Street Fighter V is getting a selection of new DLC fighters, including Akira Kazama from the Rival Schools fighting games. Other new fighters include Dan Hibiki, Rose, Oro, and a mystery fifth fighter that will be announced at a later date.
Dan Hibiki and Rose both first appeared in the Street Fighter Alpha series, and has been a regular mainstay of the series ever since. Oro debuted in Street Fighter III: New Generations and appears in Dhalsim’s story in Street Fighter V, so his inclusion is not surprising.
The DLC will be the first time that Akira Kazama will appear in a Street Fighter game, though, so she’s something of a new face for many players. That said, Akira already has an established legacy in fighting games.
Who is Akira Kazama, and what is Rival Schools?
Rival Schools: United By Fate is a Capcom arcade fighting game from 1997 that was later ported onto the original PlayStation. The game involved students from different schools going head-to-head in a series of fights as they investigate a series of kidnappings in their home town.
While Akira Kazama did appear in the first Rival Schools game, it’s likely that her Street Fighter V DLC will also draw heavily on the game’s sequel, Project Justice. In this follow-up, Akira is arguably the main character.
Akira and her brother Daigo are orphans, and much of Akira’s story arc across the Rival Schools games involving her trying to rescue Daigo from some big danger. From the sounds of it, much of Akira’s world will be making an appearance in Street Fighter V.
Bringing Rival Schools to Street Fighter V
From the sounds of it, adding Akira Kazama to Street Fighter involves more than just creating a new character. According to Street Fighter V director Takayuki Nakayama:
“The battles in Rival Schools have something unique about them that we also want to incorporate.”
This is possibly a reference to the Team Up mechanic within Rival Schools, which allows two players to work together in unison and unleash combos as a pair.
How this could work remains to be seen, but it does sound as if Akira Kazama has the potential to really shake up Street Fighter V when the DLC arrives.