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DOA 5′s ‘Japanese approach to women won’t change’

Wednesday, 22nd August 2012 10:04 GMT By Dave Cook

Dear or Alive 5 director Yosuke Hayashi has stated that Team Ninja’s approach to making the series’ leading ladies as attractive as possible stems from Japanese culture, and that the studio will never change its approach to the game’s sexual overtones.

When MCV probed on the issue of sexing up Dear or Alive 5′s female quotient, Hayashi explained, “For us, within our culture, we’re showing women like that, and we’re trying to make them look attractive. We can’t help if other cultures in other countries around the globe think that it’s a bad representation.”

“Within our nationality and within our national borders,” Hayashi continued, “we obviously have morals that we create our female characters from, but within our Japanese sensibilities, we’ve made those characters the way they are and we’re not going to stop doing that.”

The quotes come a few months after both Tomb Raider and Hitman: Absolution came under fire in the press for their portrayal of violence towards woman and sexing up said violence.

What’s your view on the ongoing issue? Let us know below.

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36 Comments

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  1. Telepathic.Geometry

    That’s a refreshingly honest admission of Japan’s deeply ingrained sexism at nearly every level.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Da Man

    Nothing to do with sexism, everything to do with onanism.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Dave Cook

    @2 different cultures have different values, but he’s not making a game just for Japan, he’s making global entertainment.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Aimless

    Well, I suppose it’s better than a disingenuous excuse.

    The combination of the first two Related Posts is pretty great, by the way.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Dragon246

    Amazing how whiners whine about girls in doa and afterwards go to playboy.
    Different culture, different tastes, fact of life.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. OrbitMonkey

    I do think it’s funny that Japan either represents its woman as sweet and twee, or monstrous and deadly. Like Godzilla for example.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. viralshag

    What is the big deal with some fighting game characters having big bouncing boobs?

    Lighten up, it’s a game.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Aimless

    @7 That’s a major cop out that can be used to try and stifle any discussion of the medium.

    Something doesn’t have to be a “big deal” to make a good springboard. In isolation DoA‘s character models are just ridiculous, but they speak to a wider issue, one which is perpetuated by continuous small offences.

    Look at it this way: if Dead or Alive‘s depiction of women was an outlier then whatever, no harm done. Unfortunately it’s closer to the gaming default, which is ultimately harmful to gaming as a whole as it narrows demographic appeal, both in terms of consumers and creators. As such people are going to have to keep bringing it up until the situation becomes less imbalanced, which is a slow, unpleasant process.

    If you don’t want a part in it then fine, that’s your prerogative. But don’t stand in its way unless you have a better reason than, “it’s a game”.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Dragon246

    @7,
    Exactly. People should learn to tolerate things they dont like and are obviously not aimed at them.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. absolutezero

    Cinema has both softcore and hardcore porn, it has cock tease movies like, hey! Dead or Alive.

    Expose. TRIGGER WARNING.

    Gaming must move on, it must be more. I will offer no thoughts on how this is going to happen other than the nebulous term of maturity and writing or something.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Gnosis

    My opinion on this was always: If you need it that badly, be my guest. Though DoA Beach Volleyball pretty much disgusted me, it’s none of my business. And aside from that, Hollywood and another large parts of our Media are not better. So I think, it’s better to start in other parts of our society.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. viralshag

    @8, But so what if they are ridiculous, what exactly is sexist about the females having large breasts? As I said in another article, this isn’t a fighting sim (Fight Night, UFC, etc) where they have added larger assets for the sake of it.

    This is fantasy and characters are based on what the designer, artist or whoever wants it to be based on, pretty much like they say in the article.

    What are the good reasons for them to tone the sexuality down? To be more mature, less sexist, be more realistic? Why can’t we have an overly sexy fighting game?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. absolutezero

    Because feminism.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. ManuOtaku

    Well my point of view is that this goes against the pretty women stereotype(common notion or believe), i mean that good looking woman cannot defend themselves and that they are not that intelligent, therefore they demostrated that good looking womens, with great assets can kick some mans ass, why is that bad?

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Ireland Michael

    @14 Because they look like plastic sex dolls whose only purpose is to get men off.

    Let’s be honest here… for every underage-looking sailor suited schoolgirl in the East you have just as many huge breasted, over-sluttified bimbo in the West. The West really doesn’t deserve a free pass on this subject.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ManuOtaku

    #15, ok fair enough, but if they do target that audience, and that audience want that to feel good about it while they play the game, which they do also like, i dont see the bad in it.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. absolutezero

    DoA women are consistant with both the men and the World in which they exist as a part of.

