Sarai Kurosawa is Ibuki’s best friend within the Glade of Ninjas. Sarai and Ibuki train together, go to school together, and are never too far out of each other’s reach to contact each other. Sarai has become an interesting footnote in Street Fighter’s lore as well – she shares her surname with the name of another character who comes from a different game entirely, Linn Kurosawa. As stated in my last theory, Linn Kurosawa is a playable character in the arcade beat ’em up “Alien vs Predator”. However, that game is set in the year 2100, whereas Linn makes appearances in Street Fighter in both Street Fighter Alpha 3 and Street Fighter III.
As I also stated in that theory, the possibility exists that Linn Kurosawa is canon to the Street Fighter universe, even though her home game is set in the far-off future. Is there a canon way for Linn to both be in the present and the future then? Actually, yes, and it doesn’t involve time travel, even though Ingrid’s presence in Alpha 3 Max does happen to deal with time travel.
It all has to do with something I really didn’t want to have to deal with either, considering King of Fighters, Guilty Gear, and Mortal Kombat all utilize it too: multiple timelines. Yep, we’re going into this territory. Even Street Fighter is not immune to this.
There is some good news, though: Street Fighter’s timeline jumping isn’t nearly as radical to the plot as it would be in other fighting games, considering none of it is main story fare.
For proof that Street Fighter is doing a timeline jump, there are several characters we can look at. Captain Commando is one, Simone and Siva from “Cannon Spike” are two others. However, there’s only one we need to look at to truly understand what Capcom is doing: Ruby Heart.
Ruby Heart’s only appearance was in Marvel vs Capcom 2, a non-canon crossover game. Though she was the protagonist of the game and the plot centered around her, there wasn’t much in the way of story or character development; like other MvC games, MvC2 was about picking three characters to play as and fighting your friends. The characters didn’t have different endings – there was one ending shared among them that changed only slightly depending on who you picked. Needless to say, Ruby Heart’s story was not expounded upon in any meaningful way, and she has not appeared in a game since.
However, this makes what they ended up doing with her all the more interesting. As a character with no development, it would make sense that if Capcom wanted to flesh her story out, they would place her in an appropriate game to do it. They decided to put her in the Street Fighter universe, but they made a few interesting choices.
In the Street Fighter universe, this character does not go by Ruby Heart, but simply as Ruby. The developers have straight up stated that she is not intended to be Ruby Heart, but albeit with a few minor changes, including the fact that she’s from Norway rather than France, she is the exact same character. More so, Ruby’s background and family extends to one of Capcom’s earliest series of games, “Pirate Ship Higemaru”, as her brothers Momotaru, Beard, and Bows are all taken from that game. https://streetfighter.fandom.com/wiki/Ruby
What this means is that Capcom is pulling characters from their past libraries and putting them into the Street Fighter universe, but these characters are not the exact same ones as the originals. What they’re doing instead is adapting their characters to the Street Fighter universe, creating characters with subtle enough changes to fit into it. They are literally creating alternate universe characters of some of their most iconic and obscure titles.
For example, in an interesting twist, Siva from “Cannon Spike”, also known as Shiba, is a character who came from the games “Midnight Wanderers” and “Chariot”, both of which were part of the compilation “Three Wonders”. https://streetfighter.fandom.com/wiki/Shiba
What really makes him fascinating, though, isn’t the idea that he was in two games before he became part of Street Fighter, nor is it that he became a part of Delta Red. The best part of it is that there was a third game in Three Wonders, the compilation he came from, called “Don’t Pull”, a puzzle game apparently enjoyed by someone in the Street Fighter V series, according to Shadaloo’s Combat Research Institute:
It’s Sarai Kurosawa. https://game.capcom.com/cfn/sfv/column/130205?lang=en
So, now that we’ve returned to Sarai, what does everything I just stated mean? It means that that Sarai has become a sort of gateway between worlds. She has a strong connection to Siva through her liking of “Don’t Pull” – if Siva represents the first two Wonders, Sarai represents the third. At the same time, her surname allows Linn Kurosawa to have a direct connection to the Street Fighter timeline; Linn would be family.
So, what would Linn’s presence being canon bring to the table? Simple: if Sarai is a part of the Glade of Ninjas, then so must be Linn, or at least an adapted version of her.
