These brothers have been playing Street Fighter 2 for 20 years, but will compete in the US for the first time this weekend at Red Bull Battle Grounds

Aniken and Otochun tell Red Bull why they continue to play the game, what they think of Western talent, and more

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • November 15, 2017 at 12:19 p.m. PST

Street Fighter 2 saw it's initial release way back in 1991. It's a game that revolutionized the genre forever, with nearly every fighting title that followed taking inspiration from it.

Despite the series' age, and the fact that there is a modern Street Fighter game on the market, there still exists die-hard fans of the classic who continue to compete today.

Enter Aniken (pictured on the left) and Otochun (on the right). These two brothers have been playing Street Fighter 2 for 20 years now in Japan, and for the first time ever they will be traveling to the US to compete at Red Bull Battle Grounds this weekend.

Red Bull has conducted an exclusive interview with these two veterans in which they share details on why they continue to play Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo, their opinions on the Western Super Turbo scene, and more.

Red Bull: When did you begin playing competitive Street Fighter 2 and did you think you would continue playing it for so long?

Aniken: Around 1996.

Otochun: In 1997.

Red Bull: What has kept you playing Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo for so long and not moved on to newer games like some other players have done?

Aniken: I’ve been playing this long because there are still many of my friends in Osaka who have also continued to play Super Turbo.

Otochun: Even to this day I still have many rivals in the game, so that is my motivation to continue playing.

Red Bull: This iteration of Street Fighter 2 was released in in 1994. Has the game been fully matured at this point or are new tactics and tech still being discovered?

Aniken: Definitely new tactics are constantly being discovered!

Otochun: Of course, this continues to happen (new tech being discovered).

Red Bull: What does the 30th anniversary of Street Fighter mean to you?

Aniken: It’s an amazing accomplishment. Not to exaggerate, but Street Fighter is something that has affected my life in a positive way, and has made it more interesting!

Otochun: Street Fighter is something that has helped me grow as a person, and I feel that I owe a debt of gratitude to what the game has given me.

Red Bull: Why have you never traveled to the USA to compete in Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo?

Aniken: The timing has just never been there. This time however, the timing is perfect, and I need to thank the Street Fighter II gods for giving me this opportunity, haha!

Otochun: It’s been a matter of having the free time to myself to be able to do it. However, I am looking forward to facing international opponents at Red Bull Battle Grounds, and I’ve always had an interest in facing an international opponent.

Red Bull: Have you seen any videos of play from the USA? If so what are your opinions on it?

Aniken: In recent years, there has been many more foreign players who have come to Japan and played ST, so there is a level of friendship and familiarity with their skill and playstyles. That being said, everyone who has come to Japan has been very strong, and it’s always fun playing them!

Otochun: Because of YouTube, the influence that the entire world has on each other is incredible. As a result, I feel that everyone’s level (especially Westerners) level has increased dramatically. I’m truly looking forward to playing them!

Red Bull: Seeing that this will be your first tournament in the USA what are you looking forward to the most?

Aniken: I’m truly hoping to make new friends among the foreign players. Also, I’m hoping to have great, exciting matches if possible!

Otochun: I’m looking forward to making new friends among the players. I think that international events and tournaments are more exciting than those in Japan, so I’m looking forward to participating!

Red Bull: At this point in this game's competitive life, do you feel you are playing character match ups or directly against the player?

Aniken: Without a doubt it would be the player matchup against my opponent. At this junction, who my opponent picks is not that important anymore. The most important thing for me, is for my opponent and I to have fun and enjoy ourselves while battling each other.

Otochun: I play a fairly strong character, however for me it’s important to think about both character countermeasures, as well as my specific opponent. I feel both are equally important analyses to have.

Red Bull: Where are you currently playing Super Turbo at and how often are you able to go and play?

Aniken: Maybe 1-3 times a week, at Emperor Monte, West Nakajima Sega, and Kohatsu in Osaka.

Otochun: Around twice a week at Emperor Monte, also sometimes at Kohatsu, Neyagawa ABC, and West Nakajima Sega.

Red Bull: Aniken we have seen before you mentioned your brother Otochun as your greatest rival. Is he still your greatest rival and is it limited to only the game?

Aniken: Absolutely! I never want to lose to him. Not only in Street Fighter, but in life as well, LOL. However, despite our rivalry, he is the person who understands me the best.

Otochun: Despite being my older twin, Aniken differs from me in many ways, and we are not that much alike! That is why playing him has helped me develop and grow! Because of this dynamic, I never want to lose to him!

Red Bull: After more than 2 decades of actively playing Street Fighter, what has the game taught you that you apply to your life?

Aniken: Many many things. Particularly that you have to truly sacrifice to be able to continue doing what you love, and though it may be difficult, you can do it if you truly care about the things that give you joy. Also, the importance of making friends and getting along well with all of my gaming acquaintances.

Otochun: ST is a simple game, and on the surface someone may or may not seem strong from only playing them in matches, but it is the underlying mental toughness that we need to look out for and acknowledge - in what truly makes an opponent strong. I have made some wonderful friends along the way, and I am truly grateful for them.

Red Bull: We know that you recently announced you’ll be attending Red Bull Battle Grounds in Boston, do you have any final words for the American community?

