It's a Japanese thing. Over there it's an innocent gesture that means "Look how strong I am". I'm not sure if it first appeared before or after the American icon "Rosie The Riveter" but either way, it's similar to that.
It's a fairly rude gesture in widespread culture, so I don't think blaming its removal on people "getting offended over everything" is right. Devs have creative liberty; if they want to remove or change something, they can do that, someone who "lost their shit" didn't do much of anything here.
Everything is offensive to someone. I'll bet the fact that squidgirl is showing so much skin is offensive somewhere.
I'm not saying Nintendo was wrong to remove it, simply saying that "don't put in anything offensive" is impossible.
I'm fairly sure that the taunt was just a case of Nintendo forgetting about their European and South American audiences. It has a completely different, much more innocent meaning in Japan and North America, and it's especially common in Japan.
It's clearly just the inkgirl showing her guns, but it does look like a rude gesture we have in EUrope. The "Bras D'Honneur", arm of honor, as we call it in France, is considered a really, REALLY rude gesture. While I don't think it was what Nintendo was going for, I can understand removing it.
In a few countries it is not only rude ("cheeky", or some places somewhat more scatological) but also a threat of violence. I would expect its the violence link that got it removed. (It means "I am going to beat you (and your friends/family) up when you aren't expecting it")
Y'know, with how often this gesture comes up in Nintendo games (From SMRPG to Pokemon) and is subsequently replaced, you'd think they would have learned by now to just not use it at all. I don't find it offensive, but it's still a waste of resources to animate a character twice.
I don't think it is an issue about "everyone is offended by everything", but just a consequence of people of different cultures have different standards and companies are reaching out and making stuff for numerous cultures. After all, there's an ocean's difference between a slur and a cigarette.
Hilariously, this is not the first time Nintendo has had to do this. Bowser in the Japanese version of Mario RPG for the SNES uses the bicep-pat as his end-battle celebration, but it looks very much like the "up yours" gesture. They changed it for the Western release to be a two-armed flex.
The issue is that, in Japanese media, patting your bicep is a (somewhat) common, cheeky taunt - basically saying "look how strong I am". We have the same gesture here in the west, but it's nowhere near as common and you have to hold your arm out sideways unless you want it to be mistaken...
@Vivien Voillot: People compare it a lot, but I think Rose is moving the shirt sleeve out of the way to show her bicepts,, while the "up yours" motion is more like a slap on the biceps while doing a upward movement.
To follow up Zane, exactly this. Literally, "Fuck you." The hand on the arm is usually expressed as a firm slap down as the fist is raised, a symbol of pretty much ramming your or 'a' fist "Up Theirs".
I'm sure some QA team head somewhere is getting chewed out over this.
This comment is for people who didn't get the controversy, like myself: Apparently in some cultures (I'm in the US, for reference) that gesture is called the "Bras d'honneur" and is the equivalent to a raised middle finger. I wouldn't have known.