The series chronicles the adventures of Ryu and Ken, two teenage martial artists who embark on a journey to improve their skills after experiencing brutal defeat at the hands of Guile. Along the way, they become acquainted with other Street Fighter characters such as the 15-year-old tour guide Chun-Li, martial arts movie-star Fei Long, Muay Thai champion Sagat, and Indian monk Dhalsim. Eventually, they find themselves in the crosshairs of the criminal syndicate Shadowlaw, led by the enigmatic M. Bison, after defeating one of their subordinate organizations (Ashura). Among the agents of Shadowlaw include Russian bear wrestler and hired muscle Zangief, seductive British assassin Cammy (who is unaware of her employer’s connection to Shadowlaw), and Interpol double agent Balrog. The Spanish nobleman Vega also appears as an antagonist, although he is not connected with Shadowlaw in this series.
In contrast to Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, which hewed very closely to the original game‘s storyline, Street Fighter II V takes a number of liberties with its source material. It features radically redesigned versions of most of the game’s characters, whose appearances, backstories, and personalities deviated greatly from their traditional depictions. While the show was set in 1995, the present year of its original airing, the ages of the characters were altered to make most of the cast younger than they were in the games (for example, Ryu’s year of birth was changed from 1964 to 1977). Out of the seventeen characters featured in Super Street Fighter II Turbo (the latest game in the series at the time), only Blanka, Dee Jay, E. Honda, and T. Hawk never appear in the show. Akuma makes several cameo appearances during crowd scenes, but he is not actively involved in the story.