Iwa

Hey everyone! Welcome back to the Ryu X Chun-Li Project blog. One of the things we’ve been trying to do since this project’s inception is make contact with people who are icons among the Ryu/Chun-Li fan base. And we’ve been pretty successful.  The first was the late Brian Yip a.k.a. NightDragon. His Ryu/Chun-Li fan fiction “Hero of Heroes” a.k.a. “Ryu and Chun-Li Forever” which we read for the first time over a decade ago is what planted the seed that grew into this project. While we were unable to make direct contact with him because of his unfortunate passing, we were able to make contact with Brian indirectly through another icon in the Ryu/Chun-Li universe, David “Duake” Muich, founder of the Ryu & Chun-Li Forever website that hosted Brian’s story for many years. You can read David’s touching blog entry here.

Next we managed to get a blog entry from arguably the second most popular Ryu/Chun-Li fan fiction writer Aaron Pinsky a.k.a. Psychoblue. His excellent work, “End of a Journey” was directly inspired by Brian Yip’s work as well. The mark Aaron has left on this project will be always be remembered. You can read Aaron’s complimentary blog entry here.

And now we have a blog entry from a Ryu/Chun-Li icon famous not for her writing, but for being the woman responsible for the largest collection of Ryu/Chun-Li art on the web: Iwa.  We used to spend hours surfing through Iwa’s RCL Lair, looking at the wide variety of Ryu/Chun-Li art housed there, art that gave sunlight and water to the seed Brian’s work planted in us so long ago until it finally grew into the Ryu X Chun-Li Project.

Ryu X Chun-Li Project fans, we proudly present Iwa, founder of Iwa’s RCL Lair. Iwa, the blog is yours.

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Has it been 22 years already?

I was just a younger sibling who was dragged into becoming a Player 2 punching bag and sparring partner for my older brother when Street Fighter 2 came out on the SNES. Chun Li was the only female character in the game around for me to pick.

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By the time that my skills improved enough to pay him and his friends back for their repeated thrashings, I ended up being the one that got hooked on Street Fighter and various fighting games like KOF, Tekken and Virtual Fighter. My peers went crazy over pop stars, but Chun Li was my idol. I didn’t give much attention to Ryu until later. Ironically I now main Ryu more than Chun Li owing to my difficulty in adapting to the Street Fighter 3rd Strike version of Chun Li.

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With the Street Fighter games, there came merchandise – toys, keychains, gashaphons, action figures, books and more. I live in Asia so these things were very in my face during that time and I had to get them all, well some of it anyway, pocket money can only stretch so far.

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And then mangas, manhuas and comics happened. in particular the Tokuma Shoten Intermedia’s Street Fighter 2 – Ryu series. It was serialized in a comic magazine before I managed to find the books. It had a story. It was Street Fighter. It had Ryu, It had Chun Li. What more could a fan ask for, other than more merchandise? In these varied books they were hinting that Ryu and Chun Li had a thing for each other or at least they were closer to each other than simple friends would be. Ryu was just the toughest guy out there who was in Chun-Li’s age range at that time and point and there was no one around to tell me that this ship was not meant to be. So their relationship just seemed like a natural thing happening throughout various comics.

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Unless you see Chun Li as some kind of home wrecker or just suicidal there was no consideration for me that she would hooked up with guys like Ken, Guile, or Balrog (Vega to US folks). Fei Long and Charlie Nash showed up too late for me to overwrite Ryu’s role. Fei Long just seems too loud and wrong and Nash was dead. And when Sakura showed up she was barely a few years older than me when I first started playing Street Fighter so Ryu and Sakura hooking up made no sense to me at all. While hooking Ryu or Chun Li up with Juri Han is just fanfic insanity waiting to happen. The thought of Ryu or Chun Li settling down with a “normal person” was never on my mind.

Frankly if the mangas never played at Chun Li’s interest in Ryu, I would probably not have noticed a  connection between them, much less thought about it. One manga had Akira and Pai of Virtual Fighters treat each other as buddies, and I came to see them as buddies to the point of shipping Akira with Sarah while Pai was in a love triangle with Jackie and Goh for some reason.

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Granted manga writers think its a poster boy and girl thing. Hey they look good together. Ship them and you’ll have a story line to work with. And after one comic series that had them go through hell and high water together before eventually getting married and then go through more hell, It seemed like the natural progression of things, and I came to see and think of Ryu and Chun Li as a couple from then on.

And all this happened before I discovered the internet. I had five years of Ryu X Chun Li in a seemingly progressive relationship with no one arguing with me about why they cannot be together (aside from it being non canonical).

And then the Internet happened.

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I came across a Street Fighter fanfic authored by someone calling themselves Xylanthia and was captivated by it. Clicking the link to the fanfic board showed me there was a place where I could write fanfiction. Hanging out there, I met a bunch of really good writers like Cherie, TS, Night, Wandering Warrior, Ring-Chan, Animenadie, Silvercane, and many more, each with their own take on the RCL relationship and other Street Fighter stories. It was quite an experience to interact with such creative minds.

