact that Aizen betrayed Soul Society and believed that he was framed - behavior in line with the Yamato Nadeshiko characterization female characters often receive in Japanese entertainment. American fans hate her for this and think she's a stupid, weak woman. Japanese fans think she's a woobie and love her.
    • Similarly, Ukitake (and Rukia) both have a scruple that if a person is fighting for the sake of their personal pride, you should never intervene, even if they're going to be killed (Kaien does, in fact, get possessed by a Hollow as a result of Ukitake and Rukia's non-intervention, forcing Rukia to Mercy Kill him). While this is tied to the Japanese sense of honor, fans from other background often have a less positive view of it, because honor doesn't mean anything when you're dead, and because sometimes some other goal is more important than one person's personal pride.
    • A more specific example occurs in the Hueco Mundo arc, when five characters come to a crossroads with five different paths. Ichigo says that they should pick a path to go down, but Rukia and Renji insist that they split up and go down different paths, because wanting to stay in a group is an insult because it implies that they aren't strong enough to be self-sufficient. While the characters end up split the group, many Western fans view it as a What an Idiot! moment, because Ichigo is right that their enemies are extremely powerful and splitting the party reduces their chances of success. However, the fact that Ichigo accepts this reluctantly, and the fact those arguing for it are expressing old-fashioned samurai values may point to it being an in-universe bit of dissonance. Ichigo's viewpoint is seemingly validated by the fact that they all end up badly injured, and have to be saved by reinforcements from Soul Society.
    • A teenage Masaki downplays rumors of her involvement with her secret fiance Ryuuken by stating that they're cousins. The reactions of her friends range from "Yes, but more importantly, he's not your type and you're not his" to "WHO CARES HAVE YOU SEEN HOW HOT HE IS". J-fandom vs. some parts of the American fandom reaction to this reflected the strong taboo against cousin marriage in American culture vs. the Japanese attitude that cousin marriage is somewhat odd but generally acceptable.
    • As noted in the "General" section above, the Japanese attitude towards child abuse is that it's best left as a private issue. To Western audiences, Chad and Orihime living alone without any adult guardians before they even turned 15 is...fantastical...at best and breathtakingly irresponsible at worst. In America, the acceptable response to Chad losing his parents and guardian would be a foster home or group home placement. To Orihime's parental abuse, giving physical custody to her out-of-town aunt. Reality Is Unrealistic, however, as in many Western countries, even the US, there are many officially or de facto emancipated minors.
    • Bleach really really likes Japanese Spirit type development, and there are many instances where characters will manifest new abilities or powers through sheer force of will or just by wanting it hard enough. While in Japan this is generally accepted, a lot of western fans view these developments as Ass Pulls.
  • In Bloom Into You, at Sayaka's old school, she got into a Romantic Two-Girl Friendship with an older girl after the latter confessed to her, but one day, the older girl suddenly broke up with Sayaka, saying that they weren't "little kids" anymore. Some time later, after Sayaka started attending Toomi East, she met her ex again, at which point the older girl apologized for making Sayaka get interested in girls, and expressed the hope that Sayaka was back to normal (i.e. heterosexual). The older girl's attitude is the product of Japanese views on homosexuality dating back to the Meiji era, in which the Romantic Two-Girl Friendship is thought of as a phase girls outgrow, in favor of having boyfriends. That said, Sayaka, who has the Sympathetic P.O.V. in those scenes, was deeply hurt by her ex's actions, which are presented as deeply misguided at best, and when she meets her ex again, subtly makes the point that she's still a lesbian. It's also worth noting that Riko and Miyako, both adult women, are in a committed, if secret, lesbian relationship, and have been shown kissing.
  • Bokurano:
    • In the anime episode revealing Misumi's backstory, a twenty-something yakuza member falls in love with Misumi, a student at the time, and marries her.
    • The idea of abuse being something that the families deal with is also dealt with here, as while plenty of the cast members get upset with Ushiro for hitting his younger sister Kana note , no one does anything about it. Then again, this is played with in the manga, in which Ushiro's best friend, Kanji, admits that he didn't tell anyone about it because Kana herself asked him not to, for Ushiro's own sake.
    • Spanking is portrayed more favorably than in many Western works. Maki's adoptive father is portrayed as a good father despite the fact that he spanks his daughter, and Maki herself says it takes a lot of courage for him to do so. Ushiro disagrees, noting that his adoptive father has never spanked him (the two share a more distant relationship than the Anos). Maki exasperatedly calls Mr. Ushiro "useless", and Ushiro cynically replies that spanking someone doesn't take courage.
  • Bunny Drop:
    • Six-year-old Rin is quite independent, cooking certain foods and going to school with no adult supervision (she goes with her same-aged friend). The latter can be a bit worrying in countries where "Stranger Danger" is a common train of thought.
    • Contrary to popular belief, the infamous manga ending where a now adult Rin and her father figure Daikichi get married is not a case of this. Japanese fans hated it, too.
  • Candy Candy has the main character, Candy White Adley and her friend, Annie Brighton, being mocked for being adopted children. To a modern, Western audience, this would come off as odd at best and downright cruel at worst. However, considering the time period of the show and the fact that it comes from Japan, where adoption, even now, is not looked on favorably by some, the ridicule becomes more understandable.
  • Cardcaptor Sakura has an astonishingly casual view of teacher/student relationships, featuring three prominent ones in the manga. Sakura's mother and father met when he was a high school teacher and she was his student. Her brother Touya dated one of his teachers when he was in junior high. One of Sakura's prepubescent classmates has a crush on their teacher... and he returns it! But then, it's Clamp, and in the anime, Sakura's classmate's crush isn't returned like in the manga.
    • It also has a similar view of cousin relationships. Sakura's mother's (female) first cousin, Sonomi loved her, and Sonomi's daughter Tomoyo harbors similar feelings for Sakura (her second cousin). Neither Sonomi nor Tomoyo's love are requited, but the story doesn't express disapproval of either character's feelings.
  • Citrus
    • Early on in the series, Yuzu and Harumi stop to do karaoke on the way home, and end up getting in trouble merely for not going straight home, not for anything they did on their detour. While Japanese schools are concerned about the students getting into trouble and thus adversely affecting the school's reputation, Western viewers see this rule as overly harsh. It also doesn't help that Aihara Academy is described as a fairly strict school, at least compared to what Yuzu's used to.
    • Mei being upset with her father because he changed into a happy-go-lucky free spirit while he was traveling abroad, in opposition to the image she had in her head of him as a stern teacher who puts his job ahead of anything else. In Japan, working long hours and being a stern disciplinarian are considered to be sacrificing your own feelings for the sake of your family and being a good role model. Mei is therefore getting upset because her father betrayed the image she had of him. In the West, that would be considered neglect, at the very least, and viewers would wonder why the hell Mei is getting so angry that her only living parent was trying to be nice to her and seemingly rebuild their relationship.
  • Death Note:
    • Raye Penber's heavy-handed Stay in the Kitchen speech to his (former FBI agent) fiance makes his later murder less a tragedy and more an instance of him bringing it on himself in the eyes of many readers, especially because Naomi was much more competent than he was. On the other hand, it makes you really feel for Naomi – which works heavily in favor of the story. Especially because in Another Note The Los Angeles BB Murder Cases she just finished working with L on tracking down and killing Beyond Birthday.
    • In-Universe (and possibly for reader) example: In Episode 23, Light refuses L's suggestion to carry a gun to assist in Higuchi's capture, citing that it's illegal for a citizen to own a gun in Japan, while L (who is of mixed ethnicity and is presumably not native Japanese) has no problem with carrying one, and neither does Watari. Similarly, earlier in the episode, Soichiro refuses to take one from the also non-Japanese career criminal Wedy, citing that he's no longer a police officer, and suggests that Wedy shouldn't have a gun, either (Aiber, however, declines to do so for personal reasons).
