Anime Saturday: Street Fighter Alpha The Movie

Street Fighter, the fighting series that has shaped video games since the arcade days. Now we are looking at the movie based on one of the sequels of this franchise, Street Fighter Alpha.

Street Fighter Alpha takes place sometime after the Street Fighter 2 tournament when yet another World Fighting tournament is held attracting fighters from across the globe. Even though M.Bison and Shadaloo are out of the picture there is still an evil mastermind with a plan to gather data from the best fighters in the world so that he can use it to rule the world under an iron fist, this would be made easier due to Ryu’s struggle to control the Dark Hadou inside him which would consume him and turn him dark like the infamous Akuma.

In the movie we are introduced to the new characters such as Sakura and Dan whilst also seeing the return of Veterans Ryu, Ken and Chun Li. There is also a supporting by the name of Shun who is apparently Ryu’s brother.

Even though this came out in 1999 the animation is does good, yes it cannot compare greatly to the Animes that came in the new millennium but sometimes the animation style brings a charm and likeness to it. The dialogue seemed to be pretty bad in my opinion, it reminds of when I watched skins it was that bad. I just couldn’t find this movie’s good merits, probably because I’m more of a fan of the Street Fighter 2 stories.

Look, I’m not saying not to watch this. But if you never watch it then it doesn’t matter, you’re not missing much.

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Anime Saturday: Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust

For those of you just reading this blog back near Halloween I did a review on Vampire Hunter D, so for today I decided to do the sequel to this monster hunting franchise Bloodlust.

Set in the same world filled with monsters who pose a threat to humanity who have already been weakened by nuclear war. Vampires were once a noble families who dominated the world, but all that changed when vampire hunters emerged to slay the nobles to protect humanity and earn cash. One of these hunters is ‘D’, a dhampir who is part human part vampire with a reputation of being one of the deadliest hunters around. In Bloodlust D’s services are required by a father of a missing girl named Charlotte who is said to be abducted by a noble named ‘Baron Meier Link’, but the job becomes more exciting as Charlotte’s brother has hired a group mercenaries known as the Marcus Brothers who also have a reputation of being good at what they do (that’s killing things if you haven’t guessed already). And to top that the Baron has (wait for it) hired mercenaries to protect him and Charlotte whilst they travel to the castle of Chaythe where they plan on……

you know what, I’ll leave you to watch the film to find out the Baron’s purpose.

As you would expect with animes that have been rebooted for the 21st century it has smoother animations and better visuals due to the advancement of technology. If you compared this to the original from 1985 you can definitely see that 15 years can do a lot. In all honesty I actually prefer watching this instead of the original, and the beauty of the film is that you can start with this film and not have to watch the one from 1985. So yeah, check it out.

DC

Anime Saturday: Afro Samurai Resurrection

Once again we return to the holy matrimony of Feudal Japan and Old School Hip Hop that is Afro Samurai, to those who were waiting for this since I my first review wait no further for here is the review of Afro Samurai: Resurrection.

Resurrection takes place after the series where Afro has slain Justice for the number 1 headband, despite his victory he refuses to wear the number 1 headband even though it’s against the headband rules. Since then he spends his days making wooden figurines resembling the people from his past, until Jinno (Kuma) attacks Afro and bring him to a lady named Sio. Sio as it turns out is Jinno’s sister and she plans to use Afro’s father remains to resurrect him so that she can have her revenge. The thought of his father being revived just to be tortured for Afro’s sins drives him to go forth and find the number 2 headband again so that he can fight Sio who now has the number 1 headband.

The cast of Resurrection include the voice actors of the original series as well as newer voice actors including Lucy Lui as Sio, RZA as a DJ which is fitting as he is the producer as supervisor of the official soundtrack and even Mark Hamill who is well known as the voice of the joker provides a voice for one of the characters. Resurrection actually received 2 Emmy award nominations for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Animation and Outstanding Animated Program, it won the first nomination but I would’ve given an award for the soundtrack. The animation put into this movie definitely a step up from the series, not only is it smoother and more action packed but there is also more variety with the art to fit the different scenarios.

I loved the series and I equally love the movie, but I would recommend watching the series first. Luckily I got my hands on the complete murder sessions which has the first series and the movie and it was money well spent. Peace out y’all

DC

Anime Saturday: Vampire Hunter D

Movies and Video games have introduced us to quite a few vampire hunters throughout the years including Van Helsing, the Belmont clan and even Abraham Lincoln. And seeing as Halloween is around the corner I decided to do a review that would seem fitting for this event, so without further ado I give you my review of Vampire Hunter D.

