During our time at gamescom asia 2023, we got the opportunity to speak with Hajime Taniguchi who also goes by the in game name of Tokido, a professional fighting games player reigning from Japan, and also dubbed as one of the “Five Japanese Gods of Fighting Games”.
Interview is edited for clarity
Adapting to Every New Street Fighter Game
Considering how Tokido has been a Street Fighter player for a very long time now, we asked him how does it feel to adapt to every new title.
“This game is very Different from old school Street Fighter because new system mechanics, drive rush, drive impact. So I feel this Street Fighter 6 is something of a strange Street fighter.” replied Tokido.
He mentions that learning Street Fighter 6 took a longer time to adapt to compared to the previous titles, where it only took him one week to pick up Street Fighter 5 while it took around 3 months for him to feel comfortable with Street Fighter 6.
Akuma Shirt Guy
For players who don’t necessarily follow the competitive Street Fighter scene, many fans might know Tokido as the “Akuma Shirt Guy” from SoCal Regionals 2010. We asked Tokido how does it feel to have that kind of legacy that even casual players know about.
To which Tokido said that it was nice because recently the fighting game scene has been getting bigger and bigger, but not quite big enough.
“My dream is fighting game will be like baseball or football. I want people to know about fighting games.” Tokido continued.
He mentions that not only does he want to focus on his competition, but at the same time introduce the fighting game scene to the world.
The Most Time Competing Within A Month
When people think about how you have to keep competing to get better, people don’t realise how many attempts that is. We asked Tokido how many times in a month is the most where he had to go out and compete in tournament.
Tokido replied with four or five times, and every time it was in a different country.
“Before CPT is now only 3 premier tournament EVO and here and two weeks later Paris but before 20 or more. So some months I go to US then next week Europe, then, Brazil, Asia, it was very tiring.” said Tokido.
Capcom Cup X
CPX (Capcom Cup X) having the 1 milllion USD prize pool really inspired a lot of people to get into Street Fighter 6. We asked Tokido if that makes him happy seeing so many people get into Street Fighter like that.
To which, Tokido replied by saying yes as it aligns with his goal of wanting to introduce more people to join the fighting game community.
He also acknowledges that Capcom also makes a big effort as the prize money behind Capcom Cup X is a big advertisement for everyone.
For the next question, we asked if Tokido would plan on jumping to Akuma when he comes out for Street Fighter 6.
“Yes, of course. That’s why I practice Shotos like Ken, and this Ken is very good. So I’m afraid if Akuma will be good as Ken or not. But anyway, and I will try Akuma.” replied Tokido.
Giving A Feature To Akuma
Going on the same vein, we asked Tokido if he could give Akuma one feature without worrying about balancing, what would it be.
“I want to make Akuma’s Fierce. Akuma’s Fierce from Marvel [Vs Capcom] is like a rocket punch.”
A.K.I Not Being Competitively Viable
There’s been lots of discussion around A.K.I not being as strong as she could be in competitive despite all of her unique tools. We asked Tokido what Capcom could do to improve her performance.
Tokido mentioned that she’s a different character to win with. While she’s an interesting character to play, she can’t exactly win any tournaments.
“Maybe like some poison mechanics. The poison is only deals small damage to opponents. I think the if poison get opponent’s Drive Meter it’s gonna be very good and annoying for me.”
To wrap up the interview, we asked Tokido if he has any last words he’d like to share to everyone.
“Oh, thank you for listening to the interview and supporting me and my sponsor is ROHTO Z. So please check it out. ”
We would like to thank Tokido for taking the time to answer our questions, and we would like to thank Capcom Singapore for setting up the interview.