Our characterization exploration of Asian male characters in comics (and in this case, video games too) continues with Ryu from Street Fighter (if you missed the movie, don't rent it.  It's atrocious.  The guy who who played Ryu was sexy, though).  For those of you who are, ahem, chronologically sensitive, you may not want to say too much lest you date yourselves.

I, for one, accept that I am ancient and that I LOVE Ryu!!!  As I entered adolescence, I recall that he was a huge crush of mine.  Though I preferred playing Chun Li ('cause you know, female solidarity), I was a huge admirer of this beautiful, beautiful character.

From the Street Fighter Wiki:
Ryu (リュウ Ryū) is the main character and "hero" of the Street Fighter series. Ryu has made an appearance in every Street Fighter game, as well as in every crossover fighting game with Capcom characters in it. Ryu has arguably become the most famous character in the fighting game genre, starring in early fighting games such as Street Fighter, but really got well known in Street Fighter II, where he was considered a "basic" character. He is considered one of Capcom's unofficial "mascots", other than Mega Man.

Ryu is usually a silent, serious individual whose severity is often juxtaposed against the light-hearted, fiery persona of his best friend, Ken. He travels the globe with a stern nature, often appearing to others as boring or detached. On rare occasion, Ryu shows a very bad sense of humor. Ryu's overarching goal in Street Fighter is to become a total master of his fighting style. To this end, Ryu plays the part of the wandering warrior, and takes both his travels and his training very seriously. Although he appears to be aloof and unemotional, Ryu is actually a kind and good-hearted person. He respects others with skills equal to his own and holds heroic figures like Captain America, Spider-Man and Cyclops in high regard, as seen in the Marvel vs. Capcom series. However, by the time of Street Fighter III, it seems that Ryu has developed a somewhat more friendly personality. He is still very quiet and reserved, but is willing to greet people with a smile and some kind advice, very much like his master Gouken.

There is, however, a dark side to Ryu; his drive to improve himself, no matter the difficulty, can sometimes develop into a drive to win and to be the best, no matter what the cost, as these two goals are so dangerously similar. This darker drive is fed by, and in turn feeds the Satsui no Hadou within him, an influence which Ryu must constantly fight to suppress (at least until the time of Street Fighter III). Ryu's desire to be better can sometimes make his advice to his defeated opponents seem more arrogant and judgmental than Gouken's, though he is fundamentally well-intentioned. In times when his inner darkness threatens to overcome him, Ryu relies on his friends - primarily Ken, Chun-Li, and Sakura - to keep him grounded and snap him out of it.
Just reading that makes me feel like a kid again.

See Also


  1. Only the second one ever did it for me. Wasn't interested in other girls playing in Chun Li's Kool-Aid.

  2. I don't know why the movie producers never made a Street Fighter Movie as Ryu as the lead. I mean if they do it right (Like the Animated movie) it would sell

  3. @ Javan

    Yes, it would, and I think that's the problem.

  4. Ryu (along with Chun-Li) was always my favorite character. I related to him best for the EXACT reasons you described in this post. Beautiful.

  5. Ryu (along with Chun-Li) was always my favorite character.

    I think I hit puberty the day I saw them kiss in a manga.

  6. Only thing I have to say is if they get a perfect actor (preferably from Japan)

  7. Only thing I have to say is if they get a perfect actor (preferably from Japan)

    *nods* Takeshi Kaneshiro, please. And shirtless. Often.


Comments are no longer accepted.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.