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Yakuza 3 Remastered Has Removed A Transphobic Sidequest

The remastered version of Yakuza 3 has not only been updated aesthetically, but also socially, by removing several sidequests that featured a transphobic NPC. The character has been removed from both the Japanese and Western versions voluntarily by the series' creators due to the "changing social and moral values of society".

The character in question, Michiru, is a crossdresser who lives in Kamurocho and embodies nearly every negative stereotype about trans women and homosexual men.

In addition to the terrible character model, the side quests involving Michiru involve some questionable dialogue and content. The biggest offenders, according to fans and trans rights supporters on Twitter, are the protagonist constantly referring to Michiru as "him" or "it," and a quest where the NPC chases the protagonist. If the protagonist is unable to escape Michiru, the NPC sexually assaults him, which is played off for laughs by the game.

Michiru is portrayed as sexually aggressive, and tries to assault the protagonist

According to series producer Toshihiro Nagoshi, all of the game content involving Michiru has been removed because the social atmosphere of Japan, and the world as a whole, has changed a lot since 2009 when Yakuza 3 was first released. In an interview partially translated by Twisted Voxel, "some things that were considered OK at the time are not as good as the current moral values," and the Michiru questlines are a part of the game that has not aged well.

Sega's controversy involving the leaked ending of Catherine: Full Body, which many said contained transphobic elements, could also be a factor in this decision.

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Some fans of the Yakuza series, however, are upset at what they consider "censorship" of the game's content. They feel that this decision panders to identity politics, and is more an attempt to placate Western audiences than an actual reflection of the creators' desires for the series.

Despite cutting the Michiru questlines, the remastered version still has more content than the original localization. The remastered Yakuza 3 will return 21 other substories, 4 minigames, and the hostess club side game that were originally removed from the Western localization because it was believed Western audiences wouldn't understand them. However, now that access to Japanese media is more widespread overseas, the creators believe there will be fewer cultural barriers to enjoy this content.

Overall, it's good to see that the new version will not just be an update in graphics, but also that Sega is trying to respond to changes in their audience, both at home and abroad.

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