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Italy is a Southern European country whose majority religion is Christianity. It is a parliamentary democracy and a member of the European Union.

Censorship was pervasive during the dictatorship of Benito Mussolini (1922-1945).

General censorship[]

Books censorship[]

Under the Benito Mussolini regime the children's novel The Story of Ferdinand was banned because the story of a bull who doesn't want to partake in bullfighting was considered to be pacifist/communist brainwashing.

TV censorship[]

TV shows[]

  • Amanda Knox: Murder on Trial in Italy was banned in Italy by request of Amanda Knox's on the belief that it had the potential to taint Knox's appeals. It certainly might have helped Knox get back home to Seattle several months after the trial. However, the movie managed to be aired in Italy in December 2012.
  • Report - This journalism TV show had its funds for legal assistance cut from RAI due to tackling sensitive issues in the past that exposed the journalists to legal action (for example the authorization of buildings that did not meet earthquake-resistance specifications, cases of overwhelming bureaucracy, the slow process of justice, prostitution, health care scandals, bankrupt bankers secretly owning multimillion-dollar paintings, waste mismanagement involving dioxane toxic waste, cancers caused by asbestos anti-fire shieldings (Eternit) and environmental pollution caused by a coal power station near the city of Taranto). This, combined with many lawsuits against the journalists in the absence of the funds to handle them could bring the program to an end.
  • RAIot - Armi di distrazione di massa - this satirical TV show was banned in November 2003 after comedian Sabrina Guzzanti made outspoken criticism of Berlusconi media empire
  • Le Iene - This comedy/satire journalism show had one episode banned due to a report showing use of cocaine in the Italian Parliament.

Western animation[]

  • South Park: the episode "Cartman Joins NAMBLA", was banned for references to homosexual pedophilia and infanticide. The "Do The Handicapped Go to Hell?"-"Probably" two-parter was pulled for mocking and asking too many questions about the Catholic faith. Years later, the season 23 episode "Christmas Snow" was banned for depicting Jesus smoking weed. Besides these instances, the show was censored in Italia 1, through a dub which translated the dialogues not literally (due to the presence of swear words), allegedly due to the pressure of the infamous Christian lobby group MOIGE (MOvimento Italiano GEnitori, Italian Parents Movement), which brought the broadcaster to ditch the series after Season 4. However, since 2007 it was broadcast uncensored by the Italian feed of Comedy Central.
  • Batman Beyond - In Italy, this animated series had a slight change in the dialogues, with a notable example being the Society of Assassins (Lega degli Assassini) renamed as "Society of Criminals" (Lega dei Criminali).
  • Family Guy -when aired on Italia 1, the show suffered some censorship. For instance, in the episode "Baby Not on Board", when the Griffins visit Ground Zero, the line where Peter asks if it was the "place where the first guy got AIDS" had the reference changed to H1N1. However, when broadcasted on the Italian feed of FOX, the dialog censorship was not present.


The first anime series to air in Italy on private networks had almost to none censorship, even if these had vaguely erotic scenes such as The Rose of Versailles and Lady Georgie (which were cut during both series' reruns), while in the public access television, only some scenes which were deemed too much violent in mecha and science fiction anime. In the 1970s, when UFO Robot Grendizer, among various anime were aired and had a considerable success in the country, some parents and Members of Parliament (one of these MP Italian Communist Party politician Silverio Corvisieri, who was the then-chairman of RAI's Vigilance Commission, publishing an article critical of the anime called Un Ministero per Goldrake ("A Ministry for Grendizer") on La Repubblica in 1975) were bemused and hostile towards Japanese animation, with an issue of Topolino (Mickey Mouse comics) magazine even stating a misconception stating that "Japanese cartoons are made by a computer" (as in "generated automatically by a computer through the insertion of data" and not in "animated with CGI")[1] , which was debunked in 1990 by the journalist Luca Raffaeli during an interview for Mangazine with a Toei Animation employee who stated "Computers? There isn't any computer here at all. I know that in Italy there is around the legend about Japanese cartoons made with computers, but i can assure you that there isn't any computer here"[2], even in the following year, another dossier for Mangazine, written by manga translator Luca Colpi, the spokesman of Toei Animation further debunked the misconception saying "Sorry, but did you saw our studios? We don't have even the vacuum cleaner, that's too advanced technology... And then, Grendizer was made in 1975! At that time, not even word processors were such a thing.[3]"