And there’s some strong evidence that suggests she is. https://capcom.fandom.com/wiki/Linn_Kurosawa
Let’s take a look at her profile in Alien vs Predator.
It states she’s a cyborg who leads the 13th Colonial Marine Corps, uses ancient martial arts combined with super strength, and wields a Japanese katana “whose blade represents her soul”. So far, nothing seems to point to anything that would have the Glade of Ninjas hallmark on it, but if we break this down and look at this in a certain way, we might be able find some things.
First of all, the term “ancient martial arts” pops out to me. While this is a very non-specific term, ninjutsu is well-known as an ancient martial art, going as far back as the 12th century Genpei War, so it could possibly be the art that is represented here. It’s the final part that appears to seal it: Linn uses a katana in battle, which seems to specify she follows the path of the samurai.
The samurai and the ninja practiced two completely different styles of combat. Whereas ninja preferred to use stealth, samurai were front-line warriors. Basically, Linn doesn’t seem to follow the Glade of Ninja’s battle philosophy at all, even though she has Ibuki’s exact same hairstyle and looks just like her. Plus, Linn doesn’t use kunai like Ibuki does, and Ibuki doesn’t use a sword like Linn does. There’s no way Linn could be a member of the Glade of Ninjas, right?
There is another character who opens the possibility that the Glade of Ninjas utilizes swordsmanship, someone who both specializes in wielding two swords like a samurai and who has mastered the way of the ninja. Despite her formidable fighting skills, however, she was unable to escape the clutches of evil, and became a brainwashed soldier for a certain antagonist.
Satsuki is the final piece to the puzzle as she, along with Linn, could shed some light on what the Glade of Ninjas might have in store for their star pupil, Ibuki. https://game.capcom.com/cfn/sfv/column/130363?lang=en
Is Satsuki associated with the Glade of Ninjas? Ultimately, this doesn’t really matter, as her existence proves that any ninja clan could conceivably train its disciples to use any weapon, even if it wasn’t one that was traditionally utilized by that clan. Since combat situations can vary wildly depending on who is attacking or being attacked, it would be in a ninja’s favor to know how to use a weapon they could potentially acquire during a mission effectively. Therefore, it stands to reason that even though Ibuki doesn’t use a sword while competing in a street fighting tournament, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t know how to use one if the situation called for it.
In other words, Ibuki may be a master swordswoman – she just hasn’t been able to show it yet.
So, if her ninjutsu training does include kenjutsu (the art of swordfighting), Ibuki could turn out to be one of the deadliest characters in the game, even if she’s perceived as one of the weakest. With this assumption, we can finally guess what Linn’s connection to the Glade of Ninjas is.
Returning back to Linn’s profile, there’s one last piece of information we need to analyze. It isn’t that she lead a military space corps – this would not be canon since this would have happened in the future in the year 2100 and Alien vs Predator is not canon anyway. It’s the other thing that matters: she’s a cyborg.
This is well within the Glade of Ninjas’ modus operandi. As I’ve stated in previous theories, the Glade of Ninjas appears to be concerned with genetic experiments, specifically Lamarckism. However, they could also be researching advanced technology. By sending Ibuki to retrieve the G File from Gill, they could find out new information on robotics and mind control. https://manestreetblog.com/2019/02/20/the-hidden-evil/
Since it’s been established that the G File is associated with G, the President of the World, it stands to reason that within the file, along with data involving genetic experiments, there is information on a very specific form of technology: the Q mask.
The Glade of Ninjas are looking to create their own form of super soldier. Linn Kurosawa is the prototype. Ibuki is the final target. Q is shown to have super strength, the ability to take orders without hesitation, and, most of all, great resilience from being attacked, three things that Ibuki just does not have. As she was the sent to fight Oro and Gill by herself, it’s clear Ibuki is thought of as the ninja with the greatest potential within the Glade. Her natural skills would be greatly enhanced, making her the biggest threat the Glade of Ninjas could possibly produce. https://manestreetblog.com/2020/07/07/ibuki-the-betrayer/
A Q-like Ibuki under the command of the Glade of Ninjas would be seen as their ultimate weapon, and they could become a threat on par with Shadaloo, S.I.N., the Illuminati, and whatever G’s group is. This would be the primary reason why Ibuki would turn against her own clan and join the illuminati, as seen in Ibuki, the Betrayer.
Gill promised her the freedom the Glade would take away.