amielleon: Nasir from Fire Emblem 10. (Nasir: Sorrow)
Okay, today I'm going to crunch some numbers to answer a very fundamental question no one seems interested in tackling rigorously: how large is Tellius?

My methods should suggest similar ways of figuring these things out for the other continents. But anyway, even if you're not interested in the math and research, at the end I provide a map with a scale and various reference lines, like "this is how far you can get on a flying horse in a day". :D

Length and Images )
amielleon: Stefan from Fire Emblem 10. (Stefan: Desert)
I've mentioned this here and there, but it really deserves its own post by now, because more than just being a fun idea for a story, I feel like it's a pretty good theory.

Migrations )
amielleon: Soren from Fire Emblem 10. (Soren: Green)
I realized that I mention this subject a lot, but I've never actually done a write-up on the subject.

Okay. Here we go.

Long story short, Soren doesn't hate everything.
CharacterEnglishJapaneseMy Rough Translation
OscarI mean, my brothers are used to my cooking, and Soren hates everything. I think he'd stop eating if he could...私の印象では…
いつも無反応なセネリオ
元々、私の料理を食べ慣れていた
弟2人は除外するとして…▼
My impressions are...
always-impassive Soren and
my two little brothers, who are accustomed to my
cooking from the start -- if we exclude them...%


Long story long...Length )
amielleon: Tiny cartoony Soren clinging to Ike under a leaf in a rainstorm. (Ike/Soren: Little Shelter)
もちろんライにその気はない。 ~ "Of course, Ranulf isn't like that."
- FE 20th Anniversary Book on Kyza

At the time I wrote that post, I made a brief little jab about how this is a word of god against Ike/Ranulf, mostly because I thought I was being funny. What I didn't quite expect was that everyone who took an interest in Kyza was suddenly more interested in Ike/Soren being more canon, or more particularly, that Ike/Ranulf had been debunked.

Which. Well. I ship Ike/Soren madly, but in the interest of academic integrity, I feel the need to sit down and talk about this seriously now that I've managed to misinform half the internet.

その気 - What does it mean to call someone gay? )
amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Default)
Not usually my domain, but I was looking through the artbook and the kanji for death caught my eye, so what the hell.

From Zihark/Muarim A:
EnglishJapaneseMy Rough Translation
It...was too much for her.
We couldn't be married, and the pressure
was too much for her to stay with me.

But I've never loved another woman.
To this day, I think that I never shall.
そうだな…
結局、添い遂げることは
できなかったが……▼

俺は今でも…
彼女以外の女性を愛したことはない。▼
That's right...
In the end, to be married for life
was impossible, but...

Even now, I...
I shall never love another woman.

(Note: The way the conversation is set up is a tiny bit different, which is why the lead-in looks different.)

Originally, I thought the English was a bit odd. Zihark's girlfriend left him based on the pressure? His trauma seemed a little... deeper than that. The Japanese supports are open-ended on the matter, although the tone is quite... fatalistic. Being from Daein, I'd figured she was lynched or something.

Well, thanks to the artbook, I've found out that is pretty much the case.

Picture from the artbook.

シイハーク
義に厚き剣士

デイン生まれの剣士。 ラグズを守るためにラグズ狩
りを行う自警団に潜入した際に、アイクたちと知り合
う。獣牙族の恋人と死に別れており、ラグズに味方す
るのはそのため。デイン=クリミア戦争終結後は、デ
イン解放軍の一員として戦った。

Normally I'd do it line by line so you can tell where things are roughly, but some of these clauses are kind of ridiculous so I didn't bother. Here, have a paragraph.

Zihark
The Swordsman Burning with Righteousness

A swordsman born in Daein. At the time he infiltrated the laguz-hunting vigilantes to protect the laguz, he became acquainted with Ike's group. Separated from his beast tribe lover by death, for this reason he supports the laguz. After the end of the Daein-Crimea War, he fought as one of the Daein Liberation Army.


So yeah. Zihark's girlfriend? She died.

Given the nature of his angst... probably on a laguz hunt, too.
amielleon: Ike from Fire Emblem 10. (Ike: Walk the Line)
Guess who got shit done? I got shit done, fuck yeah.

Here, have a meta post.


What's up with that epilogue?

And I mean in general, not the one with Soren.

