MvC3 Character Analysis: Akuma

Enter the Raging Demon!

The supreme master of the Dark Hadou enters the ring ready to test his martial might against the best fighters the Marvel universe has to offer.  Will any of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes stand a chance against Capcom’s Raging Demon?

First Impressions: I cannot stand Akuma in any Street Fighter game, I’d like to get that out of the way right now, but I LOVE the way he looks in MvC3!  Those combos off of his Hurricane Kick look wicked and Demon Flip mix-ups that combo?  Get out of town son.  Prepare to die a thousand deaths in an instant!

Video 1

Video 2

Video 3

Akuma has very fast normals, his jab is sickeningly quick, and his sweep combos into his launcher which is always a plus (Video 1 – :22).  His aerial combo finisher lets you OTG with either of his aerial beam/fireball hypers making Akuma a ridiculous threat once he’s got you airborne (Video 1 – :53).  On the ground he can combo into his Messatsu-Goshoryu (Uppercut hyper) from a very simple normal combo (Video 2 -:55).  Unfortunately he has virtually no range on any of his attacks besides his low sweep, and even that’s not saying much.

He also a command normal, at least that’s what it looks like.  He basically does a jumping spin kick that can be comboed into and cancelled into Hyakkishu (Demon Flip) mix-ups (Video 1 – :29, Video 2 – 2:01) as well as into hypers (Video 1 – :45).  It has a decent amount of start-up so you don’t want to be using this outside of combos.  Just like in MvC2 Akuma has quick normals but no real range to speak of.  Hopefully that’s where you can substitute Demon Flip shenanigans, air fireballs, and assists to get him in close.

Gohadoken and Zanku Gohadoken
A standard fireball that can be shot on the ground (Video 2 – 2:10) and downward at a 45 degree angle in the air (Video 2 – :16).  The move does great chip and decent damage (Video 2 – :20) but the ground version ends combos because of its recovery.  The aerial version is good for protecting yourself on jump ins.  It comes out fast, covers a decent portion of the screen, does great chip (Video 2 – :20) and sets you up for combos if it hits.
Seriously look at Video 2 at :20 and watch how much damage it does to Thor on hit and block!

It seems possible that the Zanku Hadoken (air fireball) might possibly OTG (Video 2 – :20) but upon further examination it looks like his air beam hyper hits Thor first and the fireball just tacks on another hit.  The Gohadoken is a fairly standard projectile but the great chip damage and the fact that it lets Akuma get in close make it an invaluable asset in his arsenal.

Title for Akuma's next platinum album? Purple Flame


Akuma’s shoto-uppercut, he jumps in the air his extended arm covered in infernal purple energy (Video 1 – :30).  It looks like it does great damage and can be comboed into off of a Zanku Gohadoken as you saw in that clip.  Probably not the greatest of combo enders, especially when you take into account Akuma’s great relaunch and OTG game, but use it if you can’t think of anything else to do.  Outside of combos it looks like it might be a good anti-air with some decent priority but who knows, we’ll just have to wait and see.

Tatsumaki Zankukyaku
Oh man, this is the move that gets me excited!  Akuma does a standard shoto-Hurricane Kick but this gets the opponent airborne and allows for some absolutely NASTY combos all potentially ending in OTG beam/fireball hypers (Video 1 – :39).  Light hits once (Video 1 – :41), medium hits three times (Video 2 – :44), and hard hits five times (Video 2 – :34).  It does great damage and it looks like every single version, light to hard, allows for a launch if you can time your dash into jab -> launcher, or just dash -> launcher, correctly, though the timing might be a little strict.

Awww yeah time for some big damage!

The shenanigans Akuma sets up on She-Hulk in Video 1 at :39 are disgusting!  He launches her and hits her with a hard Hurricane Kick, lands before her, hits her with a light Hurricane Kick, and then launches her for an air combo.  That almost seems like it could be done into infinitum: launch -> air hard Hurricane -> ground light Hurricane -> launch -> air hard hurricane etc. etc.  It does great hit stun from the air allowing for combos on grounded opponents and might possibly cross up (Video 1 – :51).  Lastly, the aerial versions (at least the light one for sure) have virtually no recovery time allowing Akuma to combo right after landing (Video 2 – 2:03).  I LOVE THIS MOVE!!!

Hyakkishu (Demon Flip)
Akuma jumps into the air and from this special jump he has 3 different options for attack.  Also, I think that the range for the leap is determined by the strength of the button pushed, but regardless he can:

Hyakki Gosho – Akuma performs a downward palm strike.  This attack causes a downward wall bounce if utilized in combos and can be cancelled and comboed into after his spin kick command normal (Video 1 – :29).  So I suppose that clears up one thing – Akuma is still considered grounded during his command normal even though he looks airborne…  Good to know.  This move comes out really quick and might act as an overhead?  Adds a little variety to Akuma’s combos.


I am kicking you in the head!

Hyakki Gojin – Akuma performs a dive kick at a 45 degree angle (Video 1 – :24).  Looks like he can actually use this to OTG into a downward wall bounce for more shenanigans!  It doesn’t cause a downward wall bounce on a standing or crouching enemy but they can be comboed afterwards (Video 2 – 2:20).  This also looks like it might hit overhead but that’s probably asking a little too much.  Last bit, at 2:20 in Video 2 one of his Hyakki Gojin has purple flames and one doesn’t.  I’m thinking that the strength of the button pushed during the Demon Flip determines whether or not your next attack gets the purp!  STD reference kinda sorta!

