The Fat Maiden Revolution
Released at the beginning of the year, Maiden Love Revolution: Love-Revo is currently a best seller PS2 title in Japan.

First, lets get this out of the way now because a lot of sites have been making this assumption: just because the title has "Revolution" in it, don't think it comes along the lines of DDR. It's not even a Konami title (you don't even see a Konami logo on the cover box at Play-Asia), so they're not at all related.

The word "revolution here is just a title, implying "makeover" more than anything else.
In Maiden Love Revolution, you play an ex-beauty queen who has ballooned up to 100kg (roughly 220lbs), though the images make it look like she is a lot heavier than that. I mean, I was at 198lbs at one point due to a hormone deficiency problem that slowed my metabolism considerably, and I didn't look like a ball with feet. How short is this main character? If she were in fact a beauty queen at some point, wouldn't she be a tall girl anyway?

But anyway, back to our "heroine". Hitomi Sakurakawa comes across as a lazy snack-happy couch potato, desperately needing help managing her diet and losing weight, and that's where you come in. Your job is to count calories, restrict her food intake and make her exercise.

A simulation of dieting and exercise would actually come across as a good educational tool. After all, there is already Yourself! Fitness, which does a great job evaluating your physical condition and recommending exercises and diet plans according to your needs, by giving you your own personal trainer.


Doesn't he just seem to be screaming, "I refuse to go out with you until you look like that!"?
There are two problems with Maiden Love Revolution. The first is the relation of the character with the weight loss program, since it's forced on her. The second problem is the ultimate goal of the game. You only go through the dieting and exercising to obtain the "ideal dating weight". To get a date. That's it. What the hell is an ideal dating weight anyway? My weight has been everywhere between 165 and 198 lbs in the last few years, and I always had a boyfriend (evolving to fiance and then to husband) through that time. Should I had not been in a relationship then because I didn't have an ideal dating weight (and I still don't)?

And a date as a reward? All that work just to get a boyfriend, not even for personal satisfaction or for health reasons? How shallow can Japanese people get? Are they all that concerned about appearances?
The game actually monitors your weight-loss progress day by day, telling you how many grams exactly you have lost. Not even kilos, grams. Depending on how you do, you will be more or less likely to attract one of the stereotypical bishoujo guys out of the bunch.

The problem with this game is the message it's trying to get across: that only slim girls can find boyfriends and that you can't find love unless you lose those extra pounds.

Apparently, there's no room in the social circle for overweight girls. Can you imagine being a fat teenager in school in Japan? How bad would you be teased or discriminated? Or are we just generalizing and assuming that young girl gamers (who the game is primarily aimed at) are all overweight?

Look, Hitomi! Today you lost 200 grams and raised your Courage and Education stats! Hooray!

One of Hitomi's "prize" dates.
Yes, lets just do that, lets tell teenage girls "who are already concerned with their own image enough and lacking on self-esteem" that there is such thing as an ideal dating weight that they should be striving for. Because they don't get enough pressure from TV and magazines with all those slim super-models to compare to, so we have to start addressing that on videogames too.

And this coming from a culture that applauds Sumo wrestlers... is it just pure irony or are they trying to say it's ok for men to be fat but not girls?

I wouldn't be surprised if the game included "special items" such as diet supplements, stomach stapling surgery, diuretics and laxatives, or some bonus bulimic level for extra weight loss...

Yes, because what will come next? Anorexic Love Revolution? Cosmetic Surgery Revolution? As long as girls keep buying them and playing them in Japan, we could be in for a whole line of these games. How sad.