First it was Talim from Soul Calibur, the very first fighting game and video game character who is confirmed to be a Filipino. Now a second one, also from the same publisher of Soul Calibur, but this time in Tekken: Josie Rizal.
Josie Rizal joins the lineup of characters in the popular arcade fighting game. She’s a Filipino woman specializing in “Eskrima and Kick Boxing,” according to the Twitter account of Bandai Namco Games’ Katsuhiro Harada.
Mari Shimazaki who also designed characters for Platinum Games’ Bayonetta, was revealed to be behind Josie’s character design.
Observers however say that her style looks more identical to Yaw-Yan (Sayaw ng Kamatayan, or Dance of Death), another derivative of Eskrima, that focuses on stronger kicks more intensely than Sikaran.
On Twitter, Mark “MarkMan” Julio, who is a community manager for madcatz.com, a gaming resource site, said in Filipino that the character is named after Jose Rizal, the Philippines’ national hero.
The reaction ranged from bewilderment, protest, but majorly elated fans came to like Josie Rizal, so much that fan art and Facebook pages appeared right after the announcement.
The protest came from the fact that she’s a direct homage to Jose Rizal, fearing it could sully his legacy, a concern widely dismissed by fans. This triggered a petition to rename Josie Rizal, to which Harada strongly opposed, saying he’d rather delete Josie than rename her.