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Amateur vs. Expert: PERSONA 4 #7

The Bad Bad Bathhouse is a lot more intense than we remember it!

Welcome to Amateur vs. Expert, a new column wherein noted anime layperson Nick Robinson (Babylonian) squares off against anime savant Kristoffer Remmell (FoxxFireArt). The goal? To take our two columns, Anime Amateur and Anime Examiner, and combine them for your reading pleasure. Let's get started!

Nick Robinson:

That was...really intense! I'm glad Kanji is now a proper member of the investigation team, though I'm curious to see how they're gonna handle the 'only bring three squadmates' system the game uses. Do you think by the end of the series we're gonna see all eight team members rolling through dungeons together? That would be a little overwhelming, I think. I guess we'll see!

Anyways, yeah, the Kanji stuff. I thought it was mostly funny; Yu and Yosuke busting out their Personas way too early was a cute gag, and Shadow Kanji's musclemen bodyguards were undeniably hilarious. Still, some of it felt a bit homophobic at times. I know it's a weird accusation to level at an anime based on such a LGBT-friendly game, but the bizarre rage the main four cast members had towards Shadow Kanji throughout the episode was a a little baffling. To be fair, a lot of it might be language barrier stuff (and, if my understanding is correct, Japan generally isn't great at dealing with flamboyancy, gay or otherwise). Still, that doesn't quite excuse how how "Hard Gay" all of it feels. I know it's meant to be light-hearted and all in good fun, but I'd be lying if I said it didn't make me feel slightly uncomfortable.

Still, I'd also be lying if I said I didn't get more laughs from this episode than any other so far. Seeing more of Yu's dry sense of humor come out is a treat, and it's worth restating how great those two bodyguards were. I want to shake the hand of the person at AIC who thought it'd be a good idea to flesh out those two minor enemies with dialogue. An awesome little touch.

Kristoffer Remmell:

I really have to stop trying to predict what this anime series isn't going to be bringing from the video game. It keeps proving me wrong. I never thought they were going to deal with more than one Persona for Yu, then I never thought they were even going to touch the Social Linking outside the main cast. This episode it's the fusion of the Persona to creation new and more powerful ones. I'd be interested in seeing if the hydra Yu created by using those same Persona is what's used in the game. As far as having all eight rolling into a Midnight Channel dungeons. I've given up on predicting much of anything for this anime. It would seem seriously overpowered, but they could always split up to search.

This was the funniest episode to date. A lot of users complained about Yu's lack of personality, but I think his deadpan delivery makes his lines even funnier. Three minutes in and I was busting out laughing. Yu's started taping the Midnight Channel bits and asked Yosuke if he wanted a copy. That was a great call back. I do agree that pulling out the Personas instantly was a good bit, then even Chie can't help herself. Later on, even Yu was disappointed he didn't bring a camera. This is why he needs to upgrade to a smart phone.

I can certainly understand how you could see the guys reaction as over the top to the bathhouse, but would it seem odd if the sexuality of situation was reversed and the girls didn't want to go in? I don't know about Japanese culture and their views on homosexuality. I can say that you can find some flamboyant characters in nearly every series that deals with teens and up. One Piece has Emporio Ivankov, who bares a striking resemblance and similar personality to Tim Curry's role in The Rocky Horror Picture Show. How many western comics or cartoons have you seen that have such openly flamboyant males? Kanji in the end admits that his feelings aren't about men or women. It's about his fear of rejection. The Shadows are extreme exaggerations of people's insecurities. The same way Chie's Shadow was a dominatrix.

Nick Robinson:

Yeah, this show has absolutely bucked our predictions at a couple points. It's funny, because looking back on the first episode's militant faithfulness to the game, it'd would have been impossible to predict that we'd get a new character, substantial story tweaks and all the other changes we've observed. It's resulted in a show that is a bit more interesting than we were led to expect, I think.

I'm also no authority on Japanese views toward homosexuality, but I feel like most of the depictions of gays I've seen in mainstream Japanese media are these same cartoonish, utterly un-PC caricatures. The flamboyant, subtlety-free gay guy is a recurring Japanese trope by now - Valkyria Chronicles' Jann Walker is a particularly damning example of that.

