What’s Up PlayStation Nation,
Is the stigma justified or unjustly implied?
JRPGS, The love of a devout community and the misunderstood child of those on the outside that don’t fully understand the appeal of the genre. First, let’s understand what exactly is a JRPG? The long short of it would be that at its base an RPG (Role-Playing Game) with grinding, leveling, and going on an epic quest with a decidedly Japanese twist, whether it is mild or to an exaggerated extreme.
The Japanese are a very mysterious yet open-minded culture and with that openness on some of the aspects that society saw as taboo, it is immediately seen as weird and off putting when that may just be used as a small plot device. So let’s look at some past games that have drawn stigma to the genre based on one scene or event within the game. The Persona series has recently come under the ire of ridicule due to one of the characters in Persona 4 cross-dressing. Now to the fans of the game we understand why this is represented because of the character’s background of a person that is putting up a front of a tough and brash person, but he is really a soft-hearted guy with a sensitive side, a side of him that he can’t openly express to friends or family due to how people may view him from that point on. What happens is that his friends support him and ask him to open up and not hide his feelings.
Now with my last example, it was extremely lite. Now let’s look at a game like Omega Quintet, a game built around the fandom of idol stars in japan. Now with this game, its focus is mainly on girls and their ever-evolving relationship as a group and with their manager, literally the only guy within the group, and let’s just say things can get extremely. Weird considering the age of some of the characters and how they are represented within the game with form fitting dresses that accentuate things. Now from the outside looking in you could say this is a game for people who like to look at things within the dark web (and if you don’t know what the dark web is, you don’t want to know and you don’t need to go.) and have some illicit fantasies of under the age of consent individuals. Now with that in the spotlight, it’s quite easy to just overlook the game and never think twice about it, but you know what they say by judging a book by its cover and judging this game by the case won’t tell you the whole story of how these girls come together through adversity, whether through fighting amongst each other over the affection of their manager, personal conflicts between different mindsets, or just vying for the position as the lead idol, all this on top of a unique battle system and unique backstory.
So do I personally think that the stigma is justified? Both Yes and No, Yes. Can certain tones be off-putting to the general consensus, most definitely, but is that a reason to apply the stigma across the whole gambit of the genre, no. Just like any form of entertainment there are things that people will not be comfortable with but just because one particular genre in a media does it doesn’t mean that the whole genre does. Everything doesn’t need to be politically correct and everything doesn’t need to fit a certain stereotype. Sometimes giving something outside the norm gives a person a chance to broaden their gaming horizons. All I can say is, don’t let stigmas affect your judgment on something you may end up liking and not even know it.