For as long as I can remember, it’s been my belief that Ryu and Chun-Li are meant to be. Connected, you might say. Seeing them together just feels right. However, a lot of people don’t really see this, usually because they feel that Chun-Li doesn’t “need” a man (kinda true) or that Ryu is emotionally incapable of settling down with anyone (not true). Most people don’t care either way; they just want to rank up online.
Well, I do. I believe that there’s great story potential to be had in this union…but it has to be done in a believable fashion. If the characters, dialogue or overall tone is too mushy, heavy handed or otherwise out of character, players will be quick to call foul, whether they pay attention to the narrative or not. Nowadays, you only get one chance to tell a tale right, especially if it’s a new concept. I see Ryu and Chun-Li as having an unspoken bond that can’t really be worked on until they’re both ready to do so.
Ryu must find his own definition of what a “true warrior” is. That won’t be easy; if it were, he’d have found his answer a LONG time ago. You see, every fighter has their own reasons for why they fight. Right now, Ryu’s reason is, well, finding the ultimate reason and growing as strong as he possibly can along the way, until he simply cannot grow anymore. Once all of that happens, then and only then will he be ready to move on to the next phase of his life. He’s not meant to be like his master in every way.
Ryu needs a legitimate reason to fight, something (or someone) to fight for. He’s on the right track at present, since he goes out of his way to stop out evil if and when he encounters it, but even that is a limiting and somewhat self-serving mindset. He needs to look outside of himself and discover an alternate source of strength, one that can enhance and surpass even the strongest ki.
Chun-Li’s situation isn’t that simple. She has quite a bit on her plate. She has to raise her adopted kids and I believe we can safely assume that she still does her part to keep the peace in China, even if it’s outside of INTERPOL. Plus, with all that’s going on with the Illuminati, I doubt she’s going to have that much time to breathe soon. And on top of that, we still don’t know how Shadoloo finally, finally fell and what she had to do with it. While Chun-Li is a capable woman that can handle her own business, she shouldn’t have to deal with it all alone, and I don’t think she was meant to.
One should not have to shoulder heavy burdens alone, and Chun-Li’s been doing that for a long time. Sue, she’s had Guile, Cammy and her other allies to lean on, but she’s still carrying the pain, anger and sadness that Bison constricted around her heart. Yes, it can be used as a tool, but what do you do with it when you don’t “need” it anymore? It’s not going to just go away. It’ll still be there, keeping you from true inner peace, and that’s not really something you can get rid of all by yourself. As far as I’m concerned, it’s physically and emotionally weakening her, and the “Strongest Woman in the World” can’t afford such a handicap.
Many people are content with being by themselves, and that’s fine, but to me, that’s no way for anyone to live. No matter how self-assure you think you are, no one is truly an island unless they set out to one of their own volition. We all need other people to help us grow and better one another as human beings. Heck, even negative people need others to torture. What are they gonna do, troll themselves?
Ryu and Chun-Li have it in them to grow stronger and reach their full potential, as warriors and as individuals, but more importantly, I feel that they can do so together. To go into further specifics would give away my own approach to such a narrative endeavor, but I can say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it is possible.