FE7 Localization: Ursula’s “my lady Limstella” [JPN vs ENG]

Happy new year to all! Really sorry about the lack of posts lately… life has just been so busy.

A short and very trivial post today, mostly for posterity! A thread on reddit regarding gender pronouns got me curious to check a line in Ch 26 of FE7, where Ursula refers to Limstella as “my lady Limstella.”

Fans of FE7 are aware that Limstella isn’t really clearly referred to as male or female throughout the game, so this line sticks out a bit with that in mind.

The question that arises is: does the JP script also clearly define Limstella in this line to point at any intended gender?

Short answer: No, the JP uses a gender neutral title (“-sama” 様), so the gender-specific title is unique to the ENG/Localization.

You can see more details below. (Please be wary of spoilers for FE7).

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FE Heroes: Loki’s Gender Pronouns in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

Today is a quick post about the character Loki in Fire Emblem Heroes.

A reader sent me the following via email:

…yesterday Fire Emblem Heroes got a big information update, in that update they showed off Loki, a so far minor character in the story of FEH, in their, presumably, true form:

<Link to image>

Now since the mythological Loki was known to shapeshift into different genders some players are wondering if this is really Loki’s true form and if the FEH Loki is female unlike his mythological counterpart.

They very helpfully provided a sample video of the Japanese dialogue (also seen below) where they refer to themselves in the first person a lot. Japanese does have gendered (or, at least gender inflecting) first person pronouns which may provide a hint, so I took a look to see what Loki uses!

Please note this post was written as of November 16th, before any revelations of Loki’s true form and the like.

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Is Hidari (the illustrator) a man or a woman? (Answer: He’s a man)

Last week, when I translated the long-awaited Dengeki Interview on Fire Emblem Echoes, I had referred to the character illustrator Hidari as a woman. I was going off of what I had believed and (thought) I had known from before so did not think much of it. When writing the translation, I still tried to look into their gender but could not really find any definitive proof either way (my go-to source, their main website, seems to have been down, and still is as of this writing), so erred on that side.

However, places like wikipedia already referred to him as a “he” and such, but heard some fans were still iffy about trusting that. But I am thankful someone came forward (politely) and pointed out a particular tweet (screen shot in case it goes down) from 2011 where he states he is a man.

Japanese is a language that does not often use gender references in its pronouns at all, which is one of many reasons for this complication in the first place. They do exist, but not often in formal settings, such as an interview.

That tweet the kind reader sent me was still silly in a way, as he uses the female pronoun (あたし) for “I” to say “Though I am a man” which was already a little strange (the rest of the tweet is about drawing female characters and getting the pose down requires some…research… which he makes share not to show anyone else).

But due to that pronoun and dated info, I wanted something more concrete before making this post. So when searching around on the Japanese side of the internet, I did find a picture from an interview with Famitsu (seen below):

The tagline on Famitsu reads: “Hidari (seen on the left)”

It is from the back mostly, but did state directly that is the same illustrator we have in mind, where as other pictures around did not give a definitive answer to that, so I felt this was the best one.

It still was not enough though, so I settled on a different method: I decided to message Hidari on twitter directly!

Here is what I asked (in Japanese, but translated for you):

Hello! My name is Kan. I am a translator.

I have one question for you today. You have a lot of fans in the USA, but some of them still say: “I’m not sure if Hidari is a boy or a girl!” As such, though it may be a bit of a rude question, which are you?

I apologize again for asking this type of question, and thank you so much in advance.

This sounds even more direct and rude in English, but rest assured in Japanese it was asked very politely. This was done on April 28th, and the longer time went on, the more I started to doubt I would ever get a reply. Why would they reply with the 25K followers anyway? For this random (and rather direct) question out of nowhere?

But this morning, to my surprise, in came a reply (screen shot for proof):

初めまして。 左です。 お返事が遅くなってごめんなさい。 私のファンがたくさん居ると聞いて嬉しいです! そして私は男です! 36歳です! 失礼ではないですよ。 ご丁寧にありがとうございます。

They even provided their own translation with it:

How do you do? It’s the left. I’m sorry that an answer is late. My fan hears that there are many and is happy! And I’m a man! 36 years old! It isn’t impolite. Thank you very much politely.

Or, the more accurate translation (by me):

Hello, I am Hidari. I apologize for the late reply.

It really makes me happy knowing I have a lot of fans [out there]!

To answer your question: I am a man! And 36 years old! It was not a rude question at all (but thank you for taking that into consideration).

And so there we have it, straight from the Hidari’s mouth (or, keyboard I suppose). I figure that is probably the best proof to have.

So in summary:

After being unable to find anything really definitive, I just asked them directly (about their gender), to which they straight up replied: A 36 year old man.

Hope that helps people avoid mistakes in the future!


If you have any thoughts or questions, let me know below! I hope this can be sourced in the future if any debate arises on this issue.

Here is a summary image:

 

Zelda – Ocarina of Time: How does Ruto refer to Sheik in Japanese? [JPN vs ENG]

My friends over at Source Gaming are doing a special Zelda week (February 22nd through March 1st) to celebrate the upcoming release of Breath of the Wild on the Switch.

They have written various articles already, from interviews with known Zelda speedrunners to discussing what new Zelda characters could be added to Hyrule Warriors.

So, today I decided to take a look at a hotly debated topic: Sheik’s gender!

But! I am not looking at the debate as a whole. Rather, I am simply looking at two lines of dialogue that are often referred to that caused said debate.

I do not explain the debate in great detail or all the arguments, nor do I really take any sides on it. I am simply looking at two bits of dialogue that are often cited when talking about it.

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