NOTE: CHECK THE DATE OF THIS POST. IT’S FROM FEBRUARY. IT DOES NOT REFLECT THE CURRENT SITUATION.
After the Rayman Leak, some users on Smashboards asked me to look into the general attitude of Smash DLC in Japan, and what characters are being requested. After looking into it for the last couple of days, I’d like to share the results. I was quite surprised on how similar opinions were, with some minor differences.
The latest fake Rayman leak is still seeing highly popular new user created content on English Miiverse, while the Japanese community has mostly ignored it, and instead has kept posting about Valentine’s Day. It makes sense as the leak largely impacted the Western community. Also, as I showed in my previous post, some Japanese gamers were a little confused on who Rayman was. I further prove this, as Rayman has not been requested by many Japanese gamers.
In order to gather the character data, I looked on a wide variety of websites and manually counted references to characters. It’s not totally inclusive; as I’m sure I missed a lot of opinions. I collected over 430 “votes”, and 131 unique characters. In instances where the comment stated that they wanted a group of characters back (such as all the cut veterans), I added +1 to every character that it applied to. Please note, that I looked for posts/ sites/ tweets that were posted before the Rayman “leak”. I didn’t count any references to Mewtwo.
Here’s the ranking (Note, there are a lot of “ties”). Characters grouped with the same color have the same number of “votes”.
|アイスクライマー Ice Climber|
|キングクルール King K. Rool|
|ペーパーマリオ Paper Mario|
|カスタムロボ Custom Robo|
|ワドルディ Waddle Dee|
|天国 R. Heaven|
|アルル・ナジャ Arle Nadja|
|ロクマンゼロ Megaman Zero|
|クラッシュ・バンディクー Crash Bandicoot|
|ブラックシャドー Black Shadow|
|バンジョー&カズーイ Banjo and Kazooie|
|テイルズ Tales Character|
|ちびロボ Chibi Robo|
|ミカヤ Mikaya (FE)|
|マロ Maro (Super Mario RPG)|
|マグナ Magmun (Kid Icarus)|
|ヒルダ姫 Princess Zelda|
|シャドウ・ザ・ヘッジホッグ Shadow the Hedgehog|
|ザンギエフ Zangief (Street Fighter)|
|エンデ Pandora’s Tower character|
|ウェアホッグ Werehog (Sonic)|
|アイアイ AiAi (Super Monkey Ball)|
The most requested veteran is Lucas. Some users worried about the lack of an official localization for Mother 3, as it could hurt his chances for being marketable. However, the majority of users were pretty positive about his chances and quite “feverish”.
In second place is Wolf. Like Lucas he is a fan favorite. Some users have cited the upcoming Star Fox Wii U game as improving his chances. ChronoBound, who worked on the original, “Most Wanted Characters in Japan” post has stated that Wolf was highly requested pre-Brawl in Japan.
Snake landed in third place. Some worried about the lack of Konami support as hurting his chances with coming back. However, his unique moveset is missed. One poster suggested a soldier from Advance Wars taking on Snake‘s moveset.
Ice Climber(s) lands in fourth place. Ice Climbers were cut due to issues with the 3DS hardware. Some posters suggested that they should only come back for the Wii U version (the DLC roster doesn’t have to be the same), while others have suggested that Nana and Popo should be costumes of each other, and the pair gimmick should be scrapped. I believe if it wasn’t for the 3DS hardware limitations, they would have a serious shot at being #1.
Roy is in fifth place. Since I focused my information collecting on post-release results, I believe Lucina might have damaged his standings a bit. Some posters joked that “Roy” was already in the game. (Get it!?)
Ivysaur and Squirtle were shown less love than the other cut veterans, even Pichu. Anytime the former were mentioned, they were mentioned in together. Some posters mentioned that since the Pokemon Trainer wasn’t going to come back, Ivysaur and Squirtle had a low chance of returning. A lot of posters claim, ‘nostalgia’ for Pichu. I think Dr. Mario’s return to Smash 4 has helped Pichu‘s popularity in addition to his “cuteness”. In the same vein, Young Link did not make it in the top percent at all. Other suggestions of Link were Midna + Wolf Link and Link who uses Masks.
King K. Rool had the most outcry. I saw some discussion on whether or not Nintendo actually had control over the King’s copyright (they do). A lot of posters noted that the Super Nintendo/ Famicon versions of Donkey Kong are high sellers, and that he has popularity abroad. Also, the Kremlins appearing in Smash Run has helped. King K. Rool has had steady popularity in Japan, and has been requested for awhile.
Paper Mario and Custom Robo have pretty sizable support. I think the Paper Mario stage in the 3DS helped bring support for Paper Mario. There seems to be a lot of debate about the potential Custom Robot inclusion as the series isn’t popular outside of Japan and hasn’t had a new game for a couple of years.
Krystal has some support, and is ranked higher on the mention list…but honestly I don’t really see it as “feverish” as the other characters. Usually she just pops up in a list with no justification.
Ridley also had some support. However, after he was revealed to be a boss character in the Wii U version, his support dropped.
Daisy has quite a bite of “feverish” support. Saw some posts of people being disappointed that Rosalina made it into Smash before Daisy.
Waddle Dee has about the same level of support as Daisy and Goemon, but some posters felt that the Kirby representation was okay as it is.
Goemon – Some posters feel that Goemon represents Konami better than Snake. However, the clear majority of posters still want Snake back. Goemon‘s lack of popularity abroad also hurts his chances.
“C/D Ranked” Newcomers:
These newcomers were mentioned, but didn’t really have “strong” support. However, the frequency of their mentions were noteworthy higher than other characters.
A Rhythm Heaven character was requested from time to time. The Gematsu Leak was translated into Japanese, but I don’t think it spread as much as it did in the West.
Geno is still getting requests. Maro was also requested. But not as much. His lack of new game hurts his chances, but fans still remember Geno.
The Inkling from Splatoon has seen some recent popularity. I think after the game is released, we will see more Japanese fans wanting her as a lot of people in Japan think she is cute.
Arle Nadja from Puyo Puyo was somewhat requested. One of the posts that mentioned her, admitted that her chances were low because of low worldwide recognition.
Ryu from Street Fighter was also requested.
Bomberman was requested.
Klonoa has his fans. Like Crystal, he was mainly just mentioned.
Surprisingly Crash Bandicoot got some mentions. Personally, I think of Crash Bandicoot as a PlayStation character, but some users really enjoyed the games. Some arguments erupted over him fitting into Smash or not.
Toad has also got his fair share of mentions. Some of mentioned Captain Toad, but I haven’t really seen an increase in a call since Captain Toad was released.
Not much has changed since ChronoBound’s observations. The inclusion of some characters, like Shulk was widely celebrated, while Japanese gamers seem hurt that characters were again axed. With the inclusion of Chrom as Robin’s Final Smash, his popularity decreased a little bit. I saw some requests for Zoroark, but i think the return of Mewtwo satisfied fan’s desires for a DLC Pokemon representative. Roy still has feverish support, but I think Lucina‘s inclusion killed some of the hype.
Let me know in the comments below if you guys have any additional questions, or if you would like me to investigate a particular character. If I get a lot of requests, I will write a follow up post.