  • Alpen Rose - a shoujo anime set in WWII, was the first anime to be systematically censored in Italy in 1985-1986, in order to remove the references to the war as well to the Nazis. The dramatic scenes were also cut, which made the plot unfollowable[4], besides having the episode 15 removed entirely. For a strange reason, even the narrator voice was completely cut. However, in 2006, the series was re-translated and re-released uncut on DVD.
  • Nobara no Julie (Julie the Wild Rose) - this anime set after WWI about Julie, an Austrian orphan girl who fled from Tyrol, had all the references to Italy removed, as the aircraft which killed the protagonist's parents was Italian.
  • UFO Robot Grendizer, which was a classic in Italy, had three episodes not aired during its first run by RAI, to adapt the series to the sensibility of a Western public. However, these were recovered on the DVD edition:
    • Episode 15 "A Letter To My Mother, Far, Far Away", which was about a scientist from Vega (the planet of the show's villains) who did not want to use its seismic amplifier for war purposes, having his mother imprisoned in a forced labor, where other planet's dissidents were imprisoned, and said scientist, after being brainwashed by Vega, was killed by the protagonist Daisuke/Duke Fleed (the pilot of the titular mecha), did not air in Italy.
    • Episode 59 "Ah! The Boy Commandos", was not aired due to its plot point of the villains brainwashing five Vega young boys from Vega to attack a military base, so that Duke Fleed aboard of Grendizer would be forced to intervene and kill them.
    • Episode 71 "The Tragedy of Elite Bodyguard Mors", in which the Commander Mors, who was an old friend of Duke Fleed and had his planet invaded by Vega, was forced by the villains to fight for them against Grendizer, only to die in a suicide mission against Vega, was not broadcast in Italy. This episode, however, was used in an Italian-made compilation movie, Goldrake addio ("Farewell Grendizer").
  • Lady Georgie - this shojo anime was aired in Italy uncut between 1984 and 1991. Later, the story was replicated with different cuts both to the dramatic and the "malicious" scenes, due to protests from parents' associations[5].
  • The Rose of Versailles - This 1970s shojo anime set during the French Revolution about Oscar-François de Jarjayes, a woman raised as a man by her father in order to succeed him as the commander of the Royal Guard at the Palace of Versailles, suffered many levels of censorship in the Italian dub, such as the dialogues being toned down, along with the scenes of the first encounter between Rosalie and Oscar and the latter who was coughing blood were cut. However, many dramatic scenes, such as character deaths (the suicide of Charlotte, for example) or the extramarital relationship between Marie Antoinette and Fersen. In the 1990s, after another rerun on Mediaset, the network suddenly decided to re-edit the show (which implied also cutting the finale of the last episode, where Oscar and André hugging themselves naked[6]), possibly, due to the criticism towards anime, which affected the network at that time, changing the opening and cutting the scenes deemed "not suitable to the audience", which implied cutting even the final scenes which featured written at the corner the Japanese text for "continue" ("つつく", Tsutsuku). However, since 2008, after many protests and a better atmosphere towards Japanese animation, the series was broadcasted again, with the 80s edition[7].
  • F - this anime about racing had any scene showing a billboard or a guardrail featuring Japanese text cut and replaced by stills of the scenes preceding these, as well having the dramatic and "malitious" scenes cut, distorting the plot as a result[8]. However, the series has been shown uncut on satellite TV since the 2000s.
  • Mahou no Tenshi Creamy Mami - This shojo anime had no further censorship in Italy, apart from some changes in character names[9].
  • Attacker You! - this shojo anime about volleyball suffered several censorships such as some dialogues altered (one instance was a dialog in the Italian dub which made the protagonist, Yu Hazuki as "cousin" of Kozue Ayuhara, protagonist from an unrelated volleyball anime, Attack No.1, which in Italy aired some years before)[10] and some potentially objectionable content from the original Japanese version were cut, namely scenes of Coach Daimon's brutal and violent behaviour toward his players and occasional scenes of bare breasts in shower scenes.
  • Candy Candy - this shojo anime based on Kyoko Mizuki's novel, was censored in minimal amounts in Italy, having some scenes cut and some dialog added where in the original was silent. In the Italian version the finale was altered as well by adding a fictional dialog where the protagonist Candy reads on a journal that Susanna e Terence broke up and there was some hope for them in the future. Even if the journal stated that it was written the opposite, that is, that Terence returned to drama acting and was engaged to Susanna, whereas in the original version, Candy got very closer to Albert (even if it was not clearly said that they were engaged) and Terence stayed on Susanna's side[11].
