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Is the Protagonist of Shin Megami Tensei V A Girl, Can You Pick Your Name and Gender

What you need to know about the protagonist of SMT V

November 11, 2021

Shin Megami Tensei V (SMT V) is finally out this November 12, 2021, exclusively on Nintendo Switch, and many discovering the game might be wondering about the protagonist, whether you can select your name and gender.

  • MORE – Check out our review of Shin Megami Tensei V

Shin Megami Tensei V | World in Ruins Trailer

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Shin Megami Tensei V | World in Ruins Trailer
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Can you name the Protagonist in Shin Megami Tensei V?

Yes, you can name the protagonist in SMT V and you will be asked for a first name and family name shortly after starting a new save file. However, there is pretty much no incidence to your choice. You can either make up a name or use your real name. Especially seeing there are no online functionalities in SMT V. It’s a pure solo JRPG so no one will see your real name unless you stream or share screenshots.

Is the SMT V protagonist a girl, can you pick your gender?

You cannot pick your gender, and the protagonist of SMT V is a male protagonist. There is no ambiguity, as Aogami, who fuses with the protagonist, regularly calls him “young man” in Japanese and English. The protagonist is just very effeminate, be it in his human form or in his Nahobino form.

As a side note, unlike the Persona series, there is no social aspect in Shin Megami Tensei V. It’s also possible when talking to Demons to mention that you consider yourself a girl, or you can also ask male Demons to become your lover. But it’s all part of Demon negotiation, with no impact on the story.

Female protagonists and effeminate protagonists in JRPGs

It’s important to note this is nothing surprising when it comes to Japanese games and especially JRPGs. Unlike in the West, there’s never been a huge apprehension against games with female protagonists or effeminate protagonists in Japan.

This is partly due to the fact that there have always been more women in the game industry in Japan compared to the rest of the world, and earlier as well. One of the most popular example is Rieko Kodama on the Phantasy Star JRPG series. A more recent game and good example is the Neptune (Neptunia) series and its director Naoko Mizuno.

Japan has a completely different history and culture, as opposed to the 90s and 2000s in most of America and Europe, where you’d often see Final Fantasy fans, to pick a popular example, complaining about the male characters’ looks.

This is exactly why companies like Square Enix ended up making NieR Gestalt, a version made for the west where the original bishonen (pretty boy) protagonist was replaced by a buff older protagonist.

For further reading, another similar situation is how many anime fans outside Japan believe the “isekai genre” was made for men, while it historically always primarily targeted women and featured female protagonists. Read more here.

Shin Megami Tensei V was launched in Japan on November 11 midnight, which corresponded to November 10 in North America. Hence why you could see some Japanese fans already playing the game on social media. Some fans around the world also received their physical preorders early. Atlus also asked fans to properly tag spoilers.

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Iyane Agossah
@A_iyane07

Living near Paris, Iyane (He/Him) is the head of Japanese content at DualShockers. He speaks Japanese, has been watching anime for over 25 years, and plays Genshin Impact mainly for its story. You can reach him on Twitter at @A_iyane07.

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