Sword Art Online Episode Censors More Content on U.S.-Based Streaming Services
posted on by Karen Ressler
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The 10th episode of Sword Art Online: Alicization had additional content edits on United States-based streaming services Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hulu. However, Aniplex's France-based streaming platform Wakanim did not.
While both versions feature black bars over violent and sexual scenes, as per normal for anime broadcast in Japan, the version on the U.S. services had some changes to a scene of attempted rape. Some cuts of animation in this scene were removed, and some were zoomed in so that less is visible.
Funimation confirmed with ANN that its version originated from the licensor, Aniplex. Crunchyroll declined to comment on this specific issue, but said it does not censor content directly from licensors.
Aniplex of America has not responded to ANN's request for comment.
The simulcast versions of anime episodes usually match what airs on Japanese TV, but some viewers have reported seeing the version of episode 10 with fewer edits on Japanese television channels Tokyo MX and BS11. ANN was not able to independently verify these claims.
The episode aired on Tokyo MX, Tochigi TV, Gunma TV, BS11, and MBS on the night of Saturday, December 10. It also aired on TV Aichi and AT-X on Monday night. The streaming service Abema TV ran the episode simultaneously with the broadcast airing, but it is a live streaming service, not streaming-on-demand. All Japanese streaming-on-demand services start showing each episode one week after broadcast – so this episode will stream in Japan on December 15.
Many anime are completely uncensored for their home video releases, so the Japanese Sword Art Online: Alicization Blu-ray Disc release may remove the black bars present in both versions mentioned above.
Sword Art Online: Alicization premiered on October 9. Crunchyroll, Funimation, Hulu, and Wakanim are all streaming the series as it airs. Crunchyroll's stream is available in North America, Central America, South America, Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Ireland.
Thanks to Taka Taka and Config Space for the news tip.