From Bulbapedia, the community-driven Pokémon encyclopedia.
Jump to: navigation, search

Gender confirmation for Ilima

I'm dusting off my account to put in an explanation for Ilima's gender for any browsers or contributors looking to this page for information.

In most languages, the recent trailer and website updates released for Pokemon Sun and Moon avoid using gendered terms for Ilima. The one exception is the Russian version of the website, which states, "Капитан Илима (Ilima) – знаток Покемонов обычного типа. Он окончил Школу для Тренеров, став героем для студентов той школы." I highlighted the gendered words in the text: "он" is the masculine pronoun, and the verbs "окончить" and "стать" are conjugated in the masculine (as Russian verbs need to match the gender of the subject). This -- along with the fact that Ilima's French name (Althéo) and Spanish/Italian name (Liam) are masculine -- is the reason why the prevailing interpretation among Pokemon fans seems to be that Ilima is a guy.

On the other hand, while Russian does have a neuter pronoun ("оно"), it's never used for human beings, so the default for describing a gender-neutral person in Russian would be the masculine pronoun "он." (It would be difficult and awkward to try and reconstruct Ilima's Russian website description without any gender references, since -- as I mentioned earlier -- Russian verbs must conjugate based on the gender of the subject.) Ilima's German name (Elima) is more likely to come across as feminine to German speakers, too. Finally, Ilima's dialogue from the Japanese trailer is polite and gender-neutral.

All things considered, it may be a good idea to reword this page with gender-neutral language until further confirmation (so nobody gets embarrassed when the games release next month). --Arpha (talk) 18:25, 14 October 2016 (UTC)

