Now before anyone jumps on my throat about me being a sleazeball for discussing my sexual preferences on a gaming blog, this isn't about that (god knows I've received enough guff for a week).
So let me start by introducing the catalyst for this blog, Jim Sterling:
Jim Sterling in his natural habitat.
First let me give my opinion on Jim's video before I get to the main subject.
I'm not trying to criticize Jim here, I like the dood, but I find it kinda funny that someone who goes on a weekly show trying to gross out his friend as much as possible gets offended by what Team Ninja makes.
Not to mention the fact that traditions where women mutilate their genitals is scientifically proven
to be harmful, this? Not necessarily so much.
If the problem is that Jim is simply confused by TN's actions, then I would find that normal, we're all puzzled by one thing or another in this industry, that's just another addition to the conga line, but when it comes to being disgusted by their products, well, I've seen less sexier and more disgusting things come out of this industry, and I'm not even talking about sexualizations, just plain actions and attitudes.
That said, let's get on with the subject of today, attractiveness in the eyes of Japanese people.
Now some of you may be asking why I'm tackling this subject, it may seem irrelevant, but it really has a lot to do with crucial points in the industry, such as global marketing.
For instance, even if Japanese consumers made up most of their purchases, western studios would still produce games that appealed to westerners, not out of ignorance to the global market, but because those games appeal to the developers and their environment, same with the Japanese developers, this is mostly why companies fare so badly overseas, whether Western or Eastern, of course excluding companies like Nintendo who have their own separate and culture neutral styles (Metroid Other M, anyone?).
See, the reason why games like DoA have big breasted, doe-eyed, plastic doll like heroines, or why games like Final Fantasy have fey, effeminate protagonists is because Japanese people aren't sexy.
Or to be more accurate, they don't find "sexy" attractive, most of the time at least, yes you have different tastes, but for most parts, this is mainstream:
You may not find this attractive, but Japanese people would.
See, the main difference between what most westerners find attractive and what the Japanese do, is that the former see "sexiness" as the main criteria, while the latter value "cuteness" more, which would translate into cute, bubbly' women (A la the DoA girls and Vanille from FF XIII) and effeminate looking, delicate pretty boys (AKA the Final Fantasy and DoA boys).
And the fact that the culture and mainstream opinion is tied to this permeates it into the psyche of the developers across the pond, they can't help the fact that the moment someone tells them to "make an attractive character", this is what pops into their heads, because to them, that's what is considered attractive.
And like I mentioned, they are more inclined to follow their intuition on what is sexy than what those silly Americans consider to be "attractive".
So remember kids, next time you criticize someone else's culture, remember that there's someone out there who thinks that cheeseburgers suck.