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    Atlus Thread: Soul hacking since 1997
    • No, its more complicated than that. This is just Resetera aka Neo-Neogaf blowing shit out of proportion. I was turned off by it when I originally heard about it, but then I got the complete spoilers. The way I originally heard it explained, aka how Resetera wants you to hear it, was Catherine goes back in time to give everyone a better life and this results in Eric never transitioning and becoming Erica. So the full details of it are actually Vincent tries to get back together with Catherine and says he wishes she had been his highschool sweetheart instead of Katherine. Catherine flexes her demon powers and its unclear if its an alternate reality or literally going back in time, but she goes back to Vincent's high school days and starts dating him then. She gave no shits about making anyone else's life better she just wanted Vincent to be hers, but her being there back then apparently affected Vincent's friends enough that Erica is still Eric, but a line from Eric to Toby implies they're still going to transition.
    • I'm seeing purported statements from Japanese trans people that it's quite transphobic.

      My inclination is to assume the transphobia is probably there. Atlus has, since at least Persona 4, shown itself to be real bad at handling trans characters* (In P4 they were either fairly actively transphobic in their plot or they weren't intending malice but didn't do any research and ended up slamming right into some pretty harmful ideas and endorsing them) and the first Catherine was already pretty controversial for how it portrayed a trans character.

      My inclination to suspect the explanations that make it not transphobic are coloured a bit by some recent events in anime, specifically Zombieland Saga, where one character was pretty explicitly stated to be trans only to have a whole bunch of people insist that they totally spoke Japanese and that they weren't trans in the original and it was just SJWs altering the translation to get points, or whatever. Turns out, no, they're trans in Japanese as well. I could very easily see the same thing happening here.

      *Lala Escargot is definitely a step forward, but is also a fairly minor character to P5.

      May those who accept their fate be granted happiness;

      Those who defy it, glory!

      The post was edited 2 times, last by John ().

    • John wrote:

      I'm seeing purported statements from Japanese trans people that it's quite transphobic.

      My inclination is to assume the transphobia is probably there. Atlus has, since at least Persona 4, shown itself to be real bad at handling trans characters* (In P4 they were either fairly actively transphobic in their plot or they weren't intending malice but didn't do any research and ended up slamming right into some pretty harmful ideas and endorsing them) and the first Catherine was already pretty controversial for how it portrayed a trans character.

      My inclination to suspect the explanations that make it not transphobic are coloured a bit by some recent events in anime, specifically Zombieland Saga, where one character was pretty explicitly stated to be trans only to have a whole bunch of people insist that they totally spoke Japanese and that they weren't trans in the original and it was just SJWs altering the translation to get points, or whatever. Turns out, no, they're trans in Japanese as well. I could very easily see the same thing happening here.

      *Lala Escargot is definitely a step forward, but is also a fairly minor character to P5.
      In Persona 4 Kanji was the one that they wussed out on their story for sure. Like his subconscious was yelling at him about oiled up sweaty dudes and wanting to see them naked, and then suddenly no its not about that at all. Naoto on the other hand I can see not being about being trans in the first place maybe. There's wiggle room on her. Its easy to see it being about being trans but these days I just see it as her wanting to fit her image of the perfect detective and that image being male, and her eventually accepting she's a woman and that doesn't stop her from being a great detective.

      The first Catherine other than dead naming the character I don't remember being very controversial. Erica was an upbeat normal woman that was a pleasant high school friend of Vincent's. Vincent and his friends knew she was trans and still treated her like a normal member of their circle of friends. I thought she was a nice enough depiction.

      The stuff with Zombieland Saga doesn't have to do with this. Like, I don't see how that logic would apply in this situation. The big assumption everyone was jumping to was "The happy ending achieved by time travel makes this character not trans anymore!" When the reality is a character sending themselves back 14 years into the past into Vincent's group of friends a decade before that person transitioned seems to have butterfly effect delayed them transitioning for a little while. Because there was the implication Erica only transitioned in the last few years.

      | | Charlie "Angel" Duval | The Caretaker
      Sprites by Lady Knives

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Abyss Master: Removed a part that included a slur word ().

    • Dybia wrote:

      John wrote:

      I'm seeing purported statements from Japanese trans people that it's quite transphobic.

      My inclination is to assume the transphobia is probably there. Atlus has, since at least Persona 4, shown itself to be real bad at handling trans characters* (In P4 they were either fairly actively transphobic in their plot or they weren't intending malice but didn't do any research and ended up slamming right into some pretty harmful ideas and endorsing them) and the first Catherine was already pretty controversial for how it portrayed a trans character.

