This past Wednesday, like every Wednesday, summaries of the leaked Weekly Famitsu appeared online in Japanese. The magazine doesn’t go on sale until Thursday, and this week’s leaks, along with some insufficient translations, have created confusions of what exactly Tetsuya Nomura said regarding Tifa Lockhart’s body in the Final Fantasy 7 remake.
As pointed out by YouTuber Gaijinhunter, who works as a game producer in Japan, mistranslations of the interview have created misinformation, with some sites reporting that Square Enix changed Tifa’s breasts or even shrunk the size of the character’s chest.
The Japanese-language summaries that leaked online didn’t have the full exchange, so they lacked the necessary context. Without that context, it’s possible to see how much more was inferred and, ultimately, misunderstood.
Below is my line-by-line English translation below with the original Japanese:
Famitsu: But the clothing was also refined?
Nomura: This time, visually there were things that were made quite real, and real-world clothing and accessories are being used as design references. For example, we’re referencing military (wear) for Tifa’s suspenders and martial arts and biker (wear) for the gloves. The full body silhouette hasn’t changed from the original image, and from that part, we’ve aimed to increase the minute details.
Famitsu: Since Tifa’s chest is large, was there any consideration also given how the rendering was done?
Nomura: First of all, since we wanted Tifa to have defined abs, we made her more athletic looking. And then, there were also directions from our internal ethics committee that as not to make even the most intense action look unnatural it was necessary to bind [Tifa’s] chest. And thus, for her simple upper body clothing, we put a black undergarment with a fitting tank top for a fitness-conscious, sporty design. (CORRECTION 12:33am - The article originally read “single upper body clothing.” It should read “simple upper body clothing.” Brain fart!)
To recap, Nomura wanted to make her clothing more realistic and her body more sporty, and that ended up with Tifa basically being put in a sports bra so her breasts wouldn’t be unsupported during intense action sequences, which makes sense.
There are no remarks about reducing the size of the character’s chest, and here, the term shimeru (絞める) refers to “constricting,” “squeezing,” or “pulling things tight.” I translated the word as “binding.” There is no mention of “reduction”, “shrinking” or even redesigning the character, because Nomura didn’t say that.