- "Training is fun if you set your mind to a specific goal to work toward!"
Sakura Kasugano (春日野 さくら Kasugano Sakura?) is a video game character from the Street Fighter series, first appearing in Street Fighter Alpha 2. She is a Japanese schoolgirl with an intense fixation on Ryu, having copied and learned many of his techniques, and chasing him around the world to prove herself to him.
Sakura typically fights in her school's uniform - a short-skirted sailor uniform (seifuku) with the collar popped and red bloomers (short shorts) underneath. She also wears red Converse-esque shoes, a midriff-baring red top under her uniform, red sparring gloves, a yellow bola tie, and a white headband that was given to her by Ryu before the events of Street Fighter Alpha 2. She has short brown hair and brown eyes. Her fuku is blue with a single white linings in each sides and white socks. In Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken, her socks are shorter and the color becomes navy blue.
In her ending in Super Street Fighter IV, her hair is slighty longer, she wears a red high-neck sporty jacket with a single line at the center of her jacket and a white short sleeved undershirt, black shorts, white socks and white sneakers with a matching designs. She also maintains her white headband.
In many aspects, Sakura is very outgoing and respectful in personality, as she is most of the time happy, energetic, cheerful, positive, hard-working and focused in combat. She has a noble spirit and a very determined attitude, either in studies or in martial arts training. She sees Ryu as an idol and teacher, rather than an opponent, since she always watches him fight and mirrors herself on his philosophies in battle.
Although her techniques may seem somewhat "rustic" in comparison to Ryu and Ken, she manages to balance her school work with her trainings in hopes of being accepted as Ryu's student and prove herself by fighting worthy adversaries. In a clean match, Sakura is a very patient and disciplined warrior. She is the embodiment of innocence and is acknowledged by many fighters to have great potential that may one-day match Ryu and Ken in strength when she gets older.
Character Relationships Edit
Ryu is Sakura's inspiration for street fighting and deeply admires him in a respectful way like a childhood hero. Eventually this admiration develops into a romantic crush by Super Street Fighter IV (details below).
Similar to Ryu, Sakura sees Ken as an inspiration for street fighting, although she still holds Ryu in a much higher regard.
After their first fight in Sakura Ganbaru! both women have sparked a rivalry because of Karin's first loss in a long lasting winning streak. However once Karin won their rivalry match in Street Fighter Alpha 3 she admitted that Sakura is indeed better than her and that she only won by luck. After that, they started a close friendship since then as well as continue their friendly rivalry, which is noticeable in one of her win quotes in Super Street Fighter IV and all other interactions with her despite having completely opposite personalities.
Since Dan was her sensei, Sakura respects him as both a friend and a teacher. However, this friendship is double-sided, because she is using him so that she can find Ryu whenever she needs to.
Because both women are high-school girls, Sakura and Ibuki have been able to hold a close relationship with one another. This is mainly because of the latter's interest in boys and that Ibuki had never met someone so "cool" that's also within her age group, allowing the two to get to know one another easier than with older fighters.
Even though there has been no example of an in-game friendship beforehand, Cammy and Sakura have a close relationship with each other as Cammy has been shown to deeply care about her, which makes the friendship fairly special since Cammy has only shown this to people she considers close (e.g. Delta Red, Chun-li and Juni). This started in the second volume of Sakura Ganbaru, where Cammy was still amnesic and Sakura interfered with an assasination attempt on the former then tag-teamed against Zangief in a cage match before splitting ways. From then onwards, Cammy still remembers Sakura's kindness and has continued to return the favour to her ever since, and vice-versa, as shown in her win quotes against her.
Elena and Sakura are seen as friends due to being roughly the same age and because both girls share a kind-hearted, tomboyish personality. They both share the same views about fighting and combat, making their friendship easygoing with little or no conflict.
Kei Chitose is a close friend of Sakura who attends the same high school, Tamagawa Minami High. She sometimes goes along with Sakura on her adventures.
