shoei okano

The story behind this Street Fighter II’ illustration

A few days ago, Street Fighter V chief director Takayuki Nakayama made a tweet about what he was told about this illustration made by Shoei Okano:

According to Nakayama:
1) The 4 bosses were meant to be pictured above Ryu but it was decided that 3 of them had to be erased in favor of this blue background.
2) The iris of Dictator’s eyes were erased as well since it didn’t feel right when looking at both him and Ryu.
3) Shoei added ‘Fūrinkazan’ (風林火山 => Wind, Forest, Fire, Mountain) to Ryu’s belt since it was plain black.

The first point reminds me of the bad ending, also known as the boss ending, which made its first appearance with Street Fighter II’ (it was the first game in which the four bosses were playable).

While we’re on the subject, you probably have already seen Noriyoshi Ohrai’s illustration for the 1991 OVA series Teito Monogatari, AKA Doomed Megalopolis…