Ryu (Street Fighter)
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Ryu Street Fighter

Ryu
Street Fighter character
Ryu TvC.png
Ryu, as he appears in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
First appearanceStreet Fighter (1987)
Created byTakashi Nishiyama
Designed byManabu Takemura (Street Fighter)
Shoei Okano (Street Fighter II)[1]
Portrayed by
Voiced by
Motion captureByron Mann
Information
Fighting styleShotokan-style Karate[3][4]
Martial art rooted in assassination arts (?, ansatsuken o r?tsu toshita kakut? jutsu) (SF IV)[5]
Origin
Nationality

Ryu (Japanese: , Hepburn: Ry?) is a fictional character and the main protagonist of Capcom's Street Fighter series.[6] Having premiered in the first Street Fighter in 1987, Ryu appears as the lead character in the game alongside his best friend Ken Masters. Further games from the series show Ryu to be highly focused on his training, aiming to become the strongest he can. In some games, Ryu has an alternative form known as Evil Ryu (?, Satsui no Had? ni Mezameta Ry?, lit. "Ryu with the surge of murderous intent awakened", abbreviated Satsui Ryu in Street Fighter Alpha 3), which is the form Ryu takes while he is under the domination of the surge of murderous intent. Ryu manages to purge the surge of murderous intent manifesting in Street Fighter V an independent being called Kage (?, lit. Shadow), or in Japan has a full name Kage-naru mono (?, lit. Shadowed One).

He was created by Manabu Takemura and Takashi Nishiyama with the latter having been inspired by martial artist Mas Oyama in the making of him. For his second appearance, Ryu's design changed from a young fighter to a skilled karate player. However, due to issues in the making of Street Fighter II he possessed a major weakness within the cast. For next titles, Ryu's fighting style was handled to have different skills with Evil Ryu and Kage possessing more diverse moves. Multiple voice actors have voiced the character in both Japanese and English releases of the series.

Ryu has been the lead character of the Street Fighter series since the first game and has appeared as a playable character in several crossover games involving the franchise, including the Marvel vs. Capcom series, Project X Zone, and the Super Smash Bros. series. He is also featured in manga and anime adaptations as well as the 1994 live-action film. Ryu has become one of gaming's most iconic fighting game characters, but his evil persona has been criticized for retaining most of his regular form's moves.

Creation and development

Mas Oyama inspired Ryu's character

Ryu's character was inspired by Mas Oyama as game designer Takashi Nishiyama was a fan of him. This originates from the kung fu series Karate Master by Ikki Kajiwara. Nishiyama enjoyed watching Ichidais animated series a child which happened to be influenced by Aoyama's life. Nishiyama was impressed by Aoyama's skills in martial arts and philosophies which inspired him to create the first Street Fighter game. While Ryu was based on Oyama, the character of Sagat was also influenced by the protagonist's rivalry with a bald Muay Thai martial artist from the series.[7] Ryu's name was based on Nishiyama's name due to the fact that the on'yomi (Sino-Japanese pronunciation) of the character "Takashi" is "Ry?" (Mandarin: Lóng ?). Furthermore, Ryu's Hadouken (, had?ken) energy attack was based on the wave motion gun from the titular spacecraft of the sci-fi anime series Space Battleship Yamato, which Nishiyama watched during the seventies. His other two techniques from the first Street Fighter game, Shoryuken (, Sh?ry?ken) and Tatsumaki Senpukyaku () were inspired by actual martial arts moves which were exaggerated for the character.[8] Because he was the only playable character in the original Street Fighter, Ryu's designer, Manabu Takemura,[9] wanted to make him easy to identify with.[]

