Catherine: Full Body Voice Actress Claims Localization Adjusted "Bigotry" in Translation
Bad news for those looking for an unchanged Catherine: Full Body ending, Erica voice actress suggests Atlus localization may be making bigger changes.
It’s been nearly a week since the initial controversy surrounding one of Catherine: Full Body‘s endings. While developer and publisher Atlus has largely kept their mouths shut while the internet dukes it out, voice actors for the English version have been controlling the message, either avoiding the situation entirely or telling fans to not judge until the game is out. However, Erica’s voice actress has signaled that the localization team has aimed to “adjust bigotry represented in the Japanese version.”
Editor’s Note: Spoilers to Catherine: Full Body follow, you’ve been warned!
So a quick recap of last week’s events. Following the release of the Japanese version of Catherine: Full Body, internet commentators and the niche Catherine esports scene has claimed that one of the endings is “transphobic,” after the protagonist is able to go back in time and change the past. This reportedly led to trans character Erica never transitioning in one of the endings.
While many in the LGTBQ+ gaming community was upset about this (along with other conventions like dead naming and trans bashing), others have pointed that this may simply be miscommunication. A widely circulated translation offered a different reading, that Erica’s transition had simply been delayed. Others suggest this is only the protagonist’s best ending, not the best ending for every character.
Despite silence on the part of Atlus one way or the other, Rin’s voice actress Brianna Knickerbocker asked fans to wait until the game was released before passing judgment (the Tweet has since been deleted). Meanwhile, Erica’s voice actress Erin Fitzgerald (Persona 4, Fire Emblem Awakening) let gamers know that she backs the work behind the localization team:
While this statement was immediately unclear on whether there would be any substantive changes to Catherine: Full Body, it appears that Fitzgerald is suggesting that those talks were already in play ahead of the controversy. In a statement on Erin’s public Discord channel, she revealed earlier this week that she is returning to do the English voice work of Erica and Midnight Venus. However, she also mentions that “the localization team took the translation very seriously in terms of trying to adjust the bigotry represented in the Japanese version”:
It’s uncertain how this is impacting Catherine: Full Body, but assumedly this means that purchasers of the Western version may see the ending re-worked. Obviously, it is localization’s job to make changes and to format scenarios to be appropriate to the regions the game releases in. But this may signal a more heavy-handed approach in how they handle the ending.
Outside the bounds of the controversy, there was a bevy of good news for Catherine: Full Body. We got confirmation that Troy Baker would be returning to reprise his role as Vincent:
— Troy Baker (@TroyBakerVA) February 19, 2019
On top of that, it appears that despite planned boycotts of the game it was selling phenomenally. Throughout the week, the Premium Edition (with plush sheep) was Amazon’s second best-selling PS4 game and fourth best-selling video game overall. But you know what they say: “all news is good news.” Finally, we saw some pretty cool crossover art that showed Persona 5 Phantom Thieves in place of the Catherine characters — absolutely skin options I want to have.
Catherine: Full Body is out now in Japan on PS4 and PlayStation Vita, but won’t be coming West until September 3, 2019 (only for PS4).