Conception and design
Designed by Akira "Akiman" Yasuda, the concept behind Blanka emerged in an early design as an African man named Anabebe who was raised by a lion. After the release of Final Fight, Capcom again approached Street Fighter II and considered several designs for the Blanka character (including a masked wrestler modeled after Tiger Mask and a ninja-style warrior). His design later changed to a large man with thick hair and sideburns, named "Hammer Blanka". The staff then adopted Blanka's feral appearance, because they felt the game would be "dull" with only human characters.
Blanka's most prominent physical characteristic is his green color, initially attributed to his consumption of chlorophyll from plants to blend into his jungle environment. However, when Street Fighter was brought to the U.S., Blanka's coloring was attributed to his being struck by lightning during the electrical storm in which his plane crashed. In Street Fighter II Blanka's skin is yellowish-green, but later versions of the character are bright green.
Blanka fights in a self-taught, animalistic style. In several of his special moves he rolls into a ball, launching himself at an opponent. In Blanka's signature attack, he crouches and emits an electric current shocking anything it touches. Although Blanka growls in combat, except for Street Fighter Alpha 3 he uses words in cutscenes.