In Street Fighter II, the character was selected for inclusion due to his presence in the first game, symbolizing the concept of a Japanese martial artist. As the series progressed, the design was made more muscular to coincide with the concept, while his white gi, considered his most defining characteristic by the development team, was meant to let viewers know he was "a karate master at first sight".[10] In an interview with Game On!, Capcom Research and Development head Noritaka Funamizu stated that of the series' characters, Ryu was one of the most popular characters with American audiences, alongside Zangief and Guile.[11] Ryu's Shoryuken was noted to be highly difficult to execute, something which the team wanted to fix.[12] Although Ryu and Ken had the same moves, Yoshiki Okamoto stated the former was weaker than the latter. This was due to Capcom wanting to add a weakpoint to their Shoryukens which they felt overpowered but a mistake resulted in Ryu become the weaker character.[13] Ryu and Ken were mainly handled by Shoei who had clear memories of him designing the Hadoken and Shoryuken. They were originally going to be Y.S.'s characters in early stages of development. Ryu and Ken are the "so-called standard characters in the SFII world, and since they were coming from SFI, we could have the other characters be weirdos." As a result, the duo was redesigned to have an stoic feel.[14]

For the Street Fighter Alpha games, Ryu was redesigned as a younger character. Artist Naoto 'Bengus' Kuroshima noted that the expectations that come with drawing him or Chun-Li were too much in comparison to newcomers like Sakura Kasugano.[15] Director Hideaki Itsuno remembers he was not allowed to work on Ryu due to his inexperience in making of the games.[16] As a result, Itsuno worked in creating new characters for the series who would be able to rival Ryu and Ken.[17]

In the three Street Fighter III games, the designers described the older Ryu as a more hardcore fighter. Despite being Japanese, Capcom described him as an American martial artist which led to the creation of Makoto whose design was made from an Eastern point of view.[18]

Kyle Hebert has voiced Ryu in all English-speaking appearances since Street Fighter IV

For Street Fighter IV, Kyle Hebert was cast as Ryu in preparation for the return of his "Evil Ryu" persona. When casting Kyle Hebert as Ryu, the localization director Taliesin Jaffe told him "you booked this because of Evil Ryu. It's not gonna be this year, it's not gonna be next year, but eventually when we get to it, we're gonna remember that this was part of the plan all along." In further elaborating this idea, Jaffe said "The whole idea of Ryu in the first place is that he's a Lancelot character, and I was prepared for the corruption of that character from the very beginning. We knew we were gonna go there, and actually part of the first audition for Ryu was, I had a couple lines I wanted them to read specifically in that darker vein." The team wanted to avoid Ryu to sound like a traditional Japanese hero, generating a contrast between his and Ken's characters.[19]

While Ryu has retained his original white gi outfit in most games, Capcom tried bringing an alternate high school uniform for Street Fighter V where he was presented as a rebel. The concept for Ryu was "leader" - leader of a student group or a bunch of delinquents. Super deformed versions of this image were used by the company April Fool's jokes.[20] While originally conceived as a character for fighting game newcomers, Ryu has been balanced across the series with 3rd Strike focusing on his defense. The balances affected the character negatively to the pointed multiple expert players said that for V, he was unsuitable for competitive fights. In 2019, Capcom patched the character which had a positive response by fans.[21] In previews of Street Fighter V Ryu was noted to have a more realistic look to the point of being compared to the Tekken characters. Capcom discussed about this approach to Street Fighter V art design, focusing on two main points: making the art "easy to follow and understand" and "create personality with artistic accents."[22] In picking the cast of Street Fighter V, producer Yoshinori Ono stated he wanted Ryu and the initial cast to be more unique than in their previous characters although Ryu retained his original look in contrast to Ken.[23] Ryu got multiple costumes in V including his Alpha, one with a notable sex appeal, costumes of Mega Man and Jin Saotome among others.[24] For the Championship Edition of the game, new moves were added to Ryu to make him a more defensive fighter.[25]

As downloadable content, Capcom created an alter ego of Ryu in Street Fighter V named Kage who represents the Satsui no Hado Ryu rejected. In early stages of development, Kage had a noticeably different design with his entire body not featuring his skin as it was covered in purple. Making of the character did not take too much time as according to Takayuki Nakayama his "design was nailed down pretty quick, so there aren't many prototype images that can be shown." He was loosely based on Ryu's dark persona from Street Fighter Alpha games Evil Ryu.[26]

Spin-offs and other media

Byron Mann and Mike Moh have potrayed Ryu in the live-action film and the webseries, respectively.