And after a while I realized I couldn’t read fics that shipped Ryu or Chun Li with other characters. It just didn’t seem right in my point of view as an RCL fan. By then I learned to accept different pairings or rejections of pairings where other people were concerned. I respect these. I just don’t read them. I don’t go pick fights with their authors. I don’t force my pairing down other’s people throat either. And yet somehow I’m aware of Capcom’s canon storyline.

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Possibly with the exception of Juri Han. Wonderful, psychotic Juri Han who is to Ryu like what Balrog (Vega) is to Chun Li (at least in the early Japanese mangas. Balrog (Vega) prefers Eliza in the Hong Kong manhuas). Its even more screwed up to ship Ryu and Juri (dark, nasty, quite the tease, insanely dangerous–a strong contrast to Chun Li.). And I want to write this but not as a romantic Ryu X Chun Li X Juri shipping story even though I’m sure Juri would love to play with both of them if I did write such a work. Juri would scare both of them with her mind games. Heck she scares me so much when I write about her that I keep her separate from the regular cast until I need her.

There is no tender or redeeming Ryu x Juri love from me here (much less SnH Ryu x Juri). I see Juri more as someone who would blackmail, threaten, or kidnap Ryu to fulfill some dark purpose, and keep Chun Li from tracking him down or even prevent Ryu from contacting Chun Li. And if Juri so much as hurt Chun Li. Ryu would go Satsui no Hadou on Juri to the extreme.

And the best part of all is Chun Li making a comeback and stomping Juri’s ass for making Ryu embrace the Satsui no Hadou and threaten his sanity. Whatever the outcome of this, Ryu would need time to heal mentally and Juri would probably be dead or in a Shadaloo lab somewhere. And the only thing stopping me from writing this is insufficient material and how it even begins.

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So now I don’t write or read fanfics anymore. It’s a bit hard to face the computer and pound something up when you stare at the screen for long hours at work. We all have different ways of loving the fandom. Various games formed a part of my life while growing up, these days I join the people who celebrate the fandom through dolls that are customized to be video game characters. Somehow the parallel between in-game doll units and customizing dolls did not escape me.

In those days everybody had a website, why not me? I have quite the stash of Ryu/Chun-Li art. I started off sending a few pics to fellow fanfic writer Night since he was quite the huge RCL fan. And eventually it was just easier to set up a site and share the art with the rest of the fanfic writers.

Most of my stuff came from my own books, game magazines and what not. And then I found out about Japanese artists like Toranosu who did great artwork. After a short email session with Toranosu, I made sure that if I was to feature artwork by others, I would definitely credit them witha a link to their sites whenever possible. Most if not all of those sites are dead now.

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It spreads the RCL fandom wider when you tell people there is more to see at the original artist’s site and in the context that it is drawn instead of just taking a picture and uploading it on your own site. You want to encourage the artist to draw more, not drive them away.

Originally my site was the whole Street Fighter gallery thing, but after losing my site when someone complained that it was a scanalation site, I switched to focusing on Ryu and Chun Li instead. I don’t have much stuff to update these days, but I keep the site around because it is still useful for the book list I put there.

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The book list started from my needing a place to keep track of what books I had and what books I was hunting for before the Dash Taisen site went down. Much thanks to the owner (Dash no Chris) who put up the list on the Dash Taisen site. I had tracked down quite a bit of my collection and it was a shame that I couldn’t do much to save the SNK section and expand my SNK collection.

SNK. Now that was another good series of video game mangas! It kind of makes me hope that I could free up my time and list the SNK side books that I have. It would not be as comprehensive as the Street Fighter list though.

I don’t read scanalations. I won’t scan entire books or chapters for you even if you ask nicely or otherwise. What I want is for people to clamor for more physical books in their default or translated physical forms. I have received emails from people who saw a random pic and wanted to know which comic it came from.

My part, if I’m able to, is to point people in a book’s direction whether in its default or translated state a various sources (ebay, Amazon, Kinokuniya, Bookoff, Mandarake, online/offline Japanese second hand bookstores, Yahoo Japan auctions, etc.) with said information. I had the chance to go to Japan and picked up quite a few books in their 2nd hand bookstores.

Who knows, maybe a company like Viz (Cammy, The animated movie series of books, SF2- Ryu) or Udon (Ryu final, Sakura Ganbaru. Street Fighter Gaiden) or whatever company (Comic weekly in Chinese many years ago) that’s translating mangas might take note and take steps to translate physical books and publish the physical copies for sale (The three or four Street Fighter novels please!! I still can’t quite read Japanese).

It might even make writers (whether Japan, Hong Kong or US or anywhere else) want to write more new mangas/comics/manhua again when people want their physical copies and not just seek out a scanalation of an existing book and be satisfied with just that.  I want more new stories. I want more physical Street Fighter books, don’t you?

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I’m still not sure what to think about this Ryu X Chun Li Project. I haven’t encountered any fan made doujinshi about the couple since they are always Japan exclusive, and I am not sure if anyone has produced any webcomics on the subject. It makes me curious to see to see how this project will pan out.

