Gunvolt's hero to appear without his ponytail in the west (?)

Gare – Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:35 AM
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It was a little over a month ago when we wrote about the upcoming Azure Striker: Gunvolt, a 3DS game developed by Inti Creates and overseen by Keiji Inafune himself. The game, we were told, is expected to launch this summer in Japan and North America, with a potential European release, while likely, is still only under consideration. The latest news regarding Gunvolt touch upon a certain aspect of the American release: Inti Creates have revealed that they will be making slight changes to the protagonist’s outward appearance in an attempt to try and appeal to Western audiences. The change in question affects the hero’s looks, who, upon release in the US, will appear without his trademark ponytail in the localized version.

“During the development of Gunvolt, we researched what kind of design would appeal to boys between the ages of 10 and 14—who we assume will be the game’s main purchasers—in North America.”, explained Inti Creates, answering a question posed by Siliconera regarding the matter.

I don’t necessarily agree with the decision, although the altered design will, naturally, not affect the – hopefully tremendously enjoyable – gameplay aspects of the title. The move, however, also appears to imply that a slightly more –Asian-style– feminine look on a male character is still not considered 100% “acceptable” for young Western audiences, even if that look would otherwise lend a unique, exotic flavor to the hero. Nonetheless, we are extremely excited about the upcoming release of Azure Striker: Gunvolt, with or without the ponytail.

UPDATE (2014. 04. 16.) : We have recently found out that following the online grumbling regarding Gunvolt's case of ponytail loss, Inti Creates and Keiji Inafune have decided to change their tone and give back to the American Gunvolt what has been robbed of him: as such, the western versions of the game will also come with the original, long-haired design. And now the world is a better place for it.


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