If there is one thing that I’ve always disliked about the anime community, and the community around Japanese video games, it’s the right wing Japanophiles who’s main motivation for consuming such media is the escape from left wing American politics, or so they claim. So it should surprise nobody that they are back on their bullshit again, considering the recent news in gaming.
Trans and nonbinary characters, Japanese creators supporting the LGBT community. Their whole worldview is falling apart at the seems, and it’s very funny. But it’s also sad to think how these people will rob themselves of amazing media out of fear or hatred of the LGBT community.
It’s mostly due to right wing propaganda, while also being convinced that they don’t actually believe what they believe. It’s clear they don’t like people of other races (except Japanese people). It’s clear they don’t like the LGBT community. But they will convince themselves this isn’t true, because nobody wants to believe they are a hateful, bad person. So they will perform mental gymnastics to try to justify their bigoted viewpoints.
This is where the concept of “wokeness” comes from. It’s an attempt to justify their own biases by blaming creators (and sometimes localizers) for ruining media by forcefully inserting diversity in an attempt to appeal to a crowd that has very little care for storytelling outside of validating them with inclusions of groups they fall into.
It’s a fundamentally flawed and stupid way of thinking of media. Outside of cultural pieces, there is not much effort that goes into writing characters of diverse backgrounds. You can just make a character Black, or Asian, and not really think much of it. You can just make a character LGBT. The idea that brain power or effort is being wasted on minorities, when it could have gone to storytelling, makes absolutely no sense. It doesn’t take much brain power at all. They also never apply this standard to cishet white characters. Why do minorities take so much brain power to create but not cishet white people? Why don’t we complain about forced hegemony?
Unfortunately, I don’t have the power to convince these people of their terrible ideas. They are anti-fact, anti-reality, and anti-logic. That doesn’t mean I can’t pick apart their ways of thinking and point out that everything they’ve ever believed is a lie. The idea that Japan is the anti-political (or right wing) wonderland is obviously bullshit. It doesn’t take much to realize that progressive ideas have existed in Japanese media (including otaku media) for ages. They will probably default to some excuse like how the Japanese government is conservative (even though governments tend to be more conservative than their constituents), or how Japan doesn’t care about wokeness because of nudity and other problematic ideas existing in otaku media (ignoring that problematic stuff in media exists everywhere).
But the truth is, just like every other country, there will be conservative and progressive people. And often, progressive ideas are spread in media, such as anime and video games. If anything, the country being conservative is why progressive ideas are so prevalent in media. It’s to spread new ideas, or to criticize the society they live in. To put in simply, Japanese media has always been “woke”. I will be talking about video games in this post since recent events make it more relevant to talk about.
A very famous example of wokeness in video games is the classic Final Fantasy VII. You follow a group of eco-terrorists trying to fight against an oppressive corporation set on destroying the planet for its benefit. Not only are it’s themes anti-capitalist and pro environmentalist (both progressive ideas), the game also has a black party member, Barret. He’s a great character too. He cares for his daughter and strongly believes in his convictions.
I know what the Japanophiles are going to say. He isn’t forced diversity because writers back then didn’t care about diversity, therefore he wasn’t forced. Since a lot of these anti-SJWs are young, what’s more likely is that since this came before their time, they simply weren’t around to complain about it. Similar to how people who claim to not be racist and just think the BLM movement of today is going “too far” compared to the Civil Rights movement from MLK, even though it’s obvious they wouldn’t have supported the Civil Rights movement, considering they were often criticized for going too far.
JRPGs as a whole have often represented the spirit of progressivism, the idea of pushing forward towards a better future, and breaking free from authoritarian control. The Tales of series is widely known for these ideas, while also containing themes of people from different backgrounds coming together to live in harmony.
The Trails series also deals with heavy themes, such as war and imperialism, but stresses the importance of people coming together to deal with the problems society faces. It’s also had it’s fair share of racially diverse characters, as well as a beloved bisexual character in Olivier.
The Xenoblade series (and Xeno series as a whole) has had a major overarching theme of overcoming nihilism, firmly stating it’s belief that people can come together and make the world better, while also having themes of people claiming their own autonomy. Xenoblade is also a series that is becoming more diverse, which is something I will get into later.