I do think there's an argument to be made that I'm missing the point and that Persona 4's depiction of these stereotypes are entirely ironic - and either way, Kanji is such a progressive and interesting character that it's a pretty minor complaint in the grand scheme of things. Like you pointed out, Kanji isn't the only one with an exaggerated and highly sexualized Shadow. Still, it initially put me off enough that I felt it was worth mentioning. Like, one of those bodyguards put his fingers in Yu and Yosuke's butts. In their butts, Kris.

Moving on, I love the fact that they're gradually edging towards Yu having a personality. The few times where he's given meaningful lines each episode feel a lot like the in-game moments where you're selecting from dialogue options, which is perfect. The humor feels like it's improving, and they continue to break my expectations (Shadow Kanji's bodyguards flirting with Yu's Persona directly? Who saw that coming?). Breaking my expectations and keeping it light is just about all I can ask from P4A, and lately, it's delivering on both.

What are your final thoughts on episode seven?

Kristoffer Remmell:

Oh yeah, I wouldn't call a lot of the depiction of homosexual characters in anime always the best role models, but most archetypes are taken to an extreme. Notice that it was Kanji's shadow that was so over the top. While the real Kanji is kind of a tough dude who stands up for his mom and little kids. That's pretty positive. The shadow seems to be more based on Kanji's insecurities of what other may see. It's a hard critique to make that the exaggeration was over-exaggerated. It's not as if it's going to be like that in every episode. People can focus on the finger up the butt part, but I'd rather focus on Chie and Yukiko covered in hot oil.

My final thoughts are that this is a shining example of how this series is putting in a great effort to follow the iconic moments of a game, but mix them in with new touches to deepen the story. Yu has been steadily become more lively as that character chart has grown. I think people who dropped out of the anime thinking they were never going to see social linking or fusions needs to watch this episode. As you said, Nick. This is delivering something for everyone, and next episode looks to have some more fun hijinks.

I hope you and all our readers in the U.S. have a good Thanksgiving. After I'm done cooking and eating, I'm sitting myself down to watch episode eight of Persona 4.

Kristoffer Remmell (FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ animevice / @ FoxxFireArt

Nick Robinson (Babylonian) is a Whiskey Media intern and a journalism student. Won't you follow him on Twitter at @Babylonian? He'd be ever so appreciative!

dvorakon Nov. 22, 2011 at 7:37 a.m.

Nothing to contribute to the subject on hand I guess, but I can't believe that episode 7 is already on Kanji's "dungeon" as it were.

Hachikujion Nov. 22, 2011 at 10:31 a.m.

I know for a Fact That Japans LGBT policies are a bit prejudiced compared to other Countries as can be shown by the statements of one Shintaro Ishihara govenor of Tokyo (That man should burn in the fire of every religious representation of hell there is) However I really don't think the episode was that offensive to homosexuals. To me the reactions of both Yosuke and Yuu weren't That Far off from the reactions of the Average straight Teenage Boy . Not to sound heartless but anyone who reads too deeply into their reactions and feels offended probably has a hard time veiwing any sort of video entertainment in General .This episode though is going into my List of all time favourites the last time my sides Hurt from watching an anime was probably Arakawa under the bridge episode 3.

Little_Socrateson Nov. 22, 2011 at 11:22 a.m.

I was extremely satisfied with this episode. They really played up the mild homophobia of our male characters in the episode, which, while perhaps "uncomfortable," helps define them far more. I think that was always the relationship they expected the player to have with Kanji; we're supposed to be a little uncomfortable with Kanji's dungeon because most high-schoolers worldwide are a little uncomfortable with homosexuality in general. Now, I'm not saying that most of us DIDN'T come at the dungeon with a larger world-view than that (I actually didn't like Yosuke for a while because he's kind of a homophobe) but it puts Yu in the position they maybe always expected.

Username_Undefinedon Nov. 22, 2011 at 3:10 p.m.

