Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: B+
- Video Rating: A
- Packaging Rating: A
- Menus Rating: C+
- Extras Rating: N/A
- Age Rating: 12 & Up
- Region: 1 - North America
- Released By: Viz Media
- MSRP: 29.99
- Running time: 100
- Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Fatal Fury
Fatal Fury The Motion Picture
By Chris Beveridge
December 05, 2003
Release Date: February 09, 1999
Fatal Fury The Motion Picture
What They Say
© Viz Media
The warriors of the exciting video game Fatal Fury come to life in one of the most exhilarating animated video game adaptations ever, Fatal Fury The Motion Picture, a gorgeous full-length motion picture from Japanese action director Masami Obari.
Prideful young Laocorn Gaudeamus, descendant of an ancient clan, has scoured archaeological sites around the globe for the legendary Armor Of Mars, lost by his ancestors in ages past. Laocorn plans to use the immense, almost godlike powers of the armor to take vengeance on those who persecuted his family all those millennia ago.
To prevent her brother's scheme, Laocorn's beautiful, estranged twin sister Sulia enlists the aid of the only man in the world powerful enough to challenge him... bare-knuckled street fighter and martial arts legend, Terry "Hungry Wolf" Bogard. Unless Terry and his friends - younger brother Andy, Thai kickboxer Joe Higashi, and lovely ninja Mai Shiranui - can stop him, Laocorn will don the final piece of armor and become invincible.The Review!
Stylish animation, beautifully choreographed fight sequences, excellent dialogue and... character development? Yes, you read that right. A fighting anime with something more to it than the average one. We'll jump into the story after we breakdown the disc itself.
The audio on the disc is pretty good. The English dub is provided in a Dolby 2.0 format, and from what I checked, use the front soundstage effectively enough. The Japanese language version provides us with a Dolby Surround 4.0 track. This track was really expansive in several sections, and made excellent use of the front soundstage during many of the fight sequences.
I must tip my hat here to the folks at the Cinram/POP DVD Studios out in Santa Monica. They did an excellent job authoring the video on this disc. It's simply gorgeous. No pixellation or artifacting, no grain that I could see. It was a sheer pleasure just to watch how well the vibrant colors and fluid animation came across. Keep up the excellent work guys!
Packaged in an eye-catching keepcase, Fatal Fury does the obvious grab with the "Based on the best selling video game!" to get peoples attention. The cover is pretty darn busy and active, with a bit of fan service on the front and just a bit more on the back. Is that all Mai's around for?
The menu is pretty straightforward, few surprises there. If you browse around the Viz information page, and go to their Video page, you can view several trailers (though nothing says "coming to DVD" or anything, one can hope). I did have on serious problem with the menu however. When I popped it into my DVD-ROM drive (after having cold booted the PC), the movie plays fine. But the minute I go into the Extra Stuff submenu, the entire application gets locked. And the only resolution was to reboot, because I couldn't even get the disc out! I tried this a few times, with the same result. Your mileage may vary on this one.
The extras on the disc are pretty decent. There's a couple pages of fighter info, a bunch of spiff character designs, several trailers promoting the show (both US and Japan) and a much needed background story page explaining the first two OVA's that were released for Fatal Fury.
The basis of this story is a hunt for three remaining pieces of the Armor of Mars, which is rooted in some interesting ancient history, as related by the descendent of Gaudeamus, Sulia. The gang decide to help her out, and it's on a trek a la James Bond to different countries and locales to find it.
There's a lot in here, after all it's almost a two hour movie. There's references to things that I believe have occurred in the first two OVA's, though the main one about Terry's girlfriend Lily is explained visually in a dream sequence. This might make it just a touch difficult to watch without knowing the backstory, but the small pieces of information provided in the Extra Stuff menu and the flashbacks do more than enough to help alleviate that.
The other main thing that's noticeable here is that there's an actual story and subplots with characters that actually grow along the way. The relationship with "modern ninja babe" Mai and Andy is fun and touching to watch, and Terry's own emotions over the death of his girlfriend provide some insight into the character.
The animation in this is very fluid and very pleasing. In some of the fight sequences the characters almost look half sketched, but it gives an interesting feel to the movements of the fighters.
I definitely wasn't sure what to expect with this movie. I had seen maybe a couple minutes of one of the first OVA's, but back then it hadn't done anything to impress me. This movie certainly did, and I know I'll be pulling it out again to go through and look at the many finer details that are on it. Excellent effort by Viz on this title.
Japanese 4.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles
Toshiba CF36H50 36" TV, Pioneer 414 codefree DVD player, Sony STR-DE915 DD receiver, Monster S-Video cable and Sony speakers.