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Japanese games that star well-functioning adults (bonus points if the game is "anime")

Oct 25, 2017
9,160
By 18 in the U.S you are legally a adult, can smoke and can die for your country. Sure he's technically still a teenager but thats not how society sees it, especially in Japan where 17 is basically that adult age
Tell that to the thousands of porn sites who repeatedly categorize porn with 18 and 19 year old actors under the category of “Teens”.

I mean you can’t even drink a beer at 18 in the US!
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,536
EighTEEN and nineTEEN year olds are still TEENagers, my friend.

Why do you think there’s so much porn labeled “Teens”? It’s not because it stars underage people (I mean, at least it shouldn’t!), it’s because it’s porn starring 18 and 19 year olds.
This labeling only makes sense in english, in my language 18 and above are called adults and never a teenager
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,160
Japanese RPGs with anime aesthetic is two superlatives more than just "japanese games" in the title.
Yes. That’s why I said those because it may not be very hard to name a Japanese game starring (and by that i mean the main playable protagonist) an adult but once you go into anime rpg territory shit gets suddenly super hard.
 
Dec 29, 2017
1,557

Kazuma Kiryu (48 years old). He's a former Yakuza, real estate tycoon, taxi driver, baseball manager, cabaret manager, and runs an orphanage.
 
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Oct 27, 2017
794
Ryotaro Dojima of Persona 4:

I don't think this counts. Dojima's a supporting character. The vast majority of characters (and every playable character) in P4 is a teenager. Which is exactly the opposite of the point of this thread--to highlight Japanese games that feature adult characters in leading roles.
 

HBK

Member
Oct 30, 2017
1,778
One of my favorite things about Xenoblade X was how the vast majority of the cast were adults and how the topics of conversation fit that higher average age range.

For the core cast, you have:
Elma 29
Lao 31
Doug 30
Irina 27
Gwin 24

And of the recruitable characters you have:
Alexa 21
Boze 54
Frye 30
Phog 24
Hope 24
HB 28
Murderess 26
Nagi 57
Yelv 22

The only characters younger than 20 are:
Mia 19
Celica 18
Lin 13

Was kind of refreshing seeing JRPG characters chat about basic co-worker small talk topics like kids, alcohol, cars, sports, etc. I don't know about well-functioning since there's a lot of alcoholism and depression going on in there but uh... Those are pretty adult problems to have at least?
Good post.

Xenosaga also comes to mind. Granted the cast isn’t exactly well functioning for the most part, and there’s a robot, a cyborg, a replicant, and a demigod among them. But still, apart from Momo, they’re all technically adults.
 
Oct 25, 2017
8


Stocke from Radiant Historian is a seasoned military man who is above 18 and consistently makes rational down to earth decisions instead of relying on "lol mAh bodY moVEd oN it's Own. pOWer Of FRiENDship yaLl
Also, that is some awesome character art. Really need to play that game.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,454
lol why are people talking about MGS in here? Can you imagine literally any of those motherfuckers existing in the real world, going about their day to day lives? Solid Snake, a man who'd killed so many people by like 18 that he had to retire and hide away from the world in Alaska with his dogs and his PTSD? Big Boss, who spent decades setting up failed private militaries because his shit was all fucked up from the death of his surrogate mother/lover? Otacon, who killed his evil Dad by fucking his stepmother while his sister drowned?

Breh. Everyone in MGS is a stone cold psycho, nobody in Resident Evil has ever fucked (except Wesker and Barry), Dante spends his life sitting in the dark waiting for the phone to ring so he can have unsatisfying fights against demons for pizza money. Nero's at least keeping it together pretty well, though.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,232
Ken Masters from Street Fighter.
The man has been the US Martial Champion multiple times, leads a successful company and lives happily with his family.
 
Oct 29, 2017
608
How everyone forget Yuri Lowell from Tales of Vesperia or Yuri Hyuga from Shadow Hearts Covenant . Coincidentally both Yuri are well written/functioning young adult with sensible decision making and leadership .
 