While not perfect, Persona has had it’s share of LGBT characters, while also spreading progressive ideas. Persona 5 is all about thinking for yourself and moving past the status quo.
I couldn’t even begin to describe every Japanese game series with progressive ideas. There are famous example from games I haven’t even played. This includes games such as Metal Gear, No More Heroes, and Yakuza.
So let’s get into some more modern examples of wokeness, ones that have caused stupid drama from reactionaries.
A good example would be Nier Automata. The original Nier already had LGBT characters. Emil is gay. Kaine is intersex. Of course, a lot of people playing Automata were new to the series, so the inclusion of a minor LGBT character came as a surprise and didn’t sit right with them. Operator 6O in one scene complains that she was rejected when asking out another female android. A completely innocuous scene, yet that somehow got these losers mad. I guess when your main motivation for playing the game was seeing 2B’s ass, it makes sense that they would ignore all the progressive messaging of the game, which themes such as feminism or communism. Of course, they are too dumb to pick up on these themes, so they only realize it’s woke when an LGBT character exists.
Another recent example is AI: The Somnium Files. There are multiple LGBT characters in the game, including a bi, gay, and trans character. In one scene, Mizuki is asked about gay people. She responds saying that she respects the LGBT community. This sparked massive backlash from Japanophiles insisting it was inserted into the game by SJW localizers. Of course this was proven to be false, as it was written in the Japanese as well, causing some very funny cognitive dissonance in these weirdos. For once, their toxic worldview was being questioned. A Japanese writer spoke positively, with no ambiguity, of the LGBT community.
Of course, the way they coped with this news is the assertion that the west is pushing their ideas onto the Japan. So now we gotta deal with stupid shit like the idea that LGBT stuff is western imperialism and that we are somehow disrespecting Japanese culture. The irony is, since Japanese media has always been woke, the fact that they are ignoring progressive ideas and diversity being in Japanese media for such a long time, they are actually the ones disrespecting Japanese culture.
This brings me to the past few weeks. Damn has it been funny watching these losers cope, seethe, and mald.
Uchikoshi, the writer behind the Somnium Files doubled down in his sequel game, AI: The Somnium Files – Nirvana Initiative. In one scene, Ryuki asks a joke about the last man on earth receiving a knock on the door. The answer was that the person knocking was a woman. But Tama, his AI artificial eyeball, responds that the actual answer is LGBTQ+, insisting there are more than just men and women in the world. Mizuki also doubles down in this game, going on a rant about people who use their power to oppress minorities. She states she will beat up anyone who dares to oppress people based on their race, religion, disability, or if they are a part of the LGBT community. You go girl!
It’s quite clear what Uchikoshi’s views are on the subject. Loudly and boldly in this games, it’s clear he supports the LGBT community, and likely minorities as a whole. This enraged angry gamers, as they accused him of being woke and forcing SJW politics into his media. He’s forcing an LGBT message down people’s throat. This is a common talking point with these people. Of course, media as a whole has largely pushed political ideas down the audience’s throat. But they only realize this when it comes to race, gender, or sexual orientation.
What this shows is that they are too stupid to understand the messages of media they watch. “It’s not political, it just has political themes. It’s not trying to push the message down your throat”. But there is basically no difference between between political themes, and pushing politics down your throat. They only understand “politics” as the existence of minorities, so it’s only pushing politics if it includes or speaks positively of minorities. I guess “political themes” just means it exists in some vacuum and ultimately has no meaning. This is, of course, and very stupid way to look at art, and shows a complete lack of intellectual thought to realize what messages exist in art.
Now, this all seems hilarious, but it gets even better. Uchikoshi tripled down on his English Twitter. He’s been spreading tidbits of info about the games, including that one of the minor characters in the game was nonbinary. This lead to weirdos in the replies whining about SJW politics and how nonbinary people don’t exist. Uchikoshi, being the based writer that he is, actually responded to some of them, with even more outward support towards the LGBT community. You can see his thoughts in more depth here
This had lead to some hilarious responses, including some weirdo who thinks Uchikoshi isn’t actually Japanese, because Japanese people could never be or support LGBT. Instead, he’s actually a teenage girl from California. Uchikoshi even rolled with this joke.