Comic book writer Len Strazewski wanted to tell a more dramatic storyline for Ryu in this game based on comic books' narratives. Similar to storylines involving chaos, Strazewski wrote a comic in which Ryu was the center of attention to him seeking revenge. As a result, in order to find this motivation for Ryu's character, he planned to kill his best friend Ken Masters. However, since the comic book was cancelled its third issue, this plot was never fully explored. Mangaka Masahiro Nakahiro also wrote his one take of Ryu during his career, aiming for a more serious take of his personality in his works.[27]

Actor Byron Mann said in the making of Ryu in the live-action he had no knowledge about Ryu's identity as well as what Street Fighter was originally. Director Steven E. DeSouza wanted him for Ryu, but Capcom was not keen because they had their own actor who had played the character in various promotions in Japan, Kenya Sawada. Sawada would play a more important Ryu in the in contrast to Mann's potrayal. Nevertheless, DeSouza managed to take Mann to use him in the film as Sawada's English was not well done. Ken Masters' actor, Damian Chapa, said the name is meant to be pronouced "Rye-you" in contrast to "Ree-you". Despite issues with this, DeSouza decided to use "Rye-you" believing it would be easier to pronounce for Western audiences.[28]

His inclusion into Street Fighter EX was deemed natural by the studio Arika, with producer Ichiro Mihara describing him as one of the three essential Street Fighter characters along with Chun-Li and Ken.[29][30] Ansah talked about Ryu and Ken's story from Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist and said "a good analogy with Ryu is that he's not actually ever competing with anyone else; he's competing with himself. Whereas Ken is driven fiercely by competition.[31]

For the game, Tekken X Street Fighter, producer Katsuhiro Harada commented that while Ryu might be able to perform his classic moves like the Hadoken reassuring fans of the character. However, most of his normal moves would be changed to play more like a Tekken character and fit the cast.[32]

Game designer Masahiro Sakurai stated that for Smash Ryu was recreated to play his Street Fighter II persona while giving new moves as a result of having more buttons. Nevertheless he was given a technique from Street Fighter III as well as new techniques exclusive in Smash. The Shoryuken was implemented in the character but as his strongest technique.[33]

Appearances

In Street Fighter games

Ryu debuted in the first Street Fighter as the primary playable character, with his best friend, rival, and sparring partner Ken Masters serving as the second player's character. Both compete in the tournament depicted in the game to test their strength against the tournaments champion, Sagat.[34] His next appearance was in 1991's Street Fighter II. Set several years after Ryu defeated Sagat in the first tournament, Ryu participates in a second tournament. In his ending in the game, Ryu wins the tournament but does not stay for the ceremony, already seeking his next challenge.[35] The Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challengers version of the game added Evil Ryu as a hidden character although the narrative does not explore this take of Ryu.[36]

Ryus backstory, along with those of other Street Fighter characters, would be explored in the subsequent Street Fighter Alpha prequel series. The first game, Street Fighter Alpha: Warriors' Dreams (1995), features Ryu confronting Sagat as his last opponent in a rematch following their first game.[37]Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996) depicts Ryu on a quest to confront Akuma, his masters brother and enemy. After their match, Akuma reveals that Ryu possesses the "Evil Intent" (, Satsui no Had?, lit. "Surge of Murderous Intent", sometimes translated as the "Dark Hadou") within him, the same power Akuma uses.[38]

