What’s it all about? First off we should point out that this is not the US Street Fighter cartoon that follows the events of the awful Street Fighter live-action flick starring everyone’s third choice action hero, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Street Fighter II V (aka Street Fighter: Victory) is a Japanese manga adaptation loosely based on the Street Fighter II arcade game from the early '90s. And by loosely, we mean Ken and Ryu are in it.
The series begins with Ryu getting an unexpected letter from his old lover friend Ken Masters, who he hasn’t seen in years, inviting him to come to America for a holiday. After he’s confessed that “there’s only one