By garison 4 Comments
[Please keep in mind, I wrote this post in January of 2009, but I think it is definitely still applicable, and should be discussed. It never really got too much attention where I posted it before, and I would really like to see what the Giant Bomb community thinks about the subject. If you guys have a problem with me cross posting this from another site, just say so and I'll gladly delete it as soon as possible.]
Many video games have addressed romantic issues and sexuality before, but none so in the way that Persona 4has. Persona 4 is the only video game that I can think of at the moment that actually talks about homosexuality in aserious way, without poking fun at it, or just being flat out unprofessional.
The part near the beginning of the game where you have to rescue Kanji from the TV world really got me thinking. This character just is so conflicted in his life. He has major issues with what and who he is attracted to, and inside the TV, you really get to see his true emotions come out. He is FLAMING gay. He talks about how he hates talking to girls, how douchey they can be, and that he would much rather enjoy the company of males.
In his life in the real world, he puts on a charade and acts tough by being in a biker gang, skipping school, and beating up other kids to show off how tough he is. Kanji's dungeon that you have to save him from in the game is actually a bath house where he runs around in nothing but a tiny sumo wrestlers outfit, yelling to the world about how much he loves pecs and how he needs to find a boyfriend ASAP. The boss of the dungeon is a giant wide-shouldered, head-less man holding large "male" signs as weapens with red roses growing all over his chest, on which Kanji rides on top of. Please tell me this isn't the gayest character you have ever seen in a videogame.
It's not only his sexuality that Kanji is worried about, he grew up in a textiles (cloth) shop, and is a talented sewer, but he get's teased for it. Kanji's true fear is the fear of being rejected.
I really love how brave Atlus was with releasing a game with with stuff like this in North America. Let's just wait 'till the FOX News people get ahold of this 'GAME IS PR0N" business...