It doesn't seem that long ago that the Anime thread was in the Prohibition era. The movement started in 2009 with the best intentions of keeping anime discussion away from the under-aged and irresponsible. With ecchi anime becoming the rule rather than the exception, the "Not Even Once" ethos spread like wildfire and soon debate raged across the forums. Created in 2012the Tube act
, a.k.a. the Glorious Edict finally outlawed anime and the mods were mobilized. Within days the existing general anime threads were closed down, and one-by-one the singular anime topics rounded up as well.
Though viewed as a great moral victory of its time, the prohibition wasn't without criticism: why was this sinful behavior called out when others like gambling
still allowed? This led to greater questions like "what is anime?" An artstyle? A transmission of Japanese culture? The friends we made along the way?
Research shows that Prohibition reduced overall anime consumption by half during the 2010s, and consumption remained below pre-Prohibition levels until the 2020s, suggesting that Prohibition did socialize a significant proportion of the population in temperate habits, at least temporarily. Rates of body pillow purchases "fell by 50% early in Prohibition and recovered promptly after Repeal in 2019." Criticism remains that Prohibition led to unintended consequences such as a century of Prohibition-influenced legislation and the growth of "WTF Japan!?" thought, though some scholars have argued that was properly attributed to increased internet exposure, rather than the criminalization of anime use. Regardless, as an experiment it lost supporters every year, and lost innumerable reactions that forumers needed when the Great Depression began in November 2016.
One type of forum artifact of the prohibition era are all the speakeasy anime threads that still exist. While general anime threads were disallowed, forumers found cleaver (in their minds’) ways to bypass the edict, usually with sympathetic mod help (or at least a blind eye). Threads like the D&D Movies thread allowed anime discussion, so long as the subject itself was feature-length. Anime adaptations like the 2017 Ghost in the Shell provided topical safe havens, even if only temporarily. As sympathy towards the repeal grew single-topic anime threads led by the mods themselves emerged, heralding the end of the prohibition era.
So SE++, what was your favorite Secret Anime Thread that helped tide you over during the long night?