Sakura begun to participate in street fighting after watching Ryu win the first World Warrior tournament. Sakura was involved in various adventures within her school and various other schools throughout Aoharu City. Fighting in it, she realized how much it meant to her to protect something she cared about. In her individual ending, she remembers when her and Ryu fought each other and afterwards took a photo of him during the events of Street Fighter Alpha 2, Kei Chitose cheered her up.
At age 16, she was still fighting, and decided to travel the world to find Ryu. She started off in her native Japan and fought the sumo wrestler E. Honda, who mentioned Ryu was going off to such places as India and Thailand. She also fought a rematch with her rival Karin Kanzuki, and though Karin won the fight, she admitted Sakura was better and she had learned winning was not everything. Thereafter traveling with her sensei, Dan, she met his friend Blanka along the way and was promised a match with him.
She continued to search the world for Ryu, eventually ditching Dan and finding Ryu's friend and rival Ken. She commented to him how she loved to fight to better herself, and finding inspiration in those words himself, Ken and Sakura eventually found Ryu in Thailand, where he was actually being brainwashed by M. Bison. Sagat had come by this time to find the scene as well, and as Sagat took on Ryu, both Ken and Sakura took on Bison. A combination of Sakura screaming for Ryu and Sagat's urgings finally snapped Ryu out of the mind control and he defeated Bison, destroying him temporarily. He told Sakura then he was not ready to train her and fight a rematch with her yet, and walked off, with Sakura watching him go. She then realized that there was something really special about Ryu, but she didn't know what.
Sakura returns to fight again, still searching for Ryu. This time, it is heavily implied that her admiration toward Ryu has developed into a full-on crush. Her win quote against Sagat has her admitting that she understands his obsession with Ryu, adding "Isn't he just dreamy?". Some time after the end of the second World Warrior tournament, she confronts Dan about whether he knows anything about where Ryu might be. Dan, not wanting to appear out of the loop, says that a new tournament is rumored to be about to start, and that Ken will be participating, speculating that Ryu will also be there. Ecstatic, Sakura immediately runs off to enter. She, Dan and Blanka depart on a cruise ship on which she endures a grueling self-imposed training regime.
During the tournament, she actively seeks out Ryu, eventually finding him in the S.I.N. building in the midst of destroying the BLECE project. The force of the struggle knocks Sakura unconscious, and she awakes to see a triumphant Ryu standing over her. The two escape from the S.I.N. building in the midst of explosions - which were probably Vega's doing - and run into Dan and Blanka along the way. After the tournament, Sakura and Ryu exchange goodbyes and she leaves for home on the ship, she also realizes that it was love that she felt for Ryu. In her ending, a slightly older-looking Sakura is shown walking with her dog in an area near the Overpass when she sees Ryu approaching.
Sakura appears in the last part of Karin's prologue story, where she is warmly welcomed by Karin upon her return to the Kanzuki Estate. She says that she was happy to hear from Karin's steward that Karin wanted to see her and fight her in a match as part of a friendly challenge. Sakura states that Karin hasn't changed, as the two girls are ready to fight.
Sakura is last seen in Ibuki's prologue story and the two are seen having a conversation with each other with their cellphones. Sakura informs Ibuki about the party invitation sent by her rival, Karin Kanzuki which Ibuki didn't read it yet. She also informs her that she can't come to the party because of conflict schedules before hanging up.
In Karin's party at the Kanzuki Estate, Karin also mentions Sakura due to Ibuki being as Sakura's friend and acquaintance and as she tested Ibuki to fight her. Afterwards, she allows Ibuki to enjoy the party.
Marvel vs. Capcom seriesEdit
Sakura appeared as a secret playable fighter in Capcom's 3D fighting game Rival Schools: United By Fate. In the story she helps her childhood friends Hinata Wakaba and Natsu Ayuhara finding the people responsible for the school kidnappings and attacks.
Sakura appeared as a playable character in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix.
SNK vs. Capcom seriesEdit
Sakura appeared playable in Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000, Capcom vs. SNK 2 and SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium. Like several other Street Fighter characters, she has also appeared as a card in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash games.
