Why Are These 14 Popular Anime Banned in China

China's influence on anime production has increased dramatically in recent years. For a series to be allowed to be shown in the world's most populous country, the studios have to fulfill more and more requirements, some of which also restrict their freedom of expression.

In our latest piece, we present to you some anime titles that enjoy great popularity worldwide but are among some of the banned works in the Chinese market. This is because they have been deemed too dangerous by the government.

This includes the hit series Attack on Titan, the second season of the game anime Sword Art Online, and the anime classic Death Note. Various horror and gore titles such as Elfen Lied, Tokyo Ghoul, and Parasyte are also banned in China.

Below we have listed some series that are banned in China, along with a brief explanation of why. 

Anime Banned in China

Without further ado, learn why the following anime are banned in China:

1. Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero

In 2015, the Chinese Ministry of Culture banned 38 anime works. Among these titles is the series Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero. The series never saw the light of day in the Chinese regions due to its story revolving around a group of rebels overthrowing a dystopian government system.


The unpredictable and inter-dimensional traveling hero Akatsuki Ousawa has returned to the real world from Alazzard, a realm of swords and magic. At his side is Miu, the daughter of the demon king he defeated, who has asked Akatsuki to protect her. Akatsuki takes her to Babel Academy, which protects young survivors from other dimensions.

aesthetica of a rogue hero

2. Attack on Titan

Attack on Titan is also on the list of banned anime in China. The title was officially banned for its excessive depictions of violence. However, fans suspect that the story of rising resistance to an authoritarian system might have also played a big role since the Chinese government doesn't want its citizens to harbor such ideas.


In 2000 years, humanity – or what's left of it – lives behind massive walls 50 meters high. This fortress promises safety, but those who venture outside rarely return unscathed. The world here is ruled by giant Titans, who seem to have only one goal: eating people!

Attack on Titan

3. Black Butler

Black Butler was banned in China for various reasons. The anime has a dark theme, contains violent and gore elements, and encourages crimes, while the manga contains disturbing images. Therefore, the Chinese government deemed both the adaptation and the original work inappropriate.


London, 19th century: Twelve-year-old Ciel Phantomhive, the last scion of an ancient English noble family, is a close confidant of Queen Victoria and serves as a sort of watchdog for the ruler against criminal elements. Always at his side is Ciel's butler, Sebastian Michaelis.

Outsiders may see Sebastian merely as an infallible servant who performs every task assigned to him to absolute perfection. However, the butler is actually a demon who helps Ciel in his quest for revenge against his parents' murderers in exchange for his soul.

black butler

4. Corpse Party: Tortured Souls

The horror-mystery anime Corpse Party: Tortured Souls was also doomed by its excessive depiction of violence. Since the Chinese government found the content of the OVA series too frightening and violent, it was summarily banned.


Naomi wakes up in a dark place but doesn't know how she got there. She had just been sitting with friends in her classroom and exchanging scary stories. During the friendship ritual in which they tore a paper figurine, the earth shook, and they fell into an abyss. Now Naomi must find her friends in an old haunted school, even if the blood on the walls makes all her hair stand on end.

corpse party

5. Deadman Wonderland

Deadman Wonderland, another anime, made it to the list of banned works in China in 2015. Officially, no reason was given, but the series also contains a lot of violence, which could have caused the ban.


The inmates of this crazy prison fight for survival every day to entertain the masses. Terrible secrets lurk in the shadows. Ganta is determined to survive Deadman Wonderland and clear his name, but the price could cost him his soul.

6. Death Note

The anime classic Death Note has already been banned in several countries, including Russia. In China, the Ministry of Culture triggered this ban, claiming that the concept of Death Note could turn peaceful people into criminals.

However, according to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), the ban was imposed after authorities noticed that many young people were making their own Death Notes and writing down the names of public officials.


The young model student Light Yagami was actually content with his normal life. Then one day, an ominous notebook falls in front of his feet. According to this book, you can kill a person by just writing down their name.

death note

7. High School DxD

Most anime in China are rejected because of their excessive violence, pornographic visuals, or promotion of terrorism. With High School DxD, on the other hand, there is another reason: the sexualization of high school students, which is not considered suitable for the target audience.


