Fans of the Tokyo Revengers manga series are telling anime-only fans that it’s best to watch Tokyo Revengers uncensored. But why would the anime TV series need censorship in the first place?
Yes, there is some additional blood, but the real reason to watch Tokyo Revengers uncensored is that censorship impacts the overall visual quality of many scenes.
Anime fans might be surprised to find out that Crunchyroll’s Tokyo Revengers stream is actually censored. Crunchyroll France explained why they could not stream Tokyo Revengers uncensored.
What Crunchyroll didn’t explain was the reason for the censored episodes in the first place.
Tokyo Revengers’ Manji symbol is not a Nazi swastika
It turns out all the fuss is over Tokyo Revengers’ manji symbol, which is used by the Toman biker gang on their clothing uniforms, motorcycles, and flags.
In Buddhism, the manji symbol represents the footprints of the Buddha and it’s intended to represent hope, prosperity, and good luck. Notably, the Tokyo Manji Gang holds meetings at a shrine.
Seeing the manji symbol has caused many anime fans worldwide to google “Tokyo Revengers Nazi” or “Tokyo Revengers Swastika” in order to find out what the symbol really means.
Unfortunately, the shape of the manji symbol somewhat resembles the Nazi swastika, a symbol of terror and hatred in modern times. The Japanese recognize that the manji symbol can cause misunderstanding.
For example, the manji symbol is commonly used to mark temple sites on maps in Japan. To avoid problems, the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games is changing the symbol.
How the Tokyo Revengers censorship impacts animation quality
The anime’s opening could have provided a brief text-based explanation of the historical differences between the manji and swastika.
Instead, the anime producers or anime production committee apparently decided to head off any potential controversy from Western audiences by self-censoring, which is why Crunchyroll receives the episodes already pre-censored.
It’s not a small problem, either. In fact, by Tokyo Revengers Episode 5, the censorship resulted in many scenes literally having a black screen.
Some scenes barely showed the bikers, character animations were simplified, and sometimes glaring lights were used to block the details.
In practice, implementing censorship in this manner means dramatically altering many episodes to the detriment of the anime series. The censorship has already ruined the dramatic impact of critical scenes in the first half of the anime TV season.
The problem with the censorship will only increase as new Tokyo Revengers episodes are released. Earlier in the story, the manji symbol is fairly rare, but later on, there will be huge gang battles where many characters are wearing the Toman uniform.
Let’s just hope the Tokyo Revenger Season 2 anime does not use censorship. Stay tuned!