Mane Street Soapbox: Street Fighter is More Than II! (1/10)


Oh, Jimmy Fallon. You, with the likable, geeky persona. There really isn’t much to hate about you at all. You are an SNL alumnus, movie actor, talk show host, and along with Stephen Colbert, belong in the Nerd Hall of Fame. Yet, there’s one thing you and so many others who grew up in the 80s and 90s have done: fallen into the trap of being out of touch. Way back in the year 2013, you set a world record by throwing 20 Hadoukens. It seemed to be the perfect way to reference a game you loved, Street Fighter II.

However, time has passed. While it has and always will be a great game, and while Ryu is as iconic as ever, these days, it’s not about throwing Hadoukens. Now it’s “Ibuki on the scene”, “You look like you’re in good shape,” and “Power to the Earth! Light it up.” Jimmy, my friend, I’m going to tell you something you and everyone needs to hear:


Would you believe that there are more games in the series? You’ve got Alpha, EX, Street Fighter III, IV, V, Puzzle Fighter, the VS games…. Have you even played a good fighting game since you started comedy??? (Mortal Kombat doesn’t count – same issue)

Anyway, I’m not here to criticize. No, with the help of the good folks here at Super Hero Junky, I’m here to help you. You see, there are celebrities just like you in Hollywood who have been missing out on what Street Fighter has to offer, and it’s up to me to show you what, or specifically, WHO you’re missing out on.
For you, Jimmy, I think it’s pretty clear who the best character for you is: good ol’ Dan Hibiki.

Oh! You don’t know who he is, you say? That’s to be expected, being someone who hasn’t paid attention to the game in years. See, he’s a lot like Ryu, except instead of Hadoukens, he throws Gadoukens. What is a Gadouken?

Dan Sticker for iOS & Android | GIPHY


Don’t let the flashiness fool you. The Gadouken is weak. Very weak. Pathetically weak. Most fireballs allow you to get some range, but since Dan has zero range, there’s only one way to play Dan – not playing him at all. He’s a joke character. He was designed that way. Allow me to explain.

After Street Fighter II hit the arcades, there were a slew of Street Fighter imitators that hit the market. Mortal Kombat was one of them, but because of its graphic nature, it was as far from Street Fighter as you could get. However, there was another game series that didn’t fall too far from the tree – Art of Fighting.

The protagonists, Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia, were so close to Capcom’s Ryu and Ken that Capcom knew they had to respond back for ripping them off – by ripping off both of their designs and making a parody character from them. Basically, Dan Hibiki is to Ryo and Robert as Deadpool is to Deathstroke: a joke character who ended up becoming more popular than the original. Of course, unlike Deadpool, who is insane, but competent, Dan is goofy and can’t even beat a schoolgirl in a fair fight (that would be Sakura, who is actually a prodigy in the game).

Hmmm… this sounds like a certain talk show host… but I digress.


The point is…

Jimmy, as you did your Hadouken thing, there was a character who deserved to get your attention, as he was more in line to what you try to do every day. All in all, Hibiki-san (as Sakura calls him), while a joke, would have been the perfect punchline that day. Yes, he has a bit of a tragic story, what with his father Go getting killed by Sagat because Sagat lost his eye to him. However, when it comes to good-natured comedy, which is what you do, you wouldn’t be able to find a better character for the job.

I’ll bet you didn’t know that, did you?

(Steven Mane is a voice actor and Street Fighter fanatic who writes Street Fighter lore theories in his spare time. Check out all of his theories at Mane Street and make sure you follow him on Twitter at @StevenManeVox).


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