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Gusto Ko Sa Pilipinas: Harada on Josiebee, Rev Major, and More!
Posted by Raphael Leynes on September 30, 2019

This weekend’s Rev Major 2019 marks the first time in seven years that legendary director and chief producer of Tekken, Katsuhiro Harada, has visited the Philippines. Back in 2012, the Tekken scene, as well as the entire local fighting game community, had been vastly different. There was no Rev Major, no Sibol, and no organizations like Playbook or Gariath. There was only a pure love for fighting games and a devoted fan base ready for so much more.

Arcade Days – A look back into the roots of the Philippine Fighting Game Community

We take a look back into the days when we used to meet up and play in arcades, to the very roots of our community, to where we started to become the Philippine FGC.

Posted by REV Major Philippines on Saturday, 28 September 2019

Even then in its infant stages, Harada and the team at Bandai Namco, recognized the fire that was burning in the Philippine FGC. In the console release of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, Bandai Namco would include a special stage named Coastline Sunset that was definitively set in the Philippines. In it there were many distinctly Filipino elements: jeepneys and tricycles littered the streets while billboards of Timezone and Quantum-local arcade chains where Tekken players would congregate and hold mini tournaments-could be seen in the stage’s background.

Screenshot (C) Reimaru Files


All this would come to a head in 2015 when Harada-san announced the inclusion of the first legitimate Filipino character to the Tekken 7 roster in Josie Rizal.

Josie was a strong Filipina character, named after the country’s national hero. She fought using a weaponless variant of the traditional filipino martial art Eskrima mixed with kickboxing and proudly wore the country’s colors. Even though met with apprehension at the very start-with her personality being a loose approximation of Filipino behavior-the Filipino FGC would come to embrace her as their own.

At Rev Major 2019 we had a chance to talk to Harada-San about some of the reasoning and design process that went into the creation of Josie Rizal. He remarks that for the character of Josie Rizal they wanted “to create a character that all Filipinos, living abroad or in the Philippines, that group of people to recognize her as a Filipino character instantly while looking at her”. He says that the key to this was to make a very grounded and relatively simple character design to start:

“Sometimes if you make a very over-the-top design for a character, say the style of the hair or something like that, often it becomes more difficult to recognize where that characters roots are. So we wanted to keep the design not so over-the top and keep it simple.”

He went on to state that when it came to Josie’s costume, they took inspiration from our national flag:

“We also wanted to incorporate elements from the Filipino Flag like the  coloring, and the the sun symbol and those kinds of elements that we wanted to include in the design.”

One such moment highlighted the cheeky humor that has also become quite synonymous with the prestigious Rev Major, when Josiebee, a fictional amalgam of the Tekken character and the local fast food chain, debuted their newest commercial on the main stage to the delight of the entire crowd and Harada-San himself:

It was clear that the man had a grand ol’ time at Rev Major. Harada-san and his team got to witness the fire and passion they’ve seen all those years ago, first-hand during this past weekend. He and his team would be front row for almost the entire event, watching the amazing Tekken action, the deafening roar of the crowd and experiencing the spectacle that is REV Major 2019 along with all of us.

I myself saw with my own eyes sitting a few rows away from him, that the man who seldom showed emotion was genuinely entertained. At the end of the show, when host Eri Neeman asked the fabled creator for a few choice words, Harada-san had a big smile on his face. The man had established a persona around his stone-faced mystique and razor sharp snark but here he was in front of the Filipino crowd, smiling ear-to-ear, laughing and joking along.

He even dropped a message for Jolibee in case an eventual partnership can be achieved before thanking everyone for their support!

Before he left, he would tweet one final emotional message for everyone in the Philippines.

Did you get anything signed by Harada this past weekend? Let us know in the comments below or on the GG Network Facebook Page!

If you liked that check out some of our other Rev Major coverage on the site like Daigo “The Beast” Umehara on his roots in fighting games and CPT 2019Anime Openings, Daigo, And Son of Nobi: All The Best Moments Of Rev Major 2019, and our recap on the Tekken 7 tournament



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