Persona 5, a turn-based JRPG with visual novel elements, follows a high school student with a criminal record for a crime he didn't commit. Soon he meets several characters who share similar fates to him, and discovers a metaphysical realm which allows him and his friends to channel their pent-up frustrations into becoming a group of vigilantes reveling in aesthetics and rebellion while fighting corruption.
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P5 espouses a solid overarching message; take control of your life! Stand up to The Man! Foster community with your fellow freaks to find meaning in a world designed to put you down! However, it's written by a middle-aged with ass-backwards views on women, queerness, and society. It's one thing to tout the ideals that P5 is allegedly all about, and a whole other entirely to actually follow through on any of it. But the game has Japanese Bernie Sanders in it, so it's Progressive, or something.
I truly cannot comprehend the layers of cognitive dissonance it takes to tell people to fight The Man, then double-fist perpetuating homophobia AND sexism in the same breath. I think constantly about the creepy power imbalance relationships like letting a teenage boy date his teacher but how that's supposed to be chill, yet the mere idea of anyone being gay is completely unthinkable. I try not to take a hard anti-player stance for specific tastes but I do for this game; if you think Futaba makes sense as a dating option to this day, we are mortal enemies and I will see you in the pit.
None of this is even remotely surprising, but I'm continually stunned by how tone deaf players are about the content. Hashino has been writing hollow lip service to progressive ideals and actively bashing them since day one, so we all know what expect from him. But as a player, going from one Persona game to the next, it boggles my mind that so many people uncritically love this game and seem shocked to hear I very critically hate it.
P5 is the epitome of style over substance and I would invite people to fight me on it, but I don't trust anyone on the internet to know how to talk to another human being anymore.