Sakura Kasugano (春日野 さくら Kasugano Sakura ) is a fighting game character from the Street Fighter series, first appearing in Street Fighter Alpha 2. She is a Japanese girl with an intense fixation on Ryu, having copied and learned many of his techniques, and chasing him around the world to prove herself to him.
Sakura typically fights in her school's uniform - a short-skirted sailor uniform (seifuku) with the collar popped and red bloomers (short shorts) underneath. She also wears red Converse-esque shoes, a midriff-baring red top under her uniform, red sparring gloves, a yellow neckerchief, and a white headband that was given to her by Ryu before the events of Street Fighter Alpha 2. She has short brown hair and brown eyes. Her fuku is blue with single white linings in each sides and white socks. In Street Fighter IV and Street Fighter X Tekken, her socks are shorter and the color is navy blue. Her school uniform becomes her "Nostalgia" costume in Street Fighter V.
In her ending in Super Street Fighter IV, her hair is slightly longer, she wears a red high-neck sporty jacket with a single line at the center, a white short sleeved undershirt, black shorts, white socks and white sneakers with matching designs. She also maintains her white headband.
In Street Fighter V, Sakura wears a different outfit (her college uniform) that consists of a navy blue vest with a pink trim, a white long sleeve button shirt underneath, a pleated skirt with frills at the edge, black mid-length socks and black short (possibly Docs) boots. Her bolero tie is long and the color are pink and white and is tied at her midriff baring top. Like Ryu's, her headband is red along with matching gloves with a stylized written on the white lines. She also has a head microphone at her left ear.
Her first alternate costume is a blue arcade uniform; a blue short sleeved collared shirt with a yellow trim and collar, a matching ID on her neck, dark blue and black checkered skirt, yellow tights, black socks with red linings and blue sneakers with yellow toe caps. She wears a matching blue cap in place of her headband. She also has a Blanka-Chan doll on her waist. Her second costume is an outfit similar to Ryu's which is a white karate gi with the sleeves ripped into sleeveless, a black karate belt which is tucked into her gi and matching karate pants. Underneath her gi is the red midriff baring top from her school uniform and she wears red footguards.
Sakura was created by Akira ‘Akiman’ Yasuda, who was approached by the Street Fighter Alpha team during the early stages of Street Fighter Alpha 2's development. He wasn’t impressed with their work in the first game and the direction they were heading towards in Alpha 2, as they only wanted cool and stylish characters. Akiman reveals that the team excluded “weird” characters such as the Sumo fighter E. Honda as the employees younger than Akiman considered him “uncool”. When making Sakura he knew that the team wanted another cool character and that the leaders of the project would dislike it. Even so, Akiman still presented the design to the team but was quickly shut down which upset Akiman at the time. After going back to his desk, his boss passed by and saw Sakura's design and complimented on it, which lead to Sakura's inclusion to Street Fighter Alpha 2's roster. Akiman wanted a character who was unique to the cast, a girl in a sailor uniform and someone who wasn't stylish.
An early design featured her in a kimono shirt and hakama pants, but was later abandoned in favor of a Japanese sailor outfit. Akiman’s choice of Sakura’s character type was due to the popularity of the schoolgirl archetype from works such as Sailor Moon along with making her distinct from the Street Fighter II cast. Sakura quickly became Bengus' favorite character due to how he's able to express himself freely in his art compared to the high expectations that come with drawing Ryu or Chun-Li. Bengus was in charge of Sakura's redesign in Street Fighter V.
In many aspects, Sakura is very tomboyish, outgoing, and respectful in personality, as she is most of the time happy, energetic, cheerful, positive, hard-working and focused in combat. Despite initial depictions and illustrations of appearing to be brash and confrontational, she actually has a noble spirit and a very determined attitude, either in studies or in martial arts training. She sees Ryu as an idol and teacher, rather than an opponent, since she always watches him fight and mirrors herself on his philosophies in battle.
Although her techniques may seem somewhat "rustic" in comparison to Ryu and Ken, she manages to balance her school work with her training in hopes of being accepted as Ryu's student and prove herself by fighting worthy adversaries. In a clean match, Sakura is a very patient and disciplined warrior. She is the embodiment of innocence and is acknowledged by many fighters to have great potential that may one-day match Ryu and Ken in strength when she gets older and skilled.
Due to her charisma of innocence and her sincere attitude, Sakura has gained the admiration and friendship of many.
Ryu is Sakura's main inspiration for taking up street fighting and deeply admires him like a childhood hero and role model. Like Ken, she’s willing to put her own well-being on the line to help Ryu, as shown in Street Fighter Alpha 3, where she was willing to fight M. Bison to protect Ryu, and again in Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, where she stops Ryu, who was under the influence of the Satsui no Hado, from killing C. Viper. Once she heard about the disappearance of skilled fighters, she immediately flew from Japan to America so she could ask Ken where Ryu was but not before beating up his bodyguards first. In Street Fighter V, although her motivation for street fighting diminished over the years, just the mention of Ryu gets her excited as always.
Similar to Ryu, Sakura sees Ken as an inspiration for street fighting. Although while she holds Ryu in a much higher regard, she still thinks highly of Ken. In Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, when Sakura showed up to his house and beat up his bodyguards in hopes of finding Ryu - who she couldn't find at the time - Ken was shocked that “his stalker” couldn’t find him herself.
