You would think this is what unicode normalization does, but it’s really not the case, at least that’s not how anki handles it.
The anki manual makes it seem like it’s an edge case but it’s really not:
if you are studying certain material like archaic Japanese symbols, the normalization process can end up converting them to a more modern equivalent.
What this essentially means is that a bunch of 旧字(and others) will be converted to their 新字 form.
Some examples of this taken from the 旧字体 forms of 常用 kanjis:
- 喝 - 喝
- 嘆 - 嘆
- 器 - 器
- 塚 - 塚
- 塀 - 塀
Calling them “archaic” is, I believe, simply not true. Following the implementation of the 常用 and 人名用, these “old” (correct from a linguistic point of view, aka 正字) are still in use and allowed to be used by the Japanese government. This is very specifically stated in the first and second paragraph of the preface of the 常用漢字表 provided by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese government.
“This table shows the standard kanji usage for writing modern Japanese in general social situations such as laws and regulations, official documents, newspapers, magazines, and broadcasts.”
“This table does not attempt to extend to the notation of scientific, technical, artistic and other various specialties and individual persons. However, it is advisable to refer to this table for the notation of words closely related to general social life, even in one’s specific fields of specialty.”
It is important to make a difference between the government imposed standard kanji usage enforced in “general social situations such as laws and regulations, official documents, newspapers, magazines, and broadcasts” and the linguistically speaking correct form of kanjis aka 正字(often 旧字) or other forms.
Not only the term “archaic” has absolutely no legal basis, but it has also no basis on real world usage. I can quite literally go out of my house and find an “archaic form” within a minute at most. It is impossible to not find one of those supposedly “archaic” kanji every. single. day.
Regardless of this, here is a small list of characters that are officially supported by the 人名用漢字表 but are converted in anki:
I’ve already had this same discussion on the old forums with a moderator, but I’ll reiterate my opinion. This default behavior makes no sense for a language learning app, even more where the name and main focus is Japanese.