All this talk about Kanji's dungeon really makes hard to wait until Rise's. I can imagine a pseudo-role reversal with Yosuke (and maybe Yu) extremely fired up about going and not wanting to rush through with the girls having to kick them into gear as opposed to the guys wanting to just forget about Kanji and leave.

Hailinelon Nov. 22, 2011 at 7:59 p.m.

I saw nothing wrong with the depiction of Shadow Kanji or his buds, Nice Guy and Tough Guy. Shadows are not meant to represent the whole of a person's psyche. They're only a fragment twisted out of proportion. Shadows are meant to be over the top in their manifestations of what concepts they represent. For Kanji, that representation happens to be an oversexed, effeminate homosexual. For Chie, it was a controlling dominatrix. For Yukiko, it was a princess looking for a prince to take her away (and take other things, as well). All three of these Shadows twist the sides of their respective wholes into something sexually over the top, and this is to say nothing of the Shadows that come after in Rise and Naoto.

To be offended by the representation of Kanji in his Shadow is to sell the nature of the Shadow short; whether or not Kanji is actually homosexual is immaterial to the discussion. He's a teenager that's frustrated by the way others treat him and confused about what it is he truly desires. Is he gay? Straight? Bi? His attraction to Naoto, who herself is a non-traditional model of her gender, adds to his confusion. Is he attracted to her because she acts masculine? Is his attraction to her as a person regardless of her feminine traits, or lack thereof? He doesn't know, and that's perfectly understandable given where he is at that point in his life.

I also appreciated the way that the episode tapped into Kanji's Social Link by working elements into the pre-bath house section of the story. It was able to fit an important element of Kanji's character seemlessly into the exposition, and in this case, did a better job than the game in demonstrating the level of skill Kanji actually has in his chosen hobby.

If there was anything that truly caught me off guard in this episode, it was the point at which Yukiko and Chie go into full-on berserker rage mode. It's not a trait we really saw from either character in the game, and to me felt like a moment where the anime was channeling the rage status effect.

FoxxFireArt moderator is online on Nov. 22, 2011 at 9:12 p.m.

In a way, I can relate to Kanji's fears. The Shadow is basically what he's afraid others will see him as if they knew about his hobbies. That he likes to draw, sew, and likes cute things. When I was in school, people gave me some crap because I liked to draw and I can sew. Hell, a few years back I made some Roman shades for my bedroom. I just didn't care what people thought about me, but it did make dating difficult being both short and looking younger for my age.

This episode makes me wish we were doing this as a podcast.

@Hachikuji:

Yes, Japan has issues with homosexuality, but they are far better than some African nations that want to make it a crime punishable by death. Those become even more disturbing when you discover some of those laws are being sponsored by religious groups in the U.S.

Western media is hypocritical when it comes to gays and lesbian characters. Lesbians have it better in comics, but gay men are treated as more tokens, who almost never get any spotlight or stories. I remember reading after Marvel had Shatterstar kiss Rictor that Shatterstar's original creator was not happy about that. We also see it in movies. A straight actor can play a gay man and people applaud, but when does an openly gay man get cast to be the male romantic lead in a guy/girl relationship? It's acting. Their personal life shouldn't mean anything.

@Little_Socrates:

I think Nick's main point was the cast's reactions to Kanji's Shadow.

ComicMan24on Nov. 22, 2011 at 11:26 p.m.

It was a funny episode. I laughed a lot with their reactions.

golguinon Nov. 23, 2011 at 3:03 a.m.

It was easily the funniest episode so far. I rarely say this, but I laughed out loud when Yosuke and MC summoned their Personas early (and later Chie) since the game always let the shadow monologue without interference.

Babylonian staff on Nov. 23, 2011 at 3:22 a.m.

@Hailinel said:

I saw nothing wrong with the depiction of Shadow Kanji or his buds, Nice Guy and Tough Guy. Shadows are not meant to represent the whole of a person's psyche. They're only a fragment twisted out of proportion. Shadows are meant to be over the top in their manifestations of what concepts they represent. For Kanji, that representation happens to be an oversexed, effeminate homosexual. For Chie, it was a controlling dominatrix. For Yukiko, it was a princess looking for a prince to take her away (and take other things, as well). All three of these Shadows twist the sides of their respective wholes into something sexually over the top, and this is to say nothing of the Shadows that come after in Rise and Naoto.

