Dog dog dog woof woof woof. Who's a dog? Woof. PaRappa!
Look at him. Of course he's a dog. What are you talking about? If you'd done enough time researching the PaRappa Expanded Universe lore, you'd know he was a dog. No seriously. In PaRappa 2, Mc King Kong Mushi refers to him as "the young pup on the block, taking every problem one by one". And that's what makes PaRappa a dog.
Not so much the "pup" thing (well, yes, of course), but his stubborn optimism. PaRappa looks at a problem, gets scared, but then tries it anyway and always has a great time. Little bouncy PaRappa. Who's a good boy?
The thing is, it's hard to find PaRappa too cute or doggy, because he's human. He drives a car, he feels awkward because he doesn't enjoy the same television shows as his friends, he sells taxidermied skunks with a giant reggae frog. He's just like us. But that's the genius.
Lying in that dense, daunting void between humanity and the beasts, PaRappa exhibits both the properties of man and dog. His problems are far beyond those of a dog. The games aren't about getting your owner to take you for a walk, or trying to find a place to shit (okay, there's that one level). They're human problems. But those are floppy doggy ears. PaRappa invites us to relate to a dog. To understand a dog. To feel like a dog.
PaRappa is the link. An ambassador for dogs. It can be scary when you read about a rottweiler mauling a baby in North Carolina, but imagine he had just messed up the recipe for seafood cake. I'm sure you'd do the same.
So let us pay respect to all the good work that PaRappa does for helping human-dog relations around the world, and curse the animal-abuse encouragers at SCEI who refuse to publish PaRappa 3.
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