Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

The Animoo

Street Fighter II - The Animated MovieRyu (no last name) managed to beat Sagat, a world champion fighter, in the final fight of the first World Warrior tournament. Ever since that time, Ryu wandered the globe in hopes of perfecting his skills as a fighter, unaware of the evil intents of the Dictator, who had been trying to track him down ever since that fight for the purpose of using him as a weapon. In the meantime, US Air Force officer Lt. Commander Guile and Interpol agent Chun-Li, two people brought together by fate and a shared hatred for the Dictator (on a very personal level) search for the stronghold of the Shadaloo, the Dictator’s organization.

After various unsuccessful attempts to track down Ryu, the Dictator learns of another fighter, Ken Masters, who uses the same fighting style and techniques that Ryu had used in the battle against Sagat. Acknowledging a possible connection, the Dictator kidnaps Ken and brainwashes him in an attempt to get his hands on Ryu. Just as Ryu is told the news of Ken’s kidnapping and subesquent brainwash, Ken himself arrives and battle between the Shadeloo and Ryu, Guile, and Honda ensues. But will Ryu be able to reach his best friend who has been brainwashed into becoming a killing machine or is it already too late..?

The Boring Info

The anime is about 98 minutes long and is based on the game Super Street Fighter II Turbo and every character from the game i featured.
It is also called “Street Fighter II: The Movie“, which leads to a bit of confusion, I suppose…
The two versions of the animation, Japanese and American, have their own soundtracks, so the music differs greatly in the Japanese compared to the American version.
The first five or so minutes, where Ryu is fighting Sagat, is from the final boss fight in the very first Street Fighter game.

The Characters

In snack-sized bits
Ryu – The main protagonist, a stoic, wandering warrior. Unlike most stories where the main character is always running away from someone or something, or searching for someone or something, Ryu basically just “is”, he takes things as they come, and people are the ones searching for him. He has no “beef” with the main antagonist of the movie, and has in fact never even met him prior to battle at the end, which I suppose makes him an odd main character… He has immense power potential though, which is why he is chased by the Dictator. He is seen performing the Hadouken, Shouryuuken, and Tetsumaki Senpuu Kyaku.

Ken Masters – Ryu’s friend and rival during their training together. During their sparring sessions, Ken always felt like Ryu was never giving it his all, and to this day still seeks a one-on-one battle with Ryu without any “pulled punches”. Since his training, he returned to America where he made quite the name for himself as a street fighter and later on became the U.S. Martial Arts Champion. At a point in the story, he becomes brainwashed, which for some reason alters the color of his skin, hair, and eyes (they darken), a character design that would later be used in the games for “Violent Ken”. Ken is seen performing the Hadouken and Shouryuuken.

Guile – An officer in the United States Air Force. He has a grudge against the Dictator, who was responsible for the death of one of Guile’s friends (Charlie in the US, Nash in Japan, though he isn’t named in the anime). He is (according to Chun-Li) ordered to work along side Chun-Li in bringing the Dictator down, but his need for revenge make him turn his back on her. It is not until he learns of Chun-Li’s motives that he comes to understand and care for her. Guile is seen performing his trademark Sonic Boom, as well as a Somersault Kick (though he doesn’t say its name and seems to be “powered down”)

Chun-Li – Chun-Li is an interpol agent hell-bent on bringing down the Dictator, who killed her father long ago. She tries to enlist the help of Guile, but despite being ordered to help her, he says that the Dictator is his to bring down, and his alone. It isn’t until she reveals her motive; revenge for the death of her father by the hands of the Dictator that Guile begins to warm up to her, as he has gone through a similar experience. She performs her signature Hyaku Retsu Kyaku move against Claw.

Dictator – The Dictator (M. Bison in the US, Vega in Jap) is the main bastard of the movie and leader of the worldwide criminal syndicate, Shadaloo/Shadowloo/Shadowlaw/etc. (I wish Capcom could make up their minds…). He seeks the ultimate fighter (Ryu) so that he may turn him into a puppet using his Psycho Power and thus further increase the powers of his organization. Even without using his power, he shows great fighting prowess.