This anime is about demons, angels, humans, and lots of erotic seduction. In his first life as a high school student, Issei cannot act out his erotic desires at all. On the other hand, his second life as a demon offers him extremely lush opportunities for development in this regard.


8. High School of The Dead

The action series Highschool of the Dead also fell victim to the anime ban wave from 2015. Chinese authorities classified the content as too sexual and, thus, banned it in the world's most populous country.


A deadly virus has gripped the world, turning all infected people into bloodthirsty zombies. Human civilization is on the brink of the eternal abyss, and there is still no explanation for the lightning-like outbreak of the supposed plague.

high school of the dead

9. My Hero Academia

China also banned the popular superhero anime My Hero Academia. This was triggered by the show's inclusion of the name Maruta Shiga. The term “Maruta” was used by Unit 731 of the Imperial Japanese Army during World War II for a project that involved medical experiments on humans.

Since most of the victims of the process were Chinese, the name caused a major scandal in China. This led several Chinese platforms to remove works associated with the franchise, such as anime and manga, “in accordance with China's policy.”


Middle school student Izuku Midoriya desperately wants to be a hero, but he is a weak “normal.” With no chance of getting into the prestigious U.A. high school for aspiring heroes, his life looks increasingly like a dead end. But then, an encounter with All Might gives him a chance to change his fate for good. 

my hero academia

10. Parasyte

Parasyte is also one of the series that fell victim to the ban hammer of the authorities in 2015. Here, the visual representation of physical transformations is said to have been the cause of the ban.


In the silence of the night, they descended from the sky with a hunger for human flesh: parasites that settle in a human host body for survival and take it over. No one knows their secret except high school student Shinichi, whose right hand has been taken over by a parasite.

11. Psycho-Pass

Psycho-Pass is about enforcing the law with the help of a computerized system that is full of flaws and corruption. According to the authorities, this psychological thriller glorifies violence and encourages juvenile delinquency and rebellion.


In the Japan of the future, everything seems perfect: breakfast comes from a vending machine, outfits are put together at the push of a button, and life is safer than ever. Only incidentally, a sophisticated system constantly analyzes the population's mental state and its potential for violence. People whose so-called “psycho-passport” shows an excessive value are arrested, treated, or immediately eliminated.

psycho pass

12. Sword Art Online II

Many fantasy anime have a hard time getting released in China and Russia because the idea of another world where the protagonist can do anything he wants is “not accepted” there. This was also the case with Sword Art Online.

The second season, in particular, played a role in this. In Gun Gale Online, players use weapons to kill each other's avatars. In China, the use of weapons is not looked upon favorably. This and other offensive elements of the show also attracted negative attention from the government. For this reason, they banned the 24 episodes in 2014. All other seasons are still available in the country.


A year after the SAO incident, Kirito is contacted by Seijiro Kikuoka of the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, “VR” Division, with a rather strange request. It is an investigation of the “Death Gun” incident that occurred in the gun-filled VRMMO – Gun Gale Online (GGO).

sword art online

13. The Testament of Sister New Devil

Another anime that was given the boot by the Chinese Ministry of Culture is titled The Testament of Sister New Devil. The decision was made due to the depiction of supernatural elements in the series. The existence of a devil, a demon lord, and a hero who hunts down the bad guys was enough to issue a ban.


Basara could hardly believe that his stepsisters, sweet Maria and red-haired voluptuous beauty Mio, would live with him and his father Jin in the future. As it soon turns out, Mio was not only his new sister but also a budding demon queen, which causes some problems in the new shared apartment.

sister devil

14. Tokyo Ghoul

Together with Attack on Titan, Tokyo Ghoul was also taken off the Chinese VoD platforms. The reason for this is said to be the story's theme, which is too dark for a younger audience. The portrayal of the ghouls was also deemed to glorify violence.


Shy Ken Kaneki is excited to go on a date with the beautiful Rize. But it turns out she's only interested in his body. In fact, she wants to eat it. When a morally questionable rescue mission turns him into the first half-human-half-ghoul hybrid, Ken is drawn into the dark and violent world of the ghouls.

tokyo ghoul

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.