Tekken 7's Season 4 trailer teased a new character at the end, and a lot of us are pretty sure who it's going to be

That Tekken 7 Season 4 teaser HAS to be Kunimitsu, right... ?

Posted by Nicholas 'MajinTenshinhan' Taylor • August 1, 2020 at 5:26 p.m. PDT | Comments: 64

Yesterday, we were treated to a long discussion and presentation from representatives of various fighting game developers at the Japan Fighting Game Publishers' Roundtable event — to be more specific, Bandai Namco Games, Capcom, Arc System Works, SNK, Koei Tecmo and Arika. During the presentation, one of the biggest reveals was for Tekken 7, namely the fact that it'll be moving straight on in to its fourth season featuring new moves for the entire cast, netcode improvements (such as the long-requested Wi-Fi filter) and more.

While there wasn't too much said in a concrete manner about what additional content we can expect for this upcoming fourth season, we were treated to a teaser at the end of the trailer. There's no telling just yet how many characters we're getting this time around or when the content will begin trickling in, but at the very least this teaser seemed to suggest we're getting one character and no matter how I look at the brief image Bandai Namco showed us, I can only draw the conclusion of it being one specific character — one which fans constantly begged the developers to bring back they finally did in the non-canon entry Tekken Tag Tournament 2, and since Tekken 7's launch those voices have welled up again asking for their return to the canon game series as well...

The character I'm talking about is, of course, Kunimitsu. Originally debuting in the very first Tekken game back in 1994, she returned in its sequel Tekken 2 1995 but has been missing from the series' canon entries ever since, only appearing in the Tekken Tag Tournament non-canon entries to the series.

Presumed killed by Ogre before the events of Tekken 3 (as a lot of the prior cast were, though the vast majority have since been revealed to have actually survived), it has been a long standing point from Tekken creator and producer Katsuhiro Harada whenever he's asked about this particular character to refer to how few people actually play her when she's part of the roster.

When looking at the cast of the original Tekken, Kunimitsu shares her fate of never returning to the main series after Tekken 2 with two other characters — Michelle Chang and Prototype Jack, though both of them were succeeded by other characters, with Michelle being effectively replaced by her now much more iconic daughter Julia Chang while each Tekken game introduces a brand new model of the JACK robot series.

When Kunimitsu finally made her (again, non-canon) return in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, people rejoiced and she was heavily featured in the opening of the game as well as many of its promotional materials, likely due to the 12-year absence she'd seen since last being playable in the firstTekken Tag Tournament. Once Tekken Tag Tournament 2 began to wind down, worries were voiced by players that Kunimitsu might be relegated back to being outside of the roster for future Tekken games due to what was perceived as the same low usage even in Tekken Tag Tournament 2 which Harada had previously cited as the reason for removing her in the first place.

Indeed, three whole seasons and a roster of almost 50 characters later, Kunimitsu has remained gone, much to her fans' dismay. While Kunimitsu's inclusion likely can't be justified over many other popular characters who take priority, we've reached a point of Tekken 7's life where all the characters who are traditionally topping the popularity ratings are already part of the roster. Towards the end of Season 3, we received Ganryu who is notorious for being low in character usage and has even been cited in the past as the absolute least popular Tekken character, though this is likely to be at least somewhat of an exaggeration.

With this in mind, Kunimitsu is now absolutely fair game for an inclusion since Bandai Namco are well aware of the fanbase she has, given the constant complaints they're faced with during her absence. While this may be a small but vocal fanbase, it's definitely still there and Tekken Tag Tournament 2's approach to her and the highlighting of her return shows clearly that they're well aware of this group of Kunimitsu fanatics.

Now, with the background of Kunimitsu's role and extended absence in the Tekken main series explained, here's where the teaser image which you can see at the top of this article comes in.

Obviously, this image on its own is not enough to confirm any character through, because they're much too far away from our view to discern any notable details on, but the surrounding factors both inside the image and outside of it (in the meta sense of Kunimitsu's role in the series or lack thereof) paint a fairly clear picture of who this mystery character likely is.

Given that we can't see the character it could really be anyone at all, even an unexpected guest given the crazy picks we've seen join the Tekken 7 roster since its release, ranging from Street Fighter's Akuma and Fatal Fury's/King of Fighters' Geese Howard all the way to Final Fantasy XV's Noctis Lucis Caelum and the entirely unexpected Negan from The Walking Dead, we have to look at the aspects we can see.

First of all, the silhouette is obviously entirely within the range of being Kunimitsu. The character's height, stance and the shadows we can discern definitely fall in line with the design we know Kunimitsu to have.

Much more importantly, however, this is clearly Japanese scenery, with the character standing on top of the roof of an old, traditional Japanese roof and gazing out over what is clearly a modern, bustling Japanese city (as we can see from the lights shining everywhere down at ground level).

In other words, this is a mixture of classic Japanese culture and the modern age, something that Kunimitsu herself very much is — being a Kunoichi, or female ninja, in the modern and technologically advanced world we today live in. This image clearly shows us these things for a reason, and they make complete sense for Kunimitsu's character.

This is where the meta aspect comes in, because anyone who's familiar with Tekken and its history knows very well that this silhouette embedded in this imagery would instantly make you think of Kunimitsu, and obviously this cannot be lost on the developers either. Unless your name is Ed Boon, you're probably going to try your hardest to not outright trolling some of your most vocal fans if you can avoid it.

In short, the imagery present in the trailer paints a very clear picture of Kunimitsu without actually showing the character and Bandai Namco know their series, characters and fanbase well enough to be fully aware of this fact.

I wouldn't say it's absolutely confirmed that Kunimitsu will be the first character of Tekken 7's fourth season, but it would be a grave misstep on Bandai Namco's part if they indeed went ahead with showing something so obviously intricately tied to a fan request which has grown more and more popular the bigger the roster has grown throughout the years only to deliver something completely different from what they know fans will be expecting.

On top of this, the imagery doesn't really fit particularly well with any other Tekken character who's still missing from the roster. The only other characters who've been in Tekken before and are Japanese (therefore fitting well with the scenery of the teaser image) and could also feasibly match said silhouette (sorry Gon, Mokujin and Jinpachi) are Miharu and Jun, and neither of them would really have any reason to be standing on top of a rooftop (something ninjas are quite well-known to do).

As for a brand new character or a guest from some other franchise, there's just no reason to tease them in this manner because in the case of the former nobody would know who they are anyway and in the case of the latter the shock reveal is one of the most important parts of a guest characcter inclusion and teasing it like this would take away from that (plus, Bandai Namco haven't done this with any of their guest character inclusions for Tekken or Soul Calibur).

With all this, Kunimitsu finally returning to Tekken's canon and being part of the Tekken 7 roster is without a doubt the most sensible conclusion we can draw from what Bandai Namco has presented us with, and I'm very happy for all of her fans who've been clamoring for her canon return for 23 years since Tekken 3 supposedly killed her off.

It'll be interesting to see what else Bandai Namco have in store for us with Tekken 7's upcoming season and how it shapes the game's meta moving forward. After recent dismay in the Tekken community regarding the direction of Season 3, we're really looking forward to seeing the direction Tekken 7 will take on in its fourth season and hope that the fanbase continues to grow even further.

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