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The Phobic Crimes of Katsura Hashino (Director/Producer, ATLUS)

ASaiyan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,228
WHAT IS THIS?

It was suggested by several members in the ongoing thread about the Catherine: Full Body scandal (see below) that a "megathread" be created about the man responsible, Katsura Hashino. The purpose of said thread would be to educate Era users about his views, works, and the intersection of the two over his years in the industry. This is that thread.

WHO IS THIS?

Katsura Hashino is a senior director and producer at famous video games studio Atlus Co., Ltd. (now a subsidiary of SEGA). He joined the company in 1994, and made his directorial debut with the 1999 DreamCast hack-and-slash game, Maken X. He went on to become director of P-Studio, the division in charge of the Persona series, and was director/producer on all of the 'modern' entries in the franchise (Persona 3, 4, 5), as well as their remakes and spin-offs. In 2017, he became leader of his own new internal division, Studio Zero, whose works include Catherine: Full Body and the upcoming Western-fantasy RPG Project Re: Fantasy. I was curious how old he was, but outside of his work at Atlus there is pretty much no information about him online.

Katsura Hashino possesses virulently offensive and phobic views on the LGBT community, women, and other groups. Since becoming a games director, he has celebrated and incorporated these views into his works. The following is intended as an itemized and educational record of precisely how these views have appeared in the last decade of Atlus video games.

2006: PERSONA 3

The first Hashino-directed Persona game, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3, contains a beach scene where the male party members express their shock and disgust upon learning that a female character they were hitting on is actually transgender (as part of a longer scenario called "Operation Babe Hunt"). An updated version of the scene appears in the game's 2009 PSP remake.

It's also worth noting that both the original Persona 3 and the male route of the remake do not allow platonic relationships between members of the opposite sex, because Hashino "couldn't imagine boys and girls being friends".


2008: PERSONA 4

2008's Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 is where Hashino's problematic views first become highly visible. Much of this comes in the person of party member Yosuke Hanamura – although his best pal Teddie, who is also the game's mascot, frequently chimes in as well. Shockingly, Yosuke was apparently originally intended as a gay romance option. Instead, in the final game, he is one of the most misogynist, homophobic, toxically hetero-masculine characters in video game history. Yosuke is constantly ogling and objectifying women. Near the beginning of the game, Yosuke interrupts an important conversation about the Midnight Channel (where you are, literally, attempting to identify the next target of a serial murderer) to ask you which of your female friends you find hotter. In a mid-game dungeon, Yosuke does not deny a charge that he is hesitant to save pop idol Rise from lethal danger because of the possibility that she will take her clothes off. During the camping trip scenario, Yosuke initiates one of the most frankly disgusting and creepy scenes I have ever witnessed in a game (video above). Of his own accord, he goes out and buys a pair of skimpy women's swimsuits. He then attempts to guilt female party members Chie and Yukiko into putting them on against their will, arguing that they owe him an exhibitionist display because he saved them from getting into trouble (which he himself caused). Please keep in mind, that these characters are supposed to be your best friends. The game never criticizes these misogynist actions, nor presents them in any sort of negative light; in fact, they are actually rewarded, as, in the scene above, Chie and Yukiko eventually do put on the swimsuits (to their incredible discomfort). There is a clear narrative line that this type of behavior is to be condoned, or even celebrated, and that it is archetypal of the "cool, womanizing dude" Yosuke is always striving to be.

Yosuke's homophobia is just as blatant and outrageous. In a different camping scene, Yosuke is violently uncomfortable sharing close quarters with the character Kanji (discussed in further detail below) to an almost-satirical degree. His line of dialogue in this scene involves literally asking an LGBTQ character, "Are we gonna be safe alone with you?". He upsets Kanji so much that he leaves for the night to do something reckless in attempt to 'clear his name' (double yikes). Again, this is played off as a "funny scene" for which Yosuke suffers no consequence or censure.

