Genshin Impact’s Female Characters Deserve Better Storylines

Hu Tao, Yoimiya, and Dehya hang out under the fireworks.

Genshin Influence is hardly the worst offender in relation to portraying girls in video video games. The sexualization of its feminine solid is restricted to extraneous hip windows. Their personalities are inoffensive and charming. However as I watch each main replace usher in private developments and new lore for its male characters, I can’t assist however marvel: When will it’s the women’ flip? Genshin’s girls don’t get the identical layers of narrative depth, they hardly ever expertise development in new content material updates, they usually’re slotted into just some slim, shallow character sorts. It’s irritating as a result of these points don’t apply to the male characters. It’s simply girls who’re continually sidelined in Genshin’s grandiose historical past.

Spoiler warning.

The newest Genshin replace contained a serious storyline in regards to the misplaced civilization of Khanri’ah. An ancient royal guard meets the mysterious knight Kaeya for the primary time, and the 2 have a quick chat about his heritage. Kaeya followers have been feasting on the revelation that their favourite boy is descended from the founding father of the Abyss Order, one of many main antagonist factions of the sport. Followers have been creating tons of fanart and speculation about his true motives. I can’t assist however want that his boss Jean bought even a fraction of this type of consideration. However I get why. Regardless of being descended from one of many main clans of the Mondstadt area, the sport barely provides her any fascinating story hooks to construct off of. She’s a frontrunner of the protagonist faction of Mondstadt, however I’ve already forgotten about her. I haven’t forgotten about Kaeya.


Look, I’m completely satisfied for Kaeya. I actually am. It is a storyline that Genshin has been increase for the reason that recreation was launched in 2020. Who am I to inform his followers to attend one other yr for his or her meals? However I can’t keep in mind the final time {that a} feminine character bought this a lot lore reveal. The principle quest touched on Yelan’s ancestor throughout final yr’s “Perilous Trail,” which was good as a result of all that I’d identified earlier than that time was that she’s some authorities agent. However anybody who performed that quest would doubtless agree that the story was primarily about resolving a male character’s survivor’s guilt from the centuries-old Archon Warfare.

As I’ve stated earlier than, the immortal demon-slayer Xiao is considered one of my favourite characters. I’m glad that he’s not suicidal anymore. However the character growth he’s given contrasts sharply with what’s afforded to his sister-in-arms Ganyu, a feminine character who additionally fought within the cataclysmic Archon Warfare. The place he will get depth and trauma, she doesn’t even get recognition from the folks round her as a warrior, regardless of her navy service. The one factor we learn about Ganyu is {that a} monster tried to eat her through the conflict, and she choked it to death along with her waistline. Come on, that was a world-altering conflict that formed the trendy world of Teyvat! And all that HoYoverse needed to say about it was that Ganyu had placed on some kilos.


Ganyu, Yanfei, and Shenhe stand under the moon.

And it’s not as if the female cast doesn’t have ample opportunities to be involved in fleshing out Genshin’s massive amounts of world lore. The misplaced civilization of Enkanomiya is an explorable area, and it contained stunning lore in regards to the origins of its present rulers. I used to be excited when Genshin constructed a whole limited-time event round The Land of the White Evening. “Absolutely the insurgent priestess Kokomi will lastly get some fascinating lore,” I believed. It was a good assumption to make. Sangonomiya Kokomi is descended from the nobles of Enkanomiya, and the doorway to the area is locked behind her household shrine. In addition to, Kokomi’s function in the primary story had been closely criticized for missing in depth. I used to be prepared for my finest woman to make her comeback.


I’d be let down. Kokomi didn’t even seem for many of this occasion, and I realized nothing about how her previous linked to Teyvat’s current. Thoughts, Genshin does give her opportunities to seem in different occasions. And I like watching her work together with different members of the solid. However as a insurgent chief who led a serious faction within the Inazuma civil conflict, she deserves to have an vital function in Genshin’s continued storyline. The place’s the intrigue? The place’s the lore drop that makes me care about seeing her in future updates?

I’m reserving judgment on the area of Sumeru, because it was simply added in August of final yr and nonetheless has loads of creating to do. However I need to see extra feminine characters who’ve a big impression on the plot. Genshin followers have been hopeful in regards to the villainous Fatui Harbinger Signora, who had been a relentless menace to gamers since she was first launched. However then she was executed throughout the primary quest. Oops. So we’re now again to zero evil girls, which is an enormous blow to anybody who enjoys nuance of their worldbuilding.


What additionally frustrates me about Genshin’s feminine solid is that they appear to be typecast into limiting, pre-existing molds. All seven of the present “baby” characters are feminine, as an example, as if cuteness is a trait unique to younger ladies. And whereas male Genshin characters might be accountable, it’s the feminine characters who maintain up the sky. Roughly half of the feminine solid are hyper-responsible, whereas solely a few third of males are equally involved about upholding order. Whereas the divine puppet Wanderer has a prickly and uncooperative character, even the ladies who aren’t hyper accountable are no less than cheerful or cooperative. Males might be goofy, egocentric, or evil. In distinction, Genshin’s feminine characters’ enchantment comes from placing themselves second.

Amber, Eula, Jean, and Barbara celebrate Thanksgiving.


Gacha is a recreation format that makes use of character enchantment to promote microtransactions. When sure traits are emphasised in a roster, it exhibits what traits that the designers imagine will enchantment to the best proportion of gamers. Up to now, I’m not thrilled by the insinuation that the best lady doesn’t have egocentric or morally ambiguous targets of her personal. Effectively-behaved girls seldom make historical past, they usually’re actually not making Teyvat’s.

About now, you could be stating that I praised the thunder god Raiden Ei for having a sublime character arc and an interesting worldview. However she’s the exception that proves the rule. Ei is likely one of the seven main gods, and each foremost god on this recreation is intricately tied to the tragedy of 500 years ago. If the usual for “shifting and fascinating character arc” is “godhood,” that’s not significantly honest to the ladies on this recreation. Out of the 13 premium male characters in Genshin, 11 of them have an emotionally heavy arc involving the dying of somebody near them, or making an attempt to overthrow the powers that be. Ei is the one feminine character who appears to have that stage of company over her destiny.


The imbalance feels significantly egregious when the feminine characters outnumber the boys by a ratio of two:1. And I perceive why. Most gacha video games have an overwhelmingly feminine solid as a result of straight males are the most certainly demographic to spend cash. However contemplate that different standard gachas have a number of the most compelling feminine characters in video video games. Most feminine characters in Destiny/Grand Order shoulder the destiny of a complete nation or an alternate universe. Arknights’ villain is a morally ambiguous insurgent chief whose worldview has been warped by the rampant discrimination that she noticed round her. Different characters within the recreation are equally textured and interesting. And each of those video games make far much less cash than Genshin, which prints $2 billion every year.

The builders have tried to make its world really feel extra reasonable by giving important story roles to NPCs. It’s about time they gave vital roles to girls too.


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