Denial of the Self: Queer Characters in Persona 4

Persona 4 is full of fascinating, psychologically complex characters. But when it comes to issues of sexuality and gender identity, the game fails to face the truth.

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Let me state one thing up front: in many ways, Persona 4 is an outstanding game. As its story has progressed over the course of a school year, I've formed a much closer connection to its cast of high school students than I have to the characters in most games. It has repeatedly made me laugh out loud, sometimes made my pulse race, and occasionally moved me, as its heroes have formed happy memories together and faced great challenges together. They confront these challenges in both the real world that every high school student must navigate, and in that other world they have the power to enter, a world where manifestations of the thoughts and feelings that reside in our subconscious take shape.

But for a game that is all about people coming to terms with the aspects of themselves that they have long repressed, Persona 4's treatment of two of its main characters, Kanji and Naoto, leaves a great deal to be desired. Initially, Kanji appears gay and Naoto seems to be transgender. However, rather than embracing these traits as interesting facets of two members of the game's core group, Persona 4 ultimately rejects them.

By clearly raising the idea in the player's mind that Kanji is gay and then rejecting that idea, Persona 4 sends the message that homosexuality is shameful and should not be accepted.
Let's start with Kanji. When you first hear about him, it's via a televised news report that characterizes him as a violent troublemaker. Soon, he becomes the latest person to appear on the Midnight Channel, and you and your fellow investigation team members venture through a television and into the mysterious world on the other side where subconscious feelings and desires are manifested. Kanji's realm is a steamy bathhouse, and as you make your way through it, you repeatedly hear Shadow Kanji (the embodiment of his repressed subconscious) express sexual desire for men. I was immediately intrigued. Here, I hoped, I would get a complex portrayal of a gay character, one who has sadly but understandably repressed his sexuality in response to societal pressure, who felt that he could not be accepted as a tough guy if people knew he was also gay.

Unfortunately, Persona 4 doesn't follow through on this potential. When Kanji confronts his shadow self and accepts who he is, he reveals not that he is attracted to men, but that he is just deeply afraid of (or maybe deeply dislikes) women. He recalls things that girls have said to him in the past ("You like to sew? What a queer!") and says that he is more comfortable around men because, according to him, "they'd never say those awful, degrading things." (I'm not sure what sort of world Kanji lives in where men would never criticize him for liking to sew and do other things that are stereotypically considered feminine, but for the sake of the game, I'll go along with it.) However, at the end of the day, his issue is simply a matter of feeling more comfortable around men, not one of being physically attracted to them.

To me, this is a huge cop-out. It rings psychologically false; the ultimate truth of Kanji's character as someone who was just afraid of rejection because girls had been cruel to him in the past doesn't quite mesh with the imagery of his dungeon and the personality of his shadow self. By clearly raising the idea in the player's mind that Kanji is gay and then rejecting that idea, Persona 4 sends the message that homosexuality is shameful and should not be accepted.

Yosuke's attitudes about Kanji are problematic, and so is the game's way of handling them.
As the story progresses, we're periodically reminded that, had he been gay, Kanji would not have been fully accepted by the other members of the investigation team, and, in fact, some anxiety lingers later on about whether or not Kanji is truly straight. During a school camping trip in which the protagonist, Kanji, and Yosuke are gathered in the same tent, Yosuke goes so far as to ask, "Are we gonna be safe alone with you?" suggesting that in Yosuke's mind, if Kanji had been gay, he would also be prone to behave inappropriately. When Kanji tells Yosuke that he has no problem being around girls now, Yosuke asks him to prove it, saying that if he can't, "we're gonna be stuck here all night half scared to death." Yosuke's attitudes about Kanji are problematic, and so is the game's way of handling them. Rather than addressing Yosuke's negative perceptions of homosexuality, perhaps with a character arc in which his prejudices are challenged and he becomes more open-minded over time, Persona 4 lets his view of homosexuality as something to be feared stand unchallenged and unremarked upon, treating it as normal and acceptable.

Persona 4's treatment of Naoto is no better. Naoto, known in the media as the detective prince, comes to town to help the police with their ongoing investigation of the disappearances that are plaguing Inaba. Predictably, Naoto disappears himself, and the investigation team leaps into action to rescue him. Naoto's dungeon is a sort of bunker, with large metallic doors and flashing lights. When you finally descend to the deepest chambers of the bunker, you find Naoto declaring that he is about to embark on a "bodily alteration process." This process, he says, will result in "the moment of a new birth" and enable him to "walk a completely different path in life." Shadow Naoto then taunts Naoto, saying that Naoto is "such a cool, manly name" but that "a name doesn't change the truth. It doesn't let you cross the barrier between the sexes." Shadow Naoto then reveals to the investigation team that Naoto is physically female.

