May 7th, 2010

What needs to be said about Ar Tonelico

The reason I started this blog in the first place was based on this sexist harem game. It actually started due to a de-railing of a topic on the My Neo Romance boards asking for otome RPG games like Ar Tonelico, but with the reversed harem. Lest to say many fans on the board rabidly told me that the characters aren’t like this or that and the game is wonderful and women have all the power and the whole tripe of people who are not enlightened about sexism in general nor Feminism 101.

Then I found this article:
Sexism in Ar Tonelico
It sums up nicely what I was trying to say to those dense people in that forum. However I wish to expand on that summary.

Ar Tonelico as a game is a problem.

Reyvateil’s are all female for no other good reason than “The manses just can’t do it.” The Y chromosome represses the power for not other good reason than it just does. Basically, if men could be walking hard drives, it’d cut into the male sexual fantasy of fembots. According to The English Hymmnos (Hymmnos is the language of song magic that only Reyvateil’s can sing) server under The Design of Hymmnos Extract, Reyvateil’s are basically memory cards or Hard Drives. The whole setup of the game world of Ar Tonelico is that of a computer. These women are the hard drives. Very similar to the anime Chobits where the Chobits are advanced Persocoms (Persocom/n – Japanese abbrv. for personal computer).

Reyvateil’s are ONLY women. Reyvateil’s are Hardware. Women as hardware. Every man’s misogynistic dream.

It get’s worse however, as the article linked above states. You can dive into these women’s consciousness. A euphemism for having sex. You have to dive into all the women’s minds in your party and this are having sex with all of them. The women however are only after the main male. The harem trope all over again. That women only will seek a monogamous relationship with a male. It ignores the fact that women have sexual desires too and that they might not be out for a relationship, or a monogamous on either. They may want to have their own nice harem of men in which they “mind dive” them.
This game ignores all that for the continued stereotype that women are innocent little angels until they want sex, and then they are “sluts”. I even saw a Youtube video of on of the character’s dressed up as a devil and that was the bad personality that needed to be defeated.

Ar Tonelico III takes this to a new level where you can change the personality of the women. Another trope comes up as women being moody, crazy, or even having multiple personalities as a normal. So now it’s even worse.

The sad part is the fans can’t see this and give the typical:
“It’s just a game, get over it.”
“You don’t get it at all!”
“Women have the power here!”

The last one being the problem, because the one’s making these comments have blinded themselves to what power is all about. The women in this game have little power. They are only there to stay in the back row, be protected and sing. That’s it. The fact that there are no male Reyvateil’s around is proof that the author of the storyline wanted to make women as sexual objects. The part in the game where the women are both saving and destroying the world? It goes back to the women as demons and women as angels dichotomy that women are already existing in. Women are not seen as human at all in any of this. Not even the human women. The people who think otherwise seriously need a wake-up call. They need to get educated about what is wrong with the picture that this game brings forth.

Ar TonelicoMisogynySexism