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On Crunchyroll, there is an anime called TONIKAWA. In the comment section of episode 5, someone commented that there was too much handholding that was uncensored, over 900 people have liked the comment, and there was a lot of replies supporting the commenter.

10/30/20
The 2 kisses are one thing, but there's so much uncensored handholding

Why should handholding be censored? Isn't it just two people holding hands?

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    this is probably a joke as far as i can tell without knowing context Jun 16 at 18:03
  • Your probably right but it’s just weird that 900 people would agree and this thing is also being talked about in the internet
    – Kalifer
    Jun 16 at 18:08
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    Well, that makes it all the more likely to be a joke - 900 people found it funny. Or just threw an upvote on it as they were passing by. It's being talked about around the internet because it's a somewhat widespread joke (at least from what I know) so it's not unlikely to show up in many other places. Jun 16 at 18:10
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Warning: Text under spoiler tab contains NSFW terms


It's satire to the whole absurd censorship rules in the anime industry (see this video to know more on these absurd rules). I did some digging and found exactly what I needed:

Hand Holding is another act that is used in a similar manner to Consensual Sex in the Missionary Position. Threads with hand holding as the topic will often receive satirical replies usually criticizing how the original poster is sick or lewd. Related images of this at time feature anime characters with unnecessary censorship photoshopped over the hands to add further lewdness. (source)

There are many reddit post discussing this meme (see refs.) all agreeing on the satirical take but sometimes there are some specific but very absurd reasons:

  1. Many "child-friendly" books explained baby-making as "when your parents love each other very much by holding hands and/or hugging very tight, mommy gets pregnant". This, however was considered too lewd for children and hence had to censor them. (See Naisho no Tsubomi)

  2. It's a mix between a generalized joke about the Japanese censoring genitalia in doujins as well as the fact that Romance series often end on hand holding and often without even a kiss, people started joking that handholding was too lewd for network TV. This joke was taken so seriously that even handholding was censored in hentai and borderline hentai giving up a notion that if you want to censor anything, censor everything (e.g. Dakara Boku wa, H ga Dekinai). Therefore, holding hands which is one of the purest acts of a romantic relationship is censored as if it's a filthy act just like censoring porn/guro making it somewhat hilarious.

References:

  1. What is this censored hand holding thing in Anime? -reddit post
  2. Why would they pixel that? - reddit post
  3. What started the censored holding hands meme? -reddit post

Bonus: Not only holding hands were censored as a joke, even the thoughts of holding hands and cuddling were satirized to be impure. This is a scene from Oremonogatari:

enter image description here

This image is actually a part of Tumblr post where the poster made a cheeky remark (Warning: Strong language).

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They don't.

It's sort of a running joke in the anime community that holding hands is a lewd and explicit act, and this in turn has spawned jokes about how hand-holding should be censored. I'm unsure how and why this joke evolved, but this r/OutOfTheLoop thread from 2015 indicates that it's been around for quite some time. Those liking and replying to the original comment are presumably in on the joke and going along with it.

I'm unaware of anyone who actually, sincerely believes that hand-holding should be censored.

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It's a meme that originated on /d/, 4chan's EXTREME hentai board. The people on there really don't view any sex stuff as weird, because they have seen it all so often, but do get all squeamish about normal non sexual romantic actions because they rarely if ever see those kinda things.

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    Can you go into more detail about how the meme originated?
    – F1Krazy
    Jun 17 at 20:58
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    Hi, this looks like an interesting fact if it's true. However, while this answer introduced and explained what /d/ board is in general (I have visited this board many times back then, so I can say it's true), I'm afraid it still lacks evidences about this particular handholding meme.
    – Aki Tanaka
    Jun 18 at 3:30

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