  • This contributed to the commercial failure of Detective Conan in the US. The anime is supposed to be a children's show, aired at 7:30pm Mondays for most of its televised history, and the structure of the story is along the lines of a children's show. However, the sheer amount of Family Unfriendly Deaths (many episodes revolve around murder cases) caused serious problems in the West, and importers were given the choice of cutting or timing out of its intended demographic... Interestingly, though, it was quite successful in Europe, at least in the German-speaking countries, where the Moral Guardians only during the last decade started to raise their voices against anime, but seeing as there are lots of detective stories that get released there (even on TV) it is pretty much a given.
  • Devilman: The scene where Ryo/Satan claims that he loves Akira because of his female side would sound incredibly homophobic for today's audience and would definitely rub some people, especially the LGBT community, the wrong way. Still, the manga came out in 1970, and for that time, an author even thinking of having a man explicitly proclaiming his love for another man, regardless of the reason, was already quite admirable.
  • Digimon Adventure has the scene where the Digidestined hitchhike and are picked up by a total stranger. Possibly in an attempt to quell the Adult Fear of kids getting into cars with strangers, the American dub changed it to Sora's cousin Duane giving them a ride.
  • Curiously alluded to in Digimon Tamers, when Takato's parents discuss if they should let their preteen son and his dinosaur pet go to an strange world where God Knows Which Dangers Lurk.
    Mother: (angsted) But he is only ten years old! He's just a kid!
    Father: (stoic) There was a time not long ago where he should have been old enough to travel alone.
  • Doraemon:
    • Shizuka had Shower Scenes with Barbie Doll Anatomy averted as a Running Gag. The remake added Censor Steam, which was considered a bit of an outrage on 2ch and the like due to how it instantly shed the previous scenes in a different light when they were mostly just intended as comedy.
    • In the manga story Chapter 111: "I Loved a Cat", Doraemon is worried about not being good enough for Mii-chan and, while lighting a bundle of dynamite, claims "I'M GONNA BOMB MYSELF!" before Nobita stops him. Suicide isn't something you'd normally put in a kiddie comic in the States or make jokes about.
    • Some might find Gian's bullying and the kids' constant fear of poundings from him highly tasteless, especially if you think of cases of Bully Brutality brought to light in recent years, where kids are often injured or killed by violent aggressors like him.
    • Likewise, Gian getting beat up by his mother brings some unfortunate implications about child abuse.
    • Some stories in the manga involve gags that would be considered sexual harassment towards Shizuka and not a silly (or child-friendly) joke to U.S. readers, like Nobita using Doraemon's gadgets to peek under her skirt. note  (However, this is actually a subversion, since in the chapter Nobita has NO intention of doing that, Doraemon is too negative-minded).
    • In a few of the manga chapters and anime episodes, sometimes the kids' parents lock them out of the house for misbehavior. This seems cruel as well as dangerous to the West, but is pretty standard in the east.
  • Dragon Ball
    • The final filler arc of the original Dragon Ball series focuses on Goku and Chichi learning to be a respectable married couple, but specifically on teaching Chichi subservience to her new husband, a trait rather out-of-fashion in Western society these days. And that's not even getting into the mountain that actively repels any female that attempts to climb it, a fact which only "bad girl" Mai seems to have a problem with.
    • Master Roshi's perverted antics, all the sexual jokes (most of which involve Bulma, who's only 16 at the start of the series), and Goku sometimes going nude (as a child) would be seen by Westerners as very inappropriate and vulgar for a series aimed at preteens and are usually edited out in pre-watershed English broadcasts of the series. In Japan, sexual humor and Fanservice isn't out of the ordinary for manga aimed at young male teens, and the last one can be chalked up to child nudity representing purity in Japanese culture, as well as the inherent asexuality of very young children, rather than anything sexual. That being said, it's just as often used as a gag because Naked People Are Funny.
    • The Saiyans of Dragon Ball Z are a race of space mercenaries who slaughter other races for glory and a paycheck, and so it is not surprising that Americans find themselves relating to them, aided by the dubtext that made out the Saiyans to be more sympathetic. For example, in the English dub it's spelled out that Vegeta only worked for Freeza because he threatened that he would kill his father and people if he didn't (and then did it anyway) when this was only implied in the Japanese.
    • Son Goku's parenting skills. In the US, most fans tend to see Goku as a neglectful father and husband since he's often absent (mostly from being dead) and refuses to get a job to support his family. At its best, it's played for laughs in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. At its worst, it goes into Ron the Death Eater territories. In Asian countries and parts of Europe, Goku doesn't come off as this. In fact, he is seen as a good or decent father who spoils Gohan, too much according to Japan, as it's expected that fathers will spend long periods absent, but he's extremely attentive and affectionate when he is around. Japanese attitudes towards parents expects dads to be much sterner and more aloof than mothers, which Goku definitely isn't. This trope was undercut in Dragon Ball Super, which explicitly clarifies that Goku actually does have a job as a farmer.
    • Likewise, Chi-Chi also comes off more favorably in Japan since her Education Mama tendencies are seen as more positive — though the anime greatly exaggerates this aspect of her for comedy. She lost this trait almost entirely in the Majin Buu saga, which furthered her popularity.
    • The visual depiction of black characters is seen by Westerners as uncomfortably similar to Blackface caricatures seen in cartoons and other forms of entertainment throughout the early 20th century. One example is Staff Officer Black, of the Red Ribbon Army. While serious and more-or-less competent, he's still drawn with exaggeratedly big, pink lips (not to mention the fact that his name is literally just "black"). Non-human characters aren't exempt from this either. Mr. Popo (whose likely meant to resemble some sort of Djinn) is drawn with skin that's literally pitch-black, and has red lips. He and certain other anime characters have received backlash from some viewers because of their resemblance to minstrel characters, (other examples being Jynx from Pokémon, and Chocolove from Shaman King ). One possible reason could be the exportation of racist imagery to other countries that may or may not be aware of the historical context, as Mr. Popo and Jynx are both seen as harmless in Japan. Because of this, a lot of fans gravitate towards Piccolo as a surrogate black character.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, The Reveal that Goku evidently hasn't worked out what kissing is was another Japanese joke that did not sit well with Western audiences. In Japan, kissing is an immensely private affair that parents often won't even do where their kids can see and which traditionalists won't do at all, so Goku comes off as amusingly old-fashioned. In the West, this was taken up as evidence by a hatedom who believe Goku and Chi-Chi's relationship is cold, loveless and abusive.
  • Esper Mami's main character worked as a nude model for her father throughout the anime's run. Scenery Censor was completely ignored (although Barbie Doll Anatomy came into play, except for her nipples, and in the finished paintings), and Mami, as a model, had no real nudity taboo, to boot. It did help that the finished paintings were done in a very artistic style, and the Fanservice aspects of something like that were completely averted.
  • Any time Patrick "Panther" Spencer shows up in Eyeshield 21, and they begin talking about the "black man's" superior genes and body. If you tried doing something like that in Western culture, well... just look at Jimmy The Greek. Many of the initial instances are from the mouth of Leonard Apollo, who is plainly shown to be a scummy racist, but by the final arc in the series, seemingly every character (and even the narrator) start to do this every time Panther is involved in the game.
  • A filler episode of Fairy Tail has Lucy, Natsu and Happy stranded in an ice labyrinth, having been unable to eat or sleep for three days and are slowly succumbing to hypothermia. Lucy established earlier on that her celestial spirits are on vacation. Considering how she and two of her closest friends are explicitly dying due to their dire situation, it can seem somewhat frustrating to a Western viewer that Lucy is that unwilling to risk being rude by disturbing a spirit. It helps that Lucy's first Celestial Spirit, Aquarius, often is quite temperamental about being summoned at a bad time.
  • Girls und Panzer:
    • An in-universe case in the "Little Army" prequel manga. Emi Nakasuga, a girl whose ethnicity (German-Japanese) and temperament are not unlike Asuka from Neon Genesis Evangelion (see above), has a difficult time in Japan due to her Brutal Honesty not sitting well with most of her Japanese classmates. Of course, it's also revealed in the sequel to Little Army that when she goes back home to Germany, she doesn't fit in there either, in part because of her half-Japanese ethnicity, and partly because her abrasiveness doesn't do her any favors.
    Emi: I hate lies and flattery. There's no point in wasting praise on the selfish. That's why I hate this country.
