Big time game localizer and Yokai Attack author Matt Alt has finally picked up a copy of Metal Gear Solid 4. He's late to the party, sure, but sometimes being late helps you notice things.
While Alt is enjoying MGS4, he's also puzzled by the game — especially the Otacon-Sunny relationship. He is by no means the first person to point out the odd relationship between the computer whiz and the little girl, he does do a good job at putting it all in context. Otaku context. Writes Alt:
The relationship between introverted computer genius Hal "Otacon" Emmerich and his charge Sunny (seen above) is a diamond-polished window into the soul of the young men who work for Japanese game companies. A doe-eyed nine- or ten-year-old who resembles a child less than she does a scaled-down maid café waitress, she waits on her guardian hand and foot, cleaning, assisting with programming, and serving meals. The pair live as virtual hikikomori shut-ins on a high-tech aircraft that serves as a mobile base for the game's protagonist.
Ah, the ever-changing face of otaku wish fulfillment. Once upon a time otaku dreamed of being international ladykillers like Lupin the Third, giant robot pilots like Gundam's Char Aznable, and invulnerable martial artists like the Fist of the North Star. Now it appears the ideal lifestyle is one of a digital hermit set squarely in front of a computer monitor with an elementary schoolgirl in fetishwear at his beck and call.
Oh ho ho. So by Alt's assertions, there's more afoot than simple creepy dynamics. There's creepy shut-in otaku dynamics.