Excuse-O-Rama

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

Excuse-O-Rama

Jigggle Me Timbers!

Read Full Article

I can say I always saw Kamitani's explanation as refreshingly honest and believable. It always seems more sexist and offensive when you cook up some contrived bullshit to justify it.

This type of big-boob male gaze stuff is a lot easier even for dem evul censoring feminists to swallow when it's honest and part of a game/media uncompromising. It's the formulaic, "we have to put hot girl in game for males 14-25 demographic metrics computerized voice beep boop" that gets me the most, personally.

And yet it was the very reactions to Kamitani's responses that caused the efforts for justification. Amusingly enough, if you put the media's reactions beside each of their comments they would all be largely interchangeable.

Let's face facts here, it's not the effort to justify it that's causing the negative reactions, it's the fact that the creator's responses aren't "we're sorry and deserve to be flogged for eternity."

LordLundar:
And yet it was the very reactions to Kamitani's responses that caused the efforts for justification. Amusingly enough, if you put the media's reactions beside each of their comments they would all be largely interchangeable.

Please do this. The entire media. Not just Kotaku.

hentropy:
I can say I always saw Kamitani's explanation as refreshingly honest and believable. It always seems more sexist and offensive when you cook up some contrived bullshit to justify it.

This type of big-boob male gaze stuff is a lot easier even for dem evul censoring feminists to swallow when it's honest and part of a game/media uncompromising. It's the formulaic, "we have to put hot girl in game for males 14-25 demographic metrics computerized voice beep boop" that gets me the most, personally.

I'd rather be told that than fed bullshit, to be honest. "We're largely looking for a male audience" isn't great PR, but it's honest. "WOMEN ARE HARD TO ANIMATE," is the kind of shit that genuinely makes people angry.

Power to Kamitani!

Although if you wanted to come up with a (bullshit? Academic?) explanation for big tits in his games, you'd notice that only one character per game has massive knockers, and it's always someone who deals strictly in necromancy (Queen Odette from Odin Sphere, Opalneria from Grim Grimoire, the Sorceress from Dragon's Crown).

I'm not saying they have to have big tits, but there's a conscious decision in Vanillaware Ltd. games to use them solely on female necromancers rather than every female character. Maybe it's a comment on the maternal/gaia-like powers of raising the dead, like a Primal Goddess sort of deal, where life is equated to feminity and the archaic representation of feminity augments female attributes, such as with the Venus of Willendorf.

Fuck if I know.

I suspect a lot of the in-universe reasons came about because before, it was never really necessary to defend the designs, as most people either didn't care, liked them or didn't vocalise it very much if they did.

With the near constant criticism of any sexualised female character design in gaming, for right or wrong people feel the need to justify why they create those designs because "just doing it" isn't widely considered to be okay.

That's not to say the reasons hold any weight, but I suspect if it was possible to create those designs for the sake of it without such a wide spread negative reaction, then more people probably would still be giving a "Kamitani response".

Agreed.

It's unlikely to improve my opinion of the character designs, but I respect the honesty and find it refreshing.

Reminds me a bit of when Ken Levine was asked about the generic cover art for Bioshock Infinite. Dude was like, "We want it to appeal to frat boys. That's it. Surely you'd all prefer me to compromise on the cover art than the actual game content, right?" The cover is still dull, but I liked that he was so upfront about why.

Johnny Novgorod:

I'm not saying they have to have big tits, but there's a conscious decision in Vanillaware Ltd. games to use them solely on female necromancers rather than every female character. Maybe it's a comment on the maternal/gaia-like powers of raising the dead, like a Primal Goddess sort of deal, where life is equated to feminity and the archaic representation of feminity augments female attributes, such as with the Venus of Willendorf.

Fuck if I know.

That's what Kamitani himself has said anyway, that it is a visual representation of the parallel between their raising the dead and its' life giving nature. I still think it is horribly overdone and it repeatedly keeps me off Vanillware games, but at least it has some afterthought to it even if I think the result is more farcical than deep or profound.

In all other respects I agree with The Wooster, it is the cheap excuses that get to me. If someone just says that they want male fanservice or that they are aiming at the teenage boy crowd that's fine or whatever, it is when they make bullshit excuses ("She breathes through her skin!", "Women are hard to animate!" etc.) that it just becomes insulting.

