Ryu, the current Street Fighter champion, must overcome the power of the "Dark Hadou" which consumed Akuma, the brother of his sensei, Gouken. Plus, he deals with the unexpected arrival of Shun, a young boy who proclaims to be his long-lost brother.
"Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation" came a lot later than "Street Fighter II: The Movie", and it's not a patch on it. (Just to confirm: I'm talking about the animated movie, not that goddam awful live action one starring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie Minogue...) The visuals aren't as good, nor is the production, nor anything else for that matter. The action is not that great - half the time it's hard to tell what's going on, and the other half of the time they're charging up fireballs. In fact they spend so much time charging up fireballs that that the anime feels hollow and
seriously lacking in substance. There is one thing that's good about the fighting though - the bone crunching blows has a sickening, brutal quality to it when they land, helped along by a dark and twisted atmosphere that's prevalent within the anime. In fact that heavy atmosphere is probably the one thing about the movie that stood out for me.
Content wise, Ryu's struggle with the dark hadou is mildly interesting, as is his brother appearing. These concepts might have been put to better use if the anime wasn't too busy dragging its feet and doing, well, doing nothing really. When the characters aren't wasting time charging fireballs, the anime generally takes on an air of contemplation. But what are they contemplating? Well, turns out this is yet another one of those crappy fighting anime which spend the length of the show asking that "all important question": why do we fight. By the end of it, they come to the laughable conclusion: to find the answer!!! Or something stupid along those lines. Wow that was worth the wait. Such talent is surely wasted in street fighting - these guys should have become philosophers instead!
Ultimately, "Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation" feels sluggish and forgettable. Though it's not quite as worthless as some of the other fighting game to anime conversions floating about ("Fatal Fury" and especially "Tekken" jumps to mind), it's quite a way away from hitting the standards set by "Street Fighter II: The Movie" (the animated one, not that goddam awful live action one staring Jean-Claude Van Damme and Kylie Minogue).
Now I’m not an avid Street Fighter fan, but I have played through about 60% of the games and know the characters and the compelling back stories. So before I watched this I had high hopes, just thinking about what a Hadōken would look like in an anime format was a fabulous thought. Unfortunately this isn't the awesome SF film i expected. It feels like it made was for fans so it misses the mark in terms of capitalizing on the game material they have to work with, but overall the film is a good watch if not a very interesting one.
The story is pretty
straightforward and easy to understand, Ryu is trying to overcome the evil force inside of him that consumed Akuma (the brother of his sensei) and this force is known as the "Dark Hadou". While Ryu tries to deal with these problems that are affecting his life, another unexpected aspect comes into play in the shape of a boy called Shun who claims to be Ryu’s brother. Ken happens to catch up with Ryu joins him on his journey to help overcome is powers, Chun-Li happens to be sorting through a police investigation that happens to tie into a fighting competition and Sakura after chasing after Ryu after seeing him fight for the first time comes into play and all of them happened to become interlocked by the fighting tournament with their own reasons for entering.
It is a story that holds up well enough for it to be considered true Street Fighter canon material with most of the characters involved feeling right, Ryu is still a lone warrior with great fighting skill, Ken is Ryu’s friend and training partner who fights in numerous tournaments, Chun-Li is also fighter, working with the police with a smart and calm attitude and Sakura is an energetic young fighter with unpolished skills who idolizes Ryu. Enemies like Gouki (Akuma), Dan, Zangief and Vega do what they do with creditable performances, however the main antagonist really didn’t do it for me, he just seemed like a power-hungry fool who got his fifteen minutes of fame and then was dispatched with. I feel they should have gotten a more interesting villain as this guy didn’t have the proper personality to properly be an antagonist worthy of the SF series. Also the fact that Ryu had a brother is just nonsense to me and it breaks the image of Ryu as a lone wolf searching for answers to his powers which he may never know of.
When it come to the art and animation we see that the film is very stylized for better or for worse depending on your preferences, some characters and signature attacks look good while others look like they could have been better. The art style for the characters looks good works well, but a fair amount of the characters look too musclar and bulky and the art also makes certain people look beefier and heavier in movement then they are in the actual games. There is also the point of the energy-based attacks that didn’t look as impressive as they could have with most of them being ball-shaped with no defining features and being one main colour which really disappointed me. But then maybe that’s just me being picky.