Then, of course, we come to the character of Kanji. Allow me to explain a key plot aspect of the game (not a spoiler) for those who have not played it. The boss fights and dungeons in Persona 4 often involve party members encountering their "Shadow selves". Essentially, this is their Freudian id – a "secret aspect" of their "true self" they keep bottled-up inside, whose suppression causes them pain and emotional turmoil. Kanji's secret is that he is attracted to men. The game proceeds to handle this in as phobic and stereotyped a manner as possible. Kanji's dungeon is a bathhouse that is literally titled in-game as "MEN ONLY!! Kanji Tatsumi IN Rosy Steamy Paradise". In human form, his Shadow self has a permanent erotic grin on his face, reflecting the stereotype of the "perverted deviant homosexual". In boss form, Shadow Kanji is fully nude and embedded in a bed of roses, literally attacking the player with the double-male symbol (⚣), while flanked by a pair of stereotypical buff, oiled "anikis".

It gets worse though. After defeating the boss, rather than going ahead with what may have still been a salvageable, uplifting scene of Kanji and his friends accepting his sexuality, the game immediately backpedals. We are told that Kanji is actually heterosexual (despite the game's previously exaggerative insistence to the contrary), and that he was really just trying to hide his love of "feminine things" like cute dolls and sewing. The game later reinforces this message by showing Kanji expressing feelings for the female character Naoto in a repeated and in-your-face manner, as if to say, "See? He's not one of them!" So, in the course of this one character's arc, we progress successively from phobia, to stereotype, to outright denial.

2012: PERSONA 4 GOLDEN

The Vita remake of Persona 4 contains a new bodyshaming scene featuring Hanako, a character who was already treated problematically in the original game. Here again, she is treated as a joke and an object of ridicule, literally breaking Yosuke's new motorcycle just by sitting on it.

2017: PERSONA 5

Persona 5 contains a pair of inexplicably-forced homophobic scenes that appear completely out of the blue. On a street corner in Shinjuku, and again during a beach scene, the party member Ryuji is "harassed" by a pair of gay men who exist solely as yet another "joke" perpetuating the "deviant, dangerous homosexual" stereotype. Many people (myself included) consider this game to be one of the greatest RPGs of all time, making it all the more tragic that it is not spared from Hashino's random phobic taint. Unfortunately, while Hashino is no longer a part of P-Studio, our last example makes it seem unlikely that these scenes will be removed from any future port/remake of the game...
[NOTE: I would post the footage of this scene, but due to in-game recording restrictions the best quality video to be found on YouTube comes from a shitty channel, with an offensive title. You may click that link if you wish to see it, but you have been warned.]

The game has also received deserved flak for its contradictory viewpoints on the sexualization of the party member Ann (who, during the events of the story, is 16 or 17 years old). To spoil as little as possible, Ann and her friend Shiho are the victim of unwanted sexual advances by the villain
Suguru Kamoshida. Later, in retaliation for Ann refusing his advances, Shiho is implied to have been sexually assaulted by Kamoshida, which drives Shiho to attempt suicide by jumping off the school roof. She spends the rest of the game recovering in hospital, while Ann deals with feelings of violation and guilt; it is an incredibly dark and distressing scenario all around.
Ann spends the rest of the game dealing with the trauma of this experience. However, in the very next plot scenario of the game, Ann is pushed by the party members to gain access to a reclusive artist's home by stripping naked (or at least, "pretending" to agree to it) for a male stranger, despite her clear distress and uncomfortability with the idea. She continues to be sexualized by party members throughout the game, even being ogled by them in the final cutscene (not a spoiler). The paradoxical, self-defeating message seems to be that unwanted behavior towards women by the "bad guy" is bad, but when done by the "good guys" it is perfectly kosher and unworthy of any comment or expression of disapproval.

Fortunately, on the Persona front at least, Hashino seems to have signaled that he is no longer involved. After leaving P-Studio to become head of his own division, Studio Zero, Hashino noted in a PlayStation Blog post that he had 'handed off' the series to successors. Whether he is indeed gone from the series, or whether his successors are indeed better human beings than he is, remains to be seen; if so, however, then the Persona series could indeed have a brighter and less phobic future.

