Suzui Shiho: The Girl Persona 5 Forgot

Almost all the villains in Persona 5 are based on real events that happened in Japan. Despite what the game claims at the beginning, this is not all fictional. To have such a high-profile game so blatantly show the underside of Japanese society is quite daring, and marks it as one of the most important games of recent years. However, the game is not perfect. One if its most persistent flaws is how it focuses so much on the villains, that their victims end up marginalized or forgotten in the process. Today we’re going to talk about one of these victims. Suzui Shiho. Spoilers after the jump, content warning for discussion of attempted suicide and rape.

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The Meta of the Metaverse: How Persona 5 Tricked its Players

Everyone comes into media with expectations. Its unavoidable. Even more so when its a new entry in a popular series. These expectations may be fulfilled, or they may fall flat on their face, but generally that is only on the audience itself. Sometimes, however, a work is seemingly aware of these expectations, going out of its way to give the audience what they want, or purposefully give them what they don’t. It is the rare work, however, that integrates these expectations into its own text, and using them to surprise the audience in ways otherwise impossible.

Persona 5, the long-awaited and quite well received newest entry in its series is one of those works. What did it do? Well, if you’ve played it you probably know, but if you don’t or don’t ever plan on playing it, lets talk about it. Major spoilers, of course, after the jump!

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Sakurauchi Riko: The Door to Her Dreams

A while back we discussed Watanabe You, and her role as a traditional “Childhood Friend” character for Takami Chika. Childhood Friends thrive in a static environment, where they don’t have to confront their feelings for the protagonist. So stories with them almost always start with a disruption, very frequently the unexpected arrival of a new love interest. Enter Sakurauchi Riko.

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Ghosts of Humanity: Being Human in NieR: Automata and Xenoblade Chronicles X

The nature of humanity is, of course, a common theme in works of science fiction. It may even be considered one of the core purposes of the genre. Isaac Asimov famously explored this in his many stories, especially involving robots and androids. His “Three Laws of Robotics” have become so ingrained in the fabric of the genre that many people probably don’t know where they originated. Other authors and creators have approached the idea of the “humanity” of robots, of course. Today we’re going to talk about two videogames. Xenoblade Chronicles X and NieR: Automata.

Spoilers after the jump.

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Watanabe You – The Yousoro of her Heart

The idea of the “Childhood Friend” (Osananajimi, in Japanese) has long been a staple of anime and manga romance stories, particularly ones with a harem bent. They are, especially in popular consciousness, somewhat tragic figures. The girl who’s been by the hero the longest, but is never able to convey that she likes them as more than just a friend. Love Live: School Idol Project technically has had many “Childhood Friends”. Honoka, Kotori and Umi all knew each other for years before the story began, for example. However their is only one true “Childhood Friend” character in this franchise, Love Live Sunshine‘s Watanabe You

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The Sincerity of Kemono Friends

Perhaps you’ve heard of the hit new anime this season. The one with the girls with tails and…no, not the one with the Dragons. The one with the Friends!

In the last month or so Kemono Friends has leaped from its obscure niche of “bad CG cartoon based on defunct Mobage” to become one of the most memetic series currently airing. But why? Why does this simple show about anthropomorphic animals seem to reach so many people, even those who by all rights should dislike it? To put it frankly. Its sincerity.

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Mind, Soul and Body – Sacrifice and Love in Fate/Extella

Thirteen years ago a Visual Novel was released in Japan. That VN was Fate/Stay Night. Over the last decade plus it has gone from an obscure game with a mediocre anime adaption to being a juggernaut franchise. It has multiple anime adaptions, novel and manga sidestories, the most popular Mobile Game in Japan and a set of more traditional console games. We’re going to talk about one of those, Fate/Extella – The Umbral Star. (Be aware this post will contain major spoilers!)

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