"At last the long awaited event of the year is here. Of all the spin-offs that are inevitably generated by a successful product (from duvet cov- ers to base ball caps) THIS is the one that's caused the most buzz. Forget Van Damme, forget Kylie- that was Hollywood muscling in on Capcom's pie. Amusing though it was it's not a patch on the live-wire, all-action spectacular that is- STREET FIGHTER II: THE ANIMATED MOVIE."
"Since the games inception way back in '87 the popularity of Street Fighter has gone from strength to strength to become one of the biggest selling games in the world. It's use of joystick and buttons and those well 'ard attack moves caused a sensation amongst gamers and with the appearance of the improved SF II and Super SF versions, with better graphics and new characters, the experience went into orbit. All those new characters make an appearance in the anime, even if for a few moments, as director Gisaburou Sugii took on the task of bringing the spirit of SF to glorious animated life."
"In this version of the SF Universe we have a world that is plagued by a sinister organisation called Shadaloo (also known as Shadowlaw) which is devoted to drug smuggling, arms dealing, assassination and generally being unpleasant to put it mildly. This organisation is headed up by the sneering bad guy we all love to hate the one, the only- M. Bison. He's cooked up a nasty plan whereby he kidnaps the best fighters and brainwashes them into becoming assassins. He is aided and abetted by the the nimble 'don't touch my face' Vega, the bee-stinging (fly like a butterfly....geddit.) Balrog, Sagat and an army of nutty scientists and cyborgs. Well enough is enough and lined up for the good guys are of course our Ken, Ryu, Guile and Chun Li."
"The quality of the animation is fabulous with some excellent background painting and the participants moves and costumes are true to the original arcade inspiration. There's a new soundtrack being recorded by Manga and the Fight scenes, as you'd expect, are stunning. The producers even hired martial arts experts to help choreograph them. The main bouts in the Film are Ryu vs Sagat, Ryu vs Fei Long, Honda vs Dhalsim, Blanka vs Zangief and Chun Li vs Vega, but the rest do a get a look in you can be sure of that."
This is from the official press release:
"The film was premiered in Japanese. cinemas last autumn, provoking enormous word-of-mouth anticipation among western fans. Street Fighter II is the most talked-about 'anime' - the Japanese term for animated films - on the Internet and Manga has been inundated with enquiries about the video's British release."
"Street Fighter II - The Animated Movie has been produced by two Japanese companies, Capcom and Sony Music Entertainment - the former is responsible for the classic Street Fighter video game on which the movie is based. Over three million copies of the series have been sold in Europe."
"The film, directed by Gisaburo Sugii and produced by Kenichi Imai. is set in a not so distant future when civilisation is under attack. Leading the forces of darkness is the evil mastermind, Bison, who is determined to capture the minds and bodies of the world's greatest fighters for use in his manic plan to conquer the world."
"The only two people on Earth with the powers to stop Bison are two legendary martial arts warriors, Ken and Ryu. Together, they face the fight to end all fights: the final battle of good against evil. Full length, fully animated and full-on street fighting action... this video is no game."
Director: Gisaburou Sugii Screenplay: Kenichi Imai & Gisaburo Sugii Character Design: Shuko Murase Animation: Group TAC Copyright: CAPCOM VHS version: Language: English Label: Manga Video Running time: 98 mins Certificate: 15 Catalogue no: MANV 2000 Price: £12.99 Release Date: 2nd October 1995 DVD version: Language: English with optional Danish, English, Finnish, Norwegian, Portuguese or Swedish subtitles Label: Manga Video Running time: 98 mins Certificate: 15 Catalogue no: MANG 2004 Price: £17.99 Release Date: 29th October 2001
It comes as no surprise to discover that this film has no plot to speak of at all, but this is hardly surprising really, given that it's based on a video game. Instead we get a series of gorgeously animated fight scenes interspersed with the odd bit of character development and running around to get the next fight scene.
All sixteen characters from the game appear in the film (including the hidden character), but only Ryu, Ken, Chun Li, Guile and Vega get more than cameos. Experienced gamers can also have fun keeping track of all the special moves as they are used - only the more absurd ones are left out. There's even a shower scene to keep the anime traditionalists happy.
The original Japanese sound track has been completely removed - English dubbing is by Animaze, and the music is a compilation of industrial rock tracks by various bands (Alice in Chains, Korn, KMFDM etc.) - all excellently done.
So... what do I think of it? Well if you like fight scenes, then this is without doubt the film for you, the more literary minded among you may be bored to tears. The recent Hollywood imitation starring Jean Claude Van Damme made two fatal mistakes (i) it was a PG, and (ii) it took itself seriously. Happily, both errors have not been made here. Those of you prepared to leave your brain at the door are in for a treat. [Jonathan Weeks]
Sea Wasp: This was from a video game. It had as much plot as a lot of non-vidgame derived anime: bad guy doing bad things, good guy needs to stop bad guy, bad guy and good guy fight at the end. Good enough plot for me. Sure, it wasn't Honneamise, but that much plot most shows couldn't handle anyway. I mean, honestly: are you going to go to see Street Fighter II, knowing it's derived from a beat-'em- up video game, and actually expect anything deep and meaningful? I'd hope not. You're going to it to see the characters use the wierd funky powers the game shows them having and watch lots of butts getting kicked. SFII delivers on those scores. Carl Horn: Street Fighter II is a video game where the goal is to hand out critical beat downs--therefore *anything* above that level is a "bonus" when it comes to the movie. Hey, I give it four stars. I don't care that they shove the entire cast in--I think it's cool. Raymond Chitolie: Anyone expecting the Street Fighter anime to be anything more than a good excuse to have each character pummel the bejeebers out of one another may have been sorely dissapointed. I've played the game, avoided the supposedly dire movie, and patiently waited for the anime to reach UK shores. Not having easy access to fan-subbed material, I made did with the official dub, and quite liked it. The tape quality wasn't exceptional, but it did have good audio, which I understand had been completely redone upon reaching western shores. The fight sequences were what I liked most about SF2, sod the plot, where was that going anyway! If its a little bit of a story your after, may I humbly recommend "Ninja Scroll" to those who have yet to see it?