Not nearly as bad as some seem to believe...
Michael Mccall | Okinawa, Japan | 11/19/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I'm pretty sure that if you're reading this review, then you are a Street Fighter fan. I know there's a chance that you're just an anime fan in general, but chances are if you're after something this specific, then you're a fan of the game series. Well, I am too. I love SF to death, and I love this movie too.
First of all, I cannot understand why anyone would prefer the SFII Animated Movie over this one. About the only redeeming factor of that movie was the fight scenes - but if you're anything like me, then the plot is quite important also; I can't get excited or even really care if the people on the screen are just fighting for no evident reason. Enter SF Alpha.
Plot - First and foremost, the plot. Where everyone who has written previous reviews gets off saying that the plot sucks is lost on me. To sum it up: Ryu and Ken get word that their master has been murdered. They return to Japan and are surprised to meet a young boy who inists that he is Ryu's younger brother! Moreover, Ryu has been feeling a dark, evil power within him, one that he isn't sure he can overcome. From there, they discover a menace has been preying on street fighters the world over, capturing them and sapping all of their energies, under the disguise of some kind of tournament. Many characters are met along the way, and all are portrayed exactly like you would expect; no one says or does anything out-of-character, but that by no means makes the experience a shallow one. Rather, it makes it an enjoyable one. Yes, Akuma makes an apperance - but no, he and Ryu do not fight. This did not disapoint me as much as I thought it might, mostly because Akuma tells Ryu that he must come back and challenge him when he is ready.
Animation - Superb. Fluidly done and totally appropriate. I have no real gripes about it, aside from wanting the whole time for Ryu to put on a red headband, but that's so minor it's not even a complaint. The scenes where Ryu briefly succumbs to the dark energy are particularly well done, as are most of the fight scenes. Each fight scene is done in a stylish, over-the-top way, but not so much that you think it's too fake to be entertaining. The character designs are great - each character looks his or her best, with the overall style clearly influenced by the designs of the video game namesake.
Voice acting - Also very well-done. I was so worried that the young boy who claims to be Ryu's little brother would have an annoying, nasaly, little-kid voice, but thankfully I had no reason to fear. He is voiced by an accomplished anime voice actor - I think it was the same person who voiced Jim from "Outlaw Star". Ryu had a suitably deep, thoughtful voice. Ken was perfect - he could go from outlandish and comical to serious without sounding like a totally different person. Sakura was a good pick, as were Chun-Li and even Akuma. Akuma's lines were terse and precise, which is good since he would not likely blather on, and the actor had a dark, intense, punching sound to his lines.
Music - Unremarkable. All the tunes fit the situations, but they won't get stuck in your head.
Overall - Fun, entertaining, and suprisingly deep. This won't disappoint anyone who liked the alpha games, nor should it disappoint anyone who likes Street Fighter in general. This one was a champ."
Surprisingly PHILOSOPHICAL for a Street Fighter movie
minguy | NYC | 11/26/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"3 stars = somewhere in between "BIRDIE doo doo" and "DANtastic!"The weak points of this anime have been repeatedly exposed by the previous reviews, so I won't get into that. But I'm compelled to write a review because people seem to be missing the one thing I thought was interesting about this SF anime: why does one fight?When I got this, I expected a weak plot thinly diguising a series of non-stop fight scenes (essentially, another SF II animated movie). Oh how I was wrong. The fact that it wasn't what I expected was disappointing but also refreshing. In fact, it was downright intriguing.SO HERE'S THE DEAL:SF fan or not, you'll DEFINATELY be frustrated with the plot, character development, resolution, and/or fight scenes. It's either too weak, too underdeveloped, too slow, or too subdued.BUT!!!If you don't mind thinking a little when you watch a film (i.e. if you're not simply looking for a mindless viewing experience), Street Fighter Alpha will bring up themes and questions you never thought to ask.Why does Ryu fight?Chun Li ponders this question. So does Sakura. As does Ryu himself."One possessed of an evil spirit
will fight out of pride until his dying day,
and most likely to kill...
...just like Akuma who took up the Dark Hadou
and whose hands are now dark with the blood of his own master..."A street fighter's life is all about fighting. But for what purpose? It is the old age question of identity, of the meaning of life (hey, street fighters are humans too!). Ryu must find an answer to this question, not only for HIS sake (or rather, the sake of his soul), but also for the sake of those who look up to him (Ken, Chun Li, and especially Sakura).It was an audacious move on the part of the filmmakers' to instill such a reflective tone into a SF anime. I can say that as an aspiring screenwriter the intent was honorable, but the execution was lacking.As for the DVD itself, the video quality is excellent while the audio is only stereo for the Japanese language track (as opposed to the 5.1 DD for the English language track). The "MAKING OF" is pretty weak (it's basically a music-only montage of the filmmakers talking, drawing, writing, etc), but understandably so since it'd be impractical to have a real documentary. Finally, the "INTERVIEWS" are a bit disheartening, mainly because seeing the voice actors talk about their dubbing experiences breaks the illusion of the world of Street Fighter. Moreover, they're a bit bland. So I advise those of you who haven't already seen them to refrain from doing so.That's about it. As everyone else has already suggested, RENT FIRST."
A worthy continuation
Anime Master | Tyler, TX | 02/14/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Street Fighter Alpha: the movie" is a no hold free for all filled with beautiful animation, incredible fight scenes and decent music. Where the film falls short is in a sometimes overpredictable story. The voice cast does a good job. Yet I was dissapointed that Ryu never fought Akuma in this film. Compared to "Street Fighter II: THE MOVIE" this film is quite a few steps down. Yet for those of us whom have loved the game and the anime since it arrived this is a fun film that is a worth watching. Note only diehard Street Fighter fans should buy the DVD. Anyone else woulf\d be better renting this movie. This film contain no rating yet I would rate it PG-13 for non-stop martial arts violence, and some gore."
Should have been called "Ryu Dark Hado"
blahchu | SAN JOSE, CA United States | 02/05/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Street Fighter Alpha could have been a great movie but it has many things missing to make it great. The whole movie seems to be about Ryu which seems pretty good since he's the most popular and most played character throughout the Street Fighter Series. Ryu is beginning to become more evil which each fight he enters which is being caused by The Dark Hado (gets so mad that he goes insane) During the movie, a mysterious boy claims to be his brother and that where his Dark Hado begins to increase. There are a handful of Street Fighter Characters in the movie but that doesn't mean that they are all good. I was surprised that M. Bison wasn't there not even Sagat which his name was mention during the movie. The fights are pretty good and very bloody but there aren't that much fighting going around. Akuma did make an appearance but did not fight anyone unless you count the ending credits. But in all the animation is great and very smooth, the story is a bit dull but isn't that bad. It's just a bit sad that there aren't a lot of famous characters which could have made this movie better and more interesting. The DVD has 2 languages Japanese and English Dubbed w/ English subtitles. I'm surprised that the English version of SF was better than the Japanese version . All in all, this movie should be rented first and you decide if it's good enough to buy. Hope you agree with my comments."