Tag Archives: Fighter

Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture

Type: RISING TACKLE

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Synopsis: Basically, a pizza delivery boy, a ninja, a boxer, and a blonde guy help a mysterious girl fight the god of war.

Pros: Fatal Fury, the movie, is possibly the best film adaptation of a fighting game. Well, aside from the Tekken movie. And the Mortal Kombat movie had its moments. All rights, its like the third best fighting game movie adaptation. Having nothing to do with the actual game story line, this film has Terry Bogart, Andy Bogart, Joe, and Mai fighting non-descript bad guys. The movie does a good job at animating each character’s special moves, and even throws in some camoes from other characters in the game. It’s all pretty dumb, don’t get me wrong, but dumb in that fighting game way, which is pretty cool.

Cons: Oh my god, we get it. Mai is super hot. Do we need that much boob jiggle? Although, I guess that’s game accurate. If you take your attention away from Mai for a minute, which Andy seems to have mastered, you’ll notice blatant animation dips. It was the 90’s. The story is…the story. But the biggest problem with the film is that, unless you have a working familiarity with the Fatal Fury universe, you won’t get a lot of the movie. Why is Terry the main hero? Why is Joe tagging along? Why is Andy not having sex with Mai right now? No, seriously. The lady has the biggest case of blue balls imaginable. But you won’t get that unless you know about the game story line.

Watch it: Yes, but keep in mind that this was made for the fans

MVP: Terry

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POWER GAISA

Best Moment: The whole crew fighting against the bad guy at the end (BURNING!!)

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Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure

Type: Phantom Blood (ep01-09), Battle Tendencies (ep10-26)

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Synopsis: Part 1 stars an Englishman and his fight with his mean step-brother. Part 2 stars his grandson’s battles against old exhibitionists. I-I don’t know what so “bizzare” about it.

Pros: This anime is based on the extremely popular manga, Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure. The manga has like a billion chapters and has been running for 30 years. So why haven’t you heard about it? Well, it lacks some of the cross-promotional appeal for the big North American distributers. Plus, the author likes to name his characters after Musicians, which is legally tricky as well. Oh yeah, and it’s f#$ing nuts! A guy popped out of a horse body once, and that was only episode 4! That being said, this adaptation of Jojo is amazing. It perfectly captures the weird and awesomely glam aspects of the manga. The animation style and color pallet really made it seem like you were watching the manga come to life. The gimmick behind the franchise, and the reason why it’s lasted so long, is because the series follows succeeding members of the “Joestar” family. Part 1 (my favorite arc) follows the noble Jonathan Joestar and his rivalry with Dio Brandon, one of the best antagonists of the series, and a complete asshole. In fact, part 1 has the strongest first episodes I’ve seen for a series in a while, almost serving as a stand alone story. Part 2 follows Jonathan’s grandson Joseph, whose more cocky and clever (and my personal favorite Joestar, and the only Joestar to survive to old age).  This anime was partly done in honor of Jojo’s 25th anniversary, and sorta works as a prequel to the 90’s adaptation of Part 3, which is most fan’s favorite story arc. So it has some noltalgia points there. Honestly, this is an amazing adaptation of a legendary manga series.

Cons: While I loved the animation style used, some people may find it a bit blocky. Inspired by manga panels, a lot of shots use freeze frames and close-ups. This doesn’t always translate well. Ditto for the dialogue. There a points in fights, especially in ep. 10-26, where a characters will give exposition for a particular move used, explaining it’s purpose and strategy. “Joseph just did X because of Y!” This is fine for a manga, but in an anime, it’s better to just show, not tell. And while the franchise is know for it’s offbeat humor and unique characters and situations, it’s still a fight-fight shoen anime. So you still get the fight arc, the training arc, the rematch arc, etc.

Watch it?: You need to experience Jojo at least once (5/5)

MVP: Dio Brandon

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F@#$ING DIOOOOOOOOO

Best Episode: Ep. 1 “Dio the Invader” (it’s like Jane Austen, but with punching)

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Inuyasha: The Final Act

Type: MIASMA. ALWAYS WITH THE MIASMA.

