Leaving your friend to get hit on by a bunch of male perverts - Pretty sure I've seen that in at least one gag manga somewhere. That's the attitude in Japan. They find humor in the absurd and in the gallows.
The beach scene is supposed to be a karmic rebuttal. The boys have been acting like animal chick hounds all day and these campy predators show up to turn the spoon backwards with their own medicine. They're also a cartoon representation of what a lot of straight dudes, especially teenagers like Ryuji and the others, would imagine if that situation happened.
But what good am I doing, wasting my energy trying to explain something when everybody on ResetEra already views outsiders as the Enemy? Their entire perception of the world is based on reading Twitter feeds.
I like that "Persona 5's most controversial scene" boils down to "they don't treat these flamboyant gay dudes with an unnatural, almost cuck-like level of respect." That's really the most impactful scene? I'm sure actual flamboyant gay dudes trying to pick up high schoolers were less offended than this fucking drag queen.
The reaction from some to the Persona 5 Royal changes is similar to the what occurred after Catherine Full Body and comes from the same contingent that pushed for the game to be altered in the first place. The only positive resulting from the whole exercise is SEGA/ATLUS was able to virtue signal to the press for about a week, but at the expense of further raising concerns future products will go through similar scrutiny and eventual sanitization.
I'm glad the efforts made by SEGA/ATLUS aren't going uncriticized by the people who originally championed them, but I don't have much hope for change, unless SEGA corporate tells their localization people to stop F-ing around.
As a trans person whose initial transition was delayed by parents and loved ones assuming that I had been pushed into being trans by pressure from others, I got major vibes from this scene of the persistent fears that LGBT people force their lifestyles on unwilling kids.
When I first came out as trans to my parents, they wanted to know everything about every person I was talking to regarding my transition. Was my therapist gay or trans? Could they be pressuring me into transition because it’s what they thought was right for me, not because I actually wanted it? Did I come out to friends who were LGBT? Did they think it was cool that I had come out as trans? Could trying to fit in with expectations of others have been the cause for me being trans?
LGBT people don’t respect your boundaries, the game implies, and will force their desires on your unwilling kids
My parents were desperately looking around for an LGBT person who had entered my life and tricked me into thinking I was trans, because that would be a solvable situation. It would be easier to address than the reality: that I was actually trans, and had come to that understanding of myself without outside influence.
Those fears are common. I’m not the only LGBT person with a family who assumed that part of my identity was forced upon me. It’s used as a way to discredit someone’s lived experience. It’s used by society to handwave away our fights for rights, because we’re not really suffering; we just want to “seem cool” or “fit in.” It’s used to suggest that LGBT people shouldn’t be around children, and that children shouldn’t be taught LGBT people exist, because it will cause them to be tricked into becoming LGBT themselves.
This scene is the distillation of that fear — the idea that LGBT people will swoop down on your children, and force them to be something they are not. It’s the idea that LGBT individuals are predators, looking for people to brainwash to “our side,” like pawns. It’s not just a failed joke; it’s a situation that seems to justify many people’s fears.
Persona 5 Royal is a fantastic game. You can read my full review here, where I note that the gameplay changes and story additions take an already successful experience and make it even better. These few missteps stand out so much because they take place in a game that gets just about everything else right.