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In the Japanese version of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Vivian is described with the term otoko no ko, a Japanese word that could simply mean "boy" but is also used to refer to a male who chooses to wear female clothing and sometimes takes on traditionally female mannerisms. Other characters, as well as narrative text, describe Vivian using masculine terms such as otoko "man", and otōto "little brother". However, Vivian initially describes the Shadow Sirens as san shimai "three sisters", and routinely uses the feminine first person pronoun atai. The term otoko no ko is also used in the Japanese version of Super Paper Mario.
In the English and German localizations of the game, all masculine descriptions of Vivian are removed, and she is referred to with exclusively female pronouns. Consequently, the nature of some of Beldam's insults towards Vivian was altered, as they originally focused on her masculinity. Other localized versions of the game, however, retain references to Vivian being male. In particular, the Italian localization team opted to portray Vivian as transgender and altered the relevant dialogue slightly to have Vivian display pride rather than shame at her decision to present herself as a female.
nepsaty123 (February 28, 2011). ペーパーマリオＲＰＧを実況プレイ！ part１３. YouTube. Retrieved March 30, 2014. Beldam: ｢ヒッヒッヒッヒィ・・・
いちおう 名のって おこうかねぇ
"Hee hee hee heeee...
It's not even worth giving you our names,
but I guess we can.
"The Shadow Sisters Three!?"
Beldam: ｢コラッ！ ビビアン！！
なに いってんだよ あんた！
What do you think you're saying!?
We're the Shadow Trio! Trio!!
Where are there three sisters!?
Aren't you a man!!!!!!?"
Vivian: ｢ゴメンナサイ～ お姉さま
"I'm sorry, Beldam.
Beldam: ｢つい・・・ じゃないよ！
"You just... nothing!
Because after this,
I'm absolutely punishing you!!"
Vivian: ｢うぅっ・・・」 "Sniff..."
nepsaty123 (February 28, 2011). ペーパーマリオＲＰＧを実況プレイ！ part１３. YouTube. Retrieved March 30, 2014. Goombella: ｢『ビビアン』よ
これといった とくちょうは ないみたい
それにしても カレって なかなか
A member of the Shadow Trio, and the youngest sister
Max HP: 10
Attack power: 1, Defense power: 0
Seems there's nothing special here
nevertheless, 'he' is really
Possibly, maybe even
cuter than me...
Jeez, I wonder what
I was thinking"
Goom Goom's quest Goom Goom: ｢おお！ これは かわいい・・・
"Oh! This one's cute...
but you... which are you...?
A man... is what you are...
In short, this person is male!"
inu651225 (October 23, 2010). スーパーペーパーマリオ 全カード集｛ネタばれ注意｝. YouTube. Retrieved July 28, 2015. Catch card: 「ペーパーマリオRPG」に
火の魔法を 使う キュートな オトコのコ
"A friend of Mario's who appeared
in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
A cute boy who uses fire magic,
Vivian was one of the enemy group called the Shadow Trio."
- In the French version, Vivian uses the name "L'Obscur Trio de Sœurs" ("The Dark Trio of Sisters"), to which Beldam retorts "Quoi! Viviane! Qu'est-ce que tu racontes? L'Obscur Trio! Tout court! Où tu vois tres sœurs, toi? Tu es un garçon!!!!!!" ("What! Vivian! What are you talking about? The Dark Trio! Period! Where do you see three sisters? You're a boy!", with "garçon", "boy", being written in red font for extra emphasis). Vivian apologizes and starts to try to argue her case, but Beldam cuts her off and threatens punishment for her words (Vivian says "Désolée, Marjolène. Enfin...", "Sorry, Beldam, [but] let's just say...", and Beldam cuts in with "Il y n'a pas de « enfin »!", the equivalent to "there is no 'but's"). ~ Frigiel. (August 13, 2012). Paper Mario : La Porte Millénaire Let's Play - Episode 4. Youtube. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- In the Spanish version of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, during her Tattle for Vivian ("Bibiana" in the localization), Goombella originally uses feminine terms for Vivian ("la más pequeña") but then corrects herself and uses the masculine version ("el más pequeño") instead: "¡Es Bibiana! La más pequeña del Trío... Bueno... EL más pequeño [...]". ~ TheMegajorn. (September 15, 2012). Paper mario la puerta milenaria parte 8 español. YouTube. Retrieved December 28, 2013.
- Francesca Di Marco. Cultural Localization: Orientation and Disorientation in Japanese Video Games. Retrieved September 27, 2016.
- In the Italian version, Vivian attempts to introduce the group as the "tre sorelle ombra", "Three Shadow Sisters", but Beldam reproaches her, insisting that they are the gender-neutral "Trisdombra", calling her a liar and asking her how they could be described as "three sisters" ("Ma quante scempiaggini dici, fanfarona di un'Ombretta? Siamo il Trisdombra! Imbecille! Ti sbugiardo davanti a tutti! Spiegami: come facciamo ad essere tre sorelle? Avanti!"). Vivian admits that Beldam and Marilyn are the real sisters, but says she feels like a woman too and is proud of it ("Siete due sorelle, è vero... Ma anch'io mi sento una donna e sono fiera di esserlo diventata!"), which Beldam waves off with the disparaging comment that Vivian probably thinks she's the prettiest too, and deserves to be punished ("E magari credi anche di essere la più bella, eh? Meriti una punizione!"), causing Vivian to slump to the ground with a sigh. ~ TheGamerDani. (May 23, 2012). Let's Play Paper Mario:il Portale Millenario parte 14 - Trisdombra e Spirù. Youtube. Retrieved December 28, 2013