Fans unhappy with the Netflix translation of the iconic Neon Genesis Evangelion anime have begun to direct accusations of pedophilia and support of Nazi ideology towards the translator, Dan Kanemitsu, based on gross misunderstandings of his previous work.

As previously reported, Kanemitsu’s translation features differences in the script when compared to the previous ADV Films dub of the series, most notably changing an exchange with homoromantic undertones between protagonist Shinji Ikari and fellow EVA-unit pilot Kaworu Nagisa to imply Kaworu’s ambiguous feelings were more of acceptance and caring for Shinji than romantic. Fans also noted a small change in Episode #20, which attributed a terrorist attack to “leftist terrorists” instead of just “terrorists”:

Translator for Netflix’s Dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion Accused of Pedophilia and Supporting Nazism due to Work on Strike Witches

Above: The script as seen in the Netflix dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion
Below: The original dub translation of the same scene

In response to seeing this image posted by another fan, Twitter user @avatarskorra_ pointed to this change as proof that the change made to the dialogue between Shinji and Kaworu was done intentionally to “erase gay representation”:

LMAO the guy who erased Kaworu’s gayness also changed any translation involving terrorists in order to make it so that they were specifically LEFTIST terrorists. Let’s stop pretending he didn’t have an agenda when he took pains to erase gay representation

– Bree🔜AX!!!! (@avatarskorra_) June 26, 2019

Avatarskorra_ then proceeded to trawl through Kanemitsu’s Twitter account, and seized upon the opportunity to label him as a pedophile and a proponent of Nazi imagery due to instances of his work found on his timeline:

Oh my god he also translates doujin where the characters are lolibait pantless Nazi hentai girl OCs from strike witches (Nazi imagery cw, Loli cw, csa cw)

– Bree  🔜AX!!!!‏ (@avatarskorra_) June 26, 2019

HOLY FUCK it somehow gets worse. On his blog, he wrote some bullshit thinkpiece opposing an expansion of Japan’s child porn ban

– Bree  🔜AX!!!!‏ (@avatarskorra_) June 26, 2019


– Bree  🔜AX!!!!‏ (@avatarskorra_) June 26, 2019

However, it is clear these accusations and interpretations of Kanemitsu’s work are extremely disingenuous. Kanemitsu is the head of the 8th Panzer Regiment doujin group, which publishes a Strike Witches doujin titled The Lionheart Witch ~ Leading the Charge. The character which was cited as proof of Kanemitsu’s support for “loli” content is an original character created for the doujin, Captain Hannelore Kümmel, who is at no time referred to as a child or even put into overtly sexual situations. The character also features decorations of the Iron Cross, which avatarskorra_ asserts is Nazi imagery despite the fact that the Iron Cross was not an exclusively Nazi symbol, being first used by Germany during World War I and reintroduced as the symbol of the Bundeswehr, the modern German armed forces, in 1956.

Translator for Netflix’s Dub of Neon Genesis Evangelion Accused of Pedophilia and Supporting Nazism due to Work on Strike Witches

Kunemitsu’s original character, Captain Hannelore Kümmel of Karlsland, as featured in The Lionheart Witch ~ Leading the Charge.

In regards to his “thinkpiece opposing an expansion of Japan’s child porn ban,” Kanemitsu’s piece is not a defense of child pornography, but rather a cautionary plea to be wary of the misguided intents and the threat such ill-defined bills pose to artistic freedom and the rights of the public:

“A ban on manga, anime, and video games simply because it features underage characters is a misguided Orwellian policy that will likely produce only marginal results in exchange for a huge toll on a free society.

I am absolutely certain that history will not look back kindly upon such a ban, and it will join a long list of colossal failures of regulatory policy, such as the prohibition of alcohol in the US between 1920 to 1933, various sodomy laws, the comic book code, and bans on socialist literature in Japan during the prewar era.

It is important to note that all these failed moral crusades were led by virtuous and diligent individuals intent on making the world a better place.

At first, many members of society were receptive to these well intended efforts, brushing aside those that raised objections as being alarmists or extremists. Over time, the regulatory mechanism will form a life of its own. Regulatory policies encourages the custodians of that policy to expand the limits of the regulation because their authority is dependent on the extent of regulation. Sometimes the regulatory regime will morph into a beast it was never intended to become, and at that stage it will become extremely hard to reverse such failed policies. Failed regulatory schemes have a tendency to create burdensome legacies that will tax upon society for decades to come.

We need not tread upon that path once more.”

Kanemitsu’s opinions are not uncommon, and have been echoed by groups such as the Tokyo Bar Association, The Democratic Party of Japan and The Prostasia Foundation.

These accusations were eventually seized upon by The Daily Dot, who used avatarskorras_ tweets to address the “growing suspicions about [Kanemitsu’s] political leanings” in an article titled Why did Netflix erase the queerness of ‘Evangelion’? While The Daily Dot attempted to ask Kanemitsu about his work on Neon Genesis Evangelion, Kanemitsu noted that he could not comment specifically on his Evangelion work, but instead spoke to the nature of translations in general:

“There are cases where you want to make a work especially accessible to a specific target audience by removing or replacing culturally specific concepts inherent in the original work, and instead employ expressions and concepts that the target audience is familiar with, even while these may not be close match to the concepts and nuances of the original source material.”

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.