Yoshinori Ono really wanted R. Mika in Street Fighter 4 but the game's Battle Director didn't think they needed her

Alpha fans could have potentially had the wrestler much sooner than Street Fighter 5

Posted by Steven 'Dreamking23' Chavez • July 5, 2019 at 11:11 a.m. PDT

During the Street Fighter panel at Anime Expo yesterday, Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono sat in on the stage to talk about the history of the franchise. Joined by several voice actors from Street Fighter 5, the crew discussed a wide array of subjects for casual and hardcore fans alike.

At one point during the presentation, Ono was asked to talk a little bit about the different characters represented by their respective voice actors on the stage: Ryu (Kyle Herbert), Karin (Lauren Landa), R. Mika (Bonnie Gordon), and Urien (Bill Rogers). When speaking about Street Fighter Alpha's Rainbow Mika, Ono said that he really wanted to see her as a playable character back in Street Fighter 4, but he just couldn't swing it.

"So Rainbow Mika, I actually wanted her to be in [Street Fighter 4]," Ono started through his translator. "She could have been with you guys much earlier, but there was a reason [why she wasn't].

"I kept saying this to the Battle Director for 4 at the time. I was like, 'Put her in! Put her in!' Keep repeating it like a curse. But then he was like, 'No. We don't really need her.'"

Ono goes on to say that he brought in a new Battle Director for Street Fighter 5, with a part of that being so he could see R. Mika return. In order for the new director to avoid the former's influence about Mika, Ono jokingly said he kind of hypnotized the new director with the word "Mika" to get her into Street Fighter 5.

The desire to see R. Mika return in Street Fighter 4 and Street Fighter 5 was so strong for Ono that he says it began bleeding into his personal life. "Of course I kept repeating it in a hypnotizing, chanting way — 'Mika, Mika' — so because that was in my head, during my sleep at home I would say, 'Mika... Mika...' and my wife heard it," Ono said laughing.

R. Mika made her debut on June 29, 1998, with the release of Street Fighter Alpha 3. She is a Japanese professional wrestler in the Iwashigahama Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling organization, and her move set reflects this with various command throws, an Irish Whip, and leg drops.

It wasn't until Street Fighter 5's launch in February 2016 when R. Mika would finally make her return to battle. With an updated set of maneuvers, Mika also fights alongside her tag team partner, Nadeshiko, with both of her V-Triggers.

If you'd like to see the full replay of the Anime Expo Street Fighter panel, you can check it out here.

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