Street Fighter II V Vol. #4 (of 4) (Mania.com)

Review Date: Friday, March 29, 2002
Release Date: Tuesday, March 27, 2001



What They Say
Ken has regained consciousness, but it won't do him much good. His only hope is to attempt to focus his ki..but how can he? Meanwhile, Guile and Nash are staking out Vega's island from the sea...

Contains
Episode 22: Rising Dragon, Into the Sky
Episode 23: The Icy Light of their Eyes
Episode 24: Nightmare Reunion
Episode 25: Fight to the Finish (Round One)
Episode 26: Fight to the Finish (Round Two)
Episode 27: Fight to the Finish (Round Three)
Episode 28: Fight to the Finish (Round Four)
Episode 29: Fight to the Finish (Final Round)

The Review!
Overall Rating: 3.7
(on a scale of 1-5)

-Technical Ratings-
Sound: 5
Picture: 5
Menu: 4
Presentation: 4
Goodies: 3
Overall: 4.2

-Content Ratings-
Animation: 3
Sound: 4
Plot: 2
English Acting: 3
Music: 2
Entertainment: 2
Overall:

-Intro-

The final disc of the Streetfigher saga brings it all to a close. And yet leaves it all open for a sequel. But unfortunately it bogs itself down with those darned flashbacks and long power-up scenes. If I wanted to watch someone power-up for an entire episode, I would have watched Dragonball Z! Anyway, this series, which started out pretty good, spirals out of control here.

-Technical Review-

All the technical scores stay the same. The sound and picture looked pretty clean to me. There was some incidence of the video looking a bit jittery, but I think that had more to do with the master than anything else. The menu was above average, it looked great and worked quickly and smoothly. You get motion and sound. The keepcase will grab the attention of any Street Fighter fan. It’s got all the essential info except for region coding and the length of the disc (it does say that it contains 8 half hour episodes, so you can do the math). As for goodies, you get the opening theme remix done over a still screen. Since I wasn’t crazy about the theme I wasn’t too thrilled. When you come down to it, it’s a solid disc.

-Content Review-

Things go pretty much as expected in this disc. You know a huge final fight between our heroes and Bison has to come. You know all the loose ends have to be wrapped up. And you know that Hadou Ken is going to make or break it all. Can you stand the suspence?!?!?!

As I mentioned we’ve got eight episodes on this disc. Of those eight, five are dealing with the final battle. So really there isn’t much to say. Ken has to get loose and find his pals Ryu and Chun Li. But as we know, they have been implanted with brainwash chips that turn them into the ultimate fighting machines. Bison spends most of the time laughing and kicking ass. Guile and Nash sneak into the base and cause all kinds of havoc looking for Ken. Meanwhile Cammy and Mr. Hong Kong Action Star face off near the comatose body of Inspector Durai. It’s a total brawl-o-rama, but don’t worry too much. We have to leave things open for a sequel, so don’t expect much in the way of closure with the story.

The animation and sound maintain their grades. I almost dropped the score because of the heavy reliance on flashbacks and stock footage. But I figure that it was more of a story problem than an animation problem. Again, the fights are pretty well done. There is some stock stuff here and there. I was hoping that the final battle between Ken, Ryu and Bison would have some really well done animation, but it ended up relying on repeat footage too. For the most part it isn’t bad, but it could have been better. The sound continues to be just a bit better than the animation. Those hits sound pretty real… how do you Foley that?

The plot slows to a crawl and had to go down a notch here. So many flashback and so little development just stretched the plot thin and ended up slowing down the action as well. I already mentioned the power-up sequences, but I have to say that once you see Ryu power up… nothing changes. He does it the same way every damn time. So why do we have to see it… every damn time. Instead of using Chun Li in a better way, or doing more with her character, she ends up standing around looking evil for more than half this disc. I have to say that the first half of this series, with Ken and Ryu traveling the world and learning new techniques was better than the big battles that started to just consume the show. I’ll also have to comment on Bison, who had some potential as an interesting character. Unfortunately he ends up glowing, laughing evilly (for long periods of time), staring at view screens, and killing lesser characters. That’s it. Oh well. I did like how Ken and Ryu were approached and how they ended up dealing with all the events. We had a pretty good start with this plot, but it just lost focus and fell apart near the end.

The English cast did a pretty good job for the whole of this series. Lots of familiar voices popped up and did a good job with this goofy script. Again, I think that the plot could have been a bit more interesting and varied at the end, and we just needed more Chun Li! But hey, the cast did a good job. It’s no Cowboy Bebop or El Hazard, but it’s won’t make you switch languages midway either.

The music, much like the script seemed to lose it as well. Some of the scenes of characters running up and down stairs was set to a score of a monster ripping the heads off of terrified teens. Hello! It was totally inappropriate for the images and the mood. Still other times had music of two people on a first date… and it’s Ken and Ryu beating the crap out of each other. Was the CD set to shuffle and just synched to random scenes. (sigh) I don’t know what happened, or maybe I didn’t notice it before, but the music just went awry.

I was having fun with this goofy series. I was enjoying the silly dialogue and seeing all the Streetfighter characters that I remember from my arcade days run around and have adventures. But right around the episodes that happen in Spain, the fun seemed to leave. This is still a very mockable, Mystery Science Theatre worthy anime. But it is more of a rental for the casual anime fan. If you love Streetfighter or fighting anime at all, you might find more to love in these last couple discs than I did. But for me Streetfighter 2 V could have used a rewrite for the second half of the script.

Roman J. Martel
Tell me what you think! E-mail me at...
roman@animeondvd.com

Features
Japanese Language,English Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Phillips Flatscreen (27 Inch),Sony DVP-NS300



Mania Grade: NA
Audio Rating: N/A
Video Rating: N/A
Packaging Rating: N/A
Menus Rating: N/A
Extras Rating: N/A
Age Rating: 13 & Up
Region: 1 - North America
Released By: Manga Entertainment
MSRP: 29.99
Running time: 150
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
Series: Street Fighter (All Variations)