    • In the sixth OVA, Hana gently admonishes Saori's "bad manners" for cheering and clapping during Rabbit Team's gymnastics performancenote  at a celebratory event, indicative of how the Japanese don't approve of clapping during performances.
  • Shinkon Gattai Godannar!! where the 29 year old main character, marries a 17 year old highschooler. Everyone is shocked that he got married, but no one seems to care that said bride isn't even old enough to drink. What's considered another dissonance about the marriage is how quickly it happened, considering the death of his previous lover. Generally widows are expected to grieve for a very long time in Japan before remarrying, if they do at all.
  • In Gon, Gon frequently eats animals, mainly fish, alive, often taking one bite and leaving them to die. While repulsive to many Western audiences, this is common practice in Japanese cuisine.
  • Golden Kamuy: The depiction of bears as man-eaters who seem to take pleasure in hunting and killing humans may raise a few eyebrows among readers from other countries. Bears Are Bad News has been a Discredited Trope in the West for a few decades thanks to the efforts of wildlife conservation organizations and advocates; while they are definitely animals that are considered to be very fearsome and dangerous, the common perception of bears in the West is that of animals who will be happy to leave you alone if you do the same to them. Many sports teams, schools, and even governments in America consider their local species of bear to be their mascot, and they're frequently seen promoting national parks. In contrast, the main Japanese exposure to bears comes from the Sankebetsu incident of 1915, where a bear attacked and killed seven people before finally being shot. This incident along with a couple of others led to the Japanese perception of bears as man-eaters and considering that in Hokkaido today the native brown bear population numbers less than 2,000 in remote areas, it's hard to see this stereotype changing anytime soon. After all, the public's opinion of an animal species can't really be changed if there are hardly any of those animals around anymore, and it doesn't help that the males of the last subspecies of bear native to the Japanese islands, the Shiretoko brown bear are so aggressive that females with cubs deliberately seek out hunters and fishermen for protection.
  • In an early scene of Grave of the Fireflies, the mother of the two main characters goes off to a shelter, leaving her son to carry his toddler sister around while the town is under attack. While Westerners would probably consider this to be an appalling act of abandonment and reckless endangerment, the original intention was more likely to be that the son was the man of the house since his father was away fighting and was old enough regardless, so his mother trusted him to take care of things. According to the bonus material, this careless behavior was explained by the fact that previous American bombings had been relatively light and aimed at industrial sites only. "Just another raid. Nothing to be worried about. Let's do what the government ordered and get to the holes in the ground that have to pass for shelters." Oh boy... In what turned out to be both a Cultural and Generational Dissonance, most younger and (especially) Western viewers side with Seita when he decides to leave his aunt's house after a fight. The director's intent was for Seita to be seen in the wrong for not sucking up his pride.
  • In Great Mazinger, lots of people don't understand why Tetsuya feels so horribly jealous of Kouji's position as Kenzou Kabuto's true firstborn son, to the point of refusing to help him in battle at some point – which causes Kenzo's death in the end. This is because Tetsuya is an orphan, and in a society where family and stability are all, orphans are extremely looked down upon even in adulthood. Therefore, when the full-blooded son and heir of the man who raised him came in, Tetsuya was shit scared of being abandoned again and he thought that if that was the case, the still very traditional Japanese society would likely make him a pariah. It was was, WAY more complicated that mere jealousy between two adoptive brothers.
  • Gunslinger Girl: Any Italian would find all of the relationships including between the adults to be unspeakably cold and distant as the artists, due to cultural projection, have depicted them as Japanese relationships might be, instead of as the very physical Italians would act. Though that COULD be excused by thinking that they are very, very uncomfortable in dealing with those girls and it's shown this way. There's also the other major issue with this manga.
  • In Gundam Build Divers, the threat of the game-hacking Break Decals being used by cheating "Mass-Divers" is a serious thing to Gunpla Battle Nexus Online. However, the threat of such a thing is left in the hands of the players, which includes the main characters (a group of novices) and the #1 player of the game. To Western audiences, this stretches the Willing Suspension of Disbelief a little too far as a game-breaking threat that big should be attacked by GMs, mods and devs descending upon the game and throwing everyone out and patching the game so that it never happens again. In Japan, things like that tend to be self-policed by the players, who don't go after someone higher up unless it's super important.
    • The fact that it's self-policed by the players in the first place. In plenty of Western countries, where the Lord British Postulate is common, this would be seen as a monumentally stupid idea. Indeed, some of the most infamous events in online RPGs were the result of players deliberately looking for ways to break the game just so that they could kill other players' avatars when the others couldn't fight back, or damage things that normally couldn't be. The idea that no one, or at least, a small enough group to the point that it could be contained, would exploit the cheats is simply nonexistent in the West.
  • The scene in Hanasaku Iroha where Minko cuts up a fish to demonstrate her skills to some more experienced chefs. She does it very well as far as an untrained eye can tell, but the older chefs react, with dead seriousness, as if she had shoved it through a paper shredder, and tell her she must be a moron for thinking she could ever be a chef. Presumably, this was meant to inspire her to work towards even greater heights of perfectionism, but to a non-Japanese viewer it seems cruelly harsh and, well, perfectionistic. Another scene has Ohana fangirl over someone putting on their work clothes and gush about how she did it with "not a single wasted motion," which seems weird for the same reason.
  • Hell Girl has a lot of Values Dissonance, though interestingly, some of these values are also criticized. Recurrent themes are how molestation, rumors and bullying are treated. One of the most striking examples is the reveal in season 3: Yuzuki's father was a bus driver. One day, an accident was caused due to a malfunction, which resulted in numerous deaths, among them Yuzuki's father. However, since the malfunction could not be proven, the father was blamed, and by extension, his family. Yuzuki and her mother were completely shunned by the public. The mother died from a cold because their doctor would not treat her, and Yuzuki died alone in their home.
  • Occurs in-universe in The Heroic Legend of Arslan as one of the main themes in the story. Lusitania's religious war against other nations is the main conflict. Arslan struggles against his own country's tradition of slavery. Etoile, despite his religious bigotry, is a good person. Gieve hates mindless servitude while Elam actually wants to work for Narsus.
  • An unusual reversal with Highschool of the Dead. In the midst of a Zombie Apocalypse, the teenage protagonists learn to use guns, drive without licences, steal things to survive and essentially rely on themselves rather than authority/government figures. Not unusual to Americans, but in Japan (where the story takes place)? Definitely.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry:
    • Detective Delicious asks people to come into his car to talk about crimes because it's air-conditioned. Most of the time though, we see one of the five kids enter the car. In the United States, kids are drilled early on to not talk to strangers, don't go into their cars, etc. Seeing as the Pedo Hunt isn't as strong in Japan, you can see where the Values Dissonance comes in. It helps that the series takes place in 1983, and that the detective is, well, a policeman.
    • Also of note is that the two youngest cast members, Rika and Satoko (who are both 9, if the Visual Novel is to be believed), live alone in a storage shed beside Rika's family's shrine; it's especially obvious in Minagoroshi-hen; after Social Services take custody of Satoko - who had just come from several weeks of being abused by her uncle - they promptly dump her back with Rika in the storage shed without any explanation or sign of a social worker or foster parent. Then again, in this series, social services are established has being highly incompetent at their best and downright malicious at worst.
    • In a different vein is how the religion of the insane cultists comes across. Combining Squick with I'm a Humanitarian provides pretty graphic and disturbing imagery. In the West, it would certainly be seen as gross, but it's got more impact in the East. The cultists are perverting the Shinto religion, which is the dominant faith in Japan, so it would be seen as incredibly blasphemous. A Western equivalent would be someone claiming to be Jewish while sacrificing a pig in a Jewish temple. It violates so many of the core rules and tenants that it can't even be called that faith anymore.