Sakura appeared as a playable character in Capcom Fighting Evolution.
Sakura appears as one of the DLC characters in Street Fighter X Tekken, with Blanka as her tag partner. Sakura and Blanka hear the news about Pandora located in the South Pole. A few months pass, leaving Sakura and Blanka to wonder where Dan has gone ever since he left and never came back, so Sakura and Blanka head out to the South Pole to find Dan and check out the Pandora Box.
Continuing their journey to the South Pole, Sakura and Blanka run into Lars and Alisa thinking that Lars is a TV star known as Red Warrior Bakori Man, to which Blanka agrees. Lars gets confused as to who this TV star is, and Alisa explains to him, after which Sakura and Blanka challenge them to a fight.
After defeating Ogre, Sakura and Blanka feel excited, as they got to fight many fighters searching for Pandora. Soon, they remember that Dan is missing, so Sakura calls out his name. Afterwards, Pandora opens, prompting them to check inside. Looking inside, they find Dan freezing and beaten up, prompting Sakura and Blanka to help Dan out of the box.
Comics and MangaEdit
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Sakura appears in several of UDON's Street Fighter comics, like in Street Fighter Legends: Sakura (in which she is the main protagonist), Super Street Fighter and Street Fighter Unlimited.
Sakura appeared in UDON's Street Fighter comics as a main character where she and Karin are rivals in high school, she meets Ryu in a fight against Akuma in hopes that he would train her, she tries to prove her worth by attacking Akuma, only to be attacked by Akuma as he hits her in the head to a tree, she begins to lose consciousness as her eyes close. She eventually wakes up asks Ryu to train her, Ryu tells her that he himself is far from a master, thought she still follows him despite his doubt about himself.
At somepoint on her summer vacation, she eventally meets Adon, only to find out that Sagat had left his honor for his art behind in order to seek revenge on Ryu, she tries to perform a Hadoken on Adon for insulting Ryu, however, the attack did not work out as no surge of ki did not come out. She went to Ken's wedding as he was getting ready for the party, he was attacked by a group of Shadaloo spies being lead by Vega, he attacked Ken without any remorse while keeping him, while Ryu has his battle with Balrog, Sakura defeat many of the spies of Shadaloo using a Hadoken, before Guile could help Ken, Vega fights Guile in order to keep him from helping him. As the cops came in to help Guile, Vega and the remaining Shadaloo spies retreated back to Bison.
Before Sakura left to the airport on her way back to Japan, she told Ryu that she would continue to train until he returned back to Japan, at some point at her school, she and Karin had a fight over who could eat more hot dogs, although Sakura was losing, Karin was actually cheating. Honda knew that interfering would not be the right thing to do, Sakura's friends then took out many of the employers that were working for Karin throughout the contest, she begins to realized that Sakura is a better girl then her.
During the Street Fighter tournment that was being hosted by Shadaloo, Sakura, Dan, and Blanka had entered it, only Blanka was able to make it to the next round.
The Unlimited series presents a drastic departure in her character. After Shadaloo was stopped, Sakura went to become a full time student of Ryu in hopes that she would gain more knowledge over Ansatsuken to become stronger, Bison and a group of troops have come to bring Ryu back to their boss, Sakura takes out the troops while Ryu fights Bison, Urien comes out of the Helicopter in an effort to bring Ryu back with him, Sakura was threatened by Bison, with Ryu now focusing on Bison holding Sakura, Urien used that to his advantage and knocked Ryu out. Bison dropped Sakura and left her in the ground as he and Urien left, as Dan saw everything that happened, he followed them to their base, he went back to Sakura and told everything that they planned to do, Sakura wanted to save him herself, as she started to think about secretly using the Dark Hado in order to help him (knowing that using this power is dangerous), Akuma appears behind her and motivating her to use the power, she rejected his way on using this power.