Captain Ilima is considered a hero by the students of his former school. Tiddlywinks (talk) 18:30, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
One potential typo on one website (especially in a description that doesn't match the rest of the press copy) doesn't confirmation make. We only have to wait a month, then we can stick a gender in (or not). ETA: The reason why I'm being more stringent here is that this is an easy slip-up for whoever types up the information for these supplementary pages, so it needs more support from other sources (which, right now, are ambiguous). --Arpha (talk) 18:35, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
Holding back on adding information in fear of a typo on the Pokémon Company International's official press site is not the way to go. If it turns out to be a typo, it'll be fixed, but if the official press site is saying that Ilima is male, we're going with that. --Carmen (Talk | contribs) 18:50, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm fairly sure it is a typo, since a) that's the only English-language source using the pronoun, and b) it doesn't even match up with the official description on the UK version of the Sun/Moon website (which avoids the pronoun). We're essentially taking Lauren Dillon's/Lee Bradley's/Anonymous Intern's word over the rest of the English-language marketing. I don't know if it would be appropriate to actually send an email in and ask them directly if it's a typo (since I'm sure as hell not using my real name and official email for a question like this, and I can't claim to be a Bulbapedia representative).
I browsed some Japanese-language sources on the question, and while official sources don't make any indication either way, Japanese fans' interpretations seem to be based on the consensus among "foreign" fans that Ilima is a guy.
The point I'm trying to make isn't that we're holding back on adding information, but rather we're supposed to hold back on adding incorrect information. A gender-neutral character isn't a necessarily a blank slate waiting for the "male"/"female" designation. (What are we going to do, for example, if the US and Japanese versions of the games sidestep the question completely and avoid using gendered language for Ilima altogether? It's not as if I expect the Pokemon company to be progressive enough to write a non-binary character into the mainline series, but if this turned out to be the case, then our reasoning here would basically be "The writers didn't gender Ilima in-game, so we relied on this one pre-release source listing a single 'he' to determine that he is, in fact, male!") The current article is so short as is, it's really not a problem at all to avoid gendered language. --Arpha (talk) 19:41, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
You really can't brush this under the rug as just "one" (possible) typo. You already mentioned the Russian site and the French and Spanish/Italian names. The only thing you mentioned that leans female was maybe the German name. The preponderance of evidence says male. Like Carmenstar said, if it turns out the official press release was wrong, then we'll update the page. Tiddlywinks (talk) 19:47, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
If you must insist, gamespress isn't the only place stating that Ilima is male. On the Spanish Sun/Moon site, experto is used to refer to Ilima rather than experta, like you can see they did with Lana and Mallow right under. --Carmen (Talk | contribs) 19:50, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
The french version of the official website also refers to him as male. They use "il" to refer to him, which is literally just "he". --Unbirth (talk) 20:59, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
I'm not trying to argue "Ilima might be a girl," but "Ilima is presented as androgynous in both Japanese and nearly all English sources." As in, "Ilima's gender is intended to be ambiguous, and we're ignoring that and going with 'male' for the wrong reasons." For all the Romance languages noted here(and Russian, too), the use of male terms is irrelevant because the masculine serves as default for ambiguous and nonbinary people. In other words, there's no way they could have matched the Japanese and English versions in terms of gender-neutrality -- it's not like, for example, there's a neuter version of experto/experta. Because Romance languages demand that the subject of a sentence containing a verbal clause be either "male" or "female," we should really defer to the original Japanese (which renders gender-neutral language easily) and U.S. English (which is intended to reach the largest audience of Pokemon fans).
I really can't stress this enough. The Japanese script from the game we've seen so far is very deliberately gender-neutral, which stands out in a genre that tends to use exaggerated masculine and feminine speech patterns. The official US and UK websites intentionally use awkward phrasing to avoid using a pronoun -- which might be the reason why the UK Press site doesn't. Whoever was compiling that press release likely saw Ilima's weird description, thought, "Wow, that doesn't sound right," then edited it. For all we know, it really was just one intern making a small decision based on the fact that Ilima wears pants and doesn't have a figure. --Arpha (talk) 23:59, 14 October 2016 (UTC)
The Spanish site didn't even have to use "experto". If they really wanted to go all gender-neutral, they could have used "especialista", which is gender-neutral, like they did with Sophocles. But they didn't. --Carmen (Talk | contribs) 00:19, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
Ambiguous language in some places is not a reason to distrust an explicit gender pronoun, Arpha. You're trying to push your agenda in the face of BLATANT contrary evidence. Trying to blame "his" in the UK press release on some dumb, lowly edit monkey is a HUGE assumption.
Find some explicit (official) denial of Ilima having an explicit gender if you want to continue this please. Just e-mail them or something. Otherwise you really don't have any ground to stand on. Tiddlywinks (talk) 01:28, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
Just thought I should mention that the US press release (which is almost identical to the UK one) uses the same description of Ilima. These come from professional PR companies, so it's certainly not just casually written by some intern. We have nothing contradicting the information given in the press release (only the information not being mentioned elsewhere), so there is no basis to assume it's an error; doing so would be unreasonable speculation. --SnorlaxMonster 03:12, 15 October 2016 (UTC)
The official website uses similar phrasing for Sophocles anyway, and yet people don't make such a fuss about it. Also no, romance languages don't use male for non-binary people. In french, since it's what I can actually talk about since it's my native language, male is the default grammatically but if there's an actual desire to be neutral it would be different. There's still debate as to what should be used for them, but if the intention was to denote ambiguity there would have been ways to do it, although it would have been awkward, like using the character's name again or using things such as "this person". --Unbirth (talk) 12:05, 17 October 2016 (UTC)

Name origin

Besides the fact that an 'ilima is a type of flower, is it worth nothing that the specific use of 'ilima is to make lei, which are used to welcome (or say goodbye to) people, while Ilima himself is the introductory Trial Captain who effectively welcomes players into the Island Challenge? Nutter Butter (talk) 02:36, 1 November 2016 (UTC)

What's the deal with the Ilima's Normalim Z quest?

Is Ilima in the process of retiring from being a Trial Captain when he gives you his Normalium Z to take back to Verdant Cavern? The way he puts it, at least in the English version, makes him seem as if he's retiring so he can help out with things at home in his mother's stead while she is elsewhere. What does he say during the event in other languages - are there any metaphors that give a more explicit meaning to his reasons? Azureprism (talk) 20:19, 29 January 2018 (UTC)

I don't know where you got that he said he was retiring. All he says is that he has to "take the stage" in his mother's place. His mother's an actress, so he was only helping her out in a role she couldn't do for whatever reason. Ataro (talk) 22:18, 29 January 2018 (UTC)
Really? I was under the assumption that taking the stage in his mother's place was a euphemism for something else. Azureprism (talk) 04:39, 7 February 2018 (UTC)