To be offended by the representation of Kanji in his Shadow is to sell the nature of the Shadow short; whether or not Kanji is actually homosexual is immaterial to the discussion. He's a teenager that's frustrated by the way others treat him and confused about what it is he truly desires. Is he gay? Straight? Bi? His attraction to Naoto, who herself is a non-traditional model of her gender, adds to his confusion. Is he attracted to her because she acts masculine? Is his attraction to her as a person regardless of her feminine traits, or lack thereof? He doesn't know, and that's perfectly understandable given where he is at that point in his life.

"Offended" is the wrong word - "uncomfortable" would be better. As I said in the article, there's an argument to be made that these exaggerated, unreal gay stereotypes fit the Shadow model perfectly. Either way, though, seeing that same Japanese hackneyed depiction of gays is a little exhausting.

Still, like Kris pointed out below, my main problem was with the cast's reactions to the Shadows. I don't think of Yu, Chie, Yukiko and Yosuke (well, okay, maybe Yosuke) as being homophobic at all, and the bafflingly angry reactions all four of them had to Shadow Kanji felt at odds with the characters as I've come to know them.

@Hailinel said:

I also appreciated the way that the episode tapped into Kanji's Social Link by working elements into the pre-bath house section of the story. It was able to fit an important element of Kanji's character seemlessly into the exposition, and in this case, did a better job than the game in demonstrating the level of skill Kanji actually has in his chosen hobby.

Agreed! I thought that was an elegant solution that condensed his Social Link down to a few minutes without feeling rushed or anything. They handled that tremendously well, I thought.

@golguin said:

It was easily the funniest episode so far. I rarely say this, but I laughed out loud when Yosuke and MC summoned their Personas early (and later Chie) since the game always let the shadow monologue without interference.

I think the fact that the battle music started playing (and then suddenly tape-stopped) was the bit that sealed it for me. Them getting all meta and self-referential and messing with our expectations of them is something I hope we haven't seen the last of!

dixperikenon Nov. 23, 2011 at 4:52 a.m.

I really enjoyed this episode too. But I swear Yu and Yosuke just got their bums pinched. I don't think he put his finger up there...

Hailinelon Nov. 23, 2011 at 7:36 a.m.

@dixperiken said:

I really enjoyed this episode too. But I swear Yu and Yosuke just got their bums pinched. I don't think he put his finger up there...

As a friend of mine put it in describing the scene, they got kancho'd.

Dunchadon Nov. 23, 2011 at 8:45 a.m.

@Hailinel said:

@dixperiken said:

I really enjoyed this episode too. But I swear Yu and Yosuke just got their bums pinched. I don't think he put his finger up there...

As a friend of mine put it in describing the scene, they got kancho'd.

Not quite accurate, thankfully.

I always found it weird that people use the word "homophobe" in relation to scenes in Kanji's dungeon. Like they say, it's not paranoia if they're really out to get you. I'm not afraid of homosexuals (homophobia), but if I had to enter a place like Kanji's dungeon, where there were large muscled men/shadows intent on assrape... I would think twice about entering.

People are way too sensitive about some issues - though personally I don't get offended by anything (Jimmy Carr is one of my favourite comedians). If I did, it would be the stuff that seems malicious, which Persona 4 hijinks are definitely not.

Hailinelon Nov. 23, 2011 at 6:34 p.m.

@Babylonian: I think that all of the characters acted appropriate for the situation that they were in. Yosuke's evidenced homophobia from the game aside, it's easy to see even someone that isn't homophobic pausing before entering the bathhouse. As Dunchad noted, Shadow Kanji and his buds weren't just exuding homosexual vibes; Nice Guy and Tough Guy in particular molested Yu and Yosuke. Yukiko would have likely been the voice of reason in the group had she not been embarrassed and enraged by the idea that her own Shadow had behaved in just as sexually explicit a manner.