Here, I hoped that Persona 4 might go some distance toward redeeming itself. There's great potential in exploring the feelings of a young person who is struggling with his sense of gender identity. But again, Persona 4 let me down. After you defeat Naoto's shadow self, Naoto explains that he read many hard-boiled crime novels as a child, and admired the cool, detached detectives in them. It is not, Naoto says, that he is transgender that has led him to live as a boy for so long. It is simply that being female "doesn't fit my ideal image of a detective."

Much like what you discover to be the reality of Kanji's internal conflict, this internal conflict rang false. To me, it's unheard of for a person to go so far as to live as a gender other than the one they are physically assigned at birth simply because they feel a connection to fictional characters of that genre or because their assigned gender doesn't fit their ideal image of a person in a certain profession. Naoto says, "What I must strive for isn't to become a man. It's to accept myself for who I really am." It would have been so much more interesting and believable to me if "a man" was one part of who Naoto really was. (This doesn't mean that I think Naoto should have continued to desire surgery, as the scenario in his dungeon suggests; one can identify as and be a man or a woman regardless of one's physicality. See the film Boys Don't Cry, for instance, for a portrayal of a man who is no less a man for being physically female, even if not everybody he meets sees it that way.) The idea that he was just deeply confused about his own gender because of all those detective novels he read strains credulity and, like Kanji's story arc, reinforces the notion that queer identities are to be feared and rejected. (Because, in the original Japanese dialogue for the game, Naoto continues to refer to himself using the male pronoun boku, I feel it is appropriate to refer to him with male pronouns, as well.)

The discovery that Naoto is physically female immediately trumps all of the years he has spent living as a male.
No sooner have you rescued Naoto than the other members of the investigation team significantly alter their treatment of him. Rise calls him "missy." Yukiko explains away Naoto's inability to deal with a particular situation by saying, "Naoto-kun is younger than us, and she's a girl." Yosuke, who, if his paranoid behavior around Kanji is any indication, would never have flirted with Naoto while believing him to be physically male, now tells him, "You're pretty cute when you're angry." And when the investigation team goes to a hot spring together, the girls in the group marvel at Naoto's female physique and remark on the softness of his skin and the silkiness of his hair.

Though Naoto has stated that, despite living as a boy for so long, he does not fully identify as male, these behaviors still struck me as disrespectful of Naoto's gender identity. Without asking him how he wants to be treated, they immediately start speaking about him as if he's just another one of the girls in the group; the discovery that he is physically female immediately trumps all of the years he has spent living as a male. One of the most blatant examples of this comes when Kanji, who finds himself attracted to Naoto, practically demands that Naoto participate in a school beauty pageant, saying that if Naoto does so, his doubts about himself "will finally be cleared." "C'mon, make me a man!" he says, suggesting that if he were gay, he would not really be a man.

Even more troubling is the way that Naoto's gender expression can be altered by you, the player, if you pursue a romance with him. Of course, if Naoto were a real person, anyone who requested that he change his gender presentation would not be someone who respected and cared for the person he really is. But Persona 4 doesn't raise any ethical questions about you asking Naoto to drastically change; it's as if the game thinks this is acceptable, since deep down, Naoto is "really" female anyway. (Troubling attitudes about women in general surface periodically throughout the game, but that is a whole separate topic.)

Persona 4's handling of Kanji and Naoto is more than just a disappointing failure to engage with queer characters and queer issues.
The always thought-provoking Mattie Brice has written in detail about your ability to shape Naoto's gender expression in this post at the Border House. Brice writes, "There is a scene after you confess your love for Naoto when he asks the player if they want him to start talking with a higher pitch to his voice to sound more feminine, and if they choose to have a higher pitch, he will dress up in a girl's school uniform during the Christmas event. This event is more poignant in the Japanese version of this scene; instead of the pitch of his voice, he asks the protagonist if he minded Naoto's use of 'boku.'" In other words, you can cause a complete, fundamental shift in how Naoto sees and refers to himself. Brice continues, "The scene when Naoto dresses up in a girl's uniform completely transforms his personality; he's now always blushing, stammering, quiet, scrunched up as much as he can into himself… Naoto's Social Link was an extreme waste of an opportunity to explore the intricacies of a relationship when at least one partner is transgender."