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Synopsis: In the ancient time of 2006, the anime Inuyasha premiered their final episode in America. This unfinished tale of a middle school girl and her half-dog demon companion was forever banished to extremely early morning time slots, fit for angry loners and joyful stoners. Little did anyone know that for some reason, someone decided that Inuyasha of all things would be the one to be given a proper final season. Not Rurouni Kenshin, not Rave Master, not Bobobobobo. Inuyasha. Weird.

Pros: I have a particular relationship with Inuyasha because I happen to be awake when it aired its reruns early in the morning. So I happen to have seen all of the original series. I knew that, again for some reason, the show was given a proper final season. I only just got around to it, however, because I found a dubbed version. Overall, while a lot stays the same, e.g. random monsters of the week, convenient deus ex machinas, and an admittedly linear story line, I really liked The Final Act. Given only 26 episodes, the anime doesn’t have time to drag its feet with fight scenes or plot points. This thing moves, so much so, that I almost wish every Shoen anime was given such limited time. It make some story events feel more important, and I think it may have actually made me like the main characters more. Shesshomaru and Sango in particular. It also benefits from updated animation, making it look crisper and glossier. And while this isn’t the anime I would have done this for, its nice to see Inuyasha, Kagome, Sango, and Miroku get a deserved farewell.

Cons: Even though the anime fixes the biggest Shoen problem of streeeeeching its scenes, Inuyasha still has a lot of its original negatives. Their are still so many random demons, new characters, and bland story lines. Every story line basically boils down to: they gatta kill Noraku, Miasma, they can’t, Miasma, Inuyasha learns a new fight move, Miasma, he hurts Noraku, Miasma, oh no! Noraku still escapes, Miasma. Rinse and repeat and Miasma. However, I feel that the story is helped tremendously by its relatively short episode count, which forces certain important plot points to manifest about every 2-3 episodes, which helps to cover up some of the work’s trademark flaws. On a less objective topic, apparently, the a lot of the original cast was replace for this dub, so you purist might not dig that (though I couldn’t tell the difference). Also, and obviously, if you haven’t watched the original, you will have no flipping clue what the hell is happening in this thing.

Watch it?: If you saw Inuyasha, Miasma (4/5)

MVP: Naraku

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Spamming Miasma since 1996

Best Episode: Ep. 2 “Kagura’s Wind,” and Ep.24 “Naraku’s Uncertain Wish” (One for a sad death, the other for a verbal slap in the face, ouch!)

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Date A Live

Type: The Inter-Dimensional Dating Game!

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Synopsis: In a world where horrible space quakes destroy cities and ruin families, one man can make a difference. This man is Shido Itsuka, who has the unknown ability of having a kind of good face and adequate breath. With the aid of his manipulative sister and her band of dating masters, Shido will save the world…by creating a harem full of homicidal alien warriors.

Pros: I really dug the character work in this anime. No, not things like character interaction or dialogue. That stuff was generic anime stuff. The cool stuff was the character design and associated power set. Kurumi’s were particularly intense.  Each character felt dangerous, and their powers were cool. Even the little girl character had a crazy ice bunny thing. I also like the premise of a whole group of people advising a guy on what do say on a date. However, Iike the Pixar movie, this would work better if it was all in his head instead of in the sky.

Cons: I hated what happened to Tohka. She starts off as this mysterious silent character, but once she’s won over by the hero, she becomes a child. A child in a very curvy body. She only reverts when she’s pissed. The other love interests are a little girl, “non-blood” sister, and quiet girl with secret kink fantasies…so, yeah. The concept of assembling a harem of fighters through kisses isn’t new, but this anime does have great looking fights. I only wish the ending was better paced, because it just happens abruptly. Hope the second season is out.

Watch it:? Fairly fun (3/5)

MPV: Kotori Itsuka
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Sister or not, she still has cool looking powers

Best episode: Ep.3 “Sword That Splits the Sky” (momentary awesomeness)
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King of Fighters: Another Day

Type: Are you O-K?