So today I learned that there should never be an in-universe justification for anything people may not like.

Gotcha.

This is the same logic as "It doesn't matter if the character's written like this, they were made by a writer, and therefor it's _____ist".

Areloch:
So today I learned that there should never be an in-universe justification for anything people may not like.

Gotcha.

This is the same logic as "It doesn't matter if the character's written like this, they were made by a writer, and therefor it's _____ist".

If a character is sexist, that's because the writing is sexist. I'm not seeing how that's a controversial statement.

Being a fan of boobies, I appreciate Kamitani's honesty.

Gethsemani:

Johnny Novgorod:

I'm not saying they have to have big tits, but there's a conscious decision in Vanillaware Ltd. games to use them solely on female necromancers rather than every female character. Maybe it's a comment on the maternal/gaia-like powers of raising the dead, like a Primal Goddess sort of deal, where life is equated to feminity and the archaic representation of feminity augments female attributes, such as with the Venus of Willendorf.

Fuck if I know.

That's what Kamitani himself has said anyway, that it is a visual representation of the parallel between their raising the dead and its' life giving nature. I still think it is horribly overdone and it repeatedly keeps me off Vanillware games, but at least it has some afterthought to it even if I think the result is more farcical than deep or profound.

I never read anything to that effect (except he apologized). I just picked up on the coincidence while I was playing Grim Grimoire, that the one boobalicious character in the game was also a Queen of the Dead of sorts. By the time they released the promotional images for Dragon's Crown and I saw the Sorceress I went "Well I know what her deal is".

The weird thing about Cortana is that I never got a 'naked' feeling from her in Halo 1-3, it was only when I was seeing stuff for Halo 4 that it was like, yeah, shes naked and I think they made her tits bigger and bounce, that's weird and takes away from her character.

I think that I remember Kojima saying that he initially designed Quiet that way because he wanted more cosplayers to dress up like that and to sell more figurines.

The Wooster:

Areloch:
So today I learned that there should never be an in-universe justification for anything people may not like.

Gotcha.

This is the same logic as "It doesn't matter if the character's written like this, they were made by a writer, and therefor it's _____ist".

If a character is sexist, that's because the writing is sexist. I'm not seeing how that's a controversial statement.

So is a character like The Major from Ghost in the Shell sexist? She spends most of the series walking around in a unitard, and the sum total of the justification seems to boil down to "the character likes to wear that".

I think that was pretty much the explanation for the character design in Senran Kagura as well.

"Why do the characters have huge boobs?"

"Because we really like boobs. "

The Wooster:

Areloch:
So today I learned that there should never be an in-universe justification for anything people may not like.

Gotcha.

This is the same logic as "It doesn't matter if the character's written like this, they were made by a writer, and therefor it's _____ist".

If a character is sexist, that's because the writing is sexist. I'm not seeing how that's a controversial statement.

Surely you could have a sexist character in a work of fiction, without the entire book being sexist?

Wait, I don't play the MGS games, but is the explanation for Quiet seriously supposed to be that she breathes through her skin? Was she created with amphibian DNA or something?

Ihateregistering1:
Wait, I don't play the MGS games, but is the explanation for Quiet seriously supposed to be that she breathes through her skin? Was she created with amphibian DNA or something?

Yes. She does indeed breathe through her skin. Basically, she's the assassin who attacks Snake in the hospital at the beginning of the game and blah blah blah horribly burned blah blah blah parasite thing blah blah blah photosynthesis instead of eating.

Seriously.

Having a pair of boobies, I appreciate Kamitani's honesty.

I mean, it's pretty creepy when guys who are totally interested in boobs pretend they're not just to get closer to the boobs (and whatever human is attached to them). Kamitani enjoys drawing characters with exaggerated bodies, and as long as he keeps his priorities straight (like, saving the super cheesecake characters for the fun, not very serious swords and sorcery game), I'm not going to complain. Besides, for every pudding sorceress there's a elven archer girl in comfy clothes, so it's not like there's no variety.