After their first fight in Sakura Ganbaru!, both women have sparked a rivalry (similar to Ryu and Ken's rivalry) because of Karin's first loss in a long lasting winning streak, briefly making avenging her own defeat a personal vendetta. However once Karin won their rivalry match in Street Fighter Alpha 3 she admitted that Sakura is indeed better than her and that she only won by luck. After that, they became close friends as well as continuing their friendly rivalry, which is noticeable in one of her win quotes in Super Street Fighter IV and all other interactions with her despite having completely opposite personalities. In Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, Karin invites Sakura to the Kanzuki Estate to have a match. Sakura wins, but then ask Karin why is she still picking fights, Karin responds with the fact of fighting is the best way to test skill. Sakura then dismisses the idea and ponders if spending time growing in strength is the best way to go about things. Karin then asked Sakura would it be different if she was fighting with Ryu. She calls fighting with Ryu a "different story". Karin then calls Ryu and tells him to go to Sakura's house and enlighten her.
Since Dan was her "sensei", Sakura respects him as both a friend and a teacher. However, this friendship is double-sided, because she often uses him to find Ryu whenever she needs to. In return, Dan boasts her as one of his star students, perhaps helping him give Saikyo-ryu some credibility. Both are in good terms with each other, regardless.
Both being high-school girls, Sakura and Ibuki have been able to hold a close relationship with one another. This is mainly because of the latter's interest in boys and that Ibuki had never met someone so "cool" that's also within her age group, allowing the two to get to know one another easier than with older fighters. It was thanks to this that Ibuki got the attention of Karin in Street Fighter V.
Even though there has been no example of an in-game friendship beforehand, Cammy and Sakura have been close friends, as Cammy has been shown to deeply care about her. This started in the second volume of Sakura Ganbaru (roughly before/during the Street Fighter Alpha series), when Cammy was an amnesic after defecting from Shadaloo and Sakura interfered with an assassination attempt on the former. After that, they traveled alongside Chun-Li to Russia where they tag-teamed against Zangief in a cage match before going their separate ways. From then onwards, Cammy and Sakura are still friends and have a friendly rivalry during battle, as shown in her win quotes against each other in Street Fighter IV.
Elena and Sakura are seen as friends due to being roughly the same age and because both girls share a kind-hearted, tomboyish personality. They both share the same views about fighting and combat, making their friendship easygoing without trouble. According to Elena's arcade ending in Ultra Street Fighter IV, it was thanks to Sakura that she got to know more about Japan and planned to go back to meet her again.
Kei Chitose is a close friend of Sakura who attends the same high school, Tamagawa Minami High. She sometimes goes along with Sakura on her adventures but more often than not fails to keep up with the energetic Sakura.
Like Kei, Sakura and all three students are high-school friends, though all three students are from separate schools in the same area as Tamagawa Minami High (Taiyo High and Gorin High respectively). When Sakura is challenged by Karin in Street Fighter Legends: Sakura, they help her train as well as catch Karin cheating in the hot-dog eating contest and take out Karin's bodyguards when they fought. Sakura is mostly seen with Hinata and Natsu in some screenshots where they are seen eating desserts at the coffee shop and leaving the school together in the game's ending in Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2.
The two are acquaintances, having known and battled each other during the Taiyo High School incident, and through other students, such as the aforementioned trio. In particular, Sakura helped train Akira while the latter was pretending to be a boy attending Gedo High in order to be strong enough to save Daigo. The two meet up again with the help of Karin.
Not much is known about Sakura's early life aside from the fact that she is best friends with her fellow classmate, Kei Chitose, and grew up with Hinata Wakaba and Natsu Ayuhara in childhood. Sakura began to participate in street fighting after she saw Ryu fight while she was on her way to school, and trained to emulate his style since. She recalls the first two fights she got into were when older bullies stole Tsukushi's portable game console and won it back upon defeating them, and fought off a college upperclassmen who was sexually harassing Kei with his friends.
Sakura appeared as a secret playable fighter in Capcom's 3D fighting game Rival Schools: United By Fate. In the story. Sakura attends Tamagawa Minami High School, but comes to help Hinata and Natsu, now students of the adjacent Taiyo High and Gorin High respectively, involving herself in the mysterious events throughout Aoharu City and find the people responsible for the school kidnappings and attacks. Upon the end of the Aoharu's inner city school battles, she realized how much it meant to her to protect something she cared about and wonders if Ryu has something to protect as well.
Sakura appears as one of the instructors in Nekketsu Seisyun Nikki 2 during the fight against the edit characters in a single round. The only way to raise all of their stats is to defeat her in a fight. But if the edit character loses, it does not raise all their stats due to her overpowered prowess or being beaten by her Burning Vigor attacks.
Skipping school to search the world for Ryu, Sakura embarks on a long journey to find him and become his student. Along the way, Sagat notices her techniques are similar to Ryu's and demands she tell him where he is. She doesn't know herself and comments on how rude he is and the two fight.
In her individual ending, Sakura remembers when her and Ryu fought each other and requested him to be her master. Ryu refused, saying that he still has much to learn himself. Before he left, Sakura asked if she could at least take a photo of them before he left as a keepsake, which she is seen reminiscing over on her way to school. As she's walking, her best friend Kei shows up and cheers her up before having to dash because they are late.
