Home > Manga Reviews, Reviews > Street Fighter Gaiden, Vol. 1

Street Fighter Gaiden, Vol. 1

Street Fighter Gaiden, Vol. 1Street Fighter Gaiden, Vol. 1
by Mami Itou
Udon Entertainment, 170 pp.
Rating: Not Rated

In the spirit of Darkstalkers/Red Earth: Maleficarium comes Street Fighter Gaiden, vol. 1, a collection of short stories featuring your favorite characters from the Street Fighter franchise courtesy of Mami Itou! The first volumes focuses on some of the more well known figures, featuring tales involving Ryu, Ken, Guile and Chun Li among others.

The stories are mostly of the stand alone and done in one variety, often attempting to illuminate the back stories of some of the characters or attempting to take a look into their psychology and motivations. A look back at the life of Ken and Ryu is told in a flashback framed by Eliza, Ken’s wife, explaining the idea of fighters brotherhood and how it’s a special world that women may never enter. Another touches upon the rivalry between Ryu and Akuma, but focuses on Ryu running across a local karate master and their ensuing duel. Likewise the Chun Li tale, the longest story in the book, features her taking down a drug ring with nary another Street Fighter to be seen. The decision to use more original characters to populate the existing characters stories threw me for a loop at first but I got used to it as the story went on. For long time, hardcore Street Fighter fans the weird continuity of the tales and the introduction of original characters may stick in their craw, particular the bizarre Fei Long story.

Mami Itou’s art in this volume is quite lovely and incredibly dynamic. It also seems a bit cleaner and easier to follow then it was in Darkstalkers/Red Earth: Maleficarium. While that’s generally a good thing I found myself longing for the thatch heavy style Itou used for the Red Earth stories. We get a little of it in Fei Long’s tale, but not nearly enough. Still, it’s engaging, true to the original character designs and the action sequences are engaging and fun and easy to follow while maintaing a nice flow and energy throughout the book.

Street Fighter Gaiden, vol. 1 is a weird little book. Unlike the other Street Fighter manga I’ve read, this one is a bit harder to place within the world of the Street Fighter franchise due to so many tales being only tangentially connected to the franchises main story. While bits of the series lore are touched upon, it’s really a volume of side stories that have only minimal plots that don’t do much else but entertain.

Street Fighter Gaiden, vol. 1 is available now from Udon Entertainment.

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