Neon Genesis Evangelion has arrived on Netflix, but the new dub of the famous anime series has caused a bit of controversy online. Nevertheless, the new translator responsible for the dub is defending himself and his choices.
The famed anime series, which premiered in 1995, has been regarded as a highlight of the medium for over 20 years. Late in the original dub of the series, main character Shinji and his friend Kaworu were implied to be in love with each other, which was a watermark for queer representation in mainstream anime. However, the new Netflix dub changes the dialogue, tweaking the relationship in the process and removing the potential homosexual subtext.
I'm seeing a lot of misdirected hate towards Netflix about their handling of Kaworu and Shinji's relationship. I reached out to the original translator and I think it's extremely important for everyone to hear what he as to say. pic.twitter.com/OCwjMpbFf4— Fey 🏳️🌈 (@skrublordFey) June 21, 2019
Twitter user Fey reached out to Dan Kanemitsu, the credited translator for the series, and shared Kanemitsu's response, which came in the form of three tweets. Kanemitsu is ultimately standing by his decision, saying his translation is geared towards representing the source material above potential subtext.
"The power of storytelling sometime depends on the ability of audiences to establish emotional relationships with the characters, as well as, recognize intimacy between people based on inferences..." Kanemitsu wrote. "It is one thing for characters to confess their love. It is quite another for the audience to infer affection and leave them guessing. How committed are the characters? What possible misunderstandings might be talking place? Leaving room for interpretation make things exciting."
Neon Genesis Evangelion is currently streaming on Netflix.