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  • Crazy Awesome: Onishima's over-the-top demeanor and military-grade responses to graffiti artists provide the best obstacles and setpieces in JSR.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • The GG's:
      • Gum stands out for her fun character design and glimpses of personality. For hardcore players of the original, she's also a decent way to get Jet ranks because she's a starting character with maximum Graffiti and usable stats in other areas. Because of all these, she's considered one of the unofficial mascots of the series.
      • Cube's goth aesthetic and comparatively extensive backstory in both games led to her being a fan favorite as well, especially for Western players.
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    • Rival gangs:
    • Music:
      • Despite being the least played song in Future, Let Mom Sleep (No Sleep Remix) is a popular song for mashups.
    • DJ Professor K is a Large Ham who broadcasts the series' Awesome Music in-universe.
  • Epileptic Trees: The recurring fan theory that Clutch is Coin's Future counterpart. There is very little evidence to support this, if at all, since he doesn't have any history with JSRF's versions of Combo and Cube.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment:
    • The extreme levels of police brutality, such as through teargassing and military weapons, become a lot less fun and cartoony when you consider how often they happen in real life.
    • Professor K's line of "hijacking the airwaves and terrorizing you with tunes" wouldn't pass in a modern US release.
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    • It's this with Splatoon because of their similar aesthetics and paint-spreading gameplay. It helps that Hideki Naganuma, the series' composer, retweeted some fanart of two Inklings in Beat and Gum's clothes, stating a crossover between the two series would be a "dream project."
    • With Steven Universe as well, thanks to their similar aesthetics and a comment from the creator about one of the characters loving the game's soundtrack.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In Japan, JSR was released in an unfinished state on a sinking ship, while Future was exclusive to the Xbox, which sold much worse than the competition. Neither game appealed to the wants of their audience, which preferred anime RPGs and arcade fighters. On the other side of the pond, Western players consider both games cult classics and frequent examples of the artistic and aesthetic potential of video games.
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  • Just Here for Godzilla: While Sega GT 2002 was a really fun racing game that holds up well to this day, how many times did you play it compared to Jet Set Radio Future? Many will tell you, not as much. Some who otherwise had no interest in Sega GT 2002 whatsoever simply bought the disc because it was actually cheaper than getting JSRF on its own. (And that's not even getting into the fact that many who bought the Xbox bundle with both games would go out and get rid of both to buy something else, typically Halo: Combat Evolved, which accounts for the combo disc's large presence on the second-hand market.)
  • Memetic Mutation: The chorus of "Concept of Love," due to its repetitive and bizarre lyrics when taken out of context.
  • Porting Disaster: The Game Boy Advance version of the first game was an ambitious effort to put the whole game on inferior hardware, but had several cut tracks, poor controls, and level design which was not always optimized to put the new isometric view into account, leading to many frustrating moments that weren't in the original.
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: In JSR, casual players tend to dislike Yo-yo. His recruit mission is a Difficulty Spike, he's one of the hardest characters to use thanks to his low Power, low paint storage and complex graffiti combos, and he has annoying voice clips and a mediocre character design. Nearly all of his flaws were retooled in Future: he's unlocked at the start, his stats are more well-rounded, the graffiti mechanics were retooled to remove combos, his voice clips were re-recorded and his design was overhauled to be more iconic.
  • The Scrappy: Clutch is responsible for a Game-Breaking Bug in which he stops appearing, halting the player's progress unless they have an earlier save file. Suddenly stealing the GG's Graffiti Souls at their lowest point and having the same stats as Jazz doesn't help.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: In JSR, graffiti and camera control are mapped to the same button. This makes tagging hard to reach small spots way more annoying than it should be, and tag battles can become nightmarish and disorienting. Particularly infuriating is that there are several other buttons on the controller that go unused, making it completely inexcusable that this problem exists. Thankfully, in the HD port, this can be reconfigured to separate buttons.
