Street Fighter: Sakura Vs Karin Free Comic Book Day
Udon Entertaiment (May, 2019)
WRITER: Ken Siu-Chong
ARTIST: Omar Dogan
LETTERER: Marshall Dillon (someone was a Gunsmoke fan)
Sakura Kasugano is one of Ryu’s students, who also works in an arcade. She uses the fighting games to hone her mental fighting skills as sharply as her physical ones. She’s really fond of a combination jewel puzzle/fighting games called Super Chibi Puzzle Gem Fighter II: Ultra Turbo Arcade Edition. (There’s a mouthful for you.) She gets so good at the game that she takes over the #1 ranking, angering the previous number one, who turns out to be Sakura’s high school rival, Karin Kanzuki, heir to the Kanzuki Corporation. Karin challenges Sakura to a one-on-one match at the championship. Eventually Sakura wins, which earn Karin a lambasting by her father until Sakura convinces her that her father’s “victory at all costs” approach kept her from having a life. Karin tells her father that there is much to learn from failure as well as success…a lesson her father knew she had to learn for herself. Karin not only gets a controlling share in the company but also a place in Sakura’s circle of friends. I wonder if Sakura knows the other person she’s beating over the internet is her own mentor?
That opinion hasn’t changed. The story is a lot of fun. You hear a lot of demand for strong female characters, and here’s two good ones for you. Their being women doesn’t come into play; they’re just characters. Their strength is shown both in playing the game and in the physical match that happens when they need a winner after the game locks up. Through all that Sakura is forgiving of her rival and stands up for her when she’s been wronged. (Although it was just a test by her father.) Karin is also a good rival who goes through a redemption by the end of the story. It’s easier to make friends than fight enemies, and they’re united in their friendship and love of combat, not by a hated enemy or fighting men or any of that other stuff. It’s just a good, strong friendship between two girls who enjoy physical and virtual combat.
I have no complaints about the comic. The art is really good, the characters are wonderful, and the story strong. This may be the best comic I picked up for Free Comic Book day and were the funds with me I would probably check out a further series. This is definitely one worth looking into if they have a printing outside of the FCBD offerings.