  • In Ikki Tousen, when a character is revealed to really be the incarnation of Wang Yun rather than who he had previously claimed to be, it's treated as a huge shock and evidence that he's completely evil. Wang Yun was a hero in the original Romance of the Three Kingdoms, but it seems the Japanese don't think too highly of him. That was before, well, Zuo Ci (the one who was Wang Yun) actually betrayed and manipulated his friends.... This was one of the more heavy plot rewrites in the anime, which was made after Wang Yun's identity was known to the reader, but before he revealed it to the characters. In the manga, while he's still manipulating literally everyone behind their backs, he's got good intentions, and is treated as a hero. Hell, even in the anime, he's mostly just setting the villains up to kill each other.
  • Japan definitely has a more accepting – even positive – attitude toward suicide than the West, and one series in which you can see this is Irresponsible Captain Tylor. When desperate situations happen in early episodes, basically every single character except Tylor himself start talking about dying a heroic death, and Tylor's self-preservation instinct is treated as a sign of his incompetence. What makes this weird is that, while it would be perfectly in-character for someone like Yamamoto – who was The Ace until Tylor showed up – to act like this (and he does), it even extends to the Marines on the ship who are the kind of malcontents you wouldn't expect to be so eager to die.
  • Jungle de Ikou! features a girl (approximately 10 years old) who is given the ability to turn into a busty Earth goddess by means of a somewhat sexualized tribal dance. Such a premise would be rejected on sight by any studio in America; in fact, some online reviews from Western viewers have denounced it as pedophilic.
  • What kick-starts the plot in Kare Kano is Arima discovering Yukino's "secret", namely that she isn't as perfect as she pretends to be. Yukino fears that her entire reputation will collapse and people will shun her. Western readers may be confused as to why such a huge deal is made of this; being seen in your comfy clothes in an unusually cheerful mood might be mildly embarrassing, but certainly not something that will forever tarnish your reputation or that someone could even use to blackmail you.
  • Played for Laughs in Katekyō Hitman Reborn!. In the Italian mafia, a subordinate kissing their boss on the cheek is not unusual. In Japan (and done to Tsuna by newly-introduced Chrome), it's Ship Tease.
  • In Kinnikuman, the characters of Brockenman and his son Brocken Jr.'s wrestling gimmicks are the fact they are Nazis, complete with visible swastikas. Brocken Jr. is even a good guy! This is seen as no big deal in Japan, but both characters were not released in Mattel's release of the kinkeshi as M.U.S.C.L.E and him being replaced by the Native American chojin Geronimo in the NES tie-in game. In France, which obviously does not have good memories of Nazi Germany, the series was pulled from Club Dorothee shortly after Brocken Jr. was introduced. However, the series aired in its entirety in Catalan, an area of Spain that was a member of the Axis Powers. In the second series and Kinnikuman Nisei anime, their swastikas were replaced by a skull and crossbones and an eagle, respectively.
  • No one in Koi Kaze seems uncomfortable by the fact that Nanoka is sixteen and her boyfriend is twenty-seven, they only ever bring up the fact they're siblings. A large amount of the Squick the series induces comes from the age gap combined with the incest. If Nanoka was six years older, it wouldn't be nearly as uncomfortable to Western viewers, while Japanese viewers see it as, while not the norm anymore, certainly not as much of an issue, especially with Japanese gender roles praising a hard-working husband having a supportive, healthy wife, preferably young and capable of giving birth to many equally healthy children.
  • A smaller but no less striking example happened in K-On! during the episode where the characters are supposed to take portraits for their future passes. Most of the episode is concerned with Yui's bad haircut, but an off-hand comment goes along the lines of "If you can't prove your hair to be naturally non-black, the school will dye it black before taking the photo." This kind of thing has happened in Real Life Japan where it's accepted, while Western parents and child services would take out the Torches and Pitchforks.
  • Part of the drama of Kotoura-san comes with the fact Haruka doesn't (and can't) use Tatemae for keeping her (and others) secrets for herself, due of the way her Mind-reading powers works—she couldn't turn it off nor can she distinguish between words and thoughts—and being the Tatemae an important part of the Japanese culture, it's no wonder why she's rejected by her peers.
  • Magical Pokémon Journey had two gay characters and How I Became a Pokémon Card had a transgender boy as the protagonist in one story. Considering these manga were aimed at children, it wouldn't fly as easily in some places, especially for the time.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth has a young girl named Aska wanting to be beautiful more than anything in the world. She is asked whom does she want to be beautiful for. In a Western country such as the USA, wanting to be beautiful for its own sake or to be healthy in order to do things you enjoy would have been enough of an explanation. But Japan, having tighter gender roles, a woman's beauty was more for a man than for herself.
  • Mahou Shoujo Site: Kiyoharu is a sympathetic transgender character, however the way characters address her invokes this. Even her close best friend Kosame will casually out her with something along the lines of "Kiyoharu looks like a girl" or "Kiyoharu is actually a boy". Getting mockingly called a crossdresser, however, is a Berserk Button of Kiyoharu's. This type of casual misgendering is often considered offensive in many places and being Forced Out of the Closet is frowned upon.
  • Mai-HiME:
    • An interesting case is that of Shizuru Fujino. Fan opinion on her seems divided after her Face–Heel Turn over her feelings being rejected, but the image portrayed in the same scene seems to depend on background. In Japan, Shizuru is confronted for three major breaches of behavior: abandoning her position as student council president to take care of Natsuki, being a Schoolgirl Lesbian, and "taking advantage" of Natsuki as she slept. The first is a dereliction of a duty Shizuru willingly took up, which is a big thing in Japan's duty-centered society. The second is a sign of immaturity, as detailed in Schoolgirl Lesbians, implying that Shizuru is acting childishly by pursuing this kind of thing at her age. The third is both true and false: while Shizuru did kiss Natsuki while she was sleeping, the greater implication of sex going on was incorrect and Natsuki is misunderstanding/jumping to conclusions. Nonetheless, stealing Natsuki's Sacred First Kiss without her consent is a serious faux pas. However, in many a Western market (except Italy), Shizuru's status is more ambiguous. The first charge of dereliction of duty seems rather frivolous, as most would consider saving a friend from a potentially life-threatening or major injury to be more important than student council duties. The second is similarly frivolous to most, with Shizuru's biggest offense being Cannot Spit It Out. The third, again, is generally misinterpreted to imply that Shizuru actually did rape Natsuki, but the concept of kissing her while she's asleep is not considered a big deal. This ironically leads to a conflicting view of Haruka who is accusing Shizuru. Either she's being a dutiful, proper moral standard calling her rival out on her misbehavior, or she's being a cruel, oversensitive shrew blowing the whole thing out of proportion. There's her later snap and killing spree, but even that's a debate for another page.
    • Interestingly enough, Yukino and Haruka call out Shizuru on different issues in this scene. Haruka is the one who complains about Shizuru abandoning her duties, and when Shizuru merely replies that she will give up her position to Haruka, Yukino complains that Shizuru has not properly acknowledged Haruka as a rival despite her efforts. Yukino then mentions that she saw Shizuru kiss Natsuki as she slept, as well as something else earlier (although the word "rape" is never used). After Shizuru mocks Yukino for voyeuristic tendencies, Haruka slaps Shizuru and then says she and Natsuki are disgusting for acting in such a way with each other (by contrast, Yukino is implied to have an unadmitted and most likely unrequited Schoolgirl Lesbians crush on Haruka), and then Shizuru slaps her in response and says that it was only something she did on her own. One has to wonder why Haruka would blame Natsuki if Yukino is correct that it was rape, unless both have different ideas about what happened. Compare the following quotes.
      Yukino: I saw what you did, like how you kissed her back there. I saw what you did to Natsuki as she slept. How could you do that, to someone who trusts you as a friend?
      Haruka: Two women behaving like that with each other, you're filthy. Both you ANDnote  Natsuki Kuga!
    • If an English-speaking viewer has seen only the dub (in which Shizuru has a cultured Southern accent), one gets the impression that her descent into Psycho Lesbianism is more a result of "I'm a lesbian, and all lesbians are psychos, so that means I'm a psycho" kind of deal, with the conservative implications of her accent accounted for. Note that Japan has some slightly... dated views on homosexuality, as discussed under Schoolgirl Lesbians. Also see Mai-Otome, which takes place in a world where lesbians are much more accepted, and Shizuru is a significantly more sane character – as well as a shameless flirt.