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Synopsis: Back in the 90’s, there was a momentary fighting game boom thanks to the popularity of Street Fighter 2. One of the most well-made challengers was the King of Fighters series, which was really a combination of other less successful games released by the company SNK. The anime itself tries to highlight some of the most popular characters, to varying degrees.
Pros: I truly believe that out of all types of games, Fighting games are the most anime friendly (with RPGs coming an immediate second). After all, fighting games are just two well dressed people with short back stories fighting each other. This anime has some of that. We see May, and Terry, and Geese’s kid show up and fight a little. If each episode weren’t so short, I could imagine this being a regular anime.
Cons: While I believe fighters and anime work well together, it’s usually only the animes that are turned into fighters. For some reason, the reverse almost never works out. Maybe it’s because fighters have too many characters, and most central plots are dumb (let’s be real, Shadoloo is dumb). In KOF’s case, the anime will only appeal to hardcore KOF fans, because I had no idea who 99% of these people were. The story is nowhere, consisting mostly of character interactions, which again, only matters if you understand who they are to one another. Even then, the events are weak.
Watch it?: Even KOF fans will complain (2/5) 
MPV: Terry Bogart
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Hey, get serious!
Best episode: too short to remember
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Ninja Scroll

Type: The One You Were Too Young To Rent, But Saw Anyway

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Synopsis: So back in the 90’s, anime was still a relatively new thing in the States. With things like Speed Racer and Gundam being the only comparisons, many adults often made the mistake that “anime=for children.” So image your surprise when you walk into your local video store, your parents rent something called Ninja Scroll from the animation section, only to get home and watch a Japanese lord have sex with his concubine while a Kunoichi reports that all his ninja were slaughtered. Kids, be grateful you have the internet now.

Pros: From what I can gather, Ninja Scroll is one of the most famous anime movies in the west. In the same vain as Akira and Eva, its popularity can partly be attributed to the fact that it was actually released and dubbed for English speaking audiences during a time when anime was scarce. Thankfully, it  does live up to the hype. The movie is about a group of ninjas trying to get their hands on some gold, with our protagonists coming along mainly to kill people. This thing is a Hard-R, full of awesomely violent fight scenes, some nudity, and one sex scene. It’s nothing out of the ordinary for a modern movie, or some cable TV shows, but keep in mind that this was made in 1993.

Cons: If you somehow saw this back in the day thanks to the ignorance of the past…good for you? This thing is super violent and has one sexual assault (not rape, but close), so be cautious. The plot if fairly simple, being mostly about greed and revenge. I got a little confused about Kagero’s story line, because it seemed that in the beginning she resented being treated as a feudal woman, but in the end she falls in love with Jubei because, in her words, he treated her like a woman. Maybe she meant as an “equal” and it got lost in translation.

Watch it?: It’d give it a go

MVP: Jubei Kibagami

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Loosely based on an actual guy

Best Moment: The Last Fight (fire everywhere!)

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Hajime No Ippo: The Fighting!

Type: The Sweet Science

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Synopsis:  Ippo was nobody. But that don’t matter, you know? ‘Cause Ippo was thinkin’, it really don’t matter if he lost a fight. It really didn’t matter if that anime guy opens his head, either. ‘Cause all Ippo wanted do is go the distance. Nobody’s ever went the distance with a boxing show, and if Ippo could go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and Ippo’s still standin’, we’re all gonna know for the first time in our lives, see, that his show weren’t just another bum sport anime from the neighborhood.

Pros: I hate sports anime, but I didn’t hate Hajime No Ippo. I actually really enjoyed it. Ippo’s drive to be the best, the sacrifice he and other boxers make to follow their dreams, the psychology behind each fight in and out of the ring, the clearly corrupt calls, all of it. In a weird way, Hajime No Ippo both glamorizes and bluntly presented the sport of professional boxing. I think why this anime worked better for me than say The Prince of Tennis, is that boxing as a sport is very easy to romanticize. This is why movies like Rocky are more popular than Friday Night Lights and Coach Carter. Baseball stories are a close second, but probably only in America. You can really relate to the effort put into boxing because it mainly deals with one individual vs. another. Each of Ippo’s opponents have a backstory, even if it eventually boils down to trying to be the best. Ippo himself is very charming, as his meek persona outside the ring works well to balance his all-business attitude inside (he also appearently has huge genatelia that everyone makes fun of!). He kinda reminded me of Kenichi, Histories Strongest Desciple to be honest.