I agree with Brice. In fact, I think Persona 4 is full of wasted opportunities, and that ultimately, its handling of Kanji and Naoto is more than just a disappointing failure to engage with queer characters and queer issues. By introducing the idea that Kanji is gay and that Naoto is transgender and then backing away from embracing those characterizations, Persona 4 represents a betrayal of its central theme about people learning to accept themselves and each other for who they are, and sends the message that such sexual orientations and gender identities are too scary to accept. I want to see more LGBT characters in games, but not like this. It's almost as if Persona 4 has some lingering issues dwelling in its own psyche that it hasn't quite come to terms with.

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1323 comments
zdkdzk
zdkdzk

This is really late and I haven't gotten to Noata yet (so I skimmed that section), but I feel like you're misinterperting Kanji. Yes, he does brush away the blatant homosexuality of his shadow and his secton of the TV world, but if he accepted it, that would be sending a completely different message of "this is homosexuality", when in reality it's "TV gay" pushed to an extreme. If that was how it wanted to portray homosexuality, that would be the worst portrayal in a video game that I've ever seen, as it confirms every gay stereotype and pushes some of them farther than they usualy are. While I admit that there are some people out there who do act like this, for a lot of homosexuals, bisexuals, and even metrosexuals it is an insult. It's what soemone whose lived in a bubble and only understands male homosexuality through the media and real life bias would assume it to be, and I think that was the point. 


I see it as Kanji's attempt to explain how he feels, while living in a society that only paints 2 pictures: you're either straight and act like a man, or you're gay and act like this. As I'm playing through the game, it's clear that his feelings, his sexuality, and his behavior are neither of those, and that what he feels is much more complicated than simply beng gay or straight. So far it feels like he himself is trying to figure out and deal with what he thinks he is. To just label him one or the other downplays any real depth to his issue.


And yes while Yosuke isn't all that accepting of him, the rest of the group is (with the exception of maybe Rise and Teddie, who acts like a little kid emmulating most everything the group does, especially Yosuke) and the player is often given dialauge choices that support him. But even then, Yosuke's shadow/problem is that he's selfcentered and biased to the point of borderline narcissism, but he wants to care about others and be understanding. In that respect even his relationship with Kanji makes sense in that (as of the first dungeon after Kanji) he is progressively becoming less homophobic and more friendly with Kanji. I can't speak for Japan, but as an immigrant to America, there are countries where the general mindset towards homosexuals is, at best, a lot worse than Yosuke's.


As far as I'm concerned, Kanji is the best portrayal of a LGBTQQAwhateverheis that I've seen in a video game. 

TecKnight
TecKnight

First of all: Carolyn:

I agree with basically all of your points. 

Why is it that all the characters with non-gender "denial" issues are able to basically come to terms with them once their shadow self is defeated, but the characters with gender-based denial issues (ie:  Kanji and Naoto) are not ?

The responsibility clearly lies with Atlus, but the reason is, I think, a combination of the following in varying degrees:

1. Atlus trying to avoid offending their client base (predominantly young homophobic heterosexual males).

2. Project management (on this game) failing to clearly define an intellectually fair way to treat these issues.

3. Likely, toward the project deadline, due to #2, the game was locked out without a decision on #2, resulting in P4G as released.

P4G COULD have been a truly groundbreaking game in this element--instead these became humor elements in the game. I must admit, VERY FUNNY humor elements..

bluefox755
bluefox755

Wow, they're characters...they don't have any obligation to comply with Carolyn's political or social beliefs. Let me reiterate...'Fictional characters have ZERO obligation to conform to your particular beliefs.' Suggesting that artists should follow a certain agenda to keep certain people happy or protect their feelings is absurd, and should be avoided.

Let's look at this objectively, Kenji IS ashamed of his sexuality...you think the writers should have changed this about him just because you think it sends a bad message?

THE_DRUGGIE
THE_DRUGGIE

Chie Satonaka counterbalances all the sexism, though!

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

It almost seemed as though the game meant to challenge these issues, and pulled out at the last minute in the hope that no one playing would get offended. That whole Kanji thing made no sense to me. I used to be terrified of girls in my youth, but never for a second thought I was attracted to men. My social anxiety was due to my attraction to them and even at that age I knew that.

pupp3t_mast3r
pupp3t_mast3r

I've always believed that "silence implies compliance" and given that all forms of media in general have an impact on how our society grows and develops I'm glad that Carol's pulled up such a popular franchise for harboring and featuring such a prejudiced mentality. 

