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

Jan 6, 2018
2,225
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?
Also the world just ended. Billions of people died and these guys have been fighting a war against a hostile alien force for years
 
Jan 6, 2018
2,225
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.
Elma is the first and last character shown in the story. She is in every key story mission and drives all of the action. Furthermore she is playable.

XCX has a create a player but they mostly serve as a utility tool to allow you to have any kind of party setup and not get stuck worrying about what classes you have. Elma and Lin are dual protagonists but it’s really Elma as the main character.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,900
If you mean in RPGs specifically then Parasite Eve’s main cast are adults with good jobs and not crazy to me, Front Mission series features mostly normal adult protagonists as well.

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
And they’re all quite mad. It’s like me mentioning Deadly Premonition - Francis York Morgan is really quite zany.
 
Feb 1, 2019
259
Spain
I think the most important ones have already been mentioned. Hotel Dusk was the first one that came to mind.

To name something different, even if it may be an odd pick, most Idolmaster games have featured both female and male characters well over their 20s (or 30s!) and the games are basically about them doing their job in the entertainment industry. If having a succesful love life is a requirement for being a"well-functioning" adult, then the number shrinks a lot, but I can still think of at least one character in these who is confirmed to have been in several sexual relationships.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,176
Scotland
Everybody posting 18-20 year olds let’s be real here. Most of the time those characters look more like 30+ and even so 20 year old is barely a ‘functioning adult’.

My vote is for Barret because he’s about as functional as you can be in that scenario and at least hast his priorities right as the game goes on.
 
Oct 27, 2017
2,037
This badass, the main character and poster girl from Unlimited Saga.

10 years before the game starts, she was a pirate and devastated the seas with her crew. One day, she met a quiet teacher, Pablo, fell in love, and abandoned her life of crime and plunder.
Unfortunately, Pablo dies during one of his travels. The game starts after Laura comes back from the funeral. She meets a boy attacked by bandits, and easily wrecks their shit. The boy happens to be the prince of a royal family that has just been obliterated, so she decides to escort him to safety. But the main focus remain on her: while the boy goes the usual scenario of "fallen prince claiming his throne back", she is aware that she goes along the grand adventure to escape her private complicated feelings of loss and guilt about the death of her husband, because killing bandits, monsters and otherworldly abominations is easier than facing the fact life is fleeting and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it.
Once the boy is safe and claims back his throne, he offers her to stay with him as his trusted general. She smiles, says she has more important things to do, go back to Pablo's tomb, and decides to re-open his school by herself.

She's the main character of a PS2 JRPG. She's 30, a widow, and dressed appropriately for the role. She's the most "SaGa" of all SaGa protagonists (most of which would fit the bill of this thread because SaGa is the best series that has ever been made).
 
Damn this thread is just a big ol' list of games i love, what's up with that.

I do think the "well functioning" is a bit of a misleading expectation, since exploring character flaws, traumas, etc is one of the more appealing parts of story writing. There are a lot of ways to have your shit together, or not.

Few of the adults there are well-functioning, honestly. Like, Kano barely function as a policeman.
*SLAMS FIST ON DESK* MINORU MINORIKAWA IS PERFECT!!!
 
Oct 25, 2017
3,801
This badass, the main character and poster girl from Unlimited Saga.

10 years before the game starts, she was a pirate and devastated the seas with her crew. One day, she met a quiet teacher, Pablo, fell in love, and abandoned her life of crime and plunder.
Unfortunately, Pablo dies during one of his travels. The game starts after Laura comes back from the funeral. She meets a boy attacked by bandits, and easily wrecks their shit. The boy happens to be the prince of a royal family that has just been obliterated, so she decides to escort him to safety. But the main focus remain on her: while the boy goes the usual scenario of "fallen prince claiming his throne back", she is aware that she goes along the grand adventure to escape her private complicated feelings of loss and guilt about the death of her husband, because killing bandits, monsters and otherworldly abominations is easier than facing the fact life is fleeting and sometimes there's nothing you can do about it.
Once the boy is safe and claims back his throne, he offers her to stay with him as his trusted general. She smiles, says she has more important things to do, go back to Pablo's tomb, and decides to re-open his school by herself.

