A nerd talks about her favourite characters #2 – Akuma

Hey, we’re back again. This time with a very mysterious, and pretty bad dude, Akuma.

When he first showed his face, or maybe didn’t show his face at all since his portrait was blacked out, Akuma could only be accessed in an iteration of the original Street Fighter II with some dank codes in the character select menu.

Personally I was a little too young for these games so I don’t really know all the details, but I think it’s very specific on what you have to do and when you have to do it to play as him.

Just as well too, the dude is broken as heck! In the early games especially.

Since then, I know Akuma has been a little less devious when it comes to hiding offscreen on character select menus. Take his not-so-hard-to-find appearances in Pocket Fighter and Street Fighter vs X-Men. Just move one along where the rest of the characters spots and oops! There he is.

And eventually he just stopped hiding off the roster and finally managed to just stay with the others. Come on Akuma, I know you’re not exactly the friendliest guy… But it wasn’t that hard, was it?

So, Akuma is a shoto. Basically he fights a lot like Ryu and Ken, right?

So what’s the big deal about this guy?

He always comes packed with air fireballs, which I tend to abuse a bit when I can. Other shotos have used them before, but he always has them. Always.

There’s always subtle differences, but Akuma has always done a lot of damage, and in return doesn’t have much health. There’s a joke I’ve hung onto that he’s so good at fighting that he’s never actually been hurt before, so that’s why he never has much health.

And of course probably the most iconic thing about him; The Raging Demon. Akuma’s very memorable super move has him dash across the screen on one leg to grab his opponent, the screen goes black and flashes a lot with some hit sound effects. Then when everything comes back, Akuma is stood with his arms broadly out at his sides and with his back to the camera. The symbol on his back also flashes a bit.

When we first started playing Street Fighter, I was so sad when my friend figured out he could jump over my Raging Demon. But I guess it wouldn’t be fair if there weren’t little ways around it…

(But it would be fair if I could get it off after two hits, sure on block, without Zangief grabbing me as I was starting it up! What the heck!!)

So yeah, I play Akuma. A lot. He appears in pretty much every game I play.

Street Fighter games… Marvel vs Capcom games… Oh, and Tekken.

That one time Akuma just sort of barged into Tekken and even into their actual, real, canon story mode? Trust him to waltz into another franchise, including its story mode.

Stuff like that is only part of the reason I love Akuma so much.

It’s not very hard to state that he’s extremely cool. One of the coolest in Street Fighter honestly, and that’s saying a lot! He’s got the gi going on as well as those big beads around his neck, but the things that stick him out to me are his iconic red, tied up hair and his dark, red eyes.

Akuma’s not such a good dude, trying to force an evil energy out of someone that seems as good and pure as Ryu. On top of that, he’s just not so nice anyway, you know? He doesn’t seem to get involved with Bison and all the other problems characters have in these games, but he causes enough trouble on his own.

Other than trying to make Ryu possibly even worse than him, Akuma craves to fight only the strongest of warriors. He’ll turn away a fight if he feels his opponent is too weak for him, and even leave in the middle of one if he figures that out during.

The example of that is in the story of one of the Street Fighter III games I think. Basically this old dude, Gen, is having a full on fight to the death with Akuma. But somewhere down the line, Akuma discovers that Gen has a terrible, fatal illness…

What does Akuma do?

He sort of just gets really salty and leaves without another word. That’s my Akuma alright, too salty to stick around even after fighting the guy for a bit.

I find his attitude and general terrible nature absolutely flawlessly linking in with his design, and his badass fighting abilities.

Akuma is just an extremely iconic kind of character that can’t really be done the justice he deserves by someone just trying to explain how great he is.

Plus, I have too many inside jokes with a great friend of mine that just make me love him even more. Of course that’s all stuff that makes the two of us laugh, and it’s rather out of character, but that’s the fun in making those jokes in the first place.

So yeah, in summary…

Akuma is very badass, edgy and the saltiest winner in the world. What a guy.

Next on the list is a much nicer character, Ken Masters! There’s going to be lots of Street Fighter up in here!

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