Persona 5 Tactica Tries to Make Up for the Series’ Homophobia

I love Personality 5But over the years, Atlus’ stylish, pseudo-socially conscious RPG has grown on me. queer Personality fans know the show is suspenseful, and even the most passionate among us treat it like the fun uncle who claims to love everyone and still says something out of pocket every holiday. I thought Persona 5 TacticsThe tactical spin-off, which will launch on November 17, would follow all previous games and find a way to attack gay people for no reason. But after years of feeling like one of my favorite shows was trying to push me out, Tactics He opened the door for me, even if just for a moment.

We won’t get into major, overarching story spoilers as we explain how, but here’s a quick scene TacticsThe first part of requires some table setting. If you want absolutely no context, maybe you can minimize this tab and come back after finishing the first chapter.

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Persona 5 Tactics It opens with teenage superhero vigilantes the Phantom Thieves returning to the supernatural world called the Metaverse. This time, they face the cruel bride Marie, who has redesigned the entire town to make her dream wedding happen. There’s no need to get into the why and who questions here, because that would be a spoiler, but it serves to set the scene we’re here to talk about. It’s called “The Ideal Marriage” and you can find it in Café Leblanc’s Conversation menu after learning Marie’s plan.

At their base, the Phantom Thieves discuss Marie’s plan, and the conversation turns to the team’s own ideas about “dream weddings.” Ann excitedly explains that she can’t wait to wear a white wedding dress, and everything is so sweet. Finally, Ryuji turns to our mostly silent hero, the Joker, and playfully asks which of the Phantom Thieves he will marry.

I’ve been through a few phases here where expectations have been turned upside down, so take my hand, Phantom Thief, and let me guide you. When Ryuji asked the question, I expected my options to be limited to only the women in the room, as this would mirror the original. Personality 5‘s perspective on romance is extremely limited. These side games P5 save, i.e. like games Persona 5 Strikers Find ways to ask who your lover is in the first game so you can have some continuity.

But to my surprise Tactics I let everyone in the room have an option, including Ryuji, who I’ve referred to as Joker’s unrequited love since I first played. Personality 5 In 2017. My anxiety remained, though, as any dialogue option would give me the chance to suggest how my Joker felt a door instantly slam into my face. Personality Not only do games disavow characters’ possible eccentricities at every turn, they are often eager to turn any move towards it into a malicious joke.

I braced myself as I chose Ryuji. Tactics hitting me with a metaphorical backhand in the form of my future boyfriend jerking in the wrong direction… but it never came.

Joker and Ryuji are shown at a wedding reception.

Screenshot: Atlus/Kotaku

Instead, I was treated to a very sweet scene where Ryuji, wearing a smart white tuxedo, says he can’t believe the person of his dreams has been with him the whole time. This was a reference to one of the best interactions between Ryuji and Joker in OG Personality 5This is often pointed out by fans as a moment that hints at a level of romantic trust between the two. But here Tactics He also admitted that sparks have been flying between the two since they first met. Personality 5and I thought to myself it was time to wise up to this.

As Joker stops thinking about his dream wedding, he is brought back to the reality that, despite all these sparks, he is not dating Ryuji. Then the scene ended and the first thing I felt was a sense of relief before a wave of excitement washed over me.

Personality 5homophobia problem

Personality 5 It has always positioned itself as a story of standing up to oppressive forces, to stand up for the little man crushed under your boots. The Phantom Thieves use their supernatural powers to engage in small-scale battles with crooks, such as an abusive high school coach, and escalate until they reach a prominent politician. The game deals with power imbalances, class issues, and corrupt law enforcement, but queer identity has always been his blind spot. Even though he stumbles in defending the rights of abuse victims by subsequently subjecting the same people to the same violence, at least Personality 5 At some point in the 100+ hours it takes a standstill.

But when it comes to how identity is a marginalizing factor, Personality 5 He has always been willing to stay away from gay people, even pointing and laughing at them. Men, especially. Play original Personality 5 As a gay man It was an incredibly disheartening experience. not only did it not allow me to pursue a romantic path with any of my male friends, but it also bombarded me with assumptions about who the Joker, and therefore myself, was in the dialogue.

Ryuji is shown being harassed by two men.

Picture: Atlus/CloverWorks

On this, Personality 5Its only canonical treatment of gay men, which consists of two harassers attacking Ryuji in the middle of a crowded street, remains one of the lowest points in the series. British localization team stepped in for final results Persona 5 Royal We created a new version of these characters by making them eager transvestites eager to show Ryuji the secret instead of predators, but even that I can’t do it Personality 5 an inclusive game When the player is completely uninterested in telling a story about queer characters, even if they try to push him in that direction. Of course you can Tell a random shadow in an embedded battle menu that you like guysbut in terms of living as a gay teenager in supernatural Tokyo? Personality 5 I won’t let you.

It’s frustrating because I’d argue that the social connections between Joker and Ryuji, or Joker and his rival Goro Akechi, still enjoy some of the most romantic tension in the game, far more than most of the women the player can pursue. But actually it wasn’t a surprise at all Personality 5 Because he doesn’t care about his queer identity Personality It almost always is.

Personality 3 have weird transphobic jokes I’m curious to see it addressed. Persona 3 Reload. Personality 4 Most of them have interesting conversations about queer identity with party members Kanji Tatsumi and Naoto Shirogane, initially presented as possibly working through male attraction and gender fluidity respectively, only for the game to wave these conversations away, return to the status quo, and engaging in casual queerphobia along the road. Call out: Personality 2with a gay romantic interest in 1999. I wish your successors would follow the same path, but maybe they can improve?

Ryuji is shown leaning on Joker in Leblanc.

Screenshot: Atlus/Kotaku

Persona 5 Tactics The show that excludes gay people isn’t very successful, and it certainly doesn’t fix the fact that it’s made us the butt of the joke for almost 20 years. But perhaps this is a sign that the future is looking brighter for gays Personality fans in the future. Now, even if there aren’t any love stories out there, those of us who have played as the Joker missing Ryuji or Yusuke over the years (sorry Akechi lovers but he’s not here, RIP to you) have something. hand in hand to defeat headcanon claims.

I didn’t flirt with any of the women in any of these games because I was really committed to the self-insertion part. I now have at least one scene in the entire series where my Joker wants to kiss his Golden Retriever best friend. This makes me a little more hopeful that I’ll be playing no matter who it is. Personality 6 She can have her own boyfriend.P



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