It’s been awhile! Happy New Year! Hopefully I’ll have time for more posts in 2020.
Today’s post is a personal curiosity involving Mia’s fortune in her support conversation with Rhys, as well as her “archrival” in general. The structure is a little wayward, as a forewarning.
The localization of her conversation is mostly very accurate, though the fortune itself actually differs slightly. Despite a lot of small detours from the Japanese here and there, the conversation ultimately reaches the same conclusion.
I also touch upon a few other instances of her mention of fortunes and archrivals.
Let’s take a look!
Mia’s Fortune and Rhys’s Support:
For context in English, I advise reading through the support conversations in its entirety first.
Now, lets take a look at this part in the C Support that deals with the fortune itself:
Mia: …Oh, this is so disappointing! I had my fortune read the other day, and the old crone told me that I’d soon come across my one true foe! “With white robes flowing in the breeze, your archrival rides toward you…” Oh, I was so looking forward to it!
Well, that’s disappointing. Right before this, I had my fortune read to me, and was told that soon, I would meet my fated partner. My destined rival is to come to me riding a white horse…I had such high hopes too!
The English comes off sounding like the rival‘s “white robes” are flowing in the breeze, but the Japanese refers to a white horse (白馬 hakuba lit: white horse). When looking up other instances of 白馬 (as aouma), it can also refer to dark horses that are clad in lustrous or colored armor. The English does however keep implication of the rival riding a horse with the usage of “rides toward you” (indeed, Mia realizes this in the A Support as well). The ‘white robes in the breeze” certainly helps romanticize it, but the slight change in nuance may lead players to assume the rival necessary needs to be wearing white (such as Rhys). It is possible this was just to make it more straightforward to apply to Rhys, or else a player may wonder why she chose Rhys if he lacks a horse.
When we take a look at the wider phrase (白馬に乗ってやってくる hakuba ni notte yattekuru “comes [to me] riding a white horse”) it could give off more of a “knight on a white horse” (or “Prince Charming”) vibe. Indeed, searching the similar term will result in Japanese romance message boards with users talking about their ideal “white knight” or “prince charming.”
This tidbit ties back to Mia’s fortune likely being one of her future romantic partner rather than rival. But, being Mia, she misinterpreted it to be about a destined rival instead.
To try and show this, in my literal translation, I went with “fated partner” as it could work as “partner [in training]” or “partner [in love]”. It still sounds a bit awkward, but at least shows the above point.
In Japanese, Mia first uses “運命の相手 (unmei no aite) to refer to what her fortune read, which can be read as either “fated companion/partner” or “fated opponent/rival”. Mia then specifically states: “宿命のライバル” (shukumei no raibaru) when talking about the person who comes on the white horse, which is more clearly “destined rival.”
One more point of interest is that in English, an “old crone” reads her fortune, where as in Japanese no particular party is mentioned, though she still phrases it as “read to her.” The B Support in Japanese does establish the existence of a fortune-teller, which English may have re implemented in the C Support.
Too bad! That crone had a great reputation.
That fortune teller was famed for being on the mark and everything, too…
In the English version, she mentions “destined foe” and then “archrival,” so the wording leaves no room for a romantic implication. The use of “destined” does imply predestination, though “archrival” may not as well. It would be difficult to convey these ideas without using awkward word choice, as you may see in the literal translation above. All of this relatively inconsequential though, as Rhys still points out the potential for a mix up in the A Support, and they change the wording slightly to make the “destined” work out too as intended.
Given the above, it may seem odd that in both languages, she immediately assumed Rhys was the rival for her based on what she was told, as he has no horse, nor does he ever gain one as he is not a mounted unit. However, she is shown to be waiting for the first person who approaches her, regardless of the color of their robes or whether they are horseback or not. The impatience is the focus, so the fortune itself is actually less of an issue in why she picked Rhys, as seen at the end of the C Support:
Mia: I was just prepped for a big fight with my archrival, and then you came walking by… Thought maybe it was you, you know?
It’s just that you appeared right when I was thinking “someone come [face meeee!]”, so figured by some chance [it was you].
I note the above as it is harder to tell in English that Rhys would always appear whenever she was thinking or praying to herself for someone (specifically, her rival) to appear, which is more evident in Japanese. She is literally saying “someone come!” but given the context it is clearly her talking to her imagined rival in her head, and so I reflected this in the above translation.
She then decides to train Rhys in hopes that he may have the latent makings of her true archrival. After that endeavor fails, Mia decides to stop believing in fortunes, to which Rhys replies that “maybe the fortune’s meaning was just mixed up.” This is true for both languages, and goes back to implying Mia may have simply misunderstood her own fortune.
