It's the only explanation that makes sense to me. I don't see why they'd mangle the official art like that to make the sword match up with supporting character #3's raised arm (which it still doesn't, in any case).
Looking at them, the hero in the US version is off-centre, which looks weird, and the other characters have been arranged in the background behind. If you pushed the hero into the centre then the arrangement of background characters (and other elements) wouldn't fit in the same way, so they shifted the characters about a bit.
I'm fairly positive this is simply a layout issue and they're not intentionally trying to cover up the boobs. Anyone who has put together a compilation drawing will know there's a lot of jiggery-pokery when it comes to arranging the characters so they all fit AND it looks good.
Well, maybe. But the EU version's rubber sword looks much worse to me.
If it was just a layout issue, then I can only imagine that whoever designed it warped the angle of the blade because he thought that being able to see the tip of the sword was more important than the sword looking like a functional sword. Which means it was a pretty crap artist, which means they're not likely to know anything about layout anyway.
It seems more likely to me that whoever made it was asked by the publisher to do something to make the boobs less visible.
Last Edit: May 23, 2010 3:30:45 GMT -5 by kirbychu
They changed the pose of the trainer class Sage (Monk in Japan) in Gold/Silver/Crystal. Interestingly, the Sage's prayer bead was removed in the Korean release of HeartGold/SoulSilver, but NOT in Western localisations.
The female Swimmers are winking in the Japanese versions of Gold/Silver/Crystal, but not in localisations (probably too "suggestive"). Also, the swim briefs (Speedos) of the male swimmers in Diamond/Pearl/Platinum and HeartGold/SoulSilver got changed to shorts in the international releases.
More censorship in Heartgold and Soulsilver would involve the male swimmers. In the Japanese version they are wearing speedos (like they always do) but in international versions they have on longer surfer shorts. Wow, we posted that at the same time, huh?
Also the slots were censored out and replaced with Voltorb flip.