She wears a short cropped hair, a gold top, a short blue skirt with a red trim and and specialises in Filipino martial arts eskrima and kick boxing. Meet the latest character to join the popular game series Tekken—the Filipino Josie Rizal. 

Bandai Namco Games’ Katsuhiro Harada, who directed and produced the Tekken series, introduced the new character in a tweet on Sunday, with a link to the demo game uploaded on YouTube. It is not yet clear when Josie would make her debut. 

There has already been mixed reaction among gaming enthusiasts and graphics experts regarding the new female character. 

Many expressed their enthusiasm over having a Filipino martial arts expert in the challengers’ list—a first in the arcade game industry. The only other Filipino character introduced in the gaming industry was Manny Pacquiao in the game app for iOS called Manny Pacquiao: Pound for Pound developed by Abu Dhabi-based Karkadann Games. 

Among those brought up for debate were Josie’s looks, her combat skills and her name, which is a play on the Philippine national hero’s name, Jose Rizal. 

“Josie Rizal? She doesn’t look like a Filipina to me,” Jay Reyes (@CAESARsalaaad_) wrote on Twitter. 

“It’s flattering that they have this Filipino-inspired character,” Kristy Anne Ligones told Gulf News, voicing the general reaction of gaming fanatics. 

The Dubai-based illustrator, however, had a few suggestions for the character. 

“They could have added more skills on boxing, since we’re pretty known for that sport [and] perhaps they could have looked at some modernised Filipino traditional dresses for inspiration,” she said. 

Adonis Durado, an international award winning artist based in Oman, told Gulf News: “The problem with Josie Rizal’s character is too obvious: it doesn’t have any trace of Filipino-ness-neither in her physical attributes nor in her outfit.” 

“If her fighting style is purportedly eskrima, where are the arnis sticks? So the Filipino-inspired name is simply a token,” Durado said. 

Most gamers were still eager to take the new challenger to the test, even though she does not speak a word of Filipino or have a Filipino accent. 

“I hope they dub Josie Rizal in Filipino too...every time she gets hit, she would go “ARAY!” (ouch) [or] “Aray teh! Ano ba!? (Ouch sister!)” said Borgy Gavina on Twitter.

 Dubai-based illustrator and gaming enthusiast, Ligones, has another idea: “This is just another character to play with [so] we don’t have to get so serious about it. Just play!”


Don’t miss these other characters

Jin Kazama will appear in the arcade version of Tekken 7 on March 31, while Devil Jin will make a reappearance on April 7.