The rest – Several of the other fighters were only shown for roughly 1-4 minutes each, during a fight where they displayed one or more special moves, a special characteristic, or both (please note that I have never played the game “for real”, so if I miss an attack or name it wrong, please correct me in a comment, and yes, I do feel stupid for not using the Japanese names…). In the order they appear in:

  • Sagat was shown fighting Ryu and gaining his infamous scar. He uses the attack called “Tiger Knee“, I think. He appears throughout the anime, but he doesn’t really do anything, beyond the fight in the beginning.
  • Cammy was shown as a “terrorist”. I have no idea if that throw of hers is from the game, but her “characteristic” was that she had been brainwashed. She also wears the red cape with hood seen in one of her intro-animations.
  • Boxer” (M.Bison in Japan, Balrog in the US). I… honestly don’t know. He appears throughout the anime, and even fights E. Honda, but I don’t think there was anything special about him. He does do his headbutt throw though. Because of his freaky eyes in the anime, I liked to call him Bubba…
  • Claw” (Balrog in Japan, Vega in the US) is also shown throughout the anime. He fights Chun-Li in her apartment at a point, showing his maniacal behavior based on extreme narcissism when Chun-Li bruises his face. He also displays his incredible speed and flexibility during their fight and does a roll to a sliding kick.
  • Fei Long appears shortly in a fight with Ryu, as well as a few minutes before and after. He performs a Rising Flaming Foot which connects, but then eats Ryu’s Hurricane Kick.
  • T. Hawk has a short-lived fight against Ken. I don’t know if there’s any special characteristic.
  • Akuma (far left) makes a minor non-speaking, non-moving cameo.
  • E. Honda appears fighting Dhalsim, and befriends Ryu after the fight is over. Later on, he fights Boxer. During his fight with Dhalsim he performs his Hundred Hand Slap attack (I guess…) as well as his win animation mid-fight.
  • Dhalsim appears only during his fight with E. Honda, during which he performs his Yoga Spear. He also levitates while in a lotus position (win animation?) and extends his limbs to attack, though not to the same extreme degree as in the games.
  • Dee Jay only appears when he is being warned about being marked by the Shadaloo. A few seconds earlier, he is seen beating up some rockers, while moving to the rhythm of music (according to the sign, his own recordings).
  • Zangief appears in a high-roller hotel as part of the entertainment. He fights Blanka and during their fight, performs the Spinning Piledriver. The way he enters the fight is the same as on of his pre-fight animations (removing a red cape)
  • Blanka briefly appears in his fight with Zangief, in which he performs his Roll Attack and Electric Shock attack.

The Opinion

I must say, I was friggin’ surprised. I honestly thought this was going to suck as bad as Street Fighter Alpha: Generations, or even worse, as bad as Tekken: The Motion Picture. Another thing that made me think it would be like Tekken was that there’s a shower scene with Chun-Li, much like there was one with Anna Williams.

Anywho, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a dual audio version of the anime, so that I could compare them. Obviously, the Jap version was better than the US version by far, but the US version was not completely without charm. Ryu yelling “nnnnDAAAAAH!!” in the US version, instead of “HADOUKEN!!!”, was a big minus though, and the pronunciation of Japanese names of characters/techniques was horrible… I will however give the American writers/translators credit for switching the names of Vega, Balrog, and M. Bison to fit how they are named in the American games, it’s a minor detail but an important one, so thumbs up for that.

Among the things I liked about the anime was that every character from the game was in it, for any period of time, and during their screen time showed at least one of their special moves or characteristics. While not really a fan of the SF series, I believe fans of characters, that are considered minor in the canonical story, would be somewhat pleased to see the trademark moves of their favorite SFII character.

When it comes to soundtrack, the Japanese one was once again far superior, in my opinion. The US version had a lot of grunge/alternative music, and I seem to recall some of them being big-hitter names in that genre, like KoЯn and Alice in Chains. However, more often than not, the music ruined the atmosphere of the anime and was poorly added over, meaning that the dialogs were sometimes hard to make out because the music was too loud. The Japanese version had more success with having the music emphasize the atmosphere, without being over the top. And the song that plays during Chun-Li’s fight with Claw is BRILLIANT (“Cry” by Big Life).

Anywho, in conclusion, it’s a good anime and probably one of the few that can still be enjoyed when viewing the American dub along with it’s soundtrack (though I by far still prefer the Japanese dub and soundtrack). The story isn’t “all that”, but it isn’t bad either, and if nothing else, watch it to see your favorite SFII character in a fight. Oh, and as a final tid-bit, for all you people who still say that Ryu would win in a fight between Ryu and Son Goku, give it up. I’m no Dragonball fan, but I do know my mathematics, and Ryu’s power level just isn’t OVER NINE-THOUSAAAAAAAAAND!!!!! I’d just wish they’d join forces instead of fight each other so that the could create the ultimate beam attack; Kamehamehadouken!

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