Akuma however tells her that she has the potential to use surpassed him if she harnessed this power, she uses it for a brief moment and fires a Metsu Hadoken at Akuma in a burst of anger, only for him to shoot it back at her and knocks her down, he teleports away, leavng Sakura to feel the power that she just used, she soon finds Bison and begins to ruthlessly beat him by using the Satsui no Hado, she started to go for a lethal blow, Dan tries to convince not to let vengence comsume her as he himself knows from experience, Sakura begins to push back him back due to the Satsui no Hado starting to affect her mind, and tries to destroy Bison, Ryu breaks free of his inprisonment and tries to stop her from destroying him, she begins to argue with him on why he would let a person like him alive after everything he's done, her eyes glow even redder as she tears off her headband.
The Satsui no Hado continues to affect her sanity as she starts to fight Ryu.
Sakura appears in this OVA as a high schooler who is interested in Ansatsuken after witnessing Ryu save a boy from a shoot out in Toyko. At some point, she is saved by Ken from a group of crimals, and seeing the same martial art style that Ryu uses, she asked if he knows Ryu and Ken tells her that he is going to the Street Fighter tournmant. As they enter inside, they head into the building as Ryu is being engulfed by the Satsui no Hado which was being influenced by Shun.
As Ryu stops himself from going for a lethal blow, the Metsu Hadoken hits the building, and Sakura's legs are wounded. Later, at the hosipital, she is visited by Ken who tells her that Ryu has not been the same since coming under both the influence of Satsui no Hado, as well as Shun's kidnapping at the hands of Shadaloo. Ken tells her the dangers of geting into martial arts such as Ansatsuken and the pain that he, and many warriors like him, have been through at some point, and the potential of being doomed to eternal darkness if one values perfection and power above all else.
After being fully healed, Sakura started to think carefully about what Ken had said about the dark side of getting stronger, and decided that she would train herself in a positive manner as a way test herslf against other fighters.
Sakura is first shown when she defeats Ken's security guards who wouldn't let her in his home. She is still on the hunt for Ryu and asks Ken if he's seen him. Ken tells her that he hasn't seen him and Sakura tells Ken about the missing fighters, since he never heard about that. Later, they find Ryu under the control of the Satsui no Hado after Cammy is both defeated and gravely wounded by Crimson Viper. As he is about to kill two security guards, Sakura rushes to Ryu and hugs him, begging him to come back to his senses. Ryu almost hits Sakura, but at the last moment he recognizes her and snaps out of the Hado's control.
She helps out Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li as S.I.N. tries to capture Ryu to complete the BLECE project after C. Viper's report about Ryu and the Satsui no Hado. She helps Chun-Li get rid of most of the guards while Ken rescues Eliza while Ryu searches for Seth. At the end, she tells Ken that she's leaving because of the prices for plane tickets have gone down and she couldn't miss the chance to get them since she has to go back to Japan.
Gameplay and Fighting StyleEdit
Sakura fights using an emulated (and thus comparatively weaker) version of Ryu's fighting style; her applications of the moves lead to a unique approach to the "Shotokan" fighting style, with a different gameplay style from that of Ryu's. Sakura's moveset contains many "unorthodox" variants of existing 'Shotokan' moves, including a 'running' Shoryuken, a jumping Tatsumaki, and a less-powerful Hadoken that she can charge, though at the cost of distance.
Her moves and combos have high potential to stun opponents and also provide many an opportunity for mix-ups. However, her somewhat low stamina and her lack of other available approaches (particularly her weak projectile) require a certain amount of finesse, leaving little room for error; this ultimately makes Sakura a high-risk, high-reward character. Sakura's combo-heavy playstyle, when supplemented by her normals and special, make her a devastating fighter once she gets an opening.
She can successfully manipulate ki, and is subsequently able to perform the Hadoken energy attack; however, due to her lack of training, she cannot throw it the full length of the arena like Ken or Ryu can. Unlike Ryu and other fighters from the same style, however, she can control the size of her Hadoken and throw larger Hadoken projectiles that sacrifice range and execution speed for size and power (up to 3 times larger). In the Marvel vs. Capcom series, she throws her Hadokens diagonally upwards, though her "Hiyakeshita" (literally "Sunburned") version still throws them horizontally. In Capcom vs. SNK, she is given an energy spark instead of a traditional projectile (called the "Hadoushou") that hits 3 times, but is limited to the area in front of her hands (though her EX version lets her use her special version of the Hadoken).
