Style Select: Sumo In Fighting Games
SugarPunch Design Works
Sumo is one of the oldest combat sports in the world. How is it represented in fighting games?
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If i may suggest a 4th idea how about a Rogue or Firebrand Sumo: One thrown out of the sumo world either for believing in "Wrong ideas" or just thrown under a bus to cover up a scandal, now he is trying to evolve sumo into a new style and gets involved because he wants to test his new style and potentially prove it to the world.
I feel like sumo can feel superhuman to play if you play around with the concept of them being an unbreakable wall, with lots of iframes, parries and attacks made to corner the opponent
also senator Armstrong is basically a sumo character but hes never been in a fighting game
just got to the end. as a Brazilian Im dying to see the capoeira episode, but I feel like wrestling will win because more americans are fans of it
Ganryu has great VA and his T7 outfit is pretty cool imo. DOSOKOI.
Such a coward move suggesting a female sumo fighter but not letting her be fat.
I feel like Ganryu is simp first, sumo second. So he's at least funny to watch.
Don't sell yourself sort with your character ideas. I just stumbled upon this channel, but your story ideas at the very least match up to the typically simplistic standards of the average fighting game.
Also, I think a huge part of the writing limitations in fighting games for sumo characters is that sumo is a fighting sport, rather than a pure fighting style. Think of boxer characters: they also have limited techniques even in fighting games due to the rules and restrictions of their sport. And add to that the Japanese devotion to the integrity of faithfully interpreting the art of sumo. Although karate is a traditional Japanese martial art too that fighting games have no trouble exaggerating…
You can grab below the belt in Sumo. Just look at Ura’s and Enho’s matches.
What about the Karate champion that gets fat and it's shunned from the Karate world because of that, and tries to make it in sumo because he can't do anything other than fighting, and merges karate and Sumo techniques into his fighting style?
Dude this "Style Select" series is awesome; as someone who was strongly influenced by this kind of media into beginning my own martial arts journey, it is so cool to see someone look at how the history and culture inherent to these various styles are represented across these games. I hope you continue with the series; keep up the great work.
The biggest reason that it is harder for a "Sumo character" is because it is a heavily regulated sport and there are no "amateur practitioners". With most martial arts, people of all walks of life can feasibly practice it. for example, three characters with the same fighting style(say…..Karate), a street punk, a spec-op soldier, a proper lady will make the same Karate move look wild, efficient, or elegant.
there are no "part time sumo", and the regimented lives of Sumo wrestlers dictates they are not exactly going to have a lot of ways to innovate or have self expression. This is sort of true for other fighting style where the fighter just always has to dedicate their life to training(like Tai Chi and Boxing), only Sumo is even harder because it is defined by being a "heavyset" sport and doesn't have a lot of flashy spinning kicks.
Sumo rules 👐🏻 the issue is we seem to always portray as buffoons due to how strange the sport appears to westerners.
While yeah E. Honda isn’t a nuanced character but I love him because of the SF2 Animated Movie, I just love how he’s characterized as a big goof who is a good friend of Ryu
Baki makes sumo realy cool.
I love this video. Please do more. I'm going to check out the gun one next, but please make a million more of these
Pro wrestling for shoooo!!
a fighter based on hinomaru sumo would pretty much check all the boxes you're putting out lol
2:17, they are allowed to do leg grabs tho
I'm sorry if this is a bit "um actially" but there was another game with a sumo character a obscure little title on n64 called flying dragon. A character called Robo No Hana. A very silly character. But yeah there ya go.
Best Sumo: Sumo Santa
It’s santa but a sumo
You could do the Hinako idea with a character who despite no being allowed to train traditionally, still practices the habits and traditions and has the body type. The fighting game genre lacks a lot of representation from girls on the bigger end of the spectrum and it would be interesting to see this thick girl with a sumo body type work and train to be what she wants despite ridicule and even out right hatred only to prove to be an immovable object/unstoppable force.
Personality wise she could be a woman in her early 20s who is following in her families tradition of sumo, but being an only child or a girl no one wanted to train her so she did it herself, watching hours upon hours of videos and going to matches.
