Catherine - Is love over?

#21

@WeedLordVegeta made a very good point about catherine:

“I think you can do awful character studies without demonizing the marginalized”

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#22

A large portion of the justifications have been “well he’s an asshole character so he’s naturally going to react like this”. Maybe writers shouldn’t be putting trans characters in situations where they’re guaranteed to face the same transphobia we’ve seen time and time again?

Why are gamers so eager to go to bat for bad sociopolitical content in Japanese games

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#23

Because gamers are bad

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#24

That why we need to keep pushing them or at least let them know.

#25

Atlus is a company mainly run by homophobes and it’s become really obvious lately because they just keep doubling down on terrible decisions after a decade of people complaining about the Persona games, so it’s REALLY hard for me to bother defending them anymore, even if P4 was probably one of the most influential games I ever played.

When someone shows you who they really are, sometimes it’s best to just believe them. As long as Team Persona is headed by the same people, things will never change and us silly queers just have to put up with playing what should be great games that have odd or constant moments that remind us the greater cultural worldview hates us or sees us as oddities.

You can easily argue Persona 5’s whole politically rebellious message is horseshit because it includes a fucking gay panic scene for a cheap laugh and still refuses to even entertain the idea of queer characters in the main cast. We’re actually going backwards from Persona 2, who’s portrayal of a major gay character was messy at best and offensive at worst. At least they were there and had a significant role beyond “LOL GAY” or another bloody scene of people being queerphobic dicks or undermining their gender or sexual identity.

And don’t even get me started on the undercurrent of misogyny in these games, especially with Catherine.

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#26

I would really like to say this Catherine news is not the least surprising thing I have ever heard but alas it’s ATLUS

I’m sure this will all be “More complicated than that!” and will “Do some interesting things later on that other games just aren’t doing!” but damn if I am just not as done as I can be with this shit

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#27

Yeah, this remaster was kinda something they didn’t really need to do other than pass the time till they have something to say for Project fantasy. Even that they could had made something else for that team to do.

#28

Just letting you know this shit is seeing some waves of disgust through the competitive Catherine scene, a scene that largely did not care about the story. A few, myself included, have already quit the Catherine competitive scene due to the game doubling down on its transphobia.

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#29

Given the following that these games have in the progressive games scene, this feels like it’s going to be a big litmus test. The pessimist in me thinks there’s going to be a lot of folks letting it slide, or sidestepping discussion, or pulling out the tired “yeah it’s bad but it’s my problematic fave” line, and I’ll have no patience for any of it.

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#30

New endings have already been confirmed and a couple are presumably for Rin, so I’m personally gonna wait for spoilers when it comes out in Japan before passing judgment, though I don’t think it’s unfair for y’all to not give it that much.
Also, everyone seems to be jumping to the conclusion that she’s trans, but I was under the impression that she might be intersex instead. Which would still be bad if mishandled, of course, and doesn’t at all change @slimesiren’s estimate of it going wrong…

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#31

Okay, this is the only valid “Maybe she’s not trans!” take I’ve seen today, but, as you said, it doesn’t make it any better.

#32

Atlus’ track record makes it hard to be optimistic that trans and queer issues will be handled well. However, the original Catherine had a lot to say about becoming an adult and putting away childish ideas and world views. Hopefully the developers have been treated to a bit of introspection on this as well. I’d like to see Vincent and Toby taken to task for their shitty behavior, but I doubt we’re going to see that.

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#33

Interesting piece on Japan’s views on identity and where it going.
https://www.animefeminist.com/feature-catherine-trans-identities-representation-japan/

This really gets to where I wanted to know on the subject since I had a hard time finding solid info on it.

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#34

There’s a new Catherine trailer and I am already too angry to watch it.

How transphobic is it from 1 being not at all and 10 being off the charts aka the last trailer

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#35

That’s… hard to say? I don’t remember how much of the dialog being used was already there and in reference to something else, but there are quotes about “Opening up to stuff I’ve never even thought about before” and “A new set of values.” There’s a shot on new Catherine’s body with her skirt lifted, and it ends with new Catherine landing groin first on Vincent’s face anime style and him kind of having a surprised expression when she climbs down. There’s also stuff about this being a nightmare, but in all fairness that is what the game is about in general.

So how you choose to read into those particular choices is going to depend, but there’s no moment where someone starts screaming in terror like last time.

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#36

Catherine is basically Are The Straights Okay?: The Video Game

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#37

So… Full Body came out in Japan and the transphobia is worse than in the original. You might have heard about it over the last 36ish hours, but I want to try and compile the whole story best I can.

Extreme CW: Transphobia for the rest of this post

Catherine Full Body was released on the 14th in Japan. Considering the original had some terrible treatment of the transgender character Erica and how the new romanceable character (Rin) was revealed through trans panic tropes, people were watching this pretty closely to see just how bad it would be.

