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Celebrating ten years of video games and other things.

Turnabout Headphones

I started Devil May Cry 4 last night. One of the main things that stuck out at me during the opening cutscenes was not the camera work, nor the music, though those were nice. Rather, it was the fact that here we were, in a vaguely Old World European setting—set in the current day, sure, but there were monks and such everywhere, and not a single bit of modern architecture in sight—and one of the main characters, Nero, walks in, wearing not just the requisite long coat with zippers and red and black trimmings, but headphones.

Headphones. Big stereo headphones, too.

They just seemed out of place to me, though pretty run of the mill for the DMC universe.

Nero, what's with your hand? And where's your headphones?!

Nero, what's with your hand? And where's your headphones?!

They also reminded me of this illustration book, which I saw late last year in NYC’s Kinokuniya. It’s sort of a collection of headphones moe, if you define moe as having to do with idealization, or a particular fetish. The other major definition of moe is more specific, and refers to a certain type of feminine innocence.

As such, there isn’t much discussion of “male moe”, though it exists. Certainly, there are characteristics among bishonen that pop up again and again in Japanese comics, animation, and video games. Nero and his DMC4 co-star (oh, that’s gotta hurt) Dante have such “moe points” in spades, from the aforementioned coats, to their huge (*cough*) swords, to the stylings and very color of their hair.

White and grey-haired males have long been popular among gamer girls, especially villains. Yet another Devil May Cry character, Dante’s twin brother Vergil, is a fine example, as is FFVII’s Sephiroth, not to mention the star of the other Capcom game I started yesterday, Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. Though not the only pale-haired prosecutor in the series, Edgeworth—defense lawyer Phoenix Wright’s friend and rival—has been a particular favorite amongst Ace Attorney fans since the first installment. This new game, in which he is the main character, has been long awaited by many of us. Given Edgeworth’s role in the series, it is also different from the other games in that it focuses on the investigations and avoids court scenes altogether. I’m currently in the midst of the game’s second episode; although the writing isn’t as good as it could be at times, I’m enjoying my time with Edgey. The Ace Attorney flavor is there, and that’s what’s important.

As for Devil May Cry 4, I haven’t gotten far enough into it to form a strong opinion yet, but I will say that it seems a little clunky and old-fashioned in the way that it does things, albeit with shiny graphics. We’ll see how the game shapes up once things really get rolling.



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