2019: CATHERINE: FULL BODY

Though the 2011 PS360 title Catherine was a P-Studio production, the 2019 enhanced remake for PS4 and Vita was handled by Hashino's new Studio Zero. The original game includes a trans female character, Erica Anderson, whose treatment throughout the game's story is incredibly phobic. The protagonist, Vincent, and his friends act with shock and disgust upon learning that the character Toby is dating Erica. In the Marriage Ending of the game, Toby, upon finally realizing that Erica is trans, tells her he "wants [his virginity] back". The game deadnames Erica in the credits (though the PC port by SEGA Europe, Catherine: Classic, changes this), and calls her "male" in the official art book. She is even shown to suffer the same "curse" as the male characters of the game, implying that she is "not a real woman" as far as the plot is concerned.

While the remake may have provided the perfect opportunity to fix these issues, Catherine: Full Body instead doubles-down with a more transphobic narrative than ever before. I will spoiler tag the following information for the sake of traditional courtesy, but I would urge anyone who is remotely "interested" in purchasing this release to read it. In a new ending made for the game,
the succubus Catherine travels back in time and creates a new "better life" for all of the game's characters. This "better life" apparently involves Erica never transitioning, and instead living as a man. The narrative implication, of course, is that transitioning is "wrong", and Erica is "better off" this way, despite this clearly being at odds with her express wishes on the issue of gender.
The game also manages to introduce an entirely-original problematic character named Rin, who is a love interest that is eventually revealed to be
a cross-dresser who identifies as male. On seeing Rin's genitalia for the first time, Vincent gasps in shock (see the image above) and physically slaps Rin, causing Rin to run out of the room. Thus the protagonist himself harbors the stereotype of cross-dressers as "deceivers", and receives little consequence for his actions beyond a mild scolding by Erica.
Hashino has stated in interviews that Full Body represents "the completed, original concept" for Catherine, which was not possible eight years ago because "society was in a different place with regard to values". There can be no doubt that these grossly phobic portrayals and plotlines are an acknowledged and deliberate thematic inclusion on his part. This is a clear "ramping up" of such narrative injections from him, and it seems as though he now feels "confident" enough in its commercial viability to push his views just as hard or harder in future projects.

WHAT CAN WE DO?
Within hours of the phobic revelations about Catherine: Full Body, a petition to add the game to the official ResetEra banlist (written by yours truly) was submitted to site admins, amassing almost 50 member signatures and prompting an official staff response. While the request to ban discussion of the game outright was rejected, on the grounds that it would "inadvertently serve to sweep the issue under the rug", the game's phobic content was acknowledged and condemned in the strongest terms, and an official notice was added to the top of the game's OT communicating that said content was "so blatantly offensive that defense of them, or any dismissal of relevant criticism, will be met with bans."

While debating the merits of sending a petition, and following the staff response, a common question asked by members was: What can we do? After all, ResetEra was literally founded as a result of disgusting views and actions taken by a powerful individual in the games community, with the intention of creating a space where everyone with a passion for games could feel safe, valued and welcomed. The existence of commercial titles that directly contradict these goals, and actively profit off of the promotion hatred, discrimination and phobia, is repugnant to our very existence as a forum. So, what indeed can we, as consumers, enthusiasts and concerned members of the community do in the face of such a situation?

One suggestion was the creation of a thread to directly "name, shame, and catalog" the offensive behavior of the games creator responsible. I believe this thread accomplishes that objective, and will hopefully bring those outside the know up to speed on this issue – as duckroll's thread brought many of us up to speed on the reality that longtime Dragon Quest composer Koichi Sugiyama is, in fact, a virulent and publicly-outspoken homophobe and war crime denier.

Another suggestion is the boycott of future Studio Zero titles, including Catherine: Full Body, and the upcoming Project Re: Fantasy. It seems obvious that, for so long as Hashino remains commercially successful and in decent public relations standing, his employment will not be threatened, and he will continue to receive the respect and resources necessary to put out new titles that can serve as outlets for his offensive views. By voting with our wallets and shouting with our social media accounts, we do indeed have the potential to affect real change. This is a course of action that the author of this post will most certainly be taking. Others in the conversation have suggested the boycott be widened to all games by Hashino's employer, Atlus Co., Ltd., entirely.

