There have been many questions asked regarding the new Seth trailer. Why does Seth have a woman’s body? Why does Seth look like Juri? Will Seth be a viable character in Street Fighter V: Champion Edition? That last question I can’t answer, but I will certainly do my best to answer the other two, as the trailer provides potential clues to Seth’s story.
At the beginning of the trailer, a female robotic voice is heard, stating the following:
“Perineuro device expansion completed. Pseudo-personality asset is imported properly. Biological brain connected. Doll Unit Zero.”
Let’s analyze what this means. The first sentence is a little hard to make out, what with the woodwind instrument (a tuba?) overpowering the first word, but I concluded that the first word is “perineuro”, which means there’s some device involving Seth’s nervous system. This… is likely meant to just sound cool. Ok, Seth has a nervous system and there’s a device that helps with motor functioning. I’m not gonna look that deep into it and neither should you.
However, the REST of the quote brings up some interesting possibilities. The voice mentions a “pseudo-personality” asset as well as mentioning Seth’s biological brain, something that Matt Edwards, aka @TheStreetWriter on Twitter, writes about in detail on Capcom Unity. In fact, there’s a few things he states in the blurb regarding Seth. http://www.capcom-unity.com/mattrayu/blog/2019/12/16/seth-announced-for-street-fighter-v-champion-edition-gill-and-new-gameplay-content-out-today
The “pseudo-personality asset” part tells me that the Seth we see coming into Street fighter V is either incomplete or false, and what Matt Edwards states in his article leads me more to believe the first part. In the section titled “V-Skill 1 – Tanden Engine”, Matt mentions that Seth can steal other fighter’s moves like in Street Fighter IV. However, he goes on to write:
“Each of these stolen moves gives Seth access to something uniquely different, but perhaps due to corrupted memory, Seth can only use it once before needing to steal it again.
The Seth we see in Street Fighter V is not the same Seth we saw in Street Fighter IV, both physically and mentally. This Seth is a brand new character, and people seem to like Seth’s female form a lot.
This leads me to the origins of Seth’s new female form. Why is Seth a girl now?
The simple answer: the old body got destroyed. Seth needed a new body. However, Seth also needed to have a body that could withstand both the power of the Tanden Engine as well as the attacks of opponents. That body was Doll Unit Zero.
This is where Juri comes in:
“Little piece of junk. Time to wake up.”
This quote is the key to the trailer. In Juri’s Story Mode, she infiltrates Shadaloo’s base in search for… something. You could conclude based on how both her story and the Cinematic Story Mode go that she’s looking for information. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=66aRoPreYUI
If you take Seth’s trailer into consideration as well, however, you can conclude that she’s also looking for Seth. How? The last part of the quote: “Time to wake up.” This implies that Juri was the one who revived Seth. She was the one who picked the body.
So, why Doll Unit Zero? Was it because it looked like her? Based on what we know, Juri isn’t vain, or at least not in the same way Vega/Claw is. She likes controlling people, and as someone who has very little self-control, picking a body that looked like her wouldn’t make sense. Why would she want to control herself? She wants to control Seth, but there’s someone else she wants to control more:
“I enjoyed hearing you scream. I’m looking forward to hearing it again.”
“Be a little more obedient. You want me to like you or not?”
“Wow. Back for another beating, officer? Or maybe you’ve got a little schoolgirl crush?”
This person is the new basis for Seth’s body. There are small clues in Seth’s new design that give it away.
Seth isn’t Juri. Seth is Chun-Li.
Not only does Seth already have Chun-Li’s kicks, but the new form has Chun-Li’s face and body as well. If we assume then that Seth is a model of Chun-Li, then we know who Doll Unit Zero originally was: Shadow Lady. https://streetfighter.fandom.com/wiki/Shadow_Lady
Shadow Lady was originally a Marvel vs Capcom exclusive character – basically, she was captured by Shadaloo and turned into a weapon. She returned in Street Fighter 5’s Extra Battle Mode as a “mysterious mech” with all of her moves from MvC, much to the delight (and chagrin) of many Street Fighter fans. Since Shadaloo Soldiers appear in the Cinematic Story Mode, it isn’t too much of a stretch to say Shadow Lady existed in some form canonically as well. Seth’s new body is a reimagining of Shadow Lady – what we see is the body of Shadow Lady without the concealment of shadows. Also, before you point out that Shadow Lady IS Chun-Li with enhancements, this wouldn’t be the case in Street Fighter 5, as Chun-Li is very much NOT under Shadaloo’s control – Shadaloo would have to build a mech that looked, sounded, and acted like her. Fortunately for this theory, creating new artificial bodies is pretty much what Shadaloo does, if characters like Cammy, Ed, Falke, Seth, and M. Bison himself are any indication.
While we can’t say with 100% certainty that the body is Shadow Lady until we get Seth’s Story Mode, we can point to several design choices that point to this being the case. Seth has a feminine but muscular build. Juri, and several other female fighters, have this as well, but we can narrow this down with other attributes: Seth’s long black hair and brown/amber eyes. This places Seth firmly with as a look-alike of both Juri and Chun-Li, but there are two more distinctive features that point to Chun-Li being Seth’s model.
The first are the eyes. Chun-Li has both of hers while Juri only has one real one and an artificial one with the Feng Shui Engine. The second and most striking are the eyebrows. The uniqueness of Chun-Li’s eyebrows match Seth’s perfectly. Juri’s on the other hand, are thinner and longer. Here’s side by side comparisons that prove it.
When you look at all of the evidence, we can see, at least in part, what happens with Juri and Seth. After Seth’s body is destroyed, Juri makes it her plan to rebuild and control what’s left. She picks a female body that is notable in its durability and strength – Doll Unit Zero, a.k.a. Shadow Lady – that closely resembles a woman she wants to manipulate and control: Chun-Li. By placing Seth’s brain into this body, she is able to fulfill her wish of controlling both Seth and Chun-Li at the same time to aid her in her mission, whatever that may be.
Of course, based on one more quote Seth states in the trailer, it’s likely that Seth broke free of Juri’s control.
“Well Juri. Who’s a piece of junk?”
It apparently isn’t Seth anymore.