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“Why Are JRPG Heroes All Emo Teenagers?”


One of the writers with Kojima Productions has written a politely scathing piece in which he decries the JRPG’s single-minded obsession with having overwrought teenage boys as their protagonists, suggesting that is tied to a wider lack of heroic adult male archetypes in contemporary Japanese culture.

The writer in question is Etsu Temari, a man credited with work on the Metal Gear series, and he writes the following short piece on the Kojima Productions Blog:

What is the ideal hero?

“Why are JRPG heroes always teenage boys worried about why they are fighting?”

I’ve been considering this, and I really think it’s because in today’s Japan there is no ideal of a “cool adult man.”

In works based on a shonen [boy] protagonist it’s fine to use them if they are done well, but in both reality and in fiction the “cool man” has mostly disappeared. The generations reared without ever seeing them can’t envision these men either.

I get the impression this vicious circle has indeed become something of a problem.

As a scenario writer myself, I’d like to do what I can to change this by creating new images of heroes.

Japanese discussion of his words tends to identify “because old guys don’t sell in Japan” as a key reason for this lack.

However, this rather validates Temari’s point that the lack of any marketable adult hero image in Japan prevents their usage in games and creates a vicious circle of over-reliance on shonen, even to the point that Japanese developers can now only crudely ape the manly heroes they see as critical to international success.

Having lately been criticised for always having children as heroes, not having macho enough heroes, being stagnant and staid, having ridiculous character designs,  and even for not being RPGs, it seems the JRPG genre is long overdue a revolution – one which sadly is nowhere in sight, with most JRPG developers intent on milking the same tired franchises.

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  • I’m sorry people, but when comes to matters of humanity and being a badass, solid snake has it hands down. he has gone through ass loads of character development, to such a point that he actually could not only deal with Raidens bitching and angsting, but understand him. hes not even a “manly macho man” as everyone is bitching about, hes just another fucking soldier trying to end a god-forsaken war started by pitiful old men in ages past.

    Snake’s dealt with a lot of inner, and outer, turmoil, without turning into a mass of bitching angst. he killed his best friend and rival, and thought he killed big boss twice. almost everyone he knew is either fucking dead, or had betrayed him.

    loli’s are pathetic, every time you play a game as a loli, no matter how many actions they go through that should develop a character, don’t seem to matter to them, leaving them the same boring character as they were at the start.

  • Tom cruise is 50+, Daniel Craig is getting up there, Anthony Hopkins, Clive Barker, Will Smith, Hugh Grant Jude Law, Johnny Depp. I know they’re actors in real life, but they all are examples of cool adults in their films. Besides their Hollywood action careers, they have plenty of Drama credits.

    What does an old guy in a Japanese film do? Whine about how old he is. Dear Japan, you’re doing it wrong.

  • Or, rebuttal question, why are all Western game characters, regardless of genre, sociopathic mass-murderers with no remorse or redeemable qualities? God of War, Mass Effect, the GTA series, etc

    I’ll concede the emo shit needs to be stopped, but it’s not like “Grrr, I’m bad-ass, watch me kill babies” is a viable alternative, really.

    At least emo-Cloud is more likely to slit his own throat then some innocent bystanders.

    • So you can read but you cant understand, the word hero was cleary used in a protagonist sens, it doesn’t make a diference if they are anti heros or not.

      And by the way, dark and gatts are anti heroes, but Saeba and Kenshiro are not, you should think more and curse less.

    • Are you retarded? Those are what we called “anti-heroes’. Or did you not understand the concept because you fucking failed literature class in elementry school? There are plenty of goodie two shoes heroes, too. So stop cherry picking bullshits to support your bullshit argument.

  • This notion is getting really fucking annoying, you can’t even name five JPRGS in the last two years that are “emo” hell that word just gets tossed around when the character is not “Complete Rock Badass” say all the stupid shit you will but you know what American Heroes represent? Fucking pansies, you all want perfect physical gods who can be huge dicks and still have everyone love them, the only thing the west wants is Mary-Sue bonanza so they can live through their damn virtual avatars instead of looking in the mirror, always fucking complaining about “Otaku” just take a look in the damn mirror.

