Kuma and Panda

Kuma (Japanese: クマ, Hepburn: kuma), literally meaning "bear", is the name of two characters within the Tekken fighting game series released by Namco Bandai Games. Kuma I was introduced in the first Tekken and returned for Tekken 2, while Kuma II was introduced in Tekken 3 and has returned for all subsequent games. Both of them are tame bears, bodyguards to Heihachi Mishima, as well as father and son towards each other. The female Panda (パンダ) was introduced in Tekken 3 as a palette swap of Kuma, returning for subsequent games.

Kuma and Panda
Tekken characters
Kuma (T7).png
Kuma II in Tekken 7
First gameTekken (1994) (Kuma I)
Tekken 3 (1997) (Kuma II)
Created bySeiichi Ishii (Kuma I)
Katsuhiro Harada (Kuma II)
Voiced byKatsuhiro Harada (Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory) (Kuma II)[1]
In-universe information
OccupationBodyguard
Tekken Force Officer (Tekken 7)
Fighting styleKuma Shinken
OriginJapan (Kuma I)
Unknown (Kuma II)[2]
NationalityJapanese

KumaEdit

Tekken seriesEdit

The first Kuma was once an abandoned cub in the forests of the Mishima estate. Heihachi Mishima found Kuma and took him in as his pet.

Other gamesEdit

Kuma appears in Capcom-made crossover fighting game Street Fighter X Tekken with Heihachi Mishima as his official partner. His Swap Costume is modeled after R. Mika. According to the download blurb, Kuma has joined R. Mika's wrestling league. Apparently this was the only costume that could fit him. Kuma appears as a support character in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. He is summoned by Heihachi Mishima's level 2 Super, where he runs around the stage slashing at fighters with his claws, pounds the ground and despawns. He also appears as a minion, and can be unlocked by reaching rank 8 with Heihachi. Kuma also appears in Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory and its remake as a NPC that appears on some of the events of the DLC character, Tekken. Kuma however never uses actual bear sounds in his appearance in Victory, but is rather voiced by Tekken director, Katsuhiro Harada. He was described as Tekken's sparring partner and close friend. Kuma appears as a Spirit in the Nintendo crossover video game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.[3]

In other mediaEdit

Kuma I made a cameo in Tekken: The Motion Picture, climbing down a tree. Kuma appears in comics Tekken Saga (1997), Tekken 2 (1998) and Tekken Forever (2003). A picture of Kuma II is briefly seen in the CGI film Tekken: Blood Vengeance, when Anna Williams recruits Ling Xiaoyu at Mishima Polytechnic School.

Character designEdit

In Tekken, Kuma I was represented as a sun bear; however in Tekken 2, Kuma is either a grizzly bear or a polar bear, depending on which outfit is used. Kuma II is always depicted as a large, grizzly bear with brown fur. He almost always wears a red scarf and red spiked wristband on the left hand. In Tekken 4, however, he wears red T-shirt with a design on the back and red-white paw rubber shoes. Later, he also gains red spiked anklet on the left leg instead of red wristband.

Kuma fights using an "original" fighting style called Kuma Shinken, a move set closely resembling Mishima family's style of karate. In the earlier games, Kuma Shinken took many elements from the Jack models' fighting style. However, in later games, the art started to gain some originality with unique strikes and even a "hunting" mode which puts Kuma on all fours for more attacks. This fighting style is considered one of the most unusual, as it does not rely on straight attacks, but instead uses tricks such as rolls, dodges, and various other stances. Because of this, Kuma is one of the hardest characters to master, as he is quite slow and not very flexible. Kuma also has move where he turns around, stands on all fours, relaxes, and then farts, which would instant kill the opponent.

ReceptionEdit

GameSpy named Kuma as one of the "25 Extremely Rough Brawlers" in video gaming, commenting "This one is simple – Kuma is a bear. An actual bear. A wild animal."[4] UGO Networks listed Kuma as one of "The 50 Cutest Video Game Characters", adding "It’s always adorable when bears try to do human things".[5] 1UP.com listed Kuma as one of the characters they wanted to see in Street Fighter X Tekken, stating "you can't have Tekken in the title without some sort of animal that is ready for a throwdown".[6] In a GamesRadar article, a fight between Kuma and Zangief was written as one of the ones players wanted to see in Street Fighter X Tekken, commenting "In what will certainly be the most anticipated and, bizarrely, logical of these match ups, The Red Cyclone will finally be able to prove himself against his eternal arch nemesis, a bear."[7] FHM listed Kuma and Zangief as one of the "10 Awesome Fantasy Fights in Street Fighter X Tekken, adding "Dude’s strong enough to take on bears, but Kuma here is no ordinary bear."[8] PlayStation Official Magazine ranked Kuma as the seventh best tag team finisher in Street Fighter X Tekken, suggesting to "team the hairy great brute up with Kuro for the ultimate little-and-large comedy double act."[9] In 2012, Complex named Kuma's spinning backwards and his proposal to Panda as one of the "15 craziest moments in the Tekken series".[10][11] Complex also ranked Kuma's denied proposal to Panda in the Tekken 3 ending as the "23rd funniest moment in video games, commenting "We cried laughing watching this ending. And we still cry. It's really that amazing."[12] 4thletter placed Kuma's (alongside Heihachi's) Street Fighter X Tekken and Tekken 4 endings at 200th and 76th places, respectively in their list "Top 200 Fighting Game Endings".[13][14]

