Persona 5 Director Thanks Fans For Embracing Japanese Culture In Latest RPG
Persona 5
(Last Updated On: May 4, 2017)

While certain Western gaming outlets have been denigrating the localization of Persona 5 in order to stir up controversy and hate-bait, the game’s director, Katsura Hashino, has taken time to actually thank fans for their dedication and love that they’ve shown to one of the best reviewed and best-selling games of 2017 in the West.

Over on the PlayStation Blog Hashino put together a lovingly appreciative letter to fans both in Japan and abroad for supporting Persona 5, and helping it to sell more than a million copies in a short amount of time after releasing in the West in April of 2017.

Hashino was originally worried about the reception of the game, thinking it was “very Japanese” for the tastes of Westerners, saying…

“Persona 5 is a very “Japanese” story with some political aspects to it, so I couldn’t imagine how Western players would react to it. I did know, however, that Persona 5 was highly anticipated by gamers overseas even back when we were developing the game, so I was curious to see how its story would be received.”

But real gamers have taken a strong liking to the game and the insight into the rich themes of Japanese culture. It opened up a lot of gamers to what the school life is like, what the social aspects of Japan are like, and some of the issues that people face over there (which isn’t too dissimilar to what people face over here in the West).

He explains, however, that the theme of the game centers around topics that typically aren’t addressed in Japanese RPGs: evil from within…

“I think that traditional Japanese superhero stories tend to be about fighting off invaders from outside their society, while Western ones focus on fighting against villains and misfits that come from within it. There’s a sense of society being responsible for creating this evil, and such a setting lets the audience’s imagination run wild, like “it could’ve been me.” For instance, doesn’t the Joker from Batman make some valid points that resonate with you?

 

“Persona 5 is also a superhero story in which you fight villains that are born from within society, so I thought that it might be received differently than the previous entries” […]

It’s true that Persona 5 deals with sexual and physical abuse happening within the school system, corruption within the legal department, politicians using their positions to commit heinous acts, and how innocent people will sometimes have to pay for the crime of trying to do the right thing.

It was actually refreshing that Persona 5 delved into societal corruption in the way that it did, because it’s such a strikingly poignant topic right now, no matter where you are in the world. A lot of normal people are absolutely fed up with how corrupt society has become from the top down. Heck, gamers are still engaged in years-long battles with their own enthusiast press, battling against corrupt ideologues since 2014 through #GamerGate, even while being labeled as “sexist misogynists” for doing so, not unlike what happened to Akira in Persona 5, who picked up a rather undesirable reputation after trying to do the right thing.

Hashino, goes on to say that there is more to come, and that he’s greatly appreciative of the global support they’ve received for the project…

“I hope that the tale of Persona 5 will leave a lasting impression on everyone who plays it. No matter what kind of project I take on going forward, I love creating RPGs that are both moving and relatable regardless of cultural differences—in fact, I’m most interested in strengthening those aspects right now.

 

“These efforts are only made possible thanks to the positive reception we receive from fans—not just in Japan, but worldwide—of the Persona series and Atlus RPGs in general. I appreciate all your support for the newest entry in the Persona series, and I hope that everyone will enjoy the new Atlus RPGs to come.”

It sounds like all the love-letters from fans – organized by some on the chans and imageboards alike – managed to get through to Atlus. It’s good that all the real love and support from the community managed to make it through all the noise that some anti-gaming, anti-ethics sites tried to use as a cloud to create a murky relationship between Atlus and the West. Some of those sites even suggested that Persona 5 should have been localized to include less Japanese cultural items, terms and references.

Thankfully, the plans of the SJWs were spoiled by the righteous efforts of the true love that gamers have for games like Persona, and developers like Hashino, along with the rest of the team at Atlus.


(ありがとHashino-san。 から ゲーマーの 愛情。)


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Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

60 comments Categories: News, PS4 Tags: , , ,
  • Russell Smith

    You people are motivating me to pick up a console.

    • If you do, would you like any recommendations?

      • Russell Smith

        Well, if I stay current gen, it’ll have to be a PS4. I’ve got a dusty XBone with not one game that’s captured my imagination, and they don’t make WiiU games anymore. *laughs* She did go out on a high note, though. BotW was a great way to say goodbye to new games for it.