  • That writer really need to learn how to use the word “Emo” properly…that being said, I would like to see a person in her/his either late 20s or anywhere in their 30s for once as I have not ever seen such a person that is the hero for a JRPG ever I mean it can be done very well considering they tend to have such a character(s) in most JRPGs anyway, they just don’t tend to be the hero is all…

    • Because then you have to deal with a 30-year old man who can’t kill small rats or whatever enemies they decide for in the beginning, sucking in the beginning is at least believable when it’s a kid.

  • …because most developers today don’t have the brains or the balls to write an engrossing story with good characters on top of (important) traditional gameplay, ala Skies of Arcadia. Why do they always try to reinvent the fucking formula, yet stick to cliches? It’s always been a recipe for disaster.

  • It is a lot simpler than they are giving it credit for.

    If you want to begin the game with a character at the level where the common bat gives a good fight, it would be a little pathetic to start off with an adult. The leveling process is about learning, which means it is always easier to start off with a youth.

    It also means it is easier to start with a “blank slate”. A character that doesn’t know anything about fighting isn’t going to have a well-constructed method of coping with war and death.

    There are other ways to go about it. You can start a character off with amnesia or serious injury, or put them in prison. Multiple American RPGs have gone with these approaches instead, although Fallout has generally started with a youth.

    If you want to start with a “manly” character in a game with significant “advancement”, you have to come up with a reasonable mechanism for stripping him of ability and strength at the outset. I would rather they used youth instead of contrivance.

    • Actually, when i thought about cool & manly japanese heroes Takeshi Kitano was the first that came into mind. And even he shows emotions in more films than you might think which don’t make his other character roles like those “Broher” or Zatoichi unbelieveable.

  • Unfortunately, you gotta do what sells. I’d love for developers to take more risks but risks don’t sell. Remember Psychonauts? Great game but a huge loss for Majesco. Right now (at least in the States) shooters are what’s popular and it pisses me off a bit because they’re all the same. They’re short, multiplayer-heavy, and all but colorless. Some of them also feel that have to be controversial by dragging in current events. *sigh* That’s why I play games to get away from this hell called life.

  • What often gets lost in such discussions is that western game protagonists are increasingly blank slates or toolkits for the user to make into whatever kind of protagonist they want to see. Don’t want to play a musclebound, sword swinging warrior? Play Dragon Age: Origins and make a Mage. Or, play Fallout New Vegas and make a non-violent scientist (Yes, this is a legitimate character choice, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise).

    Honestly, the “muscle-bound freak” label only really applies to Gears of War, and Gears of War is satire more than anything else.

    • Aren’t the people who frequent this site significantly older then say 20? All I have to do is search up some 90’s or 80’s anime on google to find a shitload of muscled gorillas that you would think were made from the US.

      How about something in the middle, say I don’t maybe 25 being a good age? And how about middle class boxing weight/built- sound good everyone?

      Or will it just be the usual either Left or Right extreme bashing argument that gets absolutely fucking nowhere??

    • That’s the truth. The problem is Americans love the word “emo”, so every time a character has legitimate feelings and emotions, it’s an excuse to use that word.

      The logic is a non-emo would just throw bombs at it, forget about it, then lift weights afterward.

  • not all JRPG heros are like that =\
    golden sun 1 main character (cant remember his name right now)
    Sora from Kingdom hearts
    Zidane (dont remember how to spell his name correctly) from FF9
    Van from FF12
    i can contune. beside, i hate the emo type characters for Main characters, it gets me annoyed as the character does not seem original and just seems to be a copy from old characters with just a blooder back story =\

  • Aren’t the american action hero becoming more Japanese in a sense. I’m thinking of the movie The Expendables withe Stallone, Willis, Schwarzenegger, and all these other macho muscle guys(Your Gears of War kind of people). He said he made these movies b/c action heros aren’t the same anymore, there you’re average guy with velcro muscles (batman spiderman)and even made guys like Keanu Reeves an action hero in the early 2000’s.
    Also can you really call some of JRPG characters teenagers I mean I look at Squall and Tidus and just say theres no way you can say those guys are 17 years old, at least 21.

