It seems Western localizers’ desire to force modern sociopolitical buzzwords into Japanese works is showing no signs of slowing down, as fans recently discovered that a reference to the concept of ‘mansplaining’ was forced into the English-language releases of both Norio Sakurai’s romantic comedy manga The Dangers in My Heart and its subsquent anime adaptation.
Written and illustrated by Sakurai, The Dangers in My Heart follows the story of Kyotaro Ichikawa, an angry and vengeful young man who regularly fantasizes about taking out his frustrations with society by murdering his classmates – in particular his class’ resident beauty, Anna Yamada.
However, after striking up a friendship with Anna and discovering that she is less ‘fake’ than stereotypes regarding her social position would imply, Kyotaro finds his anger slowly giving way to romantic feelings to his once-would-be-victim.
Making its Japanese debut in Akita Shoten’s Weekly Shonen Champion magazine in 2018, The Dangers in My Heart manga was brought to the West in 2021 courtesy of Seven Seas Entertainment.
Meanwhile, its anime adaptation, as produced by Doraemon studio Shine-Ei Animation, is currently being simulcast to English-speaking audiences thanks to a licensing deal with Sentai Filmworks.
Unfortunately for said audiences, like many manga and anime in recent years, neither version of The Dangers in My Heart made it to the West unscathed.
As discovered by fans, both Seven Seas Entertainment and Sentai Filmworks have both injected a reference to ‘mansplaining’ in their respective releases of the series.
The reference in question is made, as depicted in the manga’s 46th chapter and the anime’s tenth episode, while Kyotaro and Anna are enjoying each other’s company during a ‘Christmas shopping date’.
However, after offering his explanation, Kyotaro becomes self-conscious and embarrased after realizing that he had been explaining basic fashion sense to a pro-model.
Taking a break from their shopping spree to relax at a hipster café, Anna asks Kyotaro about his taste in black clothing, to which he responds explaining his fashion philsophy to the young model.
Upon realizing this, Kyotaro proceeds to self-consciously tally all the ‘Screw-up’ points he had accumulated during their date, with his explanation of his fashion choices sitting in his mind as his second most egregious act after having her order his meal for him.
According to a translation of the chapter provided by established fangroup the Bordeom Society , which aimed to be as close to Sakurai’s work as possible, Kyotaro originally described his babbling as a “bizarre fashion theory.”
However, in Seven Seas’ version, Kyotaro instead describes that same ‘ding’ against his appeal as “I mansplained fashion.”
This same wording would likewise be used by Sentai Filmworks, who replaced Kyotaro’s initial realization of “Did I just give my bizarre take on fashion theory to a pro model?!” with the line, “Wha?! Did I just start mansplaining fashion to a literal pro-model?” in their localization of the series’ anime adaptation.
In the wake of this edit’s discovery by fans, Japanese Twitter user @rayforcegaming confirmed that Boredom Society’s translation was more accurate to Sakurai’s original work than Sentai Filmworks’ localization (and, by extension, Seven Seas’).
“As a Japanese, I can testify [fan] manga version translation is more correct than Anime version,” they declared. “There is no gender related term in Japanese original text. Therefore, ‘mansplaining’ is mistranslation. I suspect someone insert their own political agenda into this mistranstation.”
Lending further credence to @rayforcegaming‘s theory, fellow Twitter user @TomaHaku revealed that Shanghai-based streaming service Bililibili had provided their viewers with a far more accurate translation of Kyotaro’s freakout which saw the troubled young man exclaim, “I’m spouting my dumb fashion theories at a professional model, of all people!”
Interestingly, roughly five days after this localization was brought to public attention, Twitter user @Nytloc found that Sentai Filmworks had actually updated the episode’s English subtitles, with Kyotaro no longer making any mention of ‘mansplaining’ and instead questioning, “”Wha?! Did I just start explaining fashion to a model of all people?!”
As of writing, neither Sentai Filmworks nor Seven Seas Entertainment have offered public comment on their respective mistranslations of The Dangers in My Heart.
Further, while Sentai Filmworks has corrected their translation, it is currently unknown if Seven Seas will be taking any steps to do the same.