We have a Lilycle Rainbow Stage!!! translator’s corner to share with you all today!
(Warning: This post contains minor spoilers.)
It was my first foray into the Lilycle series, but I was impressed by its approach in which it removes any male presence in the game. At first, I was thinking it was going for a worldview completely devoid of any males, but there were a few scenes in which they mentioned boys after all. For example, there’s a pageant scene in which they mention some cross-dressing boys will be entering, but that they shouldn’t pose a threat to the heroine entrant in terms of ranking. And I think perhaps there were one or two more scenes in which boys at school were mentioned, not by name of course, but just to the extent that they exist.
Nonetheless, to create a sort of “no-male” world that Lilycle seems to exist in, I thought it would be best to avoid words that carry gendered nuances. An easy example being the way we use “you guys” in English to mean both men and women in a group. I tried sticking to “everyone,” and “you girls,” etc. I think the original Japanese was very well written (albeit repetitive with certain concepts that can be tricky to translate), and it really took you into an entirely “female” world, allowing the player to become more engrossed in the drama between the girls, without ever having to focus on any random male characters. The style of speech for men and women in English is not as distinct as it is in Japanese, but I feel like the English version avoids anything egregious that would make one think “girls don’t talk like that.”
The lack of male presence in the game is in a sense made up for by more tomboyish characteristics of some characters, and there’s really just a wide spectrum of personalities and quirks that make the Lilycle cast a diverse society in and of itself. As in, the cast of characters are the only ones that exist/matter in their world. In this way, there’s no need for not only male characters, but any other characters at all, beyond of course a mention. The girls do mention school, and some of them have work they do, but at the end of the day, they are the world to one another, and that’s what the game focuses on.