  • Isn’t it the other way?

    They got those teenage main-characters with a lot of problems, so they can develop through the game? Not only in level, stats and story, but perhapst on an emotional level, too.

    And aren’t they questioning the way they live, so the (mosly young) players can identify themself with it and perhapst even think about their way of life and how they plan to develop?

    …or all I said is bs, and I just think too much.

  • I think there could stand to be more like Ashley Riot from Vagrant Story (my avatar). His clothes aside, he was a badass late 20s-early 30s widower and former father that could kill everything in an entire city by himself. I think this might be tied to what I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago about there needing to be another Cowboy Bebop style cool anime to revitalizes the genre and get int’l attention. With a new protagonist like Spike who’s not a teenager but rather a grown man with complexity, but who’s also an incredible badass, maybe characters like that will start selling in other media as well.

  • It just shows that entire generations have been lacking in cool adults in Japanese society. Just look at their spineless self-serving government.

    It’s probably not limited to Japan either. We just generally lack strong leading characters today both in media, fiction and reality.

    • this is true as i fear future generations will only have “cowards” to look up too the trend of various man role archetypes ended along with the 80’s since then everyone has been “the same” so to speak there’s no variety anymore among male leads in any form of media (especially in the west dear god almost all male leads in western games look the fucking same WTF!?) thus leading to the idiocy we have today

    • I definitely agree that Yuri is an exception. If Karol was the main character in Tales of Vesperia, Tales of Vesperia would’ve been typical, but thankfully, it was Yuri. He’s not a kid, he’s not conflicted all the time and he may have contradicted himself a couple of times in his “justice” views, but he’s just different overall. He may not have developed much, but at least he wasn’t whiny in the beginning and suddenly mature at the end.

  • Just read the title and wanted to say only this: I can’t hear this shit anymore. If YOU want to be so manly, than get your ass of your seat in front of the PC and make out and become the next schwarzenegger or whatever, we other guys have no inconfidence or problems with our sexuality so stop telling us the same bullshit over and over again.

  • toan from dark cloud wasn’t emo max from dark cloud 2 wasn’t emo or am i the only one that played those games? not all JRPG leads are emo ya know >_> hell if you want ill throw in monster hunter too those that played any MH title were ANY of your characters “emo”? mine wasn’t

  • Historical precedent maybe? Historically… Japanese historical Heroes tended to be young, under 30 oftentimes under 20.

    Conversely, Western Historical Heroes tend to be 30-40… with very few younger than 20. (Same goes for most Chinese Heroes… most tend to be older, with a few exceptions.)

  • it seems they don’t follow the protagonist story well.

    an example is Cloud. sure he weeps and whine’s alot but he has the right to. i mean your best friend dying in front of you, your idol betraying you, your best friends GF dying, not to mention his parents being killed, getting experimented in the last 4 years.

    all this stuff kinda mind fucked cloud. if this were happen to you what would you do?

  • I myself want more girls in the games and even more female main characters. In my RPG parties i prefer to have all female crew or as close as i can get + avoiding any musky huge guy no matter how OP he is.

  • Squaresoft’s devs set the age of Cloud from FFVII to be 23 years old(21 years old during Crisis Core). He’s not a teen at all. Cecil from FFIV was also in his 20s. Most of the cast of FF6 were in their 20s, 30s, AND 40s.(and if anyone actually played the game theyd know FF6 had no “main” protagonist)

    Xenogear’s protagonist was in his mid 20s. Most of the cast were in their 20s.

    Estopolis 2 protaginist and most of the cast were in their early 20s.

    Vagrant Story’s protagonist was in his 20s.

    Shadow Heart 1 and 2’s protagonist was in his 20s.

    Valyria Chronicle 1’s protagonist was in his 20s.

    Infinite Space’s protagonist started as a teenager, then for the next 2/3rds of the game he was an adult.

  • When “Manly” type characters are used, they often fall into the Captain, father, or trainer roles rather than as the protagonist.
    I think its the tendency for Japanese writers to use naval gazing as the stories main method of exposition. To which a guy who knows what he wants and where he’s going is not going to generate those wrenching internal monologue opportunities.

