"Ken Masters - the richest kid in America, and Ryu Hoshi- the country bumpkin from Japan, are best friends and martial arts experts. Reunited after many years apart, they've got a lot of catching up to do. Determined to improve their street-fighting abilities, the two set out to travel the world and get into as many fights as possible."
Director: Gisaburo Sugii Original story: Kenichi Imai Copyright: 1996 Capcom/Group TAC - Anume - Yomiuri Telecasting Corp. Label: ADV Films Language Format: English Language Director: Matt Greenfield Translation: Masako Arakawa, Chris Hutts Script: Matt Greenfield Volume no.: 1 2 3 4 Running time: 75 mins 70 mins 70 mins 70 mins Certificate: 12 12 (cut) 12 12 Catalogue no: VHSSF/001D VHSSF/002D VHSSF/003D VHSSF/004D Price: £12.99 £12.99 £12.99 £12.99 Release Date: 29th Mar 1999 2nd Aug 1999 6th Dec 1999 3rd April 2000 Volume no.: 5 6 7 8 Running time: 72 mins 72 mins 70 mins 90 mins Certificate: 15 15 12 15 Catalogue no: VHSSF/005D VHSSF/006D VHSSF/007D VHSSF/008D Price: £12.99 £12.99 £12.99 £12.99 Release Date: 7th Aug 2000 4th Dec 2000 2nd April 2001 6th Aug 2001
Ryu, a Japanese warrior, receives a letter from his old sparing partner Ken Masters, along with $1000 and an airline ticket to San Francisco. Upon arriving in the US, Ryu travels to Ken's huge home, which contains an exact replica of Ryu and Ken's old dojo from their training days in Japan. After a brief fight followed by dinner with Ken's parents, the pair head out for a night on the town. They end up in a barroom brawl with some stocky Air Force Personnel, who the pair have no trouble with. Until their commander, one Sergeant Guile turns up.....
Guile turns out to be one hell of a fighter, and makes short work of Ryu. However, when Guile sees Ryu's spirit and never-give-up-no-matter-how-bad-you're-hurt attitude, he stops fighting and leaves the bar. Waking up the next day in bed covered in bandages, Ryu seems dismayed by his defeat. Ken then travels to Guile's air force base with intention to challenge him to a fight also gets pasted by Guile after having dirt thrown in his face. While they are recuperating, they decide that the only way they can improve their fighting skills is to travel the world finding and fighting the best street fighters there are.
There first stop is Hong Kong, where they meet Chun Li, a 15 year old tour guide. They travel to a region of Hong Kong where street fighting contests are rumoured to take place. After Ryu soundly thrashes the reigning champion, the owner decides that they must not leave alive because they are outsiders. Ryu then has to face Sagat..
This is good fun. It's not likely to win any awards for being terribly original, but it is entertaining. It follows the same lines as the movie - switch off your brain, sit back and enjoy. You'll either love it or hate it, but if you thought the movie was great, then get this, as you're bound to enjoy it. The dubbing is quite good as well, with the dubbed voices fitting the characters quite well - ADV seem to be quite good at it, judging by this and Evangelion. My only complaint is the pronunciation of Ryu - here it is spoken as "Roo", when everyone who played the games knows it's Ryu. That minor bug aside, I like this, although I have doubts of where the series will go, if there will be any real plot structure. But for the time being that doesn't really matter. The animation is great, and it obviously has a large budget, with most of the action scenes being played out in full (except the Ken/Guile battle, which is cut out).
GRADE: B+ - Shallow but enjoyable - [Daniel Fawcett]