Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

Animation Review

Since the original Street Fighter II came out almost twenty years ago so many editions of the game were made after. Strangely enough it would take six years afterwards for the third Street Fighter game to be released. With a series with a huge fanbase like Street Fighter it would come as no surprise that it has gone into other forms of media over the years.

An anime series, American cartoon, live-action film, a manga, and a Japanese animated movie have all been released since the franchise began. Despite the live action movie being atrocious, Manga’s re-release of the 1994 anime film shows why it was superior in every way. Todd Douglass Jr. said in his review, “It probably has more to do with the way in which the material is presented because after all when you’re depicting karate fighters who use energy bolts, hairy green monsters that produce electricity, and Bruce Lee clones you’re better off telling it in an animated form.” On top of that, this film is the only way you’re going to see Chun-Li’s naked shower scene in an official Capcom project.

The movie starts with Ryu (Kip Stellrecht) and Sagat (Peter Spellos) fighting in a field somewhere in the middle of a lightning storm. The two are throwing punches while someone is observing the fight and analyzing their fighting data. The fight ends abruptly right after Ryu gives Sagat the famous large scar on his chest and throws a Haddoken at him. Years after the fight Ryu is walking all over Asia looking for fights and ways to help people out. Douglass describes, “It’s kind of like a Caine from Kung Fu type of thing only without all of the Shaolin philosophy.”

An organization known as Shadowloo has risen and is constantly looking for Ryu to try and control his large strength in fights. In the meantime, however, Shadowloo, under the control of M. Bison, voiced by Tom Wyner, is looking all over for other fighters who have so much potential. His cyborg minions spy on so many fighters and get information on characters like Edmond Honda (Richard Epcar), Dhalsim (Michael Sorich), Ken (Eddie Frierson), and T. Hawk (Steve Blum). Because of the recent amount of activity by the syndicate government agents have been assigned to look into this.

Guile (Kirk Thornton) is the American soldier that is assigned to work with Chun-Li (Lia Sargent) from Chinese Interpol to find out what’s going on with Bison. They both have their own reasons for wanting to end Shadowloo, but their goal is the one thing they have in common. The two go deeper into the plot when it is seen that they are messing with Bison’s plans. Once that happens, Vega, voiced by Richard Cansino, shows up to fight Chun-Li after her shower in one of the best (and most emotional) fights in the film. Douglass said, “The action is over-the-top and brutal to the point that true Street Fighter aficionados will be salivating by the end.”

Douglass continued, “As the story moves forward and drags more characters from the game into it the fact that this is a show themed off of a videogame becomes more apparent. Personalities pop in and out just for the sake of showing up to appease their fans and to be frank it happens with an element of cheapness. The movie does do well by focusing mostly on Ryu, Ken, Guile, and Chun-Li, but the fact remains that the plot never goes in depth or breaks any new ground. Disappointingly it boils down to “Here’s a bad guy doing something bad. Now let’s send in the heroes to stop him!””

Douglass continued, “Graded as an anime motion picture Street Fighter II is by no means to be ranked on the echelon of Miyazaki’s masterpieces. It’s a straight forward action affair with a couple of characters worth getting familiar with and a story that is as simple as one, two, three.” For fans of the game franchise, this is a movie not to be missed and you’ll easily be satisfied by it.

As you would think, “Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie” is mainly for fans of Capcom’s game franchise. Douglass said, “The uninitiated will no really appreciate what’s going on here, even though it isn’t anything that cerebral. Come for the action, stay for the series, but don’t get too upset when you realize that the plot isn’t that involved. Having the uncut Japanese version is a nice thing to get our hands on, but since the disc is so barebones there’s almost no point to it. I enjoyed the film for what it was but was disappointed with the quality of the DVD.”

I guess everyone can agree that this movie is definitely a good video game adaptation, if not, the best of the genre. I had borrowed this movie from my cousin and I saw it so many times as a kid, and I still love it to this day. When you see it, you will see that this movie is how you truly bring a video game adaptation to film. Anime seems to be the only way to bring a video game adaptation to screen because live-action doesn’t really do it justice. Check it out if you’re a fan of the franchise because you will love it.

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