        • Well, I just so happen to have a library of PS4 games, so… :3

          • Russell Smith

            Yes. I objectively made the incorrect choice when I chose my console. *laughs* But I should have enow saved by August to get myself a PS4.

          • brokedownsystem

            it’s ok, there aren’t any right or wrong choices. Just personal preferences at a given moment.

          • lol… no there are wrong choices. The XB1 has no games except for the Master Chief Collection.

          • Do you have a list of games to look at?

          • Russell Smith

            Dark Souls 2, 3, and Bloodborne are essentially the only games I play on my XBone. Normally, I just use it to stream movies to my television. It seems like a bit of a waste, since I could have done that with my 360 or Wii.

          • Might I recommend Gravity Rush 1 & 2? Not only does the first game run at a stable 60fps, the second game’s DLC is all free. You’re stuck with 30fps in that one, sadly, but I’ve nothing but good things to say about that series.

          • Russell Smith

            I’ll check it out. Give me something to do while waiting to accumulate enow cash for a PS4.

          • They’re both on PS4, though – I probably should’ve mentioned that first.

      • Russell Smith

        Well, if I stay current gen, it’ll have to be a PS4. I’ve got a dusty XBone with not one game that’s captured my imagination, and they don’t make WiiU games anymore. *laughs* She did go out on a high note, though. BotW was a great way to say goodbye to new games for it.

      • Russell Smith

        Well, if I stay current gen, it’ll have to be a PS4. I’ve got a dusty XBone with not one game that’s captured my imagination, and they don’t make WiiU games anymore. *laughs* She did go out on a high note, though. BotW was a great way to say goodbye to new games for it.

    • If you do, would you like any recommendations?

    • If you do, would you like any recommendations?

  • LurkerJK

    Being “very Japanese” is exactly why the game is so interesting, it’s different, it’s new, there is nothing else like it during a time where most new games are cast from a handful of molds again and again to the point it’s hard to tell them apart

    • ElKonsolero

      I think what many japanese developers (looking at you capcom) didn´t get is that that´s exactly why they are/got popular. People in the west do want that japanese flair in their games. They don´t want badly localized crap (especially because we always have US culture then which i´m also not part of) they want to have the japanese references. That´s why Gintama is pretty popular in the west despite the manga/anime being full of references only a japanese person would get. Doesn´t matter still a great show.

      Could cry if i see all the good series that turned out turds in the last few years beginning from Final Fantasy my former favorite RPG series, to Dead Rising 3 (i like the stupid fun of the series), to DmC and so on.

      • Emrah Dayan

        Do anyone else enjoy the irony that we, the gamers, are open to foreign cultures while the SJWs seem to only want the nice and friendly appearance of multi-culturalism, without the need to work, learn and understand a different culture?

        I see this allot in fantasy as well, which is, if it is good, also about immersing into a foreign culture, be it the medieval european culture, which is foreign for us, or totally new cultures.

      • Emrah Dayan

        Do anyone else enjoy the irony that we, the gamers, are open to foreign cultures while the SJWs seem to only want the nice and friendly appearance of multi-culturalism, without the need to work, learn and understand a different culture?

        I see this allot in fantasy as well, which is, if it is good, also about immersing into a foreign culture, be it the medieval european culture, which is foreign for us, or totally new cultures.

      • Emrah Dayan

        Do anyone else enjoy the irony that we, the gamers, are open to foreign cultures while the SJWs seem to only want the nice and friendly appearance of multi-culturalism, without the need to work, learn and understand a different culture?

        I see this allot in fantasy as well, which is, if it is good, also about immersing into a foreign culture, be it the medieval european culture, which is foreign for us, or totally new cultures.

      • LurkerJK

        The westernizing of final fantasy has always been something that saddens me

        i want humongous mutant dragons that appear from nowhere, i want weird and completely impossible magic crystal caves, i want alien creatures that are completely unrealistic, i want inscrutable bizarre mind fucks, i want ridiculously batshit insane bad guys with hilariously stupid objectives, i want absurd applications of robotics, steampunk and high fantasy, and then put them all in a blender, i want to fly everywhere riding on an eldrich abomination with the brain of a baby kitten, i want to nuke the world with magic, i want characters so stupidly colorful i would remember them 20 years later (either by hating them or loving them)

        i do not want plastic chairs, i do not want realistic fishing or cooking, i do not want realistic looking ppl, cars and locations, i do not want bad low fantasy scripts reheating ideas ripped off from game of thrones or lord of the rings, i do not want magic to be limited to handful of uses and work like grenades, i do not want to drive in a car for 50 minutes to reach somewhere, i do not want characters so bland and generic i can barely tell apart

        its kind of hurtful to watch most of my life the ff series progressively go from one side to the other, it did not start with XV but man, that was one huge leap in that direction

