Electric green man Blanka finally returns to Street Fighter

Blanka

It’s better to be fashionably late than a total no-show. Blanka’s absence from Street Fighter V at launch was a bitter pill to swallow, but everyone’s favourite weird Brazillian jungle-monster-man is back today and on form.

Rejoining the likes of Ryu and Dhalsim and a few other frenemies from the good old days of Street Fighter 2, Blanka has picked up a few new tricks and some impressive costumes on the way, including one very, very silly one..

While I generally love what they’ve done with Kermit’s cranky third cousin, I really don’t think the English voice they’ve given him (as heard in the trailer above) fits too well. Still, at least you can pretend it’s just some random guy providing commentary if you go and do the right thing and stuff Blanka in his ridiculous plush doll costume, which I’m sure you’re all itching to see again, right? Oh, okay then.

BLANKA!

Quite how anyone is meant to pick any other skin for him, I will never know… It’s just so perfect.

Our Brendan shared a few choice details about Blanka’s return a week ago (although somehow missing the revelation that his birth name is Jimmy, according to Capcom’s Steam blog post), but here’s the official run-down on the new tricks and techniques that Mean n’ Green has been practicing, straight from Capcom:

New to Blanka’s arsenal is a command grab called Wild Hunt, where he leaps forward and viciously scratches the opponent before throwing them a set distance away from him. This addition to his move set opens up more opportunities for Blanka to be aggressive.

V-Skill: Coward Crouch

Blanka immediately ducks for cover for a short time before rising back up. His V-Skill can avoid many attacks, including fireballs. After performing Coward Crouch, Blanka can follow up with either Wild Lift (Punch Button) or Raid Jump (Kick Button). Wild Lift sees Blanka move forward while swinging his arms up to launch the opponent in the air and can be followed up by a normal, special move, or even a Critical Art. Using Raid Jump, Blanka swiftly jumps in the air where he can use any mid-air attack to advance.

V-Trigger I: Jungle Dynamo

Blanka’s V-Trigger I gives his special roll attacks more damage and can then be followed up by certain attacks, including his Critical Art. It also powers up his Electric Thunder and changes the animation so Blanka steps forward while unleashing the electric current. On hit, the opponent is launched slightly in the air and can be followed up with a rolling attack.

Finally, Jungle Dynamo unlocks Ground Shave Rolling (HP+HK), which can be used as a combo extender or a way to charge in. This move was a super move in previous games, but is now a special move in SFV: AE.

V-Trigger II: Lightning Beast

Lightning Beast unlocks a special move, Rolling Cannon (Direction + HP+HK), which can be performed after using Rolling Attack, Back Step Rolling, and Vertical Rolling. Rolling Cannon can be used in multiple ways, such as extending a combo for more damage or changing positions to surprise the opponent.

Critical Art: Dynamic Rolling

In this Critical Art, Blanka slams his opponent into the ground in a series of electrifying rolls that ends in a move reminiscent of Lightning Cannonball from Street Fighter IV.

Quite a bit of new stuff to learn before the next competitive season, then! Blanka is the second of six characters coming this  year through the Season 3 character pass, which costs a hefty £25 normally. You can also unlock him through Fight Money, the official in-game earned currency, although unless you’re a serious Street Fighter pro, that might take a while.

We’ve already seen the return of Sakura, and the coming months will bring returning favourites Cody and Sagat, villainous Cammy lookalike Falke, and G, who is entirely new, and looks like an Abraham Lincoln-themed pro wrestler. Well, it’s good that they’re keeping Street Fighter weird and fresh through 2018.

19 Comments

  1. Baines says:

    Falke isn’t a Cammy lookalike, her look is apparently based on Ed. She not only wears a similar uniform (being part of Ed’s Neo Shadoloo), she also has blond hair worn in the same style as Ed.

    As for G, there is suspicion that G either is related to SF3’s Q or may actually be SF3’s Q. One of G’s alternate outfits has him wearing an outfit similar to Q’s, including a face mask, it is just that the colors are different.

    • lasikbear says:

      Isn’t G Greg the Gorilla from Bloody Roar?

      • Chillicothe says:

        I am so glad this is thought as much as it is.

      • Baines says:

        That was a common theory at first, due both to the similar hat and beard, but also because Ed’s ending includes a gorilla alongside Falke. But the theory runs aground on the whole IP ownership issue.

        That G is Q, or is at least connected to Q, was originally a more outlandish theory (due entirely to the one-letter name). But then Capcom released the image of all the Season 3 story costumes, which included what was flat out a black suited version of Q for G’s outfit.

