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Final Fantasy XVI



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Rydgea

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Frankly, I wasn't swept into hysterical hype from the latest trailer, and I appreciate that somehow? I have returned to it several times since, picking up different earworms, design elements etc. It's definitely a trailer done right - without dropping too much detail, piquing curiosity instead of overriding it with answers. Idk, I just feel like it's a marked improvement from the handling of XV. Looking forward to next summer.
 

Bufferino

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I'm not surprised. FFXIV's Y'shtola has been whitewashed with her redesign. Her skin is considerably lighter, and Yoshida's response to that controversy has been similarly weak. If I recall correctly, he stated her skin got lighter as a result of staying away from the sun, which made no sense to me. The interviewer stated that there are cultural differences between America and Japan when it came to colorism. Yoshida defended himself saying he's a PoC too and experienced racism. While I absolutely agree with Yoshida on that, it seems he's not really trying to understand why people are upset: Japan has an issue with colorism and characters are frequently whitewashed in general.

So with his response about FFXVI, I was not surprised at all. I respect Yoshida greatly when it comes to his contribution to XIV and XVI. He genuinely cares about both of these games and I can speak on the high quality of XIV. But his understanding and handling of this is not the greatest.
 

AegisXIII

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To be honest, I think this is a calculated move from Square-Enix. Everyone wants to talk about it and they do not have to pay for promotion.
 

Bufferino

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To be honest, I think this is a calculated move from Square-Enix. Everyone wants to talk about it and they do not have to pay for promotion.
I'm a bit confused as to what you mean. Are you saying Yoshida addressed race issues for publicity?
 

AegisXIII

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Not him personally, but the marketing team could have requested IGN to ask the question.
 

NoWay

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I don’t understand the discussion at all. Arab people aren’t also included although they reigned over Spain and Portugal for nearly 1000 years. And nobody’s complaining.

I don’t care about representation in a video game and this shouldn’t be the main factor to judge about the quality of game that is taking place in a white dominated area.
 

Bufferino

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I don’t care about representation in a video game and this shouldn’t be the main factor to judge about the quality of game that is taking place in a white dominated area.
I mean... it's fine if you don't care. But representing POC has been an issue for the Final Fantasy franchise. Notice how you cannot recall any other black characters besides Barrett, Sazh, and Fran? People care about that stuff and it makes sense for them to want it in here. I also don't think "it was a white dominated country!!" is a good idea considering how it's a fantasy game with dragons and summons. House of the Dragon is a high-fantasy show that implemented black characters, and not only did it make sense with the lore, but it also helped distinguish a bloodline of people who look very similar to eachother.

Personally, I will still get the game and possibly enjoy it. But I don't believe Yoshida's defense was a good one and people are allowed to criticize it. Colorism is a serious issue in East Asian countries, especially Japan, and that unfortunately also projects onto anime and video game designs. White skin is seen as beautiful and youthful, while dark skin is seen as poor and dirty.
 

AegisXIII

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Colorism is a serious issue in East Asian countries, especially Japan, and that unfortunately also projects onto anime and video game designs. White skin is seen as beautiful and youthful, while dark skin is seen as poor and dirty.
I do not know enough about Japan society, so pardon my question which might sound a bit provocative, but when you say this is a serious issue: do Japanese people think this is an issue or do we assume it is because they are not doing it enough?
 

Bufferino

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I do not know enough about Japan society, so pardon my question which might sound a bit provocative, but when you say this is a serious issue: do Japanese people think this is an issue or do we assume it is because they are not doing it enough?
IN Japan? I don't know. But I know for sure that white skin is very much valued there and darker skin is not considered desirable. I may be exaggerating when I say it's a serious issue, but possibly only for me because I consider colorism to be an issue. To my limited knowledge and judging Yoshida's comments, they don't seem to think too much on it.

Edit: I should also mention that darker-skinned people, especially black people, are considered less attractive in many East Asian countries and even scary. And I believe it's so deeply ingrained into their culture at this point.
 
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AegisXIII

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IN Japan? I don't know. But I know for sure that white skin is very much valued there and darker skin is not considered desirable. I may be exaggerating when I say it's a serious issue, but possibly only for me because I consider colorism to be an issue. To my limited knowledge and judging Yoshida's comments, they don't seem to think too much on it.

Edit: I should also mention that darker-skinned people, especially black people, are considered less attractive in many East Asian countries and even scary. And I believe it's so deeply ingrained into their culture at this point.
To be honest, my opinion on this topic is mixed. I see the reasons why you think this way of crafting media is outdated, but I do not believe that it is a good idea to view Japanese society with the lens of western values.

For example, Japan has 0.02% of black people. That's 25'000 for a country of 125'000'000 inhabitants. It seems logical that they are less present in Japanese media than in the US, due to their numerical inferiority. I wouldn't blame you if you were to write a story where none of your characters are from the minority region of my country. It's the Romansh in Switzerland. You didn't know? That's exactly my point! 😆
Each culture has its own big social issues that comes from its history. And they vary a lot. Eastern cultures also have their own social fights to have, but we should not try to push our issues on them.