The purpose of this thread is threefold. The first is to provide all the relevant reading on this subject in a single, convenient place for both current and future reference. The second is an outlet for members to continue their opposition to Katsura Hashino and the inclusion of his phobic views in games; ResetEra is the largest gaming forum in the world, frequented by many important English-speaking members of the games industry, and our words do, indeed, not fall solely on deaf ears. The final purpose is for members to continue to provide suggestions to the ongoing and important question – What can we do? Will you be joining the boycott of Hashino's products? Will you raise the case of this latest offensive work to video game journalists and content outlets? What do you think should be done to most effectively work, however we can, for the removal of these phobic views from our games? I am eager to listen to your suggestions on this.

Much thanks must go out to the makers of the screenshots and videos contained in the post; the ResetEra members who directly or indirectly provided the information in this thread; and everyone who has done work on education and confrontation of this issue.
 
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Weiss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,680
Excellent write up but I need to make something clear: I was completely mistaken regarding

Erica living as a gay man. While Erica is shown to not transition in the new ending, Erica being revealed to be gay was a total blunder on my part.

Once again I apologize to anyone who was harmed by my mistake in adding that falsehood to the discussion.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,113
North Carolina
I still can't believe fucking Kanji. I literally verbalized to myself "really?" for every part of his character arc only for the game to say "oh you thought he was gonna be comfortable with his sexuality and all the characters okay that he is gay? FUCK NO! FUCK YOU! AND FUCK GAY PEOPLE!

Fuck Atlus.
 

Mazzle

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,012
Germany
Thanks for the thread and given information and context to the whole situation.
Really disgusting shit from Hashino and his team.
 
Apr 16, 2018
1,760
All these years, and people still think Kanji’s story was about him being gay. It never was. It was about him confronting his views on toxic masculinity and what “manliness” meant to him after his father passed away. Kanji is a very effeminate male masquerading as a tough guy because he no longer has his father in his life to set an example for him. He thought that his interests made him less “manly” and his friends showed him differently. For all the talk of toxic masculinity on this forum, here we have a character that EMBODIES it, yet folks here trip all over themselves to misrepresent his struggles just to call Hashino homophobic.

I think there’s a conversation to be had about Hashino’s phobic views, but not in this thread where you purposefully misrepresent the characters to make your argument.

He absolutely should be crucified for the Catherine: Full Body shit and his portrayal of gay characters in Persona 5, though.
 

Theswweet

RPG Site
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,047
California
All these years, and people still think Kanji’s story was about him being gay. It never was. It was about him confronting his views on toxic masculinity and what “manliness” meant to him after his father passed away. Kanji is a very effeminate male masquerading as a tough guy because he no longer has his father in his life to set an example for him. He thought that his interests made him less “manly” and his friends showed him differently. For all the talk of toxic masculinity on this forum, here we have a character that EMBODIES it, yet folks here trip all over themselves to misrepresent his struggles just to call Hashino homophobic.

I think there’s a conversation to be had about Hashino’s phobic views, but not in this thread where you purposefully misrepresent the characters to make your argument.

He absolutely should be crucified for the Catherine: Full Body shit and his portrayal of gay characters in Persona 5, though.
Gay or not, stereotyping that all effeminate men are gay isn't a great look.
 
OP
OP
ASaiyan

ASaiyan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,228
Excellent write up but I need to make something clear: I was completely mistaken regarding

Erica living as a gay man. While Erica is shown to not transition in the new ending, Erica being revealed to be gay was a total blunder on my part.

Once again I apologize to anyone who was harmed by my mistake in adding that falsehood to the discussion.
No problem. Thanks for letting me know. I will update the OP.
 

Deleted member 50969

User requested account closure
Banned
Dec 17, 2018
892
Isn't P5 on ResetERA's top 100 list? Seems a bit two-faced to start caring now considering you have evidence of this horrible stuff since 2008 and some of you have admitted to playing these games before.
 

