Norimaro is a character who is only playable in the Japanese version of Marvel Super Heroes Vs. Street Fighter. So far it has been the only game he has ever been in. The character was created and voiced by Noritake Kinashi, a Japanese comedian. He apparently owns the rights to Norimaro, which perhaps explains why we'll never see him in a fighting game again: Capcom don't want to pay for it.

I've no idea if this is true (I read this in an issue of Computer & Video Games magazine from 1997) but originally the character had no name, instead a contest was created for people to suggest names for the character and in the end Norimaro was chosen.

In the Japanese version, Norimaro can be found between Blackheart and Omega Red at the character select screen. However in the non-Japanese versions of the game his place on the character select grid was replaced with a logo. Nothing official has ever been heard from Capcom over why he was removed, but there have been a few theories. Maybe Marvel weren't happy with him and requested he was removed. Perhaps Capcom USA didn't think people would "get" him (Norimaro is an Otaku, a geeky person obsessed with anime, manga, video games and idols). There may have been issues with Noritake Kinashi.

But no matter which way you look at it, Norimaro is only in the Japanese version...right? Wrong. With the age of emulation, hackers went through the ROM for the American and European versions, finding out that Norimaro is still in there and by messing around with the game, he was playable. It seems Capcom did intend for him to be in every version of the game but then made a last minute change. Let's take a look.

His taunt has him ask his opponent for their autograph. He'll say "Sign please!" but a speech bubble also appears with kanji in the Japanese version. This was translated to "AUTOGRAPH, PLEASE!"

His "Ultra Variety Private Memories" hyper combo ends with some kanji above him (not sure what it means) but for the USA version this was translated as "I WARNED YOU!"

By the way, you may have noticed that the above hyper combo was 21 hits in the Japanese version and only 19 hits in the USA version. That's because 2 of hits that feature Norimaro in a pink bath were removed.

All of his win quotes were translated, this is just one example. He has quite a few different ones though.

Even his little pre-fight conversation with Apocalypse was translated.

As was Apocalypse's response.

Norimaro's ending is in the USA version, but it wasn't translated. Instead, it uses text from Dan's ending (but states that Captain America is the one saying it).

This art was used on a Japanese flyer and the cover for the SEGA Saturn port. It can also be found in the art gallery mode of the Playstation version. Interestingly though this art is in every regional variant of the Playstation version, even though Norimaro is on it. Nobody bothered trying to censor him out or remove him.

I just figured I'd put this here: this is from a Japanese flyer. I have never, ever seen this screen in the actual game itself, judging from the "INSERT COIN" at the bottom it was used in the intro sequence but it must have been taken out.

Scratch that, Ta-Cheng Lee got in contact with me and said that that screen is actually in the game, and provided me with a screenshot.