  • Kimagure Orange Road - this shonen anime was not spared from censorship when it aired on Mediaset[12], with two episodes not aired (the one where Kyosuke, hypontized by his sister, tries to steal the girls' underwear, while the other episode cut being the one where Madoka was fighting against the girls of a rival school on the beams of the site of a building in construction) and some scenes cut such as the one when Kyosuke trying to strip Madoka (who was oblivious), a scene where Kyosuke looks one of the girls too much intensely, many nosebleeding scenes and a scene where Madoka leans on Kyosuke's shoulder (which strangely, despite being cut, it was still seen on the patchwork used for the Italian opening of the anime). The OAV of this anime was also subject to censorship as well. However, both the anime and the OVA can be still seen uncut on satellite TV as well on home video[13].
  • Captain Tsubasa - this shounen manga about soccer did not have further censorship than having the Japanese characters being renamed with Anglo-Saxon-sounding names (such as "Oliver Hutton" for Tsubasa Ozora, "Benji Price" for Genzo Wakabayashi, to cite a few)[14]. The episode 34 of the 1994 version was not aired due to it being a recap episode[15]. However, when the 2018 version of the anime aired, the original Japanese names were kept as requested by the author Yoichi Takahashi (with the purpose to unify the series' brand worldwide).
  • Attack No.1 - while this volleyball-themed shoujo anime was intact during its first two Italian dubs (dated 1981 and 1982, where the only change was the protagonist Kozue Ayuhara being named Mimi Ayuhara), the 1995 Italian dub by Mediaset (which had the series redubbed) had most of the other female characters (who in the previous editions kept their Japanese names) were given Italian-sounding names (such as Midori Hayakawa being renamed Simonetta)[16].
  • Saint Seiya - this shonen anime had several instances of censorship, such as the change of the names of characters and techniques[17], the age of the 5 lead characters was changed from teenage to at least 18 years (In the second episode, Seiya says that he had been in Greece for 6 years and had left at age 10, making him. In the anime, there were scenes of the protagonists driving motor vehicles), the employment of additional dialog where original scenes were mute (which was justified by the dialog translator Stefano Cerioni, saying that the scripts on which the dubbing studio was working were mostly patchy[18].), After the anime was bought by Mediaset from its previous broacasters Odeon TV and Junior TV, the instances of blood were censored by fading it. The series is available uncut in DVD.
  • Fushigi no umi no Nadia - this anime inspired by Jules Verne's Twenty Thousand Leagues over the Sea was censored during its run on Mediaset, generally most scenes featuring blood or the protagonist Nadia in the nude were censored, as well the dialogues where Gargoyle refers to Atlanteans as gods were edited. In episode 13 "Run, Marie, Run!", a sequence featuring the Japanese opening was removed, while in episode 34 "My Darling Nadia", which was a series recap, was not aired by the network due to featuring many Japanese songs. However, the DVD and satellite TV editions were uncut.
  • Sailor Moon - this magical girl anime was censored during its run on Mediaset. Its notable instances of censorship were changes to some character names (Usagi was named Bunny for example). the villains Zoisite (who were male) were changed to female and amongst some changes in couples, among these, Haruka/Sailor Uranus and Michiru/Sailor Neptune's had their lesbian relationship changed to being "simple friends". The Three Lights/Sailor Starlights were radically changed: in the original version, they were three males who transformed into female Senshi (while in the manga they were female characters who when not transformed, simply disguised as males), while in the Italian dub it was changed as their male civilian forms being the "twin brothers", which summoned Sailor Starlights (female) when they needed the latter in battle (with the parts of their transformation scene, where their bodies form female curves, hips and glutes as well their breasts growing, being cut[19]) . Some additional dialog by the narrator was also added and the last episode of the fifth season was heavily edited, where the titular heroine, during a particularly violent battle, was shown naked at the end, which was cut as it was deemed by the censors "not acceptable", even if said nudity was symbolic and cohesive with the sense of the story and did not presented sexual features (being similar to most dolls). In the DVD edition, the series has been released uncensored, with the edited version as an option.
  • Dr. Slump and Arale-chan - the 1981 anime during its first airing on 1983 on Rete 4 (which had only 51 episodes and a special dubbed), had several examples of censorship, such as some names changed[20] (Midori Yamabuki became Miss Florinda, Peasuke became Pippo, Akane became Naomi and Senbei Norimaki was only referred as "Dr. Slump") and some "cultural simplification" (that is, removal of Japanese culture references) were done. Its 1997 remake, however was broadcast by sister channel Italia 1, which included some episodes of the 1981 anime which were not dubbed during the 80s (from 52 to 243). Both versions suffered minor censorships on the dialogues which leaned towards erotic content, but the original names (except Gacchan, which was renamed from Mangi) and a lesser use of "cultural simplification".
