Feb 08, 2011
I've seen Street Fighter collections thru many design/art blogs , but I never seen a collection of the most insane and kickass character of the series: Akuma (also known as Gouki in Japan). So I picked some amazing illustrations of this anti-hero.
When I was a kid, I remember when I used to play Street Fighter with my pals, everybody were always using the most famous characters like Ryu, Ken and Chun Li, but I always rather use Akuma. Though he had almost the same moves as Ryu and Ken, he was (is) way more stronger.
Akuma has red hair, wears prayer beads around his neck, a charcoal gray dogi and a piece of twine around his waist in lieu of an obi. The kanji 'ten' (?) - meaning "sky/heaven", (all in the spiritual sense) - can be seen on his back when it appears during certain win animations. Shin Akuma's appearance is very similar to Akuma's; for example, in the Street Fighter Alpha series, Shin Akuma had a purple gi instead of a gray one and marginally lighter tone. Akuma's introduction in Super Street Fighter II Turbo stemmed from the development team's desire to introduce a "mysterious and really powerful" character, with his status as a hidden character within the game resulting from later discussions (Wikipedia).
In spite of his appearance and his antagonistic roles in Street Fighter media, Akuma is generally not considered evil. His sole reason for living is to challenge great fighters from around the world and improve upon his skills. The deaths of his challengers come as a result of testing their abilities as well as his own; therefore, he would not fight (much less kill) anyone he doesn't consider a fair match. His personal nature fits more for the profile of an anti-hero (Wikipedia).