Fresh off the streets of Evo 2022, two more characters have been announced for Street Fighter 6, the next evolution of the Street Fighter franchise, launching in 2023. Juri returns with her playfully sadistic ways along with new ninja Kimberly! We sat down with Game Director Takayuki Nakayama to ask him how Kimberly and Juri were designed along with quick bios for the duo.
A new era is here
Bust out some beats and shake up your spray cans to welcome the newest ninja to Street Fighter 6. Kimberly invited herself to become Guy’s student, who is the 39th Successor to Bushinryu after defeating his master Zeku, the 38th Successor. Kimberly had an ordinary upbringing, but she’s a prodigy who graduated college early and now wants to be a full-fledged ninja. She is infatuated with ’80s pop culture when the portable cassette player was at its peak popularity, hence why she always carries one with her.
Takayuki Nakayama: In terms of Kimberly’s design, we aimed to create an outfit suitable for her speedy and acrobatic movements since she excels in sports like track-and-field and cheerleading. Pair her brightly colored gi with sneakers suitable for moving around quickly, and you have Bushinryu-like ninja attire, don’t you think? We tried to make her hairstyle and outfit beautifully showcase her striking silhouette since she is an expert at running and airborne attacks. The spray can and portable cassette player on her waist are also used for special moves.
The music she listens to originates from a certain person, but you will have to wait for the story to find out who that is. Let’s see how Kimberly, the Ninja + Pop Star = Ninja Star, performs.
According to Nakayama, Kimberly’s arsenal of techniques make use of her high physical strength and allows her to open up opponents in various ways. Being a spunky new ninja, Kimberly incorporates an urban twist to reimagine what Bushinryu means to her. She uses Genius at Play to stock up on a spray can, which can then be thrown to the ground as a Shuriken Bomb. During Hidden Variable, Kimberly conceals herself in colorful smoke before instantly appearing in front of an opponent for a surprise attack. Finally, she has the trademark ninja Sprint, which can be followed up with kick options or Arc Step where Kimberly launches herself off from the opponent.
Something wicked is coming
First appearing in Super Street Fighter IV, Juri remains a sadistic thrillseeker who enjoys the suffering of others, taking immense joy in obliterating her foes. Previously, her main motivator was revenge against M. Bison, but since his fall in Street Fighter V, she now whittles away her time in a gloomy haze. What lies in store for her now?
Takayuki Nakayama: For Juri, this costume retains the image from her Super Street Fighter IV one, but has been rearranged to fit the Street Fighter 6 aesthetic. There is also a change in the hairstyle, which I think gives it extra personality.
Underneath her jacket, black tape that imitates the appearance of a spider covers her body. The colors of her Feng Shui Engine are purple, black, and white, and accented with emerald green. Also, please pay attention to her helmet, as you may have seen in the trailer when she appears on her motorcycle, since it matches her design. Her smart phone also reflects her personality and style, don’t you think?
Fans of Juri will be wickedly pleased to know she retains many of her past moves with different properties now. Fuhajin returns where Juri performs an upwards kick and stores Fuha stocks upon completion. Saihasho, Ankensatsu, and Go Ohsatsu are newly named special moves, but may be visually familiar in the form of the low projectile or jumping ax kick. While these can now be performed without having to expend Fuha stocks, they can be chained together and powered up if a Fuha stock is available.
Finally, Juri’s Shiku-sen, a flying dive kick, returns from Super Street Fighter IV, which can be followed up with a series of flashy airborne kicks. This opens up more creative options for Juri’s playstyle and can catch an opponent off guard.
Here come two new commentators
If you missed it, Street Fighter 6 has a new Real Time Commentary Feature where notable names in the fighting game community lend their voices to commentate your matches. Previously, Vicious and Aru were revealed to be the first two Play-by-Play Commentators back in June. Now, we can confirm two more legendary commentators.
First, we want to go into more detail on the Real Time Commentary Feature. In tournaments, there are usually two commentators working in tandem: the Play-by-Play Commentator, who specializes in describing the action with articulate and rapid delivery, and the Color Commentator, who gives further insight and analysis into the match. We mirror this concept in Street Fighter 6 where you can select both a Play-by-Play Commentator and a Color Commentator in the settings!
Joining Vicious and Aru as a Play-by-Play Commentator is Tasty Steve, who brings his trademark energy, charisma, and hype to his performance. Our first Color Commentator reveal is no other than the fighting game historian, James Chen. We’re honored to have these two legends be a part of Street Fighter 6 history and can’t wait for you to hear them in-game. We’ll reveal more voices in the future!
This completes our Evo 2022 announcements. We’re excited to have Kimberly and Juri bring their unique personalities to the character roster while James Chen and Tasty Steve lend their voices to Street Fighter 6. We’ll see you later in the year for our next reveals! Any guesses?