As Honkai Impact 3rd climbs in popularity, one point of discussion has been its roster- while historically all women, some fans have been wanting playable men in the game.
It’s not like Honkai Impact 3rd exists in the same mono-gender universe as Love Live or Revue Starlight- whose games feature a laughably noticeable lack of men. The series has multiple male characters, just never ones that are playable like Otto Apocalypse or Kevin. Unlike Genshin Impact, which features an admittedly physically milquetoast lineup of men, Honkai does lack in actually making them playable.
Checking in with the community, it looks like there’s a difference in opinion. Over on the Honkai Impact International Discussion Group on Facebook, the majority of fans seem to be in support of playable men in Honkai Impact.
After the recent leaks for Honkai Star Rail featured multiple men in its roster, it looks like the community is down for any type of character, as long as they look cool.
“I’m so excited for it !! Regardless of the genders, if they have a proper character design and story I’m so down“, user Mhio writes.
One more fan expressed great excitement for the idea of men in Honkai, on the condition that they also have sick voice acting.
“If they have voice actors like Otto’s and Welt’s I would take as many dudes as they can give“, Ahmed Aziz writes.
In the poll itself, an overwhelming 72% of them showed enthusiasm towards the idea of finally adding men to the game, with only 7 out of the 87 respondents arguing for the game to remain girls only.
It looks like the sentiment wasn’t echoed over on Twitter though, with multiple users vocally expressing their distaste for the idea of male characters.
“Seeing this much men in a honkai game feels illegal“, user Hopedominion writes upon seeing the leaked characters for Star Rail.
One user, Pawnyao_2, argues that men should have stayed in other miHoYo titles, with Honkai remaining a Girls Club.
“[miHoYo] should’ve kept men in [Tears of Themis] and Genshin wtf leave Honkai alone *sobs“, they write, referencing miHoYo’s visual novel with an all-male cast.
The Roots of The Anti-Men Sentiment
It’s hard to not see a case for either argument, honestly. Before miHoYo skyrocketed to more mainstream appeal, Honkai Impact 3rd had a much different public facing persona. The game bordered on ecchi with a now-removed minigame about touching the game’s playable Valkyries, getting you affection points which would also soften their reaction to being groped (some characters would still knock you out if you took it too far).
The game also mocked the idea of playable men back then too, with the idea being presented as an April Fools joke. Considering back then Honkai’s main appeal was just the idea of being fawned over by cute girls, it’s no surprise that some fans would want to keep it that way despite the more serious tone the game has shifted towards.
That being said recent story developments have pushed Honkai into a slightly more mature category, with way more fans getting into it for its interesting story, watching characters like Kiana Kaslana mature over the gacha game’s plot (a rarity in the genre) and gorgeous animated cinematics for keystone moments. With people starting to see Honkai as more than a creepy anime game, the idea of “ew boys” is a silly excuse since the story obviously has men in it, all making their own moves.
After all, it’s not even that revolutionary- the story expansion A Post Honkai Odyssey had you playing as a man, and it’s not like the community are acting like that was some sort of grand betrayal.