  • Dragon Ball - the first anime initially (in 1996) had some scenes cut and some dialogues altered to hide some sexual-themed gags. From 1998, when Mediaset bought the rights, further censorship was made: some character names were changed, with sometimes the same name being assigned to some secondary characters (such as "Al Satan", which was first assigned to Ox King, who later was known as "Gyuma" in the dub, and then, assigned definitively to Piccolo Daimao), some scenes which in the original were silent had additional lines dubbed over (In the original version the narrator should have commented only at the beginning and at the end of the episode, while the opposing characters during a fights should analyze eachother themselves, but the Italian dub added purely made up reflections), such as in many anime aired on said network and the katakana text was removed from the seven balls present in the opening. However, the home video release had the series uncut[21].
    • Its sequel, Dragon Ball Z, originally released on VHS by DeAgostini in 1998, had slight censorship in its dialogues. However, in 2000, when the anime went to Italia 1, it had only a few video censorships compared to the original Dragon Ball. In 2011-12, during a rerun, however, three episodes (episode 79 - "Is This the End?! A Brutally Transcendent Power Attacks Gohan", episode 80 - ""The Tide Suddenly Turns!! Piccolo, the Warrior Who Came Late" and episode 85 - "The Moment We've Waited For!!! Son Goku is Revived") were skipped for the first time, on behest of MOIGE, as these were deemed too vioient[22]. During this rerun, lots of heavy video censorship in almost every episode featuring blood was made and a scene from episode 253 - "I've Stopped Killing!! Majin Boo's Good Boy Declaration", which depicted two gunmen killing an old couple for fun, was cut, as said scene costed a €100.000 fine to the network[23].
  • Lupin the III - Lupin the III Part I (where Lupin wears a green jacket, which had two dubs in Italy, with the first, which aired essentially uncensored, having few scenes cut and its second had major censorship) and Lupin the III Part II (where Lupin wears his iconic red jacket) were initially broadcast uncut in syndication (through regional networks), and then censored in video and dialog when aired on public access channels. However, later movies and animes of this series were uncut, as well as recent reruns of the two first series.
  • Slayers - this anime, which in Italy when it aired on Mediaset had all its three seasons aired under the title Un'incantesimo dischiuso tra i petali del tempo per Rina ("A disclosed spell between the petals of time for Lina"), suffered several censorships such as name changes (Lina Inverse becomes Rina, Gourry Gabriev becomes Guido and Rezo became Zeno), many spell names were changed and some minor spells were not named, being replaced replaced exclamations such as "Azione!" ("Action!"), "Via!" or "Vai!" (the latter two both meaning "Go!") and their formulas (such as Dragon Slave, used to summon Shabranigdu) were changed, some dialogues and scenes were toned down, additional dialogues were employed [24]and some religious references were downplayed (such as Rezo's title being changed from "Red Priest" to "Red Monk" and the deities were referred as such except when they appeared as dragons, in which they were referred as "powers of good"[25]). When it aired on satellite TV Hiro, and then on Italia 2, the cut scenes were restored, while the home video edition had the whole anime uncut and redubbed.
  • Magic Knight Rayearth - this anime, which aired on Mediaset under the title "Una porta socchiusa ai confini del sole" ("A door ajar on the edge of the Sun" ), had the dialogues and some character names altered, the nudity (either partial or full), violent or bloody scenes cut, as well the references to Japan (such as writings, signboards, places) were also removed. The finale, where both Zagato and Emeraude were killed by the protagonists was edited in order to make that they were instead to another dimension, rather than being killed off[26]. Its home video edition had the series redubbed uncut with the original names and a new dubbing cast.
  • One Piece - Initially, Monkey D. Luffy was named "Rubber", but in the later he retained the original name, with "Rubber" being an in-dub nickname. The Devil Fruits (Frutti del Diavolo) were renamed as "Sea Fruits" (Frutti del Mare).
  • Naruto - this anime had various instants of censorship such as having the kiss scene between Naruto and Sasuke and the scene where Kakashi performs Sennen Goroshi were cut, the scenes where Naruto uses his Sexy Jutsu have a yellow halo on screen, many of the violent scenes are toned down with the blood (if present) being darkened in order to hide it. The word "baka" (which in Italian would be translated as "idiota") was translated as "pecorella" (little sheep) or as "testa quadra" (squarehead, usually employed in translation when Sasuke says it to Naruto), possibly to tone down strong language. The show in the original Japanese version dealt with the humanity of the ninjas, which in the Italian dub was downplayed, by making them more "superhero-like". However, these instances of censorship lessened when Naruto Shippuden aired in Italy.