At age 16, she was still fighting, and decided to travel the world to find Ryu once more and find out what street fighting is really all about. She started off in her native Japan and fought the sumo wrestler E. Honda, who mentioned Ryu was going off to such places as India and Thailand. She also fought a rematch with her rival Karin Kanzuki - who was with Guy, as both of them were after M. Bison - and though Karin won the fight, she admitted Sakura was better and she had learned winning was not everything. Thereafter traveling with her sensei, Dan, she met his friend Blanka along the way and was promised a match with him. Sakura even ended up fighting Maki again, who complimented her on being able to handle her fighting style, Bushinryu, better than last time. Sakura said that this was thanks to a fight with Guy, although this being true is unknown as Guy never met Sakura in his story or vice versa. Nonetheless, Maki is taken in surprise by this, and wants to know where Guy is. Sakura tells Maki of where Guy was headed, and the two part.
She continued to search the world for Ryu, eventually ditching Dan and finding Ryu's friend and rival Ken. She commented to him how she loved to fight to better herself, and finding inspiration in those words himself, Ken and Sakura eventually found Ryu in Thailand, where he was actually being brainwashed by M. Bison. Sagat had come by this time to find the scene as well, and as Sagat took on Ryu, both Ken and Sakura took on Bison. A combination of Sakura defending Ryu from the Shadaloo leader and Sagat's urgings finally snapped Ryu out of the mind control and he defeated Bison, destroying him temporarily. He told Sakura then he was not ready to train her and fight a rematch with her yet, and walked off, with Sakura watching him go. She then realized that there was something really special about Ryu, but she didn't know what it was.
Sakura returns to fight again, still searching for Ryu, Some time after the end of the second World Warrior tournament, she confronts Dan about whether he knows anything about where Ryu might be. Dan, not wanting to appear out of the loop, says that a new tournament is rumored to be about to start, and that Ken will be participating, speculating that Ryu will also be there. Ecstatic, Sakura immediately runs off to enter. She, Dan, and Blanka depart on a cruise ship on which she endures a grueling self-imposed training regime.
During the tournament, she actively seeks out Ryu, eventually finding him in the S.I.N. building in the midst of destroying the BLECE project. The force of the struggle knocks Sakura unconscious, and she awakes to see a triumphant Ryu standing over her. The two escape from the S.I.N. building in the midst of explosions - which were probably Vega's doing - and run into Dan and Blanka along the way. After the tournament, Sakura and Ryu exchange goodbyes and she leaves for home on the ship. In her ending, a slightly older-looking Sakura is shown walking with her dog in an area near the Overpass when she sees Ryu approaching.
Having graduated high school and now going in university, Sakura now works part-time at an arcade named Plaza Capcom, but wonders what decisions she needs to make in order to be satisfied with her future.
After a match against Karin, Sakura asks why she always picks a fight with her for no reason, to which Karin replies that a fight with Sakura is the best way to test her skills. Sakura states that neither of them are kids anymore and questions not only if their fights are the best way to use of their time but also if becoming stronger is the right way for her to live. Karin wonders if Sakura would say the same thing if Ryu was present, to which Sakura gets excited and asks if Karin has seen him, the latter explains that she saw him during a recent crisis when she summoned a group of fighters from around the world, and that she is certain that Ryu is still training.
At her workplace, Sakura thinks about how she wish she could see Ryu again, but realizes how she must continue at her part-time job and not travel around the world at a whim like she used to. She goes back to work when one of the customers notifies about someone "going crazy" at the arcades. On her way home, Sakura thinks about her life and future when she bumps into Ryu who mentions that Karin summoned him because of Sakura. After a fight to ease Sakura's mind, Ryu praises her for growing stronger and more mature. Sakura asks Ryu about his life, stating that no matter how strong he becomes, he will eventually grow old and die, wondering if that's the right life for him. Ryu asks if she means he should take on a disciple to carry on his skills to the next generation, stating that he is still in training and can't take one. Sakura says she meant having children in the future to create new bonds in life. Ryu replies that he never thought of it but considers it another type of strength. Sakura agrees and thanks Ryu for his answer, now knowing what she wants in life. In a short awkward moment, a slightly embarrassed Sakura quickly corrects herself by saying she is not planning on having children right now.
Character story appearances
Sakura appears in the last part of Karin's character story, where she is warmly welcomed by Karin upon her return to the Kanzuki Estate. She says that she was happy to hear from Karin's steward that Karin wanted to see her and fight her in a match as part of a friendly challenge. Sakura states that Karin hasn't changed, as the two girls are ready to fight.
Sakura is last seen in Ibuki's character story and the two are seen having a conversation with each other with their cellphones. Sakura informs Ibuki about the party invitation sent by Karin which Ibuki didn't read yet. She also informs her that she can't come to the party because of conflict schedules before hanging up.
In Karin's party at the Kanzuki Estate, Karin also mentions Sakura due to Ibuki being one of Sakura's friends.
In Blanka's character story, which takes place around the same time as her own, Sakura steps in when Blanka accidentally broke the arcade machine. After the battle, Blanka apologizes for breaking the machine. Sakura tells the arcade manager to put Blanka's "Blanka-chan" dolls inside the machine.
She reappears in Dan's character story, which follows Blanka's character story, Sakura follows her former master Dan, after he broke the arcade machine.