Hyakki Goho: I think there may have been a typo in the Reviewer’s Guide I received because I can’t find a Hyakki Goho anywhere!  It’s executed using hard attack out of the Hyakkishu but… Is this supposed to be his throw?  The sliding low kick?  I can’t find any evidence of it in the videos either.  If anyone has any idea what this is I would greatly appreciate some info and of course I’ll give you credit!

The only problem I see with the Hyakkishi is the delay in midair on the hard attack version (Video 2 – 2:20).  Akuma literally just hangs in mid-air for a second which opens up a lot of punishment possibilities for his enemies.  Other than that this moves looks solid and the fact that you can combo into it and OTG for a wall bounce is beastly!

Ashura Senku
Akuma does his patented teleport away from enemies or toward them and is completely invincible during the duration of the move (Video 1 – :36).  This is great for getting out of potentially sticky situations but don’t be teleporting willy nilly.  It is punishable and smart opponents will hit you with a hyper during your recovery.  Not much else to say.

You're going to be seeing this A LOT!

Messatsu-Gohado Agyo/Ungyo
These are Akuma’s ground-based beam and fireball hypers (Video 1 – :34, Video 3 – 2:23).  You perform Ungyo by holding the attack button.  They do great damage, great chip, and they’re relatively easy to cancel into.  If you need some quick and dirty damage throw one of these out there.  I’m sure you’ll be able to connect one off of his Hurricane Kicks and his standard normal strings that end in Gohadokens.  However, I’m not quite sure the pros and cons of the beam version vs. the fireball version.  Does one do more damage?  One do more chip?  I suppose the fireballs cover a greater area but hit less consistently.  Other than that?

Tenma-Gozanku Agyo/Ungyo (in the air)
Akuma’s bread and butter beam/fireball aerial hypers that he fires off at a downward 45 degree angle.  Connect these off of any hard aerial combo finisher to OTG or during any air combo.  So far I’ve noticed that Akuma only uses the beam version for the OTG (Video 1 – :55, Video 2 – :24, Video 2 – :46, Video 2 – 2: 27), and the fireballs in air combos (Video 2 – 2:06, Video 3 – 1:19).  I’m not quite sure why though.  Regardless, they do great damage and there are so many different ways to set them up!  I have a feeling Akuma is going to want to spend a lot of time in the air just so he can use these.  They’re so freaking versatile!  ‘Nuff said.

Akuma does three super powerful uppercuts while cloaked in purple flames (Video 1 – :45).  He can cancel his command spin kick into this and the damage is good but why waste meter on it when you can rack up the combo meter and lay into them with some air beam/fireball madness?  Unless this move has some great invincibility, opens up all-new combo opportunities, or works well as a DHC/THC I don’t see it being used quite as much as his beam and fireball hypers.

Welcome to Heaven baby.

Shun Goku Satsu, The Raging Demon Level 3
I don’t know what I can really say about this.  If you play fighting games you should know exactly what it is.  Akuma teleports forward and grabs his enemy unleashing a thousand blows in an instant and doing massive damage (Video 1 – :58).  It looks like it moves WAY quicker than in SSF4 and is invincible at least in the beginning.  He goes through Doom’s Photon Array hyper and Tron’s Bonne Strike and it still connects (Video 3 – 2:13).  It does good damage (not epic ridiculous like I was imagining though), is invincible at start, and goes full screen.  Not only that but it looks amazing, if a little too short.  Use it only when you know it’ll hit: behind lock down assists, during hyper recovery, that sort of thing.

Since we haven’t seen any of these in the videos I’m guessing he just does a standard Gohadoken.  Good for pressure and extending ground combos.  Nothing special.

Tatsumaki Zankukyaku
His Hurricane Kick assist.  Probably the medium version, hits 3 times, and puts the enemy into an aerial juggle state.  Probs.

Akuma uses his dive kick.  I wonder if this hits overhead because if it does… oh man!  Again, we haven’t seen it in any videos but it could possibly OTG in combos giving a downward wall bounce.  Take all this with a grain of salt.

I think Akuma looks awesome.  His Shun Goku Satsu black screen beatdown could be a little longer but otherwise I have no complaints.  Oh and it doesn’t look like he takes damage worse than a newborn infant!  I wanna play this cold mother fudger!

Final Thoughts
Akuma looks terrifying!  One combo and you’re in the air and if Akuma has any meter at all you’re looking at a guaranteed hyper.  He does good damage, doesn’t get knocked over by a strong breeze, has very versatile aerial options and hypers, a mostly invincible and very quick Level 3, and a ton of ways to get in and do damage.  His air fireball puts the opponent on the defensive and Demon Flip shenanigans help to close the distance if a little obvious and punishable.  Hurricane Kicks = amazing.

The downside is that he needs to get REALLY close to do damage because his normals have absolutely no range.  You’re going to have to get creative finding ways to rush down characters like M.O.D.O.K., Chris, and Dormammu with their excellent keep away games.  Other than that Akuma looks solid and a very real threat.  I can’t wait to play this guy!


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