  • So Bad, It's Good: The general opinion about "Birthday Cake" from JSRF is that it's annoying, deranged and nonsensical. Naturally, it's also one of the game's most memorable songs.
  • Suspiciously Similar Song: "That's Enough" has a lot in common with Fatboy Slim's "Always Read The Label".
  • That One Level:
    • Jet Set Radio:
      • Bantam Street has some hard-to-reach tags that can drain the player's timer. To make matters worse, the only two available characters the first time through have the highest Graffiti stats in the game (making multi-spray tags harder in return for more points) and multiple tags are guarded by Assassin No. 5, who has good range, good speed and can't be stunned. This creates one of the worst difficulty spikes in the game, some considering it practically unwinnable.
      • In Grind Square, you are constantly at risk to suffering fall damage, and many of the tags require some of the most difficult jumps in the game.
      • Trying to Jet rank any of the Jet Crush levels can be annoying because of their tough time limits, unforgiving knockback mechanics that drain momentum and fling the player away, and players constantly mashing the dash button. Benten-Cho is particularly obnoxious because of its narrow corridors, lack of shortcuts, and multiple jumps that, if you miss them, cost you the race.
      • Combo's recruit race. You're stuck with a character with the second lowest speed in the game against Beat, who has above-average speed. To make things worse, one section forces you to enter a door placed above a half pipe, which can be hard to get through thanks to Combo's large hitbox. If you get stuck on an obstacle, the match is practically lost, forcing you wait, lose and try again.
      • "Fight or Flight" has snipers from hard-to-reach spots, not helped by the heavily-guarded graffiti tags and confusing sewer connecting each area. Then, gunners in jetpacks will show up. With their speed and firepower, they will give you hell of a time to rest or spray graffiti, especially the larger ones.
    • Jet Set Radio Future:
      • The Tokyo Underground Sewage Facility is a repetitive, vertically-oriented gauntlet of half-pipes, rails, precise platforming and numerous falling hazards. With no fast way to get back up, falling off of a higher level or getting a Game Over compounds these issues. Its worst objectives involve wall-riding up a giant vertical passage; the walls must be ridden in sequence (as trying to wall ride the same wall twice in a row doesn't work), the two safety platforms contain no barriers, getting stuck in a corner is easy and there are numerous obstacles that can unceremoniously send you back to the start.
      • The Skyscraper Distract & Pharaoh Park has an obnoxiously dark color palette, tight jumps, tons of life-sapping pits, odd ramp mechanics required for progression, and a very specific series of rails to grind and jumps to make. These combine into one hellish experience, especially when traveling into the very far reaches.
      • Hikage Street is a boring maze with frequent stops to fight the police and a long, repeated stair-grinding setpiece. All of the graffiti is on the top of these setpieces, and if you fall, you need to ascend the whole thing again.
  • That One Boss:
    • JSRF's final battle against Gouji/A.Ku.Mu; if the incredibly distracting, seizure-inducing location wasn't hard enough to cope with, it requires navigating a rather difficult and complicated vertical course to the very top just to reach the battle itself...multiple times.
    • The Hikage Street Terror Drone is all that but worse. Hard to get in a hit on it, a flow-crushing cutscene in the middle of the battle and an agonizingly long trek back up, plus framerate drops to the bombs going off making it even slower.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Initially, a huge chunk of the soundtrack couldn't be licensed again for JSR's Updated Re-release. Fortunately, efforts by Sega brought back all but one of the original songs and even a few from Future to compensate.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Many were probably confused by the Teen rating on the games...until they listened closely to the lyrics of most of the songs. Although the most explicit lyrics were censored, several are about drugs, giving good blowjobs, polyamory, whispered moans of a loving couple having sex, and the S and N-bombs out of nowhere.
  • What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?: While there are quite a few trippy elements to the game, Rokkaku's dream world where you fight giant robots is the strangest because of either fight's disorienting colors and music.
  • You Look Familiar: Some speculate that Clutch could be Coin, though there is no evidence supporting this.
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