Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is a long-running manga that started in 1987 and is still going strong today. There have been several Jojo video games, the most recent one being Jojo's Bizarre Adventure: All-Star Battle, released last month in Japan, and releasing worldwide next year.
The most well-known aspect of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure is the nature of its character designs; the majority of the characters are muscular men wearing skin-tight clothing who often strike feminine and flamboyant poses. There are more than a few male characters who wear clothing that exposes their midriff or chest, several male characters who wear lipstick, and quite a few male characters who, for lack of a better term, look more like women than men. It has been noted, even by fans of the series, that the majority of the cast of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure borders on homoerotic.
This is an almost perfect analogue to the majority of female characters in video games. Most female video game characters wear exposing clothing, and most promotional art of female characters has them striking a feminine pose designed to accentuate their curves - exactly like characters from Jojo's Bizarre Adventure.
When I look at the characters from JBA, I feel a little bit uncomfortable. I don't want to look at a man wearing exposing clothing and striking a feminine pose. And, likewise, I imagine that many female gamers might feel uncomfortable staring at female characters wearing exposing clothing and overemphasizing their sexuality. After examining the cast of JBA, I feel like I can easily understand why feminism is on the rise in the game industry.
When Dragon's Crown was announced and the Sorceress character was revealed, there were dozens of articles about how she was given far too much sex appeal. The game was accused of being sexist, and the character designer was described as a "teenage boy drawing his sex fantasy".
However, I would never criticize Jojo's Bizarre Adventure for its character designs. I would never tell the artist of JBA to change his art style, or design less sexual characters. I would never call the manga sexist, or liken its artist to a teenage girl. I am not the target demographic for Jojo's Bizarre Adventure, but that doesn't give me any right to demand the artist to change his character designs so that they appeal to me.
I believe that the artist of Jojo's Bizarre Adventure should be free to draw all of the homoerotic men he wants to draw, and I believe that the artist of Dragon's Crown should be free to draw all of the giant breasts that his heart desires. JBA's character designs make me uncomfortable, but I won't begin a crusade against it. Likewise, I don't think that anyone should be crusading against Dragon's Crown, Killer is Dead, Lightning Returns, or any of the other games that have been labeled as "sexist" or "misogynistic" just because the game contains scantily clad women. Artists should be free to create whatever art they wish to create.
All art will unavoidably alienate some demographic who finds that art unappealing or outright offensive, but that can't be helped. Sometimes, a particular piece of art just isn't meant for you. Sometimes, you're just not part of the target audience. Sometimes, you have to suck it up and ignore the art, or just go find some other art that is more appealing to you. But, you should never demand that an artist changes his artwork just so that it appeals to you, or insult the artist because you're not part of his target demographic.
The homoerotic men in Jojo's Bizarre Adventure have led me to a deeper understanding of how women feel about the way they are portrayed in video games. However, even with this deeper understanding, I cannot condone or endorse the act of attacking game developers for creating overtly sexual character designs.
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