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Let’s Weigh in on This Dragon’s Crown “Controversy” Shall We?

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Dragon’s Crown. It’s pretty boss. Well, I’m assuming it is. I haven’t had the pleasure of playing it, but having beaten Oboro Muramasa every which way from here till Sunday I’m a pretty big fan of Vanillaware. I’m presently on my first play through of Odin Sphere (I know, I know! I’m way tardy to the party!) and enjoying it quite a lot, translation of Odin’s castle notwithstanding.

Dragon’s Crown is a game we’ve been pushing quite extensively here at Xeawn’s Gaming Corner. If you can’t tell, I’m exceedingly excited for it. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to air the Sorceress trailer due to the overt sexuality of the character.

Also being called a sorceress, it’s a little hard to promote her on a Christian gaming site…but…ya know…

In any case, while I’m more than willing to play the game and either ignore that job class or think of her as a magus instead (depending on her skill set), her character art makes her a bit of a hard sell. The Amazon trailer I don’t mind putting up, and will do so later on in the day, and the other trailers we’ve missed during my busy schedule will go up as well. Unfortunately, the buxom sorceress will have to sit this one out.

But, why? Is it because I’m offended by her artwork? No, not really. However, due to the nature of this site it’s a little hard to post the trailer. This is the same reason I went out of my way to find “nice” pictures of Silent Hill for articles in the past. My view and vision of how this website presents itself may change over time, but for now I try to go out of my way to make this a website that, while not geared towards kids, is one that won’t gronk them up if they wind up here.

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“Presenting for the first time on XGC in all her glory, the Sorceress!”

“You Americans are such prudes about the female body!”

Yes. Yes we are. And, it’s more than a little sad. I’m not saying we should all go out and join nudist colonies, but it is kinda pathetic that we don’t mind letting our kids watch bodies explode and hear curse words go flying, but heaven forbid they catch a glimpse of the side of a woman’s chest.

Biblically, I totally stand by the concept of sexual purity and respecting your body, I just think America has quite a bit of hypocrisy on the subject.

Is the Sorcerer’s design offensive? I…would say that I am not personally offended, but yes, it is a little over the top. In the past, George Kamitani has drawn a number of male and female characters varying from svelte and lithe to broad and proportioned. Looking at the Kongiku, a busty female fox that appears throughout Momohime’s quest in Oboro Muramasa, the large chest small waist hourglass figure is one that Mr. Kamitani has used in the past, though not to such an exaggerated extreme.

I don’t particularly mind her design, though I can understand why others do. To echo what one Kotaku writer stated, she’s most definitely a character that I would feel embarrassed to play in public. The Amazon, not so much. Why? The Amazon reminds me of a Frank Frazetta style of art, a large, powerful muscular woman unabashed. I like that her design promotes the concept of female strength and the beauty of the body in the face of a society that would frown down upon a woman with muscles that could rival a man’s.

The Amazon isn’t just meant to be a “butch” character though as I’ve read some gamers referring to her as. I particularly liked the art piece of all of the heroes gathered at the local tavern with a bored Amazon leaning against the table with her hair down, looking quite feminine and soft. Moments later, she’s smashin’ your face with her battle ax! My kind of woman!

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The problem with the double, possibly triple D sorceress and her itty bitty waist with her revealing robe isn’t one that I feel is necessarily worth the angst that its seeing, but it’s a valid concern all the same. I’ve read the comments about the design objectifying women and hyper sexualizing them, and I’ve read the grumbles that it’s not the same for the dwarf because that’s a “male power fantasy”.

Boo. Boo and poppycock I say!

The fighter, for example, is a handsome bishonen that could give Cloud Strife a run for his money. New Cloud Strife. And, in the past Mr. Kamitani has had plenty of handsome soft men portrayed as well. I do agree that women have an exceedingly rough go of it in the industry, and while I agree that the Sorceress is a little bit ridiculous, I don’t feel that Mr. Kamitani was attempting to degrade or sexualize anyone. I find it extremely unfair to judge him as such, especially since he has portrayed numerous strong, positive and more average women in an industry that commonly refuses to have a female protagonist that isn’t a “sexy ice queen” or helpless. Odin Sphere and Oboro Muramasa are prime examples of the strong female leads Kamitani portrays, and I would go on to state that, nevermind the industry, even in Japan it’s rare to have a strong, confident woman as your star.

I feel moreover that Mr. Kamitani was attempting to try something new with the art direction in Dragon’s Crown, something to set it apart from the previous Vanillaware titles. I suppose my thoughts boil down to thus:

I’m not offended, and I don’t feel Mr. Kamitani meant offense, however I do feel that it’s valid for people to be upset. Just, keep it within reason huh? Have you looked at the female leads in Odin Sphere???

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I’ve reached out to Mr. Kamitani for a comment, and will update this article should one be arrive.

-Xeawn

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