Bayonetta: If you got it, baby, flaunt it

In a market dominated by male consumers, it is common to see women used to stroke masculine egos, both of the player and the male protagonist. Every once in a while a game like Bayonetta is released and we don’t really know what to think of it. The titular character definitely throws us for a loop. She’s a tall glass of water with proportions to rival that of any Barbie doll, who sucks on a lollipop to regain health and restore magic. With that description alone one would automatically assume that this game does nothing but feed into male fantasy. Surprisingly, Bayonetta brings much more to the table. Aside from terrific gameplay, Bayonetta herself gives a unique feel to the game. Here is a tough female lead who is not a gritty space marine, or some other form of a man with breasts. Bayonetta is all woman and is not afraid to let you know it.
Bayonetta is a female who revels in her own sexuality. While much of it is over the top, such as her adult rated magical girl transformation parody, Bayonetta doesn’t pander to men. She doesn’t need to be saved by men, nor is she running to the ends of the earth to save some beloved boyfriend. This is a woman’s world, dominated by Bayonetta along with her rival Jean, and Bayonetta has her own objective. Unlike some recent action games (coughGodofWarcough), the women of this game don’t spend all their time decorating the end of someone’s sword or someone’s penis. In fact, Bayonetta doesn’t seem very interested in having sex at all. She isn’t being sassy and sexy for men; she is doing it for herself, and boy does she have fun doing it.
Bayonetta pursues her goals with a style and flair rarely seen from a female character in a video game. She brings a playful, feminine twist to everything she does and the developers do a great job bringing it out in the game. Red lips are used to show your current target and Bayonetta blows kisses to break down barriers to progress to the next stage. Is this a little theatrical? Yes, but so is everything created by Hideki Kamiya. Bayonetta is essentially a female version of Dante from Kamiya’s Devil May Cry series. Both are wild, exaggerated, and ridiculous versions of action heros. And if Dante is a super snarky, and shirtless demon hunter, where does that put Bayonetta? As a sassy, curvaceous angel hunter. But Bayonetta isn’t all about looks.