Street Fighter 6 art director Kaname Fujioka sat down with Game Informer to talk about his inspiration for the character design of popular heroes such as Ryu, Ken, and Chun Li. Fujioka went over the eleven revealed characters for the upcoming Street Fighter 6, set to release in 2023.
In the interview, Kaname Fujioka shared his passion for Street Fighter. He joined Capcom 20 years ago in the hopes of working on fighting games, inspired by Street Fighter 2. Instead, he spent almost two decades doing character design work on other series, such as Red Earth, Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, and Capcom vs. SNK. His dream of working on a Street Fighter game came true thanks to his friend and Street Fighter 6 director Takayuki Nakayama. Kaname Fujioka is now the art director for the upcoming Street Fighter 6, working with the rest of the team on the character design of popular heroes from the franchise.
Kaname Fujioka revealed the inspiration behind each of the eleven revealed characters coming to Street Fighter 6. The most iconic character from the series, Ryu, bears an “aged master look that shows all the training that he’s done.” Several elements hint at his age, such as his beard or his sash, reminiscent of his master Gouken.
Fujioka saw Ken as “fiery and explosive” and wanted to translate this into his design. The art director described Luke as the “main character” of Street Fighter 6 and opted for a “straightforward and easy-to-relate” design, in opposition to Ryu’s more traditional look. Luke bears colorful outfits, with an emphasis on blue and orange to make him stand out from the rest of the cast.
Just like Ryu, Guile’s design shows his growth and age. The soldier now bears a goatee but despite his age, his muscles are still as impressive as in previous games. In Street Fighter 6, Guile wears a watch because he is “very careful in terms of time” and he is a “precision character.” Honda also aged in Street Fighter 6, with some white hairs on the side of his head.
Designing Chun-Li was a challenge for Fujioka, as her original design was created by one of his mentors. Fujioka wanted to respect this design while updating Chun-Li for Street Fighter 6. Her new design shows that she “aged elegantly” and is now a master teaching younger students.
Some characters bear more unique features, such as Dhalsim and Blanka. The design team translated the age of Dhalsim through his beard and wrinkles on his face, while Blanka’s traits use more realistic textures than before. Kimberly’s new design highlights her “very colorful and cheerful and poppy” personality while showcasing her love for ninja culture.
Jamie, the self-styled Chinatown peacekeeper, is the first new character introduced in Street Fighter 6. He is a rival figure to Luke, using “more of an ancient drunken boxing kind of kung-fu style” mixed with breakdancing elements as opposed to Luke’s modern MMA fighting style. Juri also features a new style, showing her lifestyle when she is not taking on any job. Fujioka described her as a “kind of psychopath character with a very dark side” that spends her free time “eating a lot of junk food and candy.”
Street Fighter 6 will release for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and Microsoft Windows in 2023.