The official Twitter account for SNK’s Samurai Shodown franchise has issued an apology after a female member of the fighting game community took offense to tweets jokingly referring to the ‘sexy’ appearance of the soon-to-be-released DLC fighter Iroha.

The episode of outrage began on May 7th, when the Samurai Shodown Twitter account retweeted a release date announcement and character trailer for Iroha from the official SNK account, hyping up fans for the character’s Samurai Showdown (2019) debut with the rallying cry “CRANE GANG RISE UP”:

Debuting in 2005 with the release of Samurai Shodown VI, Iroha’s character is based on the Japanese folklore of The Crane Wife. After marrying a crane disguised as a woman, a man discovers that his bride has been removing her own feathers to sell for money, an act which causes her to fall gravely ill.

When the man demands she stop, the crane reveals that she was selling her feathers out of love for the man, imparting the lesson of the story: one cannot be worthy of being with a ‘crane’ if they are not willing to make sacrifices for others.

In a very anime-inspired spin on the tale, Iroha is a crane who turns herself into a Japanese maid to serve and please her ‘master.’ Though the ‘master’ is never named, it has since been confirmed by members of the Samurai Showdown VI development team that the ‘master’ is the player, specifically male players.

Unsurprisingly, as players began to turn the discussion towards their enjoyment of her design, the Samurai Shodown account continued to engage and playfully support players in their ‘thirst’ over the character’s appearance.

However, on May 8th, professional fighting game player Miranda “Super Yan” Pakozdi, voiced her discomfort towards the lighthearted engagements, claiming that “nobody has ever made me uncomfortable or feel like I don’t belong except the official samsho twitter” due to “nonstop sophomoric 4chan jokes and comments since the game came out.”

Pakozdi also accused the official account, and by general association men in the fighting game community, of actively discriminating against female players and not viewing them as “equals in the community.”

A long-time fighting game competitor, Pakozdi previously brought widespread attention to gender dynamics within the community after forfeiting her Street Fighter x Tekken matches during the Cross Assault tournament after claiming to receive verbal sexual harassment from fellow FGC player and commentator Aris Bakhtanians.

Following Pakozdi’s public disapproval of the Samurai Shodown accounts content, an apology was issued from the official account, with the account noting that the tweets were deleted after being “deemed inappropriate and offensive to members of our community.”

As fans began to complain about their removal, Pakozdi took credit for leading the account to take action against Iroha-centric tweets, crediting the deletions to her status as a “person of influence” in the fighting game community.

Arguing that she was “not trying to imply my opinion is worth more than other people’s in the community,” Padzoki reasoned that what she has “done for the community” and the benefits of “why [female players] should stay” were worth more than “obnoxious hornyposts from a company account.”

Despite the character’s focus at the center of the discourse, Padzoki has stated that “Iroha and people being horny on their own time isn’t the complaint here,” but rather that such content “shouldn’t be coming from a company account people follow for community/game news.”

Iroha is set for release on the PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and Google Stadia versions of Samurai Shodown on May 13th.

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  • About The Author

    Spencer Baculi

    Spencer is a contributing reporter for Bounding Into Comics. Unabashed anime fan, life-long comic book reader, avid video game player, and in need of a separate house for all of his figures. Trying to sift through the noise to bring the readers the facts.

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