So no one is strictly acting with a homophobic attitude here. I imagine that most people wouldn't approach an oversexed, supernatural caricature of someone they know without expressing obvious hesitance at the very least.

Babylonian staff on Nov. 23, 2011 at 8:07 p.m.

@Hailinel said:

@Babylonian: I think that all of the characters acted appropriate for the situation that they were in. Yosuke's evidenced homophobia from the game aside, it's easy to see even someone that isn't homophobic pausing before entering the bathhouse. As Dunchad noted, Shadow Kanji and his buds weren't just exuding homosexual vibes; Nice Guy and Tough Guy in particular molested Yu and Yosuke. Yukiko would have likely been the voice of reason in the group had she not been embarrassed and enraged by the idea that her own Shadow had behaved in just as sexually explicit a manner.

So no one is strictly acting with a homophobic attitude here. I imagine that most people wouldn't approach an oversexed, supernatural caricature of someone they know without expressing obvious hesitance at the very least.

That's not really a fair depiction you're painting, though, is it? The butt stuff didn't even happen until the final battle, and their entire way through the dungeon everyone - all four characters - were bursting at the seams to wreck this dude. The team was busting out their Personas early and entertaining leaving Kanji in the dungeon all before anything had happened other than Shadow Kanji being flamboyantly gay near them.

They weren't "pausing before entering the bathhouse," they were uncharacteristically out for blood for no real reason other than that this character was acting "too gay" or whatever. That kind of sucks!

Still, on second viewing, I'm a little less perturbed by it than I was initially. It can be mostly brushed aside as high schoolers being high schoolers, I think. Still, the premise of this column is to document our initial reactions to the episode, and my first impression was "Man, this is a little disappointing," and overall, I still feel that way about the general tenor of this episode, which at best can be taken as "be gay if you want, but don't 'act like it'."

CapioCorpuson Nov. 23, 2011 at 11:50 p.m.

Just wanted to say that I've been loving this feature, it's great! I have not missed an episode of P4A and it's nice to get some thoughts on it from both you @Babylonian and @FoxxFireArt, keep up the good work.

mutha3on Nov. 24, 2011 at 4:31 a.m.

@Babylonian said:

Still, on second viewing, I'm a little less perturbed by it than I was initially. It can be mostly brushed aside as high schoolers being high schoolers, I think. Still, the premise of this column is to document our initial reactions to the episode, and my first impression was "Man, this is a little disappointing," and overall, I still feel that way about the general tenor of this episode, which at best can be taken as "be gay if you want, but don't 'act like it'."

Yep, this is basically what I think. Its pretty messed up when you think about it this way: Yu Narukami accepted the fact that Kanji likes "cute shit", but at no point in that entire exchange, and especially if you look at the episode, does he accept Kanji's flamboyant alter ego(which is his sexual confusion, rage and loneliness personafied). I mean.....not only would that make Yu no different from the people who used to judge Kanji for not fitting into normal japanese gender roles, it even affirms them. It really makes it seem, like you said, that the episode is saying "its okay to like cute things....as long as you don't act like an icky homosexual". The investigation team is even treated as justified for hating the flamboyant shadow(they get no negative consequences like making it stronger or whatever, which should have happened).

Not that the stuff in this episode was the worst thing ever or the most homophobic piece of fiction imaginable(like Bakuman and sexism), its simply the part where the source material is, like, one of the 3 videogames in existence that acknowledges LGBT issues. And doesn't make a total mockery of its gay character. Besides, why is Kanji's shadow the only one who got this treatment?

...I mean fucking Yukiko got an entire episode with dramatic jpop, on top of birdcage symbolism and shit. Yosuke and Chie's shadows(and hey, look at it this way: did we get shitty dominantrix jokes the entire episode?) were billed as much more threatening opponents as well. Why is Kanji the only that got turned into a circus attraction?

Hailinelon Nov. 24, 2011 at 8:41 a.m.

