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Is Tom Nook From Animal Crossing A Bad Guy?

While players seem to agree Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a hit, one question has split the community in two: is Tom Nook a bad guy?

To some, Tom Nook is nothing but a money-hungry capitalist. His business centers on getting players deeper and deeper into debt. First, you have to pay off your tent. Then, you have to pay for a house. Soon enough, Tom is encouraging you to cough up triple figures in exchange for a bigger floor plan, and even forces you to foot the bill for upgrading the island's infrastructure. 

Nook has imparted his greedy ways to Timmy and Tommy Nook, who run the Nook's Cranny store. Nook Inc. dominates the business on your deserted island, meaning you and your villagers have no choice but to turn to the demanding tanuki who controls the local economy.

Other players argue Tom Nook is actually a saint. He facilitates your move to this island for a fair price, and even throws in some free workshops. In their eyes, those supposedly predatory loans are more than reasonable. Where else can you expect to find an interest-free loan you can pay back at your own pace? Tom Nook won't even pester you for payments, and those payments are invested back into Resident Services

This generosity has been passed on to Timmy and Tommy Nook, who are willing to pay good money for even the oddest items. It's amazing that players can make millions of Bells off of shells, fruit, and insects. 

So which is it: is Tom Nook a ruthless businessman? Or is he a kind, charitable tanuki? Consider the fact that in Animal Crossing: New Leaf, Tom Nook admits to having donated 90% of his earned Bells to a local orphanage. The City Folk's game guide even describes him as "a kind raccoon with a heart of gold." 

Canonically, it seems Tom Nook is a pretty good guy. Even so, part of the Animal Crossing community still feels this raccoon is up to no good.