@Captain-M said in Chapter 1084: The Attempted Murder of a Celestial Dragon:
But there's also Yamato. Sigh. Look, I think at this stage Yamato in Oda's mind is just a man and a woman all at once, as the scene requires. I don't really want to talk pronouns again, but here we go. There aren't and will never be official pronouns for Yamato as English-speakers understand the term. Because casual Japanese language mostly uses neutral second and third-person pronouns (equivalents being 'you,' 'they,' 'that person,' just calling them by name, etc) and has most of the gendering happen via first-person pronouns (so masculine and feminine forms of 'I,' 'me,' 'myself,' etc), it isn't the same social faux pas to refer to someone with the wrong gender in part because it's much harder to do. And the first-person pronouns are taken as more of a masculine or feminine flair rather than the definitive statement of gender English third-person pronouns are, and will often shift based on the mood and formality of the conversation as well. So the Vivre Card didn't "confirm" anything except the biological bits we can all see because it wouldn't occur to a Japanese-speaking author to correct a form of reference that doesn't really exist in his language. Unfortunately, Yamato's mode of speech doesn't confirm one thing or another either, because of the flexibility outlined above. Deciding how to refer to a character like Yamato, or anyone fully androgynous or with a tendency to cross-dress becomes less about translation and more about adaptation because the cultural and social ways gender is expressed and how those expressions are taken just don't line up 1:1. Oda hasn't made Yamato a he/him or a she/her or even a they/them, so we have to look at how the character acts and what they say and how others respond to them and decide what the best fit for that is in our own framework. And to me, Yamato in the story (particularly the bath scene) screams someone who wants to be viewed as firmly masculine. Maybe a retranslation with the benefit of hindsight could go back over everything and play Yamato in more of a nonbinary/genderfluid/bigender way that gels better with these noncanon depictions of them as one of the girls, but in the version we have, the in-story Yamato reads male.
Oh good, I'm not the only one it's bothering. Gender is so . . . complicated in Japanese history it's so hard to pinpoint unless the author makes it obvious. At the moment I'm calling them non-binary, just because it makes it easier. Giant boobs or no.
And that's what it's really all about in the end. I.e. what damn pronoun are we supposed to use here?! This must be driving Stephen nuts. Yamato can be he/she/they or whatever, just make it easier to translate.