Movies censorship[]

  • Duck Soup was banned under the government of Benito Mussolini for poking fun at dictators and war.
  • La Grande Ilusion was banned under the government of Benito Mussolini for its anti-war message.
  • Lion of the Desert, a Gaddafi-funded Libyan movie about the Italian colonial regime, has been banned in Italy since 1982, as it was deemed as harmful to the honor of the Italian Armed Forces. However, in 2009 the movie was aired in Sky on satellite TV on 11 June 2009, a day after the visit of Muammar Gaddafi at the Rome Airport.
  • Totò and Carolina was banned on its initial release for poking fun at the police.
  • Jules and Jim was initially for its sexual attitudes, but the ban was lifted after protest.
  • Last Tango in Paris was banned from 1976 until 1987, due to its controversial sexual content. On 29 January 1976, the movie was even subject to public bonfire before its rehabilitation in 1987.
  • Freaks was banned on its initial release.
  • Cannibal Holocaust was banned on its initial release.
  • The Devils was banned in Italy was banned due to blasphemous content.
  • Li chiamarono... briganti! was banned after its release in 1999 possibly for being critical of the Italian unification.
  • Videocracy was refused airing as it says the spots are an offense to then-Premier Silvio Berlusconi.

In 2021, Italy ended its film censorship bureau, unbanning all formerly banned films, and leaving it up to theaters to decide what to screen.

Internet censorship[]

  • On 22 January 2021, the Italian Data Protection Authority has ordered to blocking TikTokers whose age is not established, this was ordered when a 10 year-old Sicilian girl had choked to her death on a belt around the neck. The block is set to remain in place until 15 February, when it will be re-evaluated.
  • Since 2012, access to Stormfront has been blocked.


  1. C'erano una volta i "cartoni fatti con il computer": la storia vera!
  2. Il computer più potente del mondo!
  3. http://www.kromix.varese.it/actionfigures-italia/curiosit%C3%A0/ufo-robo-goldrake.html
  4. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-alpen-rose/
  5. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-georgie/
  6. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/censure-anime-lady-oscar-le-rose-di-versailles/
  7. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/censure-anime-lady-oscar-le-rose-di-versailles/
  8. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-f-motori-in-pista/
  9. http://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-creamy-mami/
  10. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/censure-anime-attacker-you-mila-e-shiro-due-cuori-nella-pallavolo-dialoghi-modificati/
  11. http://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-candy-candy/
  12. http://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-capricciosa-orange-road/
  13. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/censure-anime-anni-80-2-parte/
  14. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-holly-e-benji-capitan-tsubasa/
  15. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/anime-che-campioni-holly-benji/
  16. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-mimi-e-la-nazionale-di-pallavolo/
  17. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-i-cavalieri-dello-zodiaco/
  18. http://cdzmillennium.altervista.org/home.php?id=info/cerioni.htm
  19. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/censure-anime-sailor-moon-censure-personaggi/
  20. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-dottor-slump-e-arale/
  21. http://www.ilbazardimari.net/recensione-anime-dragon-ball/
  22. http://www.tvblog.it/post/31539/le-censure-di-dragon-ball-z-su-italia1-perche
  23. http://www.animeclick.it/news/24554-rai-4-il-moige-margaria-adam-e-raffaelli-su-censure-anime
  24. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/censure-anime-slayers-un-incantesimo-dischiuso-tra-i-petali-del-tempo-per-rina-censure-generali/
  25. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/censure-anime-slayers-terminologia-religiosa-in-slayers/
  26. https://www.ilbazardimari.net/censure-anime-magic-knight-rayearth-il-vero-finale/