STREET FIGHTER II MINIMATES
What better way to wrap up my Street Fighter II Minimates reviews than with a character who’s not even in Street Fighter II at all?* Evil Ryu is a pretty straight forward concept, with all real questions about his nature answered by the name. He’s a corrupted version of the generally heroic Ryu, who has succumbed to the power of the “Satsui no Hado” (“Surge of Muderous Intent”), which is the thing that powers Akuma. He was first worked into the games in Street Fighter Alpha 2, and has been a recurring concept since. He’s not really a separate character, but is more of a “What if?” surrounding Ryu giving into evil at some point in the future. He’s also a pretty simple re-paint of a standard Ryu, making him a very easy repaint. Hence, so many toys.
THE FIGURE ITSELF
Evil Ryu was originally released in a two-pack with Shin Akuma, an Akuma variant. The pair were exclusive to Hollywood Video of all places. Yes, the number two video rental store opted for an exclusive item. Kinda weird, huh? He was also packed with Morrigan, Dimitri, and standard Akuma as one of a pair of four-packs, aimed at making these a little easier to get, I guess? The two releases were effectively identical, so it doesn’t really matter, I suppose. The figure is built on the standard post-c3 body, so he’s about 2 1/2 inches tall and he has 14 points of articulation. Construction on this guy is identical to the standard Ryu, as you’d expect. Those pieces are good pieces, so he’s still pretty darn cool. The paint marks the main change-up. For the most part, it’s a palette swap, with generally darker colors present. He does get an all-new facial expression, which is more intense even than the already more intense P2-color version. He’s real mad, and his eyes are now red and pupil-less. Additionally, he has gained the kanji character that was present on Akuma, signifying his corruption by the Satsui no Hado. Likewise, his energy effect piece is now the same purple as Akuma’s.
THE ME HALF OF THE EQUATION
As with most of the SF2 Minimates, I didn’t get Evil Ryu new, in his case largely because my local Hollywood Video was rather downtrodden, and never saw these sets. He was probably the figure I wanted the most out of the whole set, truth be told, because it’s a look I’ve always kinda liked. Thankfully, I was able to get him at the same time as the others, courtesy of All Time Toys. He’s a pretty fun figure, as are all of the SF2 ‘mates. It’s a shame this line didn’t take off, because it certainly had the effort put into it. It’s also a shame that a third of its slots were devoted to Darkstalkers…
*Okay, that’s not entirely true; Evil Ryu was added to the roster for SFII in its Ultra incarnation…which was released 11 years after this figure…better late than never, right? Beyond that, though, he was also featured in the SFII manga, and one of the animated films. So, it’s not the craziest thing, I suppose.