Akira Kazama (風間 アキラ Kazama Akira) is a fighting game character from the Rival Schools series of 3D fighting games, first appearing in Rival Schools: United by Fate. She would later make her playable debut in the Street Fighter series, appearing in the fifth season of DLC fighters in Street Fighter V.
Akira is a silent girl who rarely speaks out her thoughts. She may be tough and commanding while wearing her biker outfit, but is a docile and gentle person without it. The outfit was originally intended to hide her true gender prior to enrolling in Gedo High.
Akira has medium-length brown hair (it is a lighter shade in Street Fighter V) with a half fringe on the left side and a single fringe in the center of her head and brown eyes. In the original game (and as Powered Akira in Project Justice), she wears a black biker jacket (wearing a camouflage/olive green tank top in it) with spikes and a skull emblem on both spikes, black rider pants with gray metal designs and red kneepads. She wears a black belt on her waist with a black chain at the left side and black with gray metal rider boots. She wears black rider gloves with red metal designs and a black biker helmet with a skull in the center of her helmet. Her powered form became her first alternate costume in Street Fighter V.
In the School Life Mode of Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2, her game portrait and appearance has her wearing an orange and blue short sleeve shirt and a white jumpsuit with the long sleeves are tied on her waist and black shoes where she works as a bike mechanic. She is sometimes usually seen in her black biker outfit but with or without a helmet. She also wears various outfits during the school term and in addition, wore two swimsuits during both Swimming Day and the Beach Overnight. Her first swimsuit is a dark blue strapless bikini and the other swimsuit is her light blue short sleeved openly hoodie with light violet stripes in each sleeve and a dark blue one-piece suit underneath her jacket.
In Project Justice and for her playable debut in Street Fighter V, her original outfit had her black biker jacket tied on her waist. Aside from her original outfit, she wears the Seijyun Girls' school uniform which consist of a dark blue vest with a short sleeved sailor collar with a red laced ribbon on the collar, a dark blue skirt, navy blue socks and brown dress shoes. Her white sailor collar has cross black linings on each side. Her Seijyun Girls' school uniform became her second alternate costume in Street Fighter V only her vest, skirt and shoes are black. She also has black bloomers beneath her skirt when it was pleated during fights.
Her summer costume is a combination between her two swimsuits in School Life Mode during both Swimming Day and Beach Overnight, Akira's strapless bikini is now purple with white outlines and her short sleeved openly hoodie is now white.
Her nostalgia costume is her maid outfit during School Fair Day in School Life Mode.
Akira's name, appearance and fighting style, were most likely inspired by the 1988 manga Kenji. The titular protagonist Kenji uses bajiquan and his girlfriend, Akira Kazama, rides a motorcycle.
Akira Kazama and her older brother Daigo are orphans. They previously lived together in Daigo's own home before Akira moved to the Seijyun dorms. Their parents were friends with a man who owns a garage, this man taught Akira about bikes when her parents died, and now she helps the man repair bikes.
Prior to her initial appearance, she appears at the last part of her older brother, Daigo's ending (Daigo's storyline in the game takes place before the events of Rival Schools: United by Fate), in which Akira herself decides to pose as a boy in order to enter Gedo High so that she can find out on what had happened to Daigo after he had unexpectedly disappeared from within his own personal mission of solving the school kidnappings.
Her initial appearance in United by Fate is under a motorcycle helmet and being dressed in biker gear while posing as both a boy and as Daigo's younger brother. She befriends two of Daigo's subordinates, Edge and Gan Isurugi, who eventually became suspicious of her actions, which forces Akira to fight against the two of them in a handicap match, with both Edge and Gan testing her fighting skills in order to truly see if she is indeed their boss' younger brother. After defeating the Pacific High students (Roy, Tiffany, and Boman) who were captured and brainwashed by Hideo and Kyoko, the trio decides to pursue the latter two, only to be stopped and informed by both Natsu and Roberto that both Hideo and Kyoko, along with Roy, Tiffany, and Boman were brainwashed by Justice High School. With this new profound knowledge, Akira now realizes that her older brother may have been brainwashed as well following his sudden disappearance.
