Monday, April 28, 2003

Fatal Fury OAV 1: Legend of Hungry Wolves

Genre: Martial Arts
Parental Guidance Recommended
1992 Viz Videos and Capcom

Fatal Fury DVDs
Fatal Fury Video Game
Fatal Fury Music
Everything Fatal Fury

Cover Description:
When their father is brutally murdered, Terry Bogard and his silver-haired brother Andy devote their very lives to bareknuckled street fighting techniques to avenge his death! But even after ten years of training, can they defeat their father's murderer...the fearsome crime lord Geese Howard?

Just the start of something cool... >>> by TypicalIdiotFan

I admit I first got into Fatal Fury by watching the second OAV episode, which is probably the better of the two. However, you have to start here because this episode sets the table for the rest of the Fatal Fury story and, to a lesser extent, allows you to get some of the inside jokes in the Fatal Fury video games.

Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolves is, of course, based on the video game of the same name. For those who haven't played it, during the time that Street Fighter 2 was all the rage, there was this upstart company called SNK who decided they could make a better fighting game. They were right. Fatal Fury played better, had more original and fun characters, had a greater variance of techniques, and most importantly, had a storyline. That storyline has been trasnfered to animation through the work of the director, Masami Obari.

Those of you who dont know Obari, you proably should. He's done quite a few anime out there and has one of the most distinctive art-direction character design sets in all of anime. The male characters tend to look lean, but beefy, and sexy. The female characters also look strong, sexy, and most importantly, bouncy. Some of Obari's other works include Voogie's Angel and Virus, both of which also demonstrate his unique artstyle.

This show, honestly, isn't much to write home about. It really tries to do way too much in 45 minutes. There is a lot to tell however, and I can totally understand how it got crunched. The basic idea revolves around the Big Three in the SNK video game -- Terry Bogard and his brother Andy Bogard, and their friend, Joe Higashi. As a starting point to a series, the show goes through how Terry and Andy's father was brutally murdered before their eyes by Geese Howard, a powerful man who wants the ultimate techniques of the Hakkyoukuseiken style for himself. Flash forward 10 years, and the two Bogards have grown into powerful fighters in their own rights. They then proceed to lead a campaign of revenge for their father's murder.

No spoilers, but I want to focus on a certain character of Fatal Fury 1 that will be important for the next two episodes. In the first episode here, they introduce us to a character named Lily, who, for all intents and purposes, is one of Geese's "women", though its not actually explained in what fashion. Lily's purpose here though, is not only to serve a a love interest to Terry, but also as a tragic heroine who gets a bit of redemption by the end. As a child, she was used by Geese to murder Jeff Bogard. Terry knows this but despite all that, comes to love this woman because deep in their hearts they know they're both the same. Because of the events that occur, Lily becomes a focusing point for Terry's emotions, which helps him later in his struggle against Geese.

Lily then becomes a reoccuring character in a way, especially in Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture when Terry has a crisis of conscience that really does hit home. But that's for another time.

I suppose I can't get away without mentioning the fight scenes. This IS an anime based on a fighting game after all! Obari really doesn't disappoint either. The fight scenes are generally crisp and quick, but fluid and satisfying. Fans of the game will be giddy to see that everybody gets to use their special attacks here and they look cool!

When it comes down to it, Fatal Fury is really kind of a manly anime. Big tough strong men kicking the crap out of each other and somewhere along the way forming a stable storyline that would spawn two more incarnations. Fatal Fury is recommended solo, but you really should watch it in conjunction with the other two anime to really get the feel of what the Lone Wolf is all about.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 8; Story 10; Characters 10; Sounds 9

No comments:

Post a Comment

Copyright 1997 - 2010. The Kraiders Otaku Fridge. All content, except screenshots, belong to the webmaster.