Cons: The story is fairly simple. Ippo has to learn a specific lesson or technique before a fight, he fights, then he wins and moves on to the next guy. Rise and repeat. The only variants are the character involved. Some of the fights also starts getting repetitive. Don’t get me wrong, this is probably the most intense cinematic boxing you’ll ever see, but that doesn’t mean they’re all masterpieces. What’s interesting about Ippo is that you get a shorthand introduction to the world of boxing, including the business side and economic and health reality for fighters. It’s actually pretty realistic at times, and Ippo himself ages from about 17 to 20, so it was neat to notice the subtle changes in him. I would have liked more scenes with his eventual love interest Kumi, but eh. To be honest, outside of the this being a boxing anime with repetitive story arcs, I can’t thing of any bad things about it (except maybe that his initial rivalry with Miyata goes nowhere).

Watch it?: If you like boxing stories, you’ll love Ippo (4/5)

MVP: Ippo Makunouchi

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Him vs Tomorrow Joe, who would win?

Best Episode: Ep. 66 “My Takamura’s Tears” (he fights a bear!)

 

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The SoulTaker

Type: I DON’T KNOW WHATS GOING ON

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Synopsis: Well, that’s a fib. I do have some idea of what’s going on. It’s not like I just use these things as background noise, ha,ha,ha….So, a long time ago, an alien from an extinct race arrives on the moon. He makes a deal with a doctor there to save his dying daughter in exchange for releasing a deadly virus that will create another alien by mutating the populous. This results in the doctor’s own grandchildren becoming aliens. Flash forwards 17 years later, where the doctor is desperately trying to kill the aliens he helped make, while his grandson tries to save the life of his twin sister who’s soul was split into fragments to protect her/stop her from killing all of humanity. Yeah, I don’t believe me either about the lying thing.

Pros: This show was very ambitious. Once you get to the end, you get a clear picture of what it was trying to do. Without spoiling much (except for the core twist up above), let just say it gets very Evangeliony. The plot involving searching for different aspects of a person’s identiy was pretty cool, and it’s got very stylized animation, something along the lines of Monogatari and Zetsubou Sensei. Angled framing, heavy shadows, liberal use of color, etc. I also liked the fact that most of the main characters’ motivation was trying to save someone they loved (which is kinda another spoiler when you think about it).

Cons: I’m still not sure what exactly happened in this anime. Something about aliens for sure, and mutants, and…ninjas? Ninjas showed up for some reason. I’m still not sure why. The thing about SoulTaker is that it’s kinda sloppy. It throws you into this weird world without properly establishing what it is. Are we in the future? Another world? The post apocalypse? Is everything science or magic, or both? We know that Kyosuke is looking for his twin sister Runa, and that her soul has been fragmented and is being hunted down. Ok, cool. A little creepy when the fragments hit on Kyosuke, but I can work around that. But then we add mutants, and aliens, and evil doctors, feuding organizations, and a bunch of other stuff that doesn’t make sense because I turned by head for two seconds. It was frankly a little exhausting to watch.

Watch it?: This does spin-off into a magical girl show (3/5)

MVP: Runa Tokisaka

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A pretty interesting villain, until she go too handsey with Kyosuke that is.

Best Episode: Ep. 11 “Demon on a Deserted Island” (the plot appears!)

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Elemental Gelade

Type: Why won’t anyone let these crazy kids be together!?

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Synopsis: A young sky pirate-in-training one day accidentally stumbles upon a legendary “Eldel Raid,” a specifically female race (because anime) that can transform into weapons. They’re mostly an exploited race (because patriarchy), and everyone really wants to exploit this super rare girl for their own purposes. In hindsight, they could have just asked her to join their side instead of trying to force her. It wouldn’t have been difficult. She barely woke up from years of sleep, so she was probably super impressionable. Ew, that sounded kinda gross. Double ew, pointing out how gross it was only made it more gross.