Another idea is that she took it up because she was being bullied for her weight maybe meeting an eccentric former yokozuna who has retired and wants to leave behind a legacy and sees this rather soft hearted vulnerable teen girl being bullied as the perfect student to demonstrate the genius of his style. Meanwhile the girl proves to be a force of nature, beating entire crowds of delinquents simultaneously after only a few weeks or months of training.
There's a manga about a high school boy who was a potential to be Yokozuna, but due to be unable to become taller, his dreams is hard to reach. But still he never gave to achieve his dream.
PLEASE BE CAPOEIRA NEXT
Nah I think a better spin on the fem sumo super fan would be if she did have the proper physique but still isn't allowed to be a real wrestler because it's a male sport. For one there really isn't any big body woman characters I can think of in the genre. And there's a possible really compelling arc with a character that has to deal with idolizing a tradition when one of its warts directly impacts her
You mentioned how to push the sumo style beyond physical limits in a fighting game and i immediately thought of gravity, and how their sheer mass and immovability could play stronger into the archetype, possibility being unable to be knocked down, or only getting knocked down when low on health and being unable to get back up, though sumo characters don't need a nerf
God damn it this guy is outing all my Sumo Wrestler game ideas I wanted to do in the future ;-;
thin + pretty
I heard about people in USA or Europe making their own league of Sumo wrestlers, so the Gaijin Idea could work, or they could make a USA Sumo Wrestler going to Japan to compete and reilases that despite being the champ in the USA circuit, he's just a small fish in a lake compare to the ocean that it is the Japanese circuit of competitive sumo wrestlers, which makes him try to become better.
The problem with sumo is that it's very rigid. If someone were to make a sumo character that works they'd have to be an MMA sort of large character that uses their body mass but also other fighting styles to make up for the parts that sumo lacks. Basically I'm saying the next MvC should have kingpin in it.
Well I think the reason the rikishi in games are usually 2 dimensional sumo wrestlers is because it's so traditional. A rikishi spends the majority of their day, training, eating, and napping every day no breaks and must compete in a tournament every two months so that obsession with sumo makes sense it's not a sport it's a lifestyle and Japan expects them to carry the weight of that tradition on their back. It's probably also a pride thing as interesting as the foreigner trying to become the yokozuna is but being blocked by politics is a Japanese game developer would never do that because it would pain the tradition in a negative light and parelel too closely the disadvantages people like Hakuho or Akebono have faced. I get what you're saying but there's good reason sumo wrestlers are designed the way they are.
Gameplay wise i feel devs may be looking in the wrong direction, they focus solely on the grabs and throws with a few random moves.
Instead maybe they should be focusing on Armor. Think about it Sumo is all about being able to push and throw the other big guy while you maintain your own posture, who is to say that the super human equivalent is a wall of a man who has a bunch of armor throws and attacks.
The armor has a limit of course, maybe a meter to represent fatigue or different moves have multi armor points while some has a single hit?
Something to get you in their mindset of managing your posture against enemy attacks.
Not sure if you mean this as "Pro Wrestler", but I'll love to see a chapter of Lucha Libre
P.d. My mains are Honda and Hinako, in their respective games.
Counterpoint on the sumo characters just being the sumo guys. You say that as if the entire roster of fighting game characters actually have character development. Sometimes, it's even the main character.
Ryu is pretty static, for example. His main shtick is to train to get stronger and resist evil. Sure, he gets targeted a lot from rivals to evil organizations, but take that away he's pretty dull just like Terry Bogard. In his home series, Terry gets a lot of character development. But because the story doesn't revolve around him in KoF, he's now just the "let's have a fun fight" guy. He only gets out of it a bit in XIV and XV because Geese is running the show again.
I don't know how good an example it is but in Battle Craze they just added a new character named Goliath, a humanoid beetle that has electricity powers. In his Side-S version (each character has 3 versions named sides) he has some moves inspired in other sumo characters. you could say is not a lot in comparison to his electric attacks but I think is pretty refreshing to see a characters that has his own motivations and just happens that he does sumo, which also has a design that you wouldn't on a sumo character.
