Atlus’ newly announced Persona 5 spin-off Persona 5: The Royal has come under attack for its character design of Kasumi.
Atlus recently released a Japanese trailer for the game which introduces a number of new gameplay elements as well as a couple of new characters including Kasumi.
Not only did they release the trailer, but Persona Central provided details on the new characters, additional gameplay elements, new parts of the story and more.
They specifically highlighted a new female character named Kasumi Yoshizawa, who will be voiced by Sora Amamiya. They describe her:
“A beautiful girl who enters Shujin Academy the same spring that the protagonist transfers in. She’s been an award-winning rhythmic gymnast since middle school and Shujin Academy has high hopes for her future. She likes the protagonist, but rejects the Phantom Thieves. It’s unknown whether she will be an enemy or an ally.”
And provided a look at her character design.
The character design and Atlus were lambasted by people who did not like the character showing so much skin specifically her thighs and chest. A number of people argued that since the character was in high school, it would be inappropriate to wear such clothes. However, the costume they appear to be taking issue with is not her high school uniform as you can see in the photos above. It’s the costume she wears when invading the palaces of adults whose hearts have been corrupted in something similar to an alternate dimension.
A number of people even edited the character design to show their displeasure.
if only pic.twitter.com/HLw4t9gcPW
— 🥀琳 (@EENlX) April 24, 2019
This user was called out for their hypocrisy as their profile asks for people to not edit their art work.
“Hypocritical” okay, sure. Why is it okay for you to edit other peoples art but not for people to edit your art? pic.twitter.com/IBXmggPHLx
— JmanPlaysGames (@JmanPlaysGames_) April 24, 2019
Others continued to drag Atlus for the character design.
…Atlus why is the new Persona 5 character not wearing any pants… I thought all the skin tight bodysuits on the female characters was bad enough but at least their LEGS were covered… #P5R pic.twitter.com/CFHnmrRGGE
— elena the nerd (@AceBystander) April 24, 2019
Ha ha. What a silly joke! In the trailer for Persona 5 Royal, Atlus forgot to give Kasumi pants for her Phantom Thief outfit. Hah! Those jokesters. What a fun prank to play on a high schooler. Very excited to see her definitely wearing pants in the final game.
— 🛡️Jenny The Dark Wizard, Catwoman With Legs (@DenimBubblegum) April 24, 2019
okay, do new persona girl
her legs are like, 66% of her hieght and that makes me hella uncomfortable
if your legs were that long you couldn’t find leggings either
— 💙Bluwu💙 (@Amateur_Writer_) April 24, 2019
Twitter wasn’t the only place where Kasumi’s design was attacked. Users on ResetEra also targeted the character design in a thread titled: “Should Persona 5 Royal remove the problematic stuff in this new version?”
The thread, currently seven pages long, not only goes after the Kasumi character and her wardrobe, but also what they view as jokes at the expense of the LGBT community and the treatment of one of the main characters from the original Persona 5 game, Ann Takamaki .
One user pointed the finger right at the developers, lambasting them for not being sensitive to the LGBT community within the Persona series. One user claimed that Persona should be an easy fit for the LGBT community since both the characters and that community feel a sense of being a social outcast.
Another person claimed Persona 5’s portrayal of “the problematic gay dudes” was “clear homophobia.” They also claimed that they didn’t fit within the narrative of the franchise:
One user took offense to the idea that people excused the content by stating it was a cultural difference:
But other fans of the Persona franchise weren’t going to take the criticism laying down. Some people described those attacking Kasumi’s character design as “puritan.”
To the people adding leggings to Kasumi from Persona 5 The Royal: pic.twitter.com/yxEZN6a0y2
— ベスバル-君 (BesuBaru) (@BesuBaru) April 24, 2019
These same people would go up into flames when I edit the red nose out of their Tumblr art, or their MHA Deku fat pube fanart, and then claimed that I fixed it, so why should they act in complete hipocrisy.
— ベスバル-君 (BesuBaru) (@BesuBaru) April 24, 2019
Just woke up and immediately started to see people complain about the new Persona 5: The Royal character, Kasumi, concerning her outfit… Guys… She’s a gymnast… Gymnasts wear leotards… Leotards were not designed with the intention of being sexual… Look it up… pic.twitter.com/YrzaRBVR7V
— Ndukauba #RoadTo200K (@NdukaubaYT) April 24, 2019
Some context leggings do look better (ex. Mythra from Xenoblade Chronicles 2) but the new P5 character Kasumi is said to be a gymnast and they reflected that in her Phantom Thief outfit by giving her a leotard and bare legs
dwdw you didn’t come off as rude pic.twitter.com/qMckc88JZS
— 라면 Ramyeon 🍜 @ Seeyanara Teenage Years (@ramyeondoodles) April 24, 2019
Incidentally, before the usual suspects start whining, maybe they should think about what the design is based on. Kasumi is a gymnast. Take a wild guess: what do gymnasts wear? 😏#Persona5Royal #Persona5 pic.twitter.com/oKSxxz1YvA
— Giuseppe Nelva (@Abriael) April 24, 2019
A lot of fans celebrated Kasumi with their own artwork with the original character design.
miss kasumi i would do anything for you pic.twitter.com/McFzkMzLre
— bagel ☔️ (@nonnecheri) April 25, 2019
YouTuber Hero Hei addressed the attack against Kasumi and Atlus’ Persona 5: Royal in a ten-minute video.
This isn’t the first controversy Persona 5 has been involved in. Recently, Kotaku UK attacked the game after Nintendo revealed Joker, the main protagonist from the game, would be introduced into Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. Kotaku UK claimed the main theme song from the game insulted disabled people.
Persona 5: The Royal will debut in Japan on PlayStation 4 on October 31, 2019. The game is expected to be released in the United States sometime in 2020.
The original game was a massive success. Earlier this month Atlus USA and Sega of America Board of Directors member Naoto Hiraoka revealed that Persona 5 had sold over 2.4 million units worldwide. He told GNN Gamer, “At present, Persona 5 accounts for more than 2.4 million in global sales numbers. Since its launch, we have won many game awards, and received much feedback from fans. The response has been very enthusiastic.”
What do you think of the attack against Kasumi’s character design and Atlus? Do people have a point with Kasumi’s character design showing too much thigh? Or do you think it’s inspired from the fact that she’s described as a gymnast? Let me know your thoughts!