Evolution 2022 was yesterday, and Street Fighter V was amongst the main line-up for “Evo Sunday”. As expected, we were graced with new news for Street Fighter VI, in the way of brand new trailers for newcomer “Kimberly” and returning combatant “Juri”. I’ve included the trailers down below, and after them, my impressions. Enjoy!
Kimberly is the first playable African American female in the Street Fighter series. While there has been representation of other black girls, such as Elena, there hasn’t been one from America until now. Kimberly practices the Bushinryu style, which is a form of ninjitsu that certain practitioners within the Street Fighter use. Apparently, Guy has taught this to Kimberly due to her making him do so.
I believe that Kimberly’s aesthetic is actually pretty good for the moment. Base costume isn’t too bad at all, and fits with Guy’s overall style as far as Bushinryu goes. However, I hate the fact that they made her love “80’s pop” and so she carries around a cassette player, especially since those things are incredibly difficult to find within the modern age (and seeing as Juri carries a modern smartphone within her trailer, I assume this to be the case). Making her love 80’s music while giving her modern sensibilities of every young girl would’ve fit better instead of giving her a forced prop. Something else I don’t really care for is the implementation of graffiti art. Sure, we get it; Street Fighter VI is attempting to get the same urban vibe that Street Fighter III had and take it up a notch. However, I do not think she needed a second gimmick after giving her the whole “80’s pop” thing. Isla from The King of Fighters XV already uses graffiti within her attacks, so for me this comes off as unoriginal.
Kimberly’s actual gameplay however, is phenomenal. I think that her attacks come off flashy and fast looking, which adds to the flare of the character; her braids really whip around and add character during moves. Also, her Super is EXTREMELY flashy; it is easily the best looking one in the game thus far (with Luke’s in my opinion being the worst at the present time). However, I am not a fan of her Level 3 Super, which I assume is the one at the very end of her trailer which uses graffiti as the prop (which I already covered).
Overall, I believe that Kimberly is a fine addition to the roster, and she certainly carries the high energy you’d expect of someone who forced a Bushinryu Master to teach her the skill. If I was young and had the speed and techniques of a ninja, I’d be going crazy too.Juri
Definitely the best new character introduced within Street Fighter IV, Juri is what I consider to be a staple within the series along with people like Ryu, Chun-Li, and Guile. Popping up in the base roster is something I expected (especially after the leaks). In my opinion, Juri’s look in Street Fighter VI is the BEST she has ever looked. One of the most noticeable features it the angle of her buns and her bangs covering up one side of her face. Also, like most of the returning fighters, she looks more mature (looks like she’s in her late teens to mid thirties now). Also, her personality seems to be more unhinged than before, hinting that she hasn’t changed and has possibly grown even more devious and sinister since we saw her in Street Fighter V. Also, her entering with the famous “Akira” slide, and even her outro for winning are both exceptional.
While I absolutely love the character, I have never been very particular about the way Juri stands or the way she plays. I am not a fan of the “Hold Button” style she had in Street Fighter IV (despite me playing Hilda in Under Night In-Birth), or the way she had to “stock moves” to be used later in combos in Street Fighter V (despite me using Jam in Guilty Gear). This time around however, I just might use her. One thing I absolutely adored was her super, though, I hated the ending (which did not feel as impactful as the slam of the ending of this move that was in Street Fighter IV).
Overall, I think Juri is a fine addition to the roster and everyone who loves her will be happy with her return. While I never see many people actually play Juri (kind of like Baiken until the most recent Guilty Gear entry, “Strive”), her inclusion within a game will never not be celebrated or feel like a waste of a slot, whether base roster or DLC. Good job, Capcom.