Neon Genesis Evangelion Translator Responds to Netflix Controversy

Neon Genesis Evangelion, the landmark television anime series from the '90s, is now available worldwide on Netflix. This marks the first time the series has been so widely available, and with the release comes a new set of English dubs -- with a new cast -- and subs. Given how attached many fans are the original script and English voice actors, it should come as no surprise that there's been some controversy surrounding the new release, and particularly with the way the new script treats certain important scenes. And now the translator for the new script, the one credited for the Netflix version, has responded.

Dan Kanemitsu, the man credited with translation at the end of every episode of Evangelion on Netflix, responded to a tweet asking about one particular interaction in the anime series. Specifically, Twitter user @skrublordFey asked Kanemitsu about the relationship between Kaworu and Shinji, and whether it had been intentionally toned down or made less explicit. In the new script, rather than saying the word "love," Kaworu now states that he likes Shinji and that he's worthy of Kaworu's grace. @skrublordFey took a screenshot of Kanemitsu's answers, which you can check out below:

"While I am not in a position to refer specifically to the decision involved in the scene you described, in all my translation of any title, I have tried my best to be faithful to the original source material," Kanemitsu tweeted. "Bar none."

"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," he continued.

"It is one thing for characters to confess their love," Kanemitsu added. "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."


In short, Kanemitsu states that while he can't officially speak to the specific decisions made here, sometimes certain emotions are better when inferred and being left ambiguous. He also says that he always tries his best to be faithful to the material.

What do you think? Have you checked out Neon Genesis Evangelion on Netflix? Let us know in the comments!