In Akira's character story, it was Sakura who clears up the misunderstanding about Akira which Ibuki had mistook her as a boy and a stranger. Akira explains to Ibuki in how she and Sakura had met and it was the time during the events of the Rival Schools series and the Street Fighter Alpha series where she encounters her during her mission to find her older brother Daigo Kazama while she is sided with Edge and Gan. Because she is a powerful street fighter, Akira decided to test her skills by fighting her. Afterwards, Sakura wanted to spar with her and informing them that her rival Karin sets a girl's tea party at the Kanzuki Zaibatsu and wanted to reunite with Akira because of the passage of time. She later spends time with them at the tea party and later in the beach party at the Kanzuki private beach. Sakura also noticed Akira had overcame her aquaphobia which she tells her that someone had taught her how to swim properly and Ibuki mistook it being her boyfriend who taught her. Sakura also asked what she should do next until Karin decided to challenge Akira into a fight again which Akira reluctantly accepts due to the moral support of both Sakura and Ibuki.
Marvel vs. Capcom series
Sakura appeared as a playable character in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter and Marvel vs. Capcom 2. In the first one, her fighting style becomes affected due to her travelling through the portal to the Marvel Universe and not mastering her fighting style yet. This results in her Hadokens launching diagonally upward towards the sky, and her Shunpukyaku sending her in an upwards arc, similar to Guy's Bushin Senpukyaku. However, while she was excited that she could fire her Hadokens in mid-air similar to Akuma, the oddities didn't end there: one time while she was taking a little rest between matches, she decided to fall asleep in a field. After a short period of time, Sakura woke up to find herself oddly sunburned and in a bit of pain. Despite this, she continued to help defeat Apocalypse and discovered that not only had her old fighting style had come back, but she could also perform attacks similar to Akuma's without having any murderous intent. In addition to Dan and Ryu, she gets along with Spider-Man and Blackheart as well, surprisingly. Eventually, Sakura loses her sunburn and her abilities go back to what they were when she first arrived.
During Ryu and Chun-Li's second visit to the Marvel universe to stop Onslaught, Sakura accompanied Zangief to see Doctor Strange, who helped Zangief cope with his mechanical doppelganger's presence and taught Sakura to tap into the fighting energy caused by her sunburn so she could use it at will. After tons of energy and concentration (and after Ryu and Chun-Li return from their battle with Onslaught, with the latter looking rather different before being returned to normal), Sakura returned to help the rest of the Capcom characters fight Abyss and found out that Doctor Strange's teachings had helped, as she could now turn into her Sunburned state once she had accumulated enough energy.
Her ending in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter shows her in a non-canonical future scene, where her son asks Sakura about a picture of her standing in front of a defeated Apocalypse (the sub-boss of the game), which Spider-Man probably took for her. She is only seen from behind however, as her head is cropped from view. In the console versions of Marvel vs. Capcom 2, she can be seen in the ending taking a photo with Spider-Man after they beat Abyss.
Sakura appears as a pair unit, being paired with her friend/rival Karin Kanzuki. She first appears in Chapter 1, having missed a show by Wonder Momo and talks with Karin about the Namco Theater, finding out it was built by her family. When Wonder Momo is dragged into a fight by a brainwashed Amazona, Sakura and Karin join in to help Wonder Momo, along with Bravoman, Felicia, and King. Joka later shows up and says Wonder Momo's one of the sacrifices, but decides to add Sakura as well, saying she's worth a "schedule slip" for an extra in sacrifices. Later, Reiji, Xiamou, KOS-MOS, Shion Uzuki, and M.O.M.O. show up and after Joka is defeated, Sakura chases after him, thinking he's behind the sleeping sickness to Karin's objections. However, Joka falls back to the Tower of Druaga, while Sakura and Karin arrive at the doors of Justice High School, looking for Professor Hideo Shimazu. However, 2 Moos and a Giant Moo attack them after Karin's phone call goes unanswered. After one of them is defeated, Janga shows up, delighted he found "the sacrifice" needed to get Druaga back up to full strength. He tries to persuade Sakura to come with him, but she refuses stating her parents told her not to go with strangers. Hideo and Kyoko Minazuki show up, much to Sakura's surprise and Janga's chagrin. She wants to tell Hideo about Joka, the potential source of the sleeping sickness. Janga receives surprise reinforcements from Joka and uses them to hold the school hostage, threatening to curse the students if Sakura doesn't come with him to the Tower of Druaga. Guy and Sho arrive shortly thereafter, berating Janga for his villainy, and swiftly help put down the enemies present. Janga is beaten and feigns defeat, but Sakura insists the battle is over. Janga uses this chance to attack and injure Sakura, telling her to go to hell. However, Akuma shows up and beats him to a pulp, forcing him and any other enemies that survived to flee.
Sakura appeared as a playable character in Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo and Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix.
SNK vs. Capcom series
Sakura appeared playable in Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight 2000, Capcom vs. SNK 2 and SNK vs. Capcom: The Match of the Millennium. Like several other Street Fighter characters, she has also appeared as a card in the SNK vs. Capcom: Card Fighters Clash games.
Sakura appeared as a playable character in Capcom Fighting Evolution.
Sakura appears as one of the DLC characters in Street Fighter X Tekken, with Blanka as her tag partner. Sakura and Blanka hear the news about Pandora located in the South Pole. A few months pass, leaving Sakura and Blanka to wonder where Dan has gone ever since he left and never came back, so Sakura and Blanka head out to the South Pole to find Dan and check out the Pandora Box.
Continuing their journey to the South Pole, Sakura and Blanka run into Lars and Alisa thinking that Lars is a TV star known as Red Warrior Bakori Man, to which Blanka agrees. Lars gets confused as to who this TV star is, and Alisa explains to him, after which Sakura and Blanka challenge them to a fight.
