Two martial artist named Ryu and Ken return to pay respects to their master Gouken, who was killed in a fight by a man named Akuma. Soon, Ryu begins to experience changes within himself, and realizes that he's being taken over by the "Dark Hado". This is the evil chi that appears and consumes the user of their martial art, turning them into a demon that will forever fight until they're killed by someone stronger. Later, Ryu is payed a visit by a boy named Shun, who claims to be his brother, and he also uses the dark art. Ryu tries to battle against the evil. However, should he fail and is taken over, Ryu wants Ken to be the one to put him out of his misery.-summary
Street Fighter Alpha is based on the 1995 video game of the same name. The film features most of the cast from the game, and even squeezes in at least four characters from the video game sequel. The film is rumored to be the sequel to the Street Fighter V series. In all honesty, I do not see the connection any where. There is just no possible way this could be the sequel or prequel to anything. If for some strange reason it is, then it creates nothing but continuity issues. I simply look at this movie as a stand alone and nothing more. Casual fans can come into this and quickly understand what's going on. However, this movie was clearly meant for the fans of the video game, and even a majority of them has trashed this one over the years.
The Street Fighter franchise has went down hill since the original animated movie. Now make no mistake, the original was no work of art, and I would never consider it to be very good anime or god forbid great anime. But at least there was one area where it shined, and it happened to be in the fights. That film contained the best action scenes in the Street Fighter animated franchise. Unfortunately, the action scenes are only one of the many issues with this film, as they don't even begin to compare with the weakest scenes from the original film.
The action scenes can be halfway decent when they want to. But too many fights consist of either unseen action or two seconds of displaying a move. The fight scenes never exercise the animation to its full ability, which results in nothing more than just mediocre action meant to kill time. I wasn't the least bit impressed, or entertained at all during this movie. There are small occasions when the animation is pretty fluid delivering decent choreography. However, these scenes are few and far between. The artwork is very passable, and the characters perfectly resemble their video game counter parts.
The plot has a few decent moments that will mainly mean something only to fans who have followed the game. It revolves around the mystery of the "Dark Hado", and pushes a possible confrontation between Ryu and Akuma. The movie contains the usual, and most obvious martial art theme, which is one seeking to become stronger. But I found the drama to be completely non engaging, because I found the characters to be boring.
Now speaking of the characters, most of the beginning spends time building the relationship between Ryu and Shun. This happens to be the hardest part of the movie to get through. Shun is a detestable character in everything that he does, and his repetitive dialogue grows annoying very quick. I really hated Shun, and not too many people were fond of him from what I remember.
The biggest problem that I've known fans to have with this film, happens to be the lead villain. The main characters; Ryu, Ken, and Chun-Li battle against a man who does not appear in the game. Although I can forgive if a video game to anime ignores the source material. The villain should at least be interesting. The villain by the name of Dr. Sadler comes off as just another stock bad guy who wants to rule the world, and is unconvincing at trying to obtain his goal. Been there, done that.
Street Fighter Alpha isn't the worst video game to film that I've seen. It's not even close actually. But it's nowhere near a good anime, and I highly recommend skipping it if you're not a fan of the franchise. If you are a fan, then I recommend setting your expectations very low. The movie has a 90 minute runtime.
-Decent artwork and animation
-Just plain boring
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