Gunvolt Gets His Braid Back In The U.S. Version Of Azure Striker Gunvolt

By Ishaan . April 16, 2014 . 7:20am

Recently, Azure Striker Gunvolt developer Inti Creates explained to Siliconera why they changed the Gunvolt character’s design for the west. For the game’s U.S. version, Inti Creates removed Gunvolt’s braid and covered up his bare midriff as shown above.


Following feedback from the community and a discussion with Keiji Inafune, Inti Creates have decided to settle for a middle ground.


“Inafune-san and [Inti Creates CEO] Aizu-san also discussed the character design of Gunvolt for US version,” the Gunvolt Twitter account said this morning. “Inafune-san concluded that Gunvolt keeps ‘braided hair’ in US version too. Because he emphasises the design.”


The person in charge of the Gunvolt Twitter account then went on to say that Gunvolt’s midriff would still remain covered by black cloth in the U.S. version. When we spoke with Aizu, that was our suggestion as well, and one that I think serves as a good middle ground between the two designs.


Azure Striker Gunvolt will be available this Summer for the Nintendo eShop on 3DS.

Read more stories about & & on Siliconera.

  • Natat

    I am very pleased with this.

    • Shippoyasha

      I’m still miffed that they don’t have midrifts back. What is there to even ‘compromise’ about? That language just hurts my brain trying to make sense of it.

  • Good. The hair adds quite a bit of extra action to the animations, so removing it was a bad idea.

  • Taedirk

    Good. Losing the braid was silly. The midriff is minor at best.

  • TheGioG

    The braid really did give Gunvolt that feel of re-witnessing all of Zero’s awesome back in the MegaMan X days. Thanks for taking the feedback into account, Inti-Creates.

  • British_Otaku

    Nice to see them change their mind on one element of his design, but my mind is made about buying it only on a Japanese 3DS instead.

    All three designs in all versions would be sweet though.

    • Firekitty

      Four designs. I want one with the midriff but without the braid, as well.

      not that I don’t like the braid, but variety!

      • British_Otaku

        An interesting pick I never considered, but why not.

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Phew. I would prefer the midriff but I can deal without it. I did want him to keep the braid though.

    • KnifeAndFork


  • Endy Operin

    That’s nice that they listen to what audience says. I wish other companies did that too from to time.

    • Mar Mar

      Honestly I had that feeling “Yeah, I know they’ll never listen” but this is totally unexpected!

      • Ric Vazquez


  • RunningWild1984

    I don’t wanna see no 14 year old boys midriff. He doesn’t even have any muscles.

  • kyubey777

    I wish they keep the midriff though, but braid!

  • AuraGuyChris

    You make Edward Elric proud!

    • Ric Vazquez

      Made my day this comment has.

  • FreeLancers

    Thank you inafune san. LOOOOKS Way better with it. That’s like getting rid of zero’s hair in MMZ .

  • Tincho Kudos

    Braid?! No buy for me then /sarcasm

  • nonscpo

    These two stories happening right next to each other hmm…oh I get it free publicity.

    • BleuVII

      How about… they actually listen to fans?

  • WindButterfly

    Megaman zero was running around saving the world in a bikini, so how did this almost not make it in.

    • Thanks. Your comment made my day. lol

    • KnifeAndFork

      That’s a man thong. And not even the main Zero design at that

      • WindButterfly

        It’s not a thong if you look it up also that’s why i said megaman zero, not just “zero” because the first zero ( which prefers briefs) has nothing to do with inti-creates.

        • Senka

          it’s seriously just robot joints from my point of view.

          Anyway yeah, this whole situation sounds like something from the 90s like Angry Kirby syndrome. It’s really bizarre. However, it is very nice to see they listen.

          • Vash bane

            angry Kirby syndrome? sigh something new to look up again lol

          • WindButterfly

            It’s the fact that it’s a very contrasting color that makes it different for me.