If this was it, I wouldn’t be so smug at the prospect of Japanophiles losing their minds.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3 came out recently, and one of it’s characters, Juniper, is nonbinary. Characters in the game refer to Juniper with they/them pronouns. Juniper is even referred to as nonbinary by the English voice actor, who is also nonbinary (great job with proper casting). This threw Japanophiles into a frenzy. Some said it was inserted into the localization. Others insisted they were not nonbinary, but ambiguous in gender. I don’t know guys, I think if a game goes out of it’s way to do everything it can to obscure a character’s gender, I think that character is nonbinary.
While these losers mald, the LGBT community was gifted a badass nonbinary cat person who can rail grind.
Stupid drama has been par for the course with Xenoblade, with many insisting the game was censored because the characters designs aren’t as risqué compared to Xenoblade 2. This seems like nonsense to me. Each Xenoblade game has a different setting and aesthetic. While I think the designs of 2 suited the game well, the designs for 3 also suit it’s setting well.
For people who seem to love respecting Japanese creators’ visions, they certainly don’t seem to respect them when the games they consume aren’t sufficiently horny for them. It’s obvious what they really mean is respect problematic ideas in games. While I’m not one for insisting every instance of fanservice is morally bad, it can be true that sexualization can be implemented in ways that are problematic. Unfortunately, this is exactly what they want. Sexual assault, extreme levels of horniness, degrading women and girls, and lolicon. That’s what they care about, often times more than anything else in life (not joking). Japanophiles are seriously sad people.
It sucks that the Xenoblade community has people like this, considering the very progressive themes of the series. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is even more overt with it’s political messaging. Japanophiles would have an aneurism if they weren’t too stupid to realize how much socialist messaging exists in the game. Xenoblade Chronicles 3 is also extremely diverse, even compared to past games. One of the main party members is black, and another brown. There are multiple other black characters in the game, including a wide variety of NPCs. The voice cast also has a decent variety of POC, including for some of the game’s most major characters. This game is an anti-SJW’s worst nightmare.
In case you thought I was done here, nope. I got one more example of news that made Japanophiles mald.
Guilty Gear Strive at EVO was a massive success. Umisho, a trans Guilty Gear player, won the event. During the event, Bridget was announced for Guilty Gear. This character is historically known for being an icon for the transphobic “trap” meme. So when she came out as a trans women in the game, this caused a huge meltdown among transphobes and 4channers.
Of course they had to make excuses. They said her coming out as trans was a bad ending. It was inserted by localizers. She was groomed into being trans. All of this is complete bullshit. While the circumstances of her backstory aren’t the greatest, considering the time it was made and that it was probably bullshitted to begin with, the idea of a character coming to terms with their own gender identity over the course of many years is something that resonates with many trans people. This is why so many trans people were pleased with how her transition turned out. It also reflects a growing empathy towards trans people among creators. For people who talk about respecting creators, they clearly don’t respect creators choosing how they want their characters to grow over the course of their games.
As you could probably tell, it’s been a rough few weeks for Japanophiles. It’s wild to me how people will rob themselves of of amazing murder mysteries and epic adventures all because they hate minorities. These people make their lives miserable for no gain whatsoever. It’s sad really. But, the recent news is good for normal people. Japanese media is becoming more empathetic, more progressive, and more diverse. This is a great sign that our society is moving in the right direction. We can expect this trend to continue, which also means that alt right chuds are going to be coping and seething with much more frequency and loudness. It will be very funny. But hopefully this shift will also encourage those growing up to also be more empathetic, celebrate diversity, and hopefully approach media with at least some degree of intellectualism, something anti-SJWs have rejected as a core tenet of their being.
“Wokeness” in Japanese games is here to stay. It’s always been there, and will continue to be there, with likely much higher frequency. If you truly care about appreciating and engaging with media, either adapt your way of thinking to the times, or forever wallow in pity as you cope and seethe that you’ll never be able to enjoy Japanese games.