Pokémon X/Y Might Feature a Transgender Character

The above character appears to make a nuanced hint at her gender change in the latest Pocket Monster game, Pokémon X/Y.

In the English language version of the game, the text that accompanies the above character reads, "Yes, a mere half year ago I was a Black Belt! Quite the transformation, wouldn't you say?"

Pokémon X/Y Might Feature a Transgender Character

The character is an opponent in the Battle Maison.

Tumblr Nazerine notes that the Japanese text differs. It reads, "Only half a year ago, I was a Karate King. The power of medical science is amazing, isn't it?" The English localization does not reference "the power of medical science" (いがくのちから), which appears in the original.

Pokémon X/Y Might Feature a Transgender Character

So? Granted, the character's gender doesn't really matter, but the way the game's developers appear to have inserted it into the game is interesting.

The Japanese version, website Legends of Localization explains, uses "Karate King" (literally, "karate ou" or カラテおう); however, the Japanese word for king ("ou" or おう/王) isn't exclusively reserved for males, but can also be translated as "ruler" or "monarch."

Pokémon X/Y Might Feature a Transgender Character

But in English, the "Karate King" (カラテおう) trainer class is called "Black Belt" in English and consists only of male characters. Their female counterparts are called "Battle Girl" in English and "batoru gaaru" (バトルガール) in Japanese.

The text in both versions of X/Y makes clear allusion to Karate King.

Pokémon X/Y Might Feature a Transgender Character

As Twitter user @SenseiHanzo points out, the character's remark also appears to parody another non-playable Pokémon character in the game who says, "The power of science is amazing!" Below, you can see the Japanese language version of that quote.

Pokémon X/Y Might Feature a Transgender Character

Yes, a mere half year ago [Nazerine via Legends of Localization via Tiny Cartridge]

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