While it's very likely most people who play this game wouldn't be affected by the philosophy in the game, all it takes for it to do any damage is to alter the perception for a few people that were convinced. Sexuality isn't a choice, any kind of sexuality, learn to accept and respect people as people for who they are. 

For all you posters out there who think otherwise here's a question for you "When did you decide to be straight?"

tokidoki87
tokidoki87

I think that you are looking at the situation in too much of a westerner's perspective. In Japan, Homosexuality is viewed in a completely different way than here in the west, so don't act surprised because another country doesn't feel the same way as we do about the subject. And since the game is a direct translation of the Japanese game, don't expect it to 'magically change' to please you. Second of all, this is a video game last I checked, not some random outlet for propaganda. People shouldn't expect for a video game company to cater to fans of a specific demographic/orientation. If the creators wanted the characters to be a certain way, they would have created them that way to begin with.

Napalm_354
Napalm_354

Er, I think the only person having a problem here is you. Why are you trying so hard to see things that aren't there? Considering that the game has school kids at the center stage, the issues described in the game can well be taken at ther face value. A guy whos afraid/feels uncomfortable around girls: teenagers can be really cruel to each other, to the point where it can potentially develop into a problem. A female posing as a male because she feels that there is more opportunity in the world that way....welcome to the world of gender inequality. Why are you trying to twist all of this to find something that is not even there.

darkspineslayer
darkspineslayer moderator

His IS more valid than Caro's, particularly where Naoto is involved. His opinion is supported by events in the game. YouTube the extended ending in Golden and tell me Naoto is uncomfortable with being a woman.

Muddrox_dev
Muddrox_dev

With all due respect Caro, not everyone believes that homosexuality is something that should be accepted.  Nevertheless I respect you and your opinion, however I do feel like this article is very bias.

Double_Wide
Double_Wide

Whatever happen to just sticking to video games on a I dunno...VIDEO GAME website? If I wanted to read far left librial propaganda, I would have went to the Huffington Post's website.

Calling this relevent journalism or even journalism altogether is a joke.

izannomagus
izannomagus

@LeFeverBeaver @Double_Wide But that's the thing.... You have these people when in regards to women and LGBT rights to call video games art yet when there seems to be an excess of violence you don't see them standing up to defend it as art in some respects they may even join in on the attack.

beny_pimpster
beny_pimpster

if only ATLUS can release ogre battle 64 3DS.....

Gamelander
Gamelander

@carolynmichelle While this is a very interesting read, with important issues in general, it seems that there are a number of very important variables that were not factored in when writing this. First, Japan really has no ill view on homosexuality or transgenders; in fact, it is very accepted there. Second, what we infer from the game as a western audience, could be different from what is actually implied in meaning and the way these meanings are delivered. Translation can only go so far, and the way people talk in a certain part of the world (i.e. figure of speech, subtle implications, etc.) can change things; in this case, translation may have altered the original context of things and their meanings. Let's not also forget, there are social issues in Japan that are probably different from what we're used to in our own unique cultures; those issues could also translate (I'm using "translate" figuratively here) poorly when crossing over. These are all some of the main points to consider when talking about such topics, and in this case, games from Japan and other cultures.
Anyway, I hope this was helpful, and perhaps shed some light on a few things.

Cheers.

SubHumanTorch
SubHumanTorch

While I agree that Kanji's progression does feel like a cop out, Naoto's story does make sense within Japanese culture as she only says she feels more like a man in relation to perceiving her femininity to be a weakness, once she realises that being a women does not equate to being weak she can accept who she is. I suppose anything like this can be perceived differently by different people I always took her story as being more about cultural perception of gender rather than anything trans-gender related.

franzito
franzito

GS censorship has deleted my out of closet comment

hitechno
hitechno

The game is a direct translation of the Japanese version. The Japanese version, being written for (and by) Japanese people in Japanese society, where games teach the value of culture, which in Japan, is to do what most people in Japanese society do. It teaches not about what is best for the individual, but what is best for society, and maturing means understanding that and accepting what society wants. Many western people of western countries would argue this is wrong, and teaches people not to pursue their freedom and rights, but that is what it means to live in Japanese society and be Japanese. When playing the game, you just have to keep in mind who the game was written for (and by).

oCHELSEA_SMILEo
oCHELSEA_SMILEo

Whilst i respect the author and the point they are trying to make, it is unfortunately completely void of any relevance to the context. This game was made in Japan for mainly Japanese gamers. You simply cannot compare Japanese views on Homosexuality and Transgender to the way Western people see it. Japan has its own culture and it is very different to ours.

