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Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation
Reviewer: Shunichi Sakurai 12/31/1999

Wandering brawler Ryu finds himself shaken by an inexplicably strong fighting energy called the "Satsu no Hadou" (which means Wave of Killing Rage). He is both allured by its strength and frightened at the repercussions that the energy can wreak. Things get more complicated with the arrival of Shun -- a little boy who claiming to be Ryu's long lost brother, and Rose -- a mysterious psychic fortuneteller. But Ryu is caught unaware by a megalomaniacal doctor who wants to harness the fearsome Satsu no Hadou's power for his own...

I am a self-confessed Street Fighter nut and I really wanted to give Street Fighter Zero (editor's note: for the purposes of this review we will refer to this anime by its original Japanese title - Street Fighter Zero) a higher score. The SF games have convoluted background stories, unlike its rival SNK's King of Fighters franchise. Thus, I appreciate Capcom coming out with anime titles like this in hopes of shedding light on the SF games and its characters.

As far as the story goes, however, Street Fighter Zero is strictly about Ryu, Shun, Gouki (also known as Akuma) and the Satsu no Hadou. Anyone looking for a definitive SF adventure involving all the characters should look elsewhere (try Street Fighter II V instead). Many of the game's characters appear as window dressing, just to give the anime some atmosphere. The plot is a little contrived and weak for casual anime viewers and SF non-fans, as all the fuss is basically about one move. This is precisely the reason why I don't like it as much as I wanted to. Street Fighter Zero should be treated more as a gaiden (side story) than real SF history. I'm not saying that Street Fighter Zero is bad. The slick art and animation are top-notch and faithful to the stylings of the SF Zero / Alpha games. Street Fighter Zero obviously has high production values. I suggest you watch this to satisfy a craving for good fighting action and not to take this too seriously -- that way you won't end up too disappointed. Great effort though. Capcom sure did a nice job with this one.

There are fierce arguments over Street Fighter and King of Fighters in terms of which one is the better game, but Street Fighter definitely has the upper hand over SNK in terms of anime titles.

Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation
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Review Title:
Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation
90 Minutes
General Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Adventure, Martial Arts, Mystery,
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