Aniken: Street Fighter II is one of the most important and precious things in my life. I feel that the game I love has come full circle for me, and being able to spend the time and space with other passionate players at Red Bull Battlegrounds is something that I truly want to be a part of. Let’s enjoy ourselves at the event!

Otochun: This is my first tournament abroad, and being able to experience this while playing the game that got me here, where many strong international players will congregate is an amazing thing. While having fun, I hope to showcase my strength and tenacity as a player through victory!

Continue below for the Japanese version. 下に日本語版があるので、ご覧ください。

Red Bull: 最初のII Xの大会はいつでしたか?し始めたときにからこの長い間までやり続けることと思いましたか?

兄けん (Aniken): 1996年くらい

オトチュン (Otochun): 1997年.

Red Bull: ずっと時 II Xをやっただけですか?そうでしたら、他の選手として、何で他の新しい    ゲームをやらなかったんですか?

兄けん (Aniken): 大阪にはずっとスト2Xをやり続けている仲間が大勢いて楽しかったんですよ

オトチュン (Otochun): いいライバルがたくさんいたことですね。

Red Bull: ストII Xは1994年に発売でしたね。この23年語まだ新しい戦術やテクニックを見つ    けることがありますか?

兄けん (Aniken): ありますあります!

オトチュン (Otochun): もちろんあります。

Red Bull: ストリートファイターの30記念日はあなの場合にどの意味ですか?

兄けん (Aniken): 素晴らしいです!大げさではなく僕の人生を楽しいものにしてくれたゲームですから。

オトチュン (Otochun): 自分をここまで大きく成長させてくれた大恩あるゲームなので 精一杯恩返しがしたいです!

Red Bull: ストII Xの大会に参加するためにアメリカに行かなかったことはなぜですか?

兄けん (Aniken): タイミングですね。今回は最高のタイミングで行けるのでスト2の神様のご褒美かなと(笑)

オトチュン (Otochun): プライベートの時間の都合です。ただ外国の選手には興味ありました。

Red Bull: アメリカの対戦動画を見ましたか?選手やプレイのレヴェルはどう思いますか?

兄けん (Aniken): 近年は日本に大勢の海外プレイヤーが来てくれるのですごく親しみを感じます。みなさんすごく強いから楽しいです!

オトチュン (Otochun): YouTubeなど動画の影響で世界全体が素晴らしくレベルが上がったと思います!対戦するのが楽しみです!

Red Bull: もしこれは最初アメリカの大会だったら、一番首を長くしていることはなんでしょ    うか?

兄けん (Aniken): やはり海外プレイヤーと仲良くなれること。そして素晴らしい盛り上がりの中で試合ができることです!

オトチュン (Otochun): たくさんのプレイヤーと仲間になれることです!あと日本より大会の盛り上げ方が好きなので一緒に楽しみたい。

Red Bull: ストII Xについて、今のゲームをやる情勢はキャラ対戦と相手対戦に比べてどっちの方    がよく考えていますか?どっちが一番大切な事だと思いますか?

兄けん (Aniken): これは間違いなく対戦相手です。キャラクターは関係ありません。お互いに楽しい試合ができるようになることが一番大切です。

オトチュン (Otochun): 私は強いキャラを使ってるのでキャラ対策をしっかりしつつ強い相手にも対応するので両方同じくらい重要です。

Red Bull: どこでよくプレイに行って、そして何度もゲームセンターとかに行けるだろうか?

兄けん (Aniken): 週に1~3回。大阪のエンパラ・モンテ・西中島セガ・コーハツ。

オトチュン (Otochun): 週に2回前後エンパラ中心です。たまにコーハツ、寝屋川ABC、西中島セガです。

Red Bull: 兄けんさん、前にオトチュンさんはあなたの一番ライヴァルだと言われました。この    意見はまだ同じそうであり、ライヴァルとしてストII Xにだけですか?

兄けん (Aniken): 絶対に負けたくないですね。スト2だけじゃなく人生でも(笑) でも一番の理解者でもあります。

オトチュン (Otochun): 兄弟でありながら自分と全く異なる強みを持ってるのが兄ケンです。それだけに彼との対戦は自分の成長につながります!ある意味一番負けたくない!

Red Bull: ストリートファイターを20年語プレイして始めてきたについて、人生が当てはまれる    ポイントはゲームを教えられたことがありますか?

兄けん (Aniken): たくさんたくさんあります。特に大好きなことを意識を高く努力し続ける楽しさや苦しさ。そしてゲームで仲良くなった仲間たちのこと。

オトチュン (Otochun): シンプルなゲームなので対戦するだけで相手の表面的な強さだけでなくメンタルな強さ人間的な強さが分かり合える。素晴らしい仲間達に対する感謝の気持ちです。

Red Bull: 兄けんさんとオトチュンさんもボストンのレッドブルバトルグラウンドに来ることが    発表されました。大会前に最後が伝えたいメッセージがありますか?

兄けん (Aniken): スト2は僕の人生において最も大切なことのひとつです。大好きなゲームで巡り合えたみんなとの時間と空間を最高のものにしたいです。楽しみましょう!

オトチュン (Otochun): 初めて海外の大会に参加するのでスト2Xを通じて全世界のプレイヤーたちと繋がっていけたらと思います!楽しみながらも勝利への執念もお見せできたらと思います。


Translation thanks to Chaz "Mynus" Frazer.

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