A burst of light is used to hide the manji symbol on the jackets. Screenshot: Crunchyroll
Tokyo Revengers is about the tough kids of the Tokyo Manji Gang. The manji symbol (卍), the Buddhist swastika, appears on the title of the manga in Japanese and throughout the original anime. It was deleted from the English version of the anime, apparently because it could be confusing with the Nazi swastika.
This was first noticed by members of the Crunchyroll forum, where the question of whether it is censorship is discussed.
For example, here’s a screenshot of the Japanese opening:
The manji is visible on the flag lying on the ground. Screenshot: Liden
And that of Crunchyroll:
In the Crunchyroll version, the symbol has been covered. Screenshot: Crunchyroll
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As Kotaku previously reported, if you’ve ever been to a Buddhist temple in Japan or looked at a Japanese map, you’ve likely seen manji swastikas. The manji has long been a holy and auspicious symbol in Japan and throughout Asia.
The Japanese have another word for the Nazi swastika: haakenkuroitsu (ハ ー ケ ン ク ロ イ ツ), or “hakenkreuz”, which means swastika in German. The Nazi swastika is often tilted, but not always; however, Japanese Buddhism uses both left- and right-facing manji. The horizontal manji facing left is used to mark Buddhist temples. The Tokyo Manji Gang is not linked to Nazism.
The manga debuted in 2017, a year after the manji symbol became slang among young Japanese people. The old auspicious sense has remained, but it has gained an array of new senses in Japan. For example, kids would say it when taking pictures like the English word “cheese”, and it is also used to refer to a mischievous or excitable personality. Other uses include “looking strong,” “high class,” a symbol of someone running (sometimes depicted with the Cactuar from Final Fantasy), and a pun on the Japanese word maji (ま じ), which means “Seriously” or “really”. Again, this had nothing to do with Nazism.
Members of the Tokyo Manji Gang stand in front of a giant manji symbol. Screenshot: Liden
In the Crunchyroll version, the manji symbol is removed. Note that it also does not appear on the gang’s jackets. Screenshot: Crunchyroll
It has been reported that there are plans to remove the manji symbol from Japanese maps, as Westerners might confuse it with the Nazi use, which hate groups continue to embrace. Considering the influx of international tourists in the pre-covid era, the horrific stigma of the Nazi brand, and the similarity of the symbols, this is understandable. Things may become more confused by the fact that Japan was Germany’s ally during WWII.
The manji symbol appears on the gang’s jackets. Screenshot: Liden
In the Crunchyroll version, the manji symbol is covered. Screenshot: Crunchyroll
It’s a lot of context that is needed to understand the meaning of the character! If you didn’t know and just took a look at the anime, you would think it was a hate group. Its inclusion could be distracting and confusing. The decision to remove the symbol from the English version is not surprising and understandable, although this manji is not a malicious mark, as the Nazi of course is.