Perception of Smash DLC in Japan, Redux

Perception of japanese DLC REDUX

Introduction and Warning:

Note: The following post contains portions of the author’s opinion. Most of the data relies on insight from the author after browsing several forums, blogs, videos, Twitter and more. A lot of time and effort by using a variety of sources was employed to minimize potential bias in the results.   

EDIT: This data includes information from April 1st – August 30th. This is why Roy is included in the final results.

Hello! I’m happy to present the ‘final results’ for which characters are being requested in Japan. I mentioned this in the Tentative Results post, but please understand how these votes were calculated. Essentially, I read over 1,000 posts, tweets, etc and counted how often a character’s name was mentioned, and in what context. This time, I decided to add “points” based on how that user felt about the character. If a user felt that a character was a “shoo-in” then I awarded more points. On the reverse, if a character was seen as “less-likely” then they got less “points”. The reason I did this is because this method is highly ineffective for actually counting how much a character is requested. This is because with this method, I’m bound to pick up on the loudest fanbases. The loudest fanbase is not necessarily the biggest. Instead of acting like I can actually measure the biggest fanbase, I decided to fully embrace measuring the loud fanbases. 2015-09-10 22-37-10
Vote here!

I have discussed this issue with polling in the past, and it’s something that I constantly witness in my own polling. Just recently, I started the Ultimate Smash Ballot Poll. As of writing, the poll has over 1,200 votes! The poll was shared by Jordan Sweeto (You can watch his newest single here), who asked for people to vote for Krystal on his Twitter. This caused the number of votes to greatly increase, and Krystal is now ranked “1” in that poll with over 400 votes (I believe K. Rool is currently 2nd with 87 votes for those of you who are wondering). Was Krystal that demanded on the actual ballot? Was K. Rool? It’s impossible to tell without the actual ballot data. I don’t think we’ll ever know the true results of the ballot, and we need to remember that all of our polling efforts are measuring “loud” support and not “actual” support.

So much discussion….over this.

As I’ve mentioned before this is the final results of my research, with over 1,000 “votes”, I did want to include more “votes” but I need to move onto my next project. In order to alleviate my concerns of not fulfilling my original scope, I decided to include additional information (mostly summaries) of how the Japanese community has reacted to certain events. A lot of these are unsurprising. When I read over comments, I got a strange sense of deja-vu, as it’s literally the same exact conversations that occurred in the West–just in Japanese.

I’ve written more about the shortcomings of online polling in a previous post titled, “The Dangers of Online Polling. If you are interested in hearing my full thoughts on the matter, please look over that post.

With all that out of the way, let’s look at some of the results:

Note: the percents were calculated by using the sum of the top 19. Why 19? Honestly, I intended to do the top 20 but I messed up and forgot to include the next row. By the time I realized it, I was already over 40 minutes into editing the image. Sorry Pichu fans.


Before I show you the full results (which includes Pichu) a quick shout out: gameonion helped improve the image! You can follow him on Twitter. He also has a YouTube channel where he regularly posts videos.

However, if you have followed my previous post on Perception of Smash DLC in Japan, or Chronobound’s work, the general flow of the results aren’t too surprising.

Rank: Character name: Total “Votes” Percent of Top 50
1 King K. Rool 115 7.57%
2 Wolf 97 6.38%
3 Roy 90 5.92%
4 Waddle Dee 82 5.39%
5 Inklings 72 4.74%
6 Snake 62 4.08%
7 Magolor 58 3.82%
8 Ice Climber 51 3.36%
9 Geno 51 3.36%
10 Banjo and Kazooie 51 3.36%
11 Paper Mario 51 3.36%
12 Krystal 38 2.50%
13 Ashley 37 2.43%
14 Jibyanyan 35 2.30%
15 Dixie 32 2.11%
16 Arle Nadja 30 1.97%
17 Cloud 29 1.91%
18 Isaac 27 1.78%
19 Bayonetta 27 1.78%
20 Pichu 24 1.58%
21 Ridley 23 1.51%
22 Ray 22 1.45%
23 Captain Toad 22 1.45%
24 Shadow the Hedgehog 21 1.38%
25 Viridi 20 1.32%
26 Micaiah 20 1.32%
27 Magmite 19 1.25%
28 Chrom 18 1.18%
29 Mega Man Zero 18 1.18%
30 Waluigi 17 1.12%
31 Sora (Kingdom Hearts) 17 1.12%
32 Toon Ganon 16 1.05%
33 Klonoa 16 1.05%
34 Midna 16 1.05%
35 Ryu 16 1.05%
36 Goemon 16 1.05%
37 Child Link 15 0.99%
38 Sukapon 15 0.99%
39 Dark Knight 15 0.99%
40 Dunban (Xeno) 14 0.92%
41 Monster Hunter 13 0.86%
42 Adeleine 13 0.86%
43 Black Shadow 12 0.79%
44 Daisy 12 0.79%
45 Bomberman 12 0.79%
46 Viewitiful Joe 12 0.79%
47 Pokemon Trainer 11 0.72%
48 Galacta Knight. 10 0.66%
49 Nick/ Captain Rainbow 10 0.66%
50 Knuckles 10 0.66%