After defeating Ogre, Sakura and Blanka feel excited, as they got to fight many fighters searching for Pandora. Soon, they remember that Dan is missing, so Sakura calls out his name. Afterwards, Pandora opens, prompting them to check inside. Looking inside, they find Dan freezing and beaten up, prompting Sakura and Blanka to help Dan out of the box.
Sakura is the main protagonist of the Sakura Ganbaru! manga, which begins right before the events of Sakura's story in Street Fighter Alpha 2.
Sakura appears in several of UDON's Street Fighter comics, like in Street Fighter Legends: Sakura (in which she is the main protagonist), Super Street Fighter and Street Fighter Unlimited.
Sakura appeared in UDON's Street Fighter comics as a main character where she and Karin are rivals in high school, she meets Ryu in a fight against Akuma in hopes that he would train her, she tries to prove her worth by attacking Akuma, only to be attacked by Akuma as he hits her in the head to a tree, she begins to lose consciousness as her eyes close. She eventually wakes up asks Ryu to train her, Ryu tells her that he himself is far from a master, thought she still follows him despite his doubt about himself.
At some point on her summer vacation, she eventually meets Adon, only to find out that Sagat had left his honor for his art behind in order to seek revenge on Ryu, she tries to perform a Hadoken on Adon for insulting Ryu, however, the attack did not work out as no surge of ki did not come out. She went to Ken's wedding as he was getting ready for the party, he was attacked by a group of Shadaloo spies being lead by Vega, he attacked Ken without any remorse while keeping him, while Ryu has his battle with Balrog, Sakura defeat many of the spies of Shadaloo using a Hadoken. Before Guile could help Ken, Vega fights Guile in order to keep him from helping him. As the cops came in to help Guile, Vega and the remaining Shadaloo spies retreated back to Bison.
Before Sakura left to the airport on her way back to Japan, she told Ryu that she would continue to train until he returned back to Japan, at some point at her school, she and Karin had a fight over who could eat more hot dogs, although Sakura was losing, Karin was actually cheating. Honda knew that interfering would not be the right thing to do, Sakura's friends then took out many of the employers that were working for Karin throughout the contest, she begins to realized that Sakura is a better girl then her.
During the Street Fighter tournament that was being hosted by Shadaloo, Sakura, Dan, and Blanka had entered it, only Blanka was able to make it to the next round.
The Unlimited series presents a drastic departure in her character. After Shadaloo was stopped, Sakura went to become a full time student of Ryu in hopes that she would gain more knowledge over Ansatsuken to become stronger, Bison and a group of troops have come to bring Ryu back to their boss, Sakura takes out the troops while Ryu fights Bison, Urien comes out of the helicopter in an effort to bring Ryu back with him, Sakura was threatened by Bison, with Ryu now focusing on Bison holding Sakura, Urien used that to his advantage and knocked Ryu out. Bison dropped Sakura and left her in the ground as he and Urien left, as Dan saw everything that happened, he followed them to their base, he went back to Sakura and told everything that they planned to do, Sakura wanted to save him herself, as she started to think about secretly using the Dark Hado in order to help him (knowing that using this power is dangerous). Akuma appears behind her and motivating her to use the power, she rejected his way on using this power.
Akuma however tells her that she has the potential to use surpassed him if she harnessed this power, she uses it for a brief moment and fires a Metsu Hadoken at Akuma in a burst of anger, only for him to shoot it back at her and knocks her down, he teleports away, leaving Sakura to feel the power that she just used, she soon finds Bison and begins to ruthlessly beat him by using the Satsui no Hado, she started to go for a lethal blow, Dan tries to convince not to let vengeance consume her as he himself knows from experience, Sakura begins to push back him back due to the Satsui no Hado starting to affect her mind, and tries to destroy Bison (who unbeknownst to her was actually Twelve in disguise), but right in the nick of time, Ryu breaks free of his icy imprisonment and tries to stop her from destroying him, she begins to argue with him on why he would let a person like him alive after everything he's done. On the verge of insanity, Sakura’s eyes glow even redder as she tears off her headband.
The Satsui no Hado continues to affect her sanity as she starts to fight Ryu, and the fight ends in Ryu putting Sakura into a Full Nelson and absorbing all of the dark power inside of her while Guile and Juri fight Twelve. Later on, Sakura and Dan watch the fight between Evil Ryu and Oni only for the fight to be ended by Gill, causing Ryu and Akuma to return to normal.
Sakura appears in this OVA as a high school student who is interested in Ansatsuken after witnessing Ryu save a boy from a shoot out in Toyko. At some point, she is saved by Ken from a group of criminals, and seeing the same martial art style that Ryu uses, she asked if he knows Ryu and Ken tells her that he is going to the Street Fighter tournament. As they enter inside, they head into the building as Ryu is being engulfed by the Satsui no Hado which was being influenced by Shun.
As Ryu stops himself from going for a lethal blow, the Metsu Hadoken hits the building, and Sakura's legs are wounded when she tries to save Ken from being hit by the wreckage. Later, at the hospital, she‘s playing Pocket Fighter using Morrigan, and visited by Ken who tells her that Ryu has not been the same since coming under both the influence of Satsui no Hado, as well as Shun's kidnapping at the hands of Shadaloo. Ken tells her the dangers of getting into martial arts such as Ansatsuken and the pain that he, and many warriors like him, have been through at some point, and the potential of being doomed to eternal darkness if one values perfection and power above all else.
