The Street Fighter Animes are among some of my favorite animated films. Street Fighter Alpha is an adaption based on the video game and like most of the anime ‘Street Fighter’ films, is completely unrelated the events of any of the others.
This movie centers around Ryu when he and Ken head back to their old dojo and he discovers he has a younger brother. Ryu’s younger brother Shun reveals a little bit of information about his mother and her recent passing. The two get to know each other and form a bond.
Meanwhile Chun Li is doing her investigation thing after witnessing Ryu’s superhuman fighting ability on the street. Another young girl who was also there, Sakara, is also looking for Ryu and everyone seems to land quite nicely in a tournament being held in Japan.
Ryu is spotted as Ken and Shun decide they want to enter the tournament. But Ryu intervenes when Shun is defeated by Zangief, who is about to inflict some serious damage to Ryu’s younger bro. From there things escalate as Ryu is forced into using his ‘Dark Hadou’, a mysterious power, to win the fight.
From there they encounter a cyborg (?), that is incredibly skilled at fighting, once again Ryu is forced to use his Dark Hadou to stop it, but it’s not long before things escalate and Shun is kidnapped. Ryu, Ken and Chun Li decide they must rescue him. But Ryu must do something else before they head off, he must face Akuma – a man from his Dojo’s past who is completely consumed by the rage and power of the Dark Hadou.
Some internal struggle?
This movie is different from the first animated film as it actually shows a bit of Ryu’s character as he must battle temptation to use the Dark Hadou. With an unlimited power that consumes the person who uses it, anyone possessing it’s power can become obsessed with fighting and pride, turning on anyone around them.
With people out there trying to assilimate the power of street fighters and the Dark Hadou, it’s more important than ever that Ryu doesn’t use it, so he can stop it’s power from falling into the hands of evil men. This struggle between taking the power against walking the honest and true path is quite difficult and gives us something very interesting to watch in the character of Ryu.
The rest of the story is pretty stanadard though, as this movie revolves more around the power of the Hadou and Ryu ‘s struggle. Meanwhile Ken seems to hang around and say the odd thing or two whilst fighting off a few extra guys caught up in the whole mess.
It’s a different film to the first in just about everyway.
The Animation and Martial Arts
The style of the drawing and animation is simpler and less detailed than the first, creating a cool and different visual style. This carries over to the action as it seems more ‘animationy’ and a lot of the martial arts technique is gone – resorting to bigger movements more suitable for cartoons.
The fights are animated in a more lively and colorful fashion though, with some movements being presented with speed while others are slowed down to show off the power of the fighter’s move. Most of the action revolves around the magic and energy effects the Dark Hadou creates when Ryu finally gives in (several times) and uses in his fights.
It’s a fun anime but for me carries less cred in the action as I really enjoyed the animated fights of the first Street Fighter II movie.
Overall a cool anime and true to the spirit and style of the Street Fighter franchise, but it just doesn’t have the martial arts value to rank high in the ‘Martial Arts’ movie list. But if you’re a fan of Street Fighter or anime, check it out for sure!
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Street Fighter Alpha – The Movie
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Street Fighter Alpha – The Movie [DVD]
Region 4 (Australia, New Zealand, etc)
Street Fighter Alpha the Movie