Seven Seas Entertainment has reportedly made a major change to their English-language release of yaoi manga I Think I Turned My Childhood Friend Into A Girl, apparently changing the gender of one of its main characters from biological male to transgender woman.
Related: The House In Fata Morgana Author Pushes Back After Western Localizer Boasts Of “Rejecting” Inward-Knee Female Character Designs For Being “Unnatural”
The supposed change was discovered shortly after May 31st following Seven Seas’ publication of their English-language localization of the first volume of Azusa Banjo’s boys-love manga.
According to a synopsis for the series provided by manga fan translator Ethylene Scans, who provided said services to the series starting with Chapter 5 and going up through its official licensing, “Mido Kenshiro, a boy who loves cosmetics, and Hiura Mihate, his (male) childhood friend, and what happens after Mido tries putting makeup on Hiura for the first time.”
However, as further noted by the fan translator in a recent review of the series’ first official English release, it appears that the translators at Seven Seas have rewritten lead love interest Hiura Mihate in order to present him as a transgender woman.
As detailed by Ethylene Scans, the first incident of misgendering comes on the first volume’s 26th page, following Hiura’s first ‘transformation’ thanks to his friend’s skills in Chapter 0.5.
In Japanese, states the fan translator, Hiura’s original dialogue reads, “As soon as I was transformed into looking like a girl…”
Yet, in Seven Seas’ version, the text reads, “Ever since I came out as a girl…”, adding the implication that Hiura is Transgender.
RELATED: Rune Factory 5 Localization Comes Under Scrutiny Over Script Changes Made To Accommodate Same-Sex Marriage Options
Additional incidences of misgendering appear throughout the volume, such as on page 35 during an announcement given by the boys’ teacher that Hiura will be dressing as a girl from that point on.
As per the fan translator, the literal translation of the teachers’ original Japanese words reads, “Uh, and so…Hiura will be attending school in this appearance starting today, so everyone, treat [him] well,” with Hiura responding in turn “…Please treat me well.”
However, in Seven Seas’ version, the teacher declares to the class, “Before we begin…Starting today, this is how Hiura will be presenting. Make sure she feels welcome,” with Hiura this time replying, “Nice to meet everyone… again.”
This is also the first time Hiura is referred to with female pronouns, which are then used by Seven Seas to refer to Hiura for the rest of the volume.
Ethylene Scans explains that while in Japanese a person’s appearance can be referred to as their “presentation”, the English adaptation phrases it in a way typically associated with gender presentation specifically.”
Another incident can be seen on page 156 of the series’ first volume during a conversation between Mido and Hiura.
Attempting to warn his friend against the perversions of teenage boys, Mido exclaims, “I’m not [like them], but adolescent boys are beasts!!”, to which Hiura responds “…No, I know, I’m a guy too…”.
However, thanks to Seven Seas, in English Mido instead yells “But-aside from me-adolescent boys are pigs!!”, promting Hiura to acknowledge “I’m pretty familiar with the concept” without any confirmation that he still considers himself a man.
Unsurprisingly, Banjo has openly confirmed that Hiura is a male.
Intereviewed by pixivision in May 2021, Banjo asserted, “most otokonoko characters choose to cross-dress just because they like the clothes, so I wondered how Hiura would be received. But it seems like the readers like the fact that he started cross-dressing to get his crush to like him.”
In addition to the misgendering, the Seven Seas translators began to get political in the extras to chapter 3.
During a description of his school, Mido originally explained that “Due to the principal’s philosophy, it’s a pretty liberal school.”
However, in the English release, he now notes that “The school’s principal is fairly progressive!”.
As noted by Ethylene Scans, “In the literal translation, ‘liberal’ is being used in the sense of giving the students a lot of freedom and leeway, rather than in the political sense.”
A full breakdown of the localization changes made to the first volume of I Think I Turned My Childhood Friend Into A Girl can be found on Ethylene Scans‘ website.
What are your thoughts on these localization choices by Seven Seas Entertainment? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!
Next: Shonen Jump Comedy Gag Manga Me & Roboco Announces Anime Adaptation