Lant_War

The Fallen
Jul 14, 2018
9,124
For making so many games about accepting yourself, all their games have the "wait, not like that moment"
 

Jessie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,966
Persona 5 is all about young people rebelling against shitty adults, so it’s absolutely shameful how the game exemplifies the dark side of society that the characters are supposed to be rebelling against. It’s part of the reason why I can’t take its themes seriously.
 

Theswweet

RPG Site
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,047
California
In a vacuum I could accept the shit in Persona 4, as 2008 was a very different time for social issues, but everything since paints the picture that it wasn't a case of ignorance, but deliberate intent. Gross.
 

Weiss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,680
All these years, and people still think Kanji’s story was about him being gay. It never was. It was about him confronting his views on toxic masculinity and what “manliness” meant to him after his father passed away. Kanji is a very effeminate male masquerading as a tough guy because he no longer has his father in his life to set an example for him. He thought that his interests made him less “manly” and his friends showed him differently. For all the talk of toxic masculinity on this forum, here we have a character that EMBODIES it, yet folks here trip all over themselves to misrepresent his struggles just to call Hashino homophobic.

I think there’s a conversation to be had about Hashino’s phobic views, but not in this thread where you purposefully misrepresent the characters to make your argument.

He absolutely should be crucified for the Catherine: Full Body shit and his portrayal of gay characters in Persona 5, though.
I can't agree. It's not just a matter of the actual homophobic jokes baked into the game, Kanji's story revolve around gay panic, using queer imagery to other Kanji as an outsider.

Kanji's heterosexuality is viewed by the game as him being saved from being an other.
 

Jessie

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,966
Isn't P5 on ResetERA's top 100 list? Seems a bit two-faced to start caring now considering you have evidence of this horrible stuff since 2008 and some of you have admitted to playing these games before.
A forum can’t be two faced. It literally has thousands of faces. And if you’ve been paying attention, we’ve been complaining about this since the original OTs.
 

nsilvias

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,188
Chicago
he directed SMT Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga as well before he went on to Persona. it should be noted that he didn't direct fullbody, p4g, or p3p.
 

The Pharmercy

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,039
Isn't P5 on ResetERA's top 100 list? Seems a bit two-faced to start caring now considering you have evidence of this horrible stuff since 2008 and some of you have admitted to playing these games before.
Huh? Is ERA a monolithic entity? I've only played P4 and P5 to completion (out of this list) and first time through P4 I didn't like Yosuke but didn't understand Kanji's arc, like at all. It passed me by completely. P5 and the homophobic stuff felt suuper fucking gross. Never played Catherine or the others.

I love the Persona games (that I've played) because some of their thematic stuff has helped me through some really dark times in my life but I equally want the new P-Team to do so much better in these regards because the games could quite easily not have the ----phobic shit in.
 

Lant_War

The Fallen
Jul 14, 2018
9,124
Persona 5 is all about young people rebelling against shitty adults, so it’s absolutely shameful how the game exemplifies the dark side of society that the characters are supposed to be rebelling against. It’s part of the reason why I can’t take its themes seriously.
The only theme that P5 treats seriously is sexism and sexual abuse on the first two hours, then they take Ann and do whatever the fuck they want. I'm surprised there wasn't any Shiho fanservice.
 

L Thammy

Spacenoid
Member
Oct 25, 2017
15,737
Read the whole thing. I haven't played the Persona games myself, but I've heard of a lot of this. When it's laid out like this, it makes it a lot more apparent that this is a pattern and not just one-off incidents that we can hope might just be ironed out. Thanks for the write up OP.

With regards to Kanji, I feel like the toxic masculinity angle might be good enough if judged itself, but it becomes harder to view it in good faith when its a part of a greater pattern.
 
Apr 16, 2018
1,760
Gay or not, stereotyping that all effeminate men are gay isn't a great look.
Back in 2008, that’s how high schoolers viewed effeminate boys. If you weren’t a manly man harassing women, then you were gay. I resonated with Kanji’s story so much because I LIVED it in high school. And he’s not being stereotyped as gay, especially when he turns out to be straight.

I don’t even know what you mean.
 

Meia

Member
Oct 26, 2017
494
I can't agree. It's not just a matter of the actual homophobic jokes baked into the game, Kanji's story revolve around gay panic, using queer imagery to other Kanji as an outsider.