Length )
amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Fire Emblem: Three Heroes)
[personal profile] raphiael mentioned that someone said Kyza is canonically trans, to which I was like "wtf, since when?" Since they provided a source, I decided to check it out myself.

Long story short: It's true. It's all true.

Here's a picture of Kyza's entry in the 20th Anniversary Art Book.

Transcription:
キサ
体は男、心は女?

普段は模範的な兵士なのだが、
興奮するとなぜかオカマ口調にな
る。リィレとは、隊長であるライ
を巡ってライバル関係にあり(も
ちろんライにその気はない)。


Here's a fairly literal translation I drew up. I'm using "he" here, but I need to note that there are no gender-specific pronouns used in the Japanese -- I'm using this as a syntactic demand of English only. Also I tried to preserve what goes in what line, but a few things are shifted around because, again, the grammar is fundamentally very different.

Kyza (kisa)
Male body, female heart?

Although usually an exemplary soldier,
when excited, for some reason his speech becomes that of an okama.*
With Lyre, in regards to Commander Ranulf,
he is in a rivalry.
(Of course, Ranulf is not gay.)
EDIT 6/15/14: Revisiting this, I'm less sure of this line. The dictionary I used indicated that "sono ki" is a euphemism that means homosexual, but now that I have more experience with the language I think it may be indicating his general disinterest in their tiff over him.

*okama: This is a general Japanese cultural term, and to my understanding it can mean anything from an effeminate gay dude to a crossdresser to a transwoman. In my limited understanding, I'd compare its scope with drag queen.
EDIT 6/28/14: ... But as an often-derogatory word that some queen people choose to reclaim, it may be more similar to fag in that sense.

Feel free to get a second opinion on this. I'm 100% confident in the factual aspects of my transcription/translation.

With regard to Kyza's feminine speech... here are some examples from 3-7 "Catfight".

[キサ]
いいえ、是非
あたしに!▼

Kyza uses atashi! (A rather cutesy and definitely feminine word for "I", usually reserved for the likes of Mia and Mist.)

[キサ]
あ、あんた…
人が気にしてることをよくも……▼
ライ隊長!
こんな貧相な猫娘には
不相応な代物だと思う!▼
知的で戦闘力に優れるあたしにこそ
相応しいものですよね!?▼

Pure level of emotionality aside, it's worth noting that Kyza's sentence endings are also very feminine -- in particular, the use of wa is considered exclusively feminine.

But before you start celebrating about Tellius being progressive and all that, I feel the need to point out a few things:

- I'm not intimate enough with Japanese culture or LGBT movements to say, but the use of okama definitely strikes me as a non-progressive term.

- Lololol romantic Ike/Ranulf is officially not canon SOREN FOREVER. I mean, uh, look, one of those rare words of god on sexuality!

- Devdan's (and Danved's,, if we're keeping track) speech is equally feminine, if not moreso. In the Japanese version, his quirk was sounding like a coy woman. It somehow got translated to sounding mentally impaired. I'm pretty sure it was meant to be played for laughs.

- I'm not convinced Kyza wasn't meant to be played for laughs. I think you're looking at a gag character more than a flagbearer of trans characters in mainstream media.

- And for that matter, joke character or not, let's not forget he wasn't allowed in our mainstream media. Given that the translators were comfortable with the only black character in PoR talking in third person, and nuking the romantic aspect between Ike and Soren in FE9, I somewhat doubt that their motivation was sensitivity regarding gay stereotypes.



Also I think I owe [profile] measuringlife an apology about this subject.

You were right all along, man. You were right about fabulous Kyza.

I'm going to wake up from this dream any minute now.

EDIT: I translated Cat Fight, for those of you who are more excited by Japanese Kyza than Ike/Soren. :P
amielleon: Ike from Fire Emblem 10. (Ike: Walk the Line)
I was going to save this meta for expression in a fic. I really did. It was going to be my Ike/Soren magnum opus (there is not a single fic focused on the general dynamics of their relationship that I consider acceptable). But it looks like that might not get written anytime soon... again. It was nearly a year ago when I told myself I was going to write it again. The current draft is still at 0 words. Sigh.

Okay, so, this post: Why Ike Is Not All That Boring, Part 1

His manly charms come with manly consequences.

Length )
amielleon: Soren from Fire Emblem 10. (Soren: Green)
This post is about Ike/Soren, but at heart, I think it is about how tropes lose their power and how to restore that power to them.

