Yes, this is real life. Daigo ‘The Beast’ Umehara, holder of the Guiness World Record for “the most successful player in major tournaments of Street Fighter”, the man known by the Japanese media as “the god of 2D fighting games”, the man who famously unleashed some crazy parrying skill in the EVO 2004 semi-final in what is possibly the most memorable Street Fighter moment of all time… is having a manga made about his life. The title? Umehara – FIGHTING GAMERS! (Nope, I didn’t add that that exclamation mark myself; this is clearly an all-inclusive experience).
The manga itself has been out for a while, but now it’s available to read absolutely free through the Georgia Coffee app.
Now what might be the strangest thing here is that this won’t be Daigo’s first manga appearance; as seen above, Daigo, along with Street Fighter producer Yoshinori Ono, appeared in extreme Mahjong (yep, that’s a thing now) manga Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku (a series that I massively recommend; if you’re like me and all you’ve ever wanted to see in your life is Vladimir Putin play Mahjong against an ex-Japanese Prime Minister, then this is the perfect series for you).
Compared to its mahjong-playing counterpart, this new Daigo series is less over-the-top in its concept; it takes us back to the bustling Akihabara arcade scene of the 90s, where a middle school-age Umehara first makes the jump from Street Fighter II to the then new Vampire Hunter (the second title in Capcom’s Vampire franchise, known as Darkstalkers in the west), as well as encountering his eventual rival (and fellow member of the Japanese ‘Fighting Gods’, an incredibly rad title) Nuki.
It seems like it would be hard to make guys furiously smashing arcade machine buttons interesting, but if the image below is anything to go by, the artist has done a pretty good job at showing off Daigo’s ‘God Right Hand’ in action. Unfortunately, the series is currently only available in Japanese, but if you can’t read the lingo you can still look at the pretty pictures using the Georgia Coffee app that was mentioned earlier (I don’t know why it’s called that either). Go check it out!