|For Street Fighter Fans and Kids Only||1 out of 1 user found this review helpful.|
I’m pretty sure that Sakura Kusanago was originally intended to be a joke character created by the video game designers of “Street Fighter” video game franchise. But much like her predecessor Chun Li, her popularity was explosive and she became one of the fighting girl icons, typically representing the “cute tomboy schoolgirl” and even though there have been countless imitations but she remains the original. Instead of a joke character, she has grown and evolved into something much more.
To take advantage of her enormous popularity, this manga series was produced with Sakura as the main character but the pages are populated with various guest stars from the “Street Fighter” video games which shows Sakura’s backstory with her obsession with Ryu, to her training under Dan Hibiki and the start of her rivalry with Karin Kanzuki, and embarking on a world wide tour to find Ryu to train under him and becoming friends with many of the Street Fighters including Ken, Chun Li, Cammy, Zangrief, and numerous others.
While it helps if you are familiar with the backstories of the characters, the manga manages to tell the story without too much interruption for narration or exposition on just who all of these people are. The plots are a bit simplistic at times but the overall story moves forward fairly well and without dragging as Sakura seeks at first to meet the “man” who inspired her and then, to become someone worthy of his respect. Sadly, the story ends a bit on the abrupt side and then flash forwards a few years later to see Sakura has grown up a bit but hasn’t really changed too much.
The artwork is excellent with clean lines and fighting moves but some of the backgrounds are a bit plain without much complexity as are some of the supporting characters are given merely cameo appearances.
Sakura Ganbaru is strictly for kids who are Street Fighter fans. You will simply enjoy it more if you can follow things along. Otherwise, there isn’t much to recommend it as it is very juvenile and light hearted comedy without descending into hysterical side-splitting laughter nor much emotional depth or the pathos of the darker characters are merely glossed over or ignored. You won’t be seeing the depravity of M. Bison for example and it is several years old, having been published pre-Street Fighter EX so don’t expect to see the more recent Street Fighter game series characters making an appearance. So more mature fans might find it lacking and since it is for kids, there isn’t any fan service either.
RATING: 3 AND 1/2 STARS.