English: Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge
Synonyms: Vampire Hunter: The Animated Series
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Mar 21, 1997 to Mar 27, 1998
Duration: 41 min. per episode
Rating: PG-13 - Teens 13 or olderL represents licensing company
Score: 6.911 (scored by 3161 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
Popular Tagsaction fantasy
Dec 7, 2008
Most games never survive the transition to another medium. They are usually universally terrible and this would be the first adaptation I've seen that I liked. I was surprised when within the first few minutes of watching I thought "hey, this doesn't completely suck..." By the end I had concluded "yeah, that wasn't bad". I'm not a huge Darkstalkers fan, but I played enough of it to think "ehhh, what the hell, why not?" I think even if I wasn't vaguely familiar with the characters I would've still enjoyed this. I watched all 4 eps in a row fairly painlessly and could've easily watched more (see Characters below).
Make no mistake about it, this is definitely a show for people who like shows about fighting. If you don't like fighting games or shows like DBZ or Yu Yu Hakusho or Kenshin or even Bleach/Naruto then... I have no idea why you are even reading this. Otherwise I thought the story was about as good as anyone could expect for a show about a fighting game. To try to criticize the story beyond that misses the point and does a disservice to its accomplishment.
There's a lot of repetitive use of the word "dark" (you could make a deadly drinking game out of it) and the general setup is fairly generic, BUT, the OTT plot is perfectly suited for the show, considering fighting games are OTT by design. I've seen much worse excuses to get characters to come together to beat each other up.
In fact, I thought the premise that ties them together was actually pretty good as far as these kind of shows go. They actually make some kind of effort to explain the presence of "the dark" and make interesting use of what would otherwise be a cliche mix of "something from space", "an ancient race", and "something from another dimension". Which was already a lot more than I was expecting.
I actually liked that it kept itself kind of serious (I'm tired of anime with goofy/wacky sight gags and comic relief). It gave it a dramatic feel but not so much that it lost sight of being an anime about people fighting.
I really liked how they centered the story around Donovan/Anita. They could've gone many ways with this: It could've been another ambitious story about an overpowered vampire and his quest for domination or some trumped up tournament to see who is the worlds strongest. I feel their choice in a "protagonist" was probably the best one they could've made of all the characters available. Sure the "half-demon" thing is overused, but in a world where humanity is being devoured by darkness, something about the virtue of a man who is constantly at war with his (literally) inner demon and the traumatized little girl he has vowed to protect just seemed right.
The ending was a little disappointing, mostly because I think it crossed that line of cliche over-the-topness, but eh, I've also seen much worse and more frustrating endings, so...
The characters have some questionable dialogue sometimes, but otherwise I thought it was surprisingly solid if not pretty good. Again, experience had me already expecting much worse. I thought they captured the characters unique personalities pretty well and didn't go too overboard with any of them. I thought they did a good job with introducing Donovan, Anita, Demitri, Morrigan, Huitzel, Pyron and the sisters. Felicia, Talbain and Bishamon showed promise. Lord Raptor was pretty much just an odd cameo, so aside from him, I liked how they were handling use of the characters and not just rushing/stuffing everyone into the story in some contrived and insipid manner. For this reason I actually felt the story was too short. I would've liked to have seen this as a series and see them try to include all the characters and somehow tie them into the epic confrontation with Pyron.
I actually didn't think the art was that great for an OVA. I did like how they didn't get overly retarded with the designs and stayed mostly faithful to the game (both in characters and combat). So for that it still ranks high with me.
The sound was fine, more surprisingly however was that the dub didn't make me want to gag. Considering how cheesy and potentially disastrous the dialogue probably was, I thought they delivered it well. I assume the dialogue was cheesy only because I've watched enough fighting anime to tune out all but the worst of hammy speeches. read more
Oct 23, 2008
As I'm not an aficionado of the games myself, having played them only every now and again, it's somewhat difficult for me to say whether or not the anime really ties into the games, so this review will mainly focus on the OVA as is.
As might be expected from an anime based on a fighting game, the story is the weakest point. By and large the main plot consists of a human world that has been ruled for some time now by monsters and creatures of legend called Darkstalkers (mainly Demitri Maximoff, for those who know the games) having evolved too much, giving rise to an invasion of robots (Huitzil/Phobos) that are programmed to wipe out advanced civilisation, while at the same time some universal overlord (Pyron) descends on the world to find someone who is strong enough to oppose him. As could be guessed, this someone of course shows up, in the guise of a man tormented by his being half human, half Darkstalker (Donovan). Or, to put it even more simplistic, it boils down to "Hero battles Villain".