    It could also be the Shinji/Cloud effect. One whiny moping hero in a successful series more will follow trying to cash in on what they think is a viable theme.

  • As a female, I like to see hot young guys in games, yes. In America we have TOO many manly heroes, who’re all hideous and bald. Those games do not appeal to women at all.

    It’s rather like asking why old or unattractive women aren’t heroines as much as young hot women.

  • Hmm…I think the early jrpgs had emo characters because it was much easier than creating emotions for a 2d (and later 3d)characters in a video game. BTW having an “ever smiling” character like in every second western game in the 90’s isn’t better either.

  • They are NOT milking the “same tired franchise”…the Final Fantasy “franchise” (sickens me every time that word is used to mean series, by the way, so excuse me for being a little pissy) was raped to death, had its flesh eaten, and then had its body parts used for clothing a long time ago. That fecal matter which is being spewed from Square Enix is no longer “final fantasy”.

    That having been said, Squall is NOT Emo. He is described as being detached and somewhat cold. Nor does he “wonder why he fights” in that pretentious anti-war message rant sort of sense that Kojima is talkinga bout…Squall is wondering “WTF is going on? Who’s responsible for this? who are you?” Why call him emo? because he has ANY sort of complaint ever? He also,you know, has CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and becomes a real hero over the course of the story.

    Come to think of it, which Final Fantasy Protagonists have ever actually asked that stupid “why do I fight” question? Each main character so far has known exactly WHY they fight, and they don’t angst over that fact; the only things that seem to bother them is some of the shit they have to go through. Cloud, pissed at Sephiroth for destroying his home town: fights at first for revenge, and later to protect those he loves. Squall, fights at first because he’s a mercenary and it’s his job (doesn’t bother him, for the record), but later gets serious about saving the world and all that. Zidane’s always concerned with helping people…heck his quote suggests that he does so with no reason. Tidus fights to unlock the truth about his past and protect Yuna.

    11-14? That’s pretty much post-rapage right there. Could be that this is where the emo really begins? Been a while since I sat on my ass and let ffXII play itself, but I think there may have been some “why do we fight” speeches from the FRIGGIN LE RESISTANCE LEADER!

    Dragon Quest on the other seems to still be coming along strong, and it doesn’t have any emo protagonists as far as I can see. And good grief, if you’re going to call Jessica Emo for mourning Alistair you deserve to be punched in the face.

    or do you mean the long, dark haired LOOK? If so, then you’re a prat. That’s BISHOUNEN, not EMO.

  • Because Japan has been imprinted in their minds with the horror of hentai oyajis lol.

    Some did it just fine though. Unfortunately they don’t sell as well.. Either because they’re not the most popular producers or not much of the consumers like men as opposed to boys.

    Though, as I see it these seemed to plague JRPGs more than they do on other genre. For example neither Gungrave or Devil May Cry relied on whiny teens as heroes.

  • That’s one of the reasons for Demon’s Souls and Metal Gear being so badass.

    In the end all those emo protagonists tend to mix together and you can’t tell one from the other. Much like the western FPS genre and its generic marine protagonists.

  • I found Tales of Vesperia’s protagonist as a nice example of how turning against this trend can produce a really nice fresh kind of main character.

    Yuri is adult (22), cynical, not emo, and basically a “cool adult” character. OK, maybe he does look like a girl with his long hair, but his appearance and fashion is at least not that outrageous as typical Square designs.

  • well, Kojima create Snake and the others….
    but the game is not a rpg…
    Jrpg game with no teenage….will be…..
    demon’s souls?
    wow, no matter what i think….there’s no JRPG with the old man or character that is not a teenage anymore as the first character…..

  • It all comes down to believability. When the world is in crisis. Would you put the fate of humanity in hands of a highly trained and dedicated adult soldiers who can think clearly without getting over emitional. Or some teenage kids with teenage angst? Sure you can write the story however you want. But having some kids who unexplanable skills over typical soldiers who had years of training saving the world just isn’t very realistic.

