Due to the subject matter of this entire week, some items may be NSFW. Barring some terrible graphics, we’re sorta aiming for PG-13 screenshots here, but, given everyone has a different threshold, anything potentially offensive will be behind the “Read More” links du jour. Just so you are aware…
Also, this article will absolutely contain spoilers for Persona 5, assuming that is something you are concerned about.
So, as I mentioned on this site a couple of times last year, Persona 5 could have been my “Game of 2017” in a much less interesting year for gaming. This is entirely because of the general “style” of the game, and how, if I had unlimited technology and budget back when I was approximately 12 (or whatever year I first played Final Fantasy 6), I probably would have made something very much resembling Persona 5 (though probably shorter). Cool thieves, cool tunes, emphasis on “role playing” as well as dungeon sneaking: it all kinda clicks together to be the perfect JRPG in my mind.
Or at least my 12 year old mind.
This is because I know when I’m being pandered to, and it probably has something to do with an entire high school full of women that only want to jump “my” bones. So, with that thinking in mind, I’m going to approach Persona 5 from the perspective that it couldn’t be more built for horny boys if it tried. And, as a corollary to that, the game is rather off-putting toward that entire “other” gender.
With that in mind, I enlisted a guest. Rosella, please say hi, or something like that.
Rosella: Hello! I am excited to be here to say inflammatory things about a generally beloved game.
Goggle Bob: Excellent! So what’s your relationship and/or past with Persona 5?
Rosella: So I was a big fan of Personas 3 and 4, and played both of them multiple times. I preordered the ultimate “Take Your Heart” Edition of Persona 5 and was very excited to finally get my hands on it, but, uh, it didn’t quite work out that way. I streamed P5 for a little over 113 hours, when you count all the times I had to pause to rant about how the game seemed to have a giant “Women Aren’t Real People” sign on it. It was an experience.
Goggle Bob: And so we’re here to talk about said “experience”. Again, I’m theoretically the target audience for this, and, while the whole thing should supposedly wash over me and be generally subconscious, even I was a little put off when the final(ish) dungeon takes a time out so the female cast can hop back into bikinis.
Rosella: Of course, you can have them in bikinis the whole time with the free swimsuit DLC!
Goggle Bob: DLC I will not publicly admit to using…
Rosella: I will, and I am extremely upset that Yusuke’s beach outfit did not come with lobsters.
Goggle Bob: Just to put you at ease:
Rosella: The one and only time I thought “Man, I’m glad Yusuke was in this scene”
Goggle Bob: Yes, well, speaking of which, given P5 is a gigantic, 100 hour experience, we could recount every last bit of the game until the end of time and still not cover everything. So, with that in mind, let’s take a more focused look at the female cast. Would you like to start with anyone in particular?
Rosella: Makoto Niijima was my (one) romance during my playthrough, so she holds a special place in my heart.
Goggle Bob: Haha, we seem to have that in common. I mentioned it in my original P5 article, but I seem to gravitate toward the student council across Persona games
Rosella: To me, she just seemed like the person with the most healthy relationship with our protagonist. She’s trying to re-examine her life and figure out which of her goals are actually hers and which ones she picks up just because she “should,” and our protagonist helps with that. It’s very charming!
Goggle Bob: And she just incidentally can punch demons through walls.
Rosella: And rides a motorcycle.
Goggle Bob: A motorcycle that is parenthetically attached to a ridiculous dirty joke.
Rosella: Oh no, did I miss something incredibly obvious?
Goggle Bob: Haha not obvious: There’s a keyhole on Johanna’s seat. It’s a reference to the myth of how certain chairs were used to confirm future post-Johanna popes were male.
Goggle Bob: Hey, Persona is all about the history…