Implied Fisting Is One Sure Way To Get A Mature Rating

Ar Tonelico III was rated teen in Japan. The ESRB isn't being as kind, slapping on a mature rating on the PlayStation 3 RPG for, among other things, a male character reaching inside a female character's body while she moans.

Anyone that's played the first two games in the Gust-developed, NIS America-published role-playing series Ar Tonelico know that it isn't exactly a game for kids. Sure it's got bright and colourful graphics and whimsical music, but that just masks the blatantly sexual content you stumble upon later in the game.

The lead character, which has been a male in all three entries in the series, must attune himself to certain female characters by inserting crystals into their bodies. This is traditionally accompanied by embarrassed noises, monas, and suggestive dialog.

Thing is, Ar Tonelico and Ar Tonelico 2 for the PlayStation 2 were both rated T for teen. How did Ar Tonelico III, listed as Ar Tonelico Qoga: Knell of Ar Ciel on the ESRB website, wind up with a mature rating? Let's take a look at the Entertainment Software Review Board's rating description.

Some power moves cause female characters' clothes to vanish in layers; the characters are often depicted holding (covering) their breasts, wearing only underwear, or standing behind strips of light that obscure their genitals.

That doesn't sound so bad! Surely it's nothing more racy than what we've seen in a Sailor Moon cartoon.

The rating continues:

In one cutscene, male characters encourage a woman to strip (e.g., "Uh . . . do I have to take off even more clothes…?" and "Quit teasing us and do it already!"); another sequence depicts a male character "removing" a magical crystal from a female character-this scene is accompanied by suggestive moans and comments (e.g., "Aoto's putting his hand inside Soma" and "Fumble around every inch inside of her . . . you will find what you're looking for . . . !").

*fans himself*

Well, OK then, it looks like this particular ESRB ratings employee did their homework, in detail. Does this bode well for the North American release of Ar Tonelico III?

Check out the full rating description over at the ESRB website. Thanks to Nicholas for pointing it out!


Comments

    Time to start playing the first two games I have lying around at home before this one hits!

    What is with this weird view the Japanese have on sex? The need to make correlations to child like themes, abuse, or straight up rape?

    Im not saying the latter themes exist within this game, but for srs guys, why are the women always in pain, shock, naive as hell, look 5 but written as 20, eating roaches, or being smashed around by giant tentacles?

    For all of you guys wanting to say its simply a cultural difference, fine, but that doesn't stop young girls being assaulted on their public transport.

    Nor the fact that in their culture its the young girls fault for being assaulted.

    I get you teenage boys need fapping material, but you need to start seeing crap like this for what it is, a weird, bastardised view of sex which is unrealistic and not healthy.

    Go get laid, and do the world a favour.

      Individuals are responsible for their own actions, but not many of us higher primates can help our drives and motivations. You included.

      Don't make the mistake of assuming fiction is the cause instead of the result of them. Or similarly that the satisfaction of them this way constitutes an opinion on the subject matter.

      Fantasy is _not_ hard to distinguish from reality.

      I find it ironic that you're saying this, considering the rate of rapes in US and Australia are much higher than that of Japan.

      The main thing about Japan is that they have a lot of these crazy fetishes but it's all kind of out in the open. You walk down the street in Akhiabara and you can see, among all the video game and anime stores, giant multi-story sex shops in plain view, with plenty of customers going in an out.

      On the other hand, over here (and in the US) the sex shops are tucked away into some tiny little hidden corner, as our society deems anyone who visits them to be scum, deviant, and abnormal.

        We have to remember that Japan is very much a shame society and that women's liberation movements in the west have really made it more likely for victims to report crimes. BTW youtube Nanking (if you haven't). Everyone needs to know that story.

        Good thing the rate of reported sexual assault is so low... because the reported rate of molestation on public transport is the complete opposite.

      What's with the weird view of Westerners and gun violence?

      Every other game is about shooting someone, all americans are heavily armed and trigger happy, what's the deal with that?

      Put down the guns and stop buying ammo.

      I honestly don't know what the exact numbers on murder in Japan are, but there are a stunning number of murders and gun deaths in America, and a high level of violence.

      And while gropings are common on the crowded public transport, there are proportionally fewer rapes and sex crimes.

        Wow! That's a great point Ross! I never looked at the comparison between gun violence in the west and the openness of sex fetishes (pointed out by Steven) in the east.
        +1

      u mad bro?

      "Fapping material"

      Yeah, no. It's comedy, man. Are sex jokes too offensive for you or something?

      I agree with MaXX, but I think the issue is being confused. Its not about Japanese views on sex being weird - its the mysoginist angle. Women are thoroughly demeaned in Western culture as well but Japanese media seems very well practiced in the art of gender based degradation.
      Also, Ross, groping is a sex crime. Proportionality can't be an argument if the numbers are skewed by cultural views on acceptability of a sex crime.
      Also.. WooHoo first post on Kotaku for me! Been reading for a while but this is quite a philosophical discussion and I gots 2 cents to throw in. Kudos all!

        Errmm...

        You have a look at see at some of the more "hardcore" Yaoi/Bishoujo games and tell me later how "unequal" or "misogynistic" these games can get =P

        Fact of the matter is this stuff cuts both ways, except its a lot more easier to 'focus' on "bewbies on games" then men being subjected to S&M if your after the "weird or pervert" angle.

    lol its quite sad really, these games just creep me out.

    Been waiting for Ar Tonelico 3, can't wait. The music and art is what drew me in. I wish gamers these days would get on with it, and just play the games. Too many misconceptions and...just words really. Enjoy the games.

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