Amid continuous discussion over the character Bridget in Guilty Gear, series creator Daisuke Ishiwatari has said she was always trans.
In an interview on TBS, Daisuke says that the character of Bridget was always meant to be one whose messaging revolved around gender identity and acceptance.
“The direction of the story itself was decided when Bridget first appeared in the game, and it hasn’t changed”, he says.
Guilty Gear Strive Lead Director Akira Katano also chimed in, saying that the character’s core themes had always been about gender identity and acceptance.
“We’ve never changed the storyline in a flash of an idea. It’s not just about Brigitte, it’s the message of the character and the drama has been decided for a long time”, he says. “Nowadays, transgender people are much more widely recognised, and it’s as if the times have caught up with the story of Bridget, which we had been thinking about for a long time”.
“Every character was conceived by Ishiwatari in advance”, he continues. “Ishiwatari had already decided on the settings and dramas for each character, but there were many that we hadn’t yet revealed. This time, we brought out Bridget, and I think that’s really all there is to it”.
Bridget’s gender had been the source of some controversy in the Guilty Gear community- the character’s initial appearance saw her as a boy-made-to-dress-like-a-girl whose arc was about proving that she was indeed a boy by being the best bounty hunter.
Her Strive appearance deals with the follow-up to that: After being the best bounty hunter, she decides that she actually quite liked being a girl, and it doesn’t take away from any of her other traits.
As seems to always be the case when transgender characters are involved, this drew a lot of controversy with transphobic players and social media users lashing out.
“To put it bluntly, I thought it would be a topic that would naturally have pros and cons, as expected”, Akira says. “Although it’s a short story, I tried to depict how the character lived, what he worried about and what he thought about in the game’s story”.
“However, only the pinpointed topics were discussed first, and people who hadn’t bought the game and hadn’t played it got excited in the discussion, and more and more people took it in a different direction from the message we were giving, and to top it all off, there were even spoofers”, he continues.
“Originally, we wanted to say, “Play the game and take in the story, and while everyone may have their own interpretation, please take in our message”, but official impersonators started showing up, so we had to make a proper announcement on our side”, he adds.
Ultimately, Daisuke and the team issued official statements on Bridget being trans, as part of the Developers Backyard discussions of the game.
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