There has been much talk lately about the possibility of the next installment of the Super Smash Bros. series axing some characters to make some room for new blood, considering the developers themselves estimate that the 35 characters Brawl had already formed a very sizable roster. So clearly, if we are to see anything else than Brawl all over again, something has to give. But who? While no one was lost between the original and Melee, Brawl saw Dr. Mario, Pichu and Roy fail to return (not counting Young Link since it was basically a re-skin). And to be quite honest with you, these are the three characters any good axing list should've had. In that order. So clearly they did it right that time.
I've read a top 10 list about it a few weeks ago, but I cannot for the life of me find it again. Nonetheless, one flaw about that list is that it blatantly ignores the enormous popularity of certain characters, most notably Jigglypuff, in Japan. "No one likes Jigglypuff", they say. Maybe take a look outside of America for a change?
Anyway, who should go? My first pick would have to be Toon Link. Sure, it's the only Zelda character that's not calamitously bad in Brawl, but that's nothing a few buffs to regular Link couldn't fix. Two Links are one too many, period. Wolf is much the same. I mean, Fox and Falco are already similar enough, did we need another clone? Can this guy and never look back.
Mr. Game & Watch and ROB should also be considered. Joke characters are nice, but when your roster reaches critical mass they should be the first to go. Major props to the game designers for managing to make them major factors in Subspace Emissary without making everyone go "WTF were they smoking?", but that's all the more reason to make them go out with a bang.
I know I've already mentioned Jigglypuff, but I think it should go too. As I said before, the "nobody likes it" reason is BS. My reasoning is, it brings nothing to the table. It's like it's a joke character in its own right. Yes, I know it was top tier in Melee, but theoretically anything can be top tier if the numbers the programmers punch in are high enough. Besides, yes, it's popular in Japan, but the big difference between it and the rest of the roster is that it isn't elsewhere. By that logic Tingle should be a playable character too next time.
And finally, either Ness or Lucas. Shouldn't need to explain why (and no, it's not because of my personal disdain for Mother). Which one? Your pick. Ness' game actually had an international release, but by now just about everyone with any interest in the Mother series already played the Mother 3 fan translation. Lucas is also fresher in everyone's minds, is generally speaking a more interesting character, and stars in a slightly better game. Okay, that probably doesn't matter, but the point is, one of the two has to go.
Finally, I should mention one thing: I've seen many people suggest that the Ice Climbers and Olimar should be axed. I have to disagree with that, purely for gameplay reasons. These two are arguably the most unorthodox characters in the game, and killing off all the variety in that particular aspect of the game just doesn't sound very appealing to me. As for Lucario, it might get ditched based on the fact that it was one of gen 4's mandatory overmarketed Pokémon and this isn't gen 4 anymore, but I kind of want it to stay on board, because other than that I can't make a strong case against it.
So that's six characters in total that I wouldn't mind seeing dropped. That's a fair amount of space to introduce new characters, especially if they decided to increase the roster size slightly, to say, 40.
Now, what about you? Who would you like to get rid of if it comes down to that?