      My inclination to suspect the explanations that make it not transphobic are coloured a bit by some recent events in anime, specifically Zombieland Saga, where one character was pretty explicitly stated to be trans only to have a whole bunch of people insist that they totally spoke Japanese and that they weren't trans in the original and it was just SJWs altering the translation to get points, or whatever. Turns out, no, they're trans in Japanese as well. I could very easily see the same thing happening here.

      *Lala Escargot is definitely a step forward, but is also a fairly minor character to P5.
      In Persona 4 Kanji was the one that they wussed out on their story for sure. Like his subconscious was yelling at him about oiled up sweaty dudes and wanting to see them naked, and then suddenly no its not about that at all. Naoto on the other hand I can see not being about being trans in the first place maybe. There's wiggle room on her. Its easy to see it being about being trans but these days I just see it as her wanting to fit her image of the perfect detective and that image being male, and her eventually accepting she's a woman and that doesn't stop her from being a great detective.
      The first Catherine other than dead naming the character I don't remember being very controversial. Erica was an upbeat normal woman that was a pleasant high school friend of Vincent's. Vincent and his friends knew she was trans and still treated her like a normal member of their circle of friends. I thought she was a nice enough depiction.

      The stuff with Zombieland Saga doesn't have to do with this. Like, I don't see how that logic would apply in this situation. The big assumption everyone was jumping to was "The happy ending achieved by time travel makes this character not trans anymore!" When the reality is a character sending themselves back 14 years into the past into Vincent's group of friends a decade before that person transitioned seems to have butterfly effect delayed them transitioning for a little while. Because there was the implication Erica only transitioned in the last few years.
      The problem with Naoto is that they follow a fairly transphobic narrative arc, one that wasn't apparent to me when I first played the game but which I've since had pointed out. It's entirely possible that wasn't deliberate, but when it's not unreasonable to summarize a plot arc as "someone wants to transition due to social pressure (this is a real common talking point against trans people, that it's not "real", just trying to fit in or the like), ends up deciding not to and is happier because of that" then you've got a problem.

      As I said, I didn't pick up on the implications of it when I played P4, my original read was similar to yours, that there were some trans themes but that the story wasn't really about a trans person. Ultimately the game agrees that Naoto isn't trans, but that's...the problem, really.

      I'm not up enough on OG Catherine beyond what I've seen people say. I know some trans people who liked her depiction, I know some who thought it was offensive, I know some who think it was well-intentioned-but-flawed. That's what I meant when I said "controversial", I'm not knowledgeable enough to really talk about it beyond saying that people seem to be all over the place on it.

      For Zombieland, my point was that I've seen the same action/reaction thing where portrayal of a trans character sparks a reaction and then a whole bunch of people start lying to change that reaction. I don't read Japanese. I have no context beyond what I've seen people saying, but given past incidences I'm inclined to be wary of the people showing up insisting it's not transphobic.

      May those who accept their fate be granted happiness;

      Those who defy it, glory!

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Abyss Master: Removed a response to a deleted comment ().

    • On Naoto, I could see how bad that implication would be if it was even kind of vague whether she was trans or not. It felt less like that about the time a flying robot with drill hands was talking about enhancing her body. Its like, if it was even ambiguous if she was trans or not by this point the implications looking back would be pretty dicey. We know by this point though that she isn't, and I'm willing to look back at the earlier parts of the story with that in mind and just take it as her having anxiety over gender norms in her life's passion. Definitely could have been done better though, I won't argue on that.

      At any rate that doesn't seem to be the case with this ending that everyone is upset about. Unless the localization team goes wild with it when they get their hands on it there doesn't seem to be any implication that Erica is better off as Eric, or isn't gonna transition. Toby who sleeps with Erica in the normal endings to the game makes a remark at Vincent and Catherine's wedding that he wants to get a nice girl like her and then Eric puts their arm around him and goes "She might be closer than you think" implying they're still going to transition.

      | | Charlie "Angel" Duval | The Caretaker
      Sprites by Lady Knives

      The post was edited 1 time, last by Abyss Master: Removed a response to a deleted comment ().

    • For Naoto the problem is that "trans man just needs to realize they're actually a woman" is a really pervasive thing. A huge swath of the anti-trans movement uses it (especially in the UK, but elsewhere too). The fact that the writers may not have intended them to be trans is almost beside the point because of all the trans coding they put in. It's like if Naoto was wondering if they were gay, then got involved in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender and decided they weren't. The problem there is that there's a real common thing where it's claimed that gay people just need to have "real" relationships and they'll realize they aren't really gay. (Also, uh, just realized that's...pretty similar to Kanji's arc.) The fact that the character isn't, in story, actually gay doesn't change things because the story it's telling maps directly to propaganda used to erase/discredit gay people in real life.

