What Tetsuya Nomura Actually Said About Tifa's Breasts In The Final Fantasy 7 Remake

Illustration for article titled What Tetsuya Nomura Actually Said About Tifa's Breasts In The Final Fantasy 7 Remake
Screenshot: Square Enix

This past Wednesday, like every Wednesday, summaries of the leaked Weekly Famitsu appeared online in Japanese. The magazine doesn’t go on sale until Thursday, and this week’s leaks, along with some insufficient translations, have created confusions of what exactly Tetsuya Nomura said regarding Tifa Lockhart’s body in the Final Fantasy 7 remake.


As pointed out by YouTuber Gaijinhunter, who works as a game producer in Japan, mistranslations of the interview have created misinformation, with some sites reporting that Square Enix changed Tifa’s breasts or even shrunk the size of the character’s chest.

The Japanese-language summaries that leaked online didn’t have the full exchange, so they lacked the necessary context. Without that context, it’s possible to see how much more was inferred and, ultimately, misunderstood.

Below is my line-by-line English translation below with the original Japanese:

Famitsu: But the clothing was also refined?

- 衣装もリファインされていますが

Nomura: This time, visually there were things that were made quite real, and real-world clothing and accessories are being used as design references. For example, we’re referencing military (wear) for Tifa’s suspenders and martial arts and biker (wear) for the gloves. The full body silhouette hasn’t changed from the original image, and from that part, we’ve aimed to increase the minute details.


Famitsu: Since Tifa’s chest is large, was there any consideration also given how the rendering was done?

- ティファは胸が大きいので、その描きかたにも気を配られたのではないでしょうか。

Nomura: First of all, since we wanted Tifa to have defined abs, we made her more athletic looking. And then, there were also directions from our internal ethics committee that as not to make even the most intense action look unnatural it was necessary to bind [Tifa’s] chest. And thus, for her simple upper body clothing, we put a black undergarment with a fitting tank top for a fitness-conscious, sporty design. (CORRECTION 12:33am - The article originally read “single upper body clothing.” It should read “simple upper body clothing.” Brain fart!)


To recap, Nomura wanted to make her clothing more realistic and her body more sporty, and that ended up with Tifa basically being put in a sports bra so her breasts wouldn’t be unsupported during intense action sequences, which makes sense.

There are no remarks about reducing the size of the character’s chest, and here, the term shimeru (絞める) refers to “constricting,” “squeezing,” or “pulling things tight.” I translated the word as “binding.” There is no mention of “reduction”, “shrinking” or even redesigning the character, because Nomura didn’t say that.

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


sailor shitpost

I’m a woman. Even with medium-sized boobs, the simple act of running can be painful. It makes no sense for Tifa’s big tits to be unrestrained and flopping all over the place while she’s doing martial arts and other athletic activities.

A character with breasts that big, who does not wear a sports bra, is not believable or relateable to me as a character meant to be a regular woman. Not a robot, not a dragon transformed as a woman, not a magical being, etc etc. But a regular woman.

It’s the kind of thing that would make me, as a player, incapable of taking the character seriously or sympathizing with her. It’s not the size of her boobs that’s the problem, it’s the potential for failing to understand women as human beings and incorporate basic knowledge about how we exercise or play sports into character design.

Maybe, if the game had not thrown away the cartoonish aesthetic of Nomura’s original designs, I’d be able to suspend my disbelief enough and not have a problem with sports bra-less Tifa. But they didn’t. They’re going for realism.

Kudos to Square-Enix! This was the right call, for the right reasons.