Upcoming Winter 2023 anime Ayakashi Triangle has a new website celebrating its January 2023 release. Connect Studio — best known for Strike the Blood and Slow Loop — will animate the project. But given the manga’s themes, will it avoid censorship?
First serialized back in 2020, the rom-com Ayakashi Triangle tells the story of Suzu Kanade, a girl whose ability to talk to ayakashi — ghosts that feed on humans — has turned her into an outcast. Her closest friends are the spirits she sees and her neighbor Matsuri Kazamaki. When Suzu learns that Matsuri comes from a long line of ninja exorcists, however, she’s not only caught in a crossfire between ghost and humans but a complex web of interpersonal relationships.
Creator Kentaro Yabuki was first serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump with his manga Yamato Gensouki and later Black Cat back in 2000. Since then, he’s worked on several hit titles including To Love Ru and the manga adaptation of Darling in the Franxx. He has also provided illustrations for light novels including Tomohiro Matsu’s Hatena Illusion.
Is Ayakashi Triangle an LGBT anime?
Modern anime fans have been vocal about their desires for more anime that touch on LGBT themes. And seeing as Ayakashi Triangle primarily deals with a body-swapped character whose goal is to return to his true self and gender, some may read the tale as a transgender story.
To add to this theory, mangaka Kentaro Yabuki did create the Shuukan Shounen Jump series titled ‘Trans Boy’. While the title alone may make this seem like an open and shut case, the protagonist in Trans Boy is not actually transgender but rather ‘trans’ refers to them transforming into a superhero.
Beyond allegory, however, Ayakashi Triangle does have characters questioning their romantic orientations. Suzu, having previously had romantic feelings for Matsuri finds herself with an unending crush on him despite his new feminine form. And Matsuri is forced to question his interpersonal relationships too as he’s now perceived by the world as a girl.
The emphasis on romantic attraction was no afterthought either. Before serialization, the initial idea came from a one-shot, Reo × Leo, Yabuki wrote for Weekly Shonen Jump’s J Romcom Festival! Event. And Kentaro Yabuki is certainly no stranger to rom-coms with his last serialized work To Love Ru.
While fans of the series will be quick to note similarities between the two manga, those are of no coincidence. Both Ayakashi Triangle and To Love Ru exist canonically in the same universe — making a cameo in the upcoming anime all the more likely.
Will Ayakashi Triangle be censored?
Given the abundance of ecchi scenes in the manga, it’s likely that the Ayakashi Triangle will see some form of censorship. Some studios have made the effort, however, to bridge the gap between the source’s original content and broadcast guidelines.
The currently airing Vermeil in Gold, for example, uses convenient angles to cover up nudity while keeping most of the series’ innuendos and themes. Granted, Kentaro Yabuki’s To Love Ru anime adaptation wasn’t shy about its lewd scenes, but the cultural landscape has shifted since 2008.
The digital version of the Ayakashi Triangle — released on Shueisha’s Manga Plus app in both English and Spanish — had all of its nude scenes censored. Blurred body parts may be typical to expect with global releases, but as for entire scenes such as Matsuri sprinting out of a bathhouse in the nude to exorcize a pesky ayakashi? It’s unknown for certain how much of the manga’s original content will be kept.
Those wanting to enjoy the manga in its original form, though, are in luck! Publisher Seven Seas Entertainment has Ayakashi Triangle volume 1 available for pre-order now. The first volume is slated to release on November 1st — two months before the anime release — with the second volume releasing on February 7th, 2023.