BitSnark

A place of scribblings located in the darkest corner of the internet. Yup.

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

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Quick note: This is a review of the Manga Entertainment UK DVD release, and such, is *NOT* the edited US Sony version that was floating about for years before.

Genre: Martial Arts Combat
Director: Gisaburo Sugii
Distributor: Manga Entertainment
Duration: 96 Minutes approx
Production Creation: 1994

Plot Synopsis

Based on the popular hit video game of the same name, Street Fighter II shows us a future where the world is under threat from the evil shadowlaw organisation and it’s nihilistic commander, M Bison. M Bison hopes to rule the world by turning powerful warriors, known as Street Fighters, into his loyal subjects. Ryu and Ken, two best friends, are possibly the two most powerful fighters in the world and as such, find themselves targeted by Bison for this very reason.

Something stirs inside of Ryu when his longtime friend Ken is captured on the eve of their reunion. With a new sense of purpose and drive Ryu, along with your other favourite characters, prepare for the final showdown with Bison and his henchmen.

The Review

Okay, name exactly how many anime productions or for the matter, Hollywood movies, based upon video games that turned out to be any good. One or two maybe? That’s perhaps being a bit generous don’t you think? And so it was with this same apathy that I greeted Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie.

Let’s start from the bottom. For a straightforward martial arts anime, Street Fighter II fulfills it’s vocation nicely enough. There are plenty of fights on offer, each containing a variety of combat styles and bone-crunching moves. Importantly, each of the characters in this anime actually look the part and closely resemble their video game counterparts, moveset and all. So at the very least, that should keep the people who came to see this movie off the back of the video game pretty happy.

Indeed, there would seem to be a lot of content for the fans of the video game to recognise here. Their favourite characters pounding the absolute snot out of each other whilst screaming the different names of their special movies at the top of their voice is just one such recognisable trait of the series. Also, for all of those die-hard Street Fighter fans who had posters of Chun Li plastered on their walls, there’s even a bit of nudity and fan-service in it for you too.

Now that the loyal fanbase have stopped reading this review and have gone off to watch the anime, i’ll turn my attentions to the anime fan that actually cares about the little things like plot and characterisation.

As far as both plot and characterisation go, they’re pretty thin on the ground. Cookie-cutter is the perfect term to use here as everything is exactly how you would expect it to be.

The characters are painfully one-dimensional, and as such match up nicely to the wafer thin plot on offer. There are no surprises here, no plot twists, no convoluted endings, hidden meanings or anything like that, but then again there was never meant to be, as whatever plot/characterisation exists only as a vehicle with which to support the fight sequences.

What we have here is simply just a dumb action anime, good only for it’s fight scenes, which thankfully it does quite well. You get to see Ryu and Ken throw their fireballs, execute their Hurricane Kicks and basically give Street Fighter fans everything that they wanted to see from their favourite characters.

The art and animation are both quite good and allow the many fight sequences to become very action packed affairs with a good amount of detail, intensity and fluidity. The soundtrack of the version I watched apparently differs greatly from the original Japanese audio track. For some reason the Japanese audio track was not available on my copy and as such I can’t verify this point, however, most people have complained that the track composed for the Western release is unsuitable. Personally, I think that the heavy metal and techno style suits this anime very well and it accompanies the fighting scenes perfectly.

To be honest if you come at this anime with high expectations, you will be disappointed, however, for those of you looking for a good martial arts anime to while away ninety or so minutes, you could certainly find many more worse examples of the genre around.

Ratings Summary

Animation: C+
Art: C
Music: B-
Content: C-

Overall: C

Review by: JP Jones

Suitability for children

Even though this is based on the video game of the same name, it certainly is not suitable for that same audience. There’s a fair amount of blood, quite a bit of heavy swearing and some nudity. Suitable only therefore for those aged 15+.

If you liked this why not try…

Street Fighter II V TV Series – Manga Entertainment
Street Fighter Alpha – Manga Entertainment
Fatal Fury: Double Impact – Pioneer Animation
Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture – Pioneer Animation

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Written by bitsnark

October 27, 2005 at 9:05 pm

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