My favorite genre of video game is the RPG. “RPG” stands for “Role-Playing Game”, which is exactly as it sounds. You, the player, take on the role of a specific character to embark on a grand adventure unlike anything you have experienced before. The game might take on a third-person perspective where you control the hero – The Legend of Zelda, while not strictly an RPG, comes to mind – or a first-person perspective where you actually tailor the hero to your liking – Dark Souls is my jam in this category. Regardless, an RPG puts you into the game, making the game less a game and more an experience.
Bikini Warriors is an anime, not a game, but it centers on this RPG concept. The ending of the anime reminded me of Mass Effect, a famous space-oriented RPG series. Doing all of the side missions, exhausting all possible dialogue options, exploring never-before-seen worlds. All wonderful parts to the game, but it was having my own personal character, my own personal story existing across the first, second, and third games, that made the series so special.
I was invested in the series, so much so that when I finally witnessed the absurd ending of the third game I heavily latched onto the “Indoctrination Theory” that eerily, logically, and justifiably explained the insane leap the game had taken (I still contend to this day that that theory is the true solution). I was floored by what Mass Effect had done because it was not just a game to me, but my own, personalized experience that they had tampered with.
While Bikini Warriors’ ending failed to influence me in any capacity, let alone to the level that Mass Effect’s had, the anime at least demonstrated that RPGs are rather peculiar in their construction.