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Tekken 7, the latest installment of video game developer Bandai Namco’s popular fighting game series, hit Japanese arcades last month. Even though the game launched with close to two dozen playable characters, the series has always had a tradition of adding new fighters after each game’s debut, and Tekken 7 is no exception.

The newest member of the Tekken cast is also its first to hail from the Philippines. But while more content is almost always a plus, gamers aren’t unanimous in their reactions to Josie Rizal.

Katsuhiro Harada, director of Tekken 7, announced the new character through his Twitter account. The franchise’s official YouTube channel has also posted a video showing Josie in action.

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The character’s name is clearly derived from that of Jose Rizal, a Filipino author, poet, and nationalist hero who lived during the Philippine’s struggle for independence from Spain. Josie’s fighting style is listed as a mix of kickboxing and eskrima, the Philippines’ representative form of martial arts. Her outfit even contains a few nods to the country’s flag, with its use of red, blue, white, and yellow, plus the triangular lines of her skirt and V-neck top. The design of her golden accessories are also evocative of the flag’s eight-ray sun.

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▼ Although you could make the argument that when Josie is fighting, she should wear a red top, since the flag of the Philippines is inverted and flown with the red field above the blue during times of war.

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But as Harada has learned, when a video game franchise’s fanbase gets to be as large and international as Tekken’s, you can’t please everybody. When Saudi Arabian fighter Shaheen joined the Tekken 7 cast, some online commenters grumbled that they found his clothing more stereotypical than traditional, and when girlish cosplayer Lucky Chloe was revealed, the backlash from some Western gamers had Harada joking he would replace her with a buff dude with a shaved head for the North American release.

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Likewise, Josie hasn’t been met with universal acceptance. Some have criticized the character for not looking Filipino enough, while others are bothered by the omission of the paired short fighting sticks commonly associated with eskrima.

▼ The way she sometimes breaks down and cries, and after winning a round, no less, is probably also going to rub some gamers the wrong way.

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Others, however, are happy to see the Tekken cast branching out and becoming more diverse, which seems appropriate considering what little plot the franchise has is largely centered around a global fighting tournament. A few have even voiced their hopes that Josie, who’s seen speaking English in her introductory video, will also get a few lines in Tagalog.

As further proof that she’s established a foothold in some people’s hearts, Josie is already showing up in fan art.

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▼ Josie dressed as the mascot of Filipino fast food chain Jolibee.

Whether or not Josie will be embraced in the long run is yet to be seen, but for now, she’s getting her chance to spread Tekken’s unique brand of knuckle-based internationalism.

Sources: Mugstoria, The Fanboy SEC
Top image: YouTube
Insert images: YouTube, Wikipedia/Achim1999, Wikia, Tekken official website (1, 2), Pixiv, Tumblr (edited by RocketNews24)