 Should we see more of the LGBT community involved in the gaming world? Absolutely! 

Will it start in Japan? No Chance. 

Myst17
Myst17

Thanks for keeping writing these articles, Carolyn. You help give Gamespot's artcles more depth and variety than most other gaming sites. Keep at it and don't be discouraged by trolls. :)

Daizun
Daizun

@Myst17 Trolls? What trolls? All I see is the Author ignoring valid criticism to a incredibly flawed and biased article.

Shuda7
Shuda7

The reason why Kanji's sexuality isn't clearly explained is because it up to the player to think what it is.

fgjnfgh
fgjnfgh

I like how the game delivered the right message. Gayness is wrong you can't change your sex

kjh8577
kjh8577

Thanks again for the article Carolyn. I agree with most of what you said.

Sumna87
Sumna87

Kanji accepts that he has feelings for Naoto when he believes her to be male.  He basically comes to terms with his pansexuality.  I think the problem that most people have with this article is your thinly veiled agenda of forcing your own situation on the characters.  I'm sure that if Kanji was purely homosexual, and that was the direction the development team wanted to go in, that they would have.

Naoto's problem is purely about gender bias.  She accepts herself as a woman, we all saw her get her persona.  She only wanted to give the appearance of being male to further her career and professional acceptance.

I think dogging one of the greatest games ever created because it doesn't tell your autobiography is extremely narcissistic.  An article like this is basically a no win situation for anyone. 

dignusplz
dignusplz

About naoto, i do agree with some stuff people said here, she really doesn't seem transgender, what troubles her mostly is gender equality issues, because the detective world is heavily masculinized and aparently without room for women. It's not that she has a conflict with her gender identity, she only doesn't believe she can fulfill her dream of being a detective AND be a woman at the same time. The conflict happens because she sees her sex as a barrier to her professional goals. Also, the whole blushing thing when she dresses as a woman happens because she's not used to dress that way, it has nothing to do with gender expression. There's a lot of evidence spread throughout the game to reinforce this point, one of them being the romance she can have with the MC, where she expresses NO RESISTANCE whatsoever to changing her sex presentation (she's even the one to suggest the change, if i'm not mistaken). If she in fact was transgender, she'd obviously have feelings against stuff like that, but evidence seems to suggest she doesn't care. In many instances, she even goes as far as to imply that her sex presentation is more a DISGUISE (something detectives do commonly, Sherlock Holmes being an example) than her real self. This kind of posture is completely incoherent with transexuality. What i thought the game tried to do was, first, to give the false impression she was a man, second, trick the player again, this time into believing she's transgender, and then, finally, showing that she's truly a regular girl troubled with the sexism the world's full of.

bluefox755
bluefox755

Carolyn at least has a thick skin, I give her that, I may disagree with her on probably everything, but I can respect her right to say whatever she wants, so long as she respects ours :)

chipwithdip
chipwithdip

I wish they'd have picked an answer one way or the other. I hate those sort of answers.

ArmedJoy
ArmedJoy

The responses to this article leave a lot to be desired. First, it's not "activism" to question the way sexuality and gender are portrayed in a video game: The video game itself foregrounds questions of identity, and if a video game site can't talk about video game narrative, then what the fuck.

Secondly, many of the objections point out that it's from a different culture -- somewhat understandable, but if it's a cultural difference to subjugate women a la the Taliban, do we like and accept that?

Thirdly, besides those ignorant ad hominem attacks, most responses fail to provide any concrete evidence that actually addresses the writer's points.

At the end of the day, I disagree with portions of it (Kanji's final Social Link even intimates that the Shadow self really IS himself, indicating a degree of homosexuality) but we should do in a reasonable and balanced manner, lest we trivialize the art and hobby we all love for one reason or another. Even if we disagree, we can do so in a productive manner (by providing evidence and argument) instead of blasting an individual's politics, gender, credentials and authority.

shadow580
shadow580

Considering Carolyn managed to gather a whopping 1287 comments as I write this, I'd say her job was successful in creating a discussion around this subject. *Grabs popcorn (Carolyn is probably doing the same).

sunyatanada76
sunyatanada76

Good article, need to play this again. Just for this reason alone.

Vince21C
Vince21C

Hmmm...