    • Also in Mai-HiME, a similar scene happens in one of the sound dramas, with the characters 15-17 drinking alcohol on Mai's birthday. However, in this case, Natsuki is shocked that Aoi has alcohol in her room, some of the people present point out that it's not allowed under school rules, and Nagi of all people tells the viewers that they should only drink once they're 20.
  • Maicchingu Machiko Sensei, a kids show about 8 year olds sexually molesting their teacher, who can't keep her clothing on or intact for more than a few hours. Somewhat tame to be honest, although the Parent Service is blatant, and the show completely averts Barbie Doll Anatomy – Machiko's nipples are visible in the opening credits. Oh, and also the female students are involved in fanservice scenes despite their age.
  • In the first episode of Majokko Meg-chan, Papa loses his temper with Meg when she argues with him, and slaps her. Since he immediately has a My God, What Have I Done? moment, it wouldn't qualify as this trope if it weren’t for the fact that Mami later claims that he wouldn't have done it if he wasn't truly Meg's father. Nowadays, she'd probably be angry at him for committing an act of abuse, even if he was sorry for doing it.
  • Momotaro's Divine Sea Warriors is a World War two propaganda film that features Japanese folk hero Momotaro and loads of adorable animals going to war and brutally killing British soldiers. Japanese viewers of the time would see Momotaro as a hero. Modern Japanese, citizens of a country that officially doesn't have an army, cringe.
  • My Hero Academia:
    • The way bullying is treated in the manga makes sense to Japanese readers. In Japan, bullying is an issue rarely brought up with teachers and where the bully will rarely face consequences. Although there are initiatives to deal with the issue, it's still a large problem in Japanese schools, with the manga showing that Bakugo really does gets away scot free with his bullying, but it's shown he faces other consequences because of his bully-like attitude in high school. To Western readers, however, Bakugo seems like too much of a Karma Houdini, exactly because of how subtle the narrative is in punishing him and how they never caused him to question his heinous actions towards Midoriya in the past(the worst of which is suggesting that Midoriya kill himself so that he can reincarnate with a Quirk, something that is never mentioned again after the first chapter), with the Western fandom believing that this is a situation where Some Anvils Need to Be Dropped.
    • Twice, who is revealed to be 31 in the Volume 24 extras, developing an unrequited crush on Himiko Toga(a teenager) would be considered Squick for American readers, but she is well within Japan's age of consent. This is especially true to a piece of teasing official art where he is measuring her naked body.
    • Similar to the age issue above, Yaoyorozu being the main source of Fanservice is a bit of a hot topic of debate among Western fans due to her being still a first year in high schoolnote , while Japanese fans are mostly accepting of it. This is related to the age of consent in Japan.
    • Also related to sexuality issues, Mineta's perverted antics are much less warmly received by Western fans, due to a culture where sexual harassment is no longer Played for Laughs. In the series, Mineta's female classmates don't hesitate to punish him for his perversion, but generally consider him little more than a nuisance, while in the West, they'd probably have reason to have him suspended, or even expelled (which often happens in fanfics written by non-Japanese writers).
  • Naruto:
    • Many fans groaned at a flashback showing Kurenai's father telling her to stay out of the fight with the Nine-Tailed Fox because she must one day have children. While this is extremely sexist from a Western viewpoint, it is somewhat different for Japan. Namely, perpetuating one's lineage is seen as extremely significant in Asian cultures, and having one's bloodline die out is seen as equal to not existing. Not to mention the series' overarching theme of passing the Will of Fire to the next generation... It's telling that, while the 'have a child' speech was seemingly only directed at Kurenai, there were plenty of male characters prevented from fighting, too. Conversely, some female ninja, such as Iruka's mother, went into battle and died (though Kurenai was about sixteen at the time.)
    • After being put under a genjutsu and forced to live out an ideal fantasy, some of the female characters, many of whom have noticeable and pre-established crushes, are shown to be involved with settling down, while all the men have unique fantasies (though the only fantasies seen regarding the ladies were Hinata, Mei and Ino's that fit the above; Tenten's involved Neji being alive again and her teammates not being as weird, (Hinata's also had Neji, who'd recently died in front of her, be alive as well.) Tsunade's was Dan being alive (and Hokage) as well as Nawaki and Jiraiya along with an Orochimaru who never performed a Face–Heel Turn.)
    • Kishimoto answered questions about some of the ending. When asked about Sakura's unwavering devotion to Sasuke, he allegedly said that Sakura's loyalty to Sasuke was proper, as she would be a "terrible woman" if she were to give up on Sasuke. To the Japanese fandom, this statement would be more understandable, due to the traditional values regarding feminine loyalty while to a Western audience, it came off as horribly chauvinistic to some people, especially for some due to Sasuke's behavior towards Sakura in the past.
  • Evoked in-universe in Neon Genesis Evangelion. Asuka (who is half-white and grew up in Germany) is utterly baffled when she discovers that her bedroom door has no lock, which Misato states is in keeping with Japanese customs. This practice would likely seem very bizarre to most Western viewers, German or not. Especially Americans, who famously place great value on their privacy.
    • Well, that certainly explains why a lot of those Accidental Pervert moments happen in anime (the typical boy goes inside room and finds out girl is changing clothes).
    • This seemingly changed after the 2000s, however, with many houses in Anime and Manga being shown to have locks on every door and only very old/classical Japanese architecture buildings still lacking them. Accidental Pervert moments are also a lot less common due to this.
  • In Noragami, Mutsumi is bullied by her classmates simply due to her supposedly self-absorbed way of talking and her teachers favoring her. Mutsumi often refers to herself in third person, which in Japanese culture is seen as narcissistic. However, the manga and anime play it up as if she deserves this, making it seem like her fault for not reaching out to her classmates when they were telling her to kill herself. It comes off very offsetting to many Western viewers to see her getting bullied for such trivial reasons like this.
  • Omamori Himari and the tsundere Rinko. While at the beginning it was the normal set up of "lovey-dovey" childhood friend, it has evolved into a full-on abusive relationship. While at the start she was no role model (throwing a cat to a person who is allergic to them... really?), she has been shown lately to punch, slap and hit him with a baseball bat with nails until he bleeds. And his transgression? To have other girls ogle him, feel herself inadequate in the chest department or show any interest in anything that is not her. And we are supposed to find it endearing... It's like this with Girls Bravo and any number of works: either the mangaka really had no idea of what a healthy relationship is, the Harem Genre is heading to its breaking point, or Japanese people are kinda insane.
  • In Oniisama e..., Nanako sometimes angsts about being an adoptive child, for similar reasons to Tetsuya's (though not half as intense). Even more so, her stepbrother Takehiko (the "Oniisama") is taken away from his dad/Nanako's adoptive father when his parents get divorced and they're not in contact for years: this is because Japanese divorce laws are very different from those in North America and Europe, and since Takehiko's mother was the one who filed for divorce, she got full custody and Takehiko simply was not allowed to meet with Professor Misono.
  • Papillon, a manga about a handsome guidance counselor who helps a young girl gain confidence in herself, contains quite a lot of scenes wherein he makes very sexual comments, grabs her breasts or butt, puts his head in her lap, etc. When she screams or gets mad, he says that he's only joking. It's always played for laughs, and the girl is attracted to him, so it supposedly seems like harmless flirting to a Japanese reader. However, it looks like nothing but sexual harassment to a Western audience, especially because the man is one of her teachers and almost ten years older than she is.
  • Pet Shop of Horrors:
    • Pet Shop of Horrors, mentioned above, runs into a lot of values dissonance, as many of its episodes have an odd, twisted kind of moral to them. They often come off as Count D being a bloodthirsty bastard rather than an Aesop-dispenser. Sometimes, it's unclear if this is dissonance between Western and Japanese values, Count D's and the other characters' values, or the readers' and the mangaka Akino's values. But in most cases, we're clearly supposed to find Count D's values unconventional and shocking.
