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This example will probably require having played Xenoblade 2 due to how convoluted the character dynamics are. My apologies for that, but to sum it up, ホムラ and ヒカリ share the same body and the same memories, but have different personalities and appearance depending on who is manifested (like a mode change). But at the same time, the game treats like different characters who are aware of each other.

https://www.nintendo.co.jp/switch/adena/sp/production-notes/index-06.html

In the above link, Tetsuya Takahashi says the following:

“そう――『ゼノブレイド2』本編はレックスとホムラ(ヒカリ)の物語でしたが、「黄金の国イーラ」はもう一人の主人公とも言えるシンとラウラの物語なのです。 シンの過去に何があったのか、ラウラという人物はどういう人物であったのか、そしてアデルとヒカリの関係は――。”

“ レックスとホムラ(ヒカリ)の物語”

What would the parenthesis here mean? The story of Rex and Homura (and Hikari); or the story of Rex and Homura (who is also Hikari)

My apologies for the trouble. Any help would be very much appreciated.

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This sentence seems to focus on the relationship between the two characters (レックス & ホムラ) rather than three. So I think it's more natural to read that part as "who is also ヒカリ".

(But...does this use of parentheses require explanation? Doesn't story of Rex and Homura (Hikari) make perfect sense in English?)

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  • Yeah, as a native English speaker, I don't think this use would be confusing even in English
    – Angelos
    Mar 24, 2023 at 10:20
  • My apologies. The game itself tends to flip-flop on whether the two characters should be treated as two separate individuals or as halves of a whole (Homura’s feelings are Hikari’s and vice versa). The usage of Homura (Hikari) by Takahashi instead of maybe Homura (そして、Hikari) or something similar like Rex to Homura to Hikari caught my interest and I saw it as a hint on how the Director sees the two characters, but I wanted to make there weren’t any Japanese-specific interactions with parenthesis that I might not be aware of.
    – Magna
    Mar 24, 2023 at 11:32

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