The Main Characters From Street Fighter Were Copied From The Karate Idiot
Dial your memory way back to the early '90s, when the most popular home console fighting game of all time was Street Fighter II, in which masters of every fighting style, from kung fu to kickboxing to sumo wrestling to ... yoga, for some reason, come together to pummel the shit out of each other in a contest that violates every possible rule in every one of those sports at the same time.
The hero of the game is Ryu, the karate expert who isn't Ken and is best known for that classic karate ability of blowing blue fireballs out of one's hands. Sagat is the Muay Thai expert from Thailand -- you know, the guy who shouts "Tiger uppercut!" Let's face it, you still have that sound effect in your head. Despite what you might think, there actually was a first Street Fighter. It was an arcade game released in 1987 which introduced both the hero Ryu and primary antagonist Sagat ... both of whom stole their appearance from a popular '70s manga called Karate Baka Ichidai -- roughly translated, "The Karate Idiot," which sounds like the alternate title for Beverly Hills Ninja.
Now, we've mentioned before that the Japanese gaming scene in the 1980s kind of played fast and loose with this sort of thing -- the Street Fighter II character "M. Bison" was originally supposed to be the boxer who looks a lot like Mike Tyson until they swapped the names around to avoid a lawsuit. Well, in this case, the hero of Karate Baka Ichidai was a character named Yoshiji Soeno, a karate expert with black hair and a white robe ...
Discotek Media, Capcom