Originally a series of 25 novels created by Hideyuki Kikuchi and Yoshitaka Amano, this tale of Vampire Hunter D takes place in a slightly futuristic, post nuclear world where there are vampires, werewolves and other monsters of the night roam the earth with humanity trying to cope with the monsters. The world itself is actually run by an order of vampires known as the nobles who managed to survive the nuclear war within their shelters and now have castles that impose their elegant and cruel reign. In these times there are hunters who eliminate threats against the humans for money and one of the most notorious hunters is D. D is a vampire hunter who possesses the strengths of the nobles with very little weakness as he is a dhampir which is a human/vampire hybrid after sexual experiments with a human woman and a vampire, but it turns out the vampire is none other that count Dracula. His magical abilities are also feared which includes a talking hand that can suck up objects, the talking hand acts as D’s permanent companion throughout his journeys.

The scenario of this film is that a girl named Doris has hired D to hunt down a noble by the name of Count Magnus Lee who has bitten her and intends to turn her into his wife so he can produce another child. Throughout the movie you will introduced into the different things that make the world of Vampire Hunter D unique. There is much more to the film but I’ll let you find out yourself by watching the film.

For an anime about vampires and stuff this is pretty good considering that it came from a time when were scary, now they are just gay (fucking twilight). So if you and a few friends are having a Halloween sleepover then this is worth watching, now if you excuse me I’m going to watch Abraham Lincoln decapitate vampires for AMERICA!

DC

Anime Saturday: Fist of the North Star

For this week I decided to go old school and review an anime that would press on our power points with delight, I am talking of course about Hokuto No Ken aka Fist of the North Star.

Created in that golden era known as the 80s, Fist of the North Star takes the mysteries of martial arts and takes them to a level that few animes can match. Written by Buronson and illustrated by Tetsuo Hara the mangas were first published in the Weekly Shonen Jump in 1983 til 1988, the anime would be aired from 1984 til 1988 thanks to the producers Toei animation. One thing I will say now, I freaking love this anime.

The storyline is that the world has been turned into a wasteland thanks to a nuclear war, to add to that the radiation has caused some of the humans left on the planet to become savages with some becoming huge and monstrous. During these hard times where innocent lives are taken on a daily basis there is a man who fights for the weak named Kenshiro, what makes Kenshiro special is that he is the sole successor of the deadly martial art ‘Hokuto Shinken’ which involves killing enemies by attacking the bodies’ hidden power points causing a death so gory it puts Tarantino to shame. Kenshiro also has 7 holes in his chest which resembles the death star constellation which was inflicted by Shin as he took away the Ken’s fiance Julia ( or Yuria in Japan), Shin is a student of ‘Nanto Shinken’ (South Star) school that has been corrupted by power. The first episodes of the anime revolve around Kenshiro making his way to the South City to rescue Julia and kill Shin, along the way he has to battle bandits and practitioners of Nanto Shinken that worship for Shin. There are also two young orphaned children that travel with Kenshiro named Bart and Lynn who provide some warmheartedness to a bloody world, although one of them tends to shout for Kenshiro so much it could become a meme.

Kenshiro hoped that he would be able to rescue Julia from Shin and be able to live happily ever after, but unfortunately Julia commits suicide before Ken and Shin fight and even after Shin is defeated Kenshiro has to carry on fighting. However as he carries on fighting he befriends a warrior named Rei who is a practitioner of ‘Nanto Suichoken’ and is looking for his sister who was kidnapped by a man with seven scars on his chest like Kenshiro. Later on he finds out that Ken has seven scars on his chest but he doesn’t kill him as he told Ken that the kidnapper also wore a special helmet, this man would later turn out to be Lord Jagi who was trained alongside Kenshiro and his two other brothers Toki and Raoh. And so Kenshiro sets out to find his brothers in order to settle the dispute over the succession of Hokuto Shinken, and that;s basically the show.

(There is more to the plot but I won’t spoil it for you).

The reason why I love this anime is that it has created the formula that animes such as Dragonball Z follow which makes them memorable throughout our childhood. One signature instance is when Kenshiro performs a special move known as ‘Hokuto Hyakurestu Ken’ (Hundred Crack Fist of the North Star), below is a video showing this awesome move in action. There are other moves such as the fist of lingering regret and the thousand way slash but you’ve gotta watch the anime to see them in action.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tIvcWqzTHw8

In conclusion this is an anime that I urge you to watch, because this would be the anime that I would take with me on a desert island and after watching it I think you will too.

DC

P.S. I know there is a Fist Of The North Star video game and if you are lucky I will review it for a Thursday.