There’s actually 200 other characters that I attempted to track. However, this list of 50 quickly formed to be the most talked about characters on the websites I read.

As you can probably tell, there is a big difference between the top 20 characters, and the rest. There is some definite “rallying around that character” being observed in the data. In a lot of the 2ch and blog posts that I’ve collected for this data, it seemed that after a character was mentioned the likelihood of that character being mentioned again drastically increased.


One of the interesting things to note was how incorporating Twitter has affected my results. In the tentative results, I only included information from 2ch posts/ blogs, but after incorporating Twitter I observed the following. Veterans were generally far more likely to be requested on Twitter than certain ‘expected’ newcomers. The gap between fan-favorite newcomers like K. Rool and Waddle Dee closed when I started to count Twitter “votes”. In particular, Snake and Roy benefited from counting the Twitter votes. With Twitter, I also saw a lot of “one votes” or votes for characters that weren’t as popular. On blogs/2ch, it seemed like some users were hesitant to mention oddball choices, as when they were posted they were often after a warning saying they knew they were unlikely, or ‘In a small voice:’. Again, I believe this is an effect of “rallying support” for certain characters, and may not be indicative of how people actually voted.

I thought it’d be interesting to compare the rankings to my previous data set with this new “rankings”. Only the top 20 on the new poll are included.

New Rank: Character Name: Ranking Change from February:
1 King K. Rool Up 6
2 Wolf Same
3 Roy Up 2
4 Waddle Dee Up 10
5 Inklings Up 15
6 Snake Down 3
7 Magolor (No data)
8 Ice Climbers Down 4
9 Geno Up 10
10 Banjo and Kazooie Up 23
11 Paper Mario Same
12 Krystal Down 4
13 Ashley Up 27
14 Jibyanyan Up 4
15 Dixie Down 5
16 Arle Nadja Up 5
17 Cloud (No Data)
18 Isaac Down 3
19 Bayonetta Up 27
20 Pichu Down 14

Possible Explanations:

One of the possibilities is that as I incorporated more data in this the rankings naturally changed. I don’t believe they are representative of the actual ballot, but perhaps they got a little “closer.” The other explanation is that time has had an impact on how “wanted” certain characters are. With Mewtwo’s release and the announcement of the Smash Ballot, perhaps the Japanese Smash community felt that another Pokemon representative wasn’t needed? Or since the vote was a fill in, perhaps people instead split their votes behind their favorite Pokemon instead of just asking for a veteran? There isn’t really a clear answer at this point in time.


Magolor and Cloud both were not included in the rankings I posted back in February. Again, the fact that users could vote for anyone may have increased support for these characters. An important thing to note about Magolor and Waddle Dee is that I’ve seen a lot of posts claiming that the Kirby Series is underrepped. This explains why we have 3 Kirby reps in the top 50. The Kirby franchise is very popular in Japan, so I’m not too surprised by this feeling.


The Ice Climbers and Snake falling in the rankings might have to do with external issues. Sakurai stressing that he tried his best to get the Ice Climbers working in his collection of Famitsu Columns, as well as the continued Konami controversy, might be the reasons these two veterans seen some negative change. As mentioned before, the open-ended nature of the ballot might have had some impact on their rankings, too. Paper Mario received no boost, nor decline in popularity. His ranking stayed exactly the same.

The Inklings by the Smashified team.

The Inklings shot up in requests, most likely due to the continued success of Splatoon. It should be noted, however, that some have seen their Mii costumes as indication that the Inklings aren’t coming.  

Banjo and Kazooie by the Smashified team.