@mutha3 said:

@Babylonian said:

Still, on second viewing, I'm a little less perturbed by it than I was initially. It can be mostly brushed aside as high schoolers being high schoolers, I think. Still, the premise of this column is to document our initial reactions to the episode, and my first impression was "Man, this is a little disappointing," and overall, I still feel that way about the general tenor of this episode, which at best can be taken as "be gay if you want, but don't 'act like it'."

Yep, this is basically what I think. Its pretty messed up when you think about it this way: Yu Narukami accepted the fact that Kanji likes "cute shit", but at no point in that entire exchange, and especially if you look at the episode, does he accept Kanji's flamboyant alter ego(which is his sexual confusion, rage and loneliness personafied). I mean.....not only would that make Yu no different from the people who used to judge Kanji for not fitting into normal japanese gender roles, it even affirms them. It really makes it seem, like you said, that the episode is saying "its okay to like cute things....as long as you don't act like an icky homosexual". The investigation team is even treated as justified for hating the flamboyant shadow(they get no negative consequences like making it stronger or whatever, which should have happened).

Not that the stuff in this episode was the worst thing ever or the most homophobic piece of fiction imaginable(like Bakuman and sexism), its simply the part where the source material is, like, one of the 3 videogames in existence that acknowledges LGBT issues. And doesn't make a total mockery of its gay character. Besides, why is Kanji's shadow the only one who got this treatment?

...I mean fucking Yukiko got an entire episode with dramatic jpop, on top of birdcage symbolism and shit. Yosuke and Chie's shadows(and hey, look at it this way: did we get shitty dominantrix jokes the entire episode?) were billed as much more threatening opponents as well. Why is Kanji the only that got turned into a circus attraction?

At no point do any of the characters state that, nor is that the message I got from the episode. The flamboyant homosexual that is Shadow Kanji is, once again, not representative of the whole. It's just a part of him that's twisted out of proportion, and it is never confirmed as to whether or not he is in fact gay. Is he? Maybe, but he's at a point in his life where he's trying to figure things out. To paint him as 100% positively gay is not doing justice to the complexity of the character.

Also, we have no idea how the other dungeons are going to play out. We've still got a flipping strip club to go through, if that says anything. The point is, these Shadows are not meant to paint a positive portrait of the characters they spawned from.

mutha3on Nov. 24, 2011 at 10:23 a.m.

@Hailinel said:

At no point do any of the characters state that, nor is that the message I got from the episode. The flamboyant homosexual that is Shadow Kanji is, once again, not representative of the whole. It's just a part of him that's twisted out of proportion

And that part of him is thoroughly rejected in the anime. The part that represents Kanji´s sexual confusion is the butt end of gay jokes and nothing else. He´s treated like a monster and the characters all have a bizarre, seething rage for him simply because he's flamboyant(Please don't spin this into "acting a little awkward")and the men fear him because "oh no he's gay he's gonna rape us in the butt".

Again, Yu Narukami accepts the fact that Kanji "likes cute shit", but does he accept the sexual confusion? Looking at this episode, that aspect of Kanji's personality is reduced to nothing more than a joke. You can handwave this away as them acting like a bunch of twats(IE:teenagers) but that's not the investigation team's role in the story at all. They're supposed to be a group of misfits who accept someone regardless of what society around them says-- that means not doing the exact same thing which lead to the creation of Shadow Kanji in the first place.

Yosuke(who gets berated by Chie for his dickish behavior against Kanji in the game) is supposed to be the exception, not the rule.

Oh, and before this comes up: No, I wouldn't have wanted them to cheesily yell at Kanji "we acceppppttt youuu~!" and wrap their arms around him in a group hug(though it wouldn't be that out of place looking at some parts of the Yukiko episode..), here's a start:

Don't have the investigation team erupt into blind rage and try to kill him simply because he introduced himself flamboyantly. (I laughed at the scene, though, even if I felt pretty bad about it.)

Is he? Maybe, but he's at a point in his life where he's trying to figure things out. To paint him as 100% positively gay is not doing justice to the complexity of the character.

Uhhh...sure? Don't see how that's relevant to the discussion.