        I kind of hope that the VII remake blows XV out of the water in sales strongly enough to open their eyes and force a change in direction, you just compare the trailers for those two games and its like night and day, one is boring and generic, the other is weird and interesting (even tho they clearly attempted to take the remake in a realistic path as well)

  • Alistair

    I thought the SJWs would lap it up P5, i now finish it i think the game was stealthy censored.

    And being diverse, all the other Personas had the boys Vs girls hot bath spring scene i was waiting for that to happen. It never came instead they had 2 gay NPC to try to pick up the MC and ruyyi.

    And never forget you dont see the girls cleaveage now in protrait while i still like P5 i found it be the weakest in the series i was expecting more then 1 Akward moment.

    • Niche’s Commenting Regulars

      The game tackled social issues already. It just does it in a aware but not jaded matter. Having to sleep with misogynist men to keep your friend on the prestigous team, A shut in whos life was ruined by misogynist men and a female prosecuter who is fed up with the corrupt system

      • Alistair

        Matter of fact it rather worry, Im now hearing the next narrative from SJWs.

        Go on youtube or twitter and see the Phase “Japanese Games starting to get good”

        Nier Automata, Nioh, and persona 5 have received good reviews. In 1 vid the two male saying that Japanese games was stale.

        The fact persona 5 was focues more with “social justice” Explains alot. P5 is still the weakest in it fanservice parts there werent many.

        But the devs said it was uncensored it got a funny way of showing it.

        Edit: It rather a worrying trend it like saying ecchi titles are so outdated and hit the rut, now here a great change Japanese games into boring western style triple A titles. Is persona 5 heavy on fanservies and more with serious social justice? No it not.

        • Major Japanese developers have long been known to want to cater to the Western market for maximum profits.

          They are going to have to tone down or just omit the fan-service altogether to do it. Even if it means upsetting their own gamers and fanbase in Japan.

          Of course I cannot confirm whether this is the case or not for Persona 5, but I reckon the Western SJW/feminist issue must have been at the back of their minds when developing the game.

          But yeah, that’s the power of the Western mainstream video games media. Strong empowered independant obnoxious I-don’t-need-no-man unattractive female characters otherwise it’s MySoggyKnees.

          • Of course I cannot confirm whether this is the case or not for Persona 5, but I reckon the Western SJW/feminist issue must have been at the back of their minds when developing the game.

            Atlus is niche. Unless they wanted to become AAA publishers like Bandai Namco did when they took over Dark Souls, they likely had no intentions of folding to SJWs.

            The thing is, niche publishers know their market and know to keep it tight for their demographic. Larger houses, like Square Enix and Capcom, want that sweet Western mainstream money, so they’ve been doling out a lot of Westernized content to appeal to the masses. Funnily enough, it’s been an absolute failure almost for Capcom (save for Resident Evil 7).

            Persona 5 has almost sold as much as Street Fighter V in a shorter time span, proving that catering to the niche is how you maintain your audience and possibly grow that audience.

            I still can’t believe companies still don’t get that: Know Thy Audience.

          • Of course I cannot confirm whether this is the case or not for Persona 5, but I reckon the Western SJW/feminist issue must have been at the back of their minds when developing the game.

            Atlus is niche. Unless they wanted to become AAA publishers like Bandai Namco did when they took over Dark Souls, they likely had no intentions of folding to SJWs.

            The thing is, niche publishers know their market and know to keep it tight for their demographic. Larger houses, like Square Enix and Capcom, want that sweet Western mainstream money, so they’ve been doling out a lot of Westernized content to appeal to the masses. Funnily enough, it’s been an absolute failure almost for Capcom (save for Resident Evil 7).

            Persona 5 has almost sold as much as Street Fighter V in a shorter time span, proving that catering to the niche is how you maintain your audience and possibly grow that audience.

            I still can’t believe companies still don’t get that: Know Thy Audience.

