Ken and Ryu are no ordinary teenagers; through a friendly rivalry and a desire to master their fighting skills, both have become powerful martial artists. Power has its drawbacks, however, and when an evil syndicate known as Ashura sets its sights on them, they must grow even stronger and fight for their lives. Controlled by the dark and mysterious Bison, Ashura will stop at nothing to further Bison's sinister goals; but Ashura is just the tip of the iceberg...
The Adventure Begins
The Strongest Woman in the World
Getting to Guile
No Way Out
The Medium is the Message
Eye of the Beholder
The Hand That Feeds You
Keeping the Peace
Personally, I really liked the approach the staff did with this series by making Ken and Ryu teenagers. Putting them at that age gives better and more sensible opportunities for character development and sets things in a whole new perspective. OK, what I am going to say is a spoiler, but I need to mention it for multiple reasons, one of the reasons is to mention a negative and to inform those who are fans of those characters who want to see this series: T.Hawk, E. Honda, and Blanka are not in this series, and Akuma only has on screen cameos. So fans of those characters may find it disappointing. But I don’t see how they could fit at some points and it’s better to not have them, than have them and be useless which was a problem I had with Final Fantasy VII Advent Children which had many useless cast members. I also liked how the fights with Guile symbolized that Ken and Ryu only know what they have their training, and lack the reality combat experience Guile has on not just on the streets, but in the battlefield which defines that difference between them. And then, beomes a story of two young men trying to discover themselves goes on from there on how they must stop M. Bison, etc. But each thing is taken one step at a time to develop and connects very well. So because of the flow of the story and the liberties that was taken to open to new opportunities.Some of the character design has been changed and is not what you’re used to. Ryu tends to look more like Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue except without his jacket, and his trademark bandana is not at all present. But it’s not the bandana that defines the man, it’s the man that defines the bandana, but in place of the bandana, Ryu wears a rosary given to him by a girl who worked with him at the island. Ken’s design is faithful to the game design. Guile’s haircut isn’t really that exaggerated. Chun Li is really cute, but doesn’t have her hair buns. But even if they are changed, they are still recognizable and I feel that this adds it’s own dose of originality. Afterall, this is Street Fighter II V, it doesn’t have to be the game to be great sometimes. The Animated Movie already served that purpose. However, my main beef with the art is of course is how the guys look like they’re on as much steroids as a pro wrestler.The action is just superb. It’s nothing over the top by relying too much on the fireballs or other trademark moves, it’s pure raw martial arts high-octane action. Granted it’s not to the technical and dramatic level of the movie, but it does have it’s own sense of intensity and style that stands out. It’s really expressive in its own way and tells a story of what the fighters are fighting for, and how they’re struggling. The characters’ fighting styles are well represented in the series such as Guile’s experience, Ken and Ryu’s power and speed, and Chun Li’s agility. So fans will not be disappointed and those not familiar to Street Fighter will still be amazed regardless.This anime can be viewable in both Japanese and English. The English cast is very good. Ryu is portrayed as someone that is young, but yet mature and serious. Ken is portrayed as a guy who likes to mess around at times, and Guile sounds like a seasoned veteran. So the actors play their roles in a way that you expect to play them in. And naturally, I will know more and tend to favor the Japanese cast if you are at all familiar with my reviews. The Japanese cast, like the English cast, do their roles the way you expect them to do it. For seiyuu buffs, Ryu is played by Tsujitani Kouji, the voice of Miroku in Inuyasha, Seabook Arno from Gundam F91, and Bernie Wiseman in Gundam 0080. Chun Li is played by Yokoyama Chisa who is also famous for Sasami in Tenchi, and Sakura in Sakura Taisen. And believe me, seiyuu buffs maybe don’t want to miss this one. Though you may like the Japanese voices better, the English voices, though not as big named as the Japanese cast, you have to give credit for doing their roles with accuracy to the personalities of their characters.The music is also an awesome addicting trait this anime has. Unfortunately, the DVD set that I have released by Manga entertainment took out the Japanese themes which were in the subtitled VHS releases, but still keeps the weird Eastern esque techno songs which are pretty cool, but it also hurts what also defines anime by promoting great lyrical songs such as the opening theme Kaze Fuiteru, and Cry, the ending theme. Both songs are very energetic and inspirational and go along to those themes of the anime. All I can say is, whether or you’re not you’re a Street Fighter fan, this is worth a shot. The story is a bit generic, but I still call it short being cliché. I mean, this starts out as a story about having fun, facing reality, conquering your fear, discovering yourself, and saving the world. But even though I describe the nature with negative labels, I feel I can describe this in a positive way that it does flow one step at a time, and the characters, at least the good guys, have excellent development, though it’s what you expect in martial arts media in addition to great action
Looking for an exciting action packed, martial arts oriented anime? Look no further! SF II V really delivers in the action department. Fans of the Street Fighter series will definetely enjoy seeing the characters in awesome fight scenes. Story 7/10 The story to this anime revolves around Ken and Ryu's travels around the world looking for different styles of martial arts and new challenging opponents. Along the way they meet Chun-Li and become good friends with her and she joins them on some of their adventures. Their journey gets disrupted however when they become entangled with the underground crime organization Shadoloo. A fairly basic storyline but the anime does a good job adding interesting and exciting adventures for Ken and Ryu to go through. Animation 6.5/10 This show has some really good fight scenes to it. The downside is, a lot of those fight scenes show repeated actions during the fights. They definetely could've made the fights better if they added more scenes to the fights instead of repeating scenes. Despite that the show is still action-packed and the fight scenes are still enjoyable to watch. There are a lot of different characters that are involved in the fights and it makes each fight fun to watch. Sound 6/10 The sound definetely doesn't stand out too much, same opening and closing theme that is mediocre. The voice acting however was done quite well and was very enoyable. Characters 7/10 This show is filled with great characters! Ryu and Ken come across many different individuals in their travels and have interesting interactions with just about all of them. Ken and Ryu themselves go through personal growth as they realize there's more to martial arts than being able to defeat your opponent. Chun-Li was a particularly fun character in this series and adds a lot to the show when she's around. Overall 6.8/10 While nothing in this show particularly stands out, it is definetely an enjoyable series to watch with likeable characters that go through exciting adventures. This show does action really well and is definitely worth watching if you are a fan of Street Fighter series.
