Blanka, the lost Saiyan
This fine albeit perplexing character to my left is called Blanka and we first encountered his particular enigmatic personality in Street Fighter 2. The game would have you believe that he isn’t just a green monstrosity but rather a human that got his savage appearance from growing up in the savage jungle after surviving and plane crash.
This of course is all lies. While it does try to explain the strange green tint the developers (CAPCOM) make no attempt at explaining his long canine teeth, his unusual muscular structure or the crazy spiked up way his horrid ginger hair stands up. In short, they give you a few lines and expect you to swallow the whole story of his origins.
This has been bothering me now for 19 years, since it came out in 1991. After ruminating on this subject for almost two decades, perhaps I’ve finally found a logical and sensible answer to this puzzle. Then again, I may just be talking out of my ass.
Though there are many parts of his story in dispute (such as the origins of his electrical attack), it is undeniably uncontroversial to state that he is the only survivor of a plane crash. The details of the plane have never been released, both the passenger manifest and cargo contents as well as the specifications of the plane itself. This allows us to infer that there was no-one of great import or significance on the plane itself, it must have been an ordinary charter with no dangerous or important cargo and mundane passengers. Therefore the crash cannot be attributed to any assassination or sabotage attempt. So this leaves us with misadventure (due to the pilots incompetence) or accidental (due to lack of maintenance through budget cutbacks and general outsourcing) as being the reason for the crash. A heavy electrical storm is what we are expected to believe caused the plane to crash, but no sane pilot would fly a plane into a storm like that and even if they did a plane is designed to survive external electrical strikes.
The keyword here is external.
What if the electrical strike didn’t come from the storm at all, was not the baby which one day would be able to generate these lethal electrical strikes on-board at that point? More importantly, as a baby, perhaps little Blanka or “Jimmy” as his so called “mother” named him (we’ll deal with this a little later), would this ability be fully under his control from birth?
Perhaps little Blanka sneezed while hiccuping and accidentally fried every living creature and circuit on board, inadvertently causing the plane to crash?
This is more plausible and likely than a “heavy electrical storm” which gave Blanka the ability to generate electricity. I haven’t even gotten into the likelihood of a “heavy electrical storm” magically bequeathing this awesome power into a regular human being, but let us, for the moment digress and do just that.
How many electrical storms have you witnessed in your lifetime? Too many to count right? How many of these were really bad, a few sure. Now, how many times after these storms did you suddenly have the ability to generate vast amount of electricity from your body? None! Wait is that everyone?
Ok, perhaps I’m being overly simplistic. To activate the electrical attack in Street Fighter, one must press Light-Punch rapidly. So it therefore follows that boxers using a speed bag that have been in a “heavy electrical storm” at some point in their lives should be able to generate some sort of electrical field, right? Please find attached the youtube click of some random boxer with a speed bag:
Notice how the camera equipment is operating just fine, no electrical interference. You’ll also note the lack of electrical activity coming from the guy. He was also hitting the bag at random speeds and differing patterns, so at least one of them should have triggered this latent ability.
This means that Blanka as a child must have been fundamentally different from the rest of humanity in order to possess this ability. Genetics is an apt word and even smoother segue, which brings us to the question of lineage. Blanka’s father is never mentioned or even hinted at. This means either one of two things, the mother is either ashamed of the identity of this man, or she doesn’t know. This may also imply that Blanka’s mother, Samantha is not even his genetic mother as there is no verification as to her identity.
In point of fact, she isn’t even on the plane when it crashes. Where is she? Who sends their infant child on a plane trip into a “heavy electrical storm” without any parental supervision?
No, once you start unravelling the strings at the Capcom story, everything comes apart.
At this point, let’s summarise what we can infer about Blanka:
- His ability to create a deadly electrical attack is shared by no human alive
- His physical attributes (long canines, muscular structure) are a mystery
- His plane trip and back story are utterly absurd when analysed further
- With his father being a mystery, if his mother is Samantha (and therefore human) his father cannot be
- His father must have the ability to generate electricity to some extent
With so little to go on and establish as verifiable truth, we must accept some of the information put forth Prima facie otherwise we would be stumped at this point as there are just so many options open to us to explore. And as most of us already know the truth is always better hidden inside a lie rather than by it. For example, say little Billy wants ice-cream and hears the bells of those annoying ice-cream trucks that drive around during summer. You could tell Billy that there is no truck and try to hide the truth by a lie. At this point Billy would start to scream that he wants ice-cream and the truck is right there, he can hear it, therefore you lose. However if you acquiesce to little Billy’s original postulation that there is indeed an ice-cream truck, but lie and say it’s a few streets over, it will be here in around half an hour, little Billy will be placated and will away himself to watch cartoons. By the time he remembers, the ice-cream truck will be long gone and you can lament with him in solidarity by claiming that you too also forgot about it. This short example, though admittedly long, highlights how effective it is to hide a truth within a lie over just replacing it with a lie and lends credence to some of the Street Fighter 2 back story for Blanka.
So we will accept that Samantha is Blanka’s biological mother, if somewhat irresponsible and stupid for puting the little green guy on a plane unsupervised. This means that at some point in the last few years she had sex with one of these people:
- The Emperor from the Star wars movies
- Raiden from the Mortal Kombat series
- Lightning (played by James Pax) in the movie Big Trouble in Little China
- Any of the super Saiyans from Dragon Ball Z.
Now, to most of you reading this you probably be able to easily infer which one I’m going to go with via the title of this little piece, but for the sake of the rest of the class, just sit down and STFU and let me continue. Smart ass.
Okay, so top to bottom, it can’t be old Palpy the Emperor because that all went down a “long time ago, in a galaxy far far away”, furthermore if you’ve seen pictures of Sam, she isn’t unattractive and can do way better than old melty face. I can’t really envision him rocking up to some random bar in Brazil and chatting her up, can you? What kind of one-liners is he going to break out?
“You will sleep with me, it is unavoidable, it is……your…..destiny!”
“Get it! Destiny, it’s what I said to Luke!”
“Where…..where you going, baby? YOU WANT ME TO WAIT FOR YOU HERE?!”
No, I can’t see that happening either.
Next we’ve got Raiden from Mortal Kombat, who is basically the avatar of the god of lightning. This dude was bad ass and one of my favourite characters from the game, but his story is just beyond a joke, filled with paradoxes and shifting from one polar spectrum to another. For example, in MK1, he is evil. His ending is evil, Raiden just loves to kick ass. Subsequent sequels make him a character of good alignment, helping to keep Earth away from the evil hands of Shao Khan. Whatever. This guy, good or evil wouldn’t just abandon his love child in the jungle. He would have swept him up, and trained him to kick ass on a godly level, not on a mortal one. Secondly, I don’t see any resemblance of physical features, like Green skin, fangs, or the trademark gingivitis that dominates Blankas body.
Next we have James Pax, who pretty much was the inspiration behind the creation of Raiden. He plays one of three demons or “storms” and his name is Lightning. Now once again we have a very suave character who could definitely bang Samantha with little effort, especially in his “storm” uniform. But once again, no physical similarities between them and furthermore his character was interested in only one thing, the physical reincarnation of Lo-Pan, his cursed immortal master. There is evidence of this singular pursuit mind set in the movie when he uses his evil lightning powers to subdue Kim Cattrall into her zombie like state along with Miao Yin in order that they remain their prisoners and not try to escape. At this point, there is no-one around and he could easily get away with honking one of these attractive girls boobs (honking is where you lighting grasp a boobie and make beeping noises as you squeeze. Traditionally done as a two step Honk-Honk rhythm). He doesn’t do this, in fact he just moves along without giving either girls a second glance which leaves me to conclude that either he’s singularly focused, some sort of eunuch (which may be possible considering he isn’t human) or just plain impotent and the sight of women only serves to remind him of his shortcomings. Which ever option you decide to choose matters not in the slightest because each will cause him to follow the same outcome when Samantha puts the hard “let’s make a baby” word on him, which is of course to walk away in shame.
And by the process of elimination we come to the Super Saiyan race from Dragon Ball Z. The similarities here are more than just co-incidental.
As you can see in the picture, there are two similarities straight off the bat, firstly we’ve got the electricity field being generated and then we’ve got the rancid ginger hair, though admittedly it is supposed to be glowing blonde. But what about the feral animal appearance, I hear you shout in indignation. In that picture, you go on, firmly placing your foot in my trap, the boy is clearly of human appearance.
Well well wellity well! Here’s the thing about Saiyans: They are an alien race with a few forms, the most deadly and renown of course is this:
This is a Saiyan in moon rage, they can do that you know, but only as long as they have their monkey tail. Once it is cut or pulled off, they will no longer be able to transform into a giant rampaging monkey that shoots death rays from its eyes. Yeah, Saiyans are THAT freaking awesome. Oh and FYI, I know that there are other forms which are deadlier, but I was talking about the universally feared form of the Saiyan race, which ended up being one of the reasons they were exterminated.
So we’ve accounted for all the genetic traits that Blanka has by juxtaposing a mysterious Saiyan ancestry. But who fathered Blanka? Which Saiyan was it? Why doesn’t Blanka have a tail. There are way too many possibilities when discussing lineage and I’d have to dedicate another 15 to 30 thousand words in order to give a fair and proper analysis of each Saiyan chronicling not only their time on Earth, but also their particular characteristics and which one would be predisposed to boinking Samantha and then tossing her away without any further contact.
In a pinch, considering all factors, I’d say Prince Vegeta is the most likely contender.
Perhaps, considering what a colossal jerk Vegeta is, it’s no wonder Samantha had no contact with him or even wanted Blanka to ever meet him. So even here, the reasoning has an a priori feel to it.
This is about as far as I’ve come through my own exploration of Blanka, there are still questions to be answered and strings to unravel and perhaps after another decade or so of playing the Street Fighter franchise has been whisked away, perhaps then I can update this article with more answers.
But I wouldn’t hold your breath. Blanka is an enigma that we all need in our lives. If we define him, expose his origins and motivations, we subsequently also destroy his mystique and allure. Soon, no-one will pick Blanka in the games and you’ll quickly find this malformed super Saiyan phased out of all sequels.
Perhaps, by understanding a thing, we destroy that thing.