Kanji's heterosexuality is viewed by the game as him being saved from being an other.


Again, this misses the point somewhat. Shadows in the game are meant to be gross exaggerations of the mental anguish the characters are going through(Rise is not and has no desire to be a stripper, as an example). To reiterate the toxic masculinity thing, Kanji feels he has to act like a thug and keep his hobbies secret, or else he would be called a homosexual(again, it is also important to remember that even 10 years ago this was a common thing "Oh you like sewing what are ya gay?"). He had no positive male role models in his life anymore, so his emotions kind of spiraled out of his control. It's no wonder his shadow, to get at him, would then become a gross representation like that.

The manga also has more scenes that do a slightly better job of this, as he was made fun of by fixing a girl classmates' bag that had ripped. It also flat out sucks that Yosuke, as a character, would have had a lot of his flaws looked at in a different light if they didn't last minute cut the male romance option(it was dubbed and the scene is in the files, just not accessible). Wonder if it being cut was Hashino's doing at this point. The games are great, a small part of a +100 hour rpg doesn't flat out ruin the entirety of them, but holy hell I'm growing tired of scenes like that being in that run counter to the point of the story they're trying to tell.
 

Deleted member 50969

User requested account closure
Banned
Dec 17, 2018
892
A forum can’t be two faced. It literally has thousands of faces. And if you’ve been paying attention, we’ve been complaining about this since the original OTs.
Huh? Is ERA a monolithic entity? I've only played P4 and P5 to completion (out of this list) and first time through P4 I didn't like Yosuke but didn't understand Kanji's arc, like at all. It passed me by completely. P5 and the homophobic stuff felt suuper fucking gross. Never played Catherine or the others.

I love the Persona games (that I've played) because some of their thematic stuff has helped me through some really dark times in my life but I equally want the new P-Team to do so much better in these regards because the games could quite easily not have the ----phobic shit in.
10 years though? 10 years of blatant hatred and mockery, I thought a place like Old School NeoGAF/ResetERA would have done something, I guess things like this can slip through?
 

Inuhanyou

Member
Oct 25, 2017
11,795
New Jersey
Its not just phobic shit either, what happens in P5 is completely analogous to its own things with women. Where it wants to act like its treating victims of sexual assault seriously, which is a noble thing, but then spends the rest of the game oogling Ann, one of the almost victims of a predatory male character portrayed as a villain. The signals are all over the place and its to the point where even just that can take you out of the game

I understand that games are a team effort, but if Hashino is one of those people responsible, he should be held responsible and put on the spot regarding these issues directly.
 

Aters

Banned
Oct 26, 2017
7,948
Man Hanako scene absolutely sucks. Shit is not fun at all. Maybe it's because the setting is too realistic, but the girl reminds me of people I know IRL, and it's not a laughing matter. I think P3 has an over-weight character and he actually goes through a meaningful development. P4 is a regression in so many ways.
 
OP
OP
ASaiyan

ASaiyan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,228
he directed SMT Nocturne and Digital Devil Saga as well before he went on to Persona. it should be noted that he didn't direct fullbody, p4g, or p3p.
He is listed as Producer on all three of these projects, and therefore was involved in their creation at a very high level. He is on the record as stating that the new additions to Full Body represent his "completed original vision" for the game.

do we have a source on this? Just curious
I searched around and could not find an English-language primary source on this. It's possible that it's from a Japanese print interview, or an old video interview I haven't watched. If there's evidence that this is untrue I'll remove it though; no point in leveling false accusations when there are so many awful true ones.

I feel no guilt in using a dramatic and clickbait-y title to draw attention to a serious social issue, lol.
 
Last edited:

Zacmortar

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,272
All these years, and people still think Kanji’s story was about him being gay. It never was. It was about him confronting his views on toxic masculinity and what “manliness” meant to him after his father passed away. Kanji is a very effeminate male masquerading as a tough guy because he no longer has his father in his life to set an example for him. He thought that his interests made him less “manly” and his friends showed him differently. For all the talk of toxic masculinity on this forum, here we have a character that EMBODIES it, yet folks here trip all over themselves to misrepresent his struggles just to call Hashino homophobic.