Moreover, the plot takes itself far too seriously for something based on what is in fact a somewhat goofy, over-the-top series of fighting games, resulting in overly dramatic scenes tied to a plot that is paper thin and clichéd at best.
In the meanwhile, a few other characters from the game appear with their own back stories, which are touched upon and sometimes played out for a bit, but these stories are only very loosely, if at all, tied to the greater plot. This in effect means that the story becomes a garbled mess, with many a character running around seemingly without a purpose.
On the other hand, the presentation of the characters themselves is not half bad. Most anime based on fighting games opt to pick one main hero and one main villain and have them duke it out, with all the other characters dropping in for a cameo at one time or another to please the fans, leaving the uninitiated utterly confused as to who this or that new guy that never reappears was. Vampire Hunter, on the contrary, picks up about half a dozen of the characters, and expanding a bit on the background of each of these. Running for 4 episodes with a total length of about 160 minutes, Vampire Hunter seems to have found the ideal length for its approach: each of the characters is given a fair amount of time to be introduced and play his or her plot line, while none of them are given too much screen time. Characterisation itself is based heavily on the snippets of information given in the games, making the characters have somewhat distinct (even if largely clichéd) personalities, and having them act on these.
What makes the characters all far more interesting is the way they are portrayed. Now, the art is without a doubt the high point of this OVA. Like in most OVA's of the time, backgrounds range from quite good to simply gorgeous, often giving the impression as if they were hand-drawn. The setting in general shows quite a few distinct locales, and the colorisation is very good: as could be guessed, use is made mostly of the darker colours of the palette, with much of the story taking place under a darkened sky or in the shadows. Brighter colours are generally more subdued, with the occasional dashing reds if the situation warrants it.
The characters are all very well animated. Not only do they move fluently and have a wide range of facial expressions, they all follow the designs from the game very nicely. Not only are all characters very different in basic design, but many of them sport different styles of drawing and animation, again following the differences in style from the games closely.
This being a fighting series, it should come as no surprise that the main attention of the show, and thus the art and animation, is on the fights. These are done very well. As far as I can say, the animators have copied many of the fighting styles and moves from the game, making each fight and each fighter distinctly different. This not only applies to the special moves, or whatever name you would give those, but also, and perhaps even more successfully, to the basic attack patterns, many of which are a joy to watch, being far more interesting than the special attacks, in fact. I'm sure the real fans will notice differences between the anime and the games, but for the rest of us it seems as if the anime follows the games closely.
Being generally cautious of animated versions of fighting games, I have to say this one is by far one of the best I've seen to date. The story is ridiculous, pompous, and far to self-important, but this major downside is more than offset with the fairly decent character introduction and development and the more than decent art and fighting direction.
Apr 22, 2007
I think in the end I could compare it to the Streeth Fighter series. It's not that kind of regular anime we have at bunchs. Even the animation looks different, like with some american influences (very similar to Street Fighter II). The characters are serious, you won't find any jokes or comedy like most of animes have. And it's a great profit.
If you're expecting a serious, short anime, with a good story then I recommend it.
[Please send me your impressions about this review; critiques or notes about my english.] read more
Apr 17, 2013
Our story opens with Demitri planning an invasion of the demon realm. He's stopped by Morrigan who challenges him to a match because she's bored. Yes, really. Their fight is interrupted when a legion of Phobos robots appear. They spread across the planet seeking to exterminate all life forms. Meanwhile, Donovan, a half-vampire vampire hunter (How very original,) is on a journey of self-discovery when he encounters young Anita, a girl with a mysterious power who decides to follow him. While this is going on Felicia is going on tour, Lei-Lei and Lin-Lin are on a journey to save their mother's soul and... Yeah this OVA has a ton of sub-plots. I know that there are a lot of characters, but maybe it would've been a good idea to just stay focused on a small group. Especially when you've only got four episodes to work with. Most of the important plot elements revolve around Donovan, Anita, Lei-Lei and Lin-Lin anyway. Felicia's subplot in particular ends up being entirely pointless. Morrigan and Denitri ultimately contribute nothing either. They're pretty much only included because the fans love them. Now, I do understand wanting to make your fans happy, but it shouldn't come at the expense of the story. Honestly though, the story wouldn't be good even without the tangled mess of sub-plots, just less cluttered. It would still be largely derivative with too many flashbacks. The story mainly serves to take the characters from one fight to the next. That being said, a lot of the moments are kind of enjoyable just based on how over the top and cheesy they are. The ending in particular.