    Something like Other M is far more insidious and dangerous than DoA but thats no where near as apparent and as easy a target so lets just ignore it.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. viralshag

    @15, So what if that’s the only purpose? If that’s not what you’re after why can’t it be available for other people?

    If it’s going to be considered the soft-porn of fighting games, which I highly doubt it is because I think people would rather just watch normal porn, what’s the problem with that?

    #18 2 years ago
  19. Da Man

    Videogames and masturbation go hand in hand anyway. At least today’s videogames.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. absolutezero

    Its always been there not just right now. Like almost every medium before it in some respects.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dF0QnIv-FQk

    #20 2 years ago
  21. Da Man

    Come on now, that was funny.

    It’s been there for the lulz, now it’s there for real. Besides that’s not what I meant at all, but anyway.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. Ireland Michael

    @18 When did I ever it shouldn’t be available to people?

    Just because I don’t personally like it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t exist.

    All I’m saying is… a spade is a spade, and it shouldn’t be called anything else.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. ManuOtaku

    #19 Da Man thats the reason why the move look like a neon light vibrator perhaps? :)

    #23 2 years ago
  24. viralshag

    @22, Yes but it is being called sexist and I personally do not see how this is any more sexist than a lads mag.

    Some men might not like them, some women may not like them but just because they find it distasteful doesn’t mean it falls automatically in the sexist category.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Da Man

    He has no idea what’s sexist and what isn’t. He’s doing that intentionally to justify his inferiority complex.

    #25 2 years ago
  26. Ireland Michael

    @24 The “lads mag” is just as sexist. Never said it wasn’t.

    #26 2 years ago
  27. absolutezero

    Which in turn is just as sexist as Cosmo and its ilk.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Khan979

    I have never understood why it is sexist for a man to like to see a woman that looks hot, or for a woman to like to see a dude that look hot….the problem with today’s society is that everyone is too uptight and believes that their views should be the ways others think.

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy it…simple. But quit complaining about it being sexist just because you don’t like it. Obviously there are plenty of people that do like it, and that’s their choice. Choice should always be there for people to make.

    Sure it’s not representative of Real life….it’s a game which is a way for people to escape reality for a bit and have some fun.

    I always hear people bitching about stuff like this not representing real women or female gamers etc….but lets face it, this is true for all game characters, even the men. Most male characters are very muscular or well built and somewhat rugged….yet I guarantee that 95% of the males playing the games are slightly over weight, super skinny, skinny, obese, or just fairly unattractive altogether, yet that’s not how even males characters are portrayed.

    I am tired of hearing this stupid sexist arguement…it’s a game poeple and once again, if you don’t like it, than by all means, don’t buy it.

    It’s the developers choice how he wants to make the game…and it’s your choice on whether or not you buy it.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Dinasis

    All this media uproar in terms of Tomb Raider, the nuns in Hitman, and the complaining about sexism in Dead or Alive, etc. seems like sort of an odd parallel to all the crap surrounding Mass Effect 3. You’re going to get people who whine and moan about the content, but if you change anything, you’re going to polarize your audience into those pissed you gave in and changed anything at all and those who wanted the changes who probably will be angry that you didn’t do enough.

    Better to leave it be. Make the game you want and let the final product attract its own audience.

    #29 2 years ago
  30. osric90

    I wish you guys at Tecmo were God.

    #30 2 years ago
  31. TD_Monstrous69

    I’ll give Yosuke Hayashi some credit for honesty and some nobility for sticking by the creative decisions he and the rest of the DOA team have made about portraying women in their game, even if I don’t agree with it.

    #31 2 years ago
  32. Kabby

    So in essence he walks into the interview and goes “We’re Japanese. Deal With It.” 8*)

    #32 2 years ago
  33. FeaturePreacher

    I don’t care if it’s culture or not, let’s see them things bounce. Ed Boon did it in MK9 and no one cared, why should anyone who is actually going to play the game and not just use tits as a reason to make some “I’m sooooo offended” blog post care? Just let the members of the itty bitty titty committee share their grievances at their annual meeting.

    #33 2 years ago
  34. sh4dow

    “within our Japanese sensibilities”

    In harsh contrast to what culture exactly? Is there any rich nation where young, big-boobed women aren’t considered the epitome of beauty?