In the Street Fighter Alpha series, there is an alternative selectable version of Ryu known as "Evil Ryu". Similarly to Akuma, Ryu takes this form when succumbing to the evil intent and becomes more violent. It was not until the international versions of the game, Street Fighter Alpha 2, that Evil Ryu was introduced as a playable secret character.[39] Evil Ryu was originally introduced in a 1996 Street Fighter Zero manga series authored by Masahiko Nakahira and later adapted in the Street Fighter canon by Capcom. In Street Fighter Alpha 3 (1998), a man named M. Bison seeks Ryu to use him as his next host body. The two clash and Ryu emerges victorious, causing Bison to retreat.[40] If Evil Ryu is used, he clashes against Akuma to decide who is the strongest user of Dark Hadou.[41]

Ryu and Ken return in Street Fighter III (1997) and its updates. While Ryus motivation and rivalry with Ken would remain the same, he was also shown getting acquainted with several of the new characters featured in the game.[42][43] Ryu appears in Street Fighter IV, which takes place after Street Fighter II but before Street Fighter III. Still conflicted by the Dark Hadou, Ryu finds himself fighting against a criminal organization while meeting his old rivals.[44] A new appearance of Evil Ryu in a Street Fighter game was confirmed in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition by a teaser trailer,[45] and he was later confirmed as a secret boss and playable character by leaked video footage.[46] Ryu later appears in Street Fighter V, set between IV and III, where he destroys Bison once and for all with help from Charlie Nash after purging himself of the Satsui no Hado within him using the Power of Nothingness (, Mu no Ken). However, the evil energy manifested as its own entity, taking the form of an Oni version of Evil Ryu, referring to itself as Kage. Kage attempts to overpower Ryu, but fails to shake his convictions and fades from existence.[47]

Ryu has appeared in spin-offs related to the main Street Fighter series such as the Street Fighter EX series produced by Arika.[48]Byron Mann portrays the character in separately produced arcade and console games based on the American film of the series, both titled Street Fighter: The Movie, where he wears Ryu's characteristic white karate gi and red headband.[49] The 1994 animated movie also inspired a movie where Ryu is featured.[50]

In other games

Ryu has also been featured in Capcom's inter-company crossovers such as the Marvel vs. Capcom series, the SNK vs. Capcom series, Namco × Capcom, Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, Project X Zone and Project X Zone 2.[51][52][53][54][55] Some games of the SNK vs. Capcom series also include Evil Ryu as an unlockable character.[56][57][58] In Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes, Ryu can change his moveset to the ones from Ken or Akuma while fighting.[59] He also appears in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo, a puzzle video game featuring super deformed characters, the sequel fighting game Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix,[60] and the mobile puzzle game Street Fighter: Puzzle Spirits.[61] Ryu is a playable fighter in the crossover fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken,[62] and is also seen in the Tekken X Street Fighter poster along with Jin Kazama.[63]

Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams features Ryu as an unlockable costume swap for the game's protagonist Soki.[64] Although his incarnation there is much slimmer, this change is merely cosmetic and does not affect gameplay. Ryu also has a cameo appearance in the shooting game Varth: Operation Thunderstorm. He was also planned to appear in the now-cancelled game Mega Man Universe.[65] A Ryu-inspired costume for players to use in Sony's LittleBigPlanet was released in 2008 as downloadable content for the title.[66] A special downloadable episode in Asura's Wrath allows players to fight both Ryu and Evil Ryu.[67] Ryu also appears as a playable character via downloadable content in the Nintendo crossover fighting games Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U along with a stage based on his arena from Street Fighter II known as Suzaku Castle.[68] Ryu returns in the sequel Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - this time available in the initial release - along with every other returning fighter in the series' history. He appears as a party member for a limited time event in the smartphone RPG, Granblue Fantasy, in a collaboration event titled "Ultra Granblue Fighter".[69] Ryu is also a guest character in Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, appearing both in his traditional form and an original Power Rangers form called the "Ryu Ranger".[70]

