Yuri Sakazaki
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As a child, Yuri's father (Takuma) dedicated more time training Ryo to be next family heir rather than raising Yuri. When she was six years old, her mother died in a tragic car accident. Sensing his family was being targeted, their father leaves in order to protect them. With the loss of both parents, Yuri became fearful and heavily dependent on Ryo for the rest of their childhood. When she first met Robert, she didn't trust him but eventually warmed up to him and the two eventually started dating.

When she was 17, Yuri was kidnapped by Mr. Big on Geese Howard's orders, as part of a ploy to blackmail her father. After Ryo and Robert heard of her abduction, they searched Southtown to find her whereabouts and rescue her. While held hostage, she found out the identity of Mr. Karate. When Ryo defeated her captors, she revealed it to her brother and the family was reunited. In order to protect herself in the future, Takuma finally taught her martial arts.

Yuri, now confident in her fighting abilities, decides to enter the King of fighters tournament, but is denied to enter by her brother. She defies him and enters with King and Mai. It isn't until the 1996 tournament that they finally form a team together to represent the prestige of Kyokugenryu to the world. She is forced to join when Takuma gives her an ultimatum to either enter with Ryo or leave the house.

After the King of Fighters '99, Yuri wanted to once again show her independence. She begged King to take her place for the year and joined the Women's Team. In 2001, Robert revealed to the family that his family business is in trouble. They decide to enter together to win the prize money and help Robert's situation. Since 2001, Yuri has been a regular for the Art of Fighting team alongside Ryo and Robert. In The King of Fighters XI, Yuri found a rival in the form of Malin. She stunned her father with her whimsical haircut before KOF XIII and was upset by her family's eccentric reactions. Since the rising skill of martial artists in the tournaments outclasses her basic training, Robert informed her of her brother and father's wishes to quit for her own safety. Optimistic in her attempts to improve herself, however, she teams with Mai and King for the newest tournament.
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Art of Fighting 2


King of Fighters '94, King of Fighters '94 Rebout, King of Fighters '95, King of Fighters '96, King of Fighters '97, King of Fighters '98, King of Fighters '98: Ultimate Match, King of Fighters '99, King of Fighters 2000, King of Fighters 2001, King of Fighters 2002, King of Fighters 2002 Unlimited Match, King of Fighters 2003, King of Fighters XI, King of Fighters XIII, King of Fighters XIV, King of Fighters XV, King of Fighters: Neowave, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact MANIAX, King of Fighters: Maximum Impact 2, KOF: MI Regulation A, Capcom VS SNK, Capcom VS SNK: Pro, Capcom VS SNK 2, Card Fighters Clash, Card Fighters Clash 2, Card Fighters Clash DS, SNK VS Capcom: Match of the Millennium, SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy

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Page Updated:  Mar. 10th, 2021

I think SNK set out to create a "female Ryu" when they created Yuri... in fact, a few of her classic moves (like her spinning hurricane kick) seem to "make fun of" Ryu's fighting style. Yuri may be part of the reason why Capcom later answered with Dan Hibiki, as he performs quite a few taunts from the AOF protagonists (including Yuri's famous "thumbs up" pose). Ahhh... how I miss the 90's. 

I have to admit, back when I first played KOF games (97-98), I didn't like Yuri at all. She just seemed boring to me at the time, but she's actually grown on me... partly because she has evolved quite a bit over the years. Yuri has always offered her own unique brand of "Sakazaki karate," which isn't nearly as serious as Ryo's, Robert's or Takuma's. Her older appearance also wasn't much to look at (I wasn't a fan of her old school 2D sprite). However, her post 2000 "higher socks look" and cuter proportions did a lot for her visually, I think. Most importantly, her fighting style was fleshed out quite a bit in the later generation of KOF / crossover games, which helped her design a lot. Her latest appearance in KOF XIII is probably her best yet. She looks too damn cute in KOF XIII... and her new animations suit her so well. I also like her CVS / CVS2 sprite quite a bit. 

Fighting  Style  /  Moveset
Personality  /  Charisma
Outfit(s)  /  Appearance
Effectiveness  in  series
Overall Score

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