Also, we have no idea how the other dungeons are going to play out. We've still got a flipping strip club to go through, if that says anything. The point is, these Shadows are not meant to paint a positive portrait of the characters they spawned from.

I don't see how anything you said changes that his shadow is the only given the comedy treatment so far. Will Rise, Naoto and Teddie get the comedy treatment too? We don't know yet, but I can only speak of what we've seen so far, and so far: Yosuke got a serious episode, Chie got a serious episode, Yukiko got a serious episode, and Kanji didn't.

Unrelated for a second: Is it just me, or is Yu Narukami's friendship speech of the week(TM) the lamest thing ever? Only the Yukiko episode felt like it actually took more then Yu saying "I think you're pretty cool".

Hailinelon Nov. 24, 2011 at 12:45 p.m.

@mutha3: What does it matter whether or not they address Kanji's sexual confusion in that episode? Even in the game, when Kanji confronted his Shadow, it wasn't about whether he was gay or not. He reacted very similarly to his Shadow. How would Yu even address something that isn't made clear? "I accept your homosexuality, even though you might not actually be gay?" It would be like accepting Chie for being a controlling dominatrix despite no evidence to suggest it other than the appearance and demeanor of her Shadow.

Elements of the pursuit and confrontation with Shadow Kanji were played up for comedic effect, but when it came down to it, Kanji accepted his Shadow, just like the others.

mutha3on Nov. 24, 2011 at 2:46 p.m.

@Hailinel said:

@mutha3: What does it matter whether or not they address Kanji's sexual confusion in that episode? Even in the game, when Kanji confronted his Shadow, it wasn't about whether he was gay or not.

Because it totally matters. Because most of his anxiety comes from being labeled as a homosexual due to his girly interests. Because the reason Kanji's goddamn shadow manifests itself as a massive gay stereotype is because of that confusion. weren't you saying the same thing earlier?

The only thing that ultimately doesn't matter is whether he's gay, bi or straight. But his sexual confusion? Bullshit, that's central to his character. And its why he's interesting, not because he's a "tough guy with a soft spot". That is a boring, trite cliche I have seen a billion times. Too bad P4A went down that route.

How would Yu even address something that isn't made clear? "I accept your homosexuality, even though you might not actually be gay?" It would be like accepting Chie for being a controlling dominatrix despite no evidence to suggest it other than the appearance and demeanor of her Shadow.

See:

Oh, and before this comes up: No, I wouldn't have wanted them to cheesily yell at Kanji "we acceppppttt youuu~!" and wrap their arms around him in a group hug(though it wouldn't be that out of place looking at some parts of the Yukiko episode..), here's a start:

Don't have the investigation team erupt into blind rage and try to kill him simply because he introduced himself flamboyantly. (I laughed at the scene, though, even if I felt pretty bad about it.)

Also, please don't pretend that the resolution for this episode wasn't totally ridiculous

"i think your bunny is cute"

"OMG KAWAII-PANCHO"

Elements of the pursuit and confrontation with Shadow Kanji were played up for comedic effect

Only the parts which involve him being unsure about his sexuality. Which bothers me.

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It's a small but still powerful list of submissions for the second showcase of July.

AKAME GA KILL! #1 -- Special Review

Don't judge a book by its cover!

KNIGHTS OF SIDONIA #1-6 Review

Netflix just put out an original anime series! But does it hold up to expectations?

SAILOR MOON CRYSTAL #1 & 2 -- Special Review

Now that the second episode's out, how does this franchise fair after 25 years?

Community Spotlight 7/18/2014

It's a small but still powerful list of submissions for the second showcase of July.

GLASSLIP #1 -- Special Review

Is it "glass slip" or "glass lip"? The answer is: yes.

Summer 2014 Simulcast Guide

What's flipping off the stream this season?

YAMISHIBAI + AI-MAI-MI MOUSOU -- Double Review

What does a micro series actually work?

JOJO'S BIZARRE ADVENTURE Pays Homage to Stephen King?

STARDUST CRUSADERS #13 -- Watch & Learn. Christine?

Mandatory Network

Submissions can take several hours to be approved.

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