PandaEdit

Panda
Tekken character
 
Panda in Tekken 7
First gameTekken 3 (1997)
Voiced byTaketora (Tekken: Blood Vengeance)
Motion captureSyuichi Masuda (Tekken: Blood Vengeance)
In-universe information
OccupationBodyguard
Fighting styleKuma Shinken
OriginMainland China
NationalityChinese

AppearancesEdit

Panda is the pet of Ling Xiaoyu in the games since Tekken 3. Kuma is in love with Panda, but she is not interested in him romantically. Panda is cared for at Ling Xiaoyu's high school. To participate in the tournament, Ling moved to the Mishima Industrial College in Japan. Heihachi taught Panda advanced bear fighting so that she could act as a bodyguard for Xiaoyu throughout the series.

Panda also appears in Tekken Card Challenge, Tekken Tag Tournament, Tekken 3D: Prime Edition and Tekken Tag Tournament 2. She is briefly seen in Xiaoyu's Street Fighter X Tekken promotional art where she is seen on the roof of what appears to be Mishima Polytechnic. In the same game, Chun-Li's Swap Costume is based on Panda's appearance. Panda appears as a Spirit in the Nintendo crossover video game Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.[3] Panda appears in the CGI film Tekken: Blood Vengeance, as a supporting character, voiced by Taketora, who also voices Akuma in Street Fighter.

DesignEdit

Panda is, as her name implies, always depicted as a giant panda with pink or orange glowing bands and a green holster wrapped around her shoulder. The holster has grass inside of it. Since her introduction, she has always been a palette swap of Kuma, and thus has the same move set as him. In Tekken Tag Tournament 2, she is separated from Kuma and is given her own slot, even though she still has the same move set as Kuma's. They have the same moves, stance, and animations (shown before and after a fight), but their endings are always, in some way, different. Their animations (shown before and after a fight) are however differentiated in Tekken Tag Tournament 2, then followed by Tekken 7 where their movesets are identical except for their Rage Arts.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Harada, Katsuhiro [@Harada_TEKKEN] (December 27, 2012). "これぱんつか何か見えてるよねこれ?違う?いや見えてるよね? 【神次元ゲイムネプテューヌV x 鉄拳 "Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory x TEKKEN"】" (Tweet). Retrieved August 1, 2017 – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "Tekken 7 - The Best Fights Are Personal". tk7.tekken.com. Retrieved August 13, 2017.[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b Berg, Ricky (2021-06-28). "Tekken series Spirit Board features ten spirits, 14 character cameos total". nintendowire.com. Retrieved 2021-07-06.
  4. ^ Staff (11 August 2009). "25 Extremely Rough Brawlers". GameSpy. Retrieved 2009-08-11.
  5. ^ "The Cutest Video Game Characters". UGO.com. 2010-10-12. Archived from the original on 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2010-10-12.
  6. ^ Crisan, Neidel (2010-07-30). "Street Fighter X Tekken Preview for PS3, 360, Vita from". 1UP.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. Retrieved 2015-02-09.
  7. ^ Grimm, Michael (3 August 2010). "12 matchups we want to see in Street Fighter X Tekken". GamesRadar. Retrieved 20 August 2011.
  8. ^ "10 Awesome Fantasy Fights in Street Fighter X Tekken | Read reviews of movies, CDs, games, gadgets, cars, and more!". FHM.com.ph. 2012-07-27. Archived from the original on 2012-03-11. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
  9. ^ "The 8 best Street Fighter X Tekken tag team finishers - Page 7 of 8 | PS3 Features". Official PlayStation Magazine. 2012-06-20. Archived from the original on 2014-01-16. Retrieved 2012-06-20.
  10. ^ ""Tekken's" 15 Craziest Moments". Complex. 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  11. ^ ""Tekken's" 15 craziest moments". Complex. 2012-10-12. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
  12. ^ "The 25 Funniest Moments In Video Games". Complex. 2012-05-22. Retrieved 2016-02-04.
  13. ^ "The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part One". 4thletter.net. 2013-05-16. Retrieved 2013-05-16.
  14. ^ "The Top 200 Fighting Game Endings: Part Seven". 4thletter.net. 2013-06-18. Retrieved 2013-06-18.