Blanka

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Blanka
Street Fighter series character
Super Blanka.png
Blanka in Super Street Fighter II. Drawn by Bengus.
First game Street Fighter II
Designed by Akira Yasuda
Voiced by (English) Tom Carlton (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie)
Scott McNeil (Street Fighter: The Animated Series)
Taliesin Jaffe (Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken)
Voiced by (Japanese) Unshō Ishizuka (Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie)
Go Yamane (Street Fighter EX2, Street Fighter EX3)
Yūji Ueda (Street Fighter Alpha 3, Capcom vs. SNK: Millennium Fight, Capcom vs. SNK 2: Mark of the Millennium, Street Fighter IV, Street Fighter X Tekken)
Portrayed by Robert Mammone (human)
Kim Repia (mutant)
Fictional profile
Birthplace Brazil
Nationality Brazilian

Blanka (ブランカ Buranka?) is a video game character in the Street Fighter fighting game series who is depicted as a feral savage, with green skin and long orange hair, resembling a monster more than a human. He is one of the original eight characters featured in the first version of the Street Fighter II games.

Conception and creation[edit]

Designed by Akira Yasuda, the concept behind Blanka was conceived early on, appearing in an early design document as an African man named "Anabebe" who was raised by a lion.[1] After the release of Final Fight, Capcom approached the concept of Street Fighter II once more, and considered several designs for such a character, first one based on masked wrestler modeled after Tiger Mask and a later ninja-inspired appearance.[1][2] The design later changed to a large man with thick hair and sideburns named "Hammer Blanka",[3] before eventually becoming Blanka.

Character history[edit]

Blanka first appeared in Street Fighter II. In his ending, he reunites with his mother Samantha, who recognizes him from the anklet he wears. She reveals that Blanka was once known as Jimmy, before he was in a plane crash as a little boy. This crash caused him to be raised in the wild, although he has connections to a local village. Ever since the crash, Blanka/Jimmy had been separated from his mother. Blanka's plane crash landed in the Amazon Rainforest and was exposed to electric eels, mutating his appearance and giving him electric powers. He learned capoeira concepts and combined these with his electrical power to turn himself into one of the most powerful fighters in the world. This led to Blanka being challenged by fighters from various parts of the world, including Ryu and Chun-Li. Blanka also traveled to other places around to world to fight in the games. At the end of Street Fighter II, he encounters his mother who proceeds to tell the truth to him, as his memory was wiped by M. Bison. According to some other sources,[citation needed] Blanka acquired his electrical trait from the same plane crash due to an intense electrical storm at the time (the cause of the crash). According to the instruction manual for the SNES version of Street Fighter II it states he learned the ability from electric eels.

In Street Fighter Alpha 3, his character design was changed to make him less ferocious-looking. His in-game story, just like the in-game stories of the other characters in the series, serves as a precursor to the events of Street Fighter II. The game tells a tale of how Blanka ate a melon on a poacher's truck and traveled to civilization for the first time. Playing the game as Blanka, the player eventually faces Dan Hibiki as one of Blanka's mid-bosses. It is then revealed through in-game dialogue that the two know each other and that Blanka had once saved Dan's life. Blanka faces Zangief as his second mid-boss and unwittingly prevents Zangief from helping to destroy the Shadaloo criminal organization. He then faces Shadaloo member Balrog before facing M. Bison.[4] After Bison is defeated, Blanka, Dan, and Sakura work together and destroy Bison's psycho drive weapon.

Blanka made appearances in several spin-off titles. Blanka is available as a playable character in the later games of the Street Fighter EX series, Street Fighter EX2 and Street Fighter EX3. He also made appearances as a playable character in Capcom vs. SNK and Capcom vs. SNK 2. According to his ending in Capcom vs. SNK 2, he thought he was flown home, but when he got off the plane, he ends up in a zoo instead. In Street Fighter IV, Blanka now lives with his mother in the city. Feeling out of place among the locals, he feels as though he is an embarrassment to his mother and decides to travel the world, getting involved with the events of the game while doing so. However, it turns out his mother was never ashamed of him and loves him just the same.

Characteristics[edit]

Blanka's most apparent characteristic is his green color. His in-game storyline states that he was once extremely pale and was once known locally as the homem branco (white man) and adapted the branco into his name Blanka. His green skin color in the games is attributed to his constant use of chlorophyll from plants to better blend in with the jungle environment, a color change that eventually became permanent. His coloring changed in later games, making him bright green with vivid orange hair as opposed to the yellowish green skin he had in Street Fighter II. Blanka's style of fighting in the games is a self-taught savage fighting style though the Street Fighter 2 game manual states his fighting style to be Capoeira. While Blanka's in-combat vocalizations are exclusively limited to feral yells and growls, some iterations of the series feature post-fight screens that depict Blanka declaring victory using actual words. In Street Fighter IV, Blanka speaks regularly, in victory quotes, cut scenes, and Personal Actions. Most of Blanka's special moves have Blanka rolling himself into a ball and launching himself at his opponent. There are different variants to this attack (wherein Blanka travels straight forward, upward, along the ground, or in an arc). Blanka's Super Combo in Super Street Fighter II Turbo is the "Ground Shave Rolling", which is an enhanced ground-roll attack. In Street Fighter EX2 and Street Fighter IV he has an electrified version of this move. However, Blanka's signature attack is his "Electricity" move. Blanka crouches down and emits an electrical current from his body that shocks his opponent, should they touch him while it is active. He also gains a sliding attack, Amazon River Run, in later games that can pass under projectile attacks. Blanka's main grab in all games has been the head bite - the game Pro Wrestling featured a green character called Amazon, who had a move called Piranha bite. In Street Fighter EX3, he gains a tag-team super move when paired with Dhalsim.

