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Just last week, Nintendo hosted a major Splatoon 3 Direct to reveal all sorts of new details for the upcoming threequel. That included the reveal of Deep Cut, a new band made up of members Shiver, Frye and Big Man. Shiver has become the focus of a lot of conversation since the Splatoon 3 Direct, and fans think they’ve discovered evidence pointing to Shiver being non-binary.

First thing’s first, let’s explain what non-binary means. According to the LGBT Foundation, non-binary people feel their gender identity cannot be defined within the margins of gender binary. Instead, they understand their gender in a way that goes beyond simply identifying as either a man or woman. Now that we’re all on the same page with the definition, we can get into the Splatoon 3 details.

During the Splatoon 3 Direct, fans noticed that all references to Shiver refrain from using gender-specific labels. The same can’t be said for Frye or Big Man, both of which were referenced with gendered terms. This didn’t just happen in the English Direct, either. Nintendo made sure not to use gender-specific labels for Shiver in all versions of the Splatoon 3 Direct.

The only piece of the puzzle that’s missing is an official confirmation from Nintendo. It’s unlikely the Big N will comment on the matter, but there’s no doubt the question will be brought up during an interview at some point. For now, we’ll just have to go off speculation. Hopefully when Splatoon 3 releases, we’ll get all the answers we’re looking for!

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Comments (14)

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the_crimson_lure

Okay, this is a really strange take-away based on very incorrect assumptions.

First off, both 'atashi' and 'boku' do not indicate gender. They are traditionally associated with being 'girlish' or 'boyish' but just because someone uses one or the other does not mean they identify as male or female.

Secondly, Japanese has multiple gender-neutral and non-specific first person pronouns, one being 'watashi', so there's no need to avoid first-person pronouns in Japanese based on gender, unlike English. So the lack of using pronouns doesn't point to anything, as the Japanese writer doesn't need to write around anything, and therefore, no reason to leave them out except for stylistic reasons.

Thirdly, in Japanese it's incredibly common to leave out the subject like "I" in a sentence, depending on one's conversation style.

If Shiver is indeed officially non-binary, that would be incredibly welcome. But I've already seen fan speculation based on non-evidence snowball out of control only to end up being completely wrong far too many times before.

kuribo

1M ago

A first? Not if you count Animal Crossing imo.


mrmissingno

1M ago

Not only are there now 3 idols, but 3 genders for them as well!


noxide

1M ago

Just cause you don't want to see the sun and moon doesn't mean it's not there.
Hehehe, I'm just playing. I honestly don't mind but it's gonna be a fun topic for a while.
:^)

Edited 1 time

the_king_up_north

1M ago

Honestly would be hella cool and progressive of Nintendo if Shiver really is nonbinary. Splatoon has always reflected modern society more than pretty much any other Nintendo series (yes, even though everyone is a humanoid sea creature in this game 😅), so of all Nintendo games it would make sense that this would be the one with a nonbinary character. I'm for it.

Trans rights are squid rights. 😄


almostzen

1M ago

Oh lord. lolol of course Nintendo wont comment, They have no reason to. Its not a important. And honestly why does anyone care, its a damned cartoon character.
Just play the game. Love this world we live in.


the_crimson_lure

1M ago

Okay, this is a really strange take-away based on very incorrect assumptions.

First off, both 'atashi' and 'boku' do not indicate gender. They are traditionally associated with being 'girlish' or 'boyish' but just because someone uses one or the other does not mean they identify as male or female.

Secondly, Japanese has multiple gender-neutral and non-specific first person pronouns, one being 'watashi', so there's no need to avoid first-person pronouns in Japanese based on gender, unlike English. So the lack of using pronouns doesn't point to anything, as the Japanese writer doesn't need to write around anything, and therefore, no reason to leave them out except for stylistic reasons.

Thirdly, in Japanese it's incredibly common to leave out the subject like "I" in a sentence, depending on one's conversation style.

If Shiver is indeed officially non-binary, that would be incredibly welcome. But I've already seen fan speculation based on non-evidence snowball out of control only to end up being completely wrong far too many times before.

Edited 4 times

rawmeatcowboy

1M ago

@the_crimson_lure

Thank you very much for the insight. I've removed that portion of the article.


the_crimson_lure

1M ago

@rawmeatcowboy

Thanks for the correction, I don't want to sound negative because I truly do hope Nintendo is expanding their representation. (And I know you're also just doing your job and reporting on the news making the rounds.)

But I don't want to get excited yet (and potentially disappointed later) since, in my opinion, there's just not enough information to even suggest either way yet.

Edited 1 time

autumnalblake

1M ago

The fact that they've been consistent with it across all languages makes me think it's not just a coincidence.


nin2000

1M ago

Sigh… this didn’t exist just five short years ago, and the world still went round. Leave politics and ideology out of gaming.


kuribo

1M ago

@nin2000

Politics and ideology (which this isn’t anyways) has existed in gaming since it’s inception.


destiny-smasher

1M ago

“ this didn’t exist just five short years ago”
lol
Nonbinary gender expressions have existed for a LONG time, they’ve just not been well-known in pop culture. You gonna try and act like gay folks “only started existing in the 80’s”or something, too?

Whether or not this character officially identifies as non-binary (and keep in mind stuff like this can be inconsistent across regions) the fact is that it would be perfectly in-line with Splatoon’s aesthetic, sensibilities, and cultural expression to incorporate characters of different identities in this way.

“Keep your politics out of my games”
Nah, mate, all games are political because all MEDIA is political, because being made by people makes anything have some kind of political viewpoint or perspective. Just because it’s a perspective you don’t currently accept or even think of as political doesn’t mean it doesn’t affect people.

Signed, a reformed ex-“apolitical” games site writer


“ all MEDIA is political, because being made by people makes anything have some kind of political viewpoint or perspective.”

This is actually a completely incorrect understanding of the world. All humans are created equal and share a universal humanity, which includes self-evident and undeniable tangible realities. At the same time all humans are unique individuals. Biological dimorphism is a feature of mammalian species, humans included. True, one might argue that squids are not mammals, and thus aren’t necessarily subject to the same constraints, however in literary terms these splatoon characters have been assigned anthropomorphic features.

The idea that language is political eminates from Marcusian/ Hegelen religious beliefs (further developed by Derrida and Foucault), and is something that can be rejected as an overly-simplistic view of the world.


kai139

1M ago

Nintendo has confirmed that Shiver is not non-binary and her gender is revealed throughout the gameplay.