Her other attacks include "Shunpukyaku", a short version of the "Tatsumaki Senpukyaku" attack that, instead of sailing through the air, rises and falls in an arcing pattern and traditionally only goes about 60% of the screen at its longest range; and "Shouoken", a version of the "Shoryuken". She performs it by running and throwing body blows ending the combination with an uppercut.
Her Super Combos include her own interpretations of the Shinku Hadoken (which, like her regular projectile, will not cover the full length of the screen) and Shoryureppa ("Midare Zakura"). Her third Super Combo is a ground-based spinning leg attack (called the "Haru Ichiban", literally translated as "first one of the spring") that ends with a side kick that knocks her opponent away. In the Marvel vs. Capcom series, the Street Fighter EX series and Rival Schools, she also gains the Raging Demon in her sunburned form, although it has no canonical reference on the Street Fighter series.
In her appearance in Street Fighter EX3, she gains two unique Meteor Combos: first is the "Nekketsu Hadoken", in which she fires a massive, pink Hadoken, which is several times her size, exceptionally fast, and does more damage than any other projectile attack in the game; the second is "Genki Ichiban", which can deal about 80% damage to an opponent but is widely telegraphed (she tiptoes toward her opponent and points & laughs; the pointing is unblockable and causes a great deal of knockback).
Pop Culture Edit
- Sakura is one of two fighters who learned their fighting styles from two of the main characters in the Street Fighter series, Ryu and Ken. The other is Sean.
- She remains as the only Street Fighter character with a vocal theme song, "I Just Want You to Know" (この思いを伝えたい Kono Omoi o Tsutaetai?), sung by Yuko Sasamoto (same voice actress from the games). It is first found in the arrange soundtrack of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. The song is an arrangement of her theme song first heard in Street Fighter Alpha 2, and is once again used in Super Street Fighter IV.
- In her non-canonical Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter ending, Sakura is seen as an adult mother with a son. She is only seen from behind however, as her head is cropped from view.
- Sakura shares the same birthday with R. Mika.
- Sakura is the only female to have used the Satsui no Hado (as "Sunburned Sakura", also known as "Dark Sakura"), although it has no canonical reference to the Street Fighter series.
- While Rogue also has the ability to briefly borrow the power to use the Satsui no Hado when fighting Akuma, she can't wield it indefinitely.
- In Udon's Super Street Fighter comics, Sakura actually falls to the Satsui no Hado while fighting Akuma, in order to tap into the strength necessary to find Ryu, who had been kidnapped by the Illuminati. This is also the second time Sakura has used the Satsui no Hado, the first being in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.
- In the Street Fighter manga Sakura Ganbaru! (Fight on, Sakura!), Sakura's potential, contradictory to her usual status as low-tier, was believed to be so immense that if properly trained, she would be able to match Ryu blow for blow.
- In the same series, Ken also mistakes her for being either Ryu's daughter or sister.
- Additionally, the quotes between Sakura and Cammy (especially in Cammy's quote) in Super Street Fighter IV could be a reference to the Sakura Ganbaru! manga, where she and Cammy formed a friendship.
- Sakura's downloadable track jacket outfit in Super Street Fighter IV is a reference to the final scenes of the manga, where Sakura wears the same outfit as P.E. teacher at Tamagawa-Minami High, hinting that she probably became a teacher herself in her alma mater.
- Sakura appears as one of the instructors in the update version of Rival Schools: Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2, during the fight against the edit characters in a single round. The only way to raise all of their stats is to defeat her in a fight. But if the edit character loses it does not raise all their stats due to her overpowered prowess or being beaten with her Burning Vigor attacks.
- Sakura's winquote towards Evil Ryu in the Arcade Edition of Super Street Fighter IV is a reference to the animated movie, Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, when he almost kills her for getting in his way from killing an S.I.N. agent.