      Now, there's some nuance here, because people are complicated and there probably are people who do fit the story to various amounts. But the problem is that the propaganda doesn't care about all the people who don't fit that narrative, and by only showing that narrative you reinforce it and, well, attack people who are continually told that that narrative is the truth and their own sense of self is false.

      So what's the answer if you do want to depict that narrative? Consult experts. People who can point out how you're stumbling into dogwhistles and propaganda and help you work around them while keeping the character intact. Also, include other characters who don't necessarily follow the same arc. Naoto would be much easier to swallow if there was any other trans representation in the game that didn't have it be, essentially, "all just a phase". There'd still be problems there, but having the game say "hey, we're aware that our character is just one way this can go" would help.

      This is why I said I'm not sure there was malice intended with Naoto, I can buy that it was ignorance. But Atlus has burned through a lot of good will in how it depicts marginalized people, seeming to not really care if it depicts them as harmful stereotypes or generally mistreats them. Sometimes it does it right! But generally...not.

      And that's why my inclination, until I can get some sort of official translation (or more evidence) is that they probably did mess this one up.



      Oh, I'd also question why they'd reverse the transition at all. Even if it's exactly as you say, why is this the one character who gets their life reset in this way? It doesn't seem to add anything to the plot or the character.

      May those who accept their fate be granted happiness;

      Those who defy it, glory!

      The post was edited 2 times, last by Abyss Master: Removed a part responding to a deleted comment ().

    • John wrote:

      Oh, I'd also question why they'd reverse the transition at all. Even if it's exactly as you say, why is this the one character who gets their life reset in this way? It doesn't seem to add anything to the plot or the character.
      Because they wanted a cheeky moment where they reference the fact that Toby and Erica had sex in the other ending this one is based off of, because this is basically Katherine's true ending from the original but several years earlier and with Catherine instead. Then they imply she's gonna transition anyway because Japan are hooked on history literally repeating itself and time itself just finding a way to work out like it was supposed to.

      Post by gerudoyoshi ().

      This post was deleted by Abyss Master: Responding to a deleted comment ().
    • Mod note: I've gone through the past few posts and removed some parts that pertained to the use of the term "trap", which is a slur word and will be treated as such in line with other slurs that one would expect to not be acceptable around these forums. Personal feelings will have no bearing on the matter.

      I'm leaving the rest of the posts up because I think important points have been made in this discussion, and I'd prefer to let them remain up for people to read and consider. I expect this to be the first and only time that I have to remind people that slur words will not be tolerated here, regardless of personal feelings on the matter. I'm sure everyone here can find a way to cope with that.

      Thanks.
    • Getting off that topic, having thoroughly spoiled myself, it feels like Vincent is fucking related to the protagonist of School Days. The most healthy seeming relationship he can have is the one gay option. Although with Makoto from School Days there's the added benefit of him no longer becoming like his father with the gay option. Jesus Christ the family tree in that game series. Imagine the Ghengis Khan of incest with almost as much rape. That's Makoto's dad. Vincent's gay ending spirals out of control into an episode of freaking space dandy. They have a big gay space wedding with a lot of different random aliens in the background that look straight out of Space Dandy.
    • So I forgot to post my thoughts on this when I beat it awhile ago so here it is:

      Person 5
      I finished Kaneshiro's palace.

      Overall I didn't mind the palace. One of my biggest gripes with it was that when you are looking for the journal pages to get the codes so you can access the elevator to the Treasure, if you don't remember what each page says (or didn't think to write it down for whatever reason), you are fucked (unless I'm just a newb and couldn't find where you can go back and look at the info regarding it but I checked all the menus and couldn't find anywhere that had it).

      I ended up having to look up the last two because I couldn't remember what the prior codes were.

      Then you get to the boss. Coming off the Kamoshida and Madarame bosses, this was very underwhelming. Like I actually felt a sense of "Oh man, if I'm not careful I might die here" against the first two bosses, but Kaneshiro was such a joke. I had no issues whatsoever and honestly that kind of bummed me out. I've come to expect some challenge from the bosses. I hope this trend doesn't last.

      As for the bit after beating the boss - I don't quite understand how Kaneshiro had a change of heart. The other two shadow's you beat seemed to genuinely repent and see the errors of their ways, thus changing the hearts of their real world counterparts.

      Kaneshiro, on the other hand, was still talking down to you and just generally being a dick still. I saw no redemption from this shadow thus the change of heart seemed kind of out of place. Is this just me or did anyone else feel this way?

      I just started Futaba's palace last night. The story behind it seems like it could make for a satisfying ending but we will see how it turns out.


