A cross-dressing character in 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim has seemingly been re-written as non-binary in the English localization of the game.
While it launched on PlayStation 4 in Japan on November 28th, 2019, it finally launched in the west on September 22nd, 2020. In case you missed it, you can find our review here (we recommend it!)
Editor’s Note: This article will have spoilers for 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim from here. To avoid spoilers as best we can, we will not mention the character in question by their name.
Shortly after the game’s release, screenshots comparing the game’s translation with one particular character began to spread online. One of the earliest place this officially appears is on Imgur on September 25th. However, a tweet of one of the images from September 24th has been found.
You can find those screenshots below.
While in Japanese the character states they crossdress because “this is more convenient for me,” in English he says “some binaries work for me, others don’t.”
The fact they consider themselves a man is further reinforced when asked if they are romantically interested in another male character. In Japanese they say “What are you saying? I’m a guy, I obviously wouldn’t [like him]…” In English he says “You think I like him just ’cause he’s a guy?”
We have shown the above screenshots to a native Japanese person, and they have confirmed the translations provided by the image creator is accurate.
Finally, the character dresses as a woman to hide their identity. We cannot elaborate on this further without spoilers. Nonetheless, it appears no matter how comfortable the character is dressing as and acting like a woman, they still consider themselves a man.
The situation initially seems to bear comparison to certain characters in Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc and the anime Zombie Land Saga.
However, while both of those caused outcry as some fans argued the characters were merely cross-dressing (and localizers had erroneously or intentionally made the characters transgender), both characters had strong desires to be women.
Image: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim official website