Difference Between Ryu and Ken

Ryu has a serious attitude towards his ambition of becoming a strong martial artist. Ken has a flashy attitude and also trains hard to fight strong opponents in the franchise. Ryu’s character appearance comprises of red hair. On the other hand, Ken’s character appearance comprises blonde hair.

Ryu vs Ken

The main difference between Ryu and Ken is that Ryu has a simple attitude and is solemn whereas Ken has prints of pride and goofiness in his attitude. Ryu does not belong to a wealthy family background but Ken was the son of a businessman and was rich. Ryu is considered to be weaker than Ken due to the presence of “core” mechanics.

Ryu vs Ken

Ryu is a serious fighter who deals with an enormous amount of damage. He was selected to be the replacement for Bison’s body. Bison took a special interest in Ryu after he saw him defeat Sagat. Ryu is the rival and best friend of Ken who is another character of the same gaming franchise.

Ken is considered to be the king among American fighters. He strives to train hard for testing his powers against various fighters and ultimately becomes the strongest. He uses dragon punch or advanced Shoryuken techniques. He uses Ryu’s headband as a hair tie until he defeated him in a battle.

Comparison Table Between Ryu and Ken

Parameters of ComparisonRyuKen
Strength Ryu is weaker than Ken as Ken possessed the “core” as one of his unique moves although he is susceptible to it, till now.Ken is considered to be stronger than Ryu as the gaming development team slipped a core mechanic in the moves of Ryu.
Personality Ryu’s personality is aligned to being solemn and unlike Ken, the character did not have flashy moves or attitude.Ken’s personality is showcased as a character with a flashy attitude and special attacks due to his wealthy upbringing.
Background Unlike Ken, Ryu did not have a wealthy background. He was hard-working and became a strong martial artist.In the gaming franchise, Ken is showcased as the son of a businessman. He was born with a silver spoon.
Future He becomes a strong martial artist and during the third part of the franchise, he has black hair and facial stubble. In the future, Ken marries his girlfriend Eliza. With the progressing of the franchise, his son Mel is introduced. He took the responsibility for his family.
Headband Ryu’s character in the gaming franchise has been designed with a red headband. It is also known as “hachimaki”. Ken’s character wears Ryu’s red band as his hair tie until he grew his hair and had a victory against Ryu in a battle.

What is Ryu?

The video game series of street fighters features Ryu. He is the main character of the series. The first street fighter game had premiered Ryu as the protagonist whose best friend was Ken. The duo participated in the tournaments for street fighters. The appearance of Ryu is portrayed as a red-haired character who wears a white Japanese attire of martial arts that is tattered. He is also seen to be wearing “hachimaki” or a headband.

He has also been noticed wearing red gloves. With the progression of the gaming series, this character developed to become more ambitious and trained hard. He had huge enthusiasm towards training with the will of becoming the strongest version of himself. With his enormous strength and power, Ryu drew various criminals towards him. These criminals wanted to use their power or strength in evil ways for the betterment of their criminal activities. He has been portrayed as a brown-haired character along with a red “hachimaki”. He has been noticed to be fighting barefoot. During the third part of the street fighter game, the character is appeared to have black hair and aging older than before. His character was designed with facial stubble to prove his aging.

What is Ken?

Ken is another character of the video game series street fighter. He is the best friend of Ryu, who is the protagonist of the gaming series. He also acts as the rival of Ryu in the game from the commencement in 1987. Like his best friend, his ambition is to become a stronger fighter. He also aims at fighting other fighters to examine his powers and progression. Ken’s character is a form of his initial squaring teammate, Ryu who is also his best friend and rival.

Gouken was the master of Ryu and Ken. They both trained under Gouken. Ken is the clone of Ryu considering all roles and purposes. In competitive matches, he is controlled by the player of the second number. Appearance-wise, the character used to wear an attire of red color that is for martial arts. The attire is known as “keikogi”. The character has blonde hair. In the original series of the game, the character fights barefoot whereas Ryu wears red shoes. Ironically, in the latter part of the franchise, Ken is seen to be married to his girlfriend whose name is Eliza. He takes the responsibility of marriage as well as started having a family, unlike Ryu.

Main Differences Between Ryu and Ken

  1. Ryu has the core mechanic for which it is weaker than Ken. Whereas, due to the absence of “core”, Ken is stronger than Ryu.
  2. Ryu has a solemn personality with no flashy attitude. Whereas, Ken has a flashy attitude for his wealthy background.
  3. Ryu did not have a wealthy background. Whereas, Ken was the son of a businessman and was considered to be born with a silver spoon.
  4. In the future, Ryu becomes a strong martial artist and has black hair along with face stubble. Ken marries Eliza in the future and introduces his son in the franchise.
  5. Ryu wears a red headband called “hachimaki” whereas Ken wears Ryu’s headband until he cut his hair and defeated Ryu.


Thus it can be concluded by saying that Ryu and Ken belong to the same gaming franchise but they are different from each other concerning several parameters. Ryu is the protagonist of the series and his best friend and rival is Ken. They train under the same master, Gouken. Ryu wears a red white Japanese attire for martial arts. On the other hand, Ken wears a red Japanese attire for martial arts. Ryu attracts a large number of criminals for his ability to fight and power whereas Ken trains hard to become a strong opponent of other fighters.


  1. https://www.auajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1097/01.ju.0000104672.37029.4b
  2. https://www.auajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1097/01.ju.0000092764.81308.6a
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