After Hyo's defeat, the Gedo High trio eventually rescue Daigo as Akira emotionally reunites with her older brother while speaking out in a feminine voice towards him, in which both Edge and Gan are initially confused by their boss' word about "a lady like yourself" to Akira. From there, Akira finally shows her true gender to them by removing her black biker helmet and apologizes to both Eiji and Gan for her past deception towards them while also telling them that she was not Daigo's younger brother, but rather, his younger sister, much to their own shocking surprise. Despite this, both Edge and Gan eventually accepts Akira as their new friend, telling her that the three of them had fought together during their adventure to rescue Daigo and that she's now one of them, much to Akira's own dismay as she personally wants to go back to school as a regular student.
An alternate version of Akira without the helmet and jacket is playable in Rival Schools, but maintains the same ending as masked Akira.
In the Seijyun High storyline of Project Justice, Akira, who has been transferred to the girls-only Seijyun High, is the central character, with the player themself following her on her personal quest to find out on what happened to Daigo, who had suddenly and unexpectedly changed after returning from his personal training journey. She manages to befriend Yurika Kirishima and later on Zaki, with the latter only agreeing to join the duo if they could defeat her in a test of strength.
After hearing and learning of Daigo's sudden change of personality, the trio decides to investigate the situation while also investigating the new wave of attacks on the local schools themselves. Upon meeting Batsu on the way, Akira is attacked by him (unaware at the time that it was actually Kurow in disguise). Akira and her friends then later on fight the real Batsu who she mistakes as the real culprit. By the time of this, both Gedo High and Seijyun High are on the verge of having a school gang war against each other.
Akira and Zaki are soon confronted by a brainwashed Daigo and that Akira herself tries to snap him out of it, only to be stopped by both Edge and Gan, who tells her that they need to fight against him by force in order to help free Daigo from his brainwashed state. While the battle takes place, Zaki hears an unexpected whistle noise and soon realizes that Yurika (who was secretly working with both her younger brother Kurow and Momo from within the Darkside Student Congress) was playing Kurow's flute in order to control Daigo from within his brainwashed state.
The group had soon went after Daigo in the mountain area near Justice High and that they were led there by Yurika herself, who had a change of heart and wanted to help Akira and the others out, causing Kurow to brand his older sister as a traitor to their mission. Kurow plans to brainwash Yurika as punishment, only to be repelled by Zaki who uses her chains to get his flute. Akira states that she can not forgive Kurow for ruining his family relationship with his older sister. She faces the brainwashed Daigo one final time. After Kurow was defeated, Akira tries to wake Daigo up from his unconscious state, but is unable to do so as Yurika tells Akira that Daigo needs to rest for a while so that he can fully recover from his brainwashing. Edge gives Akira her black biker helmet and attire as a part of their school's behalf while Gan also helps out in carrying the unconscious Daigo to safety.
After Hyo's defeat and death, Yurika had left Seijyun High out of personal guilt for having to take part in Kurow's evil plan, but she decides to return to the school a while later, where she is warmly welcomed back by both Akira and Zaki, with Akira herself happily reuniting with her. At some point after this, Daigo, who recovers from his brainwashing and realizes that he needs to improve himself both physically and mentally in order to make sure and see to it that something like this doesn't happen again in the future, leaves Edge and Gan in charge of watching over Gedo High until he returns while also giving his school jacket to Akira, saying his good-byes to them as he leaves to train once more from within another personal training journey.
Unlike in Rival Schools: United by Fate, Akira starts off without her motorcycle helmet disguise, but can unlock it (Powered Akira) after playing through a certain storyline in the game.
In August 2020, Akira was announced as the first Rival Schools character to be playable in the Street Fighter series, appearing in the fifth season of DLC fighters in Street Fighter V with a prospective Summer 2021 release date.
Akira fights using Bajiquan, known as Hakkyokuken in Japanese, a Chinese martial art style identifiable by it's trademark elbow attacks, palm rushes and shoulder smashes.
Rival Schools moveset
Most of Akira's fighting techniques are based on different fighting styles, notably Taikyoku-ken and Tai-chi-chuan. Her blue projectile when utilizing her Burning Vigor, Energy Focus Cluster has a skull emblem even in mid-air. In Project Justice her projectile is now purple to match her older brother Daigo's projectiles and the skull emblem can be seen when she is about to execute the Burning Vigor even in her Powered form. Akira's two of her burning vigors of both Heaven's Barrage and Destructive Barrage can also be executed while in her Fractured Heaven Stance and it does not charge up during execution.
Common to both versions of Akira:
- Cyclone Dance (Japanese: 旋蹴舞 Senshuubu) - Spinning kick attack that can be done up to three times. Depending on the kick button pressed in the button combination, the kick can be a flying kick or a sweeping kick. Both versions can be used subsequently. Also used by her Powered version.
