One of the things I find interesting about Street Fighter’s lore is that a lot of times, there are enough elements in one character’s story to bring light to another’s. For the most part, the characters are related to each in some way: G and Q, Chun-Li and Juri, Alex and Tom, Zeku and Guy. However, this is the first time I’ve written a theory where two characters have almost no relationship to one another, and yet are incontrovertibly linked: Makoto and Cammy. For this theory to work, the elements of one young woman’s story relies on the canonicity of the other’s. Two characters’ plots, two separate theories, one very interesting tale to tell. Let’s begin.
Makoto is the Rindo-kan tomboy who first appeared in the Street Fighter III series. Her reason for entering Gill’s tournament was a simple one: to uphold the prestige of her dojo. Despite everyone she faces thinking she’s too much of an “amateur” (as Cammy calls her in Street Fighter IV), in her story in Third Strike, she beats Ryu, bests Gill, and wins the tournament. Now while it isn’t canon that she beats Gill, there is evidence that her ending, where she sets up a gauntlet of people to try and beat her in a fight, is. The first piece of evidence is Makoto herself. She has trained well enough to have the ability to last through multiple opponents at once without even breaking a sweat. Makoto was the first person seen in the canon series to actually do it; however, chronologically speaking, she wasn’t the first. In Street Fighter V, both Zangief and Karin could easily deflect some of Bison’s best soldiers by… flexing.
Karin, being much closer to Makoto’s body type than Zangief, is proof that a young, petite woman with enough training can easily dispatch several hulking men (Birdie included) who also happen to be technologically enhanced with the literal power of negativity, by flexing, in the world of Street Fighter. Now, before you laugh yourself into a coma, there has to be a reasonable amount of suspension of disbelief. This is a video game where people can launch energy projectiles at each other through their hands, something that has zero scientific basis in real life. There are plenty of things we can examine through a scientific eye in Street Fighter. This is not one of them.
In any case, if Karin can do it, so can Makoto, so it isn’t too hard to believe that Makoto can defeat a bunch of people one by one… if they’re a lower caliber fighter. Let’s take a look at who she actually beats.
Although the quality of this picture is low, you can make out two distinct forms: Cammy and Alex. Some of the other fighters, according to Fandom, are Ryu, T. Hawk, Zangief, and Dee Jay. Basically, Makoto was able to beat some of the strongest fighters in the series WITHOUT BREAKING A SWEAT. https://streetfighter.fandom.com/wiki/Makoto
But there’s no way this can possibly be canon, right? There’s NO WAY Makoto can be that strong. Well….
The two guys you see in those links, Kenichi Kakutani and Somsak, who are said to be strong in their own right, lost to Makoto canonically. It’s not even that they lost, but how they lost: they both participated in the gauntlet Makoto held, and Makoto whipped them handily. This means the gauntlet actually happened. The pile-up of defeated fighters was the SPARK that led her to hold it. By definition, in beating the fighters she did (especially Ryu), Makoto is canonically the strongest female character in the entire game.
Basically, it isn’t Ryu who Akuma should go after for the death match he craves. It’s Makoto.
…But wait, we’re not done yet, not by a long shot. Since we can now assume that Makoto’s ending is canon, we can get into something else even more mind-blowing than Makoto being that strong. Let’s take a look at Cammy again.
Does something seem off? It should. Cammy is wearing the outfit she wore with Shadaloo.
So what does this mean? “Oh, it’s just an homage,” you say. “It can’t possibly…”
In Cammy’s story mode, it’s shown that Cammy is struggling with her past even as she tries to face the future. She wants to free the other dolls from Bison’s control, but as F.A.N.G. alludes to, the burden of the guilt of their sins may be too much for any of the Dolls once they are. They committed atrocities under Bison’s orders, and as Cammy says, the Dolls may not want that burden at all. While being a slave for Bison is not exactly rainbows and sunshine, the alternative could be far worse psychologically, bringing up the question, “Is ignorance bliss in this case?” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EILswE-M0ck
While Cammy does succeed in freeing her sisters, and it’s clear that she loves her adopted family in Delta Red, it can’t be ignored that Makoto’s ending shows her in her Shadaloo outfit. So… does Cammy end up going back of her own free will?
It wouldn’t be out of her character. In Ultra Street Fighter IV, she allowed Bison to take Decapre to save her life. In the Udon comics, she rejoined Shadaloo of her own volition to save Delta Red. If she returned to Shadaloo willingly, it would likely to save somebody as well – herself. Her guilt would have been too much to bear. If she’s openingly questioning whether or not she’s doing the right thing, it isn’t too much of a stretch to say she’s legitimately thinking about going back to numb her conscience. She’s shown that she hasn’t broken away from her past either – she addresses Bison as “Lord Bison” in her win quote to him in Street Fighter IV.
So, this leaves one question unanswered. If Makoto beats everyone she does in Street Fighter III, when she fights Cammy, is Cammy acting under orders from Bison? Could Makoto be one of Bison’s targets? Well, Bison seems rather dismissive in his win quote to her: “There are countless fighters like you around the world. You are not special!”
However, if Makoto can beat the fighters she did, he would definitely give her a second look.