Ihateregistering1:
Wait, I don't play the MGS games, but is the explanation for Quiet seriously supposed to be that she breathes through her skin? Was she created with amphibian DNA or something?

Areloch:

The Wooster:

Areloch:
So today I learned that there should never be an in-universe justification for anything people may not like.

Gotcha.

This is the same logic as "It doesn't matter if the character's written like this, they were made by a writer, and therefor it's _____ist".

If a character is sexist, that's because the writing is sexist. I'm not seeing how that's a controversial statement.

So is a character like The Major from Ghost in the Shell sexist? She spends most of the series walking around in a unitard, and the sum total of the justification seems to boil down to "the character likes to wear that".

I think the Major's outfit in Stand Alone Complex is easily the worst part of an otherwise fantastic show. But at least they never made up a bullshit excuse for it.

GreyArea633:

The Wooster:

Areloch:
So today I learned that there should never be an in-universe justification for anything people may not like.

Gotcha.

This is the same logic as "It doesn't matter if the character's written like this, they were made by a writer, and therefor it's _____ist".

If a character is sexist, that's because the writing is sexist. I'm not seeing how that's a controversial statement.

Surely you could have a sexist character in a work of fiction, without the entire book being sexist?

I don't think anyone is disputing that. In fact I'd say it's pretty rare to find a work that could be defined as sexist in its entirety.

A KissLike Smile:
I suspect a lot of the in-universe reasons came about because before, it was never really necessary to defend the designs, as most people either didn't care, liked them or didn't vocalise it very much if they did.

With the near constant criticism of any sexualised female character design in gaming, for right or wrong people feel the need to justify why they create those designs because "just doing it" isn't widely considered to be okay.

That's not to say the reasons hold any weight, but I suspect if it was possible to create those designs for the sake of it without such a wide spread negative reaction, then more people probably would still be giving a "Kamitani response".

This, quite a bit. It's the same kind of thinking that makes people upset at Resident Evil 5 for having a bunch of black enemies, when I doubt the artists thought much beyond, "Most people in Africa are black, we should make most of the infected black." People have gotten very pseudo-analytical about their media, and they demand answers for why something is a certain way rather than just accepting it's because artists are people too who like to draw certain things, and other times don't want to obsess over every choice when they have bigger fish to fry.

The Wooster:

LordLundar:
And yet it was the very reactions to Kamitani's responses that caused the efforts for justification. Amusingly enough, if you put the media's reactions beside each of their comments they would all be largely interchangeable.

Please do this. The entire media. Not just Kotaku.

Most of this story blew past me originally, but just putting 'Dragon Crown art design' into Google turns up articles from Gamasutra, Venturebeat, Destructoid, and some other outfits lambasting both the decision to put the Sorceress design in there, and the artist's response (which, depending on whether you believe the letter Kamitani wrote afterwards or not, was either a joking acknowledgement of what was going on mangled by a computer translator, or a deliberate slap in the Kotaku writer's face). Heck, this very forum saw this response from a Gearbox artist:

That's actually something that made its way into a basically finished video game, fucking lol! Some juvenile delinquent kid in my 5th grade class used to draw girls that looked like that (only without the creepy blank, featureless samefaces and wizard hats), and I think he was actually better at it. I also think he's in jail now.

Telling the world to just accept something they do not like is not a valid strategy to avoid this style of shitstorm. Not valid criticisms and actual discussion about the art, mind you, but the kind of pointless shouting match that we see too much of, where people are more interested in calling each other chucklefucks than they are in talking. You may admire Kamitani's stance, but it doesn't address the problems people have and at best it keeps the artist from flinging back any of the feces plastering his studio.

Yes, thank you.

I got called the usual quartet of epithets for saying that Cortana's design was just teen-bait.

Areloch:

The Wooster:

Areloch:
So today I learned that there should never be an in-universe justification for anything people may not like.

Gotcha.

This is the same logic as "It doesn't matter if the character's written like this, they were made by a writer, and therefor it's _____ist".

If a character is sexist, that's because the writing is sexist. I'm not seeing how that's a controversial statement.

So is a character like The Major from Ghost in the Shell sexist? She spends most of the series walking around in a unitard, and the sum total of the justification seems to boil down to "the character likes to wear that".

