Tuesday, April 24, 2001

Street Fighter Zero The Movie

Genre: Action / Martial Arts
Parental Guidance Recommended
Credits: 1999 CAPCOM. Shigeyasu Yamauchi (director). Madhouse Studios.


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Cover Description:
A black cloud hangs over Ken and Ryu's reunion. Brought together by the mysterious death of their master, the two warriors must overcome a challenge unlike any they've faced before.

Increasingly disturbed by the dark energies building within him, Ryu is unexpectedly confronted with the appearance of Shun - a boy claiming to be the long-lost brother he never knew. Soon, signs of their common lineage are revealed as Shun enters a martial arts competition and manifests the same fearsome Dark Hadou. But before Ryu has the chance to consider whether Shun's timely appearance might be more than coincidental, agents of the insidious Shadowlaw organization kidnap the boy.

To recover the child, Ryu must undertake the ultimate journey of self-discovery and learn to control the power threatening to consume him. But with this confidence waning, will he have what it takes to confront Akuma - the vicious lord of the Dark Hadou himself?

Those scenes really look like they hurt!>>> by firesenshi (09.08.2001)
But really I expected that much from an anime based on a fighting game. Believe me... once you see Chun Li held up by her legs and breaking her bones, I think we both screamed as one in pain. And speaking of Chun Li, why are they always focusing on her legs, or her boobs, or her torso during the eyecatch scenes? And why are her eyebrows pointing upwards?

Actually, the art has been spectacular so far. There has been finer detail in the drawing of the muscles and costumes. Not better than SF II V though.

But if anything else, the story has been better than Streetfighter 2 the Movie which is simply a clear-cut division of good vs. evil and a villain with a goal of world domination. In this movie, the actual problem was introduced since the titles were shown and we are given a very good background of Ryu, his skills and origin along with the introduction of the mysterious Gouki (Akuma in the North American release). Pretty good story and development for an anime based on a 'fighting' game since creators are usually focused on showing detail in technique in the fight scenes than the story.

Moving on, the fight scenes themselves were executed very well. A lot of characters like Birdie and Dhalsim appeared in the film. I actually love the appearance of Sakura. She was very cute and how she became the Sakura that we all recognize in the video games is revealed here! The best part? Ahh... to tell you even the name of the attack would be a spoiler. But to tell you one thing, Ryu kicks major butt here! That is a must-see.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 8; Characters 8; Sounds 8

Untitled...>>> by Shunichi Sakurai (04.24.2001)
It’s an OAV based from the characters of Capcom’s popular fighting game franchise. Wandering brawler Ryu is shaken by an inexplicably strong fighting energy called the Wave of Killing Rage (Satsu no Hadou) and finds himself being drawn into it. He is both allured by its strength and frightened at the repercussions the energy can wreak. Along with the arrival of Shun, a little boy who claims to be Ryu’s long lost brother, and Rose, a mysterious psychic fortuneteller, Ryu is caught unaware by a megalomaniacal doctor who wants to harness the fearsome Satsu no Hadou’s power for his own…

I am a self-confessed Street Fighter nut and I really wanted to give Street Fighter Zero a higher score. The SF games have convoluted back stories, unlike SNK’s rival King of Fighters franchise, so I appreciate Capcom’s anime titles hoping to shed light on the games.

As far as the story goes, however, SF Zero is strictly about Ryu, Shun, Gouki and the Satsu no Hadou, so anyone looking for a definitive SF adventure involving all the characters will be disappointed. Look to the Street Fighter II V series instead. Many of the game’s characters appear as window dressing, just to give it some atmosphere. This one should be treated more as a gaiden (side story) than real SF history.

It’s not to say that I don’t like this OAV; the slick animation is top-notch and is faithful to the styling of the SF Zero/Alpha series. The voices speak of high production values and Capcom sure did a good job with this one. The story is a little contrived and weak for casual viewers and SF non-fans (all the fuss is primarily about one move) and this is the primary reason why I don’t like it as much as I want to. I suggest you watch this to satisfy a craving for good fighting action and not to take this too seriously—that way you won’t end up too disappointed. Great effort though.

There are fierce arguments over Street Fighter and King of Fighters in terms of which one is the better game, but Street Fighter definitely has the better anime titles over SNK’s various franchises.

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