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155 comments

  • rxb - March 19, 2014 8:49 a.m.

    Being over 30 and watching a lot of anime, I totally agree with Henry. Its embarrassing and unnecessary in a lot of situations. Maybe I've just grown up a bit. I remember how funny I thought the wobbly boobs were in Dead or Alive 15 years ago. Ive no problem with sexy characters but making everyone over sexualised doesn't really add any thing in my opinion. I think this is different from the South Park case too. People love South Park for the offensive crass humour. Loving JRPGs, anime and manga is normally an appreciation of gameplay, stories, artwork or creativity.
  • TurnBased - March 19, 2014 8:15 p.m.

    You're forgetting the fact that people appreciate the fan service in Senran Kagura, Demon Gaze etc as much as the games themselves. South Park was made to be offensive and piss people off. In the same way, games like Senran Kagura and Akibas Strip were made with fan service from the ground up.
  • ObliqueZombie - March 18, 2014 12:24 p.m.

    Thank you, Henry, I'm very glad someone else to enjoys Japanese games to the extent I do feels the same way. It's literally ruining anime and games alike... mangas I'm not sure, because all the one's I've read have little-to-none, and if any nudity is present it's to reinforce the "fresh out of college" atmosphere, similar to probably some indie movies or Game or Thrones or whatever. It's in their to be adult, "mature," and most times progress the story. I digress... it's one reason I canNOT get into Disgea at all. It's simple fan service, and quite honestly repulsive. Especially with how young they look. But ah well... I guess I can always revert to Final Fantasy, Tales, and SMT/Persona when it all comes down to it. God knows I haven't played even half of any of those titles. If the little tikes with great ideas feel the need to smother said ideas with sex, let them. If the game/show/book proves good enough that I hear or read about it enough, I'll sure as hell give it a shot regardless.
  • TurnBased - March 18, 2014 7:09 p.m.

    Disgaea? There was fan service? I've played through halfway of part 1 and finished part 3, where exactly was the fan service?
  • ObliqueZombie - March 19, 2014 6:15 a.m.

    The outfits could be considered fanservice at times (sorta like Kill la Kill--explain it all you want, 80% of your skill is showing for no reason), but it's one of the "Stage Clear" artworks. Maybe it's D2, I'm not sure.
  • derpinainreallife - March 18, 2014 2:11 a.m.

    I find it funny that people are crying "censorship" over this. Please, take a look at Myriam Webster: censorship by its nature is imposed by a regulatory body. The Stick of Truth being censored by Ubisoft counts, as that is a company regulating what they believe players should and should not see. A fellow JRPG fan pointing out that the aesthetic choices of the genre are uncomfortable and bothersome? Not so much. I quite appreciate this article. It points out a lot of the issues I've had with the JRPG genre that've driven me away from it over the years. I don't think some government agency should come down on developers for making this content, that it should be banned for being too risque, or anything like that. I think it's gross, so I talk with my dollar and don't buy it. I also express my opinion about it as I see fit, as Henry has done here. That's part of the free market, free speech structure that people seem to be advocating here, but conveniently forgetting that the other side gets their fair share too. Someone saying something critical about something you like isn't censorship. It's kind of the opposite of that, actually.
  • DarthEnderX - March 17, 2014 8:48 p.m.

    But...I like boobies...and I like games with things I like in them.
  • supergiraffe - March 17, 2014 2:15 p.m.

    And here we see a better argument against the article then just about anyone below has managed.
  • Grif - March 17, 2014 2:17 p.m.

    Hahaha
  • supergiraffe - March 17, 2014 2:47 p.m.

    Well this comment doesn't make sense anymore.
  • profile0000 - March 17, 2014 8:41 a.m.

    This is a well written piece, Henry. I have to say I do agree with a lot of it, but I personally think you come off a little bit hard at times. You mention it might be a cultural phenomenon, and I think you might be right. Culturally speaking, it seems Japan is much more accepting/desensitized to the "racy fanservice," given how many mainstream games over there have that kind of material in it. Great JRPG game design and nearly under-aged fanservice probably go hand in hand, simply because that is how it ended up over the years. I really think it's a case of taking the good with the bad: If you want the unique, excellent Japanese RPG design, you will have to put up with their cultural aspects or obsessions. I wouldn't be surprised if many Japanese think the same way about Western games as we think about Japanese games. For instance, maybe a lot of Japanese gamers want to show their friends how action-packed Gears of War is, how graphically impressive Ryse is, or how fun GTA V can be, but they struggle when their friends point out how absurdly violent and gory the games are. Not that Japanese games aren't ever absurdly violent, but blood and gore is much more common in American or European games than Japanese games. In summation, I think this is just one of those things you just have to deal with. I'm with you, Henry, in that trying to recommend Dragon's Crown or Killer is Dead can be tough, but frankly I don't think we really have any other choice but to put up with it. As for whether or not the blatant fanservice pushes people away from the genre, however, I haven't a clue. It does make me wonder if that really is the case, though.
  • Kurbster - March 17, 2014 9:32 a.m.