In other media[edit]

Blanka makes a brief appearance in the Street Fighter II animated movie in a hotel where a luxurious convention is held. Blanka appears in the evening entertainment where he is lowered from a cage to fight Zangief. Blanka uses his Rolling Attack and Electric Shock when fighting. He was voiced by Unshō Ishizuka in Japanese and Tom Carlton in English.

The 1994 live-action Street Fighter film combined Blanka and the unrelated supporting character Charlie (Guile's deceased war buddy in the original game) into a single character. Kim Repia plays the role of the mutated Blanka, with Robert Mammone as the human Carlos. At the beginning of the film, Guile's close friend Carlos "Charlie" Blanka is taken captive by Bison (Raúl Juliá) who subjects him to genetic testing to create the perfect soldier. While the mutation is successful, Blanka retains Charlie's personality, as Dr. Dhalsim, the scientist in charge of the project, had given him the wrong cerebral programming in order to "keep him human" (and partially because he resented Bison's plans). Blanka and Dhalsim fight Bison's troops together during Guile's invasion of Bison's base, but opt to remain behind and perish in the destruction of the base. The film was made prior to Charlie's introduction as a playable character in the Street Fighter Alpha games and therefore conflicts with the Charlie Nash storyline established there. In the American cartoon series, Blanka was portrayed as the protector of a small Brazilian village who eventually "rejoined" the Street Fighter team. Blanka appears as one of the more recurrent characters in the U.S. cartoon, acting as a scout gathering information for Guile and his friends on various missions. He was voiced by Scott McNeil. In UDON's Street Fighter comic adaptation, Blanka is introduced as a Shadaloo prisoner who is essentially a living weapon used by the organization. He is unleashed on Delta Red when they discover Shadaloo's base of operations but ceases his attack when painful memories of being brutalized by Cammy are evoked upon seeing her. Blanka is captured by Delta Red and his mind is eventually freed from Shadaloo's influence. While in transit with Delta Red, their plane is captured by Shadaloo forces and Blanka is once again forcibly subjected into servitude for Shadaloo's purposes. He participates in the Street Fighter tournament on Shadaloo island but is eliminated in the early round. Once the Psycho Drive is destroyed and the island is evacuated, Blanka returns to his senses. The aftermath of the comics shows a similar ending to the official canon (being reunited with his long lost mother).

In the 2010 Capcom game Dead Rising 2, Blanka's head is available as a weapon in various toy stores but is referred to as a goblin mask. Blanka makes a cameo appearance in Disney's Wreck-It Ralph alongside Chun-Li and Cammy, as well as an appearance during the credits. In 2013, he appeared in a series of videos titled "Blanka is a Troll", featuring Blanka causing real-life accidents.[5]

Promotion and reception[edit]

In the February 1992 issue of Gamest magazine in Japan, Blanka appeared in Best Characters of 1991, ranking at number nine, sharing the spot with Ken Masters.[6] IGN ranked Blanka at number seven in their "Top 25 Street Fighter Characters" article, noting his unique characteristics and uniqueness amongst characters in the series;[7] the sentiments were later repeated by GameDaily in their "Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time" article, in which he placed fourth.[8] The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review described him as resembling "some ridiculous hair-club-for-Hulks member", though stated his electric attacks made him an effective character if mastered.[9] Gamespy named him one of the "25 Extremely Rough Brawlers" in video gaming, praising the brutality of his attacks.[10]

In Brazil[edit]

Blanka was well received by Brazilian gamers, although Capcom was criticized by some[who?] on how it depicted Brazil. In an interview in a Brazilian gaming site, Capcom producer Yoshinori Ono apologized for the bad impression that the character eventually caused, and got surprised when told that Blanka is extremely popular among Brazilians.[11] The Brazilian version of the politically oriented humor television show Custe o Que Custar interviewed people in Spain, asking who were the most known Brazilian people. Blanka ranked third after Gisele Bündchen and Pelé.[12] In 2009, hours after the announcement of Rio de Janeiro as the host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, an internet meme began to spread depicting Blanka as unofficial mascot of the event.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Capcom Sound Team Alph Lyla (1992-11-15). "Making of Street Fighter II" (CD/booklet). Capcom-004: Street Fighter II Complete File. Capcom. p. 1. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  2. ^ Staff (April 1992). "The Making of Street Fighter II". Electronic Gaming Monthly (33): 103. 
  3. ^ Capcom Sound Team Alph Lyla (1992-11-15). "Making of Street Fighter II" (CD/booklet). Capcom-004: Street Fighter II Complete File. Capcom. p. 4. Retrieved 2009-06-16. 
  4. ^ RIu. "Street Fighter Alpha 3 Dialogue Guide". GameFAQs. Retrieved September 11, 2006. 
  5. ^ Video: Blanka is a troll, with hilarious consequences
  6. ^ "第5回ゲーメスト大賞". GAMEST (in Japanese) (68): 4. 
  7. ^ Top 25 Street Fighter Characters - Day IV. IGN. Retrieved on 2008-08-15
  8. ^ Top 20 Street Fighter Characters of All Time. GameDaily. Retrieved on 2008-11-13
  9. ^ Severs, Jessica (2009-02-25). "Article: 'Street Fighter IV' a knockout with superb cinematics, gameplay". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. 
  10. ^ Staff (2009-08-11). "25 Extremely Rough Brawlers". Gamespy. Retrieved 2009-08-13. 
  11. ^ "Produtor fala sobre "Street IV" e 'se desculpa' por Blanka". UOL Jogos. February 23, 2008. 
  12. ^ "Blanka, o orgulho do Brasil". Max Andrade. May 12, 2008. 
  13. ^ "Yes we créu! Internautas elegem mascote da Olímpiada do Rio". Estadão. October 2, 2009.