Anime fans discovered firsthand that the U.S., broadcasts of A-1 Pictures’ Sword Art Online: Alicization has been censored. Specifically Episode 10 had key frames removed or out of focus during a sexual assault sequence.
Operation Rainfall picked up the news, first noting that Crunchyroll had a censored version of the scene on display, but they later updated the story after it was discovered Hulu and Funimation also censored the scene. You can see a comparison between the U.S., broadcasts and the original Japanese scene from Episode 10 that features two of the female characters being sexually violated courtesy of Twitter user ZEENO Padoru. Obviously the video comparison is not safe for work.
Episodio 10 de Sword Art Online: Alicization:
Comparación entre la versión de Crunchyroll (que a su vez fue robada por muchas otras paginas) y la japonesa que fue emitida en televisión (raw). pic.twitter.com/o3hCKxQBp5
— ❄️ ZEENO Padoru ❄️ (@TZEENO) December 8, 2018
As you can see, they cut out the part where Ronye gets her legs licked by one of the rapists. They also zoom in on Tiese’s face when she has her shirt ripped open and her bra exposed. In the U.S., broadcasts the camera zooms in real close on Raios’ face as he begins to lick Tiese’s bare stomach, so you don’t see as his tongue touches her stomach.
They also cut the part where the second rapist, Humbert, spreads open Ronye’s legs and begins licking her crotch. In the original raw version there’s a black haze as he puts his head between her legs, but in the U.S., broadcast it zooms in close on Humbert’s face and Ronye’s knee.
They also cut the part where Raios backhands Tiese’s face before struggling with her some more. They also remove the scene where Humbert covers Ronye’s face while forcing himself on her.
As usual, there are already videos popping up online as YouTubers offer their take on the matter, such as FoxenAnime.
As pointed out by Operation Rainfall, the episode started with a trigger warning for viewers, but even then the episode was still censored compared to what aired over in Japan.
Since the censorship happened across all versions of the U.S.-based streaming services, it’s not just a Crunchyroll problem.
This seems to fit in line with what Senran Kagura producer Kenichirō Takaki mentioned about fan-service slowly being driven out of the industry, even for late-night anime and mature-rated games.