Director: Gisaburo Sugii
Rating: 4/10 So So…Plot. Worth seeing if you are fan of the Street Fighter Franchise.
International crime syndicate Shadoloo has been scouting out top fighters around the world, in order to turn them into soldiers for their quest for domination. One in particular Ryu, a Japanese martial arts master is of great interest and importance to them. Ryu is on his own journey to enlightenment. Guile, an American military captain, is recruited by Chun-Li to help find Ryu, and stop Shadoloo and their leader, M. Bison. Ken Masters (Ryu’s longtime friend and rival) is waiting for his reunion match between them. Shadoloo soon follows Ken closely because of his connection to Ryu. More fighters and more battles will erupt in this action packed story.
Back in the 1991, Street Fighter 2 hit arcades and revolutionized the fighting game genre. Arcades were filled to the brim with kids getting their game on, and “linnin’ up quarters for the ladder”, and “gettin’ down right fierce (yeah, that old quote was comin’ in here)”. So with that, Capcom decided to capitalize on its popularity and make a film out of it. Not talking the live action adaptation that was utter crap (A Belgian martial arts actor playing a staunch American soldier? Brain hurts!). We’re here to talk about the animated film done by Group TAC, a Japanese animation and CG studio that had a pretty good amount of work to their credit.
This movie had some slower pacing to it, especially between the fights and character introductions. The plot to this movie is very bare and has little to keep you going as a general story. Most of the movie consists of scenes of Ryu traveling the world and training stoically in the wilderness. In a movie based off of a fighting game, you need more characters to pick up the pace if the lead is that wooden of a personality. This is where things could have been livelier, but it’s ultimately still just so-so. Most of my satisfaction came from seeing so many of the characters from this title.
The great thing about this movie is that it has some of the best, fight scenes I’ve seen in animation. For this movie, the studio actually hired K-1 founder Kazoyushi Ishii and professional fighter Andy Hug to choreograph the fight scenes. The pacing of the fights, along with the choreography was much better, and much different than I’ve seen in any other fight based anime series since this release. The fights are visceral, fast and intricate. They include all the moves the characters do in the games, and are just as crazy as they would be in the game. There is an infamous scene with Chun-Li at her apartment, where she’s showering and after the fan service, she gets attacked by Vega. In my opinion, this is the best fight scene in the movie; one of my favorite fight scenes of all time. Both characters are highly acrobatic and agile. Vega armed with his claw tries to assault Chun-Li. But Chun-Li ain’t no helpless tramp! She does a couple o’ gangsta moves to mess his face up, and then promptly kick his ass.
While the story is not as strong, the movie immediately grabs your interest with its fight scenes. The highlight of these fight animations is the aforementioned Chun-Li vs. Vega match. This is the first Street Fighter adaptation that was animated well and still is light years better than the live action movie. Considered a classic and fan favorite among old school anime fans, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie is a must see for its interpretations of the game and the well animated fight sequences.
For those who haven’t seen this anime, you’re in for a treat! It is now available in the uncut, unedited and unrated edition which has all the original Japanese release footage, and some of the original sound track. So go out and watch some good fights.