But I'm really just writing about Ike/Soren here.




There is an extremely common type of Ike/Soren story, in which Soren is afraid of something (generally something that will adversely affect his relationship with Ike), the truth comes out one way or another to Ike, and Ike's reaction is extremely favorable and proves all Soren's fears wrong. I blame A support.

There are alternatives. Ike could leave for no apparent reason, or Soren could literally choke to death on his imagination, or Ike could say something uncharacteristic justified by the heat of the moment. All amounting to the suggestion that Ike would never ever ever ever have any reason to behaves as Soren fears. Soren's fears are just irrational baseless phantoms! And then Soren's happy and they make out or whatever. At one point I liked this type of hurt-comfort, as evidenced by my ability to draw up quite that many non-recent samples on a whim. I, uh, even wrote one. Or maybe a few.

But here's the thing -- and I speak not as a reader of any one of these stories, but as a reader following this pairing who has been presented only with these things again and again. The overall effect suggests that Soren doesn't really have any reason to worry about the health of his only interpersonal relationship. He is being silly. This is his one crazy groundless emotional weakness.

It is not outside of the human psyche to be worried about something logically ridiculous, but it's a problem in terms of storytelling power. The presentation of this fear as completely baseless depowers it. Soren grew up with a woman who treated him as a burden, a sage who found him inadequate, a village that stoned him without provocation, and a country of laguz who shot him looks of disgust before denying his existence. There's a pattern to his story. He's going to see these patterns in his story. And it's very powerful to him.

Now a writer might go "Yes, we know, that's why there are paragraphs of Soren lamenting his life of woe in these stories," and yes, this is again true -- on a single-story level.

But this is not how the reader experiences them. The reader has seen my-caretakers-and-the-laguz-hated-me a thousand times. The reader has been conditioned to expect that flood of but-ike-is-different paragraphs at the end. Even if written compellingly from Soren's point of view, at heart the reader knows that Ike will never reject Soren, and if Soren can work up the courage to confess everything will be okay.

It's so antithetical to the way Soren experiences that anxiety and confession. I think the perpetual retelling of this arc has effectively robbed it of what truly makes it compelling.

On a side note, it also suggests that Ike is okay with Soren, always, unconditionally, just because. I am not okay with that implication. Ike sticks to his principles, and no two people ever have quite the same beliefs. People can and do get over their differences, but they are not without their sources of conflict. The game itself presents us with one major difference in beliefs between them, and while Ike literally calls out every other instance of racism, Soren's goes unchallenged. I think the game wants to excuse Soren because his racism stems from trauma and not ignorance, and I am not okay with that implication either.

And so, after seeing the most recent "Soren is afraid, Soren confesses, Ike soothes his fears" story, I decided* that it might be interesting to write a fic in which Soren's fears are realized. To put the fear back into his fears. It isn't a major rift and Ike is going to leave him forever. It doesn't need to be. It's just enough to prove his fears justified, to him, and scare the shit out of him. It's these moments that make Ike's ultimate acceptance mean more.

* Actually I should credit WET NOODLES, who said she anticipated that said story would be about an actual rejection -- and was terribly disappointed. I found the idea interesting.
amielleon: Soren from Fire Emblem 10. (Soren: Green)
Tonight's meta goes hand in hand with a visitor at any hour, the piece I slaved away at through August. If you have any intention of reading that fic at all, I ask for you to save this meta post until after you've read it.


The usual spoilers )
amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Default)
When I feel depressed and listless, I do the dishes. I take it by the fact that my cabinets are nearly empty and my sink is so full that something really needs to be done about it now that I've been quite productive over the last week.

Anyhow, here's your meta.

(the usual spoilers) Mercenaries by any other name... )
amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Default)
Not going to backdate these unless people want me to, as I don't expect to be pouring out a lot of Soren meta all at once and some of this might be novel.

Warnings, of course, for extensive PoR and RD spoilers.

Establishing Soren's age )

So, the conclusion is simple. Soren is roughly a year younger than Ike. Ike is 17 at the start of Path of Radiance (the year 645). Manipulate numbers as necessary to find his age at the relevant point.

You might think that Soren's age can be taken for granted as something similar to Ike's, but fics love making Soren in his twenties for Path of Radiance the moment they find out that Soren doesn't age like we might expect. I am leaving this public, in fact, because I am tired of constantly rehashing this argument.

Side note )

March 2017

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