In the United Kingdom, before any film or TV show can be released, it has to be approved and receive an age classification rating from the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification). While there are set guidelines for each certificate rating, these can change with the passage of time and particular pieces can cause quite a lot of debate. For example, the silent film Island of Lost Souls was initially refused classification back in 1933, but was given a PG in 2011.
Today, the BBFC revealed that the next instalment of their podcast will focus on the classification of Japanese anime and how the medium can challenge some expectations of animation. The podcast will be posted on their website on 20th December.
Personally, one question that has always been on my mind is the level of tolerance towards nudity and violence in anime compared to live-action. For example, Elfen Lied is rated a 15 and features prominent nudity and gore, yet was given a 15 certificate. If a live-action adaptation of the series was released, would it be refused classification? Also, how was Strike Witches season 1 given a mere 12?