This is actually an interesting question since Ghost in the Shell covers the entire spectrum of these kinds of decisions.

I assume you're talking about the Stand Alone Complex TV series rather than the movies? I don't know if I'd call the Major's outfit design in that series "sexist" but I do think it was a pretty bad design. There's some scenes where she's in a room full of military types and she's dressed like she's going to a swim meet. It's an odd design and if I had creative control of the series, I wouldn't have gone with it.

The original movie however, actually has the Major end up naked quite a lot of the time, and it's a great creative decision. Sure it's "justified" by the in-universe explanation of her stealth camo being built into her skin, but it's also a great decision on its own merits. Whenever the Major strips, it's usually before some kind of body-horror sequence. Either the head exploding in the intro, the brilliant sequence where we see her cybernetic body get put back together, the agent getting his limbs broken in that pool of water, or that great sequence at the end where she jumps on the tank and literally tears her body apart trying to open the hatch. I'm sure these images are supposed to titillate and look edgy (and if 90s anime movies were anything, they were fucking edgy) but there's a solid artistic rationale for all of them. It's not just there for dudes to leer at.

And then at the opposite end of the spectrum you have the original manga by Masamune Shirow, who is as much a pornographer as he is a mangaka. The original Ghost in The Shell manga was openly exploitative and silly, and it was obvious that a lot of the nudity and sex wasn't there to make a statement or extend the story, it was there because Shirow likes drawing robot lesbians. Dude made no apologies for that, and I respect that. I'm a huge fan of his work.

Ihateregistering1:
Wait, I don't play the MGS games, but is the explanation for Quiet seriously supposed to be that she breathes through her skin? Was she created with amphibian DNA or something?

It was based off the same techinques that "The End" in MGS3 used to stay alive for a century, nearly completely mask his presence in battle by blending into his environment as well as do that annoying as fuck 100% heal move.
It works by making her part plant via a special type of parasite which bonds to her skin.
While I still thought it was contrived, it was a bit better then what I was expecting, considering there is actually a pretty good reason why she would need new skin given in game.

OT: This is very much a "Case by Case" basis with me in relation to character design.
I mean, I understand the nature of sex appeal and whatnot, but sometimes going out of your way to explain why the female characters all look like pin up models just makes it more obvious.

Besides, the actual black ops outfit you can unlock for Quiet that's based off the people who attack you at the start of the game looks pretty cool and makes me wish that was her actual design.

Ihateregistering1:
Wait, I don't play the MGS games, but is the explanation for Quiet seriously supposed to be that she breathes through her skin? Was she created with amphibian DNA or something?

Don't be ridiculous. She was merely a perfectly ordinary secret agent assassin who got burned almost to death but was revived by being infected with a modified strain of a parasite which used to live inside the body of a photosynthetic sniper from the cold war.

Duh

OT: I always heard that the Dragon's Crown character actually had a (flimsy) excuse, that it was linked to early fertility goddesses or something. Maybe it was just the fans that were coming up with that justification, though.

I'm of the opinion that people shouldn't have to justify their characters being scantily clad or anatomically impossible or whatever, but if developers do feel the need to they could at least come up with more reasonable lies. Most excuses I've heard are just embarrassingly transparent.

Kontarek:

I think the Major's outfit in Stand Alone Complex is easily the worst part of an otherwise fantastic show. But at least they never made up a bullshit excuse for it.

In fact, in one episode of SAC(I think it's the one about the guy with the sex doll robot, early in the season), the Major goes off on a rant about sex dolls and how sexist they are. One of the other members of Section 9 a comment that the major is being kind of a hypocrite.

I don't give a fuck they are all hot. I already spent my time with their 'ahem' Fanart.

This reminds me of how in Daily Life with a Monster girl they explain that larger boobs are common on the bigger Monster Girl species since their babies are bigger as well and need more milk. If I remember right the science doesn't quite back it up according to someone on the wiki but it's a half-way clever idea that would explain why the tiny Harpy is flat and the giant Centaur has a J Cup.

The Wooster:

Areloch:

The Wooster:

If a character is sexist, that's because the writing is sexist. I'm not seeing how that's a controversial statement.

