Ryu and Ken Masters are close friends and both are martial artists. In order to become better fighters and learn new techniques, they travel the world and are exposed to many different fighting styles, as well as meeting new people. During their journey, they find themselves caught up in a conspiracy perpetrated by a mysterious organisation called Shadowlaw, both now face their ultimate challenge and must fight for their lives as they combat the evil M. Bison.
Personally, I really liked the approach the staff did with this series by making Ken and Ryu teenagers. Putting them at that age gives better and more sensible opportunities for character development and sets things in a whole new perspective. OK, what I am going to say is a spoiler, but I need to mention it for multiple reasons, one of the reasons is to mention a negative and to inform those who are fans of those characters who want to see this series: T.Hawk, E. Honda, and Blanka are not in this series, and Akuma only has on screen cameos. So fans of those
characters may find it disappointing. But I don’t see how they could fit at some points and it’s better to not have them, than have them and be useless which was a problem I had with Final Fantasy VII Advent Children which had many useless cast members. I also liked how the fights with Guile symbolized that Ken and Ryu only know what they have their training, and lack the reality combat experience Guile has on not just on the streets, but in the battlefield which defines that difference between them. And then, beomes a story of two young men trying to discover themselves goes on from there on how they must stop M. Bison, etc. But each thing is taken one step at a time to develop and connects very well. So because of the flow of the story and the liberties that was taken to open to new opportunities.
Some of the character design has been changed and is not what you’re used to. Ryu tends to look more like Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue except without his jacket, and his trademark bandana is not at all present. But it’s not the bandana that defines the man, it’s the man that defines the bandana, but in place of the bandana, Ryu wears a rosary given to him by a girl who worked with him at the island. Ken’s design is faithful to the game design. Guile’s haircut isn’t really that exaggerated. Chun Li is really cute, but doesn’t have her hair buns. But even if they are changed, they are still recognizable and I feel that this adds it’s own dose of originality. Afterall, this is Street Fighter II V, it doesn’t have to be the game to be great sometimes. The Animated Movie already served that purpose. However, my main beef with the art is of course is how the guys look like they’re on as much steroids as a pro wrestler.
The action is just superb. It’s nothing over the top by relying too much on the fireballs or other trademark moves, it’s pure raw martial arts high-octane action. Granted it’s not to the technical and dramatic level of the movie, but it does have it’s own sense of intensity and style that stands out. It’s really expressive in its own way and tells a story of what the fighters are fighting for, and how they’re struggling. The characters’ fighting styles are well represented in the series such as Guile’s experience, Ken and Ryu’s power and speed, and Chun Li’s agility. So fans will not be disappointed and those not familiar to Street Fighter will still be amazed regardless.
This anime can be viewable in both Japanese and English. The English cast is very good. Ryu is portrayed as someone that is young, but yet mature and serious. Ken is portrayed as a guy who likes to mess around at times, and Guile sounds like a seasoned veteran. So the actors play their roles in a way that you expect to play them in. And naturally, I will know more and tend to favor the Japanese cast if you are at all familiar with my reviews. The Japanese cast, like the English cast, do their roles the way you expect them to do it. For seiyuu buffs, Ryu is played by Tsujitani Kouji, the voice of Miroku in Inuyasha, Seabook Arno from Gundam F91, and Bernie Wiseman in Gundam 0080. Chun Li is played by Yokoyama Chisa who is also famous for Sasami in Tenchi, and Sakura in Sakura Taisen. And believe me, seiyuu buffs maybe don’t want to miss this one. Though you may like the Japanese voices better, the English voices, though not as big named as the Japanese cast, you have to give credit for doing their roles with accuracy to the personalities of their characters.
The music is also an awesome addicting trait this anime has. Unfortunately, the DVD set that I have released by Manga entertainment took out the Japanese themes which were in the subtitled VHS releases, but still keeps the weird Eastern esque techno songs which are pretty cool, but it also hurts what also defines anime by promoting great lyrical songs such as the opening theme Kaze Fuiteru, and Cry, the ending theme. Both songs are very energetic and inspirational and go along to those themes of the anime.
All I can say is, whether or you’re not you’re a Street Fighter fan, this is worth a shot. The story is a bit generic, but I still call it short being cliché. I mean, this starts out as a story about having fun, facing reality, conquering your fear, discovering yourself, and saving the world. But even though I describe the nature with negative labels, I feel I can describe this in a positive way that it does flow one step at a time, and the characters, at least the good guys, have excellent development, though it’s what you expect in martial arts media in addition to great action.
When I first heard about this anime, I was highly skeptical about it. Although the idea of an anime based on Street Fighter was exciting to me, I had serious doubts as to whether it would be worth watching. Furthermore, when I learned that the anime was in English, it further deterred me from watching it. During my anime watching experience, I have always despised the thought of dubbed shows because IMHO it loses a lot of character originating from the Japanese language (subbed). Anyway, for weeks the title SF2V was persistently sitting at the back of my mind until I finally decided to watch
the first episode. To my amazement, I was shocked to learn that all my preconceptions of this anime were wrong. Now don't get me wrong, I am not saying that this is one of the best anime ever because it is not. But, it certainly exceeded my expectations and I must admit that I enjoyed watching this show till the very end.
