Street Fighter II: Animated Movie Still One of the Greatest Movie Adaptations Ever

Ryu SF
Photo: Toei . Company

If you like cartoons, chances are you can remember the first movie or TV show that got you hooked on the media; Your “gateway drug”, if you will. For some, it might be TV shows like Seven Dragon Balls or A pieceothers perhaps a specific movie like Ghost in the shell or Akira (actually, I had to actually go back to the memory archives to determine if Akira was the first for me; it was definitely too early in my life). However, for me, the earliest memory I have of watching anime is the incredible video game adaptation, Street Fighter II: Cartoonsreleased in 1994.

I admit that, I don’t like Street fighter series when I was a kid. In fact, it probably didn’t until Street Fighter III: 3rd Attack that I’m really starting to notice. However, I did dip in Street Fighter II’: Special Champion Edition on MegaDrive. I was really bad at that, of course, since I was still single at the time, but I really enjoyed playing as Ryu or Ken and just spamming ‘Hadoken’ non-stop (that’s still not enough). to win most of the time, be granted).

Cartoon SF II
Photo: Toei . Company

The cartoon manages to take each fighter from the game and make them look complete hegemony.

However, I think most people would probably agree by now that Street Fighter II – especially the earlier iterations – was a bit silly at times. Look at the characters in the fighter select screen now and compare them to how they look in later games like V street fighter and recently announced 6 . street fightersome of them look serious freak (and didn’t even get me started with bloody versions of the characters on screen after the game). It’s a pretty lighthearted game with limited scope for a compelling story, so you’d be forgiven for thinking that the movie adaptation would follow in its footsteps and be a bit silly in and of itself.

However, not completely. Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie manages to take every single fighter from the game and make them look complete hegemony. Whether it’s Ryu, M. Bison or Chun-Li, each character has their moment in the limelight. Heck, even purposeful goofy characters like E. Honda and Balrog are elevated by the film’s distinctive storytelling and animation. Standout scenes include the opening fight between Ryu and Sagat, the introduction of M. Bison against an awesome, terrifying soundtrack, and of course the brutal apartment fight between Chun-Li and Vega.

Dhalsim SF
Photo: Toei . Company

For those who don’t know, the narration is quite simple. It tells the story of a criminal organization known as ‘Shadowlaw’, led by M.Bison along with his minions Sagat, Balrog and Vega, who are looking for new fighters to join the cause. their goals and set their sights on the very adepts. Ryu warrior. Unable to locate Ryu, they kidnap and hypnotize Ken, who shares a deep history with Ryu and can match him in combat ability. Of course, along the way, we meet the entire cast of the game in various languages, including Fei Long, T. Hawk, Cammy, etc.

While the story is pretty simple, the real joy of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie lies in the smaller details. In the middle of the film, M. Bison sends his right-hand man Vega to “take care of” Chun-Li, and this leads to one of the most entertaining brawls ever brought to the screen.

It also lacks emotional weight; where some anime shows and movies are quite content with their characters seemingly not being severely beaten, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movies reminds us that its characters are human and quite vulnerable physically. When you see Chun-Li lying in the hospital with 90% of her body wrapped in bandages, you can’t help but think “damn, she really pain!”.

Bison SF
Photo: Toei . Company

[it] may not be as impactful as Akira and Ghost in the Shell, but it suits them perfectly in terms of sheer quality.

A special thanks must also be accompanied by the incredible soundtrack. I already mentioned the great music that plays in M. Bison’s intro, but this is just one of many moments in the movie that are dramatically enhanced from the original point. Not only that, it also makes great use of licensed music, with one particularly striking scene involving Ken driving with his wife and listening to music. Their bones by Alice in Chains. When the same song appears on the in-game radio, Grand Theft Auto san andreas a decade later, I immediately thought “oh hey, that’s the song from the movie Street Fighter!”.

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie may not be as influential as the aforementioned films like Akira and Ghost in the Shell, but for me, it completely rivals them in terms of sheer quality. It successfully elevates what is already an influential video game by giving its characters meaningful behind-the-scenes stories and great on-screen moments.

If you haven’t seen it before, the good news is that the entire series is available now on Youtube. It’s a great way to watch movies as it’s been lovingly upscaled to HD at a gamer-friendly 60 fps, but I’ll be rolling out the official 4K blu-ray soon.

Did you watch Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie when it was first released in the 90s? Does it still hold you? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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