In continuing their cursed attempts to conflate the Japanese term with the concept of being an outright pedophile, Sentai Filmworks has replaced the word ‘lolicon’ with the social media buzzword-reeking “problematic age gap” in their English language localization of Dark Gathering.
Written and illustrated by Kenichi Kondo, Dark Gathering follows the tale of Keitaro Gentoga, a college freshman whose strong supernatural constitution attracts spirits to him like moths to a flame.
As a child, Keitaro experienced a traumatic event which left both him and his childhood friend, Eiko Houzouki, cursed by an unknown spirit. Seeking to protect the people he cares about from the adverse effects of his new situation, Keitaro responded to his curse by becoming a shut-in.
However, thanks to Eiko’s help and his grandmother’s own curse-suppression efforts, recent months have seen Keitaro slowly coming back out of his shell, slowly resocializing with a world he previously accepted never seeing again.
As part of this rehabilitation, Keitaro is tasked by Eiko with tutoring her cousin Yayoi Houzuki, a 9-year-old spiritual prodigy whose mother was abducted by ghosts when she was just a child.
United by a twiste of fate, the three proceed to team-up to not only help Yayoi develop her abilities, but also visit various haunted spots in the hopes of finding the ghost who kidnapped her mom.
As discovered by fans upon its September 11th simulcast on HIDIVE, the edit in question was made to the Dark Gathering anime’s tenth episode, ‘Across Japan’.
Adapted from the end of the original manga’s 11th chapter, ‘Blasphemy’, the relevant scene finds Keitaro and Yayoi confront an ancient Japanese God who has marked Ai to be his bride when she turns 20-years-old.
Seeking to strike fear in their hearts, the god proceeds to taunt the pair by murdering Yayoi’s ‘kids’ – dangerous ghosts whom she has trapped in stuffed animals with the goal of eventually using their power to find her mother – and claiming that there is nothing the young excorcist can do to stop him.
However, when a picture of the family she’s fighting for becomes drenched by the blood of this performance, Yayoi snaps forward and declares that not only can she face the god on her own, but also that she can actually beat him.
“A God should be at least 500 years old, in spite of that, you’re taking a 20 year old girl as you’re bride,” she taunts in turn. “I don’t feel like I can lose to a lolicon god.”
However, thanks to notorious English language localizer Katrina Leonoudakis‘ own political ideologies, Sentai Filmworks’ presentation of this moment replaces Yayoi’s original declaration with “I’m not going to let some god and his problematic age gap beat me.”
Conversely, the series’ other licensor, Singapore-based anime distributor Muse Asia, translated the scene more accurately to creator Kenichi Konmdo’s original dialogue, with Yayoi asserting, “I don’t think I would ever lose to some lolicon god.”
As of writing, neither Sentai Filmworks or HIDIVE have offered a public comment on Dark Gathering‘s mistranslation.