As much as I enjoy the Darkstalkers games, most of the characters aren't very well used in this. Part of the problem is that the focus is on Donovan, quite possibly the dullest, most generic character in the franchise. There's also Anita, who has little personality in this and ends up serving as a maguffin rather than a fleshed out character. The only major characters in this I kind of like are Lei-Lei and Lin-Lin. They do get some really good moments and they have a lot more personality than Donovan or Anita. Morrigan, Demitri, Felicia, Zabel Zarock and Gallon could have been interesting but they're barely in the OVA and their appearances don't really contribute much. Speaking of under-used characters, Anakaris, Rikuo, Sasquatch and Victor all appear in this for a few seconds before being unceremoniously killed off. That doesn't seem like a very good idea when trying to appeal to your fans or were they deemed unpopular enough that no one would care?
The art is rather varied. They incorporate a lot of the fight mechanics from the games into the actual battles, which usually leads to some strong, fluid action sequences, but there are some moves that just don't lend themselves well to animation and end up looking stilted and awkward. Particularly Morrigan's drill kick attack. Madhouse also does an excellent job drawing the characters as they are in the games. That being said, a lot of the designs were just poorly done to begin with. So, while I'm not going to fault the OVA for it, I am going to take a moment to rant about the designs in Darkstalkers. For example, why is Felicia largely a normal looking woman with cat elements while Gallon is more of a humanoid wolf? We've also got Donovan who just looks incredibly silly. We also have Zabel Zarock who brings some of the worst part of 90s comic design to mind He just needs a bunch of random pouches and shoulder pads to make the look complete. We also have Demitri's hair that is overly-gelled to make him look as much like a conehead as possible. Yeah, as much as I like the games the character designs leave much to be desired. That rant aside, the art in this is pretty solid. The only real issue, aside from the occasional stilted fighting move, are the facial expressions. Anita's nose disappears in a lot of shots, Morrigan's eyes get crossed a few times and her hair turns purple once, I think they're doing shading effects at the time but it just looks odd.
One thing that's a bit odd is that the vocal cast from the games don't reprise their roles in the OVA. Still, the cast they did get does a good job. Miyamura Yuko does well as Lei-Lei. She may also be familiar to fighting game fans as Chun-li in the Alpha/Zero games and Seung Mina in Soul Edge. That's a strange coincidence. Okamata Maya and Yukana are both really good as well. The music in this is just great.
The yuri factor is a 1/10. There's no yuri here.
So, how is Darkstalkers' Revenge? Well, it's a goofy little OVA with some unintentionally funny moments, a story that's complete pants and well done fight scenes. It's certainly not good, but I wouldn't call it bad either. My final rating is going to be a 5/10. If you're a Darkstalkers fan you'll probably enjoy it well enough if only for the fight scenes. Otherwise I could really only suggest it if you just want some mindless action or if you have some friends over and want a good series to watch MST3k style. read more
Dec 13, 2011
It's apalling as to how middle-of-the-road Night Warriors actually is without being flat out awful. Back when Manga Entertainment first announced this in 1998, I was stoked. I played Darkstalker's Revenge religulously on the Sega Saturn and was certain that this game could surpass Street Fighter on a gameglay level. So when I got my hands on volume 1 of the Night Warriors anime, I was blown away immediately by the visuals. As far as video game anime, this looks the very best, even by today's standards. The dark, moody atmosphere, the shading and black levels, all the characters look phenominally detailed. The animation is crisp and fluid, characters like Morrigan and Demitri striking familiar poses from the game. The fights are pretty top notch as well. But that's about it.
For as great as a title can look, if you can't follow it with a credible story or engaging characters, you're just going to have something you can't possibly sink your teeth into. For as straightforward a plot that this show has, almost 78% of it's 4 episodes is devoted to waxing philosophical or fake political jargon amongst the Dark Ones and humans. There is a lot of dialouge in this, and most of it is nauseatingly dull and uninteresting. You'll find yourself wishing for a fight to break out (since this is based on a FIGHTING game), but even the action is rather lackluster. Each episode is roughly 40 minutes and at least 2 major action scenes will take place. And 1 of the two major scenes will involve 2 characters from the game battling each other to a stalemate. I am not exaggerating this. Instead of Anakaris the phaeroh versus Rikuo the fish man or Sasquatch the yeti versus Victor, Frankenstein's monster (these character's aren't even featured in the damn thing, btw), you get to witness Donovan fighting faceless thugs, Hsien Ko fighting faceless thugs, and Lord Raptor fighting......faceless thugs. Even Art of Fighting had characters from it's respective game squaring off with each other!! Watching one person lay waste to generic foot soldiers gets old very fast, and it usually leads to nothing.
