Fascinating. And accurate. The most recent example I can think of is in 5, where he's talking to Urizen for the first time. I studied art in college, animation, actually, so these things ring bells with me. In order for him to lead with his hips his back has to lean back. Walking, scientifically speaking, is controlled falling. You lean forward to 'fall' and use your feet to stay up and in motion. To lean back, to walk with your feet, creates no momentum. You have to basically drag yourself and it creates a sort of lazy stance. Leading with your hips might sound like you're letting your d*** lead you but it's not. In actuality it's like you're dragging your upper body, like you are about to, and want to, fall back.
Given fandom interpretation of Dante, that bolded part wouldn't be too surprising for them if it were
As for the rest, JFC, is that
what Gloria was doing, then? She definitely has that "hips first" approach with her upper body leaned back, which could be in part to emphasize her "assets" as the camera pans up on her, but that walking style looks like she's trying overly hard to be "sexy" but instead conveys more like she had her pelvis mule-kicked out from under her. And she still walks like that as Trish. Dante and Trish come from the same school of terrible walk cycles that don't land with the audience.
If I thought Dante was depressed of traumatized I wouldn't bother with the character. I don't mind those kinds of characters. In fact, I think they can some of the best fictional characters around. Dante, however, is not that. He's the one with the tragic past who isn't defined by it and while bringing it up every so often is fine, being defined by it would ruin him. I understand fan interpretations and the impulse to make the character better with your own intake, I've done it repeatedly, but to try to pass your fan theories as the truth with such aggressive, floor stumping, certitude is what turns people off from things.
Too late for that.
The canon itself is leaning into that incredibly hard post-3, with tying Dante's story (and his liveliness) inexorably to Vergil and vice versa, thus their characterizations in relation to other people and even themselves are getting choked out by the tendrils of a sibling rivalry and Dante's resulting depression from not having it as a fixture in his life even though it was toxic. Also, the games post-3 (especially
the Special Editions, because Vergil is in them) doubled down on overt fanservice preventing the characters from evolving very much or from the gameplay being an effective medium for the plot.
Despite Vergil and Dante having "fought constantly" in their youth (according to both of them) to where it's the only memory Dante has (even though they both agreed on Jackpot being their catchphrase at one point, meaning they should've worked together or been partners-in-crime more often), the fact that that stopped when they were eight
and Vergil has chronologically spent more time presumed dead than Dante's ever known him literally does not matter to Dante or Vergil or the writing, because they're still hanging onto the rivalry part over petty nonsense. They should've moved on from that; Vergil left Dante in 3 with some modicum of respect for him, enough to urge he stay in the Human World instead of being trapped. Except no, not really. It turns out Vergil was still
so pressed about being defeated by Dante that he ostensibly(?) let Mundus transform him into Nero Angelo for a power boost even before he split his humanity from himself to produce Urizen, meaning he Majin Vegeta'd twice
, a regression to character that should've been left in the 90s where it belonged.
Gameplay-wise, nothing about Vergil's plot in 5 reflects in his moveset outside of the fact that he split himself into V. That split and reintegration did F all to his fighting style or mentality, since he doesn't implement V's familiars as Devil Arms in their own right. Instead of literally reshaping his traumas into something that gives him
power and as a result have no power over him
, they're killed off in the story so that they can't merge back into him anymore, and his moveset is more or less a copypaste of 4SE which copied from 3SE, except stronger.
Those familiars supposedly belong to Vergil because they're his
memories/trauma, but they don't exist outside of V and they refused to go back to Vergil. How convenient!
You can rip V right out of the story and World of V right out of the moveset, and Vergil's the same dude that he was 20 years ago, but transplanted into the future and given more power, and knowledge of Nero. Why is he like this? Because who he is in 3 is the definitive version of him now and he can't deviate too far from it, lest he "stop being Vergil", except for the fact that most people aren't the exact same in their 40s as they were in their late teens, but DMC3 sells, and that's the game that symbolically rendered Dante and Vergil's rivalry as "two bulls with their horns locked in eternal struggle
" in the Bullseye Bar. Did you
get that they would never ever stop fighting each other, from the relationship they had in the first game? No, because it didn't exist that way.
