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Jul 5th 2015 at 1:31:32 AM •••

This entry is under dispute on the page; please decide here whether it fits:

  • Non-Standard Character Design: Nearly all elves in the webcomic are androgynous to the point of Ambiguous Gender. Lirian is clearly female in appearance with a skirt, bare midriff and feminine curves (in so much as the art style allows.)

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Jul 5th 2015 at 4:01:32 AM •••

Lirian is very clearly a stick figure character belonging in The Order of the Stick. That disqualify her for the Non-Standard Character Design trope for anybody bothering to read the actual trope description.

As a side note, I'm tired of seeing this trope so often misused. I had to clean it up from the Friendship Is Magic character pages plenty of times. Sometimes, used just for a slight difference in the design of the eyes.

Jul 5th 2015 at 5:09:07 PM •••

There are OOTS elves that are clearly male, too, like the Team Peregrine commander. And Lirian may be the first obviously feminine elf we see, but there are a bunch later. It isn't even a "slight difference in design", except to the extent that characters in the same work tend not to look identical. The exaggerated Ambiguous Gender is a running gag with one character (who has an androgynous mate and adopted children, to preserve that mystery, and seen in only a few strips). Given Vaarsuvius's attitude, gender roles may not be important to elven society in that universe, but we don't really know, and we don't know how many elves are androgynous. The proportion may be big, but it can't be "nearly all", the comic shows otherwise.

Edited by rodneyAnonymous
Jul 6th 2015 at 10:22:14 AM •••

Agree. I'd also add that we've recently gotten an elf that seems to be clearly female. And while sex and gender aren't the same thing, we also see the half-elf Pompey. And to the extent Drow are a "type" of elf, they seem to have clearly male and female members.

Jul 6th 2015 at 10:15:43 PM •••

Yeah, the trope includes Ambiguous Sex even though it's named Ambiguous Gender. V is both I think :)

Edited by rodneyAnonymous
Jul 9th 2015 at 11:24:23 AM •••

Guess I'll be the voice of dissent here.

To begin with the trope description of Non-Standard Character Design states: 'A character that looks strange in the context of their cartoon world.'

Now what counts as strange is obviously subjective but there isn't anything within the trope that demands the non standard character look like he or she was drawn by a different artist or in an entirely different style, which were the stated reasons from removing the edit.

Now that said I stand by statement that Lirian is clearly distinct from the vast majority of elves we have seen and thus qualifies for this trope.

It simply isn't true that androgyny is confined to V and his/her mate. The style extends to an elf that is explicitly identified within story as female. This is the first appearance of Veldrina, a canonically female elf. Speech aside is there anything about her that would illustrate her gender without being told? Obviously she is a stick figure but compare her with other female characters.

Lirian has a similar body shape to the human female characters (and Sabine and Celia). Which makes her practically unique amongst elven characters.

Jul 9th 2015 at 11:28:57 AM •••

I don't see the difference. When you get to a question of scale ("how different", "different enough") you get into the stickiness of The Same But More. A different art style resolves this problem.

Jul 9th 2015 at 6:58:31 PM •••

@Ross N- I see what you are saying but I think I ultimately disagree with adding the trope. Lirian definitely looks more feminine (judging from that picture) than Veldrina does. However, Lirian was wearing "sexy" clothing in that scene whereas Veldrinia wears armor- and not the Chainmail Bikini type of armor. Although I have to admit that Veldrina is kind of androgynous looking.

Also, as noted, Team Peregrine has elf members who look clearly male. There's also a pink haired elf that looks clearly female to me. In the case of the latter, like Veldrina, the character has on utilitarian armor.

Tl; dr version, I guess you could say that of the small number of elves we've seen so far, Lirian is the most traditionally feminine looking because of her she dresses, but it is pretty far from rising to the level of Nonstandard Character Design. I think especially because it's way more fanon than canon that elves as a whole are Ambiguous Gender.

Jul 10th 2015 at 4:01:04 PM •••

I took a quick look at Team Peregrine, and would only be willing to venture guesses on two of them, and those I wouldn't be sure about. I think they're more ambiguous gender than set.

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