Get your quarters ready, because the world's top fighters are about to go head to head in this explosive animated adaptation of the classic Street Fighter II arcade game! M. Bison's plan to crush those who would oppose his organization, Shadowloo, is simple: brainwash the strongest martial artists around with his dreaded psycho power, and turn them into living weapons! To stop him, Interpol agent Chun-Li must team up with Major Guile of the United States Air Force, but that's no small feat.
They'll have to put aside their differences and learn to work together, and fast. Bison is closing in on Ryu, a traveling vagabond said to be the best fighter in the world. Fortunately (or not), Ryu is a hard man to find, but the same can't be said of his eternal rival, Ken. And it might just be through Ken that Bison will get what he wants! Can the World Warriors beat Bison to the punch?
I think this is the ultimate anime in adapting video games. It just made something epic out of it. With the exemption of Akuma’s brief cameo, pretty much virtually every character has their own memorable placement even though some may not have any direct connection to the establishment or progressions of the main story. It is very true to the source material and even influenced the Street Fighter Alpha branch of the series. I do have some complaints such as the lack of use of Sagat after the intro. I was hoping Ryu and Sagat would fight one more time, but that didn’t happen
and I think the staff had the right reasons why they couldn’t make it happen. But I have trouble over looking it being a Sagat fan and all.
Well, the character design is just fantastic. Very true to the games and makes them recognizable to newbies and veterans of the series alike. The art isn’t too stereotypical by relying on big eyes too much with the exemption of its female cast, but other than that, everything is just perfect and you couldn’t ask for more. No wait, you could. You can’t have Street Fighter without some kung fu fighting, which is the heart and soul of this movie. The staff wanted a more realistic and technical approach but yet still raw, which translated flawlessly into this movie. The action was coordinated by Ishii Kazuyoshi, the founder of the K-1 kickboxing promotion, and former K-1 champion, Andy Hug. Hug, god bless his soul, passed away nearly 10 years ago of Leukemia after winning a tournament, and Ishii is now in prison for tax evasion. Anyway, in addition to the realistic approach to the pacing, movement and techniques, it still balances out with the inclusion of the signature moves such as hadoukens and sonic booms. It can also get a little bloody at times. It’s extreme and keeps you on the edge of your seat, and doesn’t get old. And to me, nothing can top the extremities and technicalities of the art and animation.
The dub and Japanese voice acting are equally excellent in their own rights. My favorite performances were both that of Vega or Balrog, which name you are free to refer to him as was definitely breath taking. Both actors captured his character of being a sadistic narcissist in a way that exceeded your expectations of what that character could sound like. And for that example alone, I’ll leave it at that.
The music between both versions is of course a different manner of discussion. I think the selected American music with the likes of KMFDM, Silverchair, Alice in Chains, and Korn and the Jpop in the Japanese version were appropriately used in relation to capturing its target audience. And after watching the English version for 12 years, listening to the Japanese version the first time, totally threw me off. The difference in the music selected in each version really captures your attention and makes you view things in different ways. To me, watching the English version of lets say the fight between Chun Li and Vega made me feel an intensity that I was watching a pay per view fight, while watching it in Japanese, I felt like I was watching a fight to the death and I was able to feel the struggle of Chun Li more as if she was going to lose, while with the American music, you had that notion she was going to come out on top and finish it with nothing to lose. I’m not saying one is better than the other, it’s just it all depends on how you react to things in my perspective.
And one last thing, the main theme Itoshisa to Setsunasa to Kokoro Tsuyosa to sung by Shinohara Ryoko, the song that plays when Ken and Ryu fight Bison, I’ll admit is catchy and I love it a whole lot and is still considered a huge hit in Japan, but really felt out of place in contrast to the action presented. Even though I think both Japanese and English are great, due to the uses of differences of music, I can’t say one is better than the other and you’re going to have to watch it in both languages to have a full appreciation of this movie.
I say fans and non-fans alike of either the Street Fighter games or anime in general should and must give this a shot. This was one of the animes that came out in 1995 during a time way before anime was cool and is still way cooler than a lot of animes today. Luckily, this came out when I was getting into anime and being a fan of Street Fighter, I just had to get this. And for me, this was the right anime at the right time. I was 11 when I first watch this and many elements amazed and shocked me, and it may have with a lot of people. One being the Chun Li shower scene and all video game animes that followed had to have this kind of scene including Fatal Fury, Battle Arena Toshiden, and the piece of shit Tekken anime. It was something different to me and I didn’t take the scene offensive and thought of this was something acceptable to Japanese people which is yes and no true. Eventually I got around to showing this movie to my friends and we could watch this movie all night over and over. Especially Chun Li vs Vega which anyone who has seen this movie cannot deny that is certainly one of the best anime fights of all time.
Before I get into my review, I have to preface this by admitting that Street Fighter II in particular has played a very huge part in my preference when it comes to video games so I can admit that there is going to be a bit of bias during this review.
Animes based on video games have been,for the most part, a huge smoldering ash pile of disappointment. They often do not stick to the source material of the game, take too many liberties on a simple story line that is starring them right in their over ambitious faces, and ultimately its a blunder
before it even gets started. Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie is the exception to the latter.
When you are doing a cross over of a popular ip and placing it into another medium, taking from the exact source material is a very very crucial detail that will aid in your success. Anime studio Group TAC understood this and by the end of the film, I could have literally jumped out my seat and kissed them for it if they were standing close by.
The first crucial element of my happiness with this film was the obvious character design pulled directly from the conceptual art of those involved directly with the original game. Every character looks like the genuine article, and it further pushes the films enjoyment when the true magic takes place.
It goes without saying that the stand out moments of the film are where they are supposed to be, in the fighting. Most of the fight scenes are choreographed with the utmost attention to detail while incorporating many of the moves that fans of the series have come to love. What plays a minor part in the scenes that make the experience of these scenes bigger as a whole are the sound effects as fists clash against flesh in a realistic manner excelling the enjoyment of what takes place as you watch.
The first scene of the films sets the stage for all of this perfectly and by the films title introduction it is clear that your going to be in for a good watch. The story, while pretty generic in its approach, did enough to push the plot and not take you out of the film. M. Bison, the films antagonist, is monitoring the worlds strongest fighters in search of a vessel that will aide him in his quest for world domination.
As the plot progresses, you find a few character story lines from the game meshed in between. It may have made for a much better film if the script was fleshed out to involve more of the characters but for the most part you get a sense of the motivations from the main protagonists and I personally thought that was good enough.
Before I jump into the soundtrack, it is very important to note that there have been various versions of the film over the years and the one that I specifically watched was the original. The original score was by no means grandiose yet and still it did enough to please and I prefer it greatly over the redone version that came to the western shores.
It must be said that despite the minor scenes that were omitted from the western version,if you have not seen the uncut version or the original, you may just want to save your criticisms about the film until such time that you have.
Ultimately, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie was an amazing showcase of the source material and in my opinion, should be judged from that view point alone. To just watch this film with no context of where this film derived from will do you no justice. Make no mistakes -- this was fan service at its mind blowing best!!
This is defintely the best street fighter movie out there. The two other alpha and generations pretty much suck. This is the real deal along with the episodes. The two other movies just give street fighter a bad name. Like all ols school animes this is also dubbed very well. I peronally prefer dubbed but alot of the times they suck but this is actually really good dubbed sp check it out in english along with the series.
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.
The notion of animated sex is no longer an isolated, foreign concept, but it is still an area of anime with a lot of stigma attached to it. Hentai is often seen as taboo and a perversion, but its origins in history and how it developed from there is a story unto itself.