Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Akuma (Street Fighter character)
Akuma also refers to a creature in Japanese mythology
He originally appeared in Super Street Fighter II Turbo as a secret character and hidden boss. He has red hair, and wears a dark blue gi with the Japanese character 'ten' (天) - meaning heaven - on his back. He wears prayer beads around his neck. He is voiced by Tomomichi Nishimura in many of the games he has appeared in.
According to his official biography, Akuma stands 178 cm (just over 5' 10") and weighs 80 kg. Aside from his physical dimensions, no personal details are known.
Origins of Akuma
The name "Sheng Long" is the Cantonese pronunciation of 昇龍 (shôryű in Japanese) which means "rising dragon." One of Ryu's win quotes in the English version of the Street Fighter II said, "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance." At the time, fans of Street Fighter thought that Sheng Long had referred to a person - the supposed master of Ryu and Ken, and not one of Ryu's moves (the Shôryűken). The SNES version of the game offered the true quote, "You must defeat my Dragon Punch to stand a chance!"
The creation of Akuma came from an April Fool's joke in the video game magazine Electronic Gaming Monthly, where the editors claimed that the player could find Sheng Long in the game by not touching M. Bison, the final boss of the Street Fighter II series. Sheng Long would then come out of nowhere and kill Bison, and the player would fight him. Sheng Long was supposed to have the moves of Ryu and Ken, but did much more damage and was also faster. To make this joke more believable, fake screenshots were made. Soon after, many fans, believing that the joke was true, flocked to Street Fighter II machines, hoping that they could fight a nonexistent character. When asked about whether the joke was true, Capcom did not confirm nor deny it as the sudden infusion of money into their machines was driving up business; Capcom USA was taken in by the gag, and actually contacted Capcom Japan and asked if the Sheng Long thing was legit. Only much later was this joke revealed as a hoax, by EGM themselves.
Ironically, in Super Street Fighter II Turbo, parts of this story became true. Like the joke, Akuma would appear from out of nowhere and kill Bison, and the player would fight him, and similarly, Akuma had the moves of Ryu and Ken, and was much faster and dealt much more damage. Akuma can do the Hadôken in the ground and in the air, his Tatsumakisenpukyaku knocks the opponent instantly and can also juggle, his Shôryűken knocks down his opponent at the first hit and does 3 hits up close and personal, no matter the punch strength being used, and he can also juggle with a single Shôryűken in certain instances. Akuma also had the ability to warp to different places in the screen. As many people were accustomed to Sheng Long, Akuma was erroneously called by the name Akuma Long. The move that was used to kill Bison (the Shun Goku Satsu) was also erroneously called the Bison Killer.
In the beginning, Akuma was exclusively a secret character and final boss, appearing in other Capcom games such as X-Men: Children of the Atom, which is considered the forerunner of the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
Akuma and his brother Gouken, the master of Ryu and Ken, were students of Goutetsu. Goutetsu taught a life-threatening martial art called Ansatsuken (Assassin Fist), which incorporates elements of karate, judo, taekwando, and koppo , and a technique called the Shun Goku Satsu (literally Instant Hell Murder but also known as The Raging Demon), a technique that is taught only to the most elite practitioners of the life-threatening martial art (it can not only kill its opponent, but also its user too if the user is not skilled enough).
As Gouken abandoned the violent nature of Ansatsuken (Gouken taught his students Ryu and Ken the Ansatsuken art without the murderous touch to symbolize that he was against the murderous nature of the martial art), Akuma vowed to use Ansatsuken like it was meant to. Akuma vowed to no end that he would master each and every life-threatening technique in Ansatsuken's book, such as his side-stance fierce fist and master the use of the Shun Goku Satsu.
While Akuma sought to master the life-threatening Shun Goku Satsu technique, he eventually increased his strength by embracing a principle called Satsui No Hadou (The Surge of the Intent to Murder). In embracing the Satsui No Hadou, Akuma lost his humanity, but he apparently took the seizure pretty well, as it would only increase the killing power of his techniques, new or old. This embrace caused Akuma to transcend human limits, lowering Akuma's hit points (this was so during Capcom VS SNK and Capcom Fighting Evolution, in which Akuma had less hit points than others) but increasing Akuma's damage potency.
After mastering the Shun Goku Satsu and embracing the Satsui No Hadou, Akuma fought Goutetsu. Akuma demonstrated his strength by killing Goutetsu in only one swift stroke with the Shun Goku Satsu. Goutetsu, in his last words, never realized that mastery of the Shun Goku Satsu was Akuma's goal. Akuma then challenged Gouken to a battle of death. This was witnessed by Gouken's daughter (a character Capcom has apparently forgotten) as Akuma sealed Gouken's life with the Shun Goku Satsu. Ken, knowing about this atrocity, challenged Akuma, but was defeated. While Akuma was insanely strong, Ken survived.
During the events of Street Fighter III, Akuma devised several new techniques that were meant to create tidal waves, split Ayer's Rock in half, and even kill an opponent in only one, single chop. Akuma's self-taught technique is called either the Maleovant Murderous Wave or Misogi, which Akuma channels all his power into his right hand and then slashes away with a life-threatening chop that will instantly kill an opponent in one stroke, or in Akuma's case, break a mountain into pieces. During Akuma's Misogi Chop, Akuma jumps into the air and then drops blindingly fast with a life-threatening chop.
Akuma has the ability to remain underwater, under massive pressure, for extended periods of time. Akuma also destroyed a submarine while submerged. He is not a demon, nor is he possessed by one, but the comparison is accurate in a metaphorical sense.
Akuma has a very different moral code than regular people. Although he killed his brother and his teacher (and while his goal is to use Ansatsuken like it was meant to be used), he performed the murders for personal gain only, and the field of battle does not distinguish between friend and foe. He believes he has committed no trangression. Akuma's training comes first and foremost, and he will not interrupt it to warn off unwary passersby (hence the destruction of the submarine).
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