The premise of this anime revolves around Ryu and Ken's characters, who are 17 year olds btw. While training in Japan, Ryu receives a letter from Ken containing a plane ticket for the US, some money and the words "come to America" written in the letter. After giving it some brief thought, he decides to visit Ken. Upon arriving in the states, he is happy to have met ken after years and he is overwhelmed by Ken's luxurious lifestyle (yes, ken is very rich as expected). From this point onwards, the infamous duo get up to a lot of mischief, leading to major fist fights in a bar where they are confronted with a strong rival (I will not state the name of the character because it will spoil it for you). The conclusion of the fight motivates them to travel the world in pursuit of highly skilled warriors so that they can put their skills to the test in order to find out who the strongest fighter in the world is. The overall story has a nice flow to it and I am sure you will enjoy it.
To my amazement, the art was quite good. Please note that Ryu and Ken do not look like they do in the SF games so do not be disappointed when you find that their appearance is completely different. In my opinion, they were drawn very well and the fight scenes were nicely executed. The same applies to the rest of the characters.
I was expecting the anime to have music themes from the SF game, so I must say that this was quite a big disappointment for me :( Even so, the sound effects were good enough for the show but I think they could have easily included the original themes from the game which IMO would have improved the sound aspects of the anime considerably and would have probably received more of a fan base.
OK, first of all the chemistry between all the characters were quite strong. It is easy to see for instance the brotherly relationship between Ryu and Ken, so this was one of the strong points in terms of their characters. However, some of the dialog was quite corny and out of place at times but this is not a big deal. Also, for all you SF fans out there who are yet to watch this show, these are the characters that star in the show (other than Ryu and ken). Chun-Li, Guile, Balrog, Dhalsim, Cammy, Vega, Furlong, Nash aka Charlie, Sagat, M-Bison. If I have missed out any characters, then accept my apologies. Akuma does appear in the show but only as cameos so be warned that he does NOT have an active role in the show.
I found this anime to be fairly enjoyable. The story, character development, chemistry, fight scenes together with the overall presence to the show makes this a worthwhile watch. Overall, I score this anime 7/10. I must confess that I score quite strictly so a 7/10 for me may perhaps be an 8 for you. I am not sure but regardless of my score, I suggest that you watch this one especially if you are a SF fan. It is definitely worth a watch.
Time again to look at a nostalgic "classic" of the past. Street Fighter 2: the anime, had everyone in the 1990s absolutely PSYCHED! After the laughably bad American movie and an even worse American cartoon adaptation on the USA channel, Street Fighter was finally going to get the masterful adaptation it deserved and bring our favorite characters to the small screen.
Unfortunately, Street Fighter 2V really dropped the ball in my opinion. I had already seen Street Fighter get two butchered adaptations, so I really wanted this version to actually stay true to the story of the games and the personality of the characters. It
isn't like Street Fighter was a literary masterpiece, but if you want to change everything about the plot and characters, then why bother adapting Street Fighter? Why not just make your own series with your own characters? Ryu is always dead serious in the games and never smiles...not....once! In the anime they turned Ryu into a Goku clone who is absolutely giddy that he gets to fight the next strong opponent and beat him up. Bison was always portrayed as a military mastermind who was like a mix between Napoleon and a 3rd world dictator with super powers. Yet in the anime, he takes his orders from a magical statue! Bison don't take shit from anyone! They turned Street Fighter into the Jacky Chan cartoon! It only gets worse. Instead of Vega and Sagat being Bison's 2 henchmen, the anime copied the American movie and made Zangief Bison's main minion. Why is this a problem? EVERY LINE Gief says is Russia this and Russia that. He is a diehard patriot that even invites Gorbachev to his victory if you beat the game as him. Why would he work for Shadowloo, who is at war with Russia? Zangief is stupid as shit, but he is NOT supposed to be evil, let alone a traitor to his country! They completely murdered his character! They try to pass Guile off as a legit badass with no tongue in cheek or comments about "taking care of your family". What is worse, he doesn't do the sonic boom. Not once. That's like the ONLY move he has! Yet the anime wanted to create a bullshit rule in which only Ryu and Bison can use Ki attacks. What the fuck? At least they didn't make Balrog a computer hacker who types while wearing boxing gloves for no reason. I guess 2V is still slightly less silly than the American cartoon. However, in retrospect at least the US toon was so stupid it's funny. Street Fighter 2V is mostly just boring.
So you think you know bad 90s anime art right? You've seen recycled animations, lazy use of still shots and key frames with a ridiculously low number of frames per second. You may not have seen animation quite as lazy as Street Fighter 2V. I mean this shit actually stands out as notably bad by even the low standards of 90s anime OVAs. At least the 2V movie looked awesome. It wasn't a good movie by any means, but the animation looked spectacular!
If you grew up playing Street Fighter as a kid, or if you are younger and are simply curious about cheesy, old anime, you owe it to yourself to watch a few episodes of this show. At least you might get a few laughs. I'm still going to give it a fairly generous score because I REALLY liked the Street Fighter games and this was still amusing for me despite its...flaws. Street Fighter 2V gets a 5 out of 10.