That leads to this dialogue exchange:
Mia: But hey, wait a second… “With white robes flowing in the breeze, your archrival rides toward you…” …RIDES toward you… Could he be a mounted soldier and not a myrmidon?
…No, wait a sec. My fated rival is to come to me riding a white horse… could it be… that they’re not a myrmidon, but a horseback soldier…?
Mia goes right back to trying to find a way to fit the fortune to Rhys. I point out this exchange to show she did not consider the “rides” part, but the “white horse’ part to consider Rhys being a mounted unit. The end result is the same in that she decides to get Rhys onto horseback, but the “white horse” is omitted in English in favor of “rides toward you.” This small difference has the localization pointing the connection out to the player more obviously.
This line follows:
Mia: Yeah! You wear white, too! Don’t you think you’d look dashing on horseback!?
That’s right! You on a horse! Your clothes are white too! Pretty stylish, don’t you think?!
So in English, the “you wear white, too!” is likely in reference to the fortune and the “with white robes” line. In Japanese, she states he wears white clothes (among other things) too, which can be taken to mean that he is a good fit with the previously mentioned white horse, and thus the entire combination of things rather stylish. This is a really nuanced difference, but one I thought may be worth pointing out.
Either way, the original Japanese and localization tie it back together with her getting the idea of Rhys being a nice fit for horseback, but in two slightly different ways.
Then we get to the last part:
Rhys: Hold it! You’ve got the wrong guy…
Mia: No, I don’t. We’re destined to meet!
Rhys: We are?
Mia: Yes! I can’t think of anyone else that could be the man of my destiny!
Rhys: D-destiny!? Wait a second… I thought I was your archrival!
Mia: Never mind the details! I am counting on you, Rhys!
Rhys: う、運命……！？ 宿命のライバルじゃ……
Rhys: Wait a moment. Mia. You don’t think you have me confused for someone else…?
Mia: That’d be no good.
Rhys: No good?
Mia: Yeah. I can’t think of anyone other than you, my fated one!
Rhys: Yo…your fated…?! Not your destined rival…?
Mia: Don’t sweat the details! Well, I’m counting on you from now on, Rhys!
In English, we see Mia mention they are “destined to meet,” which she did not actually say in the Japanese. Instead she goes about it slightly differently, with the romantic reveal with 運命の人 ((unmei no hito) translated here as “my fated one.”, and in English as “Man of my destiny.”)). It’s possible she realized the romantic side of her fortune, or if not, fulfilled it regardless in her attempts to train Rhys.
So, in terms of her fortune, while slightly different in the localization, there really is no consequence to changing it up slightly. The white horse detail ultimately did not matter as she ended up with her “fated one” in doing this training. Of course, neither FE9 or the sequel 10’s epilogue for her actually has her pair romantically with Rhys, so a “fated companion” meaning could work just as well. This would encompass both a rivalry or partner in training.
Though, “man of my destiny” may certainly lean very heavily into romance with that wording.
Where does “white-clad archrival” come from anyway?
As an aside, it surprisingly does not come from this conversation. That specific phrasing comes from her English death-quote in the sequel, Radiant Dawn:
Mia: Why can’t I stop the bleeding…? And I never…even met my… white-clad archrival…
Out of curiosity, I looked at the Japanese:
I’m not there yet…huh…? I still have so much… to learn.
The above is slightly liberal, as most literally it’d be “Couldn’t reach it, huh? Still have…to train…more.” Either way, there actually isn’t any reference to a “white-clad archrival.” So, it is likely a throwback to the fortune in her support conversation with Rhys, rather than a focus on her love for training.
It explains why she would still say this (even in English) when having an A Support with Rhys carried over. The text is not originally accounting for that conversation at all. Or, perhaps, she figured he is indeed not said archrival? I assume it is more the former technical side though.
FE Heroes Dialogue and Archrival?
She does reference this conversation and the existence of said “archrival” in FE Heroes.
In her 5 star level 40 conversation, she mentions:
I want to become stronger myself, but I also want an archrival that will grow with me. You know?
あたし、強くなりたいってのもあるけど、 でも、一緒に高めあう 宿命のライバルが欲しいんだ。
I want to become stronger, but, I want a destined rival to grow with.
She also mentions this same fortune from Rhys’s conversation, though presented differently:
I can’t wait for my fortune to come true. Did I ever tell you about it? “With white robes flowing in the breeze, your archrival rides toward you.” Sounds amazing, right?!