After being fully healed, Sakura started to think carefully about what Ken had said about the dark side of getting stronger, and decided that she would train herself in a positive manner as a way to test herself against other fighters.
Street Fighter Alpha: Generations
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Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind
Sakura is first shown when she defeats Ken's security guards who wouldn't let her in his home. She is still on the hunt for Ryu and asks Ken if he's seen him. Ken tells her that he hasn't seen him and Sakura tells Ken about the missing fighters, since he never heard about that. Later, they find Ryu under the control of the Satsui no Hado after Cammy is both defeated and gravely wounded by Crimson Viper. As he is about to kill two security guards, Sakura rushes to Ryu and hugs him, begging him to come back to his senses. Ryu almost hits Sakura, but at the last moment he recognizes her and snaps out of the Hado's control.
She helps out Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li as S.I.N. tries to capture Ryu to complete the BLECE project after C. Viper's report about Ryu and the Satsui no Hado. She helps Chun-Li get rid of most of the guards while Ken rescues his wife Eliza while Ryu searches for Seth. At the end, she tells Ken that she's leaving because of the prices for plane tickets have gone down and she couldn't miss the chance to get them since she has to go back to Japan for schoolwork.
Street Fighter EX series
Sakura is a young school girl from Japan. She is a very competitive child, and frequently encounters new hobbies or activities that she would like to become the best in the world at. But no activity captivated her quite as much as street fighting the day she happened to see Ryu fighting in a sparring match. The way that he fought, his ability to harness his inner ki and release it in the form of energy from his hands, fascinated Sakura like nothing else.
From that moment on, Sakura was determined to find Ryu and ask him to teach her. Fortunately, Sakura was naturally quite gifted at fighting, and found that she was able to reproduce some of the arts that she saw Ryu perform just by concentrating and imitating him. Her technique wasn't identical to Ryu's as she put her own spin on things, but she still hoped that Ryu could teach her how to perfect her techniques.
When she heard that a Street Fighter tournament was being held, she signed up with a moment's hesitation. Dragging her school mate around the world for a summer, she arrived at the competition, and did surprisingly well, but failed to advance far enough to meet and challenge Ryu. She did catch up with him after one of his fights, and he was flattered by her appreciation, but felt that he was not ready to take on any students.
When the second tournament was announced, Sakura was completely bummed out by the fact that it was in the middle of the school year, and she was prevented from entering by her parents. When the third tournament rolled around, and it was announced that fighters were to have partners, she was "sure" that she could convince Ryu to be her partner. Unfortunately for her, Ryu decided to partner with his long time training partner Ken.
Dismayed, she spotted another girl around her age who also seemed disappointed. Her name was Nanase, and she had hoped to fight with her older sister Hokuto, but Hokuto decided to partner with her brother Kairi. Sakura felt that she found a terrific partner and Nanase agreed. However, once it came time to develop a strategy, they bickered quite a lot amongst themselves, and never really came to an agreement about how best to proceed. As a result, they were quickly knocked out in the first round. Angry at one another for the loss, they decided to never speak to each other again.
Sakura fights using an emulated (and thus comparatively weaker) version of Ryu's fighting style; her applications of the moves lead to a unique approach to the "Shotokan" fighting style, with a different gameplay style from that of Ryu's.
Sakura's moveset contains many "unorthodox" variants of existing 'Shotokan' moves, including a 'running' Shoryuken, a jumping Tatsumaki, and a less-powerful Hadoken that she can charge, though at the cost of distance. In Capcom vs. SNK 2, her Hadoken is non-projectiles, appearing as an energy burst from her hands.
Her moves and combos have high potential to stun opponents and also provide many an opportunity for mix-ups. However, her somewhat low stamina and her lack of other available approaches (particularly her weak projectile) require a certain amount of finesse, leaving little room for error; this ultimately makes Sakura a high-risk, high-reward character. Sakura's combo-heavy playstyle, when supplemented by her normals and special, make her a devastating fighter once she gets an opening.
In Street Fighter V, she retains most of her moves in Street Fighter IV and has new moves to her arsenal such as Oukakyaku, Kashinfu and Tengyo Hadoken. Her playstyle is similar to Ken Masters when she executes her Midare Zakura and her Shunpukyaku as part of her EX specials. Her V-Skill is Haru Kaze where Sakura leaps forward at the opponent, and once in the air has three different follow up options. Hitting punch will perform her Sakura Otoshi which can be pressed up to three times to continue the combo by using her two new moves.
She has two V-Triggers, the first is Haru Arashi which is similar to Ryu's Denjin Renki as her two Hadokens now gained electricity or utilizing it to make it as a combo. Her second is Sakura Senpu where both arms and feet are embedded with electricity to amplified her special attacks to make increase damage to her opponent.
She can successfully manipulate ki, and is subsequently able to perform the Hadoken energy attack; however, due to her lack of training, she cannot throw it the full length of the arena like Ken or Ryu can. Unlike Ryu and other fighters from the same style, however, she can control the size of her Hadoken and throw larger Hadoken projectiles that sacrifice range and execution speed for size and power (up to 3 times larger). In the Marvel vs. Capcom series, she throws her Hadokens diagonally upwards, though her "Hiyakeshita" (literally "Sunburned") version still throws them horizontally. In Capcom vs. SNK, she is given an energy spark instead of a traditional projectile (called the "Hadoushou") that hits 3 times, but is limited to the area in front of her hands (though her EX version lets her use her special version of the Hadoken).
