One of the most successful and largest fighting game franchises in the history of video games, Streetfighter is constantly pumping out new games that players, old and new, rush out to get. There are those staple characters, icons who have carried through each and every instalment of the game (Blanka, Vega, M. Bison, Zangief, and Ryu— to name only a few). It might not be known, but of that above list, only Ryu was a playable character in the very first game; the other four did not show up until the sequel (apart from unplayable boss battles in the first).
But those are just some of the most popular male characters. The boys have not typically been keen on playing the female characters, but there are those who truly wish they could play with them. Among those street-fighting babes are tactically tantalizing Cammy, Chun Li, Crimson Viper, and Poison (only the first two of whom appeared as early as the second game).
Many men dismiss these characters as damn decent fighters, but they never do dismiss (thanks to the clear marketing work of Capcom) their digitally enhanced, physical characteristics. So, for the enjoyment of those men, and women who really get a kick out of some of Capcom’s sexiest street-fighters, here is a lavish list to ogle at.
15. Crimson Viper
Making her debut appearance in Streetfighter IV, C. Viper (Crimson Viper), is an American double-agent. Working for the C.I.A., Viper poses as an operative for S.I.N. (Shadaloo Intimidation Network). Her fantastic, and form-fitting suit allows her to do many things (not just of a sexual nature) to enhance her attacks… though given that her suit gives her electric, seismic, and pyrotechnic abilities, perhaps it is more suggestively sexual than one might initially think. The power she’s supplying is clearly electrifying (to give a nod to Grease). In terms of seismic activity, I’m sure readers’ imaginations are enough to fill in the cracks (pun intended). And as for pyrotechnic, well it is clear that she is hot… so perhaps explosive isn’t far off? Depending on the situation? Her move list is fairly deceptive, if not also suggestive: based on baiting opponents; drawing them in for the kill. Because of this technique, C. Viper actually has one of the steepest learning curves in the Streetfighter universe. So perhaps the guys just won’t play with her because she’s too hard to get?
Cammy White (codename: Killer Bee), was the second female character to ever be introduced to the Streetfighter universe. Given this fact, she is also one of the most popular fighters for women to cosplay as (which has not gone unnoticed, or unappreciated by the boys running around as Ryu and Vega). Debuting in Streetfighter II, Cammy was originally one of M. Bison’s deadliest assassins; one of the “dolls” so to speak. She was also, apparently, a perfect clone of M. Bison (though surely everyone can be thankful that the looks of this perfect clone were altered). After breaking free from Bison’s grasp, Cammy fell into an amnesic state, and was recruited by the British MI6. So popular is this femme fatale, that she is often one of the first characters every fan begs to have in every new instalment of the franchise. She was part of the horrible live-action film, she’s appeared in several comic book series, she’s been a secret character in some games, and of course has featured in every Capcom crossover fighting series.
13. Chun Li
Here she is. The very first female character to have ever graced a Streetfighter cartridge (back in the days of the old NES cartridge… though the series did start out on PC, and TurboGrafx-16). As the first lady to fight the streets of the series, Chun Li was an Interpol officer, and one hell of a martial artist. Bent on seeking revenge on M. Bison for the death of her father, Chun Li has been a mainstay of the Streetfighter series. And, perhaps even more so than Cammy, has found her way into every media spin the series has been a part of, including the films, animated series, crossover games, and even several anime series. Chun Li really wins one for the ladies, breaking new ground with exceptional playability for gamers, as well as being beautiful, badass, and damn serious fighter. Her introduction into the game was as easy as creator, Akira Nishitani recounts: “Previously there were no women in fighting games. In Chun Li’s case, I wanted a woman in the game. I determined what her fighting abilities would be. Then China just came up as a possible homeland.” Not a fantastically feminist approach, but certainly a good step in an incredibly financially beneficial direction.
First shown in Juli and Juni’s introduction in Streetfighter Alpha III, Decapre is, along with Cammy, a member of M. Bison’s dolls. Initially a failed prototype of sorts, for who would become the perfect clone, Decapre is no less devastating than her counterparts. Her first playable appearance comes in the form of Ultra Streetfighter IV. Escaping from a S.I.N. testing facility, Decapre goes on a murderous rampage. Though she wears a mask (to hide a massive scar on the one side of her face), she greatly resembles Cammy. And while Cammy prefers to don the camo (what a coincidence), Decapre wears a strikingly tight-fit jumpsuit, with just a little bit of back showing, to draw the boys in. An interesting fact for some, perhaps: the name Decapre is actually based on the Russian word Dekabr, for December. Each of the twelve dolls under M. Bison’s control have a name corresponding with the Gregorian calendar, based on the language spoken in the particular country they are to have hailed from… which is a funny idea since they are all meant to be creations of M. Bison, so one might think that language and ethnicity would not play into each of the characters too much…
The extraordinarily flexible Elena made her first Streetfighter appearance in Streetfighter III. An expert in capoeira (basically breakdance fighting), and a nature-loving, and light-hearted daughter of an East African tribal leader, Elena’s goal is to travel the world and make friends everywhere she goes. Her innovative fighting style has drawn a lot of attention from fans of the game, and many favour her (hopefully more for her fighting than her looks, though both are understandable) over her male counterpart from the Tekken series— Eddy Gordo. It seems, given how fun-loving she is, that it is silly to have this character in the game for any reason other than appearance, and skill set. However, Elena’s tomboy attitude, and ability to kick ass, tends to make one overlook her comparatively low stakes in the Streetfighter franchise. Actually fairly popular, it could be that Elena is chosen as a character so much, simply based on her fighting skill (which is not typical of fighting games like this).