Pros: This is either a super good average anime, or an average super good anime. The animation is right at the middle, and the story is fairly predictable. But for the life of me, I couldn’t help but get invested in the story. Maybe the slight repetitiveness of key plot points did it. In almost every episode, Ren is nearly kidnapped, or Elder Raid is abused, or Cou bonds with Ren more. The constant hammering of the Elder Raid plight as second class citizens and the various situations that could manifest as also helped. Or maybe I just had a light-hearted adventure ich that needed scratching. Whatever the case, I found myself really rooting for Cou and Ren’s relationship to thrive, and was a little anxious when a potential problem occurred (like Ren nearly being kidnapped a lot). The show’s also pretty funny in that older anime style, with gags and off-comment ribbing that’s really been lost in recent years.

Cons: I watched this in a huge chunk, so my own opinions could have a bit of bias. The anime is very bye the books, meaning that if you have a good-ish handle on manga stories, you’ll know what will happen. As mentioned above, the animation is nothing to write home about, and neither is the action. And while the story does its best for explore the different relationships between humans and Elder Raids, from abusive partners to separated lovers, some of the story arcs drag on a bit. The last arc, for example, was six episodes. The show also never explained what where the Elder Raid come from, why they were only women, or why they can live for so long.

Watch it?: The last line was, “I wonder if we can breathe up there?” (4/5)

MVP: Cisqua

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Funny and based on a Darkstaker’s character

Best Episode: Ep. 8 “The Edel Hunter” (added depth to the story)

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Kurokami: The Animation

Type: BLACK GOD

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Synopsis: [Inhale] Thousands of years ago a group of mystical beings called the “Tera Guardians” and Humankind sealed away an evil god called the Masagami. As punishment, the god placed a curse on Humans called the Doppeliner System, which causes a person to die if he/she meets their doppleganger. The god also cursed the Terra Guardians by reincarnating a portion of itself in their royal bloodline, causing them to kill one member every generation. In order to stop all this and protect his sister from execution, Prince Renshin sets out to revive the god and finally kill it. This sets up the whole plot, and would have made a fuck ton more sense if it was explained right away instead of diddling itself for twelve episodes [exhale].

Pros: There’s something in this show. There’s a slight sliver of potential for something greater, but it never quiet reached it. For example, Keita was reluctant to join Kuro early on because it was dangerous, which is something not many protagonists do. I really found the Doppeliner System very intriguing, and a whole show could have been made around the idea that meeting your doppleganger causes your death. That’s why I found the few episodes of season 2 (ep.13-16) the most interesting. In fact, season 2, or the second half, of the show was far in a way better than season 1. There’s a time skip, friends became enemies, enemies became friends, twists occur, and the motivating factors for the plot were revealed. Kuro became a much more capable fighter in season 2, and the show as a whole seemed to have more energy. The credits even did this cool thing where it would update depending on who was the antagonist was at the time. It didn’t need to do that, but it did. There’s a fight in every episode, which can get a bit repetitive, and some characters aren’t full fleshed out, but the relationship that eventually develops between Kura and Keita hold it together.

Cons: The first half was bad, largely because Kuro and Keita didn’t contribute much in the final fight, and the Tera Guardians were boring. I could care less about the whole “Pure Land” story, which is sadly the main plot. I even willing to give it a pass in season 2, when the Terra Guardians were relegated to leftover antagonists after the defeat of Renshin in season 1. On that note, let’s talk about Renshin. In the show, he’s revealed to be a dark hero, someone who did evil things for a noble reason. Except, it didn’t make any sense why he kept his motivations secret or vague. Why didn’t he ever say “Hey Kuro, the clan was going to kill you because you’re the reincarnation of an evil god, but I talked to mom, and we decided that I’m going fight the evil god myself and free us and humanity from our curse fate. So to summarize: I’m good, clan’s evil, let’s have ramen.” Renshin’s motives were kept secretive for superficial dramatic purposes only, which is why it felt forced and nonsensical. I did, however, like his dumb rock song that played during his fights. Other than that, I felt that Kuro got beat up way too much in season 1, its kinda too violent in places, the the supporting characters were underwritten, and that the entire thing felt rushed. Since this is based on a manga, it’s safe to assume that the writers tried to pack in as much as they could in 23 episodes, which is why I think season 1 is generally lacking.

Watch it?: The second half is genuinely better (3/5)

MVP: Riona Kagure

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She should have had at least one episode to herself.

Best Episode: Ep. 13 “New World” (Time Skip!)

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