Her other attacks include "Shunpukyaku", a short version of the "Tatsumaki Senpukyaku" attack that, instead of sailing through the air, rises and falls in an arcing pattern and traditionally only goes about 60% of the screen at its longest range; and "Shouoken", a version of the "Shoryuken". She performs it by running and throwing body blows ending the combination with an uppercut. In the Sakura Ganbaru! manga, Ken points out that even though Sakura knows these techniques (alongside the Hadoken), she can't use them to their full extent like he and Ryu can due to her being new to using these moves, and Sakura herself points out that when trying to do the Shoryuken, she has a habit of taking one step forward before unleashing the uppercut. Furthermore, in the Marvel vs. Capcom series, her Shunpukyaku still moves in an arc, but this time it's that of a quarter-circle forward in the direction she's facing, similar to Guy's Bushin Senpukyaku.
Her Super Combos include her own interpretations of the Shinku Hadoken (which, like her regular projectile, will not cover the full length of the screen) and Shoryureppa ("Midare Zakura"). Her third Super Combo is a ground-based spinning leg attack (called the "Haru Ichiban", literally translated as "first one of the spring") that ends with a side kick that knocks her opponent away. In the Marvel vs. Capcom series, the Street Fighter EX series and Rival Schools, she also gains the Raging Demon in her sunburned form, although it has no canonical reference on the Street Fighter series.
In Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, Sakura retains most of her moves but she gains a yellow umbrella when she executes her Shouoken or her Midare Zakura Mighty Combo. Two of her special attacks has her comically beat and later use a motor scooter to hurt the opponent.
She also has four disguises to serve as her special attacks (Eg. a tennis player, a soccer outfit, a Playboy bunny girl and her blue one-piece suit while wielding a baseball bat or a long towel to slip her opponents). Her other Mighty Combo has her in a disguised Playboy bunny girl calling two muscular men to drag her opponent to beat them down, the opponents can be seen being brutally beaten or being crazy in love (when her opponents are females).
In her appearance in Street Fighter EX3, she gains two unique Meteor Combos: first is the "Nekketsu Hadoken", in which she fires a massive, pink Hadoken, which is several times her size, exceptionally fast, and does more damage than any other projectile attack in the game; the second is "Genki Ichiban", which can deal about 80% damage to an opponent but is widely telegraphed (she tiptoes toward her opponent and points & laughs; the pointing is unblockable and causes a great deal of knockback).
In Street Fighter V, her Critical Art is the Sakura Rain where she shoots Hadoken to knock her opponent. As she strikes her pose, she hits her opponent with a powerful Shunpukyaku and heavily punch to the opponent's groin followed by an uppercut to knock them down. Her punch and uppercut to her opponent nearly resembles a slower version of Ryu's Metsu Shoryuken.
- Her story in Street Fighter EX 3 mimics that of when Sakura skipped school to join the tournament Karin had set up in the Sakura Ganbaru! manga.
- Sakura is one of two fighters who learned their fighting styles from two of the main characters in the Street Fighter series, Ryu and Ken. The other is Sean.
- Sakura is notable for having these distinctions in the series.
- She remains the first Street Fighter character with a vocal theme song and the only character whose theme song is sung in Japanese, "I Just Want You to Know" Kono Omoi o Tsutaetai (この思いを伝えたい), sung by Yuko Sasamoto (same voice actress from the games). It is first found in the arrange soundtrack of Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo. The song is an arrangement of her theme song first heard in Street Fighter Alpha 2, and is once again used in Super Street Fighter IV.
- Sakura is the only female to have used the Satsui no Hado (as "Sunburned Sakura", also known as "Dark Sakura"). Although it has no canonical reference to the Street Fighter series, Dark Sakura does have a win quote that Sakura has against Akuma in the Japanese versions of Street Fighter Alpha 3 ("I'm scared... I want to move forward... What is this feeling...").
- While Rogue also has the ability to briefly borrow the power to use the Satsui no Hado when fighting Akuma, she can't wield it indefinitely.
- In UDON's Super Street Fighter comics, Sakura actually falls to the Satsui no Hado while fighting Akuma, in order to tap into the strength necessary to find Ryu, who had been kidnapped by the Secret Society. This is also the second time Sakura has used the Satsui no Hado, the first being in Marvel Super Heroes vs. Street Fighter.
- She is also the only one able to wield the Raging Demon without a personal kanji manifesting. However, petals from cherry blossom, the flower that shares her name, do drift in as the move completes. This is thought to symbolize her wide-eyed enthusiasm and innocence, and that she has not sacrificed her humanity the way Akuma did.
- Not counting Evil Ryu, Sakura is the only character introduced in the Street Fighter Alpha series to appear in the Street Fighter EX series, in this case, the console port of the first game and also the third game.
- Sakura shares the same birthday with R. Mika.
- In the Street Fighter manga Sakura Ganbaru! (Sakura Does Her Best!), Sakura's potential was believed to be so immense that if properly trained, she would be able to match Ryu blow for blow.
- In the same series, Ken also mistakes her for being either Ryu's daughter or sister.
- Additionally, the quotes between Sakura and Cammy (especially in Cammy's quote) in Super Street Fighter IV could be a reference to the Sakura Ganbaru! manga, where she and Cammy formed a friendship.