白馬に乗ってやってくる あたしの宿命のライバル…… 早く来ないかな～。
“My destined rival is to come to me riding a white horse”… won’t they hurry up~?
On a final note, FE Heroes also goes back to what I noted earlier about Mia reading her or others’ fortunes and not an “old crone”:
Hey! Want your fortune read? Huh? I don’t seem like the type of person who would be into that sort of thing? Well, fine then! I won’t read yours!
ねえねえ、あたしが占ってあげよっか？ えっ、意外な趣味…？ もーっ、占ってあげないからね！
Hey hey, should I read your fortune for you? Huh? That’s an unexpected hobby? Well fine! I won’t read it to you!
The Japanese makes it more clear that she will have the fortune read for or to the player. Of course, one could say she takes it to someone who knows how to read them, taking us back to the “old crone,” but the last line in both languages imply her to be the reader.
That puts us at odds with her original FE9 support as to whether she reads fortunes or not, so it’s unclear. Maybe she does both?
Does she mention a rival anywhere else within FE9 and 10?
Outside of Heroes, the closest I got is the first few lines in her support conversation with Largo in FE9:
Mia: By the way, I’m Mia. I’m a myrmidon searching for a sworn rival. Do you want to spar?
I’m Mia! A myrmidon in training. So! Want to spar?
The sworn rival is an addition here in English as well, so I think it’s actually unique to this conversation. She’s rather obsessed with training and sparring, but the rival talk is specifically with Rhys in Japanese, but was put into several areas in the English it seems.
It seems to be played up more on the English side for sure, until Heroes anyway where she acknowledges such in both.
Does this slight difference effect any other aspects of her character or game?
Not really. Nothing significant.
For fans, it mostly causes us to wonder why Mia never approaches (or supports) other characters that may fit her fortune.
For instance, Lucia (clad in white, a fellow swordswoman, etc) would be perfect to challenge to a duel as she fits this English description or her (localized, pre-FEH) obsession with having an archrival.
And, knowing that the Japanese mentions the white horse (or dark horse robed in brighter colors), that expands the pool of potential rivals for her to approach to pretty much any mounted unit (especially of the Paladin class). Funny enough, Geoffrey would be a prime candidate for this version –being related to Lucia who works for the English version.
However, it may have to do with the point on impatience when meeting with Rhys. It did not matter if they were on horseback or not, Rhys was the first one to come when she was silently praying for said rival to appear. Perhaps she did not even read that fortune outside of that conversation.
Another key aspect is that they have to come to her, and not the other way around. So proactively seeking one would defeat the purpose of what she understood the fortune to mean (as evident by her impatience and waiting for someone to come to her).
That’s all silly speculation though. We cannot rule out simple things such as game limitations with the amount of support conversations among other factors! And this is just thinking aloud at this point.
Other small but fun changes/observations from this conversation:
Mia says “Don’t sweat the details!” (細かいことは気にしない komakai koto wa ki ni shinai lit: “don’t worry about the little details!) three times in Japanese throughout the conversation as a show of impulsiveness, but only once at the very end in English. The most curious change is at the end of the B Support:
Mia: Of course…even if I am training the man that will one day be my most hated rival! We better get cracking!
Don’t sweat the details! Come on, let’s go!
I suppose it was to add more color to the conversation rather than just having her ignore Rhys’s questions several times, but it’s still interesting. Also the use of “hated” is unique to localization in this case.
This article is a little wayward in that we were not answering any particular question. I wanted to take a look at her fortune in Japanese just because that would be suspect for some localization changes. It is a little bit of a mess as a result with less structure than my other articles.
It turns out that while the fortune did differ slightly, it did not make too much a difference in the end. While it enables fans to speculate who else it could have meant, there are enough details in its context that rule out why she may not have approached others who fit the bill –namely because she was waiting for them to approach her.
It’s interesting how her seeking a rival was played up in English until both languages hit upon it in FE Heroes, but this just may be due to low exposure (just three support conversations and not much story dialogue across two games), so FE Heroes gives more of a chance for this side of her to shine.
What do you think about all that? Any other fun characters who may have made for a good rival to her? I feel that I should do a full retranslation of this support for comparison’s sake at some point in the future.
I do want to eventually look at Mia and Largo’s support to see how that went down too, but time has been ever limited for me these days!
I will continue to look at fun differences between games. Any dialogue you’re interested in? Let me know in comments or via email!
If you like the comparison work I do (or any other translations I do), please feel free to support me by donating! I do this all on my valuable free time, and so every little donation really helps me out. : )