On that same token, Dante shouldn't be the same guy in his 40s as he was in his late teens either. He was supposed to develop empathy to others' plights. He'd inherit his father's righteous spirit to the point where the Trinity of Fates book says he gave Trish a soul through his own humanity and caring about her, where she would otherwise be a soulless container no different than a Marionette. We read him described as excited for jobs that involved demons, where he'd take them no matter the pay. He now doesn't care about anything. Dante instead now feels so strongly about Vergil's
presence as his other half and empty/boring/personality-less outside of that, that his enthusiasm for demon hunting only extends as far as it relates to his personal drama with his family (particularly Vergil) which is how V lured him to fight Urizen, and the concept of found family
and empathy for others
is about as solid as smoke because Dante also
doesn't connect with anyone even remotely similar to him because they're not him, and Sparda's righteousness means F-all to the dude.
By the time of 5, Eva having spoken to him from beyond the grave in 1 doesn't phase him. Trish becoming his ally doesn't phase him. Lady retroactively becoming his ally doesn't phase him. Meeting Nero and entrusting him with the Yamato doesn't phase him. Patty losing her mother doesn't phase him. Patty finding her mother again doesn't phase him. The biker brother wanting to avenge the other's death doesn't phase him. Bradley falling in love with Angelina and refusing to serve his demon lord doesn't phase him. The ghost woman acting from beyond the grave to save her brother from unjust imprisonment doesn't phase him. Modeus wanting to avenge Baul and them being Sparda's apprentices doesn't phase him. That rock star inadvertently selling her soul/body to remain young and relevant forever doesn't phase him. Him not knowing any of his own father's history to where Lady gives him lore-dumps doesn't phase him. DMC2 and Lucia's presence doesn't phase him. Her feelings for him don't phase him.
None of that matters, because it's not about him and his sibling rivalry, therefore he doesn't care. His enthusiasm for hunting demons only extended as far as it needed for him to avenge the loss of his family, then it stopped. Him keeping tabs on his enemies by way of the Enemy Files in 1 was only important then, and now he doesn't care about remembering demons' names or
the women he meets with. But he sure does love remembering sh#t that happened when he was eight, huh? Thaaaaat's right. Because Vergil was involved. Dante's characterization was a "return to form" in 3? Vergil was there. He had a decent character in 1? Vergil was there. His personality persisted in 4? Vergil was there in spirit
. 5? Vergil was there. 5 could legit be titled "Devil May Cry: Vergil", "Devil May Cry 5: Vergil Returns", "DMC5: Vergil's Awakening" or " DMC5: Vergil Is Here" and nothing about it would be wrong or out of place, because the fact that he came back is
the main draw for the fandom even more than Nero becoming the hero of the story going forward.
Dante lost Vergil two times, once because the dude was too proud and two because he was brainwashed, but now every appearance Dante has had across the timeline and the ups and downs in his mood can be written off as "He's been depressed since losing Vergil, Vergil was his other half and reason for being", especially when V is right there
saying Urizen/Vergil is "[Dante's] reason for fighting". Really? Not protecting humans? Honoring his mother? Honoring his father? Preventing others from experiencing his same tragedy? Spending time with the two women in his life that pulled him out of dark situations emotionally and physically? Spending time with his nephew who's living proof that the Blood of Sparda isn't a dead end and seeing Sparda's spirit/honor/intent live on in Nero? Not even for his own sake?
Dante is more or less "existing out of obligation" in every material he's in post-1, because making Nero the sudden sole protagonist and explaining Dante's absence as him toasterbathing offscreen would be an insult to the fans, but what else can he do?
They didn't have to make Anime Dante so boring and depressive, but they did.
They didn't have to move DMC2 to before 4 and leaving the fandom no reasonable explanation for his low-key mood that wasn't already justified by "everyone he loves died", but they did.
So Dante hits some downs except for when Vergil appears at which point he gets back up. Dante's livelier and
ditches the human world to stay with him, because he would otherwise be Depressed in the Human World instead of Not Depressed in Hell, and he'll take Not Being Depressed In Hell as long as his brother is there.
DMC1 Dante doesn't do this. DMC1 Dante defeated Mundus and still went out on a call to kill some random demons in ten-- no, five
minutes. Why? Because he's a devil hunter and that's what he does. His mother may be dead, but he could still save Trish. His brother may be dead, but he's resting in peace. Dante abandoning devil hunting in the human world because Nero is there to take up the mantle would be like if Sparda went back to Hell just
because he met the clansmen of Vie Du Marli or because he went to Fortuna and created the Order and thought they
could handle future invasions.
This is exactly why I called the sibling bond a borderline-romantic plot tumor in that other thread; DMCs 3 to 5 really bludgeoned the fanbase with the idea that the twins (who they are, and the best and most compelling versions of themselves) are so bound to each other that they drop every other commitment they have, like a woman pining for a husband she lost in a war or something to where she never marries again, but then also descends into alcoholism and neglects her children and/or dies of heartbreak.
