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Street Fighter Alpha   |  

I'm having a hard time making up my mind about this anime. My brain tells me I should love it, but my sense of anime aesthetics doesn't quite agree. As much as I love the Street Fighter videogames, especially the Alpha series, I didn't enjoy this anime as much as I thought I would. First of all, the fighting sequences for this anime were very hyped, so I expected mind-numbing anime renditions of my favorite SF moves. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Very few of the coolest SF moves even made it into the movie. For the love of God, there was only one damned Shoryuken in the whole friggin' anime! The action scenes were mostly quite short, and the fighting displayed could easily be topped by any random episode of Dragon Ball Z. The worst thing about this anime was the fact that most of the characters got very little screen time. The plot revolved around only a few major characters, so the others either didn't appear or had only scant seconds on the movie. I nearly blew up when Guy finally appeared only to have him out of the movie without so much as an attack a few minutes later. Seriously, I could have held my breath for a longer time than most of the SFA characters were onscreen. I know they creators had time-restraints, but couldn't they have thrown us fans more than that?

After reading the former lines, you probably think I hate this anime. Actually, it has many redeeming qualities. First of all, the quality of the animation is superb. The few good moves that the characters pull off look quite nice. Another high point is that the character design is very true to the Alpha games. The characters look nearly identical to their videogame counterparts, a fact that impressed me greatly. I also thought the sense of humor was great. Sakura's spunkiness and Dan's usual getting-of-the-shaft proved quite hilarious.

SFA also features an original story, which I believe was actually written by Capcom. While not the deepest of plots, it is suprisingly good for an anime that would seem easy prey for the classic fighting-and-not-much-else storyline. Our hero (Ryu, of course) realizes that he holds inside himself the "Dark Hadou", the same powerful, but evil, force that consumed Akuma. Rose appears to Ryu in a series of visions to warn him of the dangers of using the Dark Hadou. Matters only get more complicated with the arrival of Shun, a small boy who claims to be Ryu's little brother. Rounding out this list of tribulations is Dr. Sadler, your classic mad-scientist type who wants the power of the Dark Hadou for himself. So he does the only logical thing, and hosts a street-fighting tournament so he can collect the battle data from all the contestants. The story, while quite hackneyed, moves along at a good pace and doesn't often leave you disinterested. All in all, an anime with many good qualities, but not the ones that count for a fighting game spin-off. If you are a hard-core fan of the games, you might check it out, but your money could be better spent elsewhere. I reluctantly and regrettably give this anime a paltry 6 out of 10. *snifffff*