amielleon: The three heroes of Tellius. (Fire Emblem: Three Heroes)
Ammie ([personal profile] amielleon) wrote2012-01-04 07:29 pm

Kyza's Sexual/Gender Identity

[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.



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".


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


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

[identity profile] 2012-01-04 08:40 pm (UTC)(link)
Thank you for doing this! I wish we had all this great info in English.
(Just creeping over here from tumblr; don't mind me.)
professor_tammi: (Default)

sorry in advance for the wall of text here

[personal profile] professor_tammi 2012-01-04 09:19 pm (UTC)(link)
/randomly creeps over from tumblr Hi! Thank you very much for this translation. :D My Japanese isn't anywhere near good enough for me to understand the rest of the information on Kyza in the artbook, so I'm very happy to see this.

Anyway, I'm curious about some things:

(Of course, Ranulf is not gay.)
Is this really what the text says? Um, I don't understand much of it myself, but at a glance it seems to be implying that Ranulf doesn't return Kyza's feelings, but not necessarily that he's not gay... though I could be completely wrong. I'm really not sure! (Sorry, I just had to ask.)

I'm not intimate enough with Japanese culture or LGBT movements to say, but the use of okama definitely strikes me as non-progressive term.
Afaik, "okama"-characters aren't too uncommon in anime and manga, so seeing the book describe Kyza as such isn't too surprising. I can't seem to find a good source on whether the term is considered offensive or not (maybe it depends?), though...

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.
I think I'd still say Kyza is a positive, if stereotypical, portrayal of a trans character. He's a loyal and dutiful soldier in addition to being ~fabulous~, after all. :D (Or maybe it's the "stereotypical" part that would offend people. Hm.)

Given that the translators were comfortable with [...] nuking the romantic aspect between Ike and Soren in FE9
Did they really do this? I've looked through the Japanese scripts a few times, and while I obviously don't understand all of it, the only place I can think of where the relationship between Ike and Soren was toned down is maybe at the end of their A support.

As for what the translation did to Kyza -- the feminine speech isn't noticeable anymore, obviously, but that could maybe be laziness on the translators' part. Either way, Kyza's way of speech and attraction toward Ranulf are still retained in his supports, as far as I can tell. :)
professor_tammi: (Default)

Re: sorry in advance for the wall of text here

[personal profile] professor_tammi 2012-01-04 10:34 pm (UTC)(link)
Oh, I didn't know that's what it meant. That clears it up, then. Thanks! :)

Yes, you're right about there being lots of little changes in the interactions between Ike and Soren from the Japanese to the English versions of FE9/10, but most of them are honestly pretty small. I guess maybe they add up in the end? Either way, I'd still say the subtext is very obvious, even in the localizations. But if I may ask... which death quote are you referring to?

I agree re: the change in their A support being pretty noticeable -- in both PoR and RD, now that I think about it. (I can't see your DW entry since it's flocked, but um, that's ok. I know what you're referring to. :D)

And after reading your translation of Catfight, it honestly seems more like censorship than anything else to me, especially considering how closely they translated Lyre's lines. It's a bit odd... Kyza's crush on Ranulf is made obvious enough in their supports, so I can't help but to wonder why they didn't tone that down!

[identity profile] 2012-01-04 08:41 pm (UTC)(link)
but the use of okama definitely strikes me as non-progressive term

Ah, yes. "Honorable Kettle." My acquaintance with that one comes from Ranma 1/2, where it was hurled at Ranma as an insult by other males. So, not a particularly positive term.

Interesting, though. Quite interesting.

The Ike/Ranulf ship got sunk. I kinda feel bad.

[identity profile] 2012-01-04 08:47 pm (UTC)(link)
This makes Soren the first genuine Designated Lord-Love Interest since FE5.

I guess Sothe counts, too.

Party time?
mark_asphodel: Sage King Leaf (Default)

[personal profile] mark_asphodel 2012-01-05 06:06 am (UTC)(link)
I wonder what other things are hiding beneath adaptation changes in the various game scripts.

[identity profile] 2012-01-04 08:55 pm (UTC)(link)
Yay Soren forever!

I do have to agree, though, that for the most part, FE is not really...changing anything. 99% of their characters that have quirks are, well, being played for laughs.

[identity profile] 2012-01-04 09:12 pm (UTC)(link)

And yeah, I've never seen "okama" used in a particularly flattering context, so I would just chalk Kyza up to being one of Tellius's many characters who are difficult to take completely seriously. (also, amused at the very matter-of-fact "of course Ranulf is not gay" line)

Kyza's Profile

(Anonymous) 2017-03-11 12:22 am (UTC)(link)
Hey amielleon!

Kan of Kantopia here! Just pointing out that once again, Japanese Kyza's personality quirk and the like came up in the artbook (Tellius Recollection: Vol 2).

I linked back here for anyone who was interested in the research you did (and saved me the trouble of doing xD) I was unaware of this too!