So is a character like The Major from Ghost in the Shell sexist? She spends most of the series walking around in a unitard, and the sum total of the justification seems to boil down to "the character likes to wear that".

This is actually an interesting question since Ghost in the Shell covers the entire spectrum of these kinds of decisions.

I assume you're talking about the Stand Alone Complex TV series rather than the movies? I don't know if I'd call the Major's outfit design in that series "sexist" but I do think it was a pretty bad design. There's some scenes where she's in a room full of military types and she's dressed like she's going to a swim meet. It's an odd design and if I had creative control of the series, I wouldn't have gone with it.

The original movie however, actually has the Major end up naked quite a lot of the time, and it's a great creative decision. Sure it's "justified" by the in-universe explanation of her stealth camo being built into her skin, but it's also a great decision on its own merits. Whenever the Major strips, it's usually before some kind of body-horror sequence. Either the head exploding in the intro, the brilliant sequence where we see her cybernetic body get put back together, the agent getting his limbs broken in that pool of water, or that great sequence at the end where she jumps on the tank and literally tears her body apart trying to open the hatch. I'm sure these images are supposed to titillate and look edgy (and if 90s anime movies were anything, they were fucking edgy) but there's a solid artistic rationale for all of them. It's not just there for dudes to leer at.

And then at the opposite end of the spectrum you have the original manga by Masamune Shirow, who is as much a pornographer as he is a mangaka. The original Ghost in The Shell manga was openly exploitative and silly, and it was obvious that a lot of the nudity and sex wasn't there to make a statement or extend the story, it was there because Shirow likes drawing robot lesbians. Dude made no apologies for that, and I respect that. I'm a huge fan of his work.

Yeah, I'll clarify in that I was thinking of the TV series.

And really, I can't say her outfit is really any worse than the people that go to work in an atrocious Hawaiian patterned shirt.

I mean, you say her outfit was kinda terrible, but I see plenty of girls wearing even less than that - like the booty short/bikini top combo - any time the weather is nice enough to allow it. So if a real life person can make a decision to wear skimpy clothing, why is it somehow a poor excuse if a writer writes a character to wear similar clothes?

But you also gave another good example with the nudity-stealth stuff in the movies. Whether there is further artistic justification with the juxtaposition of the body horror or no, it sounds like you acknowledge that the in-universe explanation of why she needs to get naked for the optical camo to work is decent enough.

So now it would become a question of "If some explanations are, indeed, valid, then why are some not?".

I mean, I have no doubt there's a lot of creators out there that come up with flimsy excuses after the fact, but it seems awfully presumptuous to be able to wontonly point at something and go "Nah, I don't think that explanation is good enough, clearly it and the creator are sexist."

I can dig it if you think the explanation is dumb, but I think it falls apart about the time one tries to assign secretive motives to the creators because one thinks the explanation is dumb.

Yeah, I have to agree with a majority of the posts here. They are only trying to "justify" design choices because they are being forced to. There was a time when these decisions were never questioned. Now every game has to justify why they are not including a gay/bi/female/trans/black/arabic/big boned/whatever character...

Yeah as a couple of others have said it's odd how Cortana became more explicitly naked as the halo games went on, up to 3 I didn't really notice as her design changed and her chest gained more definition. But for some reason the addition of a navel and toes (Not to mention the effort they put into her other "assets")to the design in four makes it much more apparent that she's naked and it's kinda offputting in a weird way.

I guess she starts veering into the uncanny valley perhaps.

Who knows, maybe its because I never played any of the games after 3.

Ihateregistering1:
Wait, I don't play the MGS games, but is the explanation for Quiet seriously supposed to be that she breathes through her skin? Was she created with amphibian DNA or something?

Symbiote/parasite...thing. She also drinks through her skin and undergoes photosynthesis. The explanation is all very much MGS logic in all its glory. Also, if you pay attention, the texture they use for her skin a little..off. It's subtle, but it's there.

Don't forget the new one, "Jabba likes looking at slave girls." No, Carrie Fisher wanted to show off her body so they decided to write Leia in a bikini into the script.. Its fanservice and thats okay.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here