          • Of course I cannot confirm whether this is the case or not for Persona 5, but I reckon the Western SJW/feminist issue must have been at the back of their minds when developing the game.

            Atlus is niche. Unless they wanted to become AAA publishers like Bandai Namco did when they took over Dark Souls, they likely had no intentions of folding to SJWs.

            The thing is, niche publishers know their market and know to keep it tight for their demographic. Larger houses, like Square Enix and Capcom, want that sweet Western mainstream money, so they’ve been doling out a lot of Westernized content to appeal to the masses. Funnily enough, it’s been an absolute failure almost for Capcom (save for Resident Evil 7).

            Persona 5 has almost sold as much as Street Fighter V in a shorter time span, proving that catering to the niche is how you maintain your audience and possibly grow that audience.

            I still can’t believe companies still don’t get that: Know Thy Audience.

          • Of course I cannot confirm whether this is the case or not for Persona 5, but I reckon the Western SJW/feminist issue must have been at the back of their minds when developing the game.

            Atlus is niche. Unless they wanted to become AAA publishers like Bandai Namco did when they took over Dark Souls, they likely had no intentions of folding to SJWs.

            The thing is, niche publishers know their market and know to keep it tight for their demographic. Larger houses, like Square Enix and Capcom, want that sweet Western mainstream money, so they’ve been doling out a lot of Westernized content to appeal to the masses. Funnily enough, it’s been an absolute failure almost for Capcom (save for Resident Evil 7).

            Persona 5 has almost sold as much as Street Fighter V in a shorter time span, proving that catering to the niche is how you maintain your audience and possibly grow that audience.

            I still can’t believe companies still don’t get that: Know Thy Audience.

        • Major Japanese developers have long been known to want to cater to the Western market for maximum profits.

          They are going to have to tone down or just omit the fan-service altogether to do it. Even if it means upsetting their own gamers and fanbase in Japan.

          Of course I cannot confirm whether this is the case or not for Persona 5, but I reckon the Western SJW/feminist issue must have been at the back of their minds when developing the game.

          But yeah, that’s the power of the Western mainstream video games media. Strong empowered independant obnoxious I-don’t-need-no-man unattractive female characters otherwise it’s MySoggyKnees.

      • Alistair

        Matter of fact it rather worry, Im now hearing the next narrative from SJWs.

        Go on youtube or twitter and see the Phase “Japanese Games starting to get good”

        Nier Automata, Nioh, and persona 5 have received good reviews. In 1 vid the two male saying that Japanese games was stale.

        The fact persona 5 was focues more with “social justice” Explains alot. P5 is still the weakest in it fanservice parts there werent many.

        But the devs said it was uncensored it got a funny way of showing it.

        Edit: It rather a worrying trend it like saying ecchi titles are so outdated and hit the rut, now here a great change Japanese games into boring western style triple A titles. Is persona 5 heavy on fanservies and more with serious social justice? No it not.

  • LurkerJK

    Being “very Japanese” is exactly why the game is so interesting, it’s different, it’s new, there is nothing like it during a time where most new games are cast from a handful of molds again and again to the point it’s hard to tell them apart

    Also, thank us by releasing for PC, you are leaving money on the table

  • Disqusted

    I hope Persona 5 wakes more Western people up to the fact that there’s a lot of corruption in the world. They’ll probably still just see it as a fiction thing, though.

    “There’s no way my favorite politician/pop star could be corrupt in reality! There’s no way they could be hanging out with other corrupt people! That’s just a conspiracy theory!” and all that crap.

    • Niche’s Commenting Regulars

      We see it all the time but we take the route of nihilism of “Well tough shit”. Like GTAV for example.

      People realize the world is a corrupt place but corruption is how society even functions

  • MONAD

    I’d buy Persona 5 if I had a PS4, but I don’t at the moment. I plan on getting one sometime in the future, maybe around December or January. When I do, P5 will be one of the first games I get for the system. It’ll be my first Persona game, tbh.

    • SevTheBear

      I can recommend Nioh and Yakuza 0 as well.

      • Disqusted

        And Bloodborne.

        • SevTheBear

          And Nier

      • brokedownsystem

        and Horizon: Zero Dawn. It looks gorgeous.

        • SevTheBear

          It is indeed gorgeous. But (in my opinion) not a MUST have for that reason.

