Fans of the Tekken series noticed the absent of black characters in Tekken 7 since the game's announcement in 2014. All the iconic fighters such as the Mishima Clan, Yoshimistu, Marshall Law and several brand new characters have been revealed as playable characters but noticeably none of the Tekken's black characters have returned.
Veterans like Bruce Irvin and Marduk have ultimately been replaced by brand new fighters while the fate of other characters such as Eddy Gordo, Christie Monteiro and Raven are currently unknown. This meant Tekken 7's roster was void of black characters, that was until today when Master Raven was revealed, Tekken 7's first official black female character.
The producer of Tekken Katsuhiro Harada announced the female ninja for Tekken 7: Fated Retribution at Evo 2016 alongside Bob, a returning character who made his debut in Tekken 6. Not much is known about Master Raven, but it's safe to assume she shares history with Raven although it's not clear what the relationship between the two is.
Like the original Raven, Master Raven has a ninjutsu fighting style which could possibly mean she's taking Raven's character slot, unless the two will share a Christie/Eddy relationship with similar move sets.
We honestly thought that Tekken was losing it's touch but Bandai Namco have proved us wrong by introducing a unique female character who isn't oversexualised or Kawaii, and the best part? She's black. With the shortage of black female characters in fighting games this isn't only a pleasant surprise but also a huge landmark for the genre on a whole.
Fans had been complaining about the kawaii anime girls which were overpopulating the roster but deep down we were certain that Bandai Namco was cooking up something special and they didn't disappoint with the reveal of Master Raven.
Why is this character so important? Again it's because of the lack of black women fighters
in fighting games, since the birth of the genre there's been under 15 playable female characters who were black. Most of these female characters are light and ambiguous,
while at least two have been victims of whitewashing.
The great thing about Master Raven is that she isn't ambiguous or extremely light like the other black female fighters and she has her natural hair in tact, did we mention she also
isn't oversexualized? All this makes for a well rounded female character design that isn't stale or generic.
Master Raven is like a throwback to Vanessa from Virtual Fighter 4 before Sega AM2 butchered her character in VF5, a strong woman who has a aggressive fighting style
and doesn't hold back. A refreshing change from Tekken's animu female characters.
Yeah Namco Bandai could have gone with something different in regards to Master Raven's fighting style and and name but we aren't complaining. A character like this is what the Tekken 7 series was severely missing and Namco Bandai finally delivered.