'Editing of anime in American distribution describes the process of altering anime to prepare it to be distributed in the United States and sometimes also Canada, and forms part of the process of localization. The process is generally applied only to series intended for broadcast on American television; series released directly to DVD are not subject to such heavy alterations. On top of the translation of dialog into English, this process commonly includes censoring audio/visual content to adhere to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and television network regulations and standards, and editing content to conform to American cultural norms or to prepare it for distribution to a younger audience than was originally intended. This type of editing may involve removing nudity or sexual innuendo, removing violent scenes, removing profanity, or the making of changes for reasons of political correctness in relation to race and religion.
The process may also include editing references that might confuse viewers who are unfamiliar with Japanese culture. Edits of this type commonly include the substitution of place names, food, and cultural elements not found in the U.S. This may also include the changing/removal of titles, character names, and honorifics and the removing of issues such as marriages between cousins, non-pornographic depictions of homosexuality and references to Japan's view of events such as WWII. Opening and closing credits or scenes may be shortened to allow more time for advertisements in a television time slot.
This type of censorship is not unique to anime, and is also practiced against imports from other countries and even original U.S. productions; both Batman: The Animated Series and Spider-Man: The Animated Series were heavily censored for violence by Fox during the production process, and the Canadian series ReBoot was censored post production by American Broadcasting Company for sexual content and scenes that executives believed would promote incest. Tom and Jerry cartoons have gone through heavy editing throughout the years due to racial references such as black face.