    Plus in some ways, adults can make more interesting character. Due to the simple fact that adults have more years under their belt, that they can have way more interesting and developed character backgrounds, than somebody who barely lived over a decade.

    To me there’s nothing more intriging to see some late 20’s to late 30’s guy who’s been beaten down by life, have barely anything to look forward to. Suddenly given the chance to make a difference. Suddenly went beyond his daily routine. Suddenly ventures out of his all-so-familier comfort zone. All because a purpose greater than himself has appeared.

    Sometimes, more depth can be achieved by developing a seemingly already worn up character than a mostly clean slate kid.

    Case in point. There are plenty of great stories featuring adult protagonists in anime and manga. Monster, 20th Century Boys, Planetes, etc etc…

    • It’s not supposed to realistic.


      Jesus, Do all Americans just hate anything that uses any imagination at all?

      Or even anything with a hint of being human or realistic.

      Any game with a character that has doubts about themselves is automatically hated upon. Just look at Other M.

      Of course we should just assume you all have never thought “what am I doing with my life?” before.

      • Other M is terrible because of it’s gameplay and shortness. You can finish it in 5 fucking hours. That’s a terrible game.

        The character was not terrible; it’s hated -because- the story is so short and the game so freaking boring. If any characters has any doubts, it makes them human.

        As for the topic of badass male characters..

        Need I bring up Caim in conversation? There are plenty of such kinds. Guts, Caim, Snake, etc.

        The stories themselves, as for realism; I like some realism here and there. Sci-Fi games need to be realistic for me to take them seriously, for instance, because otherwise, I’m going to end up shooting someone in the face for not thinking it through too much, etc. but Fantasy has some lee-way. Realistic fantasy also has some lee-way but far less, since it is going to be more realistic than just ‘fantasy.’

        Really, the whole thing is dependant on your viewpoint. I like realistic games as much as unrealistic games. JRPGs though, the whole ‘unchooseable MALE angsty emo teen’ thing is annoying and tiresome, lately. Examples of terrible, terrible angsty emo teens, in my opinion:

        Edge — Yes, I did not like Edge. Star Ocean 4 was just..blegh.
        Sasuke Uchiha

        There’s a lot more than that, of course, but those are just the beginning. Good, solid characters, just examples again:

        Kazuma Kiryuu.
        Shenmue protagonist
        Rena/Claude – Star Ocean 2.
        Yuri Lowell.
        Leon – Tales of..Destiny, I believe?
        Stahn – Tales of Destiny.
        Gig/Revya(female) – Soul Nomad.
        Adell/Laharl – Disgaea 2/1 respectively.


        As for old men, I kind of would point to Thorndyke from the same Soul Nomad as a definitely badass old man character, as well as Layna/Virtuous, for the cool old-lady, and as much as Kenpachi is, he’s a very badass old man character.

        Japan can do badass old men. They just need to be featured more than the shitty one’s like Ichigo, or Vaan/Tidus. As for Ichigo goes, he should have lost to his Hollow.

        Now that guy is -badass.-

        • Good job pulling a bunch of names from things over five years old, care to list an example that’s actually relevant, like two years, no? Didn’t think so, this is just the same bullshit complaining the west pulls to make themselves feel better, because it doesn’t matter how much fucking training you have if the consequences of you failing is EVERYBODY DIES then yeah I’d say there’s some fucking emotional trauma there, and the concept of “everyday 30-year old” is THE EXACT SAME AS THE TEENAGER, fact of the matter is unless you work out 24/7 you won’t be able to fight shit as much as you want to believe and the fact is that there is no such thing as “Burly 30-year old Badass”.

  • I really like Kamina q.q

    Mh, for me as a westerner, whose first FF game was ff8, it was really refreshing to get such a typ of hero. Instead of those big muscled Super Leaders.
    Boring answer: It is the mixture that makes it interesting, to have the option to choose. hyukhyukhyuk

  • That’s one the things that are bugging me too. I have nothing against “emo” to a certain extent, meaning that i do like emotional situation when the storyline depends on it. I don’t like naturally depressive characters though.
    There was that argument that heroes in JRPGs are often underaged children because they’d like to capture the “spirit of youth” as a compensation for the freedom the average Japanese loses once they finish school.

