Friday, February 9, 2007

Japanese SSF2T Player Report - Part 5

Akuma Players

Just kidding. The first part of this post features a few more excellent ST players that I wanted to highlight. The second part covers some all-time greats and past champions.

Note: I've updated the earlier posts in this series with some alternate english names. Also: added/fixed some home turf arcade data (many archaic), other minor changes.

Tsuji, YuuVega and Inro

Japanese: いんろ〜
Character: O.Chun
Region: Kansai (UFO)

X-Mania 2001 3on3: 1st

Inro got the nickname "Iron Woman" because of her serious demeanor when playing ST. Or maybe it was because she uses O.Chun's jumping short as an "Iron" wall of defense? And her game name is a play on the expression "In Low" referring to how well she uses the crouching forward. Or is it an intentional misspelling of "Iron?" So many rumors... One thing that's certain is that she plays a ferocious Chun-Li.

Inro played in the X-Mania III (2002) prelims on a team with Otochun and ShootingD called Inro Fan Club. She chouldn't make it to the main event, but her teammates went on to win with a two-person team.

At the 2002 Taikou event, Inro went on a rampage in the same fashion as Pony. I haven't come across video of that one on the net, unfortunately.

T.Akiba's Site
Japanese: T.Akiba、タキバ
Character: Dhalsim, Blanka
Region: Kanto (Namiki)

T.Akiba's web page is the ultimate resource for ST information. Frame data, version changes, strategy, arcade locations, tournament dates, etc... it's no wonder it's got more than a million hits. NKI has been kindly translating it into english here.

T.Akiba also plays a mean Blanka and does some MC duties here and there.

Japanese: イノキ、イノキ・イズ・バック
Character: Ryu
Region: Kansai (UFO)

Neyagawa ABC Championship (2000): 1st
X-Mania (2000) 3on3: 1st

Before he retired, Inoki was considered the #2 Ryu in Kansai. He entered the 3on3 event at X-Mania III with a one-man team... using Akuma... and got eliminated by team Inro Fan Club. (see above) (video)

Camera-ya's Site
Japanese: カメラ屋
Character: Ken, Blanka
Region: Kanto

Working with Mori, Camera-ya produced a well known series of pamphlets called "Dragon Punch with Gratitude," that break down various minutia about fighting game strategy. He's an old-school player that, according to Daigo, has the best footsie action in ST.

Otochun, Kurahashi and ShinDhalsim

Japanese: 真ダルシム
Character: Dhalsim
Region: Kansai

Star Cup 2: 2nd (Dhalsim, Dhalsim, Ryu)
X-Mania IV (2003) 3on3: 2nd

Part of the succession of top Dhalsim players, from Hammer* to Gian, ShinDhalsim is thought of as the King of Kings. It was in his hands that the comprehensive Dhalsim air defense really matured. Having myriad anti-air moves, including the funky down-back jab, ready to go depending on the situation was his speciality.

Even though he was more-or-less retired at the time, ShinDhal helped take his team to second place at X-Mania IV. Kansai has gone without an S-class (or even A-class) Dhalsim player since then.

* - YSB member (see below) & 2nd place @ SF2CE nationals 1992

Japanese: リキヤ
Character: Zangief
Region: Kanto

Rikiya is regarded as the best Zangief player ever. While he had the full arsenal, his crouching roundhouse footsie was especially nasty. People talk about 30 game win streaks against Kurahashi Guile and Daigo Ryu (though I haven't been able to find anything concrete about that.) A 2ch poster recently referred to Rikiya as the "Komoda of Zangief players." That's about the highest praise any player could receive.

Chief Mori and Master Foosuke

Japanese: FOO助、ふーすけ
Character: DeeJay
Region: Kanto (Sugamo Carrot)

Gamest Cup SSF2T (1994): 1st

Foosuke is referred to as "Danna" by the ST community. It's a term of respect that, roughly speaking, means "Master." He won the first national championship, and he continues to play a mean DeeJay here and there. For many years, Foosuke has been the go-to guy for MC'ing SuperTurbo events. Also, he wrote the copy for the Yoga Book Hyper that comes with The Starting Over (X-Mania Gaiden) DVD.

In addition to his Gamest cup win, Foosuke was well known in the early days as the head of an organization called The Yoga Strike Backers. Composed of various Street Fighter and Vampire champs, YSB* produced a pamphlet and video called "The 48 Killing Arts of Yoga"** (i.e., the original Yoga Book.) They did some work for Micom BASIC, too, including writing the 2p vs. strategy for the "All About Street Fighter Zero" mook.

* - No connection, as far as I can tell, with the 3S Hugo player
** - See links on the left.

Related post: Gamest Cup 1994

Ikuradon's Web Page
Japanese: いくら丼、奥西
Character: Blanka

Gamest Cup SSF2T (1994): 2nd

Ikuradon scored a major coup by taking second place at nationals with oddball character Blanka. He managed to catch people off guard with hop antics that he himself pioneered, particularly headbutt (cancel first hit) -> forward hop -> bite.

Japanese: 太刀川
Character: Claw, Ryu, Guile

Gamest Cup SF2CE (1992): 1st

I don't have a lot of concrete information (for that matter, I'm not even sure if I've got the name right,) but Tachigawa is often referred to as the greatest SF2 player ever. His trademarks included a mind-blowing combo ability as well as a ruthless corner trap.


  1. But in some Japanese tournaments people have used Akuma, right? Since in Japan, he's not banned explicitly, just soft-banned. See these videos for example:

    The Akuma player doesn't totally destroy his opponents like you might expect. Perhaps Akuma's dominance in Super Turbo is overstated.

  2. There's one player considered to be an akuma specialist: Kansai area's (A-cho) ShiroItachi. After that guy beat Otochun a few years ago they hardened up the ban on him. Gave the ban some Viagra, as it were. At this point you could hang weights off that ban.

  3. I dont know which is more sad for Shiro-Itachi, the fact that he specializes in an even more broken character then O.Sagat or that he had a hard time against Cammy. Granted Sawada is one of the best Cammy's in Japan but he isnt top tier.

  4. aren't there any Dee Jay players in Japan? ^^

  5. yeah there quite are few deejay players in japan. yaya has a solid deejay and yuuvega is considered to have the best one. my favorite DJ player has to be buzan, he has crazy combos but plays a little wreckless.zl