    #34 2 years ago
  35. mr_krunchi

    Video games are still a part of a huge spectrum of media outlets. It doesn’t matter if this is a “video game”, it still reflects many of the misogynistic views people have in “real” life. For the argument that it’s fantasy/unreal so it’s okay to shape the depiction of ‘beautiful’ women in them, please, take a look at our continuous advertisements that are have photoshopped models (models who already kill their bodies to make it to these ads), our double standard that women need to be sexy but innocent, or placed in gendered roles (laundry, cooking, minivan commercials). Video games should not be an exception, as it does continuously expose us to the same stuff we are facing on cable tv and other advertising mediums. The word “fantasy” here also stands for “ideal” or “perfect”, as in, developers create a fantasy world/ideal world/perfect world in their stories based off their liking, which reflect their realistic views on what they would “fix” in society.

    Also, I’d like to hear a woman’s opinion on this, as I’m pretty sure none of these comments that agree with his statement are from women.

    @29, Although I see your comparison between both genders, I would like for you to provide an example of where male sexuality is portrayed in a video game more than it is on a female. We already see that there are bikini’s being released for this game (or look back on the history of the DOA beach volleyball games). As strange as this might sound, wouldn’t it be fair to release something the same sort for the male characters? My point here is, clearly women are the ones subjected to this by the developers’ view on perfect women. They restructure the way we view our bodies through a fantasy “Utopian” world (yes, the men’s too, but mostly women). This does play part in creating not only misogynistic views (as many have portrayed in the comments above) but also internalized misogyny, as women start to hate themselves for not having the ideal body, face, or features. You said in your last post, “it’s your choice on whether or not you buy it.” Well, what if it truly isn’t a choice? I love DOA for the gameplay, graphics, and story, but not for the unrealistic view on women. I can only wonder how much this would bother someone who contemplates buying this game (or any game for that matter) for liking gameplay, graphics, and story, but disagreeing with societal views in regards to gender (or any other identity for that matter) placed in the game. Would you stop gaming if something you disagreed with existed in most anticipated games (btw I assume since you’re on this site, you can call yourself a gamer)? If not, then wouldn’t you want to stand for a change so you can enjoy the game more or to fit more to your liking based on your views?

    #35 2 years ago
  36. Relugus

    The sad truth is even if Hayashi wanted to change the tone of DOA, he likely would not be allowed to, indeed there is some contradiction between his comments last year and his recent pronouncements, perhaps implying the suits at Tecmo have weighed in on the matter.

    That said, I think Hayashi’s statement is kind of a counter to the lack of self-confidence of many Japanese games designers.

    In some ways, Japanese games are far less sexist than their Western counterparts, their female characters are often more varied.
    A Japanese game that I feel deserves praise but rarely gets it is Shenmue II, it has a male protagonist yet has numerous engaging, interesting female characters; Xiuying Hong, Shen Hua, Joy, Eileen, Guixhang, Chun Yun, etc. Yu Suzuki has never objectified women much in his games, which may be part of why he fell out of favour? The Final Fantasy games manage to strike a good balance; Fang from FFXIII is sexy but also an engaging character (note that FFXIII has two alpha females and just one alpha male in its roster).

    The key thing is creating interesting characters, rather than just generic ones.

    DOA is a game I have mixed feelings about; the gameplay is fun, yet the character designs feel somewhat shallow. The girls are overly sexualized, even the great, cool character designs like Hitomi, Helena, and Ayane. Their male counterparts are glaringly less interesting aesthetically, being often generic and dull. In fact they are almost asexual.

    DOA’s real problem may be its now very outdated costume selection system.
    Virtua Fighter 5 (and Final Showdown), for example, has extensive character customization, giving the gamer a huge choice as to what he/she wants the characters to look like. Unlike DOA, bikini’s are available for male and female characters, as well as more cool and quirky outfits. Its disconcerting that Sarah Bryant (and maybe Pai Chan) will have a far less imaginative wardrobe in DOA5 than they are used to.

    Generally, character designs, both male and female, in video-games as a whole have become much more conservative, every male lead is (literally) the dark-haired and stubble type or the bald space marine, while their female counterparts tend to be busty and heavily sexualized.

    Then there’s the trend of male characters being dicks (oooh so edgy!) and hardmen, while male characters who are, you know, actually nice guys are labelled as “gay” and “beta”.

    #36 2 years ago