        • KnifeAndFork

          Yeah well I was joking; it’s neither. It’s just the way his joints are together much like how G.I. Joe figures were built in the 80’s…

    • InsertOffensiveUsernameHere

      Because Zero looks like he’s wearing a skintight suit under his armor?

  • RagingTiger44

    Alright! If we push hard enough we might get the midriff back! Huh…what do you mean no one really wants it back?

    • British_Otaku

      … I want it… >_>
      Strongly doubt there is enough push for them to consider people wanting the original look or even just options to use all three.

  • ecoutercavalier

    I’m so happy!

  • I am happy with this development!

  • Professor_Icepick

    Woo, this is exactly what I wanted them to do. So I’m definitely happy about this. Can’t wait to pick this one up.

  • XiaomuArisu

    Good decision

  • Spirit Macardi

    Not a complete win, but still a net positive.

    I hate the idea of changing characters for overseas. I believe that the same experience should be had by all, and that includes designs.

    Granted though, this was hardly the worst design change I’ve seen proposed.

    • RagingTiger44

      I guess it’s a matter of adapting to cultures. What seems silly in the U.S. may be normal in Japan and vice-versa. Not all ideas can easily cross the cultural barrier.

      • Spirit Macardi

        Yes, but if you have problems with things from another culture then you’re likely not going to be buying a game from them to begin with.

        • John Diamond

          what. the lack of midriff is pretty badass

          • Firekitty

            I think it’s sexist. Just think of all the female characters with bare midriffs…Very few people complain about how ‘impractical’ THOSE designs are.

            They should leave his midriff bare, for fanservice and great justice!

          • John Diamond

            of course less people would complain.
            how many women leave their midriffs bare in real life. it’s not rife amongst society, but it isn’t a freak occurence.

            by your logic, if people fought against the main male character wearing short shorts it would be sexist (i know it’s a sort of extreme example, but i hope you get my point)

          • Firekitty

            It would be sexist. If he were female, most people would be okay with it…but what about the female gamers who’d like to appreciate a nice pair of legs on a man?!

            (I assumed that the last sentence in my original post would indicate I was (mostly) joking, but I guess not?)

          • John Diamond

            nop, i got you were joking, i was talking about what you said in the first place. and what i said initially about women in real life showing their ‘midriffs’ still pretty much covers what you cover

          • Tiredman

            I have a feeling that if they hadn’t of changed the graphic in the first place, nobody would of said a word about the midriff.

          • KnifeAndFork


          • British_Otaku

            Wearing clothes around your waist or not isn’t inherently badass. Numerous thief or dancer characters from Sothe in Fire Emblem or those classes in Bravely Default to the protagonist of Tales of the Abyss have pulled it off.

          • John Diamond

            it’s just a preference… jeez ¬¬. i didn’t even make a general remark like ‘lack of midriff i pretty ‘awesome” all the time

          • British_Otaku

            I don’t know man, the post literally said “what. the lack of midriff is pretty badass”. That seems to be the same type of post you deny you made.
            Not that I care about this line of conversation that much…

          • John Diamond

            who does, although admittedly i concede i may have phrased the word badly

          • RajaNaga

            Having midrift doesn’t make him any less badass looking.

          • John Diamond

            in your opinion, and that’s cool

        • AuraGuyChris

          Fine then. All naked outfits shall cross to NA without censors! It’s not bad at all!

          • Spirit Macardi

            Umm… What?

            Seriously, the hell are you talking about?

          • AuraGuyChris

            In Japan, nudity is a sign of a clean soul or such. Outside of it, well… Censors happen.

            Hmm, I guess I replied to the wrong post. Oops.

          • KnifeAndFork

            Huh? Japan censors nudity

    • Ric Vazquez

      Agreed 1000%

  • 하세요

    I’m totally fine with this. I always felt midriffs on any character were really unnecessary, male or female.

    • Treetops97

      I could not live on this planet anymore if they took your word for it.

  • DivinePhoenix69

    Glad to see they decided to keep the braid afterall, the design would have felt incomplete without it. I never cared for the whole midriff thing honestly so them covering it up doesn’t really bother me as much as them permanently removing the braid.

  • mockturtle

    As a dude with long hair, this makes me very happy. I do wish they’d keep the design unchanged at all, though. It’s not as though you can’t show some midriff and still be cool. Luke fon Fabre, anyone? What about Ghirahim?

  • Aw, this was the perfect opportunity for a *really* cool hairstyle! Oh well, maybe next game…

    • Göran Isacson

      I dunno, I think the actual vocaloid in the game might have a problem with Gunvolt appropriating the hairstyle of her people. ;)

  • Paul Rodriguez

    He actually looks better without.

    • Mightfo

      always gotta have more generic short haired blonde men in video games

  • FlobotingIt

    Ace. The midriff, I don’t particularly care. But the braid makes it a lot better. Like, without the star, he became much less memorable. But with the braid? Grade A. Good work.

    Also, the American design doesn’t have as many electric strikes around him. I DEMAND A REFUND.

  • Hagaren


  • Heropon

    Good . Now , the only problem remain with this game is the lack of physical release

  • BleuVII

    Sigh… the silly looking braid is back. Oh well. At least they have proved that they care what fans want.

  • Yaay! I REALLY loved him with a braid. It fit so well~

  • Guest

    Well done.

  • Aaron K Stone

    Yeah I like this.

  • Jettythesunfish

    Glad the ponytail is staying. Hopefully they change their minds about the midriff.

    Though I feel this should be an eye-opener. This is how Japan sees us. Namco did this with Klonoa for the Wii, thinking that we in the west didn’t like his cute design and tried to go with a revamped one.

    We need to be more open and vocal so things like this don’t end up happening again.

  • Istillduno

    Sweet, hope this carries over to the European version too.

    • British_Otaku

      Huh? 99% of the time you can assume all changes for one English release effect all of them or at least more than one region… I would be surprised if they had the mindset that focus tests folks in Britain to see whether we like our midriffs or whether we prefer our protagonists looking like Wayne Rooney.

  • Will Jay

    And with this the design is perfect.

  • Hours Left

    The design shouldn’t of been changed at all. There should be no difference between the Japanese and English versions.

  • Bakuryukun

    I liked the braid, so I’m glad they brought it back.

  • RajaNaga

    The compromise is better than nothing, but I am still upset at the mere concept of editting his design at all, especially because it’s something so silly. I’m very happy about the braid, but I really wish the midrift would remain uneditted as well.

    I have a feeling if it was entirely Inafune’s decision he would remain 100% untouched, but I guess Aizu is deadset in his “appealing to Americans” ideas.

  • Yan Zhao

    Glad they changed it back. The whole notion of censorship for western releases are stupid as hell. Yes we got narrowminded homophobic idiots here in the west, but the majority of actual non CoD gamers dont care and would rather keep everything the same.

    • KnifeAndFork

      What does it have to do with homosexuality ? Are you implying just because he has an exposed midriff that somehow makes him viewed as a homo sexual? and not just someone with bad fashion sense?
      There’s no confirmation on the characters sexual preference (not that it matters), and they are marketing (they said it) to 10 to 14 yr old boys, so confusing visual genders aside, it’s more on “what will boys think looks the coolest”, and since your average male doesn’t go walking around with exposed midriffs, be it the West or even Japan, the common consensus would be…lol, which is how they analyzed it..

      You’re talking about the video game industry which has brought us Poison, Bridgette, and Makato, as well as now Ellie so….

      • Mightfo

        Let’s be real: You know that the only reason they changed the midriff is because a man showing that sort of skin in the west is seen as “gay”. Nobody gives a shit about fashion. Even obviously straight men in the west feel uncomfortable showing skin unless they’re heavily emphasizing muscles and workout, because otherwise it is seen as gay. Even a man attracting a woman with his body is “gay” because of the focus on how other men see it as an observer. Similar to the psychology involved in straight men watching lesbian porn.

  • shadowneko003

    i never really like changing character names and design, with some exceptions of course. I’m glad they kept the hair

  • These guys got their respect back as far as I’m concerned. They listened to the potential buyers and realised it was a dumb move from their part (due to various reasons explained on the other thread).

  • Thank you very much, Inti. I can live without the bare midriff, though the braid, I believe is essential to the character like Megaman’s Zero does with his own ponytail.

    Heck, I think he looks a level badass with the braid and fully clothed abs.

  • Nhazul

    Awesome. I was definitely liking the long braid and I’m glad they kept it. Personally, I think the design looks a lot cooler with the midriff covered. It brings the suit together, no reason to have it exposed.

  • Captain Levi


  • Kelohmello

    Good. I don’t care about the midriff, it doesn’t do much. The ponytail though, that added some flair. Good decision for them.

  • KnifeAndFork

    The exposed male midriff just looks silly and is an overdone Japanese design cliche

    Besides, what self respecting man where’s a midriff anyway besides the overweight middle aged ones with the tank top 3 sizes too small and exposed beer belly at your local Wal-Mart?

    • ArmoredBoar

      Sexy men, that’s who.
      Gunvolt deserves to show off.

      • KnifeAndFork

        Yeah no….fat middle aged men with bellies hanging out at Wal-Mart aren’t sexy. And no one else in their right mind goes out dressed like that…

        • ArmoredBoar

          Gunvolt’s not some fat middle-aged man coming out of Wal-Mart though. Sounds like projecting.

          • KnifeAndFork

            Yeah clearly I’m the fat middle aged man wearing a shirt three sizes too small and I love Wal-Mart; you hit the mail on the head there genius.

            No male these days walks around with exposed midriffs and the common consensus is that it is bad fashion sense, else you’d see it more common now wouldn’t you…smh

          • ArmoredBoar

            You’re comparing real life ordinary clothing to super stylish anime videogame designs. That’s pretty ridiculous.

    • CirnoLakes

      I disagree.

      And that sounds like some kind of body and/or gender policing. So no, I think you’re wrong, people can wear what they want.

      And I think that men wearing midriff bearing outfits looks fabulous~.

  • Namuro

    I’ve been wondering, how come some characters can get away with such a design choice, like Enoch, but not Gunvolt? Is it because Gunvolt is aimed towards kids (though, that shouldn’t be the case, as a lot of people have expressed their opinion on who the real fans of this game are), while El Shaddai is aimed at adults, who are (in general) more open-minded?

    Also, since the game uses a sprite graphic, and that it will be on a small screen, I doubt the players will even notice the midriff, if nobody made a fuss over it.

    Anyway, I’m glad the braid stays.

  • Vash bane

    (all I can say…I could go on but I wont lol)

  • Shady Shariest

    Well. This is good. Hilarious, but good.

  • Do they think the west can’t handle a sexy midriff? Mmmmmm sexy abs…

  • Ouch My Head Said Dionysus

    Might have to go and get his braids back,
    Matter fact, go and bring them AKs back.

  • CirnoLakes

    Well good, I don’t like characters being made more masculine for Western audiences. Which I worry what was being done.

  • Ric Vazquez

    Faith in NTSC localizations partially restored, I’m glad about this a lot even though it’s something minor.

  • Ryan Rardin

    This is stupid. Inti-Creates should have fired the person responsible for the change as soon as the fan backlash started. Even with this “middle ground,” I’m not buying Gunvolt anymore. Believe me, I was really looking forward to it, but this killed any interest I had in the game. If they’re going to change something as trivial as the main character’s appearance, what else is going to be arbitrarily censored? It’s the same reason I passed on Bravely Default.

  • Mightfo

    glad the ponytail is back, still upset that the midriff is gone. everyone who doesnt have their head in the sand knows that the only reason either of these changes are happening is because of american males going “FAGGG FAG FAG FAG” at the sight of traits like these.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos