Shootfighter Tekken Vol. #2 -

Anime/Manga Reviews

Mania Grade: C+

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  • Audio Rating: B+
  • Video Rating: B
  • Packaging Rating: C+
  • Menus Rating: C+
  • Extras Rating: C+
  • Age Rating: 16 & Up
  • Region: 1 - North America
  • Released By: Central Park Media
  • MSRP: 19.99
  • Running time: 45
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Shootfighter Tekken

Shootfighter Tekken Vol. #2

By Chris Beveridge     October 08, 2004
Release Date: October 19, 2004

Shootfighter Tekken Vol. #2
© Central Park Media

What They Say
Fighting is a way of life for teen martial arts prodigy Kiichi Miyazawa. When his best friend goes down in a grappling match with a deadly Jujitsu master, Kiichi takes matters into his own hands and enters the ring. But this time he may have taken on more than he can handle. The challenge is to the death, and his opponent has the near-supernatural ability to predict his every move. Honor, guts, and glory are all on the line in this no-holds-barred martial arts blood match!

The Review!
As strong as Kiichi is, there's always someone stronger and more dangerous around the next corner.

For our primary viewing session, we listened to this show in its original language of Japanese. The stereo mix works really well for this show in a couple of areas. The fight sequences in general have a good presence about them with some oomph to the hits that land. The other is the raining sequences where it fills the entire soundstage nicely. Dialogue is clean and clear throughout and we listened to both tracks across two different systems and had no issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.

Originally released to video in 2001, the Shootfighter Tekken OVA is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 widescreen letterbox. The transfer for this second volume comes across better when dealing with the problem we had with the first volume in the amount of blockiness that was going on, both in panning sequences and in general solid black areas. Though there's still some of it evident, it's much reduced here. The print looks to be free of cross coloration and very low on aliasing. The blockiness tends to be the real offender here but depending on your setup and how you're connecting everything it may be less than what we saw.

Using what looks to be one of the illustrations from the manga from which the show is based, we get a simple image of the lead character in a fighting pose with a bland background of green abstract lighting behind the black shadows of a fence. The show provides what I guess is a close approximation of an English language title while also providing the Japanese logo, which has the English piece of "Tough" on it. It's on the lower end of covers that we've seen even for a show that deals in fighting and pro-wrestling. The back cover has another illustration of the lead character which is fairly indicative of the shows character designs and has a summary of the premise and the usual feature listings. Some of the technical and copyright information gets a bit too small here though and hard to read. The reverse cover has a shot of the lead in an action moment while the other panel has the bilingual cast list, chapter listings and the mixed production credits.

The menu is a very simple static piece that uses the character artwork from the cover against a partial close-up of a part of one of the fighters bodies with the action oriented ending theme playing along to it. With no animation or transitional pieces, the menus are quick to lead and easy to access and navigate. Access times are nice and fast and the disc played according to our language presets.

The only extra included is a video art gallery showcasing stills from the show.

Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The opening volume of Shooterfighter Tekken proved to be fairly interesting for what it was, a fighting show that didn't pull any punches, got fairly nasty in some of its violence but didn't flinch from anything in how it went about it. While it didn't knock our socks off, it was an enjoyable anomaly in the days of cute girls abound and OVAs that barely run twenty five minutes as this ran nearly fifty minutes. Based on the manga series called Tough, the show was a nice change of pace from a lot of other things we'd been seeing lately, even if it did harken back to the early days of anime DVD releases.

This volume provides some more of the same but also gets sort of comical in one of the ways it moves forward with a particular move. Even though Iron Kiba has promised in the past to leave Kiichi and his family alone, he's still making moves to bring Kiichi into his realm so he can destroy him completely. He's also ensuring that Kiichi doesn't lose any practice and is continually challenged by not letting anyone fight Kiba himself until they take down Kiichi. So Kiichi has a string of fighters that are coming after him so that they can get to what they consider the real prize. Kiichi deals with this as it comes as his happy go-lucky style is his strong suit. Either that or he's just completely addled in the brain.

Though Kiichi is able to handle most things thrown at him, he snaps when one of his friends is taken down in a manner that tries to get Kiichi to lose control when he gets to fighting them. Kiichi's father does some interesting training with him to try and get him to refocus and keep his mind where it needs to be and more of the style that this family uses is revealed, including an amusing moment where he's taught about the suicide aspect of it. Kiichi's style seems like it goes against some of the principles of the family style but he's able to use it so well. When he goes in for his next fight, one where his father has now been slated to follow him against Kiba, it's an amazing piece where the violence is just so outright honest and blunt that it's hard to turn away from some of the moments where it just gets almost over the top.

While the fight in general was solid, it had one really bad moment where they went into this strange area about Kiichi being able to fight while unconscious and his body still knowing all the techniques to keep it moving and fighting at peak form, all while the mind is essentially shut down. It's just so out there in some ways that it really threw off the groove of the fight itself. While enough of this is over the top in general, this one just went way out there.

In Summary:
While the series hasn't won me over in any real dramatic way, I'm enjoying on one level the straightforward violence of it and the way it's portrayed with its take on its beauty in it. There's a string of similar shows recently which are helping to balance out the overly female laden series out there and the general wimpification of male characters. The pendulum has swung wildly over the years usually due to what would sell over here but what's being made in Japan now is more towards the other that getting pieces like this are rare and now enjoyable on some level since they break the norms. While very lean on plot and story, Shootfighter Tekken is a visual treat in a number of ways and tries to break out of the box a bit here and there in how it shows itself.

Japanese 2.0 Language,English 2.0 Language,English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Panasonic PT50LC13 50" LCD RP HDTV, Zenith DVB-318 Progressive Scan codefree DVD player via DVI with upconversion set to 720p, Sony STR-DE835 DD/DTS receiver, Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.


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