The E3 press conferences happened a few days ago and expectedly the JRPG showings were very small. However, the confirmed JRPGs that are coming to the west soon, like Tales of Xillia 2, Tales of Hearts R, FF Type-0, Xenoblade Chronicles X, etc., all have a good number of playable or important females. Of course I can go into many reasons why Japanese RPGs love putting female party members in their casts and many of those reasons aren't because they view women as equally awesome as men (or else we'd have more female MCs), but at least they don't pull out the Assassin's Creen 4 excuse. Seriously, that was bad.

Anyway, I think of a series like Tales which has really brought some playable female characters that not only kick ass but are hella fun to play as. The healers and mages tend to be female in Tales games, but these types of characters have become more fun to use with each iteration. A magic user used to just stand around a cast spells but now he or she might shoot magical enemy out of the staff or throw knives at people or use a mechanical doll to EAT FACES. The games are also pretty fond of the female healing brawler, started by Tales of Eternia's Farah. They also have no problems giving ladies swords or heavy-hitting weapons like Tokunaga (Anise's weapon in Tales of the Abyss) or Ines' hammer (Tales of Hearts R).

Xeno games always have females who kick ass and take names, so I don't need to explain there. I'm intrigued that I can create my MC. Usually they throw a little romance of the MC with someone, so I wonder if the MC of XCX will be more detached? I hope not? I don't care if they decide the romance part could be tricky, but I still want them to be fully involved.

I have yet to reach Type-0 in my backlog, but I remember from screenshots that the protagonists are all in some sort of academy and they there seem to be equal-ish numbers of males and females judging by the number of skirts vs. pants. I'm intrigued by this PS4 remake. I certainly think character models can be upgraded. I just wonder if they'll put effort into the other problems the game supposedly had. Also, will they make Agito more than a pay your way to actually get through game?

Of course I also just played an interesting main female character in Drakengard 3. Actually all the characters are interesting in a "perverted" way, as in they are intentionally not mainstream/weird/squick-inducing. They also represent traits that real people have that aren't necessarily unhealthy. I feel like giving the game all the applause for doing that, even if the base game isn't actually that good.

I did play an hour's worth of Ar tonelico Qoga and I was not prepared for that. I'm just not in the mood for that kind of gameplay right now so I'm shelving it. Maybe because it's not accompanied by equivalent male stripping. Maybe because the voice acting so far has been absolutely atrocious. Maybe because I had more fun playing Dynasty Warriors lite with Zero in Drakengard 3, and that's not even a great system. Also the whole thing with Mute felt really transphobic and I just don't want to. Just no. Maybe the MC will pull an Estelle and I can forgive him, but right now he needs to just shut up. Tatsumi can take over, seriously.

And now I'm done with this somewhat disorganized post. I'll return hopefully soon with a post of some substance.
These past few weeks I have spent way more time watching anime than playing games, which is sad, but the reason is I'm getting excited for Sakura-con. I wish there was more JRPG representation at Sakuracon, but I will still buy anime-related things. I suppose some JRPG franchises have made it huge as animes after all, such as Persona 4. If Tales anime means I can get Tales posters, then I'm all for that! Of course, the Xenosaga animation didn't lead to amazing Xenosaga everywhere, partly because I heard it was really bad. You'd think they could have fixed up the story in the anime considering how some of the events felt just thrown together in the trilogy. Then again I'm due for a Xenosaga trilogy replay...if I could get my PS2 working...

Anyway, so I can't say I necessarily hate all brother/sister shows since I did enjoy Oreimo. It being trashy yet funny was why I ended up watching it all the way through. I am not totally against incest as I don't think you can help those types of feelings when they do happen. However, I don't understand why it seems to be everywhere. This feeling is not nearly as common as it is in anime right now. Two shows being simulcast this season on Crunchyroll, The Irregular at Magic High School and No Game, No Life, both have elements of it. Of course some of it is trolling the viewers and some of it seems real. Supposedly Sword Art Online also had some incest-ish things going on (I have not watched it yet). There were also some other stepsibling romance shows that were on Crunchyroll that I can't remember the name of.

The only JRPG I know of that has incest is Drakengard. Even so, I believe it was added to the story to be "disturbing". How much of that is a selling point is unclear in a game where there's a lady who wants to eat children and a main character who wants to murder everybody. I would think the main character who wants to murder everything would be the bigger selling point (and dragons, of course).

In Tales of Legendia, the childhood friend pair disguises themselves as "brother and sister" for a while. However, it is clearly the "brother" who thinks of his "sister" as a sister platonically and the "sister" who is in love with the "brother" but mostly accepts that a sibling-like relationship is the way it will be. Of course I can't say for sure if this stays true since I only got as far as the beginning of the Character Chapters. Therefore it's another case where brother/sister is not romanticized.

In Tales of Graces f, they try very very hard to shove Asbel/Cheria in your face (a thing that I have complained about before). However, supposedly one of the more popular pairings in fandom is Asbel/Sophie. Maybe it's a sign that fandom ships brother/sister, father/daughter or whatever the two proclaim themselves to be? Or the writers can't write a good brother/sister or father/daughter relationship? Maybe both?

Anyway, so far the major JRPG franchises have been pretty good at keeping the relationships side relatively free of squicks for most people such as incest and have done the fanservice mostly in the visuals. However if this light novel/anime/manga trend gets bigger, I wonder if a medium-sized JRPG producer (like a Compile Heart or NIS) will slip in a game with incest where it isn't considered horrible, disgusting, and/or weird.

As for why it always seems like the sister is more into the brother in all these situations is a matter for a different discussion...

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