‘Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE’ Lead Designer Kazutaka Kodaka Debunks Fan Theory That Halara Nightmare Is Non-Binary
In the latest case of the terminally online LGBT community having their self-perpetuated-but-ultimately-false-hopes for niche gender identity representation quashed by a creator’s own words, Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE‘s lead designer and writer Kazutaka Kodaka has definitively debunked the theory that one of the game’s Master Detective, Halara Nightmare, is non-binary.
From the creators of the Danganronpa series, Master Detective Archives: RAIN CODE follows the journey of Yuma Kokohead, a detective-in-training who one day finds himself without his memory. Understandably confused, Yuma soon discovers that the only connection to his past is his new ‘partner’ Shinigami, a busty-but-annoying spirit of death whose supernatural abilities are responsible for his amnesia.
Working alongisde Shinigami and a team of six supernatural Master Detectives, Yuma sets out to not only unlock the mystery behind his memory loss, but also solve a deeper conspiracy surrounding the Amaterasu Corporation and its strangehold of the local Kanai Ward.
The first of these six Master Detectives to partner up with Yuma is Halara Nightmare, who is dispatched to the Kanai Ward to assist the fledgling investigator in solving the ‘Nail Man’ serial killings.
As is typical of Kodaka’s character’s, Halara possessess a number of unique personality quirks, chief among them the fact that they will absolutely not work without pay and that, as seen in the detective’s in-game profile, “the sharp-witted and attractive detective has no specified gender”.
However, at no time does Halara explicitly claim to be non-binary. Rather, the detective tells Yuma that they just don’t feel like sharing that information with the world.
It should also be noted that throughout the entire course of the game, Halara is only twice referred to with they/them prounouns, instead usually being referred to by name or a general noun – i.e. ‘that person’ or ‘the detective’.
Further, the two instances in which Halara is referred to as they/them can also be read as being used in the ‘general’ sense, as the respective conversations and singular pronouns are clearly referring to a specifc individual.
Regardless, these facts did not stop Western activists from pointing to Halara’s character quirk, as well as the detective’s purple, black, and white color scheme – the same ones seen on the Non-Binary Pride Flag – as definitive proof that the androgynous Master Detective was non-binary.
“Non binary flag color picked from Halara Nightmare! (They are canonically NB!),” @qflutterbats declared.
“In hindsight, it should’ve been obvious to me that Halara is nonbinary,” said @mintydad. “They are literally nonbinary colored.”
Offering a hypothetical back-and-forth, @LilaTheyPG wrote, “‘Transphobes: Halara isn’t Non-Binary’ ‘Literally Halara: They/Them pronouns, ‘no specified gender’ and even the cheeky NB flag colours.’ Lmao.”
“Basically, you’re getting a Halara cosplay, Halara is actual genuine NB rep that isn’t an alien or robot,” they added. “They’re doing it for me. Halara belongs to me.”
This theory also spread to Reddit, as in response to a post to the /r/RainCode subreddit from /u/Lukabazuka2021’s asking, “Although Halara has not listed to have a gender, who thinks they’re a male or female?”, numerous users similarly posited the belief that Halara was canonically non-binary.
“I don’t see why this is even a question. Halara’s concept art is literally the colors of the nonbinary flag,” said /u/SaplingSprite. “They’re nonbinary.”
“They’re non-binary, but very clearly female presenting,” /u/Cirkusleader claimed. “It’s so weird to me how despite them having entirely feminine features and voice, everyone is like but iz bouy or grill?’.”
“Like if the game hadn’t mentioned them being NB, everyone would think they’re a girl,” they added. “Nobody looks at Halara’s design and goes ‘ah. What a fine young man’.”
“They’re clearly non-binary,” /u/purachinadisuko proclaimed. “This is Kodaka we’re talking about – when characters are female WE KNOW. Hence why Fubuki and the female members of the Danganronpa cast’s social links/gumshoe gabs have a romantic flair to it. The fact that Halara doesn’t have that is even more confirmation besides, you know, the game outright saying they’re clearly in the either/or.”
Unfortunately for these fans, their gender-less hopes came crashing down on August 4th when Japanese news outlet Denki Online published a RAIN CODE-centric interview they had conducted with Kodaka himself.
Therein, as translated via DeepL, in response to being asked “What was your intention in making her gender unspecified?”, the game’s lead designer ultimately revealed, “I thought it would be mysterious and interesting.”
“I didn’t think of putting a deep social message here,” he added.