Alright, so let’s be fair here. Eliza is not actually a playable character in any one of the Streetfighter games, but she really is one of the most appealing characters to appear. Debuting in the ending sequence for Ken in Streetfighter Alpha, Eliza has this to say to the champion: “You fight well, but what are you fighting for? Money, fame, the attention?” Not just interested in the musculature of the man, Eliza is interested in one’s ambitions and purposes. She is perhaps the most supportive character to be found in the game. When she sees how well Ken is doing in the second game instalment, she flies out to Thailand, just to see him compete. By the end of this game, there comes a proposal of marriage! By Streetfighter IV, Eliza is pregnant and Ken offers to stay with her, but she is the one to tell him to compete and check up on Ryu. Come the end of this instalment, the lovely couple has a child. Sweet, caring, and while devoted, by no means naive, Eliza is a wonderful addition to the Streetfighter series, without the need to compete.
Enero is one of the newest characters on this list, not appearing in the franchise until Streetfighter V, as one of the twelve dolls, devoted (by brainwashing) to M. Bison. Enero is the Spanish word for January. It is interesting that, while Enero is by no means the very first to have been created by Bison, she does hold the name for the very first month of the year (perhaps that could have been thought out a tad better). That aside, dressed up in a form of the typically, and fantastically form-fitting suits that M. Bison pushes on his dolls (for very obvious reasons), Enero goes both a bit more cutesy, and bit more conniving. The extra display of skin at her midriff draws attention for sure. As well, her bow, braided pig-tails, and pointlessly seductive little mini skirt, really complete the look, and give this character a look that fans will likely want to have around for a few Streetfighter games to come. Capcom knows how to keep gamers coming back.
Now Juri might seem a bit odd at first, but there is no denying that her top-heavy torso, and lavishly long legs draw quite significant degrees of attention away from her ridiculous hair, and eye patch. An underling to the villainous Seth, Juri makes her first appearance in Streetfighter IV. Juri cam to fruition by a seemingly simple suggestion for the Streetfighter series to have a female Korean character. That simple suggestion led the development team through four to five hundred ideas before they, at long last, decided on Juri. She is the first practitioner of taekwondo as well as the very first Korean character in the series. Described as “sultry”, “provocative” and “sex-crazed”, surely readers can now understand, to some extent, the appeal of this character. Built to be bad, digitally etched to be erotic, Juri is one of the first characters designed to tell a story simply through her eyes… or eye, rather. A twisted and magnificently malevolent character addition to the franchise, one hopes Juri sticks around for future games to come.
Originally Sakura’s first rival in a 1996 Streetfighter manga, Karin debuted as a playable character in the video game franchise in the Streetfighter Alpha III release. The only daughter of a corporate family, Karin is unbelievably snobbish and dismissive. Referring to everyone around her as “her commoners”, this overwhelmingly arrogant girl really sparks attraction thanks to this very quality. Her classical outfit, clearly donned for nothing more than status and flair, really helps portray just how full of herself Karin is. The snobbish quality and the air of being better than everyone else, draw people to her for want of bettering themselves, or to better her (in more ways than one). One is instantly reminded of one Charlotte Flair, daughter of famous WWE star Ric Flair. Charlotte is the only daughter of the successful wrestler, dresses most extravagantly, looks down upon all those around her, and can really kick some ass when it comes right down to it. Karin should most certainly be a mainstay in the franchise.
Well… Laura… this Brazilian babe is a wonderful new addition to the franchise, making her debut in Streetfighter V. The older sister of Streetfighter III veteran Sean Matsuda, Laura is taking things in a bit of a different direction… a more attractive direction, one might say. Able to harness electricity to wield in her attacks, Laura is certainly electrifying. Using a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style of fighting, Laura is a fast grappler, which may be a preferred style when fighting against either other quick attackers, or the slow, and heavy fighters. Only showing the top half (saving the rest for a future cosplay article, perhaps), Laura has got a lot to show off (especially when it comes to her top half). Scantily clad is the typical way for fighter game girls to go, but Streetfighter has traditionally covered up quite a bit of skin, especially in the case of some of M. Bison’s dolls, as seen above. However, in this case, putting the better graphics of Streetfighter V to some great use, Laura has been dressed down, and is not likely to be shown up.