Dante doesn't have love interests? Because he's depressed and misses Vergil.
Dante was lower and less talkative in the Anime and 2? Because he's depressed from missing Vergil.
Dante lets Nero have Yamato? Because he was depressed and still misses Vergil.
Dante is willing to fight Vergil to the death? Because he's depressed and Vergil is his reason for being and he's only held onto the bare minimum of his life by a thread--
but also there's no answer as to what he would do with his life if he actually truly
killed Vergil because the writer didn't think that far, hence Nero bails him out of that decision by saving them both so they could live, fight, and die another day.
I mean, they don't even have to think very hard about what Dante's decisions and moral values for him mean post-5
. If Dante's shtick is he has to be the one to face Vergil to spare Nero the trauma of killing his own father, and because putting Vergil down is his
job (they're twins = their bond is more important/valid = he has more right to do it), what would he do in a hypothetical DMC6 if Sparda came back as a genocidal tyrant? By his own logic, he wouldn't be able to kill his own father because patricide is a sin here. He'd have to wait for Sparda's hypothetical twin to show up and do the job, because they're
twins/equals/bloodbound/soulbound/they understand each other/etc. The easiest out for that is for Vergil and
Dante to team up and put Sparda down, because Dante values Vergil more than he does Sparda, or Sparda "sees the light" and sacrifices himself against some other stronger devil.
On a less hypothetical note, that's why it's both supposed
to be laugh-out-loud funny but in execution is distressing that Dante doesn't pay his bills on time and his business doesn't thrive, even though his business is contingent on his utilities functioning so he can get
those calls instead of waiting for people to come to him after the fact. He's supposedly too cool to care about that kind of thing because stressing about money and living in society is a Human Thing, but really the way it comes off reinforces the point: He Doesn't Care About Anything, unless Vergil Is Involved, then he Cares A Lot.
Regardless of the dev team's misbegotten idea of what constitutes proper coolness and the execution of such, nothing in these games after 3 makes sense in a Watsonian way if he's not
depressed and harboring trauma that's informed his entire being, making him unable to maintain and progress his relationships with other people because the trauma still lingers and stagnates him and he uses it as a reference point to not be so close to others, while they try in their own way to help him keep his lights on and his place in some form of order and he seeks to recapture his past by any means.
Dante being depressed isn't explicitly canon but his character has stagnated so hard that it might as well be, JFC.
You know, that's good way to phrase it. I like that. Don't know if it completely accurate but it certainly has some truth to it. I mean, think about it. Really think about it. If this Dante needed for someone uncooperative to do something would they listen? Or, even more basic than that, could he even give an order? Not a pretty please, if you could, with sugar on top, when you have the time. An order. He doesn't project an air of strength. You can't be relaxed and commanding at the same time. 1, yeah. I think so. 2, maybe. Stoic but stern. Even more so in Nocturne. Actually, even DmC might have a more arguably commanding presence. With 3 it's a big maybe with a small question mark at the end. I mean, he has an attitude but authoritative is not a word that'd fit. 4 & 5, though? Nah. That is a definitive negatory, Mavrik. Especially in 4 when he gets small at Lady and Trish glaring at him.
You just had to remember that fight with Berial.
"You can stay and die or you can walk your ugly ass back through that gate. It's your call, pal.
"I've retreated once and will not do so again.
Berial goes for a Self-Destruct! It's not very effective....
I mean, to be fair, Dante had a similar situation in DMC1 with telling Griffon not to fight with a mortal wound, where Griffon similarly disregarded him, but at least that Dante treated Griffon with some respect
. DMC4 Dante called Berial's move pathetic and just a bunch of sparks.
Oh, believe you me, I have. Not with that line, specifically, but with others in 1. 'Flock off' is the one I go to since it's short and to the point, but his entire dialogue in the opening with Trish is a solid place to imagine the difference in deliveries, especially from 'Even as a child I had powers' to the end.
Like I said, that scene where Trish and Lady glare him down in 4 is proof enough. Definitely don't get the impression that he wears the pants.
I mean, it's not even like Dante has to be overly domineering to have authority. In fact, he should have authority, but he's not an authoritarian.
Outside of the memetic corruption of the term "Alpha" and wrapping it around whether a man is in a relationship or uses women like socks or whether or not he's violent or whatever, it's about self-actualization and meeting certain needs to thrive in life.
