Because teenagerdom is a mess, but some people handle it better than others.
Amanda And Becky Talk About Street Fighter: Part 2, Street Fighter Alpha
by Amanda LaPergola | 2:47 pm, September 14th, 2012
Amanda: I just…I can’t even.
Becky: A ridiculous outfit would be one thing. You can have a decent character in a ridiculous outfit. But she just made me want to stab my eyes out.
Amanda: The one thing I love about the Alpha series is that it introduces more female characters into the Street Fighter story. Unfortunately, one of them was Rainbow Mika. Actually, talking about Mika does make me want to say something about sexism and character…
Becky: Please do.
Amanda: In Street Fighter Alpha 3, Rainbow Mika is terrible. Not in terms of gameplay necessarily, but her character is just the worst. Not only does she have this goddamn ridiculously sexist outfit (seriously, girl, WHAT ARE YOU WEARING?) but her character is ditzy and dumb.
Becky: And not ditzy and dumb like Sailor Moon-style ditzy-and-dumb-but-can-also-kick-ass. Irredeemably so.
Amanda: However, in the Udon comic book series, Street Fighter Legends: Sakura, her character is much more palatable.
Amanda: Well, she is still wearing that stupid, stupid outfit, but she is also treated as a top-notch wrestler with talent and fans that admire her for her skill in the ring. She’s not referred to as a bimbo or a sex object, just a really kick-ass fighter. And then this series includes one of my favorite comic book pages of all time.
Becky: Ha! That face!
Amanda: What has happened is that Mika has defeated Zangief in front of a stadium full of fans. Zangief is miffed by this and challenges Mika in the stadium’s lobby (just as Sakura is asking Mika for fighting advice). A fight breaks out and then that happpens.
Becky: Even his chest hair looks shocked.
Amanda: And then Mika makes this face.
Amanda: I love this moment so, so much. That look on Gief’s face. That “Oh shit!” look. He knows he has crossed a line. And that makes Mika legitimately angry. I love that. Despite Mika’s outfit (dear Christ, the outfit), it is made perfectly clear that what happened was not kosher. Mika’s personal space was violated, albeit accidentally, and that is not okay.
Becky: Here’s something I’d never thought I’d say…I’ve got to give Mika props for that.
Amanda: Well, give the props to Udon. They didn’t cheapen her character. I mean, the scene is played for laughs, but not in a sleazy way.
Becky: Especially since Zangief knows he screwed up. It’d be one thing if he did it intentionally and she got mad. You see those scenes happen all the time. But it looks like he knows it’s not cool.
Amanda: Anyway, my long-winded point is that an important part of what makes a character portrayal sexist or not, is how they are treated by other characters. In this comic book, Mika is not a sexist character. Nobody treats her as one, and therefore she is not one.
Becky: Word. And honestly, that is not a character I’d have thought you could make that point about. Well done, people who made that comic!
Amanda: Props, Double K-O and Ken Siu-Chong! Also, Omar Doogan for the awesome faces. Shane Law, you helped with the coloring. You get props, too.
Becky: I think I should read these comics.
Amanda: The comics are really good adaptations of the games. They have just enough plot to move things along without slowing the action down. And they are fun!
Becky: I am generally a fan of fun things.
Amanda: It’s fun when things are fun!
Becky: Your comment about plot made me think of something I rather liked about the Alpha series in general, that being the characters interacting more with one another. I mean, this is a game about beating people into a bloody pulp on streets seemingly devoid of cops. You don’t need a plot. But as weird and disjointed as the stories are, I liked all the little rivalries and dramas mixed up in it. Even when they don’t make sense, which is usually the case.
Amanda: I like how the relationships between characters develop in Alpha. It’s nice how there is more motivation for fights than “let’s you and me fight!” I especially love the scenes between Ken and Ryu. The Ken/Ryu friendship kind of touches my heart.
Becky: Bros to the end.
Amanda: There is this little animation that happens right before a Ken/Ryu match where Ken gives Ryu a noogie. It’s just a sweet little moment that says so much about the characters.
Becky: It’s funny, I haven’t played either of them, and yet I kind of love them just from the little stuff like that. We should all do so well as to have a BFF that will give you a friendly noogie before beating the snot out of you.
Amanda: We also find out in the Alpha series that Ryu got his red headband from Ken. As a gift. To help him remember who he is. (fangirl sigh)
Becky: Aw, it’s like a friendship bracelet!
Amanda: I love those two so much. They are my favorite pair of heterosexual life-partners in all of video games.
Amanda: So, is there anything that we have missed in our lengthy discussion this week? We talked about Sakura, Rose, combos, sexism, crazypants plot, bromance…
Becky: Nothing major, I think. We didn’t get around to Karin…
Amanda: Oh, Karin! So, Karin is in it. She’s rich, and she wears sensible bicycle shorts under her skirt, and her family motto makes her fight professional martial artists and occasionally <a href=” http://www.the-isb.com/?p=164”>bears</a>. So, there.
Becky: She calls down an orbital strike and destroys Bison. The end.
Amanda: Oh, there is one more important thing. In the Alpha series, Chun-Li gets to wear pants.
Becky: I KNOW!
Amanda: But this takes place before Street Fighter II, which means Chun-Li decided at one point to change her fighting attire to a dress.
Becky: Oh, I hadn’t considered that. Doesn’t seem like a very practical decision.
Amanda: Maybe pants were getting in Chun-Li’s way? Maybe Chun-Li knows something about pants that I don’t?
Becky: Maybe she was too consumed with grief and revenge to think it through. Wait, though. In the endings in Street Fighter II, she’s wearing pants when she’s out on the town.
Amanda: So…that means…
Becky: So, it’s got to be her revenge dress. She only wears it when she’s out for blood.
Becky: It makes as much sense as anything else in these games.
Amanda: “I’m dressing up. FOR REVENGE!”
Becky: That Chun-Li’s a classy lady. As Jackie Chan knew so well.
Amanda: OF COURSE.
Amanda LaPergola is also a freelance writer and a non-union actor. Mostly, though, she serves a lot of food. She is also on the Twitter.
- Game of Thrones Giving It All Away?
- 5 Actors Who Play the Same Role in Every Movie
- Hollywood's 11 Best Makeover Moments
- Game of Thrones Revealed: Behind The Scenes with Natalie Dormer