faubiori: at first i thought senran kagura burst seemed really dumb and shallow but it actually seems pretty fun, and i was just wondering if the whole -boobs and clothing torn off- stuff is like, really offensive or degrading? if that makes sense? i trust that xseed wouldn't agree to localize something really upsetting but i would like to hear your thoughts on it (i really hope this isn't too confusing sorry) thanks!
That kind of thing is always subjective, since some people are more easily offended than others. Please take this part as my personal opinion! While it’s true that this is a game where girls who have big boobs have their clothes ripped off, here’s some extra things that others might not realize about Senran Kagura Burst in particular:
- In Senran Kagura Burst, the girls aren’t put into compromising sexual positions with men. In fact, sex isn’t even an issue in this game and there’s only one major male character. He’s a 40-year-old fully developed character who serves as the teacher of the girls from Hanzo Academy (the “good” shinobi), and he truly cares for the girls as a father figure of sorts. His story is actually pretty tear-worthy and the stories from his perspective are among my favorite parts of the game. Having been a fan of the series but mostly unaware of the presentation in Burst since I never had a Japanese 3DS, it was a relief to see so much care put into someone who obviously didn’t have jiggly butts on his chest.
- Minor male characters, save for one scene with an old man peeking into a bathhouse in the second game that comes into Burst, either treat the girls with complete respect or speak to them as equals because they’re shinobi or with distaste because they’ve had genuine conflicts with them in the past, and not in a lesser manner because they’re female. Being ‘called out’ as a female, or being ‘strong for a girl’ doesn’t even come into play in this game. They’re shinobi, and they’re treated as shinobi.
- You only fight girls in this game. It’s less ‘girl power versus girl power!’ and more “LET’S FIGHT WITH THE TRUE WAY OF THE SHINOBI, YO”, with each girl having a completely different fighting style (Asuka uses kodachi, Katsuragi uses kicks and is slower, Hikage is extreme agile, Mirai is 100% long distance and uses a tommy gun-disguised-as-an-umbrella among other things, etc.). There’s not a single instance of a man overpowering one of the girls and stripping her, violating her, beating her up/abusing her in a fetish-y manner, or anything really like that.
- Katsuragi of Hanzo Academy has the hobby of ‘sexually harrassing’ girls, but her personality is basically an energetic tomboy who likes flirting with girls in a teasing manner and copping a feel or two towards those she’s close with (which never really happens on screen at any time, I think there’s an incident or two involving girl talk with boob touching, but it’s among friends and is done off-screen). She would never do something non-consensual/that a girl wouldn’t want, and she’s extremely over-protective of her friends. In fact, one chapter has her fighting a girl (to her misunderstanding - don’t worry, this is a very early chapter!) because she thought she was harassing Asuka.
- The girls are not just breasts. They have fully developed pasts and personalities, to the point where if this game didn’t feature big-boobed girls the game wouldn’t really have a difference in quality. They laugh, they joke, they have girl talk, they have worries, fears, concerns. Speaking of which…
- A lot the characters’ development is told through Visual Novel format from the perspective of the character. Not just spoken dialogue, but full descriptive novel form. There’s plenty of dialogue cutscenes and such, but if I recall correctly, the visual novel portions were written by a well-known author who took great care to express the happiness and fears of the girls + Kiriya (their male teacher). These are not “AND HEY, THERE’S THESE BOOBS, RIGHT? THIS IS A STORY ABOUT BOOBS. LET’S DESCRIBE THE BOOBS.”
- This game has a full story. While essentially a “good” shinobi versus “evil” shinobi story, the story has its serious moments, is heavily reliant on character development and does not fall back on the physical appearance of the girls to glaze over a plot. Again, if you take the boobs and clothes-tearing features away, there is still plenty of substance left over.
- Last thing about the boobs. Surprisingly, if you play the game, they feel more like an add-on as per the personal taste of the blatantly honest Takaki-san (the game’s Producer) than anything. A very constant add-on, but I can’t stress enough the fact that you’d still have a solid game if you took them out. I actually really like Takaki-san because he has no qualms about admitting he’s a giant pervert instead of skirting around the issue or trying to be sneaky with it. Even more, through our limited interaction, it’s clear he cares very much about the quality of his characters and his product. There was an ad I was making for SK, and he gave me lots of notes on how to position the girls so that Hanzo and Hebijo girls (rival schools) stood perfectly opposite of each other, as well as their heights and such. Not dirty poses, but very particular poses that represented a balance to the work. He’s fussy and wants it all to be perfect, but that’s the sign of someone that cares and is proud of their work.
- THE CLOTHES TEARING THING. So the idea in battle is that there’s normal mode, Frantic mode, and Shinobi Transformation. When you trigger a Shinobi Transformation, it does a Sailor Moon-esque transformation scene into their cooler shinobi outfits, which gives you raised stats. As you fight, you receive battle damage represented with brief cutscenes in battle by a ripping sound and a semi-provacative “Oh, no!” kind of pose which usually is represented by embarassment or a teary-eyed face/flushed cheeks. I didn’t personally find a problem with it as hell, I’d probably be embarrassed to if my clothes were getting ripped up in battle (I’ve had a similar clothing-ripping experience involving a tank top and a nail in front of a very busy restaurant, it’s hella embarrassing). Some might go, “Well, the creators obviously wanted that submissive look and they’re men, so it’s sexual,” but it’s not a sexual situation and I didn’t find it sexy, just a part of battle. I can’t say fact either way here- it’s purely personal interpretation.
Another gimmick is the dressing rooms, where you can move the camera up and down and the girls’ boobs move up and down with the camera, prompting a verbal response from the girls like, “Hey, stop that!” or something a bit more shy. The dressing room is where you can change into their various costumes and accessories that you unlock throughout the game- all of them pretty tame in nature. The most the girls are reduced to in the game are swimsuits. You don’t see lingerie in Burst.
Senran Kagura Burst is light-hearted overall, campy in nature, but far from degrading, at least not the levels people make it out to be. If you see it from a surface perspective and if you read one or two of Takaki-san’s interviews, you might be under the impression that the game was fully created with no thought to women whatsoever and only to their breasts. I call a lot of bullshit on that one- it can be uncomfortable for some, sure, and I’d never force it down anyone’s throat, but to say that’s all it has and that it gives no regard to women is definitely not true. Sorry for such a long reply! I might have missed some things, but I wanted to be thorough with this response.
[On a completely different tune: If you’ve ever played Corpse Party, that game is far worse in sexually submissive content against girls than anything Senran Kagura Burst has to offer. I could list several examples of sexualization from Corpse Party. I adore Corpse Party as a series, like, I’m a huge fan, but interesting how the game gets a pass with virutally no uproar just because it’s a horror game with lots of violence while a much tamer game gets a lot of shit because not as many take the time to play it and see what it’s actually about.]
[Second note: The anime for Senran Kagura is 100000x more sexual than Burst. If you’ve seen it, you’re getting the wrong impression of the game.]
I’m just gonna leave this here
while I feels in a corner.
edit: Just to clarify, Zuko is alive and it’s been released that he’s a retired Firelord travelling the world as an ambassador, and the Iroh Korra is referring to is General Iroh II who has been said will be her firebending master. No official Oldko designs, that’s just something I whipped up based on Sozin, Iroh (I), and Roku.