All the best,

Iwa

ryuxchunliproject@gmail.com

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5 thoughts on “Iwa

  1. Thats a very nice blog entry! Thank you very much Iwa.

    You are an icon of the RCL community in my book as well and your website was the first one i found when i looked around on the internet for this awesome pairing. It was the stepping stone for me to dig deeper into the internet and eventually find fanfic websites where i read and later started to write and publish my own RCL fanfics.

    So thank you for that too.

    I couldnt agree with you more when it comes to fanfics. I too cannot read fanfics which have Ryu or Chun-Li coupled with other charachters simply because it feels wrong to me. But as you i leave them be and keep writing and reading about Ryu and Chun-Li.

    A big no go IMO is to rant at writers for their choice of coupling game charachters simply because one doesnt agree with it. I once got spammed by someone an fanfiction.net who dared to tell me that Ryu and Chun-Li don’t belong together. Since that person didnt have the guts to comment with a registered user login it just showed as a guest entry and so i couldnt answer. Hence i did the only reasonable thing, ignored that dude and deleted his/hers comments.

    Anyways i always was fascinated by those selected pictures of that comic (or manga) where Ryu and Chun-Li marry on go through hell and back. But i could never find more information other than those pictures….even the title of the book i could not find. If you have any information on it, i would greatly appreciate it.

    Thanks again; BasiliusGalenus

    • @BasiliusGalenus

      That one came from the Hong Kong SF2 comic series. The Hong Kong pics section is grouped according to series.

      I’ll see what I can do to link the galleries back to the book section

  2. This page has been a great inspiration to me…I was gunna give up on this couple a long time ago, up until I found this wonderful page! I draw strength,Inspiration and Ideas from here and hope it lasts many years to come.

  3. Juci_Shockwave says:

    Ryu X Chun-Li does make more sense than most other pairings do. *snickers* That animation with Chun-Li researching and almost admiring Ryu cracks me up every time. XD

    The only thing I disagree with your blog though is your mention of Sakura and Ryu not being possible. Being a daughter of parents who are 20+ yrs apart, I could actually understand the Sakura X Ryu fics that are out there and how they can be probable, not just from my own personal family custom experience, but also due to the fact that Sakura has such an admiration towards Ryu it is totally understandable why many fics (particularly those of cultures outside the western mentality on relationships) would do such a pairing. However, I do understand why you wouldn’t agree to such things (comes down to different customs and cultural upbringing really).

    Finally, I wish more people were more like you and read the description and summary of a fic before reading it. Too many spam and nasty bitter arguments occur all because some idiots don’t read the type of pairings that are in the fics, they then read the whole fic and cause spam wars. I have bitter feelings towards those who read the fanfics and look through the fanart I had done and severely criticize them because they aren’t the pairings they want or the subject matter isn’t to their liking.. umm Clearly there is a reason for the summary and description at the beginning of every fic and pic I do, to provide a brief information on what they are about. It is the readers’ responsibility to read the disclaimer, so it is their own fault if they read or looked at it and get all offended by it. Anyways I’m so glad you are one of the brighter folks who actually glances at the topic and then at the summary/description for the subject matter. That way you read and look at material you want to read and look at. Apparently such common sense are most definitely not oh so common these days, especially on (or in?) the internet.

    BTW, awesome blog. Very detailed and well explained.

  4. @Juci_Shockwave

    Glad to know that there are folks out there, who accepts that there’s always more than one point of view iwhere character shipping is concern.

    I think Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are one of those 15-20 years apart couple (They are actually the same age as Ryu and Sakura).

    It might have something to do with me being a younger sibling and initially seeing Sakura as a younger sibling type character a la Yuri Sakazaki from Art of fighting. I had liked Sakura at first, she was very close to my age, she was a ‘me’ type character. She almost made my fanfic OC redundant(pre Sakura creation, big R x CL shipper, almost redundant again when the dolls and Juri happened) lol

    Sakura’s deepening infatuation for Ryu made me relook their relationship. Apparently it just made me want to protect the R x CL ship in the ‘it just makes sense as they had more in common and I blame my mangas’ influence for it’ kind of way.

    It was like how I read a really good Vega(Balrog) x CL fic in my earlier days. It was a well written psychological thriller. But it made me question their relationship.

    The really well written alt pairings were making me ask questions about Chun Li’s sanity (if paired with Narcissistic Vega or evil Lord Bison) or Ryu’s way of life(Sakura) and Sakura’s infatuation (How far will you go for this guy? Oddly same question where RCL is concern) , Ken/Guile’s fidelity to their spouses. I find it hard to see Chun Li as a homewrecker or ‘depowering herself’ for a non fighter. I had to stop reading before I end up in arguments over why it will or will not work, otherwise it would make me ask questions about Ryu X Chun Li.

    Sometimes people forget that its just a story written by fans with their own point of view.

    It was fun to read and write fics. I didn’t want to look back into my fanfic days and have it mar by getting into fights with other fanboys. Some of the alt pairing writers were quite a fun and creative bunch to chat with.

    It was fun to read and write fics. I didn’t want to look back into my fanfic days and only remember it as constantly getting into fights with other fanboys over shipping. Some of the alt pairing writers were quite a fun and creative bunch to chat with.

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