After being thrown off a cliff as a child, Kazuya Mishima enters the King of Iron Fist Tournament to extract revenge from his father, multi-billionaire Heihachi Mishima. Meanwhile, WWWC operative Jun Kazama and Hong Kong detective Lei Wulong also enter the tournament to investigate on Heihachi's illegal activities involving cloning and genetic engineering. A handful of other skilled fighters are also in it merely to win the grand prize of $1 billion, not knowing of the true purpose of the tournament and fate that awaits them.
As a fan of Tekken I felt it was my duty to at least watch this and after watching this all I did was let out with a disappointing sigh. Here's why
This story takes place around the Tekken 1/2 period but differs a lot from the original story of both games. The main plot being Kazuya's vow to take revenge on his father Heihachi Mishima for throwing him down a cliff at a young age. Through this story we encounter many sub-plots filled within a short space of time, Jun Kazama who is an officer working for a Wildlife protection organisation has a sixth sense that she uses to detect power or intention within people, she was with Kazuya before he got tossed down the cliff and thought he was dead. 16 years later she again meets with Kazuya after searching for Heihachi during the Tekken tournament and can sense a dark power within Kazuya known as Devil, at this time she is accompanied by a police officer named Lei. Another sub-plot being Jack's (A Massive Humanoid Robot) mission to save a young girl named Jane using the tournament to get to a secret lab, he is also accompanied by Lei later into the story. Basically the story and it's sub-plots are simple, which can work at times, but in this case, it was a miserable failure. It just didn't work, you hear all of this talk about fighting spirit near the beginning, yet in the end that stuff isn't important the tournament isn't even the actual highlight of the movie as it should have been.
Pretty, no, very dull characters I'm afraid, if you have never played Tekken you probably wont remember anybody's name. Kazuya tries to act like the hardass living for revenge, Jun is one of those caring, yet terribly irritating characters that talk of love and crap, Lei is the one with all of the jokes, Jack is your typical robot character with a somewhat dead personality, and the others are barely worth mentioning as they add very little colour to a dull cast that fail to develop.
::ANIMATION & ART::
The art is probably the worst thing about this OAV, from the horribly textured backgrounds to the poorly drawn characters to their poorly drawn clothes, it's just poor. The least they could do is match all the clothing to the actual clothing they have in the games, but they didn't even do that, the artists just designed their own horrible clothing and splashed in some effortless background images. The art just suffers, most anime if poor, is credited for its decent art, yet this actually pulls off having bad art as well.
The animation itself isn't awful though, not that anything in this OAV would have been significantly hard to animate, much of it is simple running or basic fight scenes, there aren't as many fight scenes as you'd expect since this is based off of a fighting game, but when the fights do come around they come off looking pretty stiff, sluggish and very simple. As an avid fan of good fight scenes AND Tekken, I was harshly disappointed with the simple uppercuts and body blows used in this anime, but overall there is just about enough action throughout the movie.
I only watched the dub of this but the voices weren't horrible, if you've played the game you might have been annoyed with a few voices, maybe Kazuya and Heihachi are slightly too deep, but all-in-all it wasn't as bad as dubs can get.
The opening and ending wasn't anything special I have trouble actually remembering the themes but as they come to me I see its because they aren't worth remembering, basic rock here.
And the background music, well they aren't that bad themselves, but mixed in with Tekken, which thrives on having smooth, eclectic beats in the games, doesn't suit it at all. Mostly you'll hear overly-generic hard rock tunes that someone will throw on to their AMV thinking that it's original. This is the case with every fight scene.
Don't even bother, unless you really feel the need like I did, just don't watch, if you are a Tekken fan but you aren't a fan of Kazuya, Jun, Heihachi, Lei, Jack 2, Lee, Nina or Anna and possibly Michelle don't bother watching because you'll be disappointed most of all, especially fans of Law, King and Paul because they barely get more than a minute of screentime, and they'll mostly be standing there with expressionless faces, actually even if you are fans of those characters, don't watch this. You'll be doing yourself a favour and could be doing something productive in the hour you'll be wasting by watching this. As an adaptation, this is bad but as an anime, this is just pathetic. Not worth watchingread more
Tekken: The Motion Picture is an adaption, of sorts, of the ever so popular fighting game franchise. I say "of sorts" because it makes no effort to follow the game's storyline at all. I'm actually a pretty big fan of the Tekken games and decided to try out the anime "adaption". Pretty big mistake...
