Earlier this year a trailer was released for the then-upcoming Western release of the Fate/Grand Order chapter, Epic of Remnant, which presented a potential region-specific design change which lightened the darkened skin on the character Emiya (Alter) due to what some believed was a racist depiction of black face. With the recent release of Epic of Remnant’s first chapter, Pseudo-Singularity I: Quarantined Territory of Malice, Shinjuku – Shinjuku Phantom Incident, it has been confirmed that Emiya (Alter)’s design has been modified for Western audiences:

Fate/GO Changes Emiya (Alter)'s Appearance for North American Release of Epic of Remnant

Top: Emiya (Alter)’s Modified Battle Sprite
Bottom: The original battle sprite present in the Japanese release.

Fate/GO Changes Emiya (Alter)'s Appearance for North American Release of Epic of Remnant

Top: A screenshot of the North American release, showing Emiya (Alter)’s updated battle sprite present in gameplay.
Bottom: The same scene taken from the Japanese release, where Emiya (Alter)’s sprite remains unchanged.

In Fate/Grand Order lore, Emiya is a Japanese man whose darkened skin is the result of the overuse and abuse of his own Magical Circuits, which result in the circuits being damaged and causing his appearance to be altered accordingly.

In a recent interview conducted by RPG Site, Senior Staff Writer Josh Torres attempted to ask DELiGHTWORKS Inc. Creative Producer Yosuke Shiokawa about the changes, only to be barred from asking questions regarding character changes and being told that it was not Shiokawa’s sole decision to change Emiya (Alter)’s design:

A new four-part story arc, the Epic of Remnant, just began in the English release with the first part set in Shinjuku. In the marketing campaign for the Shinjuku part, there were noticeable design changes to one of its characters, Emiya Alter. He exhibits a lighter skin tone compared to his design in the Japanese version of FGO. The changes extend beyond the marketing and all in-game assets, artwork, and in-game models for Emiya Alter also reflect the changes. I was stopped mid-interview from asking Shiokawa-san the reasoning behind the changes and if there would be similar alterations to other characters in the future.

After my interview with Shiokawa-san, I briefly spoke with Aiko Makino, one of my PR contacts for Aniplex of America about the matter. She claims that “it’s because it wasn’t Shiokawa’s sole decision; it was more of a group decision and it isn’t fair for him to be the spokesperson for that decision.” I assured her that I understand and thanked her for giving RPG Site the opportunity to interview Shiokawa-san once again.

Aniplex and DELiGHTWORKS Inc. has not given us an official statement regarding the changes in Emiya Alter’s design at the time of publishing this piece.

The change has thus far only been seen in the North American release of the game, as the Korean region will be receiving the update with an unaltered Emiya (Alter):

For some, the change to Emiya (Alter)’s design was perceived as a form of censorship, with many pointing to a statement made by Fate/Go North America Producer Albert Kao during a 2017 Aniplex FGO panel at Anime Weekend Atlanta 2017:

If you’re worried about censoring Jack the Ripper, the answer is no. I don’t intend to censor anything in the game, because that’s how the game’s intended to be enjoyed. Also, if you’re watching Apocrypha right now (I won’t ask how), Jack’s design is straight from Apocrypha.

There’s no intention to censor anything unless someone forces us to.

In light of this statement, many fans were unhappy with the alteration, with some taking to social media to express their dissatisfaction directly to the official Fate/Go USA Twitter account:

As of writing, neither Fate/Go USA, Aniplex, DELiGHTWORKS Inc. nor anyone affiliated with the project has publicly addressed these changes, much to the dismay of fans.

  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is the Editor for Bounding Into Comics. A life-long anime fan, comic book reader, and video game player, Spencer believes in supporting every claim with evidence and that Ben Reilly is the best version of Spider-Man. He can be found on Twitter @kabutoridermav.