Also, I feel that with the recent selling of western studios, Square-Enix is moving to more traditional japanese storytelling, because that's what makes sense for them on the business side. That's why I am very curious about how well Forspoken will perform as this game has heavy western roots in it (the dialogues and the openworld design mostly). I feel that with this game, Square-Enix is testing the western audience reaction.

You will probably don't agree with a lot of the things I just said 😅, so feel free to contradict me if you have a different opinion. I am always happy to hear different viewpoints.
 

Bufferino

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To be honest, my opinion on this topic is mixed. I see the reasons why you think this way of crafting media is outdated, but I do not believe that it is a good idea to view Japanese society with the lens of western values.

For example, Japan has 0.02% of black people. That's 25'000 for a country of 125'000'000 inhabitants. It seems logical that they are less present in Japanese media than in the US, due to their numerical inferiority. I wouldn't blame you if you were to write a story where none of your characters are from the minority region of my country. It's the Romansh in Switzerland. You didn't know? That's exactly my point! 😆
Each culture has its own big social issues that comes from its history. And they vary a lot. Eastern cultures also have their own social fights to have, but we should not try to push our issues on them.

Also, I feel that with the recent selling of western studios, Square-Enix is moving to more traditional japanese storytelling, because that's what makes sense for them on the business side. That's why I am very curious about how well Forspoken will perform as this game has heavy western roots in it (the dialogues and the openworld design mostly). I feel that with this game, Square-Enix is testing the western audience reaction.

You will probably don't agree with a lot of the things I just said 😅, so feel free to contradict me if you have a different opinion. I am always happy to hear different viewpoints.
Except the amount of black people in Japan is irrelevant to my point, unless you want to count the prejudice they face when it comes to their skin color, which there is a lot. There is a shitton of antiblackness in the world and that unfortunately includes many East Asian beauty standards. It's not pushing any issue, it's a fact that dark skin is seen as poor and dirty, meanwhile white skin is heavily valued as a beauty standard. It's literally the same here in the US. We have a lot of black people, but beauty standards in the US are very eurocentric and we value lighter skin a lot, too. It's simply antiblackness and colorism that exists in almost EVERY culture, ever. Let me use your logic for a second. I'm Jamaican. Would I accuse someone claiming that Jamaica is a homophobic af country of "viewing it through western lens"? No, I'd agree with them because Jamaica is homophobic as hell. It is what it is.

And this brings me back to an earlier point: I wouldn't have given a shit if Yoshida just had glossed over the race issue overall and refused to address it. But he *did* and it's a bad explanation, so it's fair to criticize it. Also, white people are way more prominent in Japanese media than black people ever will be. Notice how a bunch of European-inspired stories in anime or Final Fantasy games just have a bunch of white people? Black people have existed everywhere, yet they're nowhere to be seen. The only prominent black woman I can recall in anime is Michiko from Michiko & Hatchin.

I have no bias or negative view on Japan or Japanese people. I enjoy their culture quite a lot and I admit I can't comment on many things because I do not live there. I'm just calling their societial beauty standards colorist because it is. Y'shtola has been whitewashed, 2P has been whitewashed, characters in Nier Replicant have been whitewashed, and many, many more. Hell, in FF14 there is an entire country full of brown/black people and it's based on heavily Middle Eastern PoC culture. Wanna know who the prominent character from that country was? A light-skinned woman with blonde hair and blue eyes.
 
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bambii

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Hell, in FF14 there is an entire country full of brown/black people and it's based on heavily Middle Eastern PoC culture. Wanna know who the prominent character from that country was? A light-skinned woman with blonde hair and blue eyes.

Not just prominent character; the leader and moral compass of said people—whereas the actual POC former rebel hero/leader is presented as irrational, disproportionately violent, and consumed by rage. I enjoyed Stormblood, but this shit drove me up the wall. It really undercut the expansion’s otherwise reasonably impactful anti-imperialist tone. It was a patronizing and nonsensical narrative decision. Like at that point it exceeds just being an issue of representation, it seriously detracts from the meaning and delivery of the story it’s trying to tell. I’m stoked as hell for FFXVI, but I really hope, at the very least, it avoids this kind of tone-deaf crap.
 
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Bufferino

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Not just prominent character; the leader and moral compass of said people—whereas the actual POC former rebel hero/leader is presented as irrational, disproportionately violent, and consumed by rage. I enjoyed Stormblood, but this shit drove me up the wall. It really undercut the expansion’s otherwise reasonably impactful anti-imperialist tone. It was a patronizing and nonsensical narrative decision. Like at that point it exceeds just being an issue of representation, it seriously detracts from the meaning and delivery of the story it’s trying to tell. I’m stoked as hell for FFXVI, but I really hope, at the very least, it avoids this kind of tone-deaf crap.
EXACTLY! Like Raubahn was seriously right there. He already had so much story, but they focused so much on Lyse instead of the actual dark-skinned Ala Mhigan man.
 

AegisXIII

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And this brings me back to an earlier point: I wouldn't have given a shit if Yoshida just had glossed over the race issue overall and refused to address it. But he *did* and it's a bad explanation, so it's fair to criticize it.
Here I clearly agree with you. He should have simply refused to talk about it.

Wanna know who the prominent character from that country was? A light-skinned woman with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Unfortunately I haven't played FFXIV to judge. But from what you are explaining, it would have bothered me as well.
 
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