Catherine: Full Body Voice Actress Speaks Out: "Don't Judge Until the Game is Released"
Catherine: Full Body voice actress Brianna Knickerbocker comes to defense of Atlus, asking critics to wait until the games' release.
The remastered version of Catherine — titled Catherine: Full Body — kicked up a fair amount of controversy this weekend, with the recent Japanese release including allegedly transphobic dialogue and story beats. Though developer or publisher Atlus hasn’t offered a formal response to the allegations, a Catherine: Full Body voice actress has asked everyone with concerns to wait “until the game is released” before passing judgment.
Spoilers for Catherine: Full Body Follow!
The aforementioned ResetEra thread pointed to tweets describing the new ending of Full Body: the character of Catherine essentially goes back in time to give the rest of the cast a “better life,” with one of the major changes being that the character of Erica never transitions to being a woman. To many, this is yet another transphobic trope that implies that never transitioning leads to a “happier” life.
This claim has been contended since the story broke — there is a portion of the game’s fandom that believes going back in time has merely delayed Erica’s transition based on a line in the ending. Others suggest this is only the protagonist’s best ending, not the best ending for every character. And then even further, there is a portion of the community that says even if either are true it doesn’t matter — the game is still shedding Erica in an unsavory light.
Regardless, there is obviously a communication barrier between the currently Japanese-only version of the game and an objective reading, and the lack of communication is causing backlash.
While Atlus hasn’t touched the subject (which popped up early this weekend), the voice actress for the new Catherine, Rin — Brianna Knickerbocker (Ys: Lacrimosa of Dana, B: The Beginning) — came to the defense of both the game, her character, and the team developing it. Speaking directly to the controversy, Knickerbocker says that she both understands that “some people have concerns” but that they shouldn’t “judge until the game is released.” Due to spoilers (and very likely an NDA) she wasn’t able to go into more details than that.
It’s immediately unclear what this means for the ending. On one hand, it may signal that there was indeed a mistranslation and the original controversy is based on a mistaken reading. Alternatively, it may be pointing that the localization team (who is trained and specialized in weeding out regional differences and controversies) has already addressed this, and Western audiences may be seeing an altered ending.
In the latter case, there is still an issue among the game’s critics that Catherine: Full Body is already released in Japan — so having a more tolerant Western version doesn’t fix the underlying issue that they are boycotting the game and publisher over. The Catherine competitive scene has also clarified that that either scenario would still be an offensive portrayal of Erica:
Here’s a thread a lot of you should read before you post corrections
You are badly missing the point, maybe intentionallyhttps://t.co/vfoPsR3bIk
— David Broweleit (@Dacidbro) February 16, 2019
Obviously, this story is still developing — Atlus will very likely be addressing the situation as it approaches its September release date.
Catherine: Full Body is available on PS4 and PlayStation Vita immediately in Japan; Western gamers can expect the game to release on September 3 only on PS4.