5. Mmm… Bison
Alright, alright, so perhaps taking the piss here just a little bit, this version of M. Bison (who this author has decreed will be called Mmmm Bison from now on) is not obviously a playable character in the Streetfighter series; unfortunately not in any way, shape, or form. The interesting thing here is that Cammy was made as a supposedly perfect close on M. Bison, but one cannot help but think Capcom missed the boat on something far greater as a perfect clone. By all means keep Cammy in the story (attractive as she is to players), but make Mmmm Bison the perfect clone. Simply a sexy, more revealing, female version of M. Bison, Mmmm Bison would be such an overwhelming hit as a bit of downloadable content, one wonders just how this has not come to fruition yet. But, all the same, one must thank the designers of M. Bison for inspiring the artist responsible for the ravishing bit of fan art above.
Originally a character in the game Final Fight, alongside the character of Roxy below, Poison joined the franchise in her Streetfighter III appearance (though she was not a playable character until Streetfighter X Tekken, and then ultimately Ultra Streetfighter IV. Conceived of as a transgender female thug in Final Fight, and a member of that game’s antagonist group, Mad Gear, developers worried about the possible backlash from American audiences. She made her gaming debut in 1989, so one could imagine just how far from any sort of sensitivity American culture was to breaking gender norms. Poion was then re-imagined as a “newhalf” (basically a different term for ultimately the same gender-bending, but with a hope Americans might not get mad). However, that was not considered unsatisfactory, and both Poison and Roxy were replaced by the male characters “Billy” and “Sid”, and have been for every subsequent North American port of the title on Nintendo consoles and handhelds. However awful that may be, one must bring the topic back to the article at hand and say that, at least, in spite of an attempt of breaking barriers, there are many players who are happy with the addition of Poison to the Streetfighter franchise.
A fan favourite of the Japanese gaming community, Sakura debuted in the Streetfighter Alpha II game, to critical acclaim. This young, and sporty schoolgirl fighter absolutely idolizes Ryu, and wishes nothing more than to be trained by him (and then sexual jokes begin about how he might train her). They meet up to spar, and Ryu declines from training the poor girl, noting that he has much to learn himself. Continuing to catch up with Ryu as the games progress, Sakura spars, attempts to save, and eventually shares goodbyes with the great Streetfighter warrior. Ultimately realizing that it was love that she felt for Ryu all this time, Sakura’s game ending in Streetfighter IV closes with Ryu approaching her (maybe to requite her love). A fun little fact, for some reason or another, Sakura and Karin have a pretty incredible rivalry throughout the game series, and this has assuredly carried on into Streetfighter V.
Debuting in Streetfighter Alpha III, Satsuki is yet another member of the twelve dolls who deviously carry out deeds in the name of M. Bison. Satsuki is apparently an archaic form of Japanese for the month of May (again as each doll is named after a month, in the language of their place of supposed origin). According to the Streetfighter wiki page: “Satsuki is like a samurai, being always serious and very stubborn, not even understanding what a joke is. She has a firm duty and never forgets a received favour.” Now there are some readers who are thinking: if she returns a favour with a favour… yes, one could assume something sexually silly like that, but recall that she can’t take a joke; she doesn’t know what one is. That being said, as with all of the dolls, Satsuki’s obviously tight outfit, and mind-controlled manner, are certainly steps in the right direction for those gamers who stay up at night, fantasizing about just what they’d do to their Streetfighter crushes, if they had the chance. Thankfully cosplay exists, so some people don’t have to keep those sorts of fantasizes confined to the mind, but by and large, there’s likely a sock with Satsuki’s name on it, in more than a few gamers’ houses.
Roxy, is the fiery red head to the left (with the purple-haired Poison standing to the right). Ok, to be honest, her hair is orange, but a redhead is for some reason just more tantalizing. Regardless, there is not much of a difference between both Roxy and Poison, especially since Roxy is ultimately just a palette swap for the character of Poison. So they of course come from the same place, and the same, small amount is known about the both of them. An interesting point to be made is that, according to the Streetfighter wiki page, yet again, Rosxy is “said to have a characteristically husky voice, possibly implying she has a seductive or bewitching demeanor most of the time.” Readers here now know the truth of that husky voice though. It seems that some shades from the original, gender-bending, trans women characters have come through after all. What is simultaneously wonderful, and sad is that players of Streetfighter V will drool all over Roxy (and her counterpart), loving every husky word that comes from her mouth, but likely never knowing that the husk in her voice is because she was originally a transexual.