In other media

Live-action

Ryu is played by Byron Mann in the 1994 film version of Street Fighter, where he serves as a supporting protagonist, as Guile is the main character. In this depiction, Ryu is given the surname "Hoshi" and is presented as an American of Japanese ethnicity or Japanese American. While still master martial artists, he and Ken are a duo of traveling con artists who steal money from rich crime lords through schemes such as selling modified toy guns. He and Ken eventually work with Guile to infiltrate M. Bison's headquarters with a homing device to lure Guile and his forces there. In the film's climax, Ryu personally fights and defeats Vega in battle. Unlike in the video games, Ryu and Bison do not fight in the film, though Ryu does attempt to fight Bison at one point alongside Ken, Chun-Li, E. Honda and Balrog. Ryu ultimately plays a vital role in Bison's downfall by luring Guile to Bison's base with a tracking device, and although Guile gives them their freedom after Bison is defeated, they choose to stay to help the clean up in Shadaloo and prefer to leave once the cleanup is done.[71]

Despite not appearing at all in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, Ryu is mentioned at the end of the movie as a formidable Japanese fighter entering a tournament.[72]

Jon Foo also played Ryu (given the surname "Takashi") in the fan film Street Fighter: Legacy.

Daniel Southworth portrayed Ryu in the short film Street Fighter x Tekken: The Devil Within.

Ryu appears as a main lead alongside Ken in Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist portrayed by martial arts actor/stuntman Mike Moh. The film is set before the events of the games, and focuses on Ryu and Ken's training under Gouken, while flashbacks show Gouken's past with his brother Gouki/Akuma and their mentor, Goutetsu. Moh reprised his role as Ryu in the 5 part mini series Street Fighter: Resurrection and is slated to return in the direct follow-up to Assassin's Fist titled Street Fighter: World Warrior.[73][74][75]

Ryu appears in the 2018 film Ready Player One, based on the book of the same name by Ernest Cline.[76]

Peter Jang portrays Ryu in the official Crossover between The Power Rangers and Street Fighter titled Power Rangers: Legacy Wars - Street Fighter Showdown. In the short, Ryu morphs into the RuyRanger and Chun-Li teams with Tommy Oliver, Ninjor and Gia Moran to battle M. Bison and evil Power Rangers.

Animation

In the 1994 film Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Ryu is the central character and focus of several other characters, namely Sagat, Guile and Bison himself. After Ryu defeats and scars Sagat in the film's opening, Bison commands a worldwide manhunt for him, determined to make him a brainwashed member of Shadaloo (here known as Shadowlaw), but is unable to find Ryu due to his travelling the world and ability to suppress his power, rendering Bison's monitor cyborgs unable to detect him. Throughout the film, Ryu comes into contact with several fighters, such as Fei-Long and E. Honda. Bison eventually captures and brainwashes Ken in Ryu's stead, which prompts Guile and Interpol to intercept Ryu before Bison can get to him, but Bison follows them and sets Ken on Ryu, who refuses to fight his controlled friend back. Ken manages to break free of Bison's control and the two ultimately work together to defeat Bison.[77] He was voiced by K?jir? Shimizu in the Japanese version and Skip Stellrecht in the English dub.[78]

Ryu also appears in the American TV series and is once again replaced by Guile as the protagonist since it is a continuation of the 1994 live-action film. Near the end of the series, however, the story shifts focus to Ryu and Ken, making them more prominent as they face several enemies such as the Mad Gear gang. In both the film and the series, Ryu's name is incorrectly pronounced as "Raiyu", though in the movie Guile and Bison are the only ones to pronounce his name correctly.

The premise of the 1995 Japanese TV series Street Fighter II V centers around a young Ryu and Ken, who travel the world with Chun-Li to improve their martial art skills by challenging other fighters. He was voiced K?ji Tsujitani in the Japanese version and once again by Skip Stellrecht in the English Animaze dub, while in the ADV Films dub he was portrayed by Brett Weaver and then later by Tommy Drake.[78]

