Street Fighter Week: The evolution of Ken and Ryu

Table of Contents
Street Fighter|Street Fighter II|Alpha series|Street Fighter III|EX series|SF: The Movie and Gem Fighter|Marvel vs. Capcom series|SNK vs. Capcom series|Misc. games|Sprite comparison|SSFIITHDR and Street Fighter IV|Comics, films, and more

Comics

A smattering of Street Fighter comics have graced (and sometimes disgraced) the shelves of comic book stores since the early 90's, and, of course, Ryu and Ken have appeared in the majority of them. "Street Fighter II" is one of the earliest, and was published in English by Tokuma Comics.


Above: Watch out, Ryu has rabies!

Jumping ahead quite a bit to 2005, UDON has been publishingnew Street Fighter comicsunder the names "Street Fighter" and "Street Fighter II." UDON's super slick style is undeniably a great look for the characters.

Hopping back into our time machine, we'd like to point out the worst Street Fighter comic ever created. This was published by Malibu in 1993. Why?

Film

A multitude of Street Fighter movies have been released - we'll take a look at two of the biggest: the awful Street Fighter: The Movie, and the not-as-awful Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie.

In the live action SF: The Movie, Ryu is played by Byron Mann, who has appeared in a variety of films and is best known for his role as Koh in Crying Freeman. Damian Chapa, an American writer/director/produce/actor takes the role of Ken.

Do they look anything like the Street Fighter characters they portray? Not really, but they're good for a laugh.

Released in 1994, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie is centered around Ryu, and contains a general storyline sourced from the game. As usual, the crew is after Bison's crime syndicate, Shadoloo. Ken is brainwashed via Bison's Psycho Power, but Ryu brings him back to his senses and together they defeat Bison... or so we think!



Miscellanea

At this point, you're probably wondering how we managed to get through this entire retrospective without mentioning the Tiger handheld version of Street Fighter II, or the electronic tabletop game. Well, quit your wondering, and watch the excellent commercial compilation below.

Check out Ken and Ryu in the extreme close-ups in the first commercial. Ryu and his chubby cheeks have apparently been hogging the Twinkies, and Ken is now aBrad Garrettlook-a-like. Thank you, Tiger, for making this.

Legacy

Ken and Ryu will not soon be forgotten. The Street Fighter games, spin-offs, movies, series, comics, cosplayers, figures, toys, and trinkets have had their ups and downs. Mortal Kombat ate away at its audience, the popularity of 2D fighting games has waned, and fans have alternately been put off by and pleased by changes in gameplay and new characters. But Ken and Ryu have remained gaming icons throughout all of it.

Today, Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix and the brand new Street Fighter IVare bringing the wandering warrior and martial-arts movie star into the current generation of technology, ensuring that their roles as the greatest fighters of gaming won't yet be usurped.

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