I recently got the first season of the Chinese children’s cartoon show 黑猫警长 (Black Cat Detective), and just minutes into the first episode I was horrified by its violence.

Screenshot from s01e01. 警长 tracks down and kills the kidnapping rats.

The series basically features a black cat police detective (duh) who is biking around on his motorcycle solving crimes, primarily through shooting rats (who are evil, duh). In this first episode the Detective (警长) found the rats invading a house and kidnapping the mother of ten possums (?). Upon seeing the rats escape, the Detective does the only noble thing – points a gun at the moving car, kills one rat with a shot straight through the chest. The immediately still body of the rat is thrown of the car by his fellow rats, upon which the Detective shoots another shot at him before giving up the chase.

Later in the episode, the Detective and his cat police team hunt the rat gang down as they are messing with the kidnapped mother possum. The Detective immediately starts shooting, killing off the rats one by one.

Apparently the series has been widely critisised for its violence in the past. I still recommend it for learning Chinese (it has simple dialogue and all is subtitled in simplified Chinese), but don’t go around kidnapping possums or shooting rats.

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