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Hideo Kojima clarifies his 'sexy' approach to Metal Gear Solid 5's characters

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Metal Gear creator Hideo Kojima garnered some (perhaps unwanted) attention earlier this week for a handful of tweets he made about the character design for his upcoming games, Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes and The Phantom Pain.

According to Kojima, he'd requested that designer Yoji Shinkawa make certain MGS5 characters "more erotic" in an attempt to encourage cosplayers to dress up as those characters and sell figurines based on them. He then showed a detailed shot of one of those characters, the sniper Quiet, who wears little more than a bikini, torn stockings and a rifle, from the rear, promising a better look at her this Friday. Reaction to Kojima's request for added eroticism was mixed.

Today, during a Q&A session with Kojima, Shinkawa and model Stefanie Joosten, whose face, voice and motion capture are being used for the character Quiet, I asked them why they thought this was necessary and how Joosten felt about the appearance of her character in-game.

"Maybe the phrase 'erotic' wasn't really [the correct word for] what I was trying to say," Kojima said through a translator. "What I'm really trying to do is create unique characters. One of those is, of course, Quiet. She's a really unique character, I wanted to add that sexiness to her. It wasn't really supposed to be erotic, but sexy."

"Mr. Kojima has his reasons for deciding why Quiet [is] wearing what she's wearing."

"From my perspective, it's not just the characters, but often I look at a weapon or a vehicle and think 'That's really sexy,'" Shinkawa said. "It's not just the characters, but the mechs and weapons [as well.]"

"You're going to notice [when you play,] but there's limited dialogue with the [Metal Gear Solid 5], and for that reason we really want to show the characteristic from each character," Kojima added. "Sexy could be for guys, weapons, vehicles, it's really that characteristic."

"Of course, I was surprised to see Quiet's outfit at first," said Joosten. "But, you know, it fits in the Metal Gear universe, I think. I don't think I'm allowed to say a lot about this, but, well, Mr. Kojima has his reasons for deciding why Quiet [is] wearing what she's wearing.

"Players will just have to look forward to that."

We'll see how Metal Gear cosplayers react to Kojima and Shinkawa's designs for Quiet and other characters at Tokyo Game Show later this month, where Kojima Productions plans to show Metal Gear Solid 5 for next-generation consoles. Perhaps we'll get more context there.

For more on Kojima Productions' next game, read our eyes-on gameplay impressions of Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes.

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