Street Fighter IV Storyline 7. As a kid, I used to play fighting games like Tekken, Street Fighter and Mortal Kombat all the time. It was therefore purely for nostalgia reasons that I decided to watch the Street Fighter Anime series. The story is appealing to kids and people who play(ed) the game. Ken and Ryu travel the world to improve their fighting skills. Along the way, they meet all sorts of fighters and often get into trouble, which they mostly resolve with their fists. Other than that there’s not much of a story in this series. It’s all about combat action, just like the game, so don’t watch this if you want a deep and innovative story. I give them kudos for not censoring the occasional kills and bloodshed in the series, although that also means they destroyed the Anime for the only audience that would’ve enjoyed it: children. Plot and pace 6. Street Fighter IV has 29 episodes. Some are mainly filler episodes to introduce characters. There was also half an episode that re-capped literally anything that happened throughout the series. Other than that, the pace is alright. I never really understood where this series wanted to go to up until the final episode. Cliffhangers 7. Shadowlaw (the evil organization led by Mr. Bison) doesn’t make any sense. First, they seem like an everyday gang with evil intentions that sells drugs all over the world. Then, they want to earn money by abducting Ken, whose father is one of the richest people in the world. After that, they’re like ‘f* this ransom, let’s just keep Ken and Ryu because of the mysterious powers they have and use them for Shadowlaws' evil purposes! A while after that, Mr. Bison doesn’t care anymore about that either and puts them face to face in combat, where one of them would most likely die. But wait, it’s not over yet! In the final showdown with Bison, he explains why he established Shadowlaw: it’s because the world is led by corrupt people and he wants to gain world domination to fix it. But what does that have to do with drugs, Mr. Bison? Or kidnapping people? Or hiring assassins? My brain exploded countless times in this series. But I forget about the cliffhangers, hehe… Yes, there are cliffhangers. Tadaaa! Satisfying ending 6. It’s alright, expectable, and certainly not memorable. There’s not much to say of it. Some questions remain unanswered, but since the Anime never exceeds the inadequate, you don’t really bother anymore at this point. Rewatchability 4. Once will be enough, thank you. I merely watched it because I liked the games. And even though I like action in series, I don’t like the surrealism in this one, nor did I like it they mixed up some of the characters (I will explain this at the characters point). Characters 3. If you know the story of Street Fighter and the backgrounds of the characters, you know they totally screwed all of them. For a start, Ken has RED hair instead of blonde, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. Other than that his character hasn’t been touched that much. He is rich like in the original story but he’s lost his arrogance. Ryu doesn’t have a dark past like he used to have (Originally, Sagat killed his master and he paid him back for that at the world tournament), but otherwise looks fine. Chun Li is a likeable character, but while her father is indeed the chief of the police force, she herself isn’t a part of it and he doesn’t get assassinated like in the original storyline. Vega is not a part of Shadowlaw, nor is Sagat who they even turned into a good guy. And the great Zangief who’s known to be a kind person, has become a braindead member of Shadowlaw in this series. Conversations 5. Usually the conversations don’t go any deeper than ‘Ken! Hold on!’ or ‘Chun-Li! Where are you?’ The one-liners are plainly annoying. There’s no added value towards the fights. Art Style 6. The art style looks dated, but you can’t blame them for that since it’s an Anime from the mid-nineties. Setting 9. They travel around the world, so not one place looks the same. One of the better parts of the series. Music and sounds 6. The English voice acting was pretty bad. The screams, the groaning,... the voice of Mr. Bison and some of his subordinates were dull and unfitting. The intro song is decent, fits the series, and the sound effects are alright. Overall score 59/100
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