The 1999 original video animation Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation centers around Ryu's inner conflict with the Dark Hadou, as seen in the Street Fighter Alpha manga and games, though adding original elements such as the appearance of Ryu's supposed younger brother, Shun, and their conflict with Professor Sadler and Rosanov. Like Bison, Professor Sadler seeks out the world's greatest martial artists, though in order to absorb their abilities into his own body, particularly Ryu's Dark Hadou. After Shun is abducted by Sadler's monitor cyborg, Rosanov, Ryu is implored by Rose to search for him. Ryu tracks down and confronts Akuma, demanding to know if Shun is his son, but Akuma, after attempting but failing to goad Ryu into giving in to the Dark Hadou, denies it. Enlisting the help of numerous fighters, Ryu tracks Sadler to his base, where he learns that Shun was actually working for Sadler and posed as his brother in order to lure him out. Enraged, Ryu gives into the Dark Hadou and obliterates Rosanov, but at the same time mortally wounding Shun powering Sadler up enough for him to enter the battlefield personally. Worn out, Ryu is initially pummeled by Sadler, until a vision of Rose inspires him to use his normal power to fight, and with help from his allies, he defeats Sadler for good. Shun then dies in Ryu's arms, apologizing for his actions; Ryu forgives him.[79] The 2005 OVA Street Fighter Alpha: Generations features a similar storyline, but is unrelated to the previous Alpha anime.[80]

In 2008, Capcom released a new OVA where Crimson Viper is sent to capture Ryu on orders from Seth, who knows about Ryu's Satsui no Hadou and desires it for himself. Ryu fights against Seth and remains victorious.[81]

Ryu made cameo appearances in the 3D Disney computer-animated film Wreck-It Ralph, with Kyle Hebert reprising his role. He first appears in a sparring match with Ken and decides to go to Tapper for a drink after the fight.

Comics

Ryu also appears in multiple printed adaptations of the series. In the manga Street Fighter II by Masaomi Kanzaki, Ryu believes that both Gouken and Ken have been murdered by M. Bison and goes on a quest to avenge them.[82] The manga Street Fighter: Sakura Ganbaru! by Masahiko Nakahira has Ryu as a central character from the storyline where the title character, Sakura Kasugano, wishes to meet him.[83] Nakahira also wrote a manga cented around Ryu's comic of age story and his need to fight against Akuma, Final.[84]

Udon Entertainment's comic book adaptation of the Street Fighter plot places Ryu in the center of the events of the plot. Ryu grows up training in the art of Ansatsuken and all the while fighting off the urge of the Satsui no Had?. He trains to be a strong fighter without relying on the hatred and consumption it brings. After returning from the first Street Fighter tournament, Ryu discovers and thinks that his master (Gouken) has been slain by his brother (Akuma) and sets out (along with Ken) to avenge his death by fighting him. Like in the Alpha series, Ryu is a young powerful fighter who shows great potential, this draws the attention of Bison as well as Chun-Li and Guile, who believe there is a criminal connection between the two at first. He also trains Sakura during the second arc of the comics and later on trains with other fighters (specifically Dhalsim and Gen) to give himself a better chance against Akuma. Like in the official story, Sagat is consumed with thoughts of revenge against Ryu for losing his honor and even his pride at the first Street Fighter tournament but he does seek him out to warn him of Shadaloo's advances in order to fight him in a fair match. During the final series of comics, Ryu attends Bison's tournament and advances all the way to the final stage (including getting his long-awaited rematch with Sagat and won). However, before he is able to fight Bison, Akuma intervenes and soundly defeats Bison instead with ease. The plot then shifts to the battle between Akuma and Ryu as the concluding fight of the comic series. During the battle, Ryu is almost corrupted by the Satsui no Hadou to defeat Akuma at any cost but refuses the power, which allows Akuma the upper hand in battle. All seems lost but at the very last moment, Gouken returns and he finishes the battle with Akuma. Ryu passes out before the fight can conclude and is rescued from the sinking island by Dhalsim. Following the battle, Ryu believes he no longer needs to rely on it if he wants victory.

