Ten years after the death of their foster father, brothers Terry and Andy Bogard return to Southtown to extract revenge from crime lord Geese Howard. They team up with kickboxing champion Joe Higashi and participate in the prestigious King of Fighters tournament in hopes of facing Geese and giving him his well-deserved defeat.
Well, this story is your typical “you killed my father and you must pay” kind of old school martial arts story, but brought more into a modern day context. After all, the story is a descent adaptation of the original material which the Street Fighter Zero anime fails to do and that’s what made that anime bad. I think the personalities of the characters that were previously featured in the games are well adapted as well. Terry despite his strength is a laid back kind of guy. While his brother Andy is more hot blooded. Joe is a party animal. So you really don’t need
any familiarity with the games to get into this anime because the story of at least the first game is also told in this one.
Other featured characters are Geese’s henchmen like the staff master Billy Kane and the masked pro wrestler, Raiden and they are transitioned faithfully themselves. On one hand, it’s a faithful interpretation, but the story in terms of being a martial arts flick is a little too cliché.
The character design is by Masami Obari. He has a real distinct style of drawing character faces and bodies. Like Joe Higashi’s built is really like a true Muay Thai fighter’s built being all lean. The clothing of the characters is of course well faithful to the gaming design originally done by Shinkiro. I also like how he gave Terry’s hat a steel plate to it. Makes me wish I want a hat like that because I think it’s pretty cool. Some notable exemptions are of course Andy’s hair color being silver in this one though the sequels will change it to blonde. In common trait to his other works, he does tend to use lots of colors which brings out the resolution and it gave me a feeling of being alert to a lot of details with the characters. Of course other traits of Obari will be well built women but the only featured female character is Lily and she happens to wear something like a Victorian dress but you never see any body parts exposed.
The fights also well utilize the character’s signature moves. It tends to be based more on the games rather than realistic fighting which was the Street Fighter II animated movie approach was. Like Terry will use his burn knuckle and rising tackle. Geese will have his raging storm and reppuken. And so on and so forth. The fights translate very well but the problem is being a 45 minute feature, the fights tend to be a bit short. Though the fights are short, they are still exciting and plenty of action.
First, I would like to talk about the Japanese voice acting and compare it to the dub. I will admit it. These are the rare kinds of anime that I prefer the English dub over the Japanese track. The Japanese voice actors were ok, but they did not have the same passion or intensity as their English counter parts. The voice of Joe from the Japanese version is a famous world champion kickboxer, Masaaki Satake. I have seen his fights and granted he’s a great fighter, but as a voice actor, he sucks. He made Joe who is supposed to be in his early 20s sound twice his age. He sounded like an old man and the voice didn’t really reflect his prankster personality that he has in the games. While Jason Gray-Stanford who plays him in the English version does a great job of making a voice for him that really reflects his usual childish qualities. I also liked Geese’s dub voice because he really sounded intimidating and evil. I really liked Mark Hildreth as Terry because he made him sound like the passionate person that the anime also made him portray. Usually if I ever want to watch this anime, these are the rare occasions I will put this anime in English rather than Japanese.
The music is also pretty cool itself. It has a modern day Hong Kong kung fu flick feel to it. It has a lot of guitars but not necessarily sounding Eastern but still something you’d feel a little Asian. The ending song Fly Away is pretty good. Not really intense but it really helps reflect the ending of the story and what really happens and tells things in the point of view of Lily and Terry.
Well, if you’re a fan of the games or want to watch an action anime, then this anime is for you. It’s not the best, but still far from being the worst. I wouldn’t call this anime in the same league of something as Street Fighter II V or the animated movie, but is still worth a shot for the martial arts anime fan or fans of the video game series. It’s an anime with some stand out flaws and there are sequals which later correct it as they go along the way. And if you’re a person that really prefers dubs, then this anime is perfect for you.
Geese Howard is a wealthy martial artist and crime boss who operates in South Town. He plans a successful ambush to eliminate his martial arts rival Jeff Bogard. Jeffs two sons named Terry and Andy witness the murder along with their master Tung Fu Rue. On Tungs request, the two brothers leave South Town to learn and master their own style of martial arts, because they are no match for Geese due to their ages.
Ten years later, the brothers return to South Town and they reunite with Tung as promised. He informs them that he will teach only one of them a secret technique
that can defeat Geese. The two brothers plan to battle each other in the King of Fighters Tournament which is sponsored by Geese, with the purpose of learning the move to avenge their father.-summary
Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungy Wolf is based on the popular SNK video game Fatal Fury, which made its debut in November of 1991. The game featured three fighters as the main characters: The unorthodox martial artist Terry Bogard, his brother Andy Bogard whom uses Koppo-ken, and Muy Thai expert Joe Higashi. All three fighters with some of their opponents appear in the movie. The most notable opponents are the formidable martial artist Geese Howard, a staff fighter named Billy Kane, and the wrestler Raiden.
Fatal Fury caters too much to fans of the video game. Non fans will know what's going on story wise but may find it difficult to care for this particular movie; and if non fans are searching for martial arts action similar to Street Fighter: The Animated Movie, or good martial arts action in general, then they will definitely come away hating this movie. Fatal Fury is billed as a martial arts anime but you really don't get much, if any of it.
The weakness in the animation shows in many areas with the action being the most notable. The fights are very poorly choreographed with some bad exchanges. To include, they are incredibly short consisting of one to two hit victories, with only the use of their trademark special moves and some of these techniques come off looking incredibly silly. Terry Bogards "Rising Tackle" immediately comes to mind. Also, the final battle ends up being a very big disappointment, especially when considering how tough Geese is in the game.