- Releasing Dance (Japanese: 放舞 Houbu) - Launches the opponent into the air. The player can follow with an Air Combo afterwards. Also used by her Powered version.
As Normal Akira
- Elbow Gate (Japanese: 骸裡門 Gairimon) - Akira charges forward and knocks the opponent into the air. It, however, cannot be chained into an Air Combo, as the opponent can recover immediately after the attack.
- Leaping Smash (Japanese: 風撃襲 Fuugekishuu) - Akira does a forward flip in the air. If a kick button is pressed while doing this move, a knockdown kick follows.
- Fractured Heaven Combo (Japanese: 破天連撃 Haten Rengeki) - See references below for more details.
As Powered Akira
- Fractured Heaven Stance (Japanese: 破天の構 Haten no Kamae) - Akira stands on one leg. This is not really an attack; rather, this is used to initiate any of the following combos: Dragon Fang Slash (龍牙裂斬 Ryuuge Retsuzan), Spinning Swallow Storm Dance (旋燕嵐舞 Sen'en Ranbu), Nirvana Charge (羅漢進撃 Rakan Shingeki), and Phoenix Wing Sky Kick (鳳翼天蹴 Houyoku Tenshuu). See references below for more details.
- Reverse Inside Gate (Japanese: 裏裡門 Urarimon) - Akira does an elbow thrust with knockback effect.
- Sparrowhawk Chick's Shoulder Plant (鷂子栽肩 Youshi Saiken) - A two-hit shoulder/headbutt strike that deals massive damage.
Burning Vigor Attacks
Common to both versions of Akira:
- Energy Focus Cluster (Japanese: 気功塊 Kikou Kai) - Akira unleashes a large sphere of energy from her hands. Also used by her Powered version, however, the latter deals massive damage in only one hit in the form of a powerful energy ray. The latter version is sometimes referred to as the Hyper Energy Focus Cluster (Japanese: 剛気功塊 Gou Kikou Kai). Both versions can also be used in mid-air. Different from Daigo's.
- Heaven's Barrage (Japanese: 天の連舞 Ten no Renbu) - Akira does a backflip kick, launching the opponent high into the air. She then immediately jumps to follow suit, then unleashes a barrage of kicks in mid-air. The last two punches knock the opponent down to the ground. Also used by her Powered version. In Project Justice, the last two punches are replaced with a single kick and a Leaping Smash while using this ability.
As Normal Akira
- Destructive Barrage (Japanese: 破の連舞 Ha no Renbu) - Akira executes a series of kicks and two blows. The last straight kick knocks the opponent into a random obstacle in the field, scoring a bonus hit dealing six hits.
- Destructive Heaven's Stealth Kick (Japanese: 破天無影蹴 Haten Mueishuu) - Akira launches herself leg-first towards the opponent. It hits multiple times, and knocks the opponent into a random obstacle in the field, scoring a bonus hit. Range is short, and has bad recovery delay.
As Powered Akira
- Destructive Pair Attack (Japanese: 破の双撃 Ha no Sougeki) - A combo attack similar to Destructive Barrage. Akira executes a series of kung-fu based moves as the last blow deals massive damage dealing five hits. Unlike the Destructive Barrage, however, this only knocks the opponent backwards (without any random obstacle in the field).
- Combination Barrage (連撃連武 Rengeki Renbu) - Powered Akira's Team-Up technique. The active character grabs the opponent, and both characters deliver a series of kung-fu-based blows to the opponent. This can be initiated up to a range of two steps from the opponent.
- Synchronized Kick Chain (協奏連撃蹴 Kyousou Rengekishuu) - Team-Up assist by the normal Akira. The active character will uppercut to the opponent in mid-air as Akira appears to join the fray, both do a reverse backflip and unleashes a punch and a kick towards the landing opponent and they jump and go for a flying kick to slide the opponent's head dealing 6 hits before Akira leaves the active character in a reverse backflip. In Project Justice, this team up assist has a drastic change. Akira and the active character take turns in delivering backflip kicks to the opponent before Akira finishes with a brief Energy Focus Cluster.
- The normal Akira does the Divine Woman's Hammer, Seijyun High's Party-Up technique; while her Powered version does Gedo High's Gedo Top.
