Rising Sun Removed From Street Fighter II In Capcom Arcade Stadium

Illustration for article titled Rising Sun Removed From Street Fighter II In Capcom Arcade Stadium
Screenshot: クジライユウコ/YouTube
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E. Honda’s Street Fighter II bathhouse stage is iconic. On the back wall is a mural with Mount Fuji, a kabuki actor, and the Rising Sun design. The mountain and the thespian stay in Capcom Arcade Stadium’s re-release, but the ray design does not.

Here is how the stage appeared in the original Street Fighter II:

Illustration for article titled Rising Sun Removed From Street Fighter II In Capcom Arcade Stadium
Screenshot: Super Nintendan/YouTube
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But as Twitter user Pomegd (via Hachima) points out, the Rising Sun design has been expunged in Capcom Arcade Stadium.

Illustration for article titled Rising Sun Removed From Street Fighter II In Capcom Arcade Stadium
Screenshot: クジライユウコ/YouTube

This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. While the off-center Rising Sun still might be the Japanese Navy’s official ensign, the design is controversial, especially within Asia, as it was flown by Imperial Japan. Capcom seems to have decided it would be best not to offend those in the international gaming community.

In the past few years, whenever the design has appeared in popular media, controversy has ensued. For example, when a character wore a Rising Sun shirt in Bohemian Rhapsody, the outcry led to its digital removal, while PUBG’s creators had to apologize after releasing an item pack that appeared to use the same imagery.

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Illustration for article titled Rising Sun Removed From Street Fighter II In Capcom Arcade Stadium
Screenshot: PlayStation/YouTube

Previously, the ray design was removed in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, but the sun remained. This appeared to be a fair, tastefully done compromise, while its latest iteration does look rather lopsided.

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This isn’t the only change in Capcom Arcade Stadium. As Pomegd also points out, Hong Kong fighter Fei Long’s flag is now the People’s Republic of China instead of either the city’s regional one as in 2018's Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection or, as in the game’s earlier releases, the British Hong Kong ensign. Pomegd notes that Zangief still has the U.S.S.R. hammer and sickle.

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

Barriecuda
Barriecuda

Three things:

(1) Flags are flags. History is history. As a society we need to stop placating everyone who whines. My great uncle was killed in a WW2 Japanese POW camp in an experience which, as described by survivors, was horrific. But does that mean that I should hate Japanese people? And demand removal of anything that could be connected to that time? Sometimes you have to be strong and move on, you can’t just pretend history didn’t happen. FFS, where is the line?

Which leads to point two:

(2) Let’s be completely honest and just come out and say this is 100% for the Chinese market. And it’s goddamn ridiculous. First 30th AE takes out the rays - sure, yeah, fair compromise - but now the sun imagery as well? Lol, fuck right off.

And miss me with that ‘oh it’s about cultural sensitivity’ nonsense explanation. If you’re going to do that, get rid of the hammer/sickle imagery too.

(3) Hot take - how about when we re-release games, we just, I don’t know, re-release them as they were and current audiences just have the sensibility to recognize that a game might be a reflection of different cultural standards and expectations that existed at the time.