The "I've Only Had Arlo For A Day And A Hal" meme but with Ino from Xenoblade Chronicles 3.

For Ino, I Will Literally Buy ‘Xenoblade Chronicles 3,’ I Swear to God She is Perfect

I've only had Ino for a day but if anything happened to her...

I don’t really play many JRPGs these days, so I was ready to take my mandatory mid-Nintendo Direct bathroom break during the Xenoblade Chronicles 3 Expansion Pass segment. But I’m very, very thankful I decided to stick around and sit through the news, because Nintendo has officially sold me on playing this ridiculous role-playing game. And it’s all thanks to a little robot heroine named Ino.

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“There’s a new hero who looks … mechanical?” the Nintendo Direct announced earlier today, before showing off the silhouette of a slim but powerful-looking young robotic woman. Ino is part of the Wave 2 Expansion Pass update, and she’s a green-haired anime girl who has an entirely metal body, her arms, legs, and neck are draped in black and red metal. Even her black braids are pure steel.

Despite her mechanical nature, Ino turns out to be a pretty friendly presence. A segment shows off her high-pitched voice as she introduces herself to the rest of the game’s Heroes, followed by a shot of Ino guzzling down Ether as if it was Mountain Dew—which elicited a huge “she’s just like me for real” moment for me as I wolfed down an enormous breakfast burrito before a morning meeting. Peppy yet powerful, and sure to weigh several tons, I’m willing to purchase Xenoblade Chronicles 3 literally right this minute just to play as her in this video game series I have otherwise never touched and barely planned to.

Catch the trailer below for a sneak peek yourself.

I could wax lyrical about the queer appeal of robot women. As I’ve written before for The Mary Sue, the abnormal and monstrous woman feels right at home for trans lesbians like myself, who are often made to feel like our bodies are wrong, our desires are weird, and our mere presence is a powerful threat to heteronormativity’s future. Queer aesthetics can be seen throughout horror for this very reason, as horror reimagines what a body can do and what a body can look like, whether in pain, pleasure, or both. For the queer and trans viewer, the abnormalized body reminds us of the ways the marginalized body is treated as an abnormal way of life, and we come to see the parallels between a steel anime girl who could crush a man’s skull, and a trans lesbian whose queer longings are treated as a total societal breakdown for the patriarchal family structure.

Yes, it’s true, Ino is just like me for real, and not just for the Mountain Dew thing. But let’s be honest. Queer theory aside, there’s just something really cool about an anime girl who would probably shatter every individual bone in your body if she accidentally stepped on your foot. Isn’t that amazing? One playful punch on the arm, and you would never recover. And she’d do it with a smile too! We need more women like that in the world.

To paraphrase Rosa Diaz, I’ve only had Ino for a day, but if anything happened to her, I would be immediately sad and cancel my purchase of Xenoblade Chronicles 3 for the Nintendo Switch. Otherwise, if everything goes to plan, you can expect to meet Ino on Oct. 13 as part of the upcoming Wave 2 Expansion Pass.

(Featured image: Nintendo and NBC, Remix by Ana Valens)


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Author
Ana Valens
Ana Valens (she/her) is a reporter specializing in queer internet culture, online censorship, and sex workers' rights. Her book "Tumblr Porn" details the rise and fall of Tumblr's LGBTQ-friendly 18+ world, and has been hailed by Autostraddle as "a special little love letter" to queer Tumblr's early history. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her ever-growing tarot collection.