    It's not the case that fanservice hurts sales. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The majority of games that use fanservice as a selling point is niche as fuck. Censoring those games to make them more "American friendly" destroyed sales, such as with Megan Souls, and soon-to-be Monster Monpiece....because now you angered the majority of customers who even bothered to look forward to such games. If change is warranted, it should be advocated for by the primary Japanese audience, not by some overly sensitive American blowhard participating in yellow journalism.
  • profile0000 - March 17, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    While that seems plausible, you are making the assumption that the reason consumers purchase games such as Mugen Souls is for the fanservice. Thus, censoring them essentially removes the incentive fans of the game had to purchase said game. Honestly, I don't think that's entirely true for Mugen Souls, and that certainly isn't the case for other games such as Dragon's Crown, where consumers with no interest in the fanservice-y bits of the game (i.e. Henry and myself) purchased a copy because of other reasons (namely, gameplay). I agree with your idea that any warranted change should be advocated for by the primary audience, however, it's foolish to assume the primary audience are those who are in it for fanservice. It is just as likely that fans who want JRPG gameplay were the intended target of Mugen Souls. If the appeal of a product is a hybrid between fanservice and, say, RPG gameplay, then censoring or simplifying one appeal in order to draw in more fans of the other makes sense. My guess is that NIS America believed losing some sales from censored fanservice was worth the potential gain in sales from RPG fans who don't want all the moe content in their game. As it turns out, Mugen Souls ended up not being "good" enough to appeal to the JRPG players, and, as you claim, too censored to appeal to those who want fanservice. That's why it tanked: neither party seemed to like it, not just because it was censored. Also, Henry's article is far from yellow journalism. He very clearly makes a point, argues it, backs it up with evidence, and addresses the counterargument. If it were yellow journalism, the article would be about 200 words of only his camp, have no evidence, and the title would be much more flame-bait optimized and probably have an exclamation point.
  • Kurbster - March 17, 2014 1:26 p.m.

    Censorship is never OK. In fact, it always bites you in the ass at the end. http://glasgowsexworker.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/history-lesson-what-happened-when-canada-enacted-a-feminist-anti-porn-law/ Funny thing is that NISA is going to do the same thing again with Mugen Souls Z. What's the definition of insanity again? Calling censorship a part of localization is never a valid excuse to offer a lesser experience to its fans, regardless of how minimal it is. Regardless, the industry needs to grow their balls back. Trying to cater to everyone are making games shit for everyone.
  • profile0000 - March 17, 2014 2:49 p.m.

    What may be a lesser experience to some fans may be a more appropriate experience to others. Again, you cannot make the assumption that the entire fan-base is uniform. Never assume. Also, look at the situation from a business standpoint. Expanding a consumer base is a necessary business practice for video game publishers. Angering a core consumer base who will buy the product regardless while potentially gaining more sales from a relatively untouched market is a common business strategy. Sure, people get angry, but more profit means more potential later on. "Trying to cater to everyone," may make you feel like the games are worse, but it's a calculated risk publishers take in order to bring in more capital. If you want "balls," then look to indie developers that aren't in it to maximize profit. Having "balls" doesn't raise the value of Nippon Ichi Software's shares on JASDAQ.
  • TurnBased - March 17, 2014 7 p.m.

    Yeah, censor Bravely Default, Mugen Souls, Monster Monpiece but boy, do people lose their minds when South Park: The Stick of Truth gets censored...
  • TurnBased - March 16, 2014 7:42 p.m.

    Wow, on one side, we have South Park: The Stick of Truth. It's praised for being "what it is" and that it should not be censored. Then we have articles like this that call out games like Senran Kagura and Neptunia for being "what they are". Hypocrites. Also, if you actually took the time to play Code of Princess then you should know that the games artist is female and that characters are constantly poking fun at Princess Solange's outfit. Is this still GamesRadar or FOX News?
  • Jacko415 - March 16, 2014 11 p.m.

    Different writers have different opinions. Just because they write for the same website in no way means that have to think a like.
  • ObliqueZombie - March 18, 2014 12:30 p.m.

    Did you read the article? He's talking about it ruining established franchises, and smothering budding franchises alike. And again, if you like this stuff (as Henry said) why should you care and keep playing what you want, friend. South Park is being praised for being a PARODY as well as a fun game, not because it implies or shows sexual scenes as "fan service". The whole of South Park makes fun of everything in the world, including itself, and this game is no different. Sexual pandering in anime/games/manga/whatever is just fine if it makes fun of itself or advances the plot, but not when it takes a character you love and needlessly puts them in a bikini and make the strings "accidentally fall off". That's the argument here. Can you imagine Gundam, and then all of a sudden an explosion rips off some chick's clothes in the cockpit, yet she's unharmed and the Gundam still in functional condition? It would be ludicrous, and infuriating. (For someone like me.)
  • TurnBased - March 18, 2014 7:36 p.m.

    I'm saying that the argument that South Park should not be censored because "it is what it is" should be applicable to JRPGs as well. Personally, I detest the show and find it far more offensive than any fan service in games. But I respect that the show has its audience and so do these types of games, no matter how niche they may be. I care because I'm starting to see more and more of these types of articles in gaming blogs and sites. It's already nothing short of a miracle that companies like NIS and XSeed are able to bring these titles stateside and I just hope articles like these don't discourage them.

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