Thursday, September 12, 2013

Persona 3's stage play will have separate shows for male and female protagonists

Atlus' Persona series of spinoff games have always inspired strong feelings from their players.

Standing in stark contrast to the more dour Shin Megami Tensei franchise, Persona games (generally) have a lighter tone and put a stronger focus on friendship and interpersonal relationships.

Arguably the greatest of the Persona games - Persona 3 Portable - is set to receive a live stage play in Japan this coming year, which is cool enough on its own, but said theatrical performance will actually be a pair of completely different shows based on whether the audience prefers the story with the male or female lead.

It might seem oddly exclusionary to split the show up based on the gender of the main character, but in fact the exact opposite is true since the PSP version allowed players to choose the gender of their main character.

So, in a way, giving the FeMC as much stage time as the MC is a great step for gender quality - and it also gives the expanded cast of P3P a chance to step on stage.

Because the FeMC and MC can form relationships with different NPCs, there are some characters notably absent from the FeMC's playthrough that appeared in the original (male protagonist) iteration of the game and vice versa.  Some of these characters lead to exceptionally deep and touching story moments, while others are a bit of a raging ship tease.

While Persona 3 Portable didn't go into as much depth as it could have with exploring character sexuality and gender roles, it served as a great exploration piece for open-minded gamers looking to step outside of their comfort zones and slip into the skin of another sex for a few hours.

Happily, the stage play looks to be a great continuation of that theme as it's been reported the FeMC and MC will not be on stage at the same time thus assuaging fears of a confusing solo/duet about feeling alone in the world.

It's unlikely that the Persona 3 Portable stage play will ever see a run outside of Japan, but hey - at least we have Persona 4 The Musical!