Bridget (Guilty Gear)
|Guilty Gear character|
Bridget in Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus
|First game||Guilty Gear X2 (2002)|
|Created by||Daisuke Ishiwatari|
|Voiced by||Hiroko Konishi (from Guilty Gear X2 to Slash)
Yukiko Kato (Guilty Gear XX Accent Core onward)
Bridget (Japanese: ブリジット Hepburn: Burijitto?) is a fictional character in Arc System Works's Guilty Gear video game series. Bridget first appeared in the 2002 video game Guilty Gear X2. In the series, the androgynous character was born in a village where the birth of same-gender twins is considered bad luck; therefore, his family name and raise him as a girl. When Bridget grows up, he decides to prove himself as a bounty hunter.
Bridget was created as "a cute character" by Daisuke Ishiwatari, who wanted to vary the games' cast. Due to the character's appearance, he was initially described as female by video game sources. When they became aware of his biological gender, reviewers included Bridget on lists of best androgynous and cross-dressing characters, as well as debated his sexual orientation. Despite of these discussions, Bridget has become a popular character among gamers, and critics have described him as "a memorable character" in the series.
Concept and design
Ishiwatari created Bridget as "a cute character" and to vary the games' cast, since "there were already other good looking and tough characters". As many fighting games already had this type of character, and "it would be too boring if the character was just cute", Ishiwatari "wanted something unconventional"; he and his staff decided it "would be interesting to make the character a guy."
The series' creator also said that Bridget was a difficult character to animate; he "has double the frames of animation" due to his yo-yo movements. He spent "a very long, very frustrating time trying to get the animation to work", rejecting many versions before studio staff made Bridget "look natural".
Bridget was introduced in the third installment of the series, Guilty Gear X2 (2002), and appears to be a girl since he wears a nun's habit. However, according to his backstory Bridget is a boy, one of twin brothers named and raised by his parents as a girl in a British village. They does this to protect him, since the villagers believe that twins of the same gender bring bad luck. As Bridget grows up, he is determined to prove he is not unlucky and becomes a bounty hunter who fights with a yo-yo and Roger (ロジャー Rojā?), his mechanical, oversized teddy bear. His journey begins when I-No gives him a fake bounty list. In Guilty Gear XX Accent Core Plus (2008), since Bridget feels he has proven his masculinity by defeating several opponents he decides to become an entertainer. Although he tries to recruit Venom for his talent at pool and I-No for her ability to play electric guitar, both refuse his suggestion. Without money, in one ending Bridget works as a waiter in Jam Kuradoberi's restaurant. In an alternate ending he returns to his birth village, finds that his twin brother has disappeared and begins searching for him.
In a 2013 poll conducted by Arc System Works, Bridget was voted as the most popular character from the series. Eurogamer called Bridget as "[o]ne of Guilty Gear's more memorable characters", while Kotaku's Brian Ashcraft said "[h]e's not only one of Guilty Gear's most memorable characters [...] but also one of gaming's", calling him "an iconic character". UGO Networks named Bridget one of "Craziest Fighting Game Characters" as despite being a boy, he looks like "just a hot chick in a nun's costume that fights with a yo-yo". His nun's habit was featured on NowGamer's 2010 list of "Gaming's Most Inappropriate Outfits Ever". Likewise, Virgin Media and 1UP.com placed him among the "worst-dressed games characters ever"; the latter stated "it's like gaming's version of The Crying Game—but with more crying."
Bridget was described as a woman in early reports, and has been the subject of discussion about his gender identity. IGN first described Bridget as a "kooky cross-dressing yoyo-wielding nun character", while GamesRadar called him "a saucy Catholic nun with a penis". GamesRadar placed Bridget second on its list of "Top 7... 'That's a Dude!?'", commenting that Bridget want to be manlier, "but unfortunately, none of them include not dressing as a sex-starved lady of the cloth." UGO agreed; they ranked him the 21st-most-androgynous game character, saying "[h]e doesn't do too much to combat the image, either, fighting with weapons like a yo-yo and an oversized teddy bear." He ranked fourth on ZoominGames' Top 5 "Transsexual characters in games", and UGO listed him among the "Best Crossdressers" in all media. Further, The Escapist noted that Bridget is the first transgender, cross-dressing character who is a protagonist.
Since Bridget is a boy who was raised as a girl, his sexuality has been questioned. Although his sexual orientation is undisclosed, several websites have included the character in LGBT-related articles. On other hand, Destructoid featured an article "to argue the heterosexuality of Bridget." Despite the controversy, GayGamer.net, JeuxvideoPC and Destructoid agree that Bridget is appreciated by fans; on the Internet, pictures of the character appear with captions such as "Bridget made me gay" and "Everyone is gay for Bridget". This was cited by GamesRadar's staff, which listed him among "characters we'd go gay for". When John McCain sponsored a bill which would require ISPs and possibly websites to alert the government about illegal images of minors—including cartoons—Wired published an article entitled "McCain Not Gay For Bridget".
Gamasutra's Zoran Iovanovici ascribed Bridget's popularity to the fact that he is "ultra feminized", adding that "[i]t's no surprise that Bridget has become a fan favorite over the years." Stephen Kelley wrote on VG Chartz that Bridget "appears to be a 'moe' style cute anime character", but "[d]ressed in the provocative nun costume Bridget is suddenly a creepy sex object." Pride St. Clair posted on the Piki Geek blog that Bridget "seemed to be playing towards several prevalent anime fetishes, including the innocent girl and the religious figure who is at once both desirable and chaste", saying that despite seeming "designed as a trap ... Bridget is a sort of touchstone, a basis for a productive discussion about the role gender and fetishism plays in fighting games and modern Japanese culture."
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