"Gee... this looks so much harder in the comic book."
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 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 oversea 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 (see Trivia section). Although the reasons for his removal are unknown, Japanese magazine Gamest reportedly stated that Marvel issued a harsh complaint about the character's inclusion.
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.
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.
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.
- Quadruple Jump: Norimaro gains the special ability to jump up to 4 times in the air if the player holds LP+MP+HK before the match begins.
- Super Fantastic Treasure (スーパーファンタスティックトレジャー Sūpā Fantasutikku Torejā): Norimaro panics and turns around, which swings his bag and causes a doll or a school item to fly out, which acts as a projectile. The many items tend to vary, from a protractor to an Akuma figurine.
- Great Fighting Jump (グレートファイティングジャンプ Gurēto Faitingu Janpu): Norimaro leaps into the air diagonally body first, yelling "Shouryuuken" in what he probably thinks is a deep, serious voice. Works as an anti-air, has some recovery time, but sadly is the weakest anti-air in the game.
- Rolling Powerful Arms (ローリングパワフルアームズ, Rōringu Pawafuru Āmuzu): Norimaro cries and flails his arms about while moving forward a distance, then falls over. The move does multiple hits and sends the opponent flying if it connects, but has a lot of recovery time.
- Banana Slip: Norimaro slips with a banana peel, launching the opponent in the air. This is Norimaro's hard kick and technically isn't a special move, but it has a special feature: if the banana hits the opponent, he will slip as well, and the peel can hit OTG.
- This move eventually is used once more as a Medium attack by Phoenix Wright.
|Super Fantastic Treasure||Rolling Powerful Arms||Hyper Strong Miracle Treasure|
- Hyper Strong Miracle Treasure (Level 1): Norimaro panics and throws thousands of school supplies and toys out of his bag.
- Ultimate Grand Champion Jump (Level 1): Norimaro charges and then does a body-first diagonal high jump that hits multiple times.
- Ultra Variety Private Memories (Level 1): Auto-combo/ranbu super. Norimaro dashes forward, and if this hits, he rapidly switches between a variety of silly poses which recount his memories, such as taking a bath, hiding behind his father, drawing on the floor, flipping an egg, dressing up as Rockman, playing with a teddy bear, being bit in the leg by a dog, playing in a cardboard car, and singing karaoke.
Theme Song Edit
- Norimaro is the first original character to appear in the series. Due to the unique circunstances of his creation, he's also the only standard character in the series to not return in Marvel vs. Capcom 2. Abyss and Ruby Heart would later get this distinction too.
- Norimaro appears in all Japanese versions of the game, but in the Arcade original, he's disabled if the Arcade's fee is set to 2 or more coins to play. This was apparently done due to a common tendency at the time for game centers to suddenly increase Arcade fees.
- Due to cultural differences, Norimaro was not supposed to be available in overseas versions of Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter and the code that would have him a playable character was actually locked out in the programming if the game was not set to Japanese region. However, searching in the ROM files of the game revealed translation work on Norimaro was mostly completed, possibly indicating the instructions to remove him came late in development.
- All of Norimaro's victory lines were translated, as well as his pre-battle exchange with Apocalypse.
- Norimaro's text bubble for his taunt and large warning in his Ultra Variety Private Memories Hyper Combo were redrawn in order to translate the Japanese text into English lines.
- One of the graphics in the same Hyper Combo, showing Norimaro bathing in a pink tub, was removed. As a result of this, the Hyper Combo only registers 19 hits instead of 21.
- Norimaro's ending, on the other hand, was not properly finished, appearing correctly but displaying Dan's ending text with Captain America's nametag instead of his own.
- Although he's not available in international versions without memory editing, he can be spotted in the first image in the PlayStation's port gallery mode.
- Norimaro has an unused hyper combo that can be found inside the game files. It appears to be an anti-air attack in which a thought bubble appears above Norimaro's head, displaying various Capcom women in seductive poses. He smiles at the thought, but then suddenly suffers a massive nosebleed that sprays violently in the air in front of him. The characters that may appear in his thoughts incude...
- Chun-Li in a pose involving her getting hit by a sweep, providing an upskirt view of her Quipao.
- Sakura carrying her shoes while doing a "coy, girlish flirt pose".
- Cammy kicking via her Cross Sccisors Pressure, providing a view of her buttocks.
- Morrigan in her victory pose.
- Felicia panicking.
- Also included, likely as jokes, are 10-years old Anita and the buff and obviously-male Zangief, striking one of his victory poses.
- During the tv show's display of a prototype cabinet playing with Norimaro, he's shown having a unique grab move called "Okancho Service" (おかんちょうサービス Okanchō Sābisu) based on the Japanese prank known as "Kanchō". This move was removed from all versions of the final game, often believed at Marvel's behest.