'Persona 5' Latest News & Update: Persona Franchise Sold Over 500k Copies Albeit Controversial Rising Sun Sneakers

By Regin Olimberio , Updated Oct 07, 2016 07:40 PM EDT
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Japan's blockbuster video game "Persona 5" is causing controversy in South Korea all because of game character Ryuji Sakamoto sporting a Rising Sun flag in his sneakers. It could have been a star because Sakamoto's sneakers appear to be a Chuck Taylor anyway but no - it bears the Imperial Army's trademark.

Anyway, here are fast facts before gamers hitch in the bandwagon controversy. First, it is true that there were Korean dailies that lambasted "Persona 5" for the sneakers in question. Then it was also confirmed that a petition is circulating to protest - again the sneakers. However, it is also a fact that "Persona 5" is well-loved video game in South Korean so not the whole nation shares the uproar.

"Persona 5" is so popular that it sold 337 thousand copies just three days after release in Japan. International sales are skyrocketing as well at more than half a million copies shipped in Asian destinations including South Korea. Further, Persona Central reported that these figures does not include digital sales so it may catapult even higher yield. Other observers said that Persona franchise has history of better sales in the US so the reason to conclude positive results when in invades the American continent.

So where did all the fuss started? According to Kotaku, Rising Sun has long been associated with atrocities during the second world war. There are claims that "Persona 5" threads insensitivity to "comfort women" who's grim plight in the war are beyond description of horrific. Further, there are accusations that the game has dialogue portions that points to these dark chapter in history.

At any rate, "Persona 5" can still survive unscathed in this tussle if the main storyline is to be taken seriously. Protagonist Ryuji Sakamoto is an adventurous member of what is called bosozoku or motorcycle club. And in Japan, these machos often sport the Rising Sun in their bikes or windshield. So it is a cultural symbol rather than emblem of aggression.

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