    I think it is annoying to be honest. It doesn’t make much sense when a teenager sets out to rescue the world. As much as it doesn’t make sense when only teenagers can effectively pilot Gundams.

    Where are those heroes in their 20s or 30s? At least, that would make more sense all around.

    • It’s not “spirit of youth” bullshit it’s called HAVING IT MAKE SOME FUCKING SENSE, having Mr.Super Soldier die against starting enemies is a little but bullshit considering the fact he’s supposed to be oh-so-fucking awesome, younger characters means ROOM FOR ACTUAL FUCKING GROWTH.

  • to be honest i LIKE JRPGs because they are JRPGs… if i want to play a RPG with lots of choices, medicore graphics and D&D char developement i play western RPGs if i want 60-90h of story, awesome graphics and turnbased battle i play JRPG… i dont know where the problem is

  • I have an alternate theory which is that most writers started writing seriously when they were teenagers and a lot of their stories and their own self image starts there. They may grow older but they are still boys at heart and write accordingly.


    He should talk to Kojima himself and he’ll learn that teenagers that are worried about fighting and aren’t perfect is one of the things that makes it interesting.

    Playing a character that is perfect in every way, never does any mistakes or is cold like stone isn’t fun to play as.

    Irony tastes even better since Hal Emmerich (Otacon) says “I like to think of it as a character flaw”.

    The best characters are the ones that grow along with the player as the game proceeds.

    I don’t want to be an +1.0 person but it would help if I was one since people would read this more if it’s a 1.0 post instead of -1.0.

  • This article is one of the few things that I dislike about JRPGs and even the copy-cat RPGs. It’s fine they choose young guys/gals as the heroes, but emo is not the type I’d associate with “saving the princess” material.

  • Probably because Japan considers that heroish sort of adults won’t be better than Big Boss or Solid Snake.

    And because they know fans on the west side of the world rather kids than adults because of marketing,making couples of the characters,doujins ect

  • Wow, because heroes from popular games like the FF series, Tales and Star Ocean are enough to make JRPG heroes always emo teenagers? The last time I played Radiata Stories, Poison Pink, Shadow Hearts, etc the heroes/ines are hardly like they speculated..

  • The problem is not the age of the heroes itself, it’s the fact that Jrpg have always the same type of heroes.

    The world is in crisis, who are you going to call? The young stupid kid and its friends the save the world… That became a cliché that has been overused.

  • This is interesting because the West is becoming more and more effeminate and childish as well, with masculinity seen as some kind of barbaric remnant of an ignorant past, but video games have remained unaffected for some reason. Macho badassery is still the norm (e.g. the just-released Black Ops). Maybe Japan is just so ahead of the curve that even video games have been neutered. On the other hand, I think JRPGs have always been like this.

  • Kabuto Kouji, Nagare Ryoma, Takaya Noriko, Domon Kasshu, Shishio Gai, Simon, Yuri Lowell, Guts, Kenshiro, Jonathan Joester, Spike Spiegel, Sol Badguy, Ragna the Bloodedge, Sengoku Basara’s Date Masamune, Dante, Ike, Samus Aran, etc.

    Why can’t we have more protagonists like these?!

  • the main character(s) in RPGs being young is understandable, I always cross my eyebrows when I see a 30-something year old character who is level 1. isn’t it a bit too late for you to start leveling up old man?

    emos on the other hand have indeed become very annoying and tiring, they need to be fewer to be interesting instead of being all over the place..

  • I think it’s more about audiences, and the idea that games are made for children in Japan.

    …And even in real crises (Wars, etc) it’s always the young people that go out and fight, isn’t it? There’s the definite exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, throughout history, all the great conflicts have been fought by teenagers and young adults.

    …well, rather, the teenagers and young adults fighting at the behest of the adults (drafts, etc), but you see my point.

    • Youth is an excellent quality for a frontline soldier. Less experience= less questions.

      Most of the really intense small unit combat across the world is done by older guys (late 20’s to early 40’s) though. I can see how this would make a proper character arc more challenging to write, but challenging writers is not a bad thing to do.