DMC1 Dante? Is in good health, has shelter, pays his bills and has decent employment, has allies and confidants, has the respect of others, and a firm sense of morality and ability to see others with mercy where needed. He's top tier.
DMC3+ Dante? Can't even pay his damn bills and is in constant debt, looks progressively rougher every game he's in, is used by his "friends", doesn't maintain his relationships, and his morality and sense of responsibility is clearly malleable seeing how a lot of his modern characterization is "he causes collateral damage and doesn't care, also he can't be arsed to save people from demons unless he's pushed to do it", while his body language tries really hard to make that all sound like a thing we should accept. He barely escapes the bottom tier.
How appropriate would it be right here to say that "being cowed by sassy/bad women" is literally Itsuno's fetish as stated in TGS 2018? He somehow forgot that that's what he did in 4, and reinvented the wheel with Nico's relationship with Nero, saying "it’d be cool to hang out with a girl who is that sassy, smokes all the time, points out your flaws, and gives you crap when you need it. There is something cool about being around that kind of person. That’s where Nico comes from.
" even though the intial concept for Lady
was a "cigarette-smoking demon hunter who could act like a mentor to Dante
" according to Bingo, and Itsuno turned it down because "the only way she’ll be popular with the Japanese audience is if she looks like a high-schooler.
” The team decided that "what the Japanese audience definitely didn’t want was more blondes or swarthy girls.
F Itsuno. Does he think Nico doesn't fit the definition of swarthy? What makes the Japanese audience care more about Nico now that they didn't have 14-15 years ago? Why does the Trish-Gloria thing in 4 even exist if it's the case that the Japanese don't care about having more blondes or swarthy girls? Gloria is legit a two-in-one package for that nonsense. Every other notable woman in the anime was a blonde! (Elena, Nina, Older Patty...)
I did say premice, didn't I. Even so, the point stands. I've had to make this clarifications so often it feels like prerequisites for station your opinion. People twist your words, though I know it's not intentional, to add intent and meaning where none exists. It's better to clarify.
Okay, I'll accept premise, because I didn't realize that was a synonym for preface until literally right now.
Anyway, as I said before, a lot of this also has to do with who Dante's become. I stand by what I said before, that modern DMC has its roots in 3. That every game after is a sequel or reboot of that and not of 1. The thing is, even if they try to keep this to Dante they don't know how to approach the character, so who or how he was in 3 was given to Nero. With Nero being that it's hard to pinpoint Dante.
There's this idea, don't know if it's a principle or just a thing that gets said around, but when it comes to television or long running fiction in general, it's said that, eventually, everything becomes a parody of itself. Well, Dante became one much quicker than most, and people applauded it. Anyway, I think they don't know what to do with Dante, how to portray him. They already wanted to replace him with Nero in 4 so he could take over and be Dante from 3. The persona of who Dante has become is the best approach of him they can get. I know they aren't trying to belittle him or knock him down, but this interpretation does not have the appeal they think he does.
In the manga there is a line where Griffon tells V that he should grow a beard do he can look as dignified as Dante does
and I just thought to myself 'wait. What? Is that really what they think he looks like? That he walks, acts, talks or dresses in a dignified manner?' And I think they do. That's why I think they might not realize that Dante's not coming off as they intended him.
I'll be charitable and say Griffon doesn't actually mean that, and he's just making fun of V as he usually does, given V's whole design is the definition of "twunk" and appealing to fangirls who similarly gravitated towards Kylo Ren/Adam Driver and Loki/Tom Hiddleston.
I don't have anything else to say about the rest of this piece except, agreed,
Anyway. Listening to Langdon in a different Dante really gives me pause. DMC1 is not popular enough for it but if they decided to do a RE2+3 style remake and they gave Langdon the role it would end up being something entirely different and unrecognizable. As it is, 2's image with his voice is off putting enough. Doing that to one would drive me off the edge.
I'm not big on star wars but I now, more than ever, realize what they're going through. You'll get to see everything you love transform into something unrecognizable for its own good.
Capcom might actually do this just because they're remaking everything else. They're even remaking RE4, supposedly. Except they know DMC is a niche title in comparison and won't make the same numbers a RE game gets on its worst outing, so they simply won't put any more money into it than they have to.
In fact, they'd probably remake DMC1 to have Reuben do his interpretation of Dante and erase all trace of Drew's performance, but they still
won't try to touch DMC2 and will leave it exactly where it is and in the state it's in, forever.
Oh, but then they'll release DMC1 Special Edition, half-a-year to a year later.
And Vergil is there.