I think there’s a conversation to be had about Hashino’s phobic views, but not in this thread where you purposefully misrepresent the characters to make your argument.

He absolutely should be crucified for the Catherine: Full Body shit and his portrayal of gay characters in Persona 5, though.
When most gay people defrnd kanji as closeted and most decriers are straight, maybe think about the ones actually being discriminated.

What is written is not what is shown

Just because the game backpedals, does not mean he wasnt clearly designed as a homosexual. Just as Rin not being trans doesnt mean theyre not still transphobic and transcoded.
 
Oct 26, 2017
14,573
Hashino being a homo/transphobic hack is no secret but it was necessary to put it in a comprehensive post like this. Great job.
 

Weiss

Member
Oct 25, 2017
18,680
Again, this misses the point somewhat. Shadows in the game are meant to be gross exaggerations of the mental anguish the characters are going through(Rise is not and has no desire to be a stripper, as an example). To reiterate the toxic masculinity thing, Kanji feels he has to act like a thug and keep his hobbies secret, or else he would be called a homosexual(again, it is also important to remember that even 10 years ago this was a common thing "Oh you like sewing what are ya gay?"). He had no positive male role models in his life anymore, so his emotions kind of spiraled out of his control. It's no wonder his shadow, to get at him, would then become a gross representation like that.

The manga also has more scenes that do a slightly better job of this, as he was made fun of by fixing a girl classmates' bag that had ripped. It also flat out sucks that Yosuke, as a character, would have had a lot of his flaws looked at in a different light if they didn't last minute cut the male romance option(it was dubbed and the scene is in the files, just not accessible). Wonder if it being cut was Hashino's doing at this point. The games are great, a small part of a +100 hour rpg doesn't flat out ruin the entirety of them, but holy hell I'm growing tired of scenes like that being in that run counter to the point of the story they're trying to tell.
The main problem though is that it treats being a gay man as something to be rescued from. That's the main crux of what I'm getting at.
 

OwOtacon

Alt Account
Banned
Dec 18, 2018
2,394
It's worth noting they've added way more "no homo" stuff about Kanji in Golden and the anime adaptations.

Also, it might be worth noting how Persona 5 has a first arc about how bad sexual harassment is and then proceeds to objectify Ann for jokes for the rest of the game.
 

DNAbro

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,258
do we have a source on this? Just curious
https://megatengaku.wordpress.com/readings/interviews/persona-3-official-design-works-interview/
THAT CERTAINLY MAKES ME FEEL BETTER. COME TO THIN OF IT, IT SEEMS LIKE YOU CAN ONLY FORGE THAT KIND OF FRIENDSHIP WITH SOCIAL LINKS OF THE SAME GENDER. OPPOSITE GENDER SOCIAL LINKS WILL REVERSE QUICKLY. DOES THIS MEAN TRUE FRIENDSHIPS BETWEEN PEOPLE OF OPPOSITE GENDER DO NOT EXIST?


HASHINO: I’ve never successfully forged a true friendship with a girl in real life.
 
Oct 25, 2017
9,113
North Carolina
When most gay people defrnd kanji as closeted and most decriers are straight, maybe think about the ones actually being discriminated.

What is written is not what is shown

Just because the game backpedals, does not mean he wasnt clearly designed as a homosexual. Just as Rin not being trans doesnt mean theyre not still transphobic and transcoded.
Yeah it was a fucking backpedal and a half and it shows.
 
Oct 27, 2017
6,667
Peru
Speaking of P5, it made me hate some of the characters after the initial arc.

For example, it tries to present everyone at the school (including Ryuji and especially Ann) as victims of Kamoshida and the end of such arc makes a satisfying enough conclusion to that conflict... only to completely disregard that by making basically every guy from the cast acting like a creep to Ann. Worst of all, is that it puts Ryuji's whole character into a different context since it kinda makes you realize that he didn't really hate Kamoshida's actions as much as he was jealous of his position of power and yeah, that's just not good.
 

