A Malaysian student took the liberty of reimagining a popular anime featuring fashion, tradition, and style fit for Malaysia’s censors.
In Noraila Najiha Mohd Nazim’s digital edit of a still image from Attack On Titan, two humanoids engaged in combat now wear traditional Malay clothing rather than just their skin, or complete lack of even that in one case. “I just love keeping it traditional,” she told Coconuts today.
“Actually, I was just thinking if they made the censored version of the manga, the anime version of it must be funnier,” said the 19-year-old high school student from SMK Ketari in Bentong, Pahang.
Her version comes in the run-up to the conclusion to the wildly popular series, which pits humankind against ravenous, rampaging giants who destroy entire towns to eat their inhabitants.
She depicts an antagonist known as the Female Titan in a floral, batik-patterned dress while series protagonist Eren Yeager (who can also grow to titanic proportions) is dressed in a yellow-and-blue checkered sarong commonly known as the kain pelikat, normally worn by Malay men at home.
“Okay, so in the anime, the censored Titans would be wearing kain batik and pelikat, right?” she said when she first shared the edit to Instagram account over the weekend.
View this post on Instagram
Noraila said her understanding of the titans’ apparent lack of shame evolved over time.
“I was wondering why they were naked when I first watched the series,” she said. “But when I got to know the full story, I understood that the Titans were just human muscle.”
In Malaysia, the uncensored anime is available on Netflix.
The edit has been shared to various Attack On Titan meme groups over the weekend such as Attack On Titan: Lainahposting and Attack On Titan: Potatoposting, provoking thousands of amused reactions. It has also been shared to the subreddit r/Titanfolk with 197,000 members dedicated to discussing the Japanese series.
“Annie be slayin on that dress,” Raico Odysseus Taan commented on Facebook.
A Reddit user pointed out that the drawing resembles how married couples fight.
“This looks like your typical Asian middle-aged Husband and Wife banter in either the living room or the kitchen,” _TR13DG3_ said.
Attack On Titan is a manga and an anime series created in 2009 by author Hajime Isayama about the lives of humanity threatened by 4- to 30-meter tall man-eating monsters known as the “Titans.”
The manga concludes next month while the anime is set to end its “final season” around the same time.
In February, social media users pointed out that the monsters’ bodies are censored in the Attack On Titan manga published in Malaysia.
Although they appear naked, the humanlike monsters do not have sex organs. Still, that doesn’t mean they get a pass from Malaysia’s strict censorship laws, which forbid nudity of any kind. Male-passing humanoids in the Malaysian version of the manga are depicted in shorts while those who are female-passing appear to wear towels over their bodies.
Other stories to check out:
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!