You must take a closer look at Kanji, like his hair colour =/

Iridescent406
Iridescent406

Just from looking at the comments, I can gather that Persona 4 is the type of game that is open to interpretation; something that is very sorely lacking in everything nowadays (books, music, gaming, etc.). Carolyn's ideas stem from the thoughts that the characters in the game aren't willing to accept what they truly are, while comments here seem to have other theories to their psychological attitudes, like the one detective girl dressing as a man to suit her family heritage better. But does that make Carolyn wrong, just because the game meant something that was initially different then what she had in mind? It's rare for anybody to make a different conclusion about something like this, so all I can say is...

Persona 4 sounds like a damn fine game.

WeskerTeam
WeskerTeam

I was blown away when playing  P4 Golden that Kanji didn't ever leave the closet. Didn't make any sense to me.

halfmask
halfmask

Interesting article. I haven't read a lot about gender in games (outside of the binaries), it seems to be an underdiscussed issue. I haven't played Persona 4, myself, but it's always a shame to see facets of a character's personality not quite live up to expectation. It would definitely be interesting (and, I think, important) to see more gender diversity in games.

franzito
franzito

I played P4 to the point not of finishing it but to the point of trying to follow every character internal conflict and I must admit: Kanji was a big "if" worsened by a very macho voice given to him plus the fact his character has some serious angry issues, which makes things more difficult. His veiled / unconfirmed sexuality is hard to watch through the game and dialogue is always a pain when it comes to clear things, so, we get a confused boy who knows nothing about himself, surrounded by a group of teens like him that have no idea how to deal with this and we end up with a typical society portrait of "don't ask, don't tell" circumstances.

We get tempted to believe Japanese folks have their issues about homossexuality, although in the 11 year Japanese release only, Persona 2 Innocent Sin, we had Tatsuya and Tatsuya could get romanticaly involved with Jun, a boy, if the player wanted that at some point, so, reasons to screw up with Kanji don't do justice to the bold attempt in the past addressing the issue. Anyway, society is not ready for lots of things and other people's sexuality is just ONE of them...

bannermanner
bannermanner

I appreciate Carolyn's perspective, but I think her idea of where those character arcs should have gone oversimplifies their struggles way too much.  Kanji and Naoto are complex characters.  Too complex to adhere to binary descriptions or absolutes.  They are who they are and nothing else, and I think the game illustrates that very well with all of the characters.

It's clear that Kanji is, at the very least, bicurious.  He's obviously attracted on some level to the MC -- the nosebleed scene is evidence enough.  But the game makes his attraction to Naoto more obvious, and that attraction is not in the least bit destroyed by the "revelation" of Naoto's gender.  If anything, he seems relieved.  Personally, I believe it is generally insulting to imply that sexual orientation is a choice.  But human diversity is such that I am no longer surprised by anything.  Kanji seems to feel that, not only is it a choice for him, but it's one he actually has the power to make.  And being the social libertarian I am, I can't help but respect that.  In the end, if he's bisexual and chooses to act on his heterosexual impulses, that's his business -- as long as he's happy, I am satisfied with his character arc.  And he seems to be pretty damned happy at the end, if you ask me.

I didn't think the writers gave Naoto enough time to develop as a character, but I always thought her story was cut and dry -- with little to no room for the interpretation Carolyn sees.  It's absolutely an examination of gender roles, albeit a cynical one to most Western societies.  But I'm not at all convinced that her story is all that much about gender identity.  To me, her masquerade act was simply her way of limiting all sexism-related interference.  She never talks about wanting to be a man in any capacity other than a professional one, and that's more of an equality issue.  While her confrontation with her Shadow seems to suggest otherwise, her growth as a character sees her becoming more relaxed in her own skin.  Her social link ends with her reconciling her gender with her profession -- and expressing her contentment with her sexuality as a female.  Again, that's the key: happiness.  Even if Naoto had decided she wanted to be a man, all I really care about is that she isn't troubled by her personal demons anymore.

Sorry my two cents turned into a novel.


Blake135
Blake135

Since my last  comment was deleted Ill make this short. Nothing wrong with having a opinion or bringing up topics like this, however there is a problem when Her opinion is completely wrong. Article feels more like a Personal Blog Carolyn comes off as being blinded by her own personal interpretation on this game rather then facts and what the creators actually intended. 

koimayeul
koimayeul

Well, well.. It is not "the game fails to face the truth" but it fails to face YOUR expectations of what should be the truth.. Interesting subject and handling from the game nonetheless, it reject that "political correctness" you are craving for and it is all the more satisfying! I would expect more objectivity from paid reporters.. Voice your personal opinion somewhere in a line or two, but don't write a full article based on it.. Please, and thank you.