Now I know that in an adaptation of anything nothing is going to fully be spot on, but with an anime film you have the chance to show off things that games can’t do, you have to wow the viewer. The film felt like it was almost there but could of had more style, there are some pretty good fight scenes and some painful blows dealt to characters that shows that there was care put into the film, but at other points the film forgets choreography and battle sequences, the game material and gives you something that could have looked a lot better. When it comes to audio it’s pretty good, the soundtrack is nice and the having watched it in subbed and dubbed formats I’d say they both work.
I conclusion this is a film that was created truly for Street Fighter fans, it’s based off of the games and for what it’s worth it does what it can fairly well, but unfortunately it comes up short in not delivering the full anime experience it deserves. Style and art design play a big part in carrying the film along and it is worth a watch whether you’re a fan of the Street Fighter series or if you are person who likes action, fighting and story that works and is rather enjoyable.
Street Fighter Alpha is based on the 1995 video game of the same name. The film features most of the cast from the game, and even squeezes in at least four characters from the video game sequel. The film is rumored to be the sequel to the Street Fighter V series. In all honesty, I do not see the connection any where. There is just no possible way this could be the sequel or prequel to anything. If for some strange reason it is, then it creates nothing but continuity issues. I simply look at this movie as a stand alone and nothing more. Casual
fans can come into this and quickly understand what's going on. However, this movie was clearly meant for the fans of the video game, and even a majority of them has trashed this one over the years.
The Street Fighter franchise has went down hill since the original animated movie. Now make no mistake, the original was no work of art, and I would never consider it to be very good anime or god forbid great anime; but at least there was one area where it shined, and it happened to be in the fights. That film contained the best action scenes in the Street Fighter animated franchise. Unfortunately, the action scenes are only one of the many issues with this film, as they don't even begin to compare with the weakest scenes from the original film.
The action scenes can be halfway decent when they want to, but too many fights consist of either unseen action or two seconds of displaying a move. The fight scenes never exercise the animation to its full ability, which results in nothing more than just mediocre action meant to kill time. I wasn't the least bit impressed or entertained at all during this movie. There are small occasions when the animation is pretty fluid delivering decent choreography. However, these scenes are few and far between. The artwork is very passable, and the characters perfectly resemble their video game counter parts.
The plot has a few decent moments that will mainly mean something only to fans who have followed the game. It revolves around the mystery of the "Dark Hado", and pushes a possible confrontation between Ryu and Akuma. The movie contains the usual, and most obvious martial art theme, which is one seeking to become stronger, but I found the drama to be completely non engaging because I found the characters to be boring.
Now speaking of the characters, most of the beginning spends time building the relationship between Ryu and Shun. This happens to be the hardest part of the movie to get through. Shun is a detestable character in everything that he does, and his repetitive dialogue grows annoying very quick. I really hated Shun, and not too many people were fond of him from what I remember.
The biggest problem that I've known fans to have with this anime happens to be the lead villain. The main characters: Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li battle against a man who does not appear in the game. Although I can forgive if a video game to anime ignores the source material. The villain should at least be interesting. The villain by the name of Dr. Sadler comes off as just another stock bad guy who wants to rule the world, and is unconvincing at trying to obtain his goal. Been there, done that.
Street Fighter Alpha isn't the worst video game to film that I've seen. It's not even close actually, but it's nowhere near a good anime, and I highly recommend skipping it if you're not a fan of the franchise. If you are a fan, then I recommend setting your expectations very low.
High: Decent artwork and animation
Lows: Boring plot, boring fights, insipid villain, just plain boring
Ugh. Have you even SEEN this thing? It's f'ing terrible. Ryu looks like The Hulk wearing a headband. It's embarrassing!
They hype up a battle that never happens (Akuma) and there aren't even some of the most well-liked characters from the game in the movie at all. It's like a shitty version of Dragon Ball Z.
The main focus is Chun Li's crotch. This should have been an OVA in the series, not a feature length film. Those 90 minutes totally overstayed their welcome (refer again to the Chun Li comment).
It's poor. The only thing that
gives it any credit is the title and the art, for its time. Not saying it's mind-blowing for 1999, but it was the common style.
The script, if you even want to call it that, >.> is abysmal.
Maybe it was just a poor translation from Japanese to English, although it doesn't really change the storyline, make you suffer through lame jokes, awkward conversations, and terrible voice acting that sounds like it was recorded through a tin cup
That's all I have to say, I think I just gave that more space in my head than I'd ever like to.
They said the PS4 is going to be over $400. Ain't nobody got time for that.