The Timbre of Kimberly

Kimberly’s and Juri’s reveals after EVO Grand Finals have spawned a lot of emotions. Juri’s inclusion has been met with near unanimous praise. Even Aleks Le, Luke’s voice actor, couldn’t contain his excitement, sharing his true, uninhibited feelings with the world.

Aleks indeed worships at the altar of Juri Han, just like many before him. Even Luke would completely understand (if he didn’t understand already; read my analysis on the first Street Fighter 6 trailer for more

However, it’s Kimberly who potentially holds the key to the future of Street Fighter.

Kimberly’s reactions have been mixed, a majority of negative comments caused by trolling idiots. That being said, it’s also been noted that Kimberly appears to share moves with the always popular Ibuki. The idea that Kimberly has a similar moveset to Ibuki comes from her studying Bushinryu – Guy and Zeku are ninjas, too. Also note that Kimberly has a lot in common with Sakura – much like Sakura did with Ryu, Kimberly showed up one day and called herself Guy’s student.

So, Kimberly is a mix between Ibuki and Sakura, and her story looks to be borrowing elements from both. However, I wondered if there wasn’t more to her story than just that. When Shockdingo and MysterSack showed me the new Street Fighter article on Playstation Blog, I looked more into it.

And I saw something quite interesting.

There’s a lot to take away from this single passage. She apparently wants to be a “Ninja Pop Star”, and the music she listens to on her cassette player from the ’80s appears to be from a mix tape of a musician she listens to on a regular basis. The only musician we know of in Street Fighter is Dee Jay, and he was revealed as a playable character in the Capcom leak. So, this means Kimberly is a fan of Dee Jay, right?

Most signs point to yes. But there was something else there, so I decided to take a closer look at her cassette player. And what did I find?

A generic cassette player covered in spray paint. However, I realized something: it’s not the cassette player we need to pay attention to, but the headphones that she’s wearing. In my last theory on Sakura, I pointed out the importance of Sakura’s headset from Street Fighter V. Was there any correlation between Sakura’s headset and Kimberly’s earbuds?

Without the ability to take a closer look at the earbuds, it’s difficult to determine. However, there is one potential link: the teal color of the earbuds. Let’s look again at that Metro City billboard.

As you can see, the color of Kimberly’s earbuds are the same color as the text on the billboard. Alone, this doesn’t mean anything except that the designers are using a lot of teal in the designs of their characters. However, the idea that headphones appear to be of great importance to the plot of Street Fighter 6 means we can’t turn away from the possibility of Kimberly having a much greater role in the story than she initially appears to have. Sakura and Kimberly both wear headphones, and so does a third person who, aside from Q, is the central piece of one of the biggest mysteries of Street Fighter.

What we have here is a link from März to Sakura to Kimberly, and it brings up the question I’ve been asking about every character since day one: how are they connected to G? So, is Kimberly connected to G, and if so, how?

As I stated before, most signs point to Dee Jay being the musician Kimberly is listening to. However, could Kimberly be listening to G instead? Was G’s rock star costume in Street Fighter V more than just a one-time gimmick?

Did G canonically become a rock star or even a popular spoken word artist that people jam out to now? Perhaps, but there’s also another possibility: Kimberly does listen to Dee Jay, but the headphones she’s wearing could subliminally put messages from G into her brain.
In other words, her earbuds could be trying to control her mind.

What’s more interesting is that by following Bushinryu, Kimberly has connections to several Street Fighter characters and most importantly, through Zeku and Karin, a link to Ibuki, the character she is said to emulate. This leads us back to the idea that Kimberly is based off of Ibuki. However, what does this mean for Ibuki? Is there room in Street Fighter 6 for TWO preppy teenaged ninjas?

Well, no, because Ibuki will no longer be a preppy teenaged ninja. Kimberly was meant to replace Ibuki, but not in the way you’d think – Kimberly’s inclusion nearly guarantees that not only will Ibuki appear in Street Fighter 6, but she’ll be changed in a radical way.

If Kimberly is the good ninja, then Ibuki will be the evil one.

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