I agree, perhaps arbitrary doesn't apply. What I meant to say was that Rare took it upon themselves to establish that Cranky is the original Donkey Kong. And that's fine, I like it that way too. Even though I feel like Nintendo has since distanced themselves from Rare's DK continuity. But I mean, they haven't acknowledged it as not being canon, so I don't think it's wrong to assume it is.
Anyway, moving on:Fiction
: Birdo is a man.Fact
: Who knows? For the longest time we were told that yes, Birdo is
female, but this was only said retroactively. Looking back at the original SMB2 manual, It is clearly stated that "He thinks he's a girl and he spits eggs from his mouth. He'd rather be called Birdetta." Of course even this didn't make much sense because in a misprint/mix-up they refer to him as Ostro
, not Birdo. That misprint even carries over to the games' end credits.
But then, more recently, a Birdo trophy in Brawl states that Birdo is a "A pink creature of indeterminate gender that some say would rather be called Birdetta." So from this, it's pretty obvious that Birdo IS a man and always has been, but Nintendo decided that having a transgendered character in a Mario game was a little much for impressionable young minds (well, at least outside of Japan).