Promotion and reception

Ryu is consistently ranked as one of the most popular and memorable characters from the Street Fighter franchise as well as gaming in general among critics, taking the 9th place in a poll.[85]GameSpot featured him in their article "All Time Greatest Game Hero",[86] while CBR regarded him as a "video game icon" alongside Chun-Li thanks to their character development ever since their first appearances.[87] He additionally ranked number seventy-one on UGO Networks's "Top 100 Heroes of All Time" article.[88] UGO also placed him at #2 on their list of "Top 50 Street Fighter Characters", stating "Whereas Ken is flashy, Ryu is contemplative, tortured and driven."[89]IGN ranked him first in their "Top 25 Street Fighter Characters" article, stating "Ryu is a testament to the virtue of simplicity in character design. White gi, dark gloves, red headband for a little touch of color, and that is it. It's rare, when you think about it, to see too many fancy pieces go into the making of an icon".[90]GameDaily listed him at number two in their "Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time" article, stating "He always seeks a bigger challenge, and that determination makes him one of our favorites";[91] in a later character profile article for Ryu, they stated "Ryu is a formidable fighter that gets the job done.... Bottom line, you can't go wrong with Street Fighter's most iconic character."[92] The same site ranked him sixth along with Ken in the Top 25 Capcom Characters of All Time with editor Robert Workman saying "It was just impossible to choose between one of these world warriors".[93] He has also been recognized as one of the best gaming characters from all time. He was voted as one of the best fifty characters in both a Famitsu issue and the Guinness World Records Gamer's Edition from 2011.[94][95] In the February 1992 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan Ryu ranked third Best Character of 1991.[96] In the 30 January 1997 issue Ryu ranked number thirteen in Top 50 Characters of 1996.[97] In a 2010 survey of 4000 online matches for Super Street Fighter IV, Ryu was the most popular character, with 16.6% of the usage.[98] In 2011, Empire ranked him as the 27th greatest video game character, adding "he has remained the definitive beat-'em-up fighter and go-to-guy for the discerning player since the days of SF2."[99]

GamesRadar writer Tyler Wilde published an article focusing on Ken's and Ryu's development across the franchise under the title of "The evolution of Ken and Ryu".[100]The Guardian recommended Ryu and Ken for beginners in Street Fighter IV with the former being better at fights from distances as a result of his projectiles moves.[101] In GameSpot's "Great Loves" article Ryu was described as "one of the most independent men in the world of video games" as he is only interested in training to become stronger fighter in contrast to other Street Fighter characters who have romantic interests.[102] UGO listed Ryu's headband twenty-sixth on their list of "The Coolest Helmets and Headgear in Video Games".[103] In GamesRadar's article "The 56 characters of Marvel vs Capcom 2", Ryu was described as "The heart and soul of the Street Fighter series" and "probably the most well known fighting game character in the world".[104]Den of Geek listed Ryu as the series' second best character losing Sagat, with arguments by the writer that the character is appealing due to his wishes to engage strong enemies and his growth ever since the Alpha series, most notably in Masahiko Nakahira's manga centered around Ryu which shows the character's appeal.[105]GamesRadar listed him as the best fighting game character of all time calling him "the epitome of fighting game characters" due to how in his wanderings he only seeks to face strong enemies to making them train after the fight.[106]

Evil Ryu was noted to be a trope of protagonist gaming characters who reveal an evil alter-ego.[107] UGO Networks editor Paul Furfari chose him as one of the top 50 best Street Fighter characters, commenting that despite being a "what if" form from Ryu, it made the Street Fighter Alpha series more entertaining due to the potential his moves had.[108] Such form shown in Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition was noted to share traits from both Ryu and Akuma.[109][110] GameSpot stated that since he uses modified versions from known techniques, he was one of the least interesting additions to the game.[111] His stronger damage executed have been commented to the point Game Informer mentioned he was even stronger than Seth, the Street Fighter IV boss.[110][112] In a GamesRadar article by Michael Grimm, a fight between Evil Ryu and Devil Jin was written as one of the ones players wanted to see in Street Fighter X Tekken as the two are evil alter egos from two existing characters sharing also similar designs and movesets to their original forms.[113] In a poll, Evil Ryu was voted as the 13th best character of the series.[85] In 2016, Screen Rant named Ryu along with his Evil Ryu form the "5th Most Powerful Street Fighter Character", with comments "Naturally, the poster boy of the series ranks high on a list like this. As his hypothetical Evil Ryu incarnation shows, he definitely has the capacity to unleash some scary power upon the world."[114] Kage was criticized for being a recycled character based on Evil Ryu due to their similar looks and moves.[47][115]