Castor Archer

Member
Jan 8, 2019
619
Persona 3 and 4 came at a really good time for me, I was in my last year of high school and was dealing with anxiety and depression of a post-high school/"real world" life. I saw the issues then but thought of it as a side effect of the times/Japanese culture. Years later, played Persona 5 and just...yeah no. The blatant sexism, homophobia, transphobia, body shaming, was on full force. The first chapter of Persona 5 attempted themes well beyond their capabilities to tell respectfully, and then spits right on those themes in the second chapter
the Ann being coerced to get naked, right after the previous chapter revolved around sexual crimes.

I had really enjoyed Catherine, I loved the atmosphere, the music, the gameplay. I had a lot of issues with the themes, lots of sexism and the transphobia, but I was still looking forward to the re-release. Suffice to say, I won't touch it or anything made by Hashino again, and honestly anything Atlus outputs.

It's a shame, but it's always been there and I wish I had been more sensitive of these issues and less forgiving of them.
 

Birdie

Member
Oct 26, 2017
5,539
I endured a lot of homophobia like Kanji did in high school yet, to be honest, I never really felt too irked by Yosuke. I think a part of it was due to the fact he never took it to the heights of actual peers of mine (a guy telling me his mom said he was allowed to "beat me up", a girl saying I was going to hell), and by the time I played P4 that bullying had mostly dissapiated.

The whole hot springs scene in P4 felt really off, and then the school pageant with the cross-dressing was the part that really irked me. That whole hour or so of downtime before the climax was just so off-putting...

P5 definitely fucked up with such a relatable first scenario (though replace American Football for Volleyball since that's what's big in my neck of the woods) followed by dealing with a art forger and a mafia member. The game never really recovers that sense of youth rebellion when the following scenarios are stuff kids likely won't deal with, nor will most folks.
 

Wanderer5

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
6,600
Somewhere.
Pretty good thread, and just really sad to see that this guy's view are appearing in the games. FYI, that trans scene in P3 also appears in the original, and makes it more direct actually.

 
OP
OP
ASaiyan

ASaiyan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,228
Its not just phobic shit either, what happens in P5 is completely analogous to its own things with women. Where it wants to act like its treating victims of sexual assault seriously, which is a noble thing, but then spends the rest of the game oogling Ann, one of the almost victims of a predatory male character portrayed as a villain. The signals are all over the place and its to the point where even just that can take you out of the game.
It's worth noting they've added way more "no homo" stuff about Kanji in Golden and the anime adaptations.

Also, it might be worth noting how Persona 5 has a first arc about how bad sexual harassment is and then proceeds to objectify Ann for jokes for the rest of the game.
The OP actually took several hours to compile, so I need to take a break and get some schoolwork done now, but I can definitely write this in later. Please feel free to quote me with some video/screenshot examples as well.


FYI, that trans scene in P3 also appears in the original, and makes it more direct actually.

I did not remember this. I'll update the OP.
 

Encephalon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
3,055
Japan
When most gay people defrnd kanji as closeted and most decriers are straight, maybe think about the ones actually being discriminated.

What is written is not what is shown

Just because the game backpedals, does not mean he wasnt clearly designed as a homosexual. Just as Rin not being trans doesnt mean theyre not still transphobic and transcoded.
Sorry, no. You don't get to suggest that there's some definitive gay sanctioned reading of the character. Many gay people first interpreting the scene were doing so from within a culture where gay marriage was a hot topic, and a plausible one. Where gay issues were at the forefront. Where gay people having families was understood to be a phenomenon even back in the 90s. Many of these people probably aren't fully aware of Japan's relative social conservativism or lack of awareness.

The fear that he might be something gay is something that Kanji conquers. The game doesn't packpedal. It just clarifies that "don't worry, he wasn't gay, he was just dealing with toxic masculinity." I think Weiss has hit the nail on the head here.
 

FiveSide

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,723
Important thread and I very much appreciate that this is being spotlighted and condemned in the strongest terms.

Very unfortunate as the man directed my favorite game of all time, Nocturne. However it appears that the game thankfully wasn't directly tainted by his bigotry as the modern Personas and now Catherine are.