Street Fighter II Movie
All Street Fighter II Movie released episodes
Adaptions of games, particularly fighting games, into anime are usually disappointing. I generally go into them excited at the prospect of seeing familiar characters in some ass kicking action, only to see it turn out like a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. "Fatal Fury" movie was bad; The recent spin-offs from the"Street Fighter IV" games managed to reach the dizzying heights of mediocrity; and as for "Tekken: the Motion Picture"? Well what a big pile of sh\*te that was!But once or twice, there's comes an adaptation that's actually pretty good, and the pick of that bunch is "Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie". Despite being one of the first anime I watched, I still see it as the standard which other fighting game adaptations are judged against even to this day. It pretty much ticks all the boxes that fans of the game look for when it comes to these kind of adaptations. Let's take a look, shall we?1. Faithful adaptation of story? Check.Fans, especially purist fans, hate it when adaptations take too many liberties with the story, especially if it ends up not obviously better than the original."Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie" was careful to remain faithful to the source material, and built its story from that instead making wholesale changes. And in fact I heard it said that this movie inspired capcom to take some of its plot points and incorporate them into the official "Street Fighter" canon \[INSERT YOUR OWN CITATION HERE\]. It's a testament of how well this movie adapted the story (if it's true). It would also explain why I find it really hard to tell where the official part of history ends and where the anime exclusive material begin. So what is the story? Well, the basic premises is that Bison's Shadowlaw crime syndicate are monitoring fighters around the world and recruiting the strongest ones to their cause. Having witnessed Ryu's extraordinary power in his battle against Sagat, Bison and his organisation are scouring the world to try and find him. Ok, sounds a bit thin on the ground, but hey, it's a fighting anime based on a fighting game, what did you expect? At least it works well for its purpose, and isn't utterly ridiculous, qualities that can't taken for granted when it comes to these kind of anime - just look at that load of tosh from "Variable Geo"!2. The fights kicks ass? Check.This is usually the most disappointing aspect for fighting game adaptations - I can overlook a paper thin story when it comes to these kind of anime, but the fighting is the thing you expect the most from them. But too often the action ends up being boring or, in the case of "Street Fighter IV: The Ties that Bind", nearly non-existent.With "Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie", the fights are the best part of the show - they're great to watch, having been choreographed by a professional fighte. There's little or no repeated animation in sight, and the final boss fight is for once appropriately climatic. This is how things should be! What's more...3. Special moves from the game are seen regularly during the fights? Check.Ok, you can call it fan w\*nk material or whatever, but the fact of the matter is that it's always exciting to see special moves from the game being incorporated into the fights (unless you're unfamiliar with the game... but who cares about those people). The "Street Fighter II V" series had some nice fights, but special moves from the game were so sparse in that anime that something feels amiss. This movie on the other hand, gives the fans exactly what they want, throwing those special moves out with great regularity, and not just those staple Ryu/Ken hadoukens either: Fei Long's Flame Kick? Yep, seen that. Guile's Sonic Boom? That's here too (though it misses and flattens a hut instead). Chun Li's Spinning Bird Kick? That's used in the best freaking fight in the movie! Which brings me to another point - the special moves are properly integrated into the fights and not just spammed all over the place and end up bogging the action down. What more could you ask for?4. Lots of cameos from characters of the game? Check.This is kind of similar to 3, in that in addition to seeing special moves from the game, it's also exciting to see lots of characters from the game making cameo appearances as side characters. To be fair, most adaptations of this type actually delivers on this point (well, apart from that recent "Tekken: Blood Vengeance" movie, in which they used about 5 characters in total), and "Street Fighter: The Animated Movie" is no exception. There's an argument about throwing in tons of characters from the game for no reason being a bad idea, but the way I see it, if you can do it in an unintrusive way, where's the harm in it? I'd rather have some background characters who happen to be game characters rather than faceless mobs, and that's exactly what this anime does - Fei Long turns up in the ring as Ryu travels around looking for new challenges; Balrog just happens to be one of Bison's henchmen, etc. They don't have to be there, but they don't distract from the story, and add a bit more game flavourings to procedures. Also, it's good that none of the characters are so intolerably annoying that they end up ruining the show (again, I'm looking at you, "Tekken: Blood Vengeance"!")By this point, I've probably made the movie sound pretty close to the greatest piece of animation mankind has ever made, so I should probably put things in perspective: "Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie" is a good anime, no more, no less. I'm raving about it because it's the ONLY fighting game to adaptation I can think of that's actually good. The story may be a bit simplistic, the music may be distractingly heavy at times, and the dub might be a let down as usual, but it's an anime that duly delivers everything that fans of the game would want, and that's surprisingly rare.
Theme Song Performance
Assistant Animation Director