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Sakura Kasugano
Street Fighter series
Sakura Kasugano
Sakura, as portrayed in Capcom vs. SNK 2
First appearance Street Fighter Alpha 2 (1996)
Voiced by
(English)
Saffron Henderson (Street Fighter cartoon)
Michelle Ruff (Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation, Street Fighter Alpha: Generations)
Brittney Harve (Street Fighter IV)
Voiced by
(Japanese)
Yuko Sasamoto (Street Fighter Alpha games)
Chiaki Osawa (Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation)
Mao Kawasaki (Street Fighter Alpha: Generations)
Misato Fukuen (Street Fighter IV)
class=" infobox hproduct" style="float:right; width:264px; font-size:90%; text-align:left;" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="3"
Fictional profile
Birthplace Japan
Fighting style Self-taught imitation of Ryu's fighting style

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Sakura Kasugano (春日野 さくら Kasugano Sakura?) is a player character in the Street Fighter series of fighting games. Sakura is portrayed in the series as a young Japanese schoolgirl who idolizes Ryu, whom she wants to be trained by.

In video games

Sakura first appeared in Street Fighter Alpha 2, where she had begun to participate in street fighting after watching Ryu win the first World Warrior tournament. She was searching for him and wished for him to train her to be a better fighter. She eventually came across Ryu who tells her he could not train her as he still had much to learn himself shortly after a sparring. In Street Fighter Alpha 3, Sakura decided to travel the world to find Ryu. After trying to save him from the warrior M. Bison, Ryu promises her a rematch. She is also playable in the spin-off Street Fighter EX3. In Street Fighter IV, years have passed since Sakura last saw Ryu, so she decides to find Ryu again for a match in the new worldwide tournament. In introduction sequences of Super Street Fighter IV, she is often seen in a group of three with Dan Hibiki and Blanka.

Rival Schools: United By Fate saw Sakura involved in the adventure between her school and various others in Aohura City. After helping her childhood friend Hinata and the others out from within the ordeal, she realizes how much it means to her to protect something she cares about.

Sakura has also appeared in various crossover games, including the Marvel vs Capcom series, the Capcom vs SNK series, the Namco vs Capcom series and Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix. In Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter, she also possesses her own alter-ego, "Dark Sakura", who uses the techniques of Akuma.

Character design

An early design for SFIII featured her in a kimono shirt and hakama pants,[1] but was later abandoned in favor of a Japanese sailor outfit with red bloomers.

Gameplay

Sakura is controlled in the same way as Ryu and Ken, however, her special moves flow differently and are less powerful.

In other media

Manga

Sakura is the titular character of the manga series Street Fighter: Sakura Ganbaru! where she becomes a fighter in order to fight Ryu. She is also feature in the comic book miniseries Street Fighter Legends: Sakura, also appearing in other Street Fighter comic books and the Rival Schools comic.

Film

She is also a character in the anime films Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation and Street Fighter Alpha: Generations, and appears in the episode "Second to None" of the animated series Street Fighter.

Other

Victor Entertainment released a drama CD Street Fighter Zero 2 Another Story in July 1996, which had Sakura as the lead character. There was a sequel in October of the same year.

The Sakura theme song "Kono Omoi o Tsutaetai", sung by Yuko Sasamoto, was released commercially.

Reception

Sakura's reception was positive by the critics and fans alike. In 1997, Sakura ranked third in the poll of Top 50 Characters of 1996 in the Japanese arcade game magazine Gamest.[2] In 2002, Sakura was voted the third most popular Street Fighter character in Capcom's own poll for the 15th anniversary of Street Fighter, after only Chun-Li and Cammy and before Ryu.[3] In 2007, Joystiq ranked her fifth on the list of the top ten girls of PSP for the "super hotness" of her school uniform and "cuteness to spare and lots of determination no matter what the odds".[4] In 2008, IGN ranked Sakura at 22nd in their list of Top 25 Street Fighter Characters, noting that while the Japanese schoolgirl design was "obvious", her attitude and funny moments offered a pleasant contrast.[5] She also placed 13th on the list of Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time by GameDaily in 2009.[6] In addition, she was featured on GameDaily's list of "Babes We'll Wait For" with them commenting "The fact that she dresses like a Japanese schoolgirl gives her lots of bonus points.".[7] GameDaily also listed her under "Hot, But Annoying", questioning her about always following Ryu and wanting him to fight her and adding "She's either an innocent fan or a psycho.".[8] In 2010, UGO Networks featured her on the lists of Top 50 Street Fighter Characters and Best School Girls Ever.[9][10]

The character's outfit received criticism from critics. Play listed her eighth in the "Top 10 inappropriate outfits" due to her exposure in fights.[11] Dave Cook from Now Gamer listed a fight between Sakura and Ling Xiaoyu as one of the fights he wished to see in Street Fighter X Tekken as while the two shared unsuitable outfits, the two are entertaining in terms of gameplay.[12]

References

  1. Staff (1996). "Arcade Flyer Archive scan". Secret File #02: Street Fighter Zero 2 (Capcom): 5. http://arcadeflyers.com/?page=flyer&db=videodb&id=1779&image=5. Retrieved 2009-08-17. 
  2. Ishii, Zenji (December 1996). "第10回ゲーメスト大賞". Gamest Magazine 188: pg. 46. http://www.netlaputa.ne.jp/~dummy/gamest/magazine/gamest/v188.html. Retrieved 2008-12-28. 
  3. "Internet Archive Wayback Machine". Web.archive.org. 2005-12-19. http://web.archive.org/web/20051219091936/www2.geestore.com/sf15th2/sf15rank/ninkichara.html. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  4. Steven Bailey, The top ten girls of PSP, Joystiq, January 25th 2007
  5. Top 25 Street Fighter Characters - Day I. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-08-15
  6. Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time. GameDaily. Retrieved on 2008-11-12
  7. "Babe of the Week: Babes We'll Wait For Gallery and Images - GameDaily". Web.archive.org. http://web.archive.org/web/20090331220406/http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/galleries/babe-of-the-week-babes-well-wait-for/?page=5. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  8. "Babe of the Week: Hot, But Annoying Gallery and Images - GameDaily". Web.archive.org. http://web.archive.org/web/20090310075128/http://www.gamedaily.com/articles/galleries/babe-of-the-week-hot-but-annoying/?page=11. Retrieved 2011-10-20. 
  9. Top 50 Street Fighter Characters - UGO.com
  10. Hottest School Girls: Sakura from Street Fighter - UGO.com
  11. Mackenzie, Gavin. "Top 10 inappropriate outfits". Play. http://www.play-mag.co.uk/features/top-10-inappropriate-outfits/. Retrieved June 30, 2011. 
  12. Cook, Dave (2010-06-27). "Street Fighter X Tekken Character Wishlist". NowGamer. http://www.nowgamer.com/features/895299/street_fighter_x_tekken_character_wishlist.html. Retrieved 2011-09-05. 

External links

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