Ryu's characterization in the Street Fighter II animated feature was subject of praise. Eurogamer enjoyed his multiple journeys across the film such as his meeting with E. Honda and the exploration of his backstory.[116] Kotaku liked his fight scenes due to how well they are coreographed as well as how he well developed he presented as well as his relationship with Ken.[117] The Anime Reviews shared similar comments in regards to due to how Ryu's past with Ken is explored as well as how the close he fights against multiple enemies even if the plot is an excuse for the fights.[118] The young Ryu from the anime tv series Street Fighter II V was found to be enjoyable to due to the way he interacts with Sagat and how skilled the character becomes across the story despite his first beatdown by Guile.[119] Though disappointed by Chun-Li's take in this series, THEM Anime Reviews enjoyed the handling of the trio of Ryu, Ken and Chun-Li during the tv series believing they make an interesting damsel-in-distress quest.[120] In another review, THEM Anime Reviews found that the trio get enough character development as well as stronger techniques despite noting some issues withing the plot.[121] The Fandom Post enjoyed Ryu's characterization the comics Street Fighter II: The Search for Ryu with how he fights to take revenge for Gouken's death at the hands of Akuma while also highlighting the art of one scene where Ryu has a dream.[122] Similarly, the same site liked Ryu's character arc in Unlimited due to how he manages to surpass his flaws with the Satsui no Hadou which used to torment him and it showed potential for his final fight against Akuma.[123] Den of Geek noted one of best takes of Ryu's characterization was in the manga Final where he stands out thanks to the narrative.[124]

Cultural impact

One of Ryu's quotes from Street Fighter II stated "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance." Such a quote caused controversy among gamers, who wondered whether there was actually a character named Sheng Long. Although the quote was actually a mistranslation, it was exploited as an April Fools' joke various times by gaming magazines.[125][126] Nevertheless, the character was referred in the video games based on live-action films as Ryu's teacher. Moreover, the fans' request to include Sheng Long, led to Gouken's inclusion in Street Fighter IV.[127][128] Ryu's original designer, Takashi Nishiyama, revealed that Art of Fightings Ryo Sakazaki was created as a homage to the Ryu as the release of the game some membsers from the original Street Fighter video game from Capcom moved to SNK.[129] This is further explored in the crossover games SNK had with the Capcom franchises where Ryu often interacts with Ryo.[130] While in charge of making the character Kyo Kusanagi, Yuichiro Hiraki was contemplating the idea of making Kyo in high contrast to Ryu as he believed Ryu was a popular character and that Kyo's characterization and design need to get a high appeal in order to reach his level. He further explored this idea when developing Street Fighter V years later.[131] Ryu also inspired the character of Akuma as the designers wanted Akuma to be based on his design rather than the other villain of Street Fighter II, M. Bison.[27]

In 1993, Hong Kong artist Situ Jianqian used the names of Ryu, Ken and Chun-li in his comic Supergod Z: Cyber Weapon. However, Jianqian received a warning from Capcom in regards to these names and removed them from the comic but kept the character designs of the cast which resembled these Street Fighter characters. While noting that Ryu was one of the most popular Japanese characters in gaming, Benjamin Wai-ming Ng from the University of Hong Kong stated that in China, the cast was overshadowed by main characters from SNK's fighting series, The King of Fighters.[132] In 2019 a scientific work concluded that Ryu would have to move at almost 70 miles per hour through the air in order to make his special move.[133]

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Bibliography

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External links


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Ryu_(Street_Fighter)
 



 



 
Music Scenes