After weeks of speculation and conjecture, Capcom fans finally have an answer for the controversial changes made to a couple animations for Street Fighter V pro-wrestler Rainbow Mika.
“Our objective with ‘Street Fighter V’ is to start over from zero. We want the professional players and the casual fans of the series to return, but we also want to reach those who have never even touched a fighting game. So we can’t have something in the game that makes people think, ‘This is not acceptable.’”
Such is the rationale given by Yoshinori Ono, executive producer of Street Fighter V, for some of the changes introduced to the game in an interview with UOL Jogos (and graciously translated by DualSHOCKERS.) “Those changes came up internally. We decided to remove that because we want the biggest possible number of people to play,” he continues, asserting that the team was not pressured by outside influences in their decisions, “and we don’t want to have something in the game that might make someone uncomfortable.”
In earlier builds of Street Fighter V, the character Rainbow Mika would slap her rump upon triggering her “critical art” attack, which was preceded by a close-up on her healthy bottom. Later, the camerawork was changed so that the action is completely cut out of the shot, making for a rather confusing animation. Also changed was the way that Mika and her partner Nadeshiko would split the legs of the opponent after performing the critical art; Now, the unlucky victim’s hamstrings are completely spared.
With this focus on appealing to a wider audience and not wanting to offend people, one has to wonder why the Street Fighter V team didn’t just completely alter Mika’s lacy wrestling outfit, or why they even kept the character at all. Mika’s greatest weapon (and most notable asset) has always been her brutal behind, which she frequently uses to deadly effect. Certainly, a character who attacks by throwing her butt all over the place hardly seems suitable for the new, clean, inoffensive vision that the SFV team has for the series’ latest outing.
“Probably we won’t be able to remove everything that could offend someone, but our goal is, at least, to reduce that number as much as possible so that they think ‘Ok, there is this issue here, but it is within the limits’. We want that everyone can play and enjoy without worrying about anything else.”
Certainly, creators cannot endeavor to please everybody. Someone, somewhere, is going to have some sort of problem with what you put out no matter what route you take; however, looking at this entire debacle, which side has offered the loudest protest? Those who feel that Mika goes too far and should be reigned back a bit, or the fans who don’t want to see their beloved franchise adhere to a perceived culture of modesty?
This may not have been changed, but thank heavens you can’t see Mika’s butt-slap anymore.
Ultimately, the choice is the team’s and theirs alone. It’s their product and their vision, and the choice of what to keep and what to change is entirely up to them. Yet, I have to wonder about this “new crowd” that they are keen on bringing into the fold. Just how many would-be players were undecided about getting into the game simply because of the view of the ass-slap?
Would the kind of players who would be completely put off by such an innocuous detail be interested in such a game in the first place? Especially since Mika is still tossing her exposed posterior around left and right regardless? Was there even a point in removing that single camera shot when the character’s highly sexualized method of combat is left untouched? The change is definitely curious to say the least.
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