      Sig & Avvy by Lady Sunshine, the most wonderful girl in the world
    • Big Daddy Biggles wrote:

      Person 5
      Overall I didn't mind the palace. One of my biggest gripes with it was that when you are looking for the journal pages to get the codes so you can access the elevator to the Treasure, if you don't remember what each page says (or didn't think to write it down for whatever reason), you are fucked (unless I'm just a newb and couldn't find where you can go back and look at the info regarding it but I checked all the menus and couldn't find anywhere that had it).

      I ended up having to look up the last two because I couldn't remember what the prior codes were.
      I don't blame you for missing where to look. The codes are actually in your inventory under "key items", so if you scroll over them it tells you the code. But there's almost no need to ever look at key items when you find them.

      Person 5
      Then you get to the boss. Coming off the Kamoshida and Madarame bosses, this was very underwhelming. Like I actually felt a sense of "Oh man, if I'm not careful I might die here" against the first two bosses, but Kaneshiro was such a joke. I had no issues whatsoever and honestly that kind of bummed me out. I've come to expect some challenge from the bosses. I hope this trend doesn't last.
      Hopefully the other bosses can present more of a challenge, but for the next one or two it really depends on how good you are at planning. If you can anticipate things really well they're pretty easy, but if they catch you off guard you can get bodied pretty hard.

      Person 5
      As for the bit after beating the boss - I don't quite understand how Kaneshiro had a change of heart. The other two shadow's you beat seemed to genuinely repent and see the errors of their ways, thus changing the hearts of their real world counterparts.

      Kaneshiro, on the other hand, was still talking down to you and just generally being a dick still. I saw no redemption from this shadow thus the change of heart seemed kind of out of place. Is this just me or did anyone else feel this way?
      Display Spoiler
      I personally think that it's about how he thought if he had money, he could be more powerful than anyone and not be bullied. But after you kick his ass, he realizes what he had been doing to others through exploiting them.

      But that's my interpretation. You're asking a pretty good question here, imo. ;)
    • Monika wrote:

      I don't blame you for missing where to look. The codes are actually in your inventory under "key items", so if you scroll over them it tells you the code. But there's almost no need to ever look at key items when you find them.
      Well shit, I must have skimmed over it then because I don't recall seeing that lol. Good to know incase I ever need to check something again.
      Hopefully the other bosses can present more of a challenge, but for the next one or two it really depends on how good you are at planning. If you can anticipate things really well they're pretty easy, but if they catch you off guard you can get bodied pretty hard.
      Ya, it just felt kind of simple. Like I was expecting something much more grand considering the overinflated ego you were dealing with.
      Display Spoiler
      I personally think that it's about how he thought if he had money, he could be more powerful than anyone and not be bullied. But after you kick his ass, he realizes what he had been doing to others through exploiting them.
      But that's my interpretation. You're asking a pretty good question here, imo. ;)

      Display Spoiler
      I see what you are saying but I still don't get that vibe from him. It really seems like he had no intention of not being money hungry. Lines like:

      "These palaces could net you loads of cash! You could do whatever you wanted to people's hearts!"

      "Where do you find meaning in that naive sense of justice...?"

      Then when talking about that mystery person abusing the palaces he has this smugness about him like "you guys are going to get what's coming to you".

      Compared to the other two he was a legit criminal so it could just be the personality but still seemed off to me that it didn't seem like he was remorseful - he seemed more embarrassed he lost than anything.


      Sig & Avvy by Lady Sunshine, the most wonderful girl in the world
    • Okay, so I know I seem to only come in here to complain about things in Persona 5 but for the record I'm really loving this game and am stoked to give it a NG+ run through.

      However, here is my newest complaint:

      Display Spoiler
      I'm not a big fan of how Haru was just kind of shoehorned into the group.

      How did she end up in the Metaverse? Did I miss something because from what I saw Mona just fucked off in a pissy rage, then we see him messed up in Okumura's Palace.... then Haru is just there?

      I could maybe understand it if we knew how exactly Mona enters the Metaverse on his own - did I also miss something there? The humans use the app which as we've seen can bring people standing in the immediate area with them, but there is nothing to prove that this is how Mona enters or would be able to bring people in with him.

      Even with that, it still doesn't explain how Haru would have been there as there is no reason for Mona to have brought her with him.

      Now, I just started the space station palace after Mona rejoins and Haru joins the group so this may get fixed but I enjoyed seeing how the other Persona users got their Persona's. Mona stated that Haru's is weak so maybe she will have some scene where this gets fixed but as it stands right now I'm kind of just disheartened with the whole Haru experience.


      Sig & Avvy by Lady Sunshine, the most wonderful girl in the world