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TRIBUTE TO TOMO OHIRA: First King of Street Fighter (PART 2 of 2)

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Uploaded on Apr 19, 2011

TOMO OHIRA - PURIST, PRODIGY, PERFECTIONIST, LEGEND. Los Angeles 1991. During tests of WW, a kid began linking moves that normally couldn't be linked, giving birth to combos, a tiny absurdity Japanese SF2 developers had ironically ignored deeming insignificant. How profound. That was Tomo. Tomo Ohira - The Whirlwind, The Prodigy ... The Mozart of Street Fighter 2. He was, in one breath, both The greatest Ryu & Guile ever to grace the game. He had the top reactions of anyone in American SF2 history plus astounding adaptability, experience, skill, and a stutter-step which perplexed the elite players. He was mainly an OG offensive turtler, turning up the pressure with minimum risks or jump ins, unleashing death through any hole. He would gain a slight lead early on, straining you to compromise tact to make a "come back" - which would spell defeat. He didn't have a single style you could study & counter - he freestyled. George "EGGO" Ngo said Tomo wasn't just playing the game, but creating it as he went along. A totally elevated plateau of play. In WW the 3 other top players - Tony Tsui, Willie Lee & Roger Chung couldn't match Tomo except rarely. Watson confirms Tomo's WW Ryu was peerless. Tomo, whilst learning, patterned his Guile on Willie Lee's excellent Guile. World's Finest Comics was the tiny LA Store where the best US players competed from WW-Super. It was infamous, attracting challengers from as far as Japan. Tomo's manager & coach, Charles, the Store owner, gave him focus, mentality + hours of free practice. ALL The Big names did their 8 hours daily together. Those who played any less could never compete. Amazingly Tomo dominated Watson's Bison-Dictator during CE. In his prime, He was Tomo's greatest rival yet still lost 80 to 20. Tomo just couldn't be trapped or setup. In HF they would Ryu Mirror match with Watts going down 70 to 30. Schaefer's HF Blanka corner trap always equalled death, but not to Tomo. When faced with new unknown traps/mixups, Tomo would analyse like a supercomputer & come up with counters & strats on the move - gems that players spent weeks honing, Tomo did it on the spot - his brain was wired incredibly. Tomo could Dragon punch Chun Li's sweep repeatedly on reaction! He'd anti air hurricane kick upclose on the spot. At start position, he could uppercut an ambush Honda headbutt, Blanka roll or Bison scissor kick on demand. His Guile could air throw, by reflex, almost before you even left the ground - it would certainly look that way! He never fell on slow or fast projectiles from any character - he'd jump straight up cleanly & even at point-blank range, countered. That's the highest agility of manoeuvring. Against top competitors he'd "stroll" back & forth crushing your defences on the move! His insane level of anticipation complemented his reflexes even further allowing him to sense the precise moment to jump over a projectile/fireball and combo/dizzy even top players. Against a Pro who is thoroughly zoning + spacing you this is very tough to pull off consistently, but he did it! Tomo could walk straight into fireballs and hurricane over them perfectly every time without fail. To say Tomo zoned players is an understatement - he could pick any position onscreen and totally reign from it. Rapid death followed rushdowns - they wouldn't even get near. His anti airs and follow ups would silence you with their accuracy. In tourneys he'd win with one hand or with only LK. Norcal Bay area's No.1 at the time, Thomas Osaki, an awesome Guile player, couldn't beat Schaefer, let alone Tomo. Schaefer, after beating Daigo, went earnestly on record as saying "Daigo's great, but He's No Tomo!" Who could put it better than Tomo Himself : " This Guy ... Daigo - What's His Name ?!?" Kuni Funada vouches that there was one player Tachigawa (Tachikawa) in Japan at the time (91-93) who was, perhaps, on Tomo's level. Nohoho said Tachikawa was a Ryu, Guile & Vega (Claw) expert. He won the 1992 Gamest CE Cup. Kuni insists Tomo would've ranked at the very least 3rd if He'd competed in Japan back then. As it stands, He completely ruled American SF2 from 91 - 94 (Super SF2) with 80 + tourney wins and only 4 losses, retiring at the staggering age of just 17 ... unconquered & unsurpassed. Video uses posts from SRK & alt.games.sf2from '94-2010. Also parts of Schaefers YT Vids/Vlogs, Tomo's 2009 Interview @ EVO with Watson & the '93 Gamepro HF Strat Guide. Music: Outkast's GIT UP GIT OUT (1994)
© SRK Forums © alt.games.sf2 Forums © Evo 2009/2010 Footage © Gamepro © Capcom 1993
© Tomo Ohira © Jeff Schaefer © Outkast
I DO NOT OWN ANY OF THIS. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGMENT INTENDED. ALL CREDIT GOES TO THIRD-PARTY. USED FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY.

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