Mania Grade: A-
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- Audio Rating: A
- Video Rating: B+
- Packaging Rating: A+
- Menus Rating: A-
- Extras Rating: A-
- Age Rating: All
- Region: 2 - Japan
- Released By: Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.
- MSRP: ¥8190
- Running time: 150
- Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
- Disc Resolution: 480i/p (mixed/unknown)
- Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
- Series: Street Fighter (All Variations)
Street Fighter Zero: The Animation Limited Edition
Street Fighter Zero: The Animation Limited Edition
What They SayThe Review!
© Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc.
There have been many video game-to-anime adaptations over the years, and unfortunately most of them have ranged from mediocre to just plain bad. In fact, so prevalent has this trend become that a negative stigmatism has arisen whenever anyone mentions that a title is an "anime based on the video game series." Yet despite all of this, Capcom's newly released "Street Fighter Zero: The Animation" Limited Edition DVD - a 2 part OAV series contained on this single disc - rises above the mediocrity to deliver a fun, action-packed fighting anime series that anyone looking for good martial arts anime should check out.
One thing to get out of the way immediately is the story: Folks, if you're here to look for a deep, engaging story of epic proportions, look elsewhere; it's a Fighting anime! Sure it'd be nice to have a story as deep as a Mamoru Oshii film, but come on, that's like complaining that the latest Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie's story isn't deep enough; that's not what you go in looking for.
What you should look for in Street Fighter Zero: The Animation is an interesting story about Ryu, the main protagonist and ever-striving martial artist, and his run-in with a young boy named Shun, who claims to be his long lost little brother. From there, the story takes off about Ryu and Shun struggling against the power of the dark side of their chi (ki) (inner power) (which is what the infamous "Evil Ryu" character in Street Fighter games comes from). The archetypal power-hungry scientist is seeking to collect as much chi as possible in order to turn himself into the ultimate warrior. Along the way other popular and famous Street Fighter Zero characters show up, from Ken, Rose, Chun Li, Sakura, to many others.
While the story doesn't seem too original or appealing, the beauty of the Street Fighter Zero OAVs are the beautifully choreographed fight scenes. Sure, the animation isn't as smooth as the famous Street Fighter II: The Movie (anime) released a while back, but then again, this is an OAV series, not a movie; so a comparison isn't totally fair. But for an OAV series, the fighting animation sequences are nothing short of stunning! These are some of the best anime fight scenes put together in a long time (probably since the Shadow Skill pilot OAV, or Fatal Fury: The Motion Picture).
The most important part that makes it stand out is the cinematography of it all, especially the "Power Emphasis" aspect. By "Power Emphasis" I mean all the power moves and individual hits are animated with an emphasis on the "hurt factor" - literally every major finishing move, or major fight sequence had parts that could cause the viewer to squint and say "Ouch! That's gotta hurt!" Seeing Ken Masters doing his Shin Ryuken super move is the perfect example of this!
In fact, the fight scenes alone are worth the price of admission: Seeing Chun Li, beautifully animated (and stunningly cute), kicking ass, or Sakura (voiced by an ultra spunky, very cute new Japanese voice actress) trying to kick-ass like Ryu but messing up cutely, or Ryu mastering the evil side of his Hadou power and then pulling off his legendary Shinkuu Hadouken (Super Fireball) is just plain awesome!
The character designs are sharp and very nice, with a combination of Capcom's master artist, Bengus' style, and an original anime touch all new to the series. You'll not find better renditions of your favorite Street Fighter characters since the SFII movie. The overall video quality is solid, with some slight rainbowing, but nothing as bad as a direct LD transfer (ala "Escaflowne" DVDs). The colors held up well, especially the blacks. The audio was solid as well, with this being an OAV series, the highlight being the orchestral score! Yes, Capcom went all out and the music for this OAV series is definitely nice.
The Limited Edition version of Street Fighter Zero: The Animation DVD comes with a nice solid DVD case, with bonus T-Shirt! (black, with Ryu's image). Besides that, the extras on the DVD are just as cool, with full interviews for all the major characters, with the highlight being Yumi Touma (Deedlit (Lodoss War OAV), Urd (Ah My Goddess!)), the voice actress for Chun Li. While considered a "bonus," the first episode of the US Saturday morning cartoon version of "Street Fighter" was a total disgrace, and a horrible blight on the disc. It's not even funny for laughs; but I guess Japanese anime fans have never seen it until now (they should have just dropped it).
Overall, Street Fighter Zero: The Animation Limited Edition DVD is just wonderful. From the wonderful characters, to the great fighting sequences, this anime is just plain fun. It's not super-deep on story, but it's got some of the best fighting sequences around, and the character designs are very sharp. Sakura fans take note that she's got a nice chunk of air time: She comes across as very cute and spunky, totally what you'd expect her to be if she was brought to life from the video game. The only disappointment was just not enough screen time for the rest of the Street Fighter cast, such as the legendary Dan, or Rolento, or others. But then again, that would've just turned into a "animated sequence of fights" at that point. But besides that, what you do see is some of the most bad-ass fighting around, with Ryu getting to near Goku-levels of fighting. Seeing all my favorite Street Fighter characters fighting was enough to bring a tear to my eye. Very cool stuff.
Japanese Language 2.0 Stereo,Limited Edition: DVD Box,Limited Edition: Street Fighter Zero T-Shirt,Interviews with all the actors and director,"Making Of" feature,Original Trailers,Bonus: Episode #1 of the U.S.-made "Street Fighter" cartoon series.
Pioneer DV-606D (Code Free) DVD Player, Mitsubishi CS-3503R 35" TV, Yamaha RX-V2095 DD / DTS Receiver, MIT S-Video cable, KEF C85 Front speakers, B&W Center, Infinity Rear speakers, and NHT Subwoofer.