Geno, Banjo, and Kazooie and Bayonetta also saw more “requests.” I think that Geno and Banjo and Kazooie supporters in particular feel that this is their chance to finally get their character of choice in Smash. It’s important to note that the comments by Phil Spencer about allowing Nintendo to use Banjo and Kazooie were translated into Japanese and have been talked about.       

wolfWolf’s ranking stayed exactly the same. A lot of fans are still expecting him to come in, and some have noted about the potential cross-promotion with Star Fox: Zero. He is still by far the most wanted veteran to come back.

King K. Rool by the Smashified team.

It seems that Dixie’s support declined, and K. Rool’s increased. Some of the Dixie Kong requests originate from feeling of lack of representation for the Donkey Kong series in Japan, so some fans may have decided to back K. Rool as he had overwhelming support. The reaction following King K. Rool costume revelation was pretty much the same as it was in the West. A lot of posters were shocked, some felt insulted. Many felt that the costume severely hurts K. Rool’s chances, while others believe it’s Sakurai “trolling” the fanbase. 


Click to view full size.

The “Viable Contenders List” was talked about extensively. I’m not 100% sure, but it seems that The Land of Concord might be the original source of the image. I’m unsure how they counted “popularity” but that’s beside the point of this post.

The “Viable Contenders List” was posted on smashbros-matome, and I encountered the image quite a bit while searching for Twitter mentions of the ballot. It seems that this list of characters is what Japanese users believe is popular in the West.

Shovel Knight by the Smashified Team.
Shovel Knight by the Smashified Team.

In regards to Shovel Knight and Shantae being popular in the West: A lot hasn’t changed since I posted the “What is a Shovel Knight” reaction translation. The amiibo and Smash DLC rumors did make its way to Japanese sites. After hearing the rumors, the reactions were a mix of, “Who is he?” and “Hurry up and localize the game!”. There isn’t anything really interesting to report besides that.

Sadly, I haven’t seen a lot of polling efforts by the Japanese community. I’m not sure why, but the Western community is much more interesting in online polling.

Final Thoughts:

pdibaseAs mentioned in the introduction and in the discussion of the results, “bandwagoning” is a real thing. Support groups have been made in order to spread propaganda towards their character of choice. I don’t necessarily think this is a bad thing. In some cases, these support groups have elevated characters which would have little to no chance without popularity. However, we should be careful not to mistake popularity within the hardcore Smash fandom as general popularity. One of the best “proof” of this is the fact that Ryu is ranked #35 in this data set. In the Perception of Smash DLC in Japan, Ryu was ranked #23. The “no fighter game character” misquote was translated into Japanese. Either way, he wasn’t that heavily requested — not even the top 20. I also noticed the bandwagoning effect when I measured poll data pre and post share among support groups. Therefore, with Ryu’s inclusion Sakurai and his team might be looking at more factors than just what the hardcore want.

See this post for additional information.

oQNmqxgLastly, the way people vote is very different when they have one vote then when it’s open ended. This is the one of the reasons that we at Source Gaming have decided to help BluePikmin11 with his Individual Character Polls. We are hoping that the data will reveal some valuable insight in what characters are popular, in the general sense. Already we can see that the frontrunners differ greatly if you give people more of a choice. I witnessed this in my 2 vets/2 newcomers or 4 newcomers poll, and we are seeing this on a grander scale with BluePikmin11’s polls. In order to see the ongoing results, please vote and then check the links on the poll’s post page.

If you are able to, I’m running a patreon for the site. I’m running the site completely out of my own pocket and the day-to-day operations of Source Gaming is extremely demanding. It’s not easy compiling all of this research for the community, but we do because we are extremely passionate about Smash Brothers and gaming in general. If you are able to help out with social media efforts, please contact me on Twitter.  


Thanks to everyone that has helped out with Source Gaming’s polling efforts. We are handling a lot of data, but we are excited to share the results with the community. Please leave a comment below!

Please “like” us on Facebook! Also check out the Source Gaming subreddit! I’m also reposting some of the older content on both Facebook and Twitter. I’m sharing different posts on each service, so make sure to subscribe to both!

PushDustIn is excited to start working on his next project. You can follow him on Twitter, where he might start dropping hints on what it is.

Share this!


  1. Great post! A lot of work must have gone into it, and so I’m really thankful you presented this as it was. I’m glad to see Ashley made it, even if on the lower end, to the top 19. xD

      1. Haha, I never got to ask you which version of Ashley’s theme you preferred. I had fun writing that article and pointing out differences between US/JPN. Now that FE IF stuff is mostly done I can start focusing on localization differences again.

