IMO the braid just looks unique. I don't get why they'd thing people won't like him with it. People liked Edward Elric, and people have no problem with Zero, who looks far more like a girl, going as far as having glass tits.
A midriff i can understand, (though i'd prefer NO changes, yknow, keep it the way its supposed to be) but the braid is a distinguishing characteristic that makes him look unique. That's like... Like removing the Light blue from X's helmet.
or changing the prongs on Zero's helmet
And preferences aside, it really does come down to how petty it is. I mean really? Those two things are the BIGGEST points of concern for this game in the US market? Like others have said, the presence or lack of the midriff and braid won't change someone's opinion on the game. It's so inconsequential.
I mean, Castlevania Bloodlines tried to make Eric Lecarde look less feminine in-game by changing the way his face looked in the intro cutscene. But that's actually more visually apparent. This? I didn't even realize there WAS a bare midriff until they decided to remove it and point it out.