Kazuya Mishima is your stereotypical "tough guy" who met one Jun Kazama, the token "weak and defenseless girl" as a child. Kazuya's abusive father, Heihachi, then proceeds to throw Kazuya into a ravine. Yes, really. Fast forward to the future and Jun is working for Interpol and has gotten the assignment to infiltrate the King of Iron Fist Tournament hosted by Heihachi's little family business, the Mishima Zaibatsu. Accompanying her is Lei Wulong, a bored Honk Kong policeman. And that's where things stop making (somewhat) sense. Characters from all over the Tekken canon are crammed into this movie with no real purpose or consistency. What we have here is a complete incomprehensible mess that tries to be deep and psychological but comes of as pretentious and idiotic.
Just what am I supposed to be looking at? The crudely drawn locales seem to have been sketched in a hurry, with islands looking like big green blobs and cities looking completely gray and stony. The characters also look pretty odd with the males being unrealistically muscular behemoths and females all being super-bouncy, super-skinny bimbos who do pretty much nothing but die or plead for help. Sexual equality in action here! (sarcasm) And what's up with the eyebrows? Seriously, some of the eyebrows look alive! The animation is also pretty screwed up, with characters lurching across the screen with wood-like movement.
Now, I've only seen the dub so I can't say for sure if the Japanese version is any better, although it has to be. Music consists of horrifying niche metal that irritates more than anything. The voice acting also leaves everything to be desired. Voices are either too deep (Heihachi is the main culprit here) or too high piched (every female character) plus the voice actors mispronounce the names a lot. So Heihachi (Hey, hatch, ee) becomes "Hi, hatch, ee" and Anna (Ann-ah) becomes "On-nah". Scripting is also relatively poor and the sound effects are stock, basic and boring. Tekken isn't exactly music to my ears.
Tekken: The Motion Picture is filled with people who suffer from incurable trauma and tough choices throughout the movie. So why is it that everyone is exactly the same from beginning to end? "Character development" are naughty words here. As if that wasn't bad enough, all the characters are one-sided and boring. Nothing about these cans of testosterone (or helpless girlies) is remotely interesting or fun to follow. Kazuya remains the pretentious tough guy throughout, Jun does a great doormat impression, Heihachi is the all-powerful corporate villain and Lei Wulong is the cliché sarcastic skeptic. Everyone else are useless stock characters with little to no plot importance or personalities.
But is it any fun to watch? In short: No. Fighting scenes have none of the excitement and flare of the game series and instead opts for a more brutal, realistic approach. That means fights drag on aaaages with the conclusion either being brief and unsatisfying or overly violent. The few fights are linked with equally long scenes of hilariously awkward dialog where characters either yell at each other or explain their "tragic pasts" which leads them to fighting/joining a secret syndicate/murdering someone/etc. I found myself yawning throughout the movie, wishing it'd be over sooner.
With terrible artwork, wooden animation, dull fight scenes and characters lacking any depth or substance, Tekken: The Motion Picture is not recommended for anime fans, fighting game fans, Tekken fans, or anyone in general. This is pure bottom-of-the-barrel material here and should be avoided at all costs.
The fight for truth has never been fought more truthfully than the fight for truth presented in this motion picture, which is most truthfully portrayed as a true and just cause perpetrated by naysayers who do not stand for what is true and just, but what is true for me is not necessarily true for you and at this point we must accept the truth that saying words like ‘truth’ and ‘justice’ over and over again is not going to provide any true depth to a storyline and the attempt to bamboozle the audience will not work on anyone with the intelligence to be suspicious of confusing mumbo jumbo in a work of entertainment.