        Also out of curiosity, which forums and such did you browse for the Japanese data collection? I mostly ask in case I wanted to browse forums in the future. 2ch goes by way too fast, and matomes are sometimes hard to come across.

        1. We’ve been talking about branching out for Source Gaming too! We have a big collaboration that we are just starting on, but I’d love to do some more localization differences too. Did you see Legends of Localization is making a Zelda book?

          2ch and matomes were my main source for blogs/ forums. There’s actually quite a bit for Smash. After that I included some NicoNico and Wikis. Twitter was a big help and I used the search function to target certain days/ keywords.

          1. I did! I’m really looking forward to that book. : ) For now my focus is on Pokemon, though may branch to anime, because there are so many strange ones in video game based anime, such as Sonic X, for instance. xD

            I see! Thanks for the info : )

  2. Well, Wolf is the literal “永遠の二番手” in DLC polls…

    Also, I’ve asked that in the Smashboard thread for the individual poll already, can I have access of the data to do some quick analysis of them? You said you hired me or something/s

    1. I didn’t see that request. The data is always opened for everyone (just vote and you can view the summary of the results). We plan on posting our compilation of the data after we finish collecting the results.

      1. Yeah.. I see the summary and stuff, but I just prefer to see the raw data in excel form more. You know me, I’m not always trusting data unless I can see the original source.

        Also, it’d be much better for me to collect data then scrolling a long page, occasionally missing, and clicking on grids to type each data, risking from touching the wrong square and having to go back again…

  3. Interesting stuff. So Magolor is actually a big deal over in Japan, huh? It seems like the also have their own regionally heavy favorites as well–I don’t see Arle Nadja or Jibanyan getting much support outside of Japan, making them kind of like their counterparts to Shovel Knight and Shantae.

    And is Cloud really that big a deal in the places where you looked? Even though he’s never been prominent on a Nintendo system ever?

    1. As long as Sakurai’s using his own judgment in additions to raw popularity (and he surely is, if the K. Rool fiasco is any indication), I can see him passing over a while lot of these for logistical reasons and/or obscurity outside vocal hardcore fans. Though I have to wonder if the unfiltered ballot results won’t be useful to Nintendo outside of just Smash Bros…

  4. Personally, I would rather have the majority of character DLC to be veterans. They already have their movesets, they’re more cost-efficient and they already have dedicated fans from already being in the game. Really the only newcomer I would like to see would be someone out of the Ballot. Newcomers can wait until the next Smash Bros. in my opinion.

  5. Some of these results actually kind of surprise me. I mean, I’ve seen the data before, but I had no idea the DKC series was so popular in Japan that K. Rool is consistently on the top of the polls.

    Ridley at #21? Magnemite at #26? Monster Hunter at #41? Captain Rainbow at #49?

    I guess people are still holding onto hope that Ridley will make it in, even though Sakurai said multiple times that it won’t happen. And Magnemite… just why?

    I’m actually surprised Monster Hunter isn’t higher… I thought that MH was huge over in Japan, but perhaps it’s not higher because Capcom already has two reps. I thought Captain Rainbow would be higher too… 🙁

    And what’s up with all the Cloud support? I could see maybe Black Mage as a representative of the whole series, or perhaps Cecil or Terra (since they were named characters on Nintendo systems)… but Cloud? Really?

    Thanks PushDustIn for taking the (probably insane amount of) time to compile all this data. It’s kind of creepy to see how similar the results are… I guess us in the west aren’t TOO different from Japan after all.

  6. what did people say when they talked about Viridi,Paper Mario and Bayonetta? Really interested. Also interesting that Viridi beats Medusa & Hades in Japan…

  7. Very good article! Have you ever thought about writing a japanese post translating western perceptions about Smash for japanese users? xD

    1. I did write a Japanese article (On Source Gaming), using the Mega Smash Poll. I even sent it out to various sites, but it wasn’t widely reported on.

  8. “This explains why we have 3 Kirby reps in the top 50.”

    Actually, there are four. Bandana Waddle Dee, Mogalor, Adeleine, and Galacta Knight are all Kirby.

    I feel kinda’ bad seeing Kirby take up that much of the top fifty. :/ I’m a big fan of the series, and I don’t think it would be horrible to have a fourth character on the roster, but I think there are other series that need the extra representation more. (Not to mention, I can already hear people crying out about more Kirby bias in Smash.)

Leave a comment below!