A Japanese animated television movie, Art of Fighting (バトルスピリッツ 龍虎の拳, Battle Spirits Ryūko no Ken?), was created and directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi and produced by NAS. It was the third animated co-production between SNK and NAS, following Fatal Fury: … see full wiki
Ryo Sakazaki and Robert Garcia are two martial artist, who witness a murder while trying to catch a stray cat. Their intention is to turn it in for a cash reward. They are later blamed for stealing a diamond, and in retaliation Ryo's sister Yuri is kidnapped. Ryo and Robert have to come up with the diamond before Yuri is killed by notorious gangster Mr. Big, who is seeking to make a trade. -summary
Video game to anime, especially fighting based has never really been anything above average. Usually, these types of movies will mostly appeal to fans of the franchise, and give nothing to the non fans. But could it actually be possible to create a video game to anime that appeals to absolutely no one? Well, after watching Art of Fighting, the answer is yes. Surprisingly, it does have a cult following, but only for mocking reasons. However, I wouldn't recommend it even for that. I've seen my fair share of train wrecks, and I can say without any doubt, that Art of Fighting is the worst anime I have ever seen.
Directed by Hiroshi Fukutomi, Art of Fighting is based on the Neo Geo fighting game of the same name. It was one of the arcade fighters competing with Street Fighter II for arcade supremacy, and with the exception of the anime featuring the characters of the game. The movie has absolutely nothing to do with the game at all.
When watching an anime based on a video game. I don't think it's very important to follow the source material to the very last detail. Especially, when the video game doesn't have a great story to begin with. But there's one key element that should never be neglected and it's characterization. In regards to fighting games, there will always be a character with at least a handful of fans. Therefore, fans will be looking for someone specific.
I have to beat on the characterization. The two heroes come off as total dimwits, and I couldn't find a single reason to care about them. They had no charisma, they weren't funny, there was nothing cool about them at all. There also isn't a single interesting villain either. Everyone is completely one dimensional, very corny, and just plain boring.
When these types of movies are released, fans want to see their favorite characters going at it with special moves included. Something Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and even Fatal Fury 2 did a pretty good job at. Art of Fighting doesn't even deliver there. The battles are completely unimaginative with the poorest choreography I have seen in an anime since Voogie's Angel, and the characters don't pull off any of their special moves, which is a no-no on the highest level. That's like watching a XXX porno with no sex.
I doubt anyone is expecting high art when coming into a martial arts anime, especially, when it's based on a game. But the plot really doesn't have anything going for it besides a few non entertaining fights, with incredibly bad dialogue to boot, and I'm almost lost for words when trying to describe the horrendous production values. Art of Fighting isn't even good to look at. The animation is choppy and very poor on its delivery. The artwork and character designs are also just as bad, despite the characters being somewhat faithful to their video game counterparts. Except for Ryo, who for some reason is sporting black hair instead of blond. Fatal Fury which is also a Neo Geo release turned anime makes a similar mistake, but it's nowhere near as awful as this on any level.
The soundtrack is non engaging and uninspiring, with bad voice acting to top it off. The movie is seriously bad on every level one can think of, and good grief that ending. Ryo uses a diving board to leap about 30 feet into the air in order to pursue an escaping helicopter, which explodes for a reason I still haven't caught.
Art of Fighting accomplished the impossible by doing everything wrong. Unlike other really bad anime titles that could have been a lot worst, Art of Fighting really couldn't be any worst. I do not recommend this to anyone. I still do not think I'm qualified to put together a top 10 best or worst list, because there's still more things I need to see, but I'm definitely sure this will still be sitting comfortably at number 1 on the worst, since its still been there after 12 years.
Whenever I get through a very bad anime, I always say to myself, "well it's not Art of Fighting". This golden turkey is a 46 minute long waste of time. Give this a try if you love to waste money and time, or love to search for some type of enjoyment in very bad movies. Me, I'll just try to forget its very existence, but the alcohol has been failing.
-What kind of animal is that?
-They are in very large supply here
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