Hey Ryu X Chun-Li fans and followers. We have another special guest for you today:
Basil a.k.a. BasiliusGalenus is a prolific writer of Ryu/Chun-Li fan fiction on deviantart.com, a supporter of the Ryu X Chun-Li Project, and now he honours us with his attempt to answer a question dear to us all. Basil, the blog is yours…
Why do Ryu and Chun-Li belong together?
This is the fundamental question every admirer of this awesome couple should ask themselves and be ready to explain. I have been honored by Sean himself with the request of contributing to this project and in this blog article I will try and answer this question of all questions.
But first I need to travel back in time to when I was eight years old. It was in an arcade in London when I first spotted a Street Fighter II Turbo machine, and I just had to try it. When I got to the character selection screen there was one picture that immediately caught my eye.
Chun-Li was the first female fighter I saw in any fighter game, and I was blown away by her design and its perfect combination of elegance, strength and beauty. As I played, I tried to differentiate which of the characters were good and which were evil. But from the first time I used her in a fight, it was crystal clear to me that Chun-Li was on the side of the angels.
One other character I immediately placed on the side of good was the Japanese fighter Ryu. His design just screamed ‘hero’ at me and he was also very prominently featured on the arcade machine.
The next time I would play the game again would be almost a year later at a friend’s home. My friend was one of the lucky few to own a Super Nintendo, and one of the multi-player games he owned was Street Fighter II. The game was amazing to play of course. But the real kicker was when I took a closer look at the box art for the game.
On it you could see Blanka using his rolling attack to strike not only Ryu but Chun-Li as well. Now wait a minute…..Ryu and Chun-Li are not just two of the good guys but they are allies too? Right then and there I was confronted with the pairing of those two iconic characters for the first time, and I liked it very much. My interest in the canon of the game itself and the backstories of the characters was rising rampantly.
Now back then there was no Internet yet, and the only reliable information came from game magazines and game instruction manuals. Consequently. there was little canon and backstory to find. Over the years I let my imagination fill in the blanks, and the thought of Ryu and Chun-Li ending up together was not only more and more entertaining to me but made more sense the longer I thought about it.
Then years later the Internet conquered the globe and with it came the limitless access to information from everywhere on the planet. For the first time I was able to read up on my favorite fighting characters’ backstories, and I also found that I was not the only one who saw a potential romantic connection between Ryu and Chun-Li.
But the question still remains: Why of all the fictional characters in the Street Fighter universe should Ryu and Chun-Li end up together? Well, let’s take a good look at their backstories.
Chun-Li’s motivation to enter each tournament is to avenge, protect, or rescue those she cares for the most. During the Alpha games, Chun-Li is an INTERPOL agent searching for clues to her father’s disappearance, him being a senior INTERPOL agent as well. When she finds out that her father was killed either directly or indirectly by none other than M. Bison himself, she is hell-bent on revenge to take down M. Bison and his criminal organization.
At the end of SF Alpha 3, Chun-Li along with her allies succeed in destroying the main Shadaloo base and in the process find Ryu and escape with him.
Chun-Li continues her work as an INTERPOL agent and receives an invitation to the second World Warrior Tournament in SFII. When Chun-Li finds out that M. Bison survived the destruction of his base and is actually hosting the tournament itself, she vows to avenge her father and to take down Shadaloo once and for all. The tournament ends with M. Bison’s defeat at the hands of Ryu’s nemesis Akuma.
In SFIV, Chun-Li joins forces with Cammy and Guile to take down S.I.N., a shady Shadaloo organization. Afterwards, an accomplished Chun-Li makes her peace and retires from fighting. She teaches martial arts to young children even adopting six of them as her own.
Chun-Li steps back into the ring and dons her costume once more during the events of SFIII when one of her children gets kidnapped by Urien. Chun-Li does not rest until she finally manages to rescue her adopted daughter.
From her storyline, we can surmise that Chun-Li is a very dedicated and strong woman with a tragic past. The murder of her father gave her clear motivation to enter the Street Fighter tournaments and not just to exact revenge but justice upon those who had a hand in his death. Let’s not forget that after Shadaloo’s destruction, Chun-Li started teaching martial arts to kids. To become a teacher and also adopt several children takes a huge amount of courage and devotion. Her elegant and beautiful clothing style in the games also hints at her feminine side.
Now let’s take a look at Ryu:
According to canon, Ryu is an orphan who was taken in by Ansatsuken grand master Gouken and trained in martial arts along with Ken Masters, spoiled son of Gouken’s best friend. Years later, Gouken sends Ryu out into the world to test Ryu’s skills. Ryu enters the first Street Fighter tournament and defeats its host, Sagat, by allowing himself to be engulfed in the Satsui no hadou, the dark side of Ansatsuken, and Ryu nearly kills Sagat.
Ryu returns home to find his master apparently murdered. When Ryu discovers that Gouken was killed by none other than Gouken’s own brother, Akuma, Ryu vows to get revenge and travels the world to find the man who murdered his adoptive father. Ryu encounters Akuma and fights him. But Akuma is too strong for the young warrior, so Akuma merely toys with Ryu and finally tells Ryu all about the Satsui No Hadou. Akuma then leaves Ryu, and Ryu continues traveling the world in search for worthy opponents through which he can improve his skill.
Every time Ryu enters a Street Fighter tournament, his motivation is to improve his skills until he finally can face and defeat Akuma. However, during the course of each tournament he makes friends with many other fighters, even becoming something of a teacher to the school girl fighter Sakura who idolizes him.
In SF IV we learn that Gouken has in fact survived his encounter with Akuma and, in order to help his former student, Gouken seals away the Satsui No Hado within Ryu.
From Ryu’s storyline we can surmise that he is just as dedicated to improving his fighting skills and treats all fighters that he meets with both honor and respect.
If we now compare Ryu and Chun-Li’s stories, there is one element that stands out and connects the two of them.
Ryu and Chun-Li have both lost their father figures at almost the same time and both of them entered the Street Fighter tournaments with the sole purpose of eventually avenging their loved ones and bring justice upon those who want to do evil to others. They are both dedicated to their cause beyond measure and, perhaps most importantly, they always remember why they fight.
It is also quite obvious from the source material (games and official comics) that both Ryu and Chun-Li retain a sentimental quality. Both have many friends, they honor and respect good fighters and both have in some point in their lives become teachers and caretakers of children, be that Sakura for Ryu or Chun-Li’s adopted children for her.
Now it is clear that Ryu and Chun-Li have many good qualities in common as well as a tragic experiences. Even though Ryu’s adoptive father Gouken survived, to Ryu he was murdered and remained dead for a long time until his sudden reappearance.
So is it such a long shot that Ryu and Chun-Li would be attracted to each other?
Why do Ryu and Chun-Li belong together? Because they share not only similar traits of character but also similar history. Simply put, like attracts like.
It is more than plausible that if Ryu ever turns up at Chun-Li’s doorstep during his travels and they actually get to talk, the two of them would find out that they are very much alike and it would be extremely likely that they end up together.
And thanks to this project, all of us who believe in this awesome pairing will finally see it happen.
At this point, I want to give a big thank you to Sean Anderson and his team for working so hard to make this story a reality! You are more than awesome!
As for the rest of us Ryu/Chun-Li fans, Sean has provided us with an opportunity many of us thought would never happen, and it’s time more of us acted upon it. All of us can help him out by donating financially, donating a nice piece of art, or writing an entry for this blog. Every contribution we make to this project, no matter how small, will help give it a bigger chance for Capcom to acknowledge it, and give us all a greater reading experience.