She's the main character of a PS2 JRPG. She's 30, a widow, and dressed appropriately for the role. She's the most "SaGa" of all SaGa protagonists (most of which would fit the bill of this thread because SaGa is the best series that has ever been made).

This sounds super cool, too bad its locked away by that obtuse gameplay. Thanks for sharing, cause I wouldn't have known otherwise.
 
Mar 10, 2019
251
Damn this thread is just a big ol' list of games i love, what's up with that.

I do think the "well functioning" is a bit of a misleading expectation, since exploring character flaws, traumas, etc is one of the more appealing parts of story writing. There are a lot of ways to have your shit together, or not.
Mature adults probably would have been a better way to put it.
 
Mar 19, 2019
113
I feel like our protagonists never fill the bill. For most of the original trilogy, Phoenix is still a fledgling attorney who basically bluffs through everything and Apollo didn't even, like, solve most of the game's cases, Phoenix and Trucy did. They're definitely not fully-experienced or anything. Miles in Investigations, though, I guess...
 
Oct 27, 2017
264
SEATTLE
From Software games, Metal Gear, Guilty Gear, Yakuza, Binary Domain, No More Heroes, Shadows of the Damned, Killer Is Dead, Deadly Premonition, D4, FF-13 1, Lightning Returns, Nioh, Resident Evil 0-7, Lost planet Series, Berserk Musou, Fist of the North Star Lost Paradise, also Nier.
 
Jan 24, 2019
399
Ryu Hayabusa and Sekiro's no bullshit way of communicating match the professionalism shown in their martial arts abilities, so they came to mind immediately. William from Nioh is honorable and gets shit done. Adult version of the boy in The Last Guardian genuinely has that wise old dude gravitas going on.

I don't get the Metal Gear mentions and am genuinely fuckin' baffled anyone would say Devil May Cry lol. Snake is TERRIBLY dense and has the intuition of a child in codec conversations, asking the most basic questions all the time. Dante is essentially a Ninja Turtle if one became human again. These people would be very weird in a well functioning adult setting.
 
Oct 28, 2017
4,873


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
Was gonna post this. Radiant Historia has really good writing and characters.

Just don't buy the DLC.
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,994
Nier Gestalt's character is 38. Calling him well-functioning is a stretch but at does alright around his daughter at least.
MC in Nier seems to be functioning enough. He's got a sick daughter whom he loves deeply. So yeah, he's going to be a little unhinged. But he does good by her, helps around the town, and is a genuine, kind and honest man.
Wasn't he originally underaged and only changed to an adult for the western release?
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,319
Wasn't he originally underaged and only changed to an adult for the western release?
In Japan he was the teenaged version on the PS3 and the adult version on the 360 (they actually had two titles, Nier Replicant and Nier Gestalt respectively), but the adult version is the only one we got either way.
 
Oct 25, 2017
10,994
In Japan he was the teenaged version on the PS3 and the adult version on the 360 (they actually had two titles, Nier Replicant and Nier Gestalt respectively), but the adult version is the only one we got either way.
Ah, gotcha, i was under the impression that the Adult version wasn't released on japan.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,900
Growlanser series normally stars smart, competent characters (anime as heck too). The main cast are mercenaries in Growlanser IV.

I'll also say the Langrisser series from the same devs also starred competent casts (also anime as it gets).
 
Oct 30, 2017
2,326
Canada
It's Kiryu.

Kiryu is an adult who takes responsibility for his actions, reliably supports himself and his dependents, takes joy from his hobbies, and stays true to himself.

Also, he's incredibly positive and supportive of others. He doesn't stereotype people, looks beyond who they present themselves as, is willing to forgive, and encourages others to follow their hearts and be true to themselves.

Kiryu's the coolest. I want to be like Kiryu when I grow up.
 
Oct 26, 2017
3,319
It's Kiryu.

Kiryu is an adult who takes responsibility for his actions, reliably supports himself and his dependents, takes joy from his hobbies, and stays true to himself.

Also, he's incredibly positive and supportive of others. He doesn't stereotype people, looks beyond who they present themselves as, is willing to forgive, and encourages others to follow their hearts and be true to themselves.

Kiryu's the coolest. I want to be like Kiryu when I grow up.
I played the beginning of Yakuza Kiwami once, and it was really funny because Kiryu is such a ridiculously wholesome person it was like, what's he even doing in a criminal organization?