  2. TheAngriestHobo says:

    Blanka does have an uncanny sense for abs.

  3. Monggerel says:

    For one second there I thought this was about the Electronic Old Men, and it didn’t even bother me that for some reason there was a picture of Blanka in the article.

    Electronic Old Men
    Running The World

    -Casaubon

  4. automatic says:

    I’d figure Blanka would be more civilized at this point of the franchise. After all he traveled the whole world and is not even wearing chains on his legs anymore. I guess stereotyping a brazilian fighter as a gorilla is more easier for consumers of this genre to digest, even though there isn’t anything similar to a gorilla on that fauna. If Capcom wanted some character to represent former brazilian slaves they should have used a capoeira fighter. Way less offensive imo.

    • fuggles says:

      Blanka was never a slave, he was a kid who was in a plane crash and ended up being stuck in the jungle and raised by eels. He has anklets with which his mother recognised him as her son Jimmy.

      Either way blanka has always been awesome. Not sure he really stands up as a critique of Brazilian racism?

      • automatic says:

        It is a cool character for a comic book but it is a lame stereotype to represent a country in a “World Championship” game. Compare him with fighters from the other countries. Most of them have direct cultural references. Blanka is just a green jumping and growling monkey-man with electric superpowers. The racism is on the character creator subconscious. He knows Brazil had a lot of slaves from african descendesce and it has a big jungle, so he just straps a chain on a half-naked savage man and call it a day.

        • fuggles says:

          Apart from they didn’t. He had no chains, he has an interesting back story and whilst he may not represent accurately the people of Brazil in a game about magic fighting men, I think you are over reaching. You even say he has super powers! Sf2 would have been much worse without him. T-hawk, arguably racist, blanka? Not seeing it buddy.

          • Baines says:

            Blanka always wore something on his legs, though even official artwork would disagree over whether Blanka wore leg restraints with broken chains or simply wore decorative leg bracelets. (The sprite work for SF2 only showed Blanka wearing some kind of leg bracelet.)

            In Street Fighter 4, Blanka’s model clearly wears leg restraints that dangle broken chains. Blanka’s alternate outfits sometimes remove the cuffs entirely, or replace them with clearly decorative bracelets.

            Blanka is still wearing these leg restraints in Street Fighter 5, in both his regular outfit and his nostalgia outfit.

            As for Blanka being civilized, his (short) character story in SF5 is that he hired someone to make a bunch of plush Blanka-chan dolls that he planned to sell. When he can’t find buyers in Brazil, Sean Matsuda suggests Blanka tries to sell them in Japan, so he goes there. He teams up with Sakura after accidentally breaking the claw machine game at the arcade where she works, with her talking her manager into stocking Blanka-chan dolls.

            As for Brazilian representation in Street Fighter, Street Fighter now has three Brazilian reps. Two of those are normal people, Sean Matsuda (SF3) and Laura Matsuda (SF5).

          • automatic says:

            T-Hawk, just like Dhalsim or Zangief, is a poor stereotype, but it’s not a racist depiction. None of those are represented as beast-like creatures.

        • ogopogo says:

          Blanka is more like a Brazilian Tarzan/Mowgli. White kid, survivor of plane crash over the Amazon, raised by the jungle. Contact with a nearby village of (presumably not-so-white) humans is what *civilized* him. Eventually his mom in the city sees him on TV and they’re reunited.

          There may be some creepy Kipling-ish toys in the attic here, but Blanka isn’t really all that problematic compared to more egregious stuff like SF2 era T-Hawk.

        • MisterFurious says:

          “Compare him with fighters from the other countries.” Like the sumo wrestler and the Indian that wears a loin cloth and breathes fire or the Native American that wears a feather or the Russian that wrestles bears. Let’s also totally ignore all of the other Brazilian fighters in the series that aren’t savages, too, you know, so you’ll have something to complain about.

          • automatic says:

            Those are all poor stereotypes. Although outdated and limited you may find all those things on their respective countries cultures. Blanka is a fantastic creation from a mind with a very prejudiced view of brazilian culture. There has never been a savage half human monster that acts like a gorilla on brazilian culture. The fact a lot of people cannot see the problem in this baffles me.

    • PancakeWizard says:

      ” I guess stereotyping a brazilian fighter as a gorilla”

      Wat

  5. Antwonette19 says:

    I guess E. Honda must be fashionatly late as well. Or he(don’t tell me) forgot to show up:(