    • Disqusted

      During that time, you may want to check the possibility of an English fan patch for Persona 5 on PS3.

    • LurkerJK

      Play persona 4 on the PS2 emulator, you can also do p3 but it has not aged that well, maybe the newer PSP version would be better for that one

      • mikebrand83

        Personally, besides the ability to control your party members directly (instead of a not-always-reliable AI), I never could quite get anywhere as near into Persona 3 Portable, the way I was totally in love with Persona 3 FES on the PS2.

        In my opinion, the game was just vastly inferior when presented almost entirely as a visual novel (anywhere outside of dungeons), rather than a more consistent world both inside dungeons and outside.

        • LurkerJK

          I see your point and i do not disagree, i might lean more to p3p now because i got tired of walking everywhere in fes (you waste a lot of time doing it, the fast travel addition in p4 was a godsend), also the combat is a little less frustrating

        • LurkerJK

          I see your point and i do not disagree, i might lean more to p3p now because i got tired of walking everywhere in fes (you waste a lot of time doing it, the fast travel addition in p4 was a godsend), also the combat is a little less frustrating

        • LurkerJK

          I see your point and i do not disagree, i might lean more to p3p now because i got tired of walking everywhere in fes (you waste a lot of time doing it, the fast travel addition in p4 was a godsend), also the combat is a little less frustrating

        • LurkerJK

          I see your point and i do not disagree, i might lean more to p3p now because i got tired of walking everywhere in fes (you waste a lot of time doing it, the fast travel addition in p4 was a godsend), also the combat is a little less frustrating

    • Loopy Loon

      Got it on PS3, not bothering with the current generation of consoles, no point in unique hardware if you can get the same games for any other system.

    • Kageyama

      It’s on PS3 too if you have that one. The PS4 does have a ton of highly rated exclusive games tho. And because the console has been out for a while you could buy some of those really cheap like Bloodborne for example, only $15. Bloodborne is not just one of the best games on the PS4 but one of the greatest of the current generation.

    • brokedownsystem

      Good times will be had…alot of the exclusives you’ll be able to pick up for $20 at least, if not lower.

  • TylorW

    “not unlike what happened to Akira in Persona 5, who picked up a rather undesirable reputation after trying to do the right thing”

    Wait…..there’s a canon name for the P5 Protag?!

    Besides that, I do appreciate that the director appreciates our support. I started getting into this series starting with P4: Arena funny enough, and since then, I’ve picked up as much of Persona series as I could. It’s a series that now holds a special place in my heart with it’s characters, gameplay, god-like music, some of the most memorable moments in JRPGs (i.e. The Amagi Inn after the Culture Festival), and I will support it for many years to come.

    • Wait…..there’s a canon name for the P5 Protag?!

      Yep.

      • TylorW

        Well now I know name what I’m using for New Game+. 🙂

    • Reven

      All the main protags except for Persona 1 (that I know of) have canon names. You already know Yu Narukami from P4, P3 technically has two. The manga has him named as “Minato Arisato” and the movies (Aniplex, please dub the films and release them here already… I’ve seen the first one and it was really freaking good…) calls him “Makoto Yuki.” Persona 2’s main protagonists are Tatsuya Suou, and Maya Amano for the games they are each the main character of (innocent sin and eternal punishment respectively). up through 4, I can play all the Persona games on my vita, and it’s great.

    • Valwin Mediaz

      Yes the character is not really a self insert His name is Akira
      Especially since they give them names and personality for the sequels

      Like Minato in P3 and Yu in P4

    • Disqusted

      Yeah, Akira is his name in the Persona 5 anime and manga.

  • CRES

    Thank you Atlus, NOW RELEASE ETRIAN ODYSSEY V ALREADY!!

    • Mr. Capo

      This tbh.

  • Phasmatis75

    >gamers don’t want culturalization
    >gamers refuse to buy censorship
    >companies never hear this so think we do
    >along comes atlus whom knows their market is very niche and won’t purchase their game if alterations occur.
    >they tell the localizers to redo the game then brag that no changes are occuring in localization
    >consumers buy it, not best in the series, but it’s unique and isn’t culturalized.
    >company thanks us for buying what we’ve said we’ve wanted

    Thanks SJWs, thanks for having these companies so scared they are afraid to release games to the market that wants to buy them.