OPINION: What is Senran Kagura – Part 3 – Katsuragi: Queen of the Perverts

Friday, April 24th, 2015

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So, she has a compelling story. How does that excuse her perverted tendencies?

Let’s talk about how that’s handled for a moment. Sure, Katsuragi is a major perv who does things that realistically are horrible and no one should ever do (much like any other fictional character to a degree). Let’s look though at how this works in the context of the story.

Katsuragi herself takes a very free-spirited and carefree approach to life, preferring to enjoy herself as much as possible and have fun, quite possibly because she knows just how fleeting the life of a Shinobi can be. In addition, a lot of her antics are done to lighten the mood and raise her teammates’ spirits. Yes, she teases and gropes everyone a lot, but she knows what lines she can and can’t cross.

What is Senran Kagura? | Bath Time

After almost losing Asuka to the Gessen Girls, Katsuragi tries to raise everyone’s spirits by invoking a bath scene so everyone can wash each other’s backs.

Probably the best way to sum up her tendencies would be this quote from the Gessen Acadamy Story Mode:

“Well, I’m not just squeezing boobs for the sake of squeezing boobs. It’s how I communicate, you know? I get friendly with people that way.” ~ Katsuragi, Gessen Story Mode 5-3 “To Understand”

In addition, let me make one final argument. Katsuragi serves as a bit of an audience surrogate. What I mean by this is that she’s someone that the player can relate to in regards to the fan service. Not in the fact that she’s promoting a message that sexual harassment is OK, but, instead, that, yes, this game is filled to the brim with fan service and sexuality, and it’s OK to enjoy that.

What is Senran Kagura? | Suggestive

Admit it, at the very least you knew it was OK to laugh at Katsuragi’s cheesy pickup lines.

Senran Kagura is, at the very least, a celebration of sexuality and femininity, and if you’re going to jump right to the assumption that this means the game is promoting an unrealistic standard for women to be, then you’re narrowing your own field of vision. Yes, all the girls, (except Mirai, but she makes up for it in attitude) in this game are stacked beyond belief. However, I’ll also point out that they happen to be quite independent and able to stand up for themselves and their friends easily. They are the elites of their respective schools, and they didn’t get there by their looks alone. They have worked and trained hard to get to be as skilled as they are. Heck, Katsuragi herself runs 30-mile marathons through the mountains as training.

What is Senran Kagura? | Marathon

Do I even need to mention how badass Katsuragi is again?

In addition, it’s trying to promote an overall message that sexy is OK. We seem to be at an odd crossroads culturally where sexuality is starting to become more and more accepted, but, at the same time, it’s only accepted as long as it’s done in a style we’re familiar with. The second another culture (that actually censors more than we do) tries to do it, it’s immediately taboo and must be stopped. To be frank, it’s this exact line of thinking I can never understand and I find the most disturbing.

So, let’s recap. Yes, Katsuragi, at first, may seem like a very one-dimensional character that is a perfect example of why people play the Senran Kagura games, and, to a degree, you’re right. She’s a perfect example at just how deep the characterization can get and of the fact that it’s OK to enjoy the sexiness and the fan service that’s part of the experience, as well.

So, fight on, Katsuragi, for life and hometown!

What is Senran Kagura? | Epic Battle

“I will not lose! I will never be defeated by anyone until I master the path of the Squeezed Booby!” ~Katsuragi

Conclusion

So, after three lengthy editorials, we come to the end of this little series. I discussed at length why I feel Senran Kagura is not an Eroge in the slightest. I’ve touched upon just how deep this series can get with its story and characterization. I’ve even talked about and analyzed a character who, on the surface, perfectly represents what people think about when they imagine this series, and attempted to prove that she is so much more. At the end of the day, however, these are merely my thoughts and opinions on the matter. It’s up to you — the reader — to make your own interpretation of the evidence I’ve presented here and come to your own conclusion.

Did I convince you that there’s more to Senran Kagura than just tits and ass? Have I shown you that these girls have more depth, individuality and strength than many other similarly-portrayed heroines; that they exist to be more than just eye-candy and sell copies of the game? Or have I done nothing but reinforce the argument that this series is nothing but pointless fan service, and is a horrible representation of women and sexuality in general? That, even as heartbreaking as Katsuragi’s backstory is, it doesn’t serve as an excuse for her actions?

Whatever side of the argument you fall on is fine. You don’t have to agree with or like my opinion or conclusions. More than anything else, if, at the end of the day, I’ve gotten you to at least think about how this series is portrayed and the themes it possesses, then I’ve more than done my job, and I’m satisfied with that. Either way, though, please let me and the others know what your thoughts on this matter and this series as a whole is in the comments below.

Until next time everyone, Ja Matta!

About Benny Carrillo

A gamer since the days of the NES, this professional otaku adores Mega Man, Super Robot Wars, Yuri, Visual Novels, the Slice of Life anime genre, and of course Hyperdimension Neptunia. His mission on oprainfall is to help deliver the news straight to you.


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