Today we celebrate a legend who’s helped lead the charge for popularizing competitive fighting video game franchises across the world. July 21 marked the official birthday of Ryu, the face of the legendary Street Fighter series.
Ryu is the heart and soul of the legendary Street Fighter series, acting as its main protagonist. The OG of his genre, Ryu is the longest-running and most well-known fighting game character, having premiered in the first Street Fighter in 1987.
The fight fanatic has led the series in 37 titles and has appeared in several of the most decorated crossover games including Marvel vs. Capcom, Project X Zone, and Super Smash Bros. He is also featured in manga and anime adaptations and the 1994 live-action Street Fighter film. Ryu has led the charge for Capcom’s masterpiece to be one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time, netting over $12.2 billion.
Ryu is a silent, humble, and respectful individual who’s often juxtaposed against the fiery persona of his childhood friend Ken (who shares many of the same techniques as Ryu, including the same art of Ansatsuken.) He travels the world with a desire for complete mastery of his martial art, and takes both his travels and training extremely seriously. Ryu’s ambition is to be nothing short of the best fighter in the world, actively seeking highly trained warriors of all disciplines to pit his skills against. He possesses a strong sense of justice, so protecting the innocent is among the few things Ryu will prioritize over a satisfying fight.
He has established himself as a long-time fan favorite with his invigorating move set and trademark attire consisting of a white karate gi with the sleeves torn off, long red headband, black belt and bare feet.
Ryu has become one of gaming’s most iconic characters representing the fighting genre along with Scorpion of the Mortal Kombat franchise. To some, he may even be the new face of Capcom given how much the Megaman series has fallen off. With over three decades worth of equity and memories with fans worldwide, Ryu’s stance in video game lore is forever cemented.
Happy birthday, Ryu!