Folks, if you have been a long time reader of this site, you would know by now that Photoshopping makes up the bulk of my blogging bread and butter. And I don't mean to boast, but I consider myself to be peerless in the art of shoopping within the Japanese cartoon blogging community Despite my technical prowess, there has been one thing that always eluded me, and that is none other than censorship.
Prevalence of censorship in anime these days are more often than not, driven by economic factors, but that is not why I am making this post. No, my job here today is to experiment with Adobe's Content-Aware function which was implemented in the latest iteration of Photoshop, touted to forever revolutionise image-editing*.
Imagine the televised broadcast of your favourite show being ruined by greedy animation studios, and you are too impatient to wait for the DVD/Blu Ray versions to be released, or even a couple of days for ATX's uncensored broadcast. Bearing in mind what Content-Aware is supposedly capable of, I will first have that particular scene have its censor edited out (oh, the irony), and then have Content-Aware run its magic and predict what that missing element might be.
To accomplish that task, I have handpicked screenshots from various anime that feature an assortment of censorship methods that you would come to expect. As implied in the title, I will also try to make things interesting by keeping a tally of the success and failure of Content-Aware in doing its job.
First up, Evangelion. From the screenshot above I am sure that you would agree with me that this form of censorship, the most subtle of the lot, leans towards clever placement of an object, but censorship is still censorship. Please note that it has nothing to do with me wanting to see a penis.
To be honest, I never expected the results to be anatomically accurate in the first place, but it turns out Content-Aware is, for the lack of better words, well aware that Shinji is universally acknowledged to be a pussy, thus appropriately bestowing him with what seems like a poorly rendered female reproductive organ. Not bad.
Content Aware 1 - Anime 0
Next up, Kodomo no Jikan. This series marks one of the earliest instances I could recall when it comes to blatant censoring, next to Air Gear's infamous censor crows. This is as unapologetic as they come, and because I dropped this series in favour of the superior manga, I will never learn the truth behind rincensor.jpg
I don't really fault Content-Aware here, since it didn't have much to work with in the first place, but the result does highlight its inherent limitations.
Content Aware 1 - Anime 1
Kämpfer was a guilty pleasure of mine when it aired, though considering the nature of the show, it was rather shy of revealing the naughty bits, much like my favourite character here. Less obstrusive but nonetheless annoying, barrier tapes are essentially upmarket versions of the perennial black bars.
An impressive outcome. Content-Aware filled the bottom right section perfectly, and rendered Akane's nipples rather well, when the uncensored version failed to do so.
Content Aware 2 - Anime 1
Omamori Himari. You know the anime industry is at a major decline when animators just aren't even trying anymore, to the point you could almost sense that pent up apathy in that white blob(?) That or white out got spilled all over the animation cells and no one noticed
Content-Aware is equally pathetic for this one, as I expected clone stamp-esque results, had it been used, with the trees overlaying the entire white blob. No go.
Content Aware 2 - Anime 2
Because Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou is so watchable anyway, I almost didn't mind the arbitrarily placed censors, as they are actually quite amusing. Still, this is possibly the closest to a girl's vajayjay the show will ever feature, and I just wanted to believe.
What is this I don't even.
Content Aware 2 - Anime 3
Didn't catch the uncensored broadcast for this particular episode of Ichiban Ushiro no Daimaou, and because my memory's a little hazy, there wasn't much to this crotchplant other than the protagonist taking an up close whiff of the sweet fragrance of schoolgirl panties.
Content-Aware didn't add anything new per se, but it at least did a polished job of filling in the spots.
Content Aware 3 - Anime 3
And it looks like we have a draw! This won't do of course, because like any proper competition, an actual verdict must be declared. I thought this over and the only way for Content-Aware to ever leave an impression and claim superiority over every other image editing function in Photoshop's repertoire is for it to do the impossible. Or in this case, see the invisible.
Clannad season 1 circa Fuko's arc. She has faded out of existence, and is barely clinging on to the memories of Tomoya and Nagisa. What can Content-Aware do to overturn this impending travesty? Only one way to find out...
.... don't let us down.
HOLY FUCKING SHIT IT BROUGHT FUKO BACK WSDJH;KL!11FINALFANTASYFANFARE.OGG
There you have it folks, a first hand look into content-aware. Sure this seemingly glorified fill function will not help users generate homemade porn soon, or if at all, but it has proven itself to be nothing short of a miracle worker. And that alone makes it a winner in my books.