        • I’m tired of this “That’s their audience bullshit” because then you’re still implying they’re stupid by focusing on an audience, what Misakite said is basically the truth about the west, push comes to shove most people would rather run and hide and let the “heroes” do the work however everyone is hiding so there are no heroes only the pussies who imagine there are heroes, they say stuff like “Oh we focus on the few who do shit” but really if want pull the “realism” card then you would have to admit that THOSE PEOPLE DON’T EXIST, the west just wants to live out their fucking power fantasies as Mary Sue extraordinaire killing everything and doing whatever they want without reparations.

        • personaly I see western Rpg’s as game with macho characters that have usualy military training, and the big problem with this kind of rpg is that they alkl originate from the same base, and that is D&D (ex: Dragon age) and usualy they are more the kind of character that doesnt have a persoanlity, since they can be created according to your own minset of char, and then you have mass effect, wich once again has a military based archetype, since in western rpg’s ppl are more into something that could be plausible in something impossible, and thats why they use the macho man as an archetype.

          in JRpg’s they use teenagers as archetypes, since they are directed to a teenager audience imo, when i started playing rpg’s the one that interested me where the ones that had characters thats ressembled me the most, and thats what they are tryong to bring with JRpg’s, so i dont find both kinds to be bad, the only problem is that whenever they try to brin innovation into both kinds of worlds, they get immediately modified (Nier), and that’s what bothers me about every rpg.

        • you could also add that “evolution” or “revolution” in WRPG is relative, as they’ve done nothing more then just reskin and repackage older ideas that were already present.

          The knowledge of the presence of Ultima games for exemple makes the so-called fresh and interesting takes on unlinear narratives and roleplaying freedom of modern day seem… like a return to retro-WRPG gaming moreso then a step forward. Rather, they took various steps backward to improve on the fun gameplay and the presentation, then went back to their roots and none were the wiser.

          JRPG is highly varied, but most are just very, very pleased to stick with the stereotype and focus only on what Square Enix has to offer. (Especially since they include the Dragon Quest series, arguably the two largest names in mainstream JRPG).

  • If I’ve learned anything from reading these comments:

    The community will defend their character; trying to justify the bad characterization

    Any character that isn’t tiny and whiny is a hulking gorrilla space-marine..

    (PS: Onizuka, The Joestar’s, Jack Rakan, Any Snake, Guts, and..You know what? Shinji from the Evangelion 2.22. You can’t deny the level of badass emitted torwards the end[Even if he is as whiny and useless as an RPG hero on most occasions])

    ..Nuff said.

  • Games need more silent protagonists.

    If we imagine our own characters’ personalities:
    – Less work for the writers
    – Less cutscenes to watch
    – More imagination from the player (hah, imagination’s a good thing to spur, especially for younger people who are used to being fed their characters… isn’t it?)


    (If don’t worry about it, he would be an ordinary devilish homicide.)

    (perhaps is the fault of article 9 of japanese constitution.)
    (Article 9 has destroyed the protagonist’s heart….)

    (Did you know in Japan you are not allowed to shot someone even in danger of being killed.)

    (Because an adult don’t show a dramatic growth.)

    (It’s natural to think like this if you are not a dumb and thoughtless muscle-read.)

    (Because the principal idea of JRPG is growth.
    Boy becoming adult is the eternal theme.
    In FPS a stylish adult making relevantly a war can be good.)

    (Think about a old protagonist at level 1. You would think “What the f you has done until now? lol”.)

    (If you jump the “worry step” and make it adult character it will be criticied as annoying guy what makes too much propounds.)

    (But protagonist loses more popularity at after-growth, when stops to think.)

    (What Kira Yamato is that?)

    Because Japan is Peace-fool. Because Japan lose the ww2, etc….


    (If don’t worry about it, he would be an ordinary devilish homicide.)

    (perhaps is the fault of article 9 of japanese constitution.)
    (Article 9 has destroyed the protagonist’s heart….)

    (Did you know in Japan you are not allowed to shot someone even in danger of being killed.)