Nov 2, 2017
1,745
I don't know why the hell people are mentioning Metal Gear. Solid Snake, Big Boss, and Raiden are not well functioning adults at all. They have serious mental issues, take pleasure in killing people, and want to die.
 
Oct 27, 2017
13,636
It's funny because all playable adult characters from P2 are well adjusted (Katsuya the most)... except Ulala. She is a mess, and she know it, but still try hard to find passion and direction in her life.
If you consider that cast well adjusted I can’t stop you but I wouldn’t be quick to call Yukino or Baofu as having it all together.

Katsuya has his fair share of issues too from what I remember.
 
Oct 27, 2017
7,218
Taiwan
''Well-function adults'' in Japan means you spend most of your time in front of a computer, donating your life to whatever company you work for.

This is why it's often a rarity to see such thing in their games, cause it's cooler to be something unreal than something real in Japan.

This is why we have so many Japanese games about high school students fight against evil than fucking office workers.
 
Oct 27, 2017
13,636
Nero is probably the most mature and well adjusted man in the entire DMC series with a steady job, girlfriend, and children he takes care of.

He’s still a bag of anger and daddy issues though.
 
Jan 4, 2018
196
I would love to see some protagonists in their 40's or 50's.. It's a gripe I've had with especially Jrpgs for basically ever, that whenever there's a character that is "old", and every other character makes a point of it, he's like 35. I always figured Auron for example to be like 45-50, but turns out he's 35.
 
Oct 28, 2017
1,114
Most of Grasshopper games have adults as main characters (or as the whole cast, really). Silver Case, FSR, 25th Ward, killer7, NMH, Shadows of the Damned, Killer is Dead
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,348
I don't know if she's well functionning but it was shocking to learn that the main character of the Torna expansion for Xenoblade 2 is a 27 yo woman.
 
Oct 30, 2017
4,724
Denmark
Phoenix Wright Ace Attorney.

Phoenix Wright is just your average guy who gets a job because he has ambition for his career but also because of things in his personal life. None of it is self-esteem or mental related, he's the most successful person out of his friend-group save for his former childhood friend who became the most esteemed prosecutor in the country.
 
Oct 30, 2017
4,724
Denmark
Kyle Hyde from Hotel Dusk I may add.

He's not actually that well off. He's a big slacker and has a lot of past grievances he needs to come to terms with, but he's a very lean guy and highly mature and empathetic even when he outwardly seems like a grumpy jerk to certain characters.

You'll often see Kyle Hyde lecture his peers about social problems and not the other way around. His own ass just needs to stop bumming on the job.
 
Oct 27, 2017
105
Octopath Traveler. Of all the playable characters, only one of them is a teenager and the adult ones are pretty well-adjusted.
 
Oct 25, 2017
940
If you consider that cast well adjusted I can’t stop you but I wouldn’t be quick to call Yukino or Baofu as having it all together.

Katsuya has his fair share of issues too from what I remember.
Yukino is probably the most mature and stable character in the series. Unless you meant someone else.
 
Oct 27, 2017
13,636
Yukino is probably the most mature and stable character in the series. Unless you meant someone else.
I may be getting my plots mixed up as it’s been awhile since I watched a play through of EP. I remember something happening with her but I may have crossed her up with Ulala in my head or something.
 
Oct 25, 2017
940
I may be getting my plots mixed up as it’s been awhile since I watched a play through of EP. I remember something happening with her but I may have crossed her up with Ulala in my head or something.
It's been a while for me too but she always seemed like the only one who didn't have much to worry about. She's very much the dependable "older sister" that Maya tries to be. I completely forgot what her encounter with her shadow was like though!

And then there's poor Ulala...
 
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Oct 28, 2017
1,090
Greece
Adel from Disgaea 2. Literally the only well off human in his world and the straight man of every support character. His only issue is being stubborn, which is normal in the real world.
 
Oct 26, 2017
284
Wolf from sekiro is a fully grown man that is written like a fully grown man in a fantastical and grim situation.

