Welcome to this week’s article of The Good, Bad, and What The?, where we took a good, long look at characters in movies, video games, anime, and books and put them on the judgement table to see if they are worthy to be in their respective stories. I strongly believe that well developed characters are more important than anything else in a good story, so I always judge them hard. At the end of every character’s evaluation I will give them one of four ratings: Good for those characters that are developed and deserve their place in the story, Bad for those characters that have no place being made or interacting with anyone else in the story, What The for the characters I just can’t figure out, and then the characters who are dull as dishwasher will get the rating of Sack of Potatoes. Today on the judgement table: Bayonetta, the main character of the “Bayonetta” series.
Bayonetta is the mighty lead femme fatale of the “Bayonetta” games who rips through angels and finds nothing more joyous than making fighting fun. “Bayonetta” is about one of the last two surviving Umbra witches Bayonetta. Long ago, the Lumen Sages and Umbra Witches were the protectors of history and humanity’s watchdogs. After a great war, the Umbra Witches and Lumen Sages completely destroyed each other. Now 500 years later after being put into a magical sleep, Bayonetta wakes as one of the only Umbra Witches still alive, along with another witch Jeanne. Bayonetta is now off on an adventure to learn about her past and get something called “The Eye of the World.” The two eyes of the world coming together have some sort of the great power that the angels keep talking about, so Bayonetta enjoys the ride and gets some answers.
Bayonetta is a character that is just over the top in every way. She is a very overly dramatic, overly sexy, crazy over powered beast of a main character. If you want to have a strong female lead, this is about as strong as you could possibly get. Bayonetta’s witch powers allow her to summon demons from Inferno (Hell) with the ability to destroy the world. The games has you finishing off boss battles by summoning giant dragons, spiders, even a huge demon centipede and having them decimate the angels. The idea of the game “Bayonetta” is to have crazy action and Bayonetta herself revels in this action. He entire character is intense. She is ridiculously tall, skinny like you couldn’t believe, and has curves that make hourglasses cry with envy. She has a perfect body, perfect hair, a flawless face she is as supermodel perfect as you can get. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Okay yeah a lot of video game females are ‘perfect women’; what’s your point?” The difference is that one, Bayonetta is over the top in all those categories and two, she knows and loves it. She is a character who, unlike many other attractive female video game characters, is completely aware of her perfection and flaunts the crap out of it. She teases and screws with giant angels as they try to shred her to pieces. She is a woman who is so grand and powerful that she can’t help but just flaunt it. She is quite literally a character who “don’t need no man” and loves nothing more than looking perfect while flawless crushing waves of enemies. For the final boss, you literally punch god into the sun! That is about as over the top as it gets. Now since it always comes up when talking about Bayonetta, I shall talk about it, is she oversexualized?
Well, I’m gonna lay it down quick and simple first, no I don’t think she is. Is she sexy? Well, heck yeah, that’s the point but sexy doesn’t mean sexualized necessarily. Many characters who are considered sexualized are either weak, a “prize”, or simply act in a way that is intended for no other reason than to arouse. Bayonetta no doubt gets plenty of guys or girls going but she has a very specific difference that changes it all, she uses it as a weapon. As you play the game there are plenty of scenes where Bayonetta laughs as she toys with her opponents. She is pretty much unstoppable and lets everyone know it. Now when you summon these demons of Inferno, because Bayonetta’s hair is her power and because the hair also makes her outfit, the summoning makes her naked. So yeah, this might seem like sexual pandering, but immediately after doing her little dance and getting naked, a centipede big enough to crush the Earth comes out and murders a giant angel. The scene is so awesome you quickly forget about the fact she is naked. The whole essence of her character is that yes, she is sexy and does things in a sexual way, but these sexual things are her power. It’s one thing to be a strong female main character, it’s another to be such a perfect female and then strut around going “Look at how amazing I am and I could crush you like an ant too!” If Bayonetta simply was sexy looking then maybe it would be sexualizing but because she loves how sexy and powerful she is, it just makes her awesome. I have heard plenty of women, my own girlfriend included, say how great she is and how they love her as a character. She is that power fantasy that guys always get in male video game character except she is an awesome women. I honestly think women will like her as a character even more than guy will.
On a last note, I also think her story and personality are quite interesting. She has no memory of her past in the first game so she is not totally sure what is going on or if she is doing the right thing, but she doesn’t care. As long as she gets to fight and go on some adventure it’s worth it. Due to being so unstoppable, she has the mantra of if it’s worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. She can’t just win the fight, she has to win in style. She could just shoot the angels to death but that’s too easy; she has to shoot them while doing a triple back flip and finish with a perfect split. Her methods are so outlandish I found myself laughing quite a lot because it is simply ridiculous. On top of loving her for her crazy personality, she also is a nice person with a sad past. She may love violence but she will also protect people and doesn’t want the world to get caught up in the crazy. She is actually protecting human kind from the angels. As for her past, it actually makes you feel bad for her. She was a girl who was orphaned while she was very young and was trained as a sort of bastard child by the Umbra witches for story reason I won’t divulge. Then after having a hard time with training she is put to sleep and wakes up 500 years later with her entire clan gone. So now she has no family, no home, and no clan to be a part of. She has herself and her strength and that’s it. It’s pretty depressing actually, but Bayonetta would never let you know if she was shaken, she can’t look weak now can she.
So the final verdict for Bayonetta is, naturally, Good. She is that perfect power fantasy of a character that men always get and women would like to see more. She is so over the top amazing you can’t help but love her and her hubris. She has a story that actually can make you feel some emotion but would never let it sway her. You don’t get much better than this is you’re looking for a powerful role model of a character. She may not be super deep or developed, but it doesn’t matter she knows she is perfect and owns it.