We know Akuma is en route to Street Fighter 6 as the final entrant of the first batch of DLC, but eagle-eyed X (Twitter) user Quasimodox has spotted what looks to be an early look at the demonic fighter.
In a behind the scenes video of some of Capcom’s developers showing off progress on A.K.I., a screen in the background shows a character that looks conspicuously like Akuma… save for the fact that he’s bald.
We already know Akuma’s basic design in SF6 as we got to see an artwork example in the DLC presentation trailer (and his now white mane seems even more out of control than it was in Street Fighter 5), and also caught an obscured gander at him back in May when developers shared another behind the scenes look at Street Fighter 6’s development.
We can’t be certain that this is indeed Akuma, especially since it’s truly just a bald head, but the eyes as well as the facial structure do both point to it being him. We isolated the image and blew it up so you can see it for yourself below. We also included the previously revealed concept art pieces for comparison’s sake:
Click images for larger versions
It’s not at all uncommon to see models of characters without any hair, and so we don’t really suspect that Akuma might be getting a shaved head, but rather that we’re simply seeing a work in progress here. Having the hair missing will naturally have a heavy impact on how the model looks, so we’re not passing too much judgement here, for better or worse.
You can see it in the background of the original video here. It’s most obvious from around the 54 second mark to the end of the clip:
— 100カメ公式 (@nhk_100CAM) October 5, 2023
Capcom has been playing with Akuma’s visual design in more recent years as he garnered the aforementioned lion’s mane for his Street Fighter 5 debut back in 2017. Seeing as SF6 is the latest on the timeline, chronologically speaking, it makes sense that the long time Street Fighter character might look a little older and even more rugged.
Especially with how Capcom has been doing things as of late, we suspect we’ll also be getting a nostalgia version of Akuma where he looks more like his traditional self (as seen in Street Fighters 2, Alpha, 3, 4, and the many crossovers he’s appeared in).
That said, one does have to wonder if Akuma will be getting a demon mask for one of his first alternate looks in SF6, as it looks as though he’s wearing one in the snapshot from back in May (image 3 in the gallery above). He’s also just in basic underwear for this costume, save for his trademark beads, making it almost look as though he took a page out of Zangief’s book when it comes to wardrobe.
All questions should be answered during or before the spring of 2024 as that’s when Akuma is slated to join the SF6 roster. Despite having one of the absolute best attendance records in all of Street Fighter, he’s often late to the party joining as either an unlockable boss or a delayed DLC addition.
What do you think of Akuma’s white-haired design in Street Fighter 6? Are you looking forward to playing him when he drops next year, and do you think he’ll continue his trend of almost always being one of the most powerful characters on any roster he’s on?