The Street Fighter community in up in arms tonight over the slap heard (but not seen) ’round the world. Rainbow Mika, fanservice wrestler extraordinaire, has had her critical art animation censored; specifically speaking, the starting animation in which she slaps her own posterior as well as the final impact in which the victims legs are spread apart have been tweaked. The slap has been moved off-screen, and the split seems to have been removed altogether.
This change has sparked a rabid social justice debate about Mika. Some say she’s sexist and that this change was needed; others say that it never needed to be changed and that it added a layer of impetuousness to the character. Personally, I am of the latter camp, and I think it was perfectly fine the way it was. However, it’s almost certain that we don’t need to worry that this issue was charged by overzealous social justice rhetoric. How can I say this? Well, this is, in fact, the first public build we’ve seen since the ESRB synopsis of Street Fighter V was made visible, and it’s very likely that the ratings board made them change this to maintain a “T” rating, this is made more likely by the presence of the player 2 breast jiggle in the synopsis alongside the absence of mention for a character slapping her own behind (and being zoomed in on as it happens).
As it turns out, there is, in fact, some precedence to this. Last year, a trophy for Tharja (of Fire Emblem: Awakening fame) was datamined from Super Smash Bros for 3DS. It’s widely recognized that this trophy was not made obtainable in the game due to its suggestive nature. So, even though the games are directed towards different markets and even have different ratings (E10 vs. T), the same principal is likely the culprit.
We may have lost some eye candy, but if nothing else, we can rest soundly knowing that this change was made for a more worthy reason than caving to hypersensitive internet rhetoric.
Update: Looks like R.Mika isn’t the only character who was censored. Reports coming in are also stating that Cammy has been updated so that her crotch is no longer visable when she crouches from her introduction landing.
Update 2: Looks like VesperArcade weighs in on the recent SFV censorship here and he makes some valid points. This all definitely could be related to the ESRB rating. But even still, it’s an issue with the female body, but no issues with huge muscular characters with rippling chests showing. Right?