Persona 2 Was More Ahead of Its Time Than Persona 5

Persona 2: Harmless Sin, the second of the Shin Megami Tensei sub-franchise, launched again in 1999 solely in Japan. It would not launch for Europe and North America till 2011 on the PlayStation Moveable, however its sequel Eternal Punishment launched in each Japan and North America, unusually. What’s additionally attention-grabbing is that it was arguably extra progressive than newer video games within the Persona franchise, particularly contemplating Japan’s complicated tackle sure societal points.

It is clear that the sequence has modified fairly a bit since its beginnings with each single installment. Persona 5 carried out many high quality of life enhancements that Persona 4 needed, and Persona 4 was a giant change of tempo from Persona 3‘s darkish and angsty undertones. However maybe not all of those modifications have been constructive. With Persona 6 in improvement, it is essential that Atlus modifications one factor followers have been hoping to see for years, one thing that was current in Persona 2 however has been lacking from each succeeding installment: queer relationships.

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Queer Portrayal within the Persona Collection and Japanese Franchises


Japan has an advanced historical past pertaining to same-sex marriage and the way society treats it, and that is emblematic via gaming. For instance, the Harvest Moon sequence did not permit for gamers to romance villagers of the identical gender till Harvest Moon DS Cute, and this was solely within the Japanese model; it was censored out of localized copies, and the sequence, now referred to as Story of Seasons, would not convey again this function till Friends of Mineral Town, however solely within the English variations, not in Japan.

Equally, one other Marvelous IP referred to as Rune Manufacturing unit is lastly including same-sex marriage, however solely as soon as it was localized. Taking a look at a protracted record of Japan’s hottest RPGs, Tales and Hearth Emblem are a few of the few to incorporate queer romance in some unspecified time in the future in time, they usually’re usually missing fairly closely.

Persona shares an analogous historical past to those different Japanese franchises. Sooner or later in improvement, Persona 4 originally planned to have a gay relationship between the participant character and Yosuke, who had an unused voiced line that includes a love confession hidden inside the sport information. Fortunately, PC mods lastly make this romance potential, however queer romance was a extremely requested function that was disregarded of Persona 5 as nicely. Many followers wished that Joker may’ve romanced Yusuke or Ryuji along with the stunning women, and his relationship with Akechi in Persona 5 Royal arguably has some tender undertones.

That being mentioned, one other Atlus IP referred to as Catherine: Full Physique does depict queer romance. Of the three women accessible (on this prolonged model, not the unique launch), Rin is commonly mistaken for a lady for his costume, pink hair, and comfortable voice. So as to match into society higher, they faux to be a lady and hopes that Vincent will nonetheless settle for their emotions. Whereas it may appear progressive on the floor, Catherine: Full Physique nonetheless has some unlucky gendered tropes and transphobic feedback.

Surprisingly, queer romance appeared in Persona 2, which featured two protagonists, one male and one feminine, as a duology. Although its relationships might not be as totally fleshed as newer Persona titles, they nonetheless existed in some capability. Enjoying as Tatsuya Suou, followers may select between Lisa, Maya, Jun, with the latter being a person. If gamers reply “Eikichi” when prompted, it is not taken critically not like when replying with “Jun.” And there are different strains within the sport to indicate that Tatsuya is bisexual as nicely, similar to saying that “all of the male college students are good-looking” alongside an analogous assertion in regards to the girls: “All the feminine college students are attractive.”

Other than the connection availability itself, Persona 2 has been mentioned to depict homosexual folks extra realistically than Persona 5, the place they have been proven as flamboyant, probably pedophilic caricatures. Stereotypes are one among many issues the queer neighborhood is continually operating from, so seeing a few grownup dudes hitting on Joker and Ryuji in Persona 5 was exhausting. Persona 2 dealt with the topic with extra care, by not portray Jun’s sexuality in a nasty gentle or making it the butt of a nasty joke.

With Persona 6 at the moment in improvement, gamers expect the sequence to lastly take the leap into queer relationships. As unpopular opinion as it might be, some are additionally hoping to see Persona 6‘s protagonist be female as an alternative of one other teen boy. With regard to stereotypes and forward-thinking, Persona 2 is a superb instance to take notes from.

MORE: Areas Where Persona 6 Could Improve Upon its Predecessor

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About The Creator | Persona 2 Was Extra Forward of Its Time Than Persona 5


ClareFora is a Interreviewed U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. ClareFora joined Interreviewed in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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