The tale of two Tails
For a very long time, Nintendo used to change Kirby’s expression in advertisements and game boxes. Over in Japan, Kirby always had a smile on his face, no matter what the opposition. In North America and Europe, Kirby was much more serious, with a frown and furrowed brow. It doesn’t happy nearly as much nowadays, but it seems someone else has taken up the mantle.
In the image above, you can see two different versions of Tails from the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 movie poster. On the left is Tails from the Japanese version, and he’s sporting quite a happy demeanor. On the right-hand side is Tails from the North American version, and he’s all business.
You have to wonder just how much of a difference this kind of marketing changes in the grand scheme of things. Are there really people who wouldn’t see these films if Tails had a frown in Japan, or a smile in North America? I guess there’s marketing research somewhere that shows there’s an argument to be made!