Although the action scenes are short they can be kind of bloody; but if you've seen enough bloody and brutal anime, then you won't really be impressed by this at all. The artwork is fairly done with the characters resembling their video game counterparts. However, only Andy appears to be somewhat out of character with his hair being blue instead of blonde. The voice acting wasn't really an issue for me and I feel it was well acted during numerous key moments. The soundtrack is something I did enjoy which is made up of J-Pop that adds some type of life to the fight scenes, while also making the thin as needles plot easier to get through. This is a good example of a well used soundtrack.
Fatal Fury is also very cheesy too. The romance angle is every bit as unrealistic as it was unnecessary. Terry's love interest Lily was mainly used as a plot device for Terry to have more of a reason to hate Geese, as if brutally killing his father right in front of his eyes wasn't reason enough. I will admit that the characters are mildly developed though.
I also give some credit to the writing team. Unlike many video games that make it to film. Fatal Fury seems to be done by those whom have a bit of knowledge of the game. At the very least, there was an attempt to give the fans something.
The production team used what they had to work with. The effort was there, but the end result is what counts and I've always been disappointed with this one. Then again, video game to movies have a notorious reputation for being disappointing anyway. I recommend Fatal Fury only to fans of the game and the very easy to please.
Highs: Pretty faithful to video game, good soundtrack
Lows: Bad animation, too short, fights are very unimpressive, may not appeal to non fans
Why is Andy's hair blue!?! Er, sorry I got ahead of myself. Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Man is the first of the trio of FF offerings in anime, and while it's not great, it has a charm about it that earned it's place in my rewatch cycle. In the line of fighting game-based anime, the Fatal Fury series is probably the best at sticking to it's core story.......sort of.
STORY (5): It follows the simple plot of the game; Andy and Terry train to avenge their father Jeff, killed by a suave Geese Howard (fresh from getting his butt kicked by Ryo
Sakazaki of Art of Fighting, I guess) ten years ago. I admire a lot of anime protagonists' resolve. I'd be pretty pissed if a guy killed my dad in front of me, but I always figured that around year seven of my rigorous training, I'd be impressed with my awesome build and pose for Muscle and Fitness or something.
So, it's not that great, but it's decent enough until a cheesy romance is seemingly forced into the show with Terry and a completely meaningless cookie cutter female lead named Lily, who helped (?) set up Jeff years ago. I think even casual viewers will also see nothing in this and label it as weak storytelling, which it is. I'll get to her later.
ART (6): For as much as I criticize Masami Obari's character designs, his representation of the FF cast is pretty good for the most part. Hungry Wolf's art is sketchy and dated, but it looks decent.....until it moves. It's amazing how little fighting there is in this, but thats probably a good thing. The fight scene animation is on par with Weiss Kreuz or Slayers, the backgrounds are garrish and bland, Andy's hair is the wrong color that even the box art got it right, and the effects for the character's signature attacks are so bad, it's laughable. Not horrible, just incredibly cheesy.
SOUND (8): This was back when not only VIZ, but Ocean Group, utilized their best talents. I still believe Mark Hildreth is the most underrated male voice actor in the business today next to Troy Baker. Ward Perry does a great Geese Howard, channeling a voice thats so evil and smug, you wanna punch him yourself. Paul Dobson's Billy Kane rules (he's used that accent for Zarbon, which suited him more than Funi's dub). The rest of the voices are great, the sound effects have a nice, old school, early 90's anime feel to it, the two musical scores in the movie are catchy and I sing them in my head all the time, and the background music, while limited, is not bad.
CHARACTER (4): All the characters from the game do their job great. I give all the characters from the Fatal Fury video game franchise an 8. This score is for one character, and one character alone............Lily. This is Sulia from the Motion Picture all over again, and this is the last time I hope to say this. If it's not Blue Mary, keep these women away from Terry Bogard! She means nothing, serves nothing to the plot, brings out nothing new in Terry, the rest of the cast barely acknowleges her existence, and wastes about eight minutes of film time that could've been better spent making better fight scenes! She got more screen time then Raiden and Richard Meyer combined, and all she did was turn the best fighting game lead into a generic, lame-duck softy who needs THE POWER OF FRIENDSHIP to fight his foes! I was scratching my head when this character became prominent within the first few minutes of the movie and she makes this painful to watch, although I've found it easy to block her out over the years. Give me more Joe Higashi, dammit!
ENJOYMENT (7): I'm such a sucker for the video games that I've rewatched this a lot of times. I gave it a 7 because it's short run time makes it simple to sit through, and I can listen to the voices all day. Every few years, I watch this just to kick back and bask in the stark cheesiness of the film, knowing that as goofy as this is, it's still not Virtua Fighter or Street Fighter II V. The lack of action might make it a bore, but it's been eleven years and I can still have fun watching it.
Pros: Voice acting, music
Cons: Kind of boring, terrible fight scenes, Andy's BLUE hair
Alright, So I found this movie out of a book of 500 essential Animes and I don't think it's really essential to anyone. As to not give any spoilers here's what I'll say: The entire story was done in forty minutes, obviously not a whole lot of time to much with. As it would be expected the story was rushed, the characters surface, and much of the battling was short and to the point.
However, I found this Anime to be fantastically enjoyable not as an action film, but as a comedy. Much of the fighting was over the top, the deaths were extremely
ridiculous, and the characters were all around fun extremes.
Not an amazing life changing story, but a nice fun film to kill time with at three in the morning.