The show is only focused on four characters (Donovan, Demitri, Hsien Ko/Lei Lei, and Morrigan) and two villains (Alien Pyron and the Huitzil robots). But at no point throughout these episodes are you given a slight reason to actually care about their journey or what happens to any of them. It seems more like they want to defeat Pyron because the plot says so as opposed to some dire cause that was put in to motion by the bad guy. You know, almost ANYTHING WOULD WORK!!!!!!!! The four "good guys" are all boring as all hell, a bridge game would spice up the tension. I've never taken Pyron seriously as a villain, other characters like Felicia, Bishamon, and John Talbain are virtually wasted as mere cameos. Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture at least had a three act story. In Night Warriors, things are just happening for almost no explained reason as you just move on to the next scene. Aside from the brief bout between Demtiri and Morrigan way back in episode one, there is no other point that I can recall where anything picks up. Keep in mind, I think this is AVERAGE. *Sigh* At least the voice acting and the music are pretty good.
IN CLOSING: Much like the terrible Tomb Raider movies with Angelina Jolie that ruined that franchise, I can only assume that this lackadasical anime offering was a death knell for Darkstalkers as very little has been heard from since. While it isn't as completely bad as most fighting game anime, boring characters, a sleep-inducing story, and a bad script makes Night Warriors such a yawn fest that it's no surprise they introduced a Little Red Riding Hood with machine guns to liven things up. You can make Morrigan and Felicia as curvy and revealing as you want and create Lilith to appeal to lolita fetishes, but Darkstalkers could never recover from this lame endeavor and will always be Street Fighter's whipping boy.
OVERALL SCORE: 6 out of 10
PROS: Beautiful animation, great voice acting and music, it's short
CONS: No plot, waste of characters, boring dialouge read more
Jul 11, 2011
ART & SOUND SECTIONS: 7/10
Nothing bad to point here. The characters are nicely drawn, with fluid movement and fighting styles that resemble those in the game. The background graphics and music are detailed and boost the grim atmosphere of the series. It’s just that if you are not accustomed to fighting games, most fighting moves will seem pretty ridiculous. In fact, the perfect mark is spoiled by the lack of reasonable battle choreography. Also, having seen Karas, I almost feel obligated to leave the mark in no more than 7.
STORY SECTION: 4/10
There is no main story in general. All characters have a different goal to achieve and the scenario feels like a compiling of 10 different stories. Some seek power, some revenge, some a better future. Of course, what they all have in common is that they all solve their problems through fighting (as if violence ever solved anything!).
Still, towards the end, the main scenario is the battle with the main villain of the story, who pretty much wants to defeat every Night Stalker in the world. But the lack of focus towards a specific goal simply confuses you and you end up caring only for the battles and not their reason for happening. The scenario is not better than the one in Dragonball Z, where the strongest is always right (I personally, am not a supporter of the “Might Is Right” theme).
To sum it up, it is a very shallow story, trademark of all fighting games. It is just used as an excuse for the fighting to begin.
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
There are a dozen characters from the game and they pretty much fight each other senselessly throughout the series. Most of them hardly have a personality and as for the rest, they are pretty typical stereotypes. We have a zombie rock-star, a cat woman, a Chinese ghost, a possessed samurai armor and a few others just for flavor. There is some interest with the ultra sexy female succubus that is sent to kill a vampire apostate and the Taoist priest that seeks salvation. The villains are weird robots that are sent to destroy humanity for the sake of the planet (like the Weapons in Final Fantasy 7) and a giant alien fireball that simply wants to fight strong warriors (like Son Goku in Dragonball Z).
To sum it up, most characters are stunts and the few interesting ones are simply cool-looking. Another trademark of all fighting games.
VALUE SECTION: 4/10
Nothing much. But it means a lot more for fans of the game.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 6/10
It was fun to watch but it’s not going to be memorable.
VERDICT: 5.5 / 10
The accused is found … GUILTY! … He is cool only to his fanboys.
Famous Shonen to choose from:
Saint Seiya. The grandfather of fighting shonen.
Dragon Ball Z. Lots of tournaments and brainless action.
Fist Of The North Star. A lot less characters but a lot more bloody action scenes.
Bleach. Interesting, until those fillers poped up.
Naruto. Interesting, without the fillers.
Tekkaman Blade. Interesting characters with cool costumes and action scenes. read more