Ahhh, "Street Fighter II V"... this brings back memories! I watched this series (dubbed) in my ignorant youth when anime, to me, was all about badassery and hot blooded action. Needless to say, I really enjoyed this series: it had "Street Fighter II" connections, and the action seemed uber cool, making most western cartoon seem tame in comparison. Despite being vaguely aware of the corny-ness of the dub and the atrocious amount of reused animation, it was everything that anime meant to me at the time.
Now, this trip down memory lane might seem out of place in a review, but (in addition to being
self indulgent,) there's actually a point buried within my ramblings: while I now look back and acknowledge that this probably isn't a great anime, it's tricky for me to judge it properly through the rose tinted veil of nostalgia. So with that in mind, time to move on to the meat of the review.
"Street Fighter II V", unlike "Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie", is not a faithful adaptation to the storyline established in the games. In fact, it takes an approach not too dis-similar to that other "Street Fighter" movie, you know, that awful live action one featuring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie Minogue. No, I don't mean that "Street Fighter II V" features Jean-Claude Van Damme (not as far as I know anyway). Nor Kylie Minogue. The two are similar in their treatment of Ryu and Ken - in both they're portrayed as a couple of brats running around causing trouble. Unlike that Van Damme movie though, the two of them (and not Guile) are still the main characters, and the series follows them on their journey to become stronger fighters, and gradually maturing in the process.
Being a purist at heart, I wasn't initally keen on the story deviating so far from the one in the game, but I warmed to it - it ends up as a more sophisticated story than the original, which was only intended to be an excuse to have a brawl. The show's treatment of Street Fighter side characters is also a pleasant break from tradition: instead of just throwing them in cameo scenes, they get a lot more focus and are properly worked into the main story, giving them a greater sense of depth. The roles of these characters deviate somewhat from the original but not without certain similarities: here, Sagat is a former Muay Thai champ wrongfully imprisoned after refusing to cooperate with a crime syndicate; Cammy is a former MI6 agent turned mercenary assassin; Akuma is... well, he still only appears in cameos. Presumably, they couldn't find a role badass enough to suit a guy with flaming red hair and glowing, demonic red eyes. Most of the role alterations in "Street Fighter II V" work out pretty well, but inevitably there are some stinkers - Balrog's pretty damn lame, for one... he can't even fight!
Character design wise, there are some puzzling changes - why does Ken have ginger hair, for example - and overall it's a bit of a mixed bag. Ryu and Ken aren't particularly interesting, but at least they get some development. Chun Li is annoyingly like a typical anime school girl, and Bison's psychotic personality is criminally over done - he must have spent over an hour of screen time doing his villainous laugh (which also creases his face up like a hundred year old coffin dodger) and another hour strangling people (to the point where I wanted to strange HIM). He features more towards the later part of the series, and as you probably guessed from my description just now, his scenes kinda dragged.
The problem isn't just with him though - while "Street Figher II V" was never what anyone would call fast paced, it slows down terribly towards the end. The episodes are filled up mostly by the characters dicking around, such as Bison laughing, Ken having recurring nightmares, Bison laughing some more, etc. The amount of reused animation and general meandering completely kills off any tension the anime is trying to build up in the climax. It seems likely that by then, the series was desperately trying to stretch its shoe string budget and the over extended story to cover the whole 29 episodes... god knows why they needed so many when the material could barely cover 20.
Some of the fights themselves can be quite good when they're not being prolonged/recycled too much. There are some thrilling moments and the anime makes good use of tricks such as colour inversion to heighten the drama of the fights. One major complaint I have is that the special moves from the games are used sparingly, some of them not at all, and some of the ones that are used are toned down to give the fights a more down to earth feel. It's all very good watching Ryu and Ken learning their hadoukens and dragon punches and whatnot, but the problem is, when you're watching an anime based off a fighting game and you don't see the characters pulling off their signature moves with a certain amount of regularlity, then something feels severely lacking. Perhaps this makes "Street Figher II V" more accessible to those who unfamiliar with the game, but it's a bit of a let down to those who are. After all, why else would I be watching this show? For the story??
It's hard to judge the audio department of "Street Fighter II V" fairly because I watched it in dub and the dub is very cheesey. Though it's possible that the original Japanese performances are better, at least some of the cheesiness is contributed by terrible script. In terms of music, the series has a few nice tracks, the most memorable of which is often played when Ryu is gathering up his hadou (some sort of spirit energy) - you know it's good when it can make these half hour training sessions tolerable. For the most part, the background music is handled well, though there were some very dodgy tracks that stuck out.
"Street Fighter II V" tries to find middle ground between satisfying fans of the game and those who know very little about it, and ends up not doing too well at either. But hey, though it has its share of problems, at least it doesn't suck sh*t like the Van Damme movie. Though I guess that's not saying much...
Martial arts are an expression of power, showcasing the potential of the human body when pushed to its physical limit. It also makes for exciting anime, and allows animators and directors to showcase their prowess as things get heated.