So here is the fucking scoop, complete with transphobia counter (or TC for short):

  • -Rin’s story can be boiled down to "Vincent (the MC) finds out she is trans by seeing her naked (with view of her penis) and freaks out (TC:1). During said freak out, Vincent instinctively smacks her hand away(¹) and she runs away. He spends the rest of the game trying to track her down.

  • -Rin turns out to be an alien which is why she has a penis. Because transgender folk are apparently less weird to have in this game than aliens (TC:2).

  • -Rin ends up coming out later that she identifies as male and just is crossdressing (TC:3).

  • -In one ending, a male character hooking up with another woman of Rin’s alien species is played for laughs (TC:4)

  • -Erica, who is a transgender woman from the original game, is, from what I’ve read, to still suffer from the same transphobia as the original game (TC:5), except for one minor bit removed that had no baring on the plot. Which sucks, cause she is honestly the only character worth caring about in the original.

  • -In the new Catherine ending, Erica is shown having not transitioned. (TC:6) Catherine goes back in time to meet Vincent in high school (which has a pre-transition Erica due to her being a high school friend of Vincent’s), but during their wedding (which takes place around the same time as the rest of the game, just in an altered timeline), Erica is shown still having not transitioned. This is portrayed as the best ending for the Catherine route. So the best ending of that route means stopping a transgender woman from transitioning in the process (TC:7). And it’s not like she is a different person because alternate dimensions or something: one of her only two lines of dialogue in the ending hints that she is trans, but closeted. (TC:8)

(Also a note on that last one: originally it was framed by those who were first posting about it as Catherine going back in time to give everyone a better life, which, given that results in Erica being closeted, is, needless to say, all kinds of fucked up. This has been clarified as a translation issue: Catherine went back in time to make Catherine and Vincent’s lives better, not everyone in the game. So instead of the game directly saying that transgender people are better off closetted and not transitioning, the game is just implying it by putting her closetted in the quote unquote good ending where it makes a point to show everyone being happy with their lives, with her being the lone person who is changed (everyone else is wearing the same clothes for fuck sake).

So it basically it’s just hateful, bigoted dogshit rather than a full on hate crime)

The pushback against Full Body was pretty widespread from the places you’d expect… and so was the harassment that followed from The Gamers™. But, for the most part, people are speaking out against it, thankfully.

One example that I respect the living hell out of is Dacidbro quitting Competitive Catherine. For those who don’t follow the scene, Dacidbro is the reason that game is taken (quasi) seriously and is still played at EVO every year. It’s not a stretch of the imagination to say that Dacidbro is the reason the multiplayer for the game got any attention in Full Body, if not one of the reasons why this remake was greenlit to begin with.

For years, he was THE best player in the world and, mere hours before this all came to light, was excitedly talking about the new game and how it will change the scene. But once everything came to light, he posted this fantastic response:

In this wake, there have been a number of other high profile Catherine players boycotting Full Body as well.

That’s about the long and short of it as I can gather. If there is something else to add, please do so below or shoot me a PM.

Currently there is no word from Sega, Sammy, or Atlus, English or Japanese.

(¹) Here is the scene in gif form

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#38

Never played any game from Atlus so I thought this was an informative thread.
https://www.resetera.com/threads/the-phobic-crimes-of-katsura-hashino-director-producer-atlus.100145/

Really want to see how Sega responds to this. How can it be that this is allowed to be developed without anyone saying hey, what the fuck.

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#39

Yeah don’t ever buy a game from Team Persona ever again. I don’t care how amazing their art direction is. The person in charge of their studio is a queerphobic bigot and he’s only gotten worse as time has gone by.

Persona 6, when it comes out in like a decade, is going to be a fucking trashfire after seeing this guy take his most transphobic game and somehow making it even more disgusting.

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#40

Basically this whole comment is in response to the new spoilers, which are quite bad:

A reaction I keep hearing on the Megaten subreddit is that “oh, it’s just set before Erica transitioned, so it’s totally innocent, you SJW over-reactors” (and occasionally some of them insert long bizarre tangent about postmodernism here). “You just don’t read Japanese and misunderstood.”

But I still haven’t heard any explanation why this ending would be set in a different time than the main game or why they would show Erica this way. Like why even do this? Other than the implication that everything is just better this way, it makes no sense. If this is the Golden Ending, why isn’t Erica given her Golden Ending? I don’t see a good or innocent way to read this.

So being cis myself I don’t get to decide what is good or the right way to present this kind of story, but I’m not getting positive vibes from trans or queer friends of mine. Atlus really hasn’t given themselves the benefit of the doubt here, and they’ve said nothing in their own defense.

I don’t even want an “excuse” anymore out of Atlus to forgive this. I don’t want to play Catherine’s PS4 version, cause I don’t think I could justify it to myself, and I don’t even want to.

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