    (Because an adult don’t show a dramatic growth.)

    (It’s natural to think like this if you are not a dumb and thoughtless muscle-read.)

    (Because the principal idea of JRPG is growth.
    Boy becoming adult is the eternal theme.
    In FPS a stylish adult making relevantly a war can be good.)

    (Think about a old protagonist at level 1. You would think “What the f you has done until now? lol”.)

    (If you jump the “worry step” and make it adult character it will be criticied as annoying guy what makes too much propounds.)

    (But protagonist loses more popularity at after-growth, when stops to think.)

    (What Kira Yamato is that?)

    Because Japan is Peace-fool. Because Japan lose the ww2, etc….

  • why they are emo hmm cuz todays teens are nothing but depressed ? I hear like every day some one are depressed or ppls commit suicide so they wanna make ppls connect more to the main hero cuz what the hell do I know thats just some question like whats the meaning with life NR 42 ??

    • Evangelion happened, the post Shinji trauma syndrome.

      The reason Gaogaigar was created was because the director was simply pissed at the trend that Evangelion created of piss poor done characters and complex stories (Gainax fascination of adding a retarded ammount of text when they just dont know what the fuck to do Gunbuster/Evangelion/Karekano).

  • beltmonts? those guys have to be cool and not emo enough to kill dracula

    but if all those cool caracters listed above were created before 2000 is either 2 explenations

    1 inspiration for creating caracters shifted in 2000 and it sucked

    2 caracter creators became stupid the minute 2000 arrived

  • Japanese pop culture consumers love their effeminate men. Anime, video games, jpop music, and live action movies are all filled to the brim with effeminate metrosexual men. Come to think of it, Solid Snake was the last macho main character to come out of a Japanese game, and hell, he’s modeled Snake Plissken, an American invention.

    • Yes because you experience all Japanese media and not just the filtered shit you hear through websites? Bullshit, I can make the same claim that the west is obsessed with being “Badass” because they can’t do it themselves and can only watch other people live out the lives they want via crap like reality TV and are a bunch of scared pussies who only want to live in their glory days of badass adn insult others that don’t live up to their standards.

    • But then again, Snake Plissken is just a generic American badass movie character. Granted that is the actual inspiration, but you could really easily say snake was based off any old action movie character sans the eyepatch.

  • A flame war in the making soon everyone is going to be bitchin about muscly american heroes and japans pansy thin pretty boys who borderline on looking like flat girls. Besides an adult would be cut and dry. An adult is world weary and already knows how shit goes down while a teenager will angst his way to oblivion and still be stupid at the end…..that or he will be twice as gay as that fruit around the corner that is always staring at me…..I want my mommy.

    • World weary is the FUCKING SAME THING AS ANGST, “GRRR, the world fucking sucks, everything fucking sucks, it’s pointless blah, blah, blah” SAME DAMN THING NO MATTER WHAT AGE OR TEMPERAMENT.

  • Final Fantasy, which sucks and you suck for liking it, starts it. There’s many RPG without emos, such as Oblivion, Fallout, and for JRPG pretty much anything made by Nipponichi, also Earthbound, which stars a stereotypical American kid called Ness

  • This blog is projecting and twisting the words of the Japanese writer. Emo is an American concept full of losers. Japan was doing just fine until the weeaboos showed up. Don’t project your fruity trash outside your American shores.

  • I love how all the manchildren suddenly bring up western character design, as if Kojima Prod. isn’t from Japan. Asspained much? At least Buff McManlys make sense in war themes, a scrawny hipster wielding weapons 2 to 3 times the size a car & is the only hope for humanity along with his usual ragtag group of anime cliches is beyond ridiculous. I’m aware we’re playing video games but there IS a limit to suspension of disbelief.

    Of course I’m on a site visited mainly but weeaboos so I’ll expect nothing but hurr durr-quality comments.

  • Just an example of their cultures. Westerners admire and idolize strong, mature, professional people who volunteer for dangerous work. Japanese meanwhile prefer emo teenagers as it reflects their commonly told reason for getting involved in WWII, they were forced into it by the Allied powers placing sanctions on them.