Hes a perfect example of how having flaws and a lot of need for personal growth doesnt mean a character cant also have learned from being alive. (Or from having died)
 
Oct 25, 2017
4,858
I said “star”. Supporting cast are not the stars. I’m talking about leads. Of course there’s been black characters in JRPGs, just never in a main playable protagonist role.
There's absolutely a fair argument that the game is Elma's story, though. I'd be reasonably happy to call her the figurehead of the storyline, even if she's not the POV character.

(I wonder if there's a separate topic of discussion there; games where the initial/principal POV character isn't really the protagonist. I'd say XCX, maybe some Fire Emblems (when the strategist is a character in their own right, anyway). I've not played FFXII, yet, but I think I've seen people suggest it for that, too?)
 
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Oct 25, 2017
1,697
Vincent and his friends from Catherine? Sure, the whole point of the game is a huge mid life crisis, but he has a job, he lives with her fiancée, and has a normal sex life. Until the game begins at least? XD. His friends are also pretty common guys.
 
Oct 25, 2017
159
France
One of my favorite things about Xenoblade X was how the vast majority of the cast were adults and how the topics of conversation fit that higher average age range.

For the core cast, you have:
Elma 29
Lao 31
Doug 30
Irina 27
Gwin 24

And of the recruitable characters you have:
Alexa 21
Boze 54
Frye 30
Phog 24
Hope 24
HB 28
Murderess 26
Nagi 57
Yelv 22

The only characters younger than 20 are:
Mia 19
Celica 18
Lin 13

Was kind of refreshing seeing JRPG characters chat about basic co-worker small talk topics like kids, alcohol, cars, sports, etc. I don't know about well-functioning since there's a lot of alcoholism and depression going on in there but uh... Those are pretty adult problems to have at least?
One of my favourite part of the game, nobody on the cast really feel like a cliché JRPG protagonist
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,132
Mexico
If you consider that cast well adjusted I can’t stop you but I wouldn’t be quick to call Yukino or Baofu as having it all together.

Katsuya has his fair share of issues too from what I remember.
Baofu is also a outlier. He got better at least.

Katsuya has his problems, but has a stable job and is raising alone Tatsuya, because it looks like that is how Tatsuya perceive is this how is his brother. Maya
who in EP has not emotional baggage
have the chance to know how really caring Katsuya is to Tatsuya, which make him an paternal figure for Tatsuya, someone who want don't socialize with their peers (even if they could help him) because that burden.

I think a brother having a burden to raise their brothers and sisters it's something common. Sae from P5 has the same backstory, and if she had the chance to be a playable character she would have a similar character arc. And I don't think Sae is not well functioning adult, right?
 

Redcrayon

Zoinks!
Moderator
Oct 27, 2017
5,397
UK
Stocke from Radiant Historia is one of the few JRPG leads that spring to mind for me. He’s a competent intelligence operative tasked with a job to do because he has experience and proven ability, rather than because a magic sword/magic teenager/monster/explosive incident arrived in the rural village of yet another adolescent with the same old growing pains, first love, parental and childhood friend issues to discuss along the way.

For the same reason I like Yuri in Tales of Vesperia and Alyssa in Cosmic Star Heroine even if the rest of those games don’t appeal to me quite as much. After playing dozens of JRPGs over the last 30 years I feel like I’ve seen the shonen story beats and templated cast (something even ToV doesnt exactly avoid elsewhere) so many times that it’s just nice to see variety.

The SMT Strange Journey lead was another although they are a blank slate.

Also, Welkin/Alicia from Valkyria Chronicles, in that their talk of hopes and dreams are the smaller things like Welkin’s love of natural world and wanting to be a teacher, and Alicia wanting to be a baker. Their romance and ending was sweet and believable because it was about what actual young adults swept up into warfare might think about as they put their dreams on hold. That was far more evocative for me than a hundred ‘I want to be the knight of the magic tree, power up through personal growth and kill all the gods with the power of friendship’ endgames.
 
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