The soundtrack to Sengoku Rance in the background hit me like a truck.
Wouldn't the Kingpin essentially be Yakuza sumo?
I got one thanks to the Yakuza part of the vid.
A sumo wrestler seeking another sumo wrestler for reasons unknown to those he fight. Only after finding his target does the story come forth. The other wrestler was his brother who dishonored their school and became a criminal. He seeks to discipline his brother and get revenge. Both using sumo but the criminal brother using a mix of sumo and dirty fighting styles.
Thats as far with the idea i got.
This video is top notch. I do not like the Hinako idea much, but at least it would differ a lot from the other ones.
The Yakuza Sumo guy reminds me of the Romanian sumo guy that was banned from sumo for match fixing in the Hagure Idol Jigokuhen (Booty Royale in the US) manga. Warning: A very NSFW manga!
aah harimanada exists, and it is super cool, all the characters are sumo wrestlers and they mange to be different
Take Hanayama Koaru, he is from Baki the grappler. He "almost" got a place in Sumo but is to yakuza for the sumoworld. There is even art from him as a Yokusuna.
The issue behind sumo characters is that given its culture, personal struggles are solved by sumo itself. Take the foreigner idea: Foreigner grapples with sumo, the solution is being good at sumo. It's very neat and boring. But that's how it plays out in real life too.
But I think the effort shown for sumo characters should clue you in to a simpler answer: It's included because it should be, not because creators are especially excited to.
Look at karate. The one character true to shotokan karate is Makoto and just like E. Honda what's her core drive? Promoting karate.
It comes down to domestic versus international perceptions of a martial art and culture. Growing up around a martial art that symbolises your country makes it less interesting and maybe even banal to someone who's been exposed to it all their life. Take The Karate Kid. The exoticism of karate propels it to a mythical status in that film. In the same sense, mythical and fantastic properties are often portrayed as inherent to martial arts foreign for fighting game devs. The exoticism and superficial understanding of bajiquan or capoeira is what gives creators the fuel to show those martial arts in a light that "surpasses human limits".
So despite many characters that practice "karate" in fighting games, they are never exceptional for doing karate, but for abilities that have nothing to do with karate like shooting fireballs, helicoptering the air and have devil genes (Akiman specifically wanted Ryu to stand more like Bruce Lee because he didn't want a traditional karate pose for the character)
But Karate always has been somewhat flexible, reinterpreted as it went from Okinawa to Japan, with more recent schools like Kyokushin being fundamentally different. With that in mind it's much easier to attribute weird abilities to karate than Sumo, which has been a fairly rigid institution tied to government dating back to the Heian period. Accordingly it's much less reinterpreted and fighting games reflect this.
I didn't really plan to say that much but w/e maybe someone found that interesting.
Ouch! Sumo's are held to the highest standards. The Yakuza idea could be a good idea, but I may have a better solution. What if they made a Sumo character that is a devout Shinto follower. Sumo wrestling's religious aspect comes from Shinto. This religious Sumo fights to revitalize Japan's passion for Shinto & tradition. His struggles could include balancing his training with spiritual duties, figuring out how to effectively spread his message, and feeling the pressure of being the paragon of Japan's virtues.
A video about Muay Thai might be interesting because one thing most Muay Thai characters have in common with Sumo characters is that their character design tends to be just that of a typical Thai fighter with shorts and wrapped arms and shins. At least they are better from Sumo characters in that Muay Thai usually is not their whole character. Sagat especially has a whole character arc.
i remember on manga have side character a bit tall girl that love sumo and her dream is doing sumo without using "bra" (spoiler: she did it with pasties)
I'm pretty surprised to hear sumo hasn't had any outstanding representation yet. I'm not exactly a fan of it but I always found it interesting and unique and that others might as well to the point it would be made a more interesting staple in fighting games.
Man, Evil Sumo Man would be an awesome idea for a fighter.