5 classic characters we'd like to see reimagined in Street Fighter V

With each character reveal, Street Fighter V is carving its own visual identity with its roster. While Ryu, Chun Li, and a few other characters are staying close to their classic styles, there are a also interesting risks being taken, such as Birdie becoming the size of Rufus.

Ken was the latest reveal for Street Fighter V, and after getting over the initial "But he's got a new hat" shock over the new look for the P2 mainstay, this reveal said one thing: Capcom isn't afraid to go in new directions with their classic characters this time around. While rival series King of Fighters and Mortal Kombat have changed up their looks a few times over the years, Capcom hasn't altered a lot about its world warriors in previous titles. And while there hasn't been a lot said about the story in Street Fighter V, there’s speculation that it's set after Street Fighter III chronologically, which allows a lot of liberties to be taken with how characters may look this time around.

Here are a few fighters that we would like to see reimagined for the latest entry in the venerable franchise. 

1. Sakura Kasugano

While Ryu can stay in his karate gi until the end of time in his quest to find the perfect match, it's about time Sakura exchanged that school girl outfit for something else. Sure it’s a classic design, but as the timeline goes further into the future, Sakura is in need of a reimagining almost as badly as Ken. She may be just as free spirited as her mentor, but Sakura is just as dedicated to going to school, as shown by her appearances in the Rival Schools series. Hopefully she graduated and started a career despite ninja assassins stalking her classmates.

As for gameplay, with Ken becoming even more aggressive with his new V-Skill, I would make Sakura's V-Skill take advantage of the slight differences in her version of the Shoto special moves. Activating the V-Skill would sacrifice enough speed to still make her faster than Ryu, Ken, and (if he's added) Akuma, but would make her next special stronger or have slightly different properties. This window to perform the different special would be small, so as to not replace the need for EX-specials.

2. Karin Kanzuki

With Sakura coming back this late in the timeline, Karin would almost have to return at this point. Her origins lie in magna rather than Capcom directly, so perhaps she's being tied up in the same copyright hell that restricts Strider's appearance, but she is also one of the most requested characters to return. Just as Ryu and Ken are always challenging one another, Sakura's arrogant rival who finally won their rematch would be an interesting side story to give a nod to the Street Fighter Alpha storylines.

Her move-set was already pretty fun to use, with Fei-Long style repeating strikes, so I would like to see it return as is. With her speed and reversals in her fighting style, she could perhaps use something similar to Ryu's parry V-Skill, but utilizing mobility while not allowing projectiles to be reflected.

3. Rainbow Mika

Another character from Street Fighter Alpha that's going on nearly two decades with no new playable appearance, the time jump from Street Fighter Alpha 3 to Street Fighter V would also mean that R.Mika would have started her career. With the comics confirming her success as a fighter, her appearance would have to have a nod to her costume from her first appearance, reflecting her colorful, cheery wrestling personality -- though maybe not as over the top as Zangief, who has been wearing the same outfit since his first appearance.

Being the only female grappler in the series, R.Mika could be reborn as an easier-to-use version of the grapple character, and could circumvent the Capcom trend of placing female characters at the lower end of the health spectrum. As for her V-Skill, I think having an easy-to-use run that allows her to take damage without interrupting her animation through a projectile would be suitable.

4. Sean Matsuda

Sean was Ken’s Afro-Brazilian/Japanese protégée from the Street Fighter III series. Since Street Fighter V might be set after Street Fighter III, Sean could pretty much operate the same way he did in that game: a slightly more serious version of Dan.

Sean oddly had an affinity for basketballs, something you don’t usually associate with Brazil. So in the same way that Birdie brings food to the battle, maybe Sean’s V-Skill would throw a random basketball On the field to make up for his inability to make a Hadoken. Just as his Shoto moves don’t quite operate as you would expect, Sean's basketball attacks could come in from the air, or maybe actually be shot at the opponent Hadoken-style from Sean’s hands.

Of course, the best part of Sean coming back would be the potential of Street Fighter III ’s Basketball Bonus Stage returning.

5. Q

Introduced in Street Fighter III: Third Strike, Q is mysterious, but in a good way. He’s a slow, tall brawler-type character that fights with a steel mask, a detective hat, and a trench coat. On top of this the only other information known about him is that he’s been pictured at the scene of a few murders, becoming a person of interest to the FBI and the CIA. His ending makes things even more confusing, with him somehow eavesdropping on the meeting where an official tells two agents to start investigating him immediately.

Similar to Sean, Q could return in Street Fighter V practically unchanged, with maybe a few minor alterations to the priority of his moves to make him not so vulnerable. The perfect V-Skill for Q would be his Dashing Straight, which is easily able to be cancelled into other moves, and would allow him to cover distance more quickly.

Who would you like to see in Street Fighter V? Sound off in the comments below.