Street Fighter moveset
Akira retains all of her moves from the Rival Schools series but with a new fighting stance and additional moves. Her moveset can be considered a mix of her "default" and "powered" gameplay. Her basic attacks including Elbow Gate are now slower to execute and the Leaping Smash is more of a heel drop to knock airborne opponents into the ground. The Energy Focus Cluster Burning Vigor is now a special attack that can be done on the ground and in the air. One of her new moves is similar to Blair Dame's Lightning Knee in Fighting EX Layer. Her moves are now in Japanese terms as her Reverse Inside Gate becomes Urarimon, her Elbow Gate becomes Gairimon, her Energy Focus Cluster becomes Kikou Kai, her Fracture Heaven Stance is now Haten no Kamae, her kicking abilities became known as Senshubu and her Burning Vigors, Heaven's Barrage, Destructive Barrage and Destructive Pair Attack become Te no Renbu, Ha no Renbu and Ha no Sougeki respectively due to her activation of her second V-Trigger.
Akira's V-Reversal pays homage to the Tardy Counter system, using a similar glass-breaking effect.
Her first V-Skill is the Kiko Rensei which enhances her Kikou Kai, powering it up to its Burning Vigor status and greatly increasing its damage and combo potential. Her second V-Skill is the Tsutenda in which Akira launches an opponent in the air and follows up for an air combo. Much like her home series, she can either perform the attack raw for a lengthy combo, or cancel into it for a shorter launch. Her V-Shift is the Gairimon where Akira charges herself to counter her opponent's attack with a powerful elbow.
Akira's first V-Trigger is Otoko no Senaka, where she summons Daigo in a similar fashion to R. Mika's C'mon, Nadeshiko. Daigo executes both his Earth Stab to crumple the opponent followed by his Burning Vigor, Super Phoenix Fire to knock them away. Akira can continue the offense while Daigo executes the attack even if she herself gets hit, creating a massive wall of pressure for the opponent to deal with and her second V-Trigger is Haten no Kamae, letting her execute three Burning Vigors such as Destructive Pair Attack, Heaven's Barrage and Destructive Barrage as a chain combo. Akira also gains a new move called Kaihosho which charges forward or executing her target combo Renkan Ko.
Her Critical Art is similar to R. Mika's Peach Assault and an homage to Daigo's Burning Vigor, Phoenix Fury. Akira lands a palm strike and a punch to make them stunned as she and Daigo cracking their knuckles and damages the opponent with a barrage of punches and a single straight kick, finishing off with a combined Kikou Kai from both siblings.
- The following details of Akira's life is as described:
- Her talents are Chinese martial arts and cooking.
- She is in Gedo High School the first year and later Seijyun High School the second year.
- Her strong subjects are Japanese, social studies and English.
- Her weak subjects are Physical Education and Music.
- She is not a member in any clubs and she has no part-time job, as it is prohibited by school (however, she did previously worked as a motor bike mechanic).
- Akira prefers racing bikes, because the engines deteriorate more slowly.
- Akira likes confectionery, especially chocolate cake and cheese cake.
- She usually prepares meals for Daigo.
- Akira loves cats, but unfortunately is unable to keep one because she lives in an apartment.
- Akira used to be bad at swimming before, and had aquaphobia (fear of water), but after being taught by Nagare she got good at it. This was also referenced in her character story in Street Fighter V.
- Akira is the first Rival Schools character to appear playable in the Street Fighter games.
- Street Fighter V is not the first time, however, a character from Rival Schools has appeared playable alongside Street Fighter characters in a fighting game. Kyosuke and Batsu were playable in Capcom vs. SNK 2 and Tatsunoko vs. Capcom respectively. Akira and Batsu were both slated to be in the cancelled Capcom Fighting All-Stars: Code Holder, and they are both playable in Street Fighter Online: Mouse Generation.
- Akira is also the first DLC fighter in Street Fighter V, and overall the first fighter in the mainline Street Fighter games, who originates from a different Capcom franchise (within Street Fighter's shared universe) that is not the Final Fight series.
- Her official epithet is "Kung-Fu Rider".
- She is voiced by Chiharu Tezuka.
- As of Project Justice, she is one of two Rival Schools characters to represent two different schools, as evident in the Party-Up techniques she uses. The other one is Kurow.
- Her Kyousou Rengekishuu attack is taken from Episode 9 of the anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion, in which the Evangelion Units 01 and 02 synchronize their attacks doing the exact same pattern of Akira's own attacks.
- As of her debut in Street Fighter V, Akira and Daigo are the only Rival Schools characters so far to have English voice actors.
For more of this character, see their gallery.