- Not counting Evil Ryu, Sakura is the only character introduced in the Street Fighter Alpha series to appear in the Street Fighter EX series, in this case, the console port of the first game and also the third game.
- For a Japanese high school girl, she can speak fluent English, enabling her to travel the world without inconvenience.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 http://www.capcom.co.jp/sf4/sakura.html
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 Street Fighter: World Warrior Encyclopedia Hardcover
- ↑ Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia
- ↑ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NovM20o7Cg
- ↑ http://www.udonentertainment.com/blog/product/super-street-fighter-volume-2
- ↑ https://twitter.com/Yoshi_OnoChin/status/698717306143248384
|Street Fighter Alpha Characters|
|Alpha|| Adon · Akuma · Birdie · Charlie · Chun-Li · Dan · Guy|
Ken · M. Bison · Rose · Ryu · Sagat · Sodom
|Alpha 2||Cammy · Dhalsim · Evil Ryu · Gen · Rolento · Sakura · Shin Akuma · Zangief|
|Alpha 3||Original||Balrog · Blanka · Cody · E. Honda · Juli · Juni · Karin · R. Mika · Vega|
|Console||Dee Jay · Fei Long · Final Bison · Guile · T. Hawk|
|Upper||Eagle · Maki · Yun|
|Street Fighter EX Characters|
|EX||Original|| Akuma · Allen · Blair · Chun-Li · C. Jack · Darun · D. Dark · Guile|
Hokuto · Kairi · Ken · Pullum · Ryu · Skullomania · Zangief
|Plus||Bloody Hokuto · Cycloid-β · Cycloid-γ · Evil Ryu · Garuda · M. Bison|
|Plus α||Dhalsim · Sakura|
|EX2||Original||Blanka · Hayate · Nanase · Shadowgeist · Sharon · Vega|
|Plus||Area · Sagat · V. Rosso|
|EX3||Ace · Bison II|
|CPU Only||Shin-Bison · Cycloids · Zako|
|Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix Characters|
|Akuma · Chun-Li · Dan · Ibuki · Ken · Ryu · Sakura · Zangief|
|SNK vs. Capcom Characters|
|The Match of the Millennium|| Akuma · Chun-Li · Dan · Evil Ryu · Guile|
Ken · M. Bison · Ryu · Sakura · Zangief
|Millennium Fight||Balrog · Blanka · Cammy · Dhalsim · E. Honda · Sagat · Vega|
|Mark of the Millennium||Eagle · Maki · Rolento · Shin Akuma · Yun|
|SVC Chaos||Hugo · Violent Ken|
|Capcom Fighting Evolution Characters|
|Street Fighter II||Guile · M. Bison · Ryu · Shin Akuma · Zangief|
|Street Fighter Alpha||Guy · Karin · Rose · Sakura|
|Street Fighter III||Alex · Chun-Li · Urien · Yun|
|Street Fighter IV Characters|
|Original|| Abel · Akuma · Balrog · Blanka · Chun-Li · C. Viper · Dhalsim · E. Honda|
El Fuerte · Guile · Ken · M. Bison · Rufus · Ryu · Sagat · Vega · Zangief
|Console||Cammy · Dan · Fei Long · Gen · Gouken · Rose · Seth · Sakura|
|Super||Adon · Cody · Dee Jay · Dudley · Guy · Hakan · Ibuki · Juri · Makoto · T. Hawk|
|Arcade Edition||Evil Ryu · Oni · Yang · Yun|
|Ultra||Decapre · Elena · Hugo · Poison · Rolento|
|Street Fighter X Tekken Characters|
|Core Roster|| Abel · Akuma · Balrog · Cammy · Chun-Li · Dhalsim · Guile · Hugo · Ibuki · Juri|
Ken · M. Bison · Poison · Rufus · Rolento · Ryu · Sagat · Vega · Zangief
|Downloadable||Blanka · Cody · Dudley · Elena · Guy · Sakura|