Anime’s most controversial series continues to cause discord as some hear comedy and others see insensitivity.

In addition to fighting aliens and pleasuring himself to the sight of his unconscious acquaintance in the hospital, Shinji, the protagonist of anime Evangelion, spends a lot of time screaming. It’s all in keeping with one of the franchise’s core storytelling mechanics, which is that if you really took a barely pubescent kid and stuck him in a mecha to fight for the sake of humanity, it’d actually be more terrifying than thrilling.

As a matter of fact, Shinji spends so much time screaming that if Eva’s themes don’t really have a strong hold on your psyche, sometime all of his frenzied shouting can come off as sort of comical. But a short video shared by Twitter user @AnimuTiddie has attempted to tap into a new vein of Shinji-sourced laughs by seemingly showing how much more distressed Shinji sounds in an allegedly Spanish-language dub of the anime.

The clip repeats the same short sequence from theatrical release The End of Evangelion three times. First we hear it with Japanese voice actress Megumi Ogata, and next up is Shinji’s English voice, Spike Spencer. In the third iteration, though, Shinji’s scream jumps several orders of pitch and panic, with the on-screen text indicating that the audio is the “Mexican” version of the scene.

While the gap between the original Japanese and well-known English performances is startling, some are questioning the authenticity of the third scream. Some Twitter commenters have pointed out that the on-screen text’s progression from “Japanese” to “English” to “Mexican” doesn’t make sense, on the grounds that the language spoken in Mexico is Spanish, and that therefore the clip is an insensitive caricature of the Mexican culture. There’s also a significant drop in audio quality during the “Mexican” portion of the video, with the scene’s sound effects entirely drowned out and noticeable feedback from the microphone, which could indicate that it’s not an official, professionally done dub of the scene.

On the other hand, the term “Mexican” could be being used in the clip to indicate the Mexican-market dub, as opposed to a dub produced for another Spanish-speaking country, since there can be significant dialectical differences within the language. Also, as a 1997 film, The End of Evangelion comes from a time when the bar was set much lower in foreign-language dubbing of anime, and to compound things, a Spanish-language dub not having the means to invest as much time and money into a project as the original Japanese or English version isn’t entirely unimaginable. Then there’s this supposed clip of the Mexican-market dub of the final scene of the Evangelion TV series, in which Shinji does have a much higher-pitched voice than he does in Japanese of English.

Authenticity of the audio aside, the tweet is causing heated debate and prompting a divisive mix of laughter and anger, which actually isn’t all that far removed from the reactions Evangelion itself has been causing for the last 20-plus years.

Source: Twitter/@AnimuTiddie via Jin
Top image: Twitter/@AnimuTiddie