And this my friends is merely a summary of the epilogue: it does get better, sort of.
Tekken: The Motion Picture is the animated retelling of the story of Tekken, the popular fighting game franchise which I am sure you are all familiar with. It is hard to place it in the continuity of the series- it seems to fit neatly into the place of the first Tekken game, although the inclusion of a number of characters is anachronistic. Therefore, it’s best to think of it as an alternative version of the video game series... but it also has a very similar storyline, so even that doesn’t really fit.
Basically Kazuya Mishima wants to take control of the Mishima Zaibatsu and extract his vengeance on his father. His father threw him off a cliff when he was a child because he wanted his son to be strong. This was witnessed by Jun Kazama, who is trying to convince Kazuya not to become blinded by his desire for revenge. Lee Chaolan is Kazuya’s adopted brother and –unless Kazuya intervenes- will be the heir to the Mishima Zaibatsu. If you have any familiarity with the early Tekken Games, this will be obvious to you but if not, then it is a lot less complicated than it may seem at first.
As a standalone film, the storyline is elementary but fit for purpose. Sibling rivalry over the line of succession is driving the antagonist, and revenge for attempted infanticide is driving the protagonist. It is all quite straightforward, and there are a few neat little sub plots tied into it to explain the motivations of the other fighters too. The only problem is when the film tries to be something its not: complicated. For whatever reason, the writing staff obviously felt that this wasn’t sufficient and decided that the film also required some kind of spiritual, philosophical or moral message. These complexities are often either completely unnecessary or easily avoidable, and it just comes across as pretentious. The basic storylines also make the plot rather predictable too; while the subplots are a nice feature it is clear from the offset who the final fight will be between, and so they are over before they have even begun.
Perhaps as a spin-off based on a series of fighting games you might expect the Tekken movie to feature a lot of fight sequences. Well, there certainly are a lot of sequences where characters are “fighting” but these are never more than a few punches and always one-sided. Even the climactic final fight, which is definitely the longest in the film, has less than one minute of fighting in total.
While some leniency is warranted for the stupid storyline (it is based on the games after all) the absence of any real fighting sequences is unforgivable.
The quality of the art and animation also leaves a lot to be desired. The character designs are some of the ugliest I have ever encountered in a professional animation. Protagonist Kazuya Mishima looks like a child’s drawing of Vegeta from Dragonball Z and his figure jars against the background. Female characters are not so harsh against the eye, but are monotonous and lack any distinction beyond their outfits, or in the case of Michelle Chang, the colour of her skin.
The animation is similarly poor, although mercifully they seem to have realised this before attempting to draw anything too ambitious. There are some instances where character movements feel unnatural or camera pans are a bit too unconvincing, but for the most part the animation is just simplistic and boring. It can get quite repetitive though.
Far more ambitious is the music, which strikes suddenly and enthusiastically. At seemingly random moments, the background silence is suddenly interrupted with loud and aggressive rock music. Obviously it is intended to indicate a significant development in the plot but it feels very poorly timed and is perhaps a bit too loud and too noticeable to remain in the ‘background’. The voice acting is as terrible as you would expect from something of the period but while it does have some unintentionally amusing lines, it’s not really consistent enough to make watching it for comedic value worthwhile.
Tekken: the Motion Picture is a film that tries to be true to its roots with some success but is marred with poor quality production. read more
I'll admit that the story may have seemed controversial to fans and I didn't get it the first time I saw it when I was a kid, but I still like this anime. I first saw it back in 2002/2003. After that, I downloaded the movie and saw it again - even now its a bit of a guilty pleasure for me whenever I watch it.
I suppose its because of the fight scenes, in how they've fleshed out the animosity between Heihachi and Kazuya, while also giving Jun Kazama the limelight as well. It has its moments, in my opinion - like the opening, for instance, is a moment for me. As is the final fight scene.
Overall, if you like the game, do give it a watch. it does have its share of goofy moments, but they're nostalgic.read more