I’ll be honest, I never encountered that fight or even heard of the controversy around it until well after playing both games, so at a certain point any opinion I have on the series comes from already loving the games for a while.
With that being said, I genuinely don’t know how much I hold one truly terrible part against the whole for any work. This isn’t excusing it, or forgiving it, but even appreciating how gross and awful it is I don’t know if I can say the entirety of everything else it does is therefor worthless or unenjoyable. I’m not going to be one of those people who have waves it off as some nonsense about her “losing her power” and that “he just smokes all the time” because that’s bullshit. It’s very, very clear what that implies to anyone with a brain.
At the same time, it’s one part of a much larger game, almost all of which doesn’t traffic in this particular kind of awful. I don’t think that it helps that the awful content is hidden, it’s there whether for the player to see not some hot coffee style buried in code that was never meant to see the light of day.
Lots of things have really problematic elements to them, and I’d be willing to bet everyone holds something dear that they will fully admit has a deeply wrong part to it. To me, Bayonetta doesn’t carry forward that message or that attitude for the majority of the time you play it, or even an appreciable amount. It is a fuck up that is colossal in terms of its message, but miniscule in terms of how much it occupies the whole.
Maybe that’s just me paving a road of excuses to something I enjoy, I’m sure some people will view it that way and there’s probably some truth to it. Bayonetta is a weird series with weird issues, and I make no excuses for just how disgusting that particular part of it is. I just can’t condemn the entire thing for that one issue, but I don’t disagree with others who can.
Sorry if that was rambling, it’s hard to spell out my thoughts on the matter.