A never-before-seen Filipino fighter was revealed last week, named after the country's national hero Jose Rizal, and while player reactions have been incredibly positive, there have been some complaints.
Dr. Leodenito Cañete, a coordinator of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts' (NCCA's) Bayaning Bayan program in the Visayas, reportedly has plans to try and "correct" any wrong impression Josie Rizal may have given about Dr. Rizal and the Philippines. How he plans to do this is unclear as of yet.
Philippine-born artist and poet, Adonis Durado, also had criticisms concerning the Tekken 7 character, explaining to Gulf News, "The problem with Josie Rizal’s character is too obvious: it doesn’t have any trace of Filipino-ness - neither in her physical attributes nor in her outfit."
Durado added, "If her fighting style is purportedly eskrima, where are the arnis sticks? So the Filipino-inspired name is simply a token."
There have also been some complaints that she does not have a Filipino accent or use any Filipino expressions, but these are very few and far between. When questioned about Josie speaking English by a fan, Katsuhiro Harada replied "You don't know her background." - this could mean there is something in her background that explains why she speaks English over Filipino, but ultimately I think it is important to remember that this is a Japanese game, so generally the characters will speak either Japanese or English, and that's just how it is. Overall though, fans are quite happy with the character.
In response to complaints about Josie Rizal and how she represents the Philippines, players have been fairly indifferent to the issue raised. Most don't find it an issue, saying that those complaining are of an odler generation and that trying to make "corrections" to the character is a waste of time, as it's just a game. Some have even corrected complaints about her fighting with the traditional weapon, saying eskrima can use all kinds of weapons and has a hand-to-hand style as well.
Overall, players are responding positively to the character and I doubt these complaints will change much, although these responses are still interesting and keeping in mind when considering Josie Rizal as presenting Filipino culture.
NCCA has released a statement regarding concerns expressed about Josie Rizal via their facebook
In response, Katsuhiro Harada has retweeted a response he sent to a fan previously concerning Josie. Basically, Harada reminded everyone that because of the update network, changes can be made quickly and efficiently, including the removal of characters
. What does this mean for Josie if the Phillipines won't support the character, well this: "If Josie can't get supported in the Philippines, we give her up anytime.
TEKKEN7 arcade board has a network update system. We can change plan and change characters anytime & quickly."