- In the GBA and PSP ports of Street Fighter Alpha 3, Maki's rival battle with Sakura references when Sakura encountered Maki during the Sakura Ganbaru! manga.
- The way that Karin's tournament in Sakura Ganbaru! works is similar to that of the Duelist Kingdom Tournament in Season 1 of Yu-Gi-Oh!, as both tournaments involve the use of Star Chips for the contestants to keep fighting.
- Sakura's downloadable track jacket outfit in Super Street Fighter IV is a reference to the final scenes of the manga, where Sakura wears the same outfit as P.E. teacher at Tamagawa-Minami High, hinting that she probably became a teacher herself in her alma mater. Sakura strongly hints of this being her desired career in her character story in SFV:AE.
- According to Yoshinori Ono, Sakura would always remain a high school girl in the games. However, in a Dengeki Online interview, Ono says that Sakura isn't really high school girl. In Street Fighter IV: Aftermath, an interviewer asks Sakura if she's really a highschool girl only for Sakura to avoid the question before leaving. Street Fighter V director Takayuki Nakayama, would go onto say that her uniform is simply "combat uniform" and that she isn't a high school student even before her playable appearance in Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, where she currently is in university studying to be a teacher, and also works part-time at an arcade.. Both her school uniform being combat gear along with aiming to be a teacher originates from Sakura Ganbaru!.
- Sakura's win quote towards Evil Ryu in the Arcade Edition of Super Street Fighter IV is a reference to the animated movie, Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, when he almost kills her for getting in his way from killing an S.I.N. agent.
- While recent characters in the Street Fighter universe does not have their birth year officially confirmed, Sakura's birth year is stated to be in 1981, according to the Japanese-only All About Capcom Head-to-Head Fighting Game 1987-2000 book, page 306. The practice of omitting birth years in character profiles most likely started during or before the release of Street Fighter Alpha.
- Street Fighter IV was the first time Michelle Ruff voiced a character in Street Fighter media that wasn't Sakura (whom she voiced in Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation and Street Fighter Alpha: Generations). As of SFIV onward, Sakura is still voiced by Brittney Lee Harvey.
- Sakura's bloodtype is A in Street Fighter and O in Rival Schools. The reason for this is unknown.
For more images of this character, see their Gallery.
- Ultra Street Fighter IV Profile Archived from The original
- UDON's Street Fighter: World Warrior Encyclopedia Hardcover
- Capcom 30th Anniversary Character Encyclopedia
- Street Fighter V Stat Card
- All About Street Fighter ZERO3 page 146
- All About Street Fighter ZERO2 page 151
- Undisputed Street Fighter page 041.
- How to Make CAPCOM Fighting Characters page 180.
- "At that time, I didn't like the direction of "STRIKE ZERO", so I thought that it would be possible to make a clear distinction from [ST II] by putting in a "high school girl"" (当時は「ストZERO」の方向性が気に入らなくて、中途率端にするより突き抜けた"女子高生"キャラを入れることで[ストII]と明確に差別化)
- "I also was able to create Sakura so I was pretty satisfied overall. She was axed after I had handed her over to the team for some reason though, I went nuts. I went and sulked under my desk for a while, when my boss unexpectedly passed by and said "Hey, that's a really cool design!", and Sakura was resurrected." from ROUND 1: Akira Yasuda part 2 Archived from The original
- “She was a character outside the game’s narrow world view, a girl in a sailor uniform, someone who wasn’t stylish. She was interesting because she was so different-the sort of character that Alpha and the older Street Fighter games didn’t have.”
- Secret File, Zero 2 Tsuushin (ＺＥＲＯ２通信, roughly "Zero 2 Correspondence") (No. 3, 1996), page 4
- Undisputed Street Fighter page 243.
- "Sakura comes naturally to me. I feel able to draw her freely, and to express myself, compared with the expectations that come with drawing Ryu or Chun-Li"
- "I think the design of [Strike V] by Bengus isn't a high school girl.” (Akiman)"([ストV]のベンガス君のデザインも、女子高生じゃないさく、ら」として、とても良い感じたと思います。(あきまん)`[Suto V] no ben gasu-kun no dezain mo, mesukōsei janai saku,-ra' to shite, tote mo yoi kanjita to omoimasu. (Akiman)')
- She wanders the town in search for that person she once saw: the high school girl with the burning gaze entranced by street fights!
Kei Chitose has gone to the neighboring town, invited to hang out by her close friend Sakura Kasugano. Said friend is going around asking strong-looking men:
"Please, have a street fight with me!"
Of course Kei is pretty anxious over her friend's questionable behaviour. It's not like Sakura never did strange things before, but this time Kei really doesn't get her: apparently, what got her interested in street fights was one particular street fighter - so Sakura calls him - that she once saw as she was going to school. (クラスメートで親友の、春日野さくらの誘いに付き合って、隣町までやってきた千歳ケイ。屈強そうな男を見かけては
from All About Street Fighter Zero 2 page 150.
- "A fighting high-school student? Man, that's straight outta the comic book pages. ...Oh, you're in university now? Ah, my bad." - Rashid's win quote against Sakura.
- The name Plaza Capcom can be seen in the arcade's door in Blanka's character story, and Sakura's story costume is similar to the real life uniform from Plaza Capcom
- Dengeki Online interview in 2010
- Takayuki Nakayama's Twitter