Tuesday, July 3, 2012

ANI-MOVIES, *Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie

While Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie set the standard as the pinnacle for fighting game-based anime, the crew at Capcom decided to do a completely new anime with no ties to the former. This was originally a 2-episode OVA series, but was later re-released as a single compilation movie. Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie(or The Animation)deals with a different take with Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li as they are introduced into new characters from the Alpha video games.

Ryu visits the grave of his sensei, Gouken, and Ken shows up too. They are then suprised to meet a young boy named Shun claiming to be Ryu’s long lost brother. Despite not taking a blood test, Ryu just up and accepts Shun as family, and starts training him in martial arts, even though he’s already had some experience. Ken then takes them to a Street Fighter tournament where they run into Chun-Li, an interpol agent looking for leads on the criminal orginization Shadowlaw, as well as her father. Ken is too late to enter the tournament, and ends up having to protect Ryu’s new secret stalker, the enthusiastic schoolgirl Sakura. Shun somehow gets accepted in though, and takes on the gigantic wrestler Zangief. Ryu intervenes, only to have a huge cyborg warrior show up. Ryu blows a hole in him, and begins to worry that he’s going down the same dark path as Akuma, the fighter who killed Gouken. Shun is taken by Shadowlaw, leaving Ryu to dispair even more. He plans to go after Shun, but only after he first confronts Akuma, because he believes that he might be his father. After that’s more-or-less disproven, Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li enter another Street Fighter tournament being held at a secret Shadolaw base in the middle of the desert. Instead of it being someone like Bison or Vega running this show, its a random mad scientist-type character Sadler as the main villain who has never appeared in the games. He’s using the time-honored cliche of analyzing the data of various fighters to create the “ultimate warrior”. Sadler hopes to get Ryu riled up enough that he’ll use the Dark Hadou, which is a version of the Hadokaen channeled by rage and anger. After using Shun’s body inside the shell of another cyborg, Ryu finally uses a Dark Hadou on it. This data transfers to an apparatus hooked up right into Sadler’s body which transforms him into a pumped up fighter. He and Ryu face off in one big Kamehameha showdown, which Ryu arises the victor. But Shun doesn’t survive, and reveals that he isn’t really Ryu’s brother. Ken goes back to fighting in garages, Chun-Li goes back to looking for her father, and Ryu gets into a match with Akuma, but only to have the traditional fighting movie ending with both fighters freezing in mid-air just before their about to get at it.

This was a very different animal from the previous Street Fighter anime, and focused more on that whole “why do they fight” theme used in too many fighter stories that have no plot to it. Plus, the whole concept of analyzing fighters’ data has been overused prior to this in anime like Battle Arena Toshinden, and then again in crappy adaptations like the D.O.A. live-action movie. The animation was considerably less realistic than in the original Street Fighter anime, as the characters had more disjointed features, and the fights were taken up to the Dragonball level. This was a fairly decent entry in the Street Fighter media library, certainly better than either of the live-action movies, although not without some serious faults. There was another OVA one-shot that acted as a pseudo-sequal to this titled Street Fighter Alpha: Generations where Ryu and Akuma(aka: Gouki)finally duke it out, although it doesn’t totally match up with this version as far as story is concerned.

No comments:

Post a Comment