    • A good example is one episode where the man who has "vengeance" visited on him is implied throughout to have murdered his wife by pushing her over the railing of a cruise ship. Turns out she jumped, because she overheard him talking to the woman he was actually in love with. It seems that she was a huge bitch who always had to have whatever she wanted, and she decided she wanted him and railroaded him into it. She became "heartbroken" at their words and killed herself. The story still seems to treat him as if he's to blame, and his fate is treated as a Karmic Death.
    • Things get really weird in Pet Shop of Horrors: Tokyo, which starts blatantly imposing the "rules" of the animal kingdom directly on to humans. Take the first story, "Domestic": A victim of domestic violence dies, but it's treated as a happy ending by Count D because she protected her son. The pet the woman gets is not to save her, but to ensure that she fulfills her role as a woman and mother: defending her young to the last. The Count has no remorse for his actions, basically sending her to her death, because that is apparently Nature's Way. It becomes increasingly difficult to tell if this is a strategy to dehumanize the Count after he becomes notably more compassionate in the first series (which would be in-universe Values Dissonance), or whether Akino herself supports this view. Men don't get off lightly either — see "Double-Booking".
    • Also, our very first introduction to Count D in the manga chapter "Dream": Angelique's actions were no doubt seen as selfish and overly emotional to a Japanese audience, but to Americans she seemed to be motivated by love for her pet, and her punishment came across as over-the-top cruel. Yes, she broke the rules. But even if she hadn't, her bird would still have been eviscerated, and Count D never even warned her.
  • Pokémon anime:
    • Zoey/Nozomi's behavior and tone of voice toward Dawn/Hikari were changed in the dub. She acted pleasantly toward Dawn, had a sweeter tone of voice and constantly complimented her. It seemed like she had a crush on Hikari. Nozomi's original rough-and-tumble attitude could easily have been misconstrued by the censors as imitable rude behavior and a lack of good sportsmanship, so her overall manner was softened for the dub, adding yet more fuel to the shippers' fire.
  • In the RSE arc of the Pokémon Adventures manga, one of the protagonists Ruby (age 11) runs away from home to compete in Contests. Eventually, Norman, his father, finds him in a ruin, and starts beating him to a pulp. He then uses his Slaking to rip out the stair his son is standing on, (almost hitting a bystander), and dangles him, over the edge of the building. His son is finally forced to start fighting back, until the floor collapses, with them both dangling over the edge, they just miss some metal debris, Ruby is knocked out, and his father stands to start battling again, before conceding his son's goal. Then we get this. To top it off, one of Ruby's companions calls him a "wonderful father" afterwards. The incident had more behind it due to an event in the trio's common past. A berserk wild Salamence attacked a young Ruby and Sapphire in its frenzy. Ruby took a horrible scar from Salamence's attack, and his innate gift at Pokémon battling let him repulse the frenzied beast, but he felt such influence tainted Sapphire's crystal heart. He has since shunned all forms of battle and sought instead to focus on Contests, swearing never to fight in the public square again. Norman, on the other hand, covered up the incident; not only was he banned from Gym Certification for at least five years, he also had to seek out Rayquaza (Norman had developed a way to capture Rayquaza, but the Salamence destroyed it in the attack). His sacrifice made Ruby's disdain towards his training sting that much more, and the two have been at odds ever since.
  • Pocket Monsters has shown the genitalia of the protagonist and his Pokemon several times. While intended as nothing more than Naked People Are Funny, nudity is considered inherently sexual in much of the West, making this perhaps the greatest barrier the series has to more widespread exposure.
  • In Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, a mother leaves her five-year-old son alone in a typhoon in order to take supplies to elderly women in the old-folks home, who seem to already have others taking care of them. This looks like child abuse from a Western perspective, instead of dedication to her job and trust in her son's maturity as was probably intended. Also, elders in Japan are viewed with great respect and their well-being is important. While in the West, it wouldn't be uncommon to hear "They're going to die soon anyway. Shouldn't you be focusing on your FIVE-YEAR-OLD SON?" In Japan, it's a completely different attitude. Mixed with the dissonance above and it really is a case of culture shock.
  • Given that it was written in The ’50s, Princess Knight suffers quite a lot from this. The series operates under the idea that men and women are naturally inclined to act in certain ways, with Princess Sapphire only being able to do "manly" things (sword fight, adventure, etc) because she was given the "hearts" of both a boy and a girl. If her boy heart is removed, she instantly becomes timid and prone to swooning. If her girl heart is removed, she derides anything remotely feminine as "girly". This belief carries over into several other of Osamu Tezuka's works. Apollo's Song has a woman train the protagonist to be a professional runner, because it's not safe for a woman's health to participate in competitive running (which is odd, seeing as she outruns him several laps around the lake and isn't even winded). In Black Jack, a boy is considered odd for enjoying and being good at feminine things like sewing. He later discovers that as an infant, a doctor saved him from dying of a brain injury by transplanting pieces of a recently-deceased woman's brain to his (though the doctor does say the woman's brain cells ought to have completely merged with his, by the age he is when he learns this).
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica has a similar case to Ponyo where, with a little convincing, Madoka's mother allows her to go out alone into a dangerous superstorm with no explanation beyond "I need to save a friend". It's hard to imagine a Western parent accepting such a thing from a 14-year-old girl, even without the extra factor of Madoka's best friend having recently died in mysterious circumstances which the mother (correctly) suspects her daughter knows something about. This can put viewers in an awkward situation, because the audience knows Madoka really does need to go on this dangerous quest for ridiculous-sounding reasons—her mother made the right decision, irresponsible as it may seem on the surface.
  • Sailor Moon features several examples
    • In The '90s anime, the romance of the story involves a junior high school student involved with a college student. In Japan, Mamoru is the butt of a few jokes at worst — in North America, he would be arrested. In the manga, he's just a high schooler and not much older than Usagi herself. However, Japanese culture still generally approves of relationships with a gap like this despite the jokes, as the older man is seen as more capable of protecting the younger girl.
      • Also in the German dub: In the beginning of the SuperS season, Usagi remarks how she is now 16 years old, thus old enough for a "real love" – which implies that she and Mamoru – which age was left as it was - did not consummate their relationship yet, since Usagi was too young. In Germany the age of consent is graduated - 14 years is the age of consent with other minors. 16 for sex with adults. (And with 18 you're an adult.)
    • Furthermore, there's the lesbians Haruka and Michiru. In America, they became the cousins Amara and Michelle. But you could still tell Amara and Michelle were lesbians, making this a case of Kissing Cousins. Both lesbians and cousins being romantically involved aren't looked down upon quite as much in Japan as in the USA (though see below), so...
      • Also, the fact that Sailor Moon was viewed as a children's series surprises many Western viewers. The show's sexuality did cause some controversy in Japan (including the aforementioned lesbians), which caused Toei to change the Sailor Starlights into boys in their civilian forms, as well as changing Seiya Kou from a crossdressing lesbian to an actual boy to make their relationship with Usagi straight.
      • Interestingly enough, given how much the gay rights movement has advanced in the U.S. since Sailor Moon first aired there, the decision by DiC (with Zoisite and Malachite in the first season) and Cloverway (aforementioned example) to Hide Your Gays in The '90s American dub is itself quickly approaching Values Dissonance. They'd still likely make the same decision now due to fear of Moral Guardians, but it would be met with considerably more controversy now than it was. With more and more gay teens choosing to come out younger and younger, the old American idea that homosexuality is a child-unfriendly topic has been increasingly challenged in recent years. Fans rejoiced when the remake's dub kept Haruka and Michiru's relationship intact.
      • When the original anime was licensed and redubbed by VIZ Media in 2014, they proudly proclaimed that Uranus and Neptune won't be cousins, and that Kunzite loves Zoisite, who is very much a guy.
    • In the first chapter/episode, Usagi fearfully shows her mom that she has failed her test, only to have her mom verbally berate her and kick her out of the house to "think about what she's done". To Japanese audiences, this is seen as strict, but appropriate punishment for her perceived laziness. To Western audiences, it looks an awful lot like child abuse. Naturally, the 90's English dub somewhat watered it down to just telling her to go to the library to study.
    • The diet episode early in the anime is representative of the extremely thin-obsessed culture of Japan...and all the negative body issues that come along with it. It comes off as even harsher a good twenty years later when body image and eating disorders are gathering far more media attention in the West.note 
  • Shugo Chara! was a hit shoujo anime in Japan but this is likely why it is Japanese-only. Its material is not suitable for little girls in many countries, but at the same time it's too kiddie for teenage girls. For starters, the protagonist is a primary schooler whose love interest is a seventeen-year-old boy. Said seventeen-year-old boy has an Abhorrent Admirer named Utau, who turns out to be his younger sister.
  • A Silent Voice:
    • In what's probably a case of Deliberate Values Dissonance, the manga has a main character who is deaf. She is bullied relentlessly throughout her elementary school life, her father and paternal grandparents abandon the family for her deafness, and her mother is cold to her, even though she's trying to work on rectifying this. In reality, situations like this occur in various parts of Japan, since kids with disabilities are looked down upon due to the belief that they are incapable of living on their own and can't do anything for society. Not to mention that it is also widely believed that disabled children should be taken care of "out of sight" and not interact with those considered "normal", which is why Shoko is viewed so much like an alien by her classmates and why her school doesn't offer much support for her deafness. It's a side of Japan that most Westerners don't get to see often, which is why there was a lawsuit to try and prevent the manga from being published.
    • In a late chapter, Shoko is revealed to long since have been suicidal and in fact tries to kill herself. The protagonist saves her but in turn gets injured and ends up in a coma. Afterwards Shoko is constantly blamed and berated for her 'selfish' behavior, with almost no one thinking to get her help or sympathize with her.
    • Adding onto this, the Japanese have a rather apathetic view towards bullying in general. 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. The reason the manga had so much trouble getting published at first was because various people filed lawsuits against it, not wanting the manga to draw attention to Japan's bullying problem and showing the country's uglier sides.
  • The entire starting premise of Slow Start involves a girl going to high school one year later than her peers because she missed high school entrance exams on account of mumps, and the resulting Held Back in School is a major complex for that girl so much so that she actually considered becoming a hikikomori, and she didn't only because she was sent to a different town to study. This is incomprehensible to any non-Japanese where going on a grade at a "wrong" age never becomes such a social issue owing to the lack of Sempai/Kohai.
  • A Breather Episode in Soul Eater in the manga just before Maka Albarn discovers that the Kishin is hiding on the moon features the gang taking a trip to a Northern-European looking village...to hunt a whale. Whaling in Japan (and by extension, Iceland, Norway, and various Inuit tribes around the northern hemisphere)? Acceptable. Whaling in other countries? Frowned upon, often heavily criticized due to certain species being increasingly rare, and illegal.
  • The Splatoon manga has a Running Gag of the protagonists pantsing people and losing his clothes. What's simply Naked People Are Funny in Japan comes out as just weird in places like the US.
  • This may be why Sugar Sugar Rune never really found much of an audience outside Japan, as it has very Japanese views on femininity (No Guy Wants an Amazon is very prevelant, in fact it's one of the main aesops of the series) that can come across as odd and even offensive to Western readers. And it doesn't help that in the series, people in the human world generally agree that No Guy Wants an Amazon, even though that actually varies from country to country and person to person.
  • There is a manga titled Suicide Island. The premise is that hospitals in Japan are so overwhelmed with attempted suicides that the Japanese government decides to wash their hands of this and simply send the suicidal people to an isolated island. Oh, the suicidal people are given a choice and have to sign a form if they choose to die. Of course, the protagonist, who is suicidal, did not know that when he signed the form, he was going to be put on this island, rather than be killed off shortly afterwards. The story contains elements comparable to Battle Royale, only the government is not forcing the people on the island to kill anyone. There is obviously a large amount of Values Dissonance here, but this manga is clearly examining the concept of suicide from the Japanese perspective.
  • Sword Art Online:
    • Sinon's treatment in the second series. To summarize, she and her mother went to a bank one day when she was eleven and an armed robber came in. In the ensuing struggle, Sinon managed to get a hold of the robber's gun and shot him, killing him. This would be traumatic enough on its own, but it's shown Sinon is treated like a pariah by almost everyone around her, including her own mother, simply for having handled a gun and using it to kill in self-defense. Even the therapists she's mentioned to have seen treat her as though she's committed a grave sin by handling that weapon, so she has a case of PTSD so intense that a schoolyard bully can set off a panic attack simply by pointing a finger at her and saying "bang". This kind of treatment comes across as extremely cruel and nonsensical to American viewers, most of whom (regardless of their own individual views on guns and gun control) would consider Sinon a hero for what she did and would treat the killing much more favorably, as it was clearly done in self-defense, and therefore, was justified by American standards. Even in several European countries, many of which are far more in line with Japan than America in their attitudes about guns, Sinon would almost universally have been seen as a victim who did nothing wrong.
      There is also the fact that some Americans assume Sinon's treatment is the result of Japanese gunphobia (which isn't entirely far off - guns are practically banned in the country; a firearm costs more than a luxury car), when this is not really the case. Japan has rather set ways of viewing children (see - Highschool of the Dead example above) where children are expected to be innocent and reliant upon adults. The fact that Sinon killed a person at such a young age (even in self-defense) is what is at issue to Japanese society, not that a gun was used. The fact that a kid could even be able to pull the trigger seems to them as meaning she's essentially got the mindset of a cold-blooded murderer. As a child. On the other hand, the story seems to be on Sinon's side, as it compares her action to the times when Kirito, while in the eponymous game, killed two members of the player killer guild Laughing Coffin in a heated battle, and later killed another to protect himself and Asuna. Ultimately, the Phantom Bullet arc ends with Kirito telling Sinon that she deserves to think of the people she saved through her actions, as well as Sinon meeting the woman she saved, and learning that she also saved her unborn daughter.
      • On that note, the use of the word "murderer"; and how killing, even in self-defense, is viewed. When Kirito has a heart-to-heart with Sinon, in order to get her to understand that he does actually know what she's going through, he several times states outright that he too is a "murderer". Even when explaining how the deaths came about - self-defense every time - he, and the audience by default, are supposed to think that there could have been another way (in two of the cases at the least, no, they made suicidal rushes as a final gambit and it was literally kill or be killed. The third was saving someone else who had so little health left, no move he made would have kept the guy alive) and since only death came, he can only be a murderer. Except, by most Western definitions at least, being a "murderer" implies either premeditation or an intention to kill, neither of which Kirito or Sinon ever had. But both, many times else, still refer to themselves as murderers. Hell, as a kid, Sinon was teased by other kids who'd ring around her and chant "murderer" at her.
    • Similar to what's shown on the Video Games page, Gun Gale Online heavily features the use of the Real Money Trade. It doesn't do much good for Sinon (a student who barely makes ends meet with the money her relatives give her), or Kirito (who, for some reason, doesn't use any money in the game), but it's possible to buy an extremely useful thermoptic camouflage cloak for 300,000 yen, something that the main villain takes full advantage of. Granted, Zaskar, the makers of GGO, are in something of a legal gray area due to being neither fully in Japan nor the US, which makes it more difficult for Kikuoka to investigate the game.
    • As mentioned above, it's mentioned that Kazuto and Suguha being first cousins would not preclude their getting into a relationship. What does preclude their relationship, though, is the fact that they're also adoptive siblings, and Kazuto is in love with Asuna. It's pointed out in one of Suguha's POV segments in the light novel.
    Even if they were really cousins by birth, Kazuto and Suguha had been raised as brother and sister for years and years. If she revealed her feelings, Kazuto and her parents would be shocked and troubled. Not to mention that Kazuto's heart belonged to that lovely girl...
  • In Sword Art Online: Alternative Gun Gale Online, Karen Kohiruimaki suffers from Height Angst due to being six feet tall (which is taller than 99 percent of Japanese womennote ), since Japanese people tend to have a preference for short and cute girls. Since Western standards of beauty differ, a lot of viewers outside Japan wonder why a fairly attractive girl like Karen is so insecure about her height.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew:
    • One possible reason why Quiche is the fan-preferred pairing for Ichigo in the West is that his Establishing Character Moment, stealing Ichigo's Sacred First Kiss, is far less shocking to Westerners than it is to the Japanese.
    • Also, Bu-ling is seen as silly and fun in the West, and that's true to an extent in Japan too, but she also comes off as somewhat of an Ethnic Scrappy. This is lost in translation because the stereotypes she plays into (large family, loud, does ridiculous things, left alone by her lone parent, etc.) are the exact opposite of the stereotypes Chinese people have to deal with across the ocean (only child, The Stoic, suffering under an Education Mama).
  • In Toradora! episode 16, Ryuji finds Kitamura sitting around with a giant bruise on his face. Kitamura eventually reveals that his father basically hauled off and punched the hell out of him because he dyed his hair (and also probably for not wanting to run for student council president). Both of these were explicitly stated to be cries for help on Kitamura's part. In most Western productions, the rest of the episode would probably be about how abusive and wrong this was, both physically and emotionally. The characters don't seem to think twice about it, and Kitamura comes back to school the next day with his hair dyed back and saying he's all better now.
    • The dyed hair turns up in a lot. This also is featured in The Twelve Kingdoms where Yohko is thought to be some sort of hoodlum or perhaps prostituting herself just because her hair is red and not black like other Japanese students. This escalates to the point where her parents are called and she is cornered by teachers to stop dying her hair for the sake of her honor student reputation. Unfortunately for her, she is a natural redhead because she is from another world. Even more unfortunate is the fact that she's whisked away by the golden-haired rapunzel Keiki, who only solidifies suspicions of her relating with unscrupulous characters. Because, even if he's innocent, we all know blond guys are evil especially when they're foreigners in Japan.
    • Do note that Asians generally have black hair, as opposed to Westerners with varying colors. Dyeing your hair in most Asian countries usually means you're a rebelling teenager or a wannabe gangster.
      • This is part of the reason why red and, to a lesser extent, blonde hair are seen as such disreputable colors. They're often the result of rebellious Japanese teens bleaching or dying their hair, so even if it is your natural hair color, you're still likely to get hell for it. Thus, orange-haired Ichigo Kurosaki is constantly having to fight off thugs who get the wrong idea about him, redhead Orihime Inoue as a child had upperclassmen mock her and cut her hair because they didn't like it, and Kushina Uzumaki is bullied for her long, red hair.
  • Transformers Beast Wars II will never, ever be officially translated into English for Western audiences. The reason? The Jointrons, who act like stereotypical Mexicans, are really lazy, and transform into bugs.
  • Transformers: Super-God Masterforce, while not as bad, and quite progressive in retrospect, still has quite a bit of this
    • Alcohol is clearly shown being drunk on screen, being drunk by both factions, and the Decepticon Headmaster Juniors are able to enter bars despite being completely underage. In Japan, this would not matter much, but it would be considered completely unacceptable in Western animation.
    • Shuta and Cab both have crushes on Minerva, and both insinuate that whenever she comes to Cancer's defense, it is because she has feelings for him. Similarly, when Cab is caught spying on Minerva during a swimming competition and inevitably gets caught by the coach, all it takes is a simple "I'm sorry" and Minerva forgives them. While they are children, in nations like the U.S, where sexual harassment is becoming an increasingly relevant issue, there is no way a kid's show could possibly get away with comments like this.
    • In one episode, Gilmer calls Minverva a cute madonna while removing her helmet. In its Italian origin, it refers to a woman who is important, so that definition wouldn't be so bad. However, madonna in Japan is used to refer to cute girls and Minerva is only 15. Gilmer's comment is played completely for comedy, but in many Western nations, such a comment, especially in this context, would immediately bring fears of abduction to mind.
    • Before the birth of the Headmasters Junior in that titular episode, Metalhawk tells Minerva that becoming a Headmaster Junior is too dangerous. The reason why is because of her gender. Such a comment would be seen as totally unacceptable in the contemporary TV industry.
  • In ViVid Strike!, similar to Candy Candy above, Rinne gets bullied by some of her peers for not being a "real" rich girl once they found out that she was adopted, in addition to being bullied. That being said, the Lyrical Nanoha franchise features many cases of loving adoptive families (Lindy with Fate, Fate herself with Erio and Caro, Nanoha and Fate with Vivio, and the entire Nakajima family), and the bullies are easily the most despicable characters in the season.
  • Wandering Son:
    • The level of independence the cast has can be a bit awkward to some viewers. For example a nine-year-old being left at home alone, told by her mother to open the door to a stranger and give them money. In the West, this goes against several rules that children are taught, such as when left alone, don't open doors to strangers, and just tell them to put whatever they've brought at the door. The children are also allowed to roam wherever they please (and without telling their parents either), hang out with adults their parents don't know, and stay over at said adults' places. Their parents are more annoyed by the fact they're keeping secrets than the fact they're hanging out with adults they don't know.
    • Cool Big Sis Yuki has behaved towards Takatsuki in ways that seem like either sexual harassment or like she's sexually attracted to him; her blatantly flirting with Takatsuki in their first meeting doesn't help. It's just teasing on Yuki's part, but Takatsuki is an elementary schooler while Yuki is an adult. Her boyfriend Shiina once gave Takatsuki an accidental Crotch-Grab Sex Check when they met (he was trying to see if Yuki was cheating), and touched his chest to confirm his physical sex, which made Takatsuki upset. After Shiina apologizes it's not mentioned again.
  • Yuki Yuna is a Hero has some fanservice featuring the middle schooler characters, more prominently with Togo, which turned off some English-speaking fans.
  • Yuri Is My Job focuses on a few high school girls who work in a salon, in which they roleplay as girls from a prestigious all-girls school, Liebe Girls' Academy. Hime, the protagonist, once wonders why they're talking about work at an Elaborate University High in which the students wouldn't be allowed to hold jobs. That said, it's implied that Hime and Kanoko's school doesn't forbid its students from working.
  • Yuri!!! on Ice:
    • A lot of the debate around whether the show ultimately "went far enough" in portraying Victor and Yuri as an Official Couple can be seen as this. Some fans have argued either that it does go pretty far and is pretty progressive for a country where LGBTQ relationships are far less normalized than they are in the U.S. Others come from the angle of pointing out that Japan is a far less physically-affectionate culture, especially with public displays of affection (and despite this, they still get The Big Damn Kiss very publicly), or that Japanese audiences are more used to subtle indications and don't need physical relationship milestones and "I love you" statements to indicate a romance. The milestones that Yuri and Victor hit aren't really that different from many popular heterosexual anime romances. It's worth noting that this variety of Values Dissonance seems to be especially common with Americans, as European viewers have similar expectations for subtlety in their media compared to Japan.
      • A specific difference is that, like most other LGBT characters in anime and manga (including in most Yaoi Genre and Yuri Genre works), neither Victor nor Yuri has a "coming out" scene or announces their specific sexuality label. This is a pretty big sign of "canonicity" in Western LGBT media (often treated as more important than how it's reflected in their relationships on-screen, to sometimes frustrating results) and may reflect the difference in Western viewers' debating if the couple has "gone far enough" to be canon. This reflects a larger cultural difference, with Japan being a far less individual-focused culture, and as mentioned above, viewers preferring to figure out things on their own rather than have them specifically spelled out to them.
    • In the first two episodes, several characters don't hesitate to point out that Yuri has gained weight (and Yurio continually calls Yuri a pig even after he's gotten back in shape) which many Western viewers find to be in poor taste. However, in Japan people are far more blunt about telling larger people that they need to lose weight for various reasons (the overall pressure for societal conformity being just one of them). This could also be an issue of getting lost in translation, since the specific Japanese word used to call Yuri a "pig" is more of an affectionate one... but in English, calling someone a "pig" is a huge insult regardless of how you put it.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho: As noted here, the series dates from a time when heteronormatism was the status quo. There's a few Parental Bonus off-color jokes about Homoerotic Subtext and a minor villain being mocked by Yusuke for being transgender, neither of which would pass muster nowadays, particularly in the West. (The same article notes that mangaka Yoshihiro Togashi treated the subjects better in his later work Hunter × Hunter.)


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