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Norimaro

Norimaro (憲磨呂), sometimes misnamed Norimaru, is a playable character in Japanese versions of Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, an original guest character created by Capcom in cooperation with Japanese comedian Noritake Kinashi.

Norimaro's Win Pose Sprite (MSHvsSF)










Conception[1]

Norimaro was born out of a collaboration effort between Capcom and Noritake Kinashi. The new character was initially stated to make an appearance in the "most recent work in the Street Fighter series", but it was later revealed he'd debut in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, which was at the time the latest game in the company's release schedule.

The entire process from beginning to end was documented as part of Kinashi's comedy TV show at the time, "Tonneruzu no namade Daradara Ika Sete!!" (とんねるずの生でダラダラいかせて!!). The show went through all steps of Norimaro's creation, including initial design "sketches" (or more like doodles), the motion capture session to create his animations and the recording session, everything provided by Kinashi himself on-camera, under the humorous identity of "artist Kentaro Kinashi". There were also snippets where Kinashi and staff visited Capcom's offices and design studios and talked with staff members, some of which provided commentary on the characters' development. The character's name was decided in a contest with the show's audience, who were asked to send letters to choose a name. Kinashi picked up the winning letter from 13-years old Akiyuki Uratani, christening the character "Norimaro".

As seen in the copyright notice in the PlayStation port, Norimaro's rights are actually jointly owned by Capcom, Nippon TV (the television network which aired Kinashi's program) and Arrival (Kinashi's agency). As such, any future use of the character would require the permission from all three companies. Norimaro was removed from all overseas versions of the game, but years later it was discovered that most of the localization work was already done, including translated lines and altered graphics. Although the reasons for his removal are unknown, Japanese magazine Gamest reportedly stated that Marvel issued a harsh complaint about the character's inclusion.

Backstory[2]

As Norimaro was created as a simple joke character based on a real-life person, he has no known established official backstory. Based on his appearance and actions, Norimaro appears to be a Japanese student that has somehow entered the world of the game and takes this opportunity to tour around, taking pictures and asking for autographs while at it. His actions and lines indicate he's a big fan of Chun-Li and well-versed in Marvel characters, even knowing they are actually comic book characters.

Norimaro is portrayed as a nerdish, cowardly schoolboy-type guy armed with a camera who corresponds to the profile of "misfit"; he throws common school items such as rulers and folders, mini-Akuma dolls, and plushies as projectiles; and in his taunt animation attempts to ask for his opponent's autograph. During its creation, Kinashi described Norimaro as a 2nd-year high-school student with the face of an older man, with a spineless but proactive personality and a hobby for jumping fences.

In his ending Norimaro went for world domination after his victory over Apocalypse and Cyber Akuma, tyrannically ruling over Earth with an iron fist for many years, and upon his death, it is said he became a tedious subject in History books.


Appearance[3]

Norimaro was created from the very start by Noritake Kinashi, who doodled the character's design in one of the design computer at Capcom's offices. He's an awkward and ungainly-looking man based on the stereotypical Japanese nerd and wears a purple school uniform that has a name tag and big glasses. He's armed with a camera and a white satchel where he keeps common school items such as rulers and folders, mini-Gouki dolls, and plushies he uses as projectiles. He has a very noticeable mole on his nose.


Gameplay[4]

Norimaro has unique gameplay in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, he fights without (technically) fighting at all. He is an unable fighter, but he still has the potential to fight. He throws various everyday objects at the opponent and some ordinary actions, such as slipping on a banana peel (which acts as his launcher) are part of the attacks. Most of his moves are comical and aren't related to fighting, making Norimaro a joke character. But despite this comic relief facade, he is a pretty decent character to play with and has some of the most powerful moves in the game.

This non-fighting gameplay style was later inherited by Phoenix Wright in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.

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