Capcom’s Street Fighter series has given us some of the most recognizable and iconic game characters in history. But when attached to Street Fighter V, a game with a rocky 2016 launch it never fully recovered from, those characters got relatively little attention. Thankfully, Street Fighter 6 has reinvigorated the franchise, catching the interest of casual and competitive players alike due to its in-depth story mode, refined mechanics, accessible control schemes, and new characters, two of whom many fans particularly love. And would like to see kiss.
Of its six new characters—part of an 18-character roster set to be regularly expanded with DLC additions—players have flocked to Marisa, a muscular Greek warrior, and Manon, a French supermodel with ballet-style attacks. Sure, there’s lots of love for other newcomers, such as the graffiti-artist-ninja Kimberly, but Marisa and Manon appear to be played the most out of all the newbies.
As reported by IGN, Reddit user geco_420 compiled a list of the most played characters based on June 8 data compiled from the official Street Fighter website. Unsurprisingly, series mainstays Ken, Ryu and Cammy topped the list, but Marisa and Manon followed, taking the fourth and fifth top spots.
There’s been lots of discourse about the two characters’ playstyles. Marisa, a “bruiser” character, has extremely hard-hitting attacks that can easily break through opponents’ defenses. Popular fighting game YouTuber Maximilian Dood declared her “absolutely TERRIFYING” in the headline of a video. Manon, meanwhile, has additional grab attacks that increase in power each subsequent time they’re used, up to five times, and the damage dealt eventually becomes immense. As Twitter user @Lucafi0 posted, “NEVER let her reach level five of her command grab… that shit scary af.”
But it’s not just their effectiveness as fighters that has won players over. Fans have also become smitten with the style and vibes of the characters, Marisa the beefy charmer who straight-up wrestles a lion in the story mode, and Manon the elegant, pretty dancer. There’s a wonderful contrast between the two that seems ripe for making sparks fly, and the community has pretty decisively shipped them.
The perceived romance between the pair isn’t something players have completely created out of whole cloth, as the two definitely share an interesting dynamic in the game as well. Fans have been analyzing the cutscenes from each character’s runs in Arcade Mode, in which every fighter has a rival they’re matched up with in their storyline. For Marisa and Manon, those rivals are each other. However, instead of their rivalries being filled with bitterness or angst, the characters have a sincere appreciation of each other.
At the end of Manon’s storyline, when she bests Marisa in a fight, Marisa calls her strong. “Usually I hate when people call me that,” Manon says. “I feel a pain in my chest every time I hear it. And yet… The way she said it so bluntly and plainly… It didn’t bother me in the slightest.”
An upload of each set of cutscenes back to back by Youtuber Ruba, which has 37,000 views, is called “Street Fighter 6 – Manon has a Crush on Marisa.” Below the video, hundreds of players discuss, debating and celebrating the romance between the characters. Across social media, the discussion continues. @JennyOutrageous on Twitter posted screenshots from Arcade Mode with the caption, “I said I ship Marisa and Manon, and the game isn’t dissuading me otherwise.”
Unsurprisingly, it did not take long for fans to share fanart of the two of them. Twitter user @zxidart created a cute, cartoony image of Marisa holding Manon (quite easily and with one arm, no less), while @tankoushoku made a more realistic-looking image with the two of them gazing into each other’s eyes. And you can find lots more online.
Some fan illustrations of the two aren’t explicitly romantic. Twitter user @KosenaMaster created a really cute, stylized image of Manon fighting a hulkingly large Marisa. And Twitter user @KdeKercy shared a cool, pixel-art image of the two fighting, depicting what they might have looked like back in the Street Fighter III era, with a comment acknowledging the big popularity of the two characters. “I’m glad to see that Manon and Marisa are so played these first week of SF6,” she said with one of her Tweets of the image, which has more than 167,000 views, “here you have them again on pixel form.”
Also, yes, there are lots of decidedly not safe for work images of the two of them, but we’ll let you seek those out for yourself, if you like.