The international airing of Interspecies Reviewers, also known as Ishuzoku Reviewers, is already receiving some fairly positive feedback from viewers. However, some people noticed that while Funimation originally promised to air the uncensored version of the anime, they switched it at the last minute and aired the censored version instead.
Ahead of the initial airing, Funimation promised that anime fans would be able to view the show in all its uncensored glory.
On the day the show was supposed to air, however, the description for Interspecies Reviewers changed and they removed any mention of the show being uncensored.
When the simulcast did air, Funimation’s version was censored, while certain other streams were not.
We were then informed that French simulcast streamer, Wakanim, made an announcement on the day that the uncensored version was supposed to air in their region, stating that it was decided that the uncensored version would not air due to being incompatible with laws and policies around the world.
Il a été décidé que Interspecies Reviewers sera diffusé a l’international dans sa version télévisée japonaise, c’est à dire censuré.
La version sans retouches étant incompatible avec plusieurs législations et politiques de contenu à travers le monde, nous ne la proposerons pas.
— Wakanim (@Wakanim) January 11, 2020
This is a bald-faced lie.
There is no global standard for content distribution, and what might be illegal in one region does not make it illegal in another.
In this case, airing an anime uncensored in France is not illegal unless it’s determined to be child pornography. However, no legal ruling was made that Interspecies Reviewers was deemed forbidden or illegal in France.
[Update:] According to Twitter user GloberingTime, it was explained that Wakanim wasn’t supposed to air the uncensored version and the rights holder wanted to put a stop to that, but instead of blaming the rights holder Wakanim stated that airing the episode uncensored was “illegal”…
“Yes, Wakanim broadcast the first episode uncensored, but the rights holders did not appreciate it because the feedback was negative. In Japan, only private channels can do this. So Wakanim and the other streaming services will offer the censored version as is often the case with other anime.”
A similar statement was also made by Taiwanese streaming outfit, Bahamut’s Insane Animation. The Facebook group informed their audience that they had to pull the uncensored version of Interspecies Reviewers, but it had nothing to do with the law.
The first part of the announcement is very telling, though.
They initially informed their audience by telling them that they were pressured to remove the uncensored version, writing…
“Because of external pressure, the current airing of Interspecies Reviewers shall be replaced with a version that’s the same as the AT-X “Holy Light Edition”. For give us for bring you this inconvenience.”
While that alone is quite eye-opening, they followed it up with an edit to the post, explaining that the “Holy Light Version” is not the same as the AT-X version but is actually the “general” or “common version” that other services will be airing.
In other words, they made it known that they would not be airing the uncensored AT-X version, but were pressured into airing the same censored version that Wakanim and Funimation aired.
[Update:] Chaos Thinker offered an update from Bahumut Animation, where they stated that they will provide an uncensored version of the anime under certain conditions.
They explain that they will have to age-gate the content, and put in age verification measures to prevent those under the age of 18 from accessing the content. According to Chaos Thinker, reporting the uncensored stream to government officials while it didn’t have an age-gate could have put Bahumut Animation in series trouble. So they decided to play it safe to avoid any kind of complications.
It kind of changes the flavor of the meal, as the censorship may not have come from the cook you originally thought responsible for tainting the meat.
Let’s look at how 3 countries handle adult entertainment broadcasts:
Taiwan: shows everything
Japan: shows tiddies
USA: censors fully clothed women because you can see the shape of their nipples (no changes needed by us…)
Barrel Shotas added by us to avoid Twatter’s wrath. pic.twitter.com/cD0h62GLbB
— Raging Golden Eagle (@RageGoldenEagle) January 12, 2020
This led some to believe that maybe this wasn’t a Funimation botch job, but rather the original studio opting to have all the simulcasts play the censored version of Interspecies Reviewers in hopes that when the Blu-ray release arrives, everyone who wants the uncensored version will be primed and ready to purchase that instead.
If you’re unsure of what I’m talking about, images of the uncensored version are floating around, and they don’t hold back in showing all of the girls’ naughty bits.
If you click through the image below you can see the uncensored NSFW version.
I’m sure we’ll get clearer answers as international anime audiences pressure their regional streaming services into fessing up and explaining why they promised to air the uncensored version of the anime but then turned around and aired the censored version instead.
(Thanks for the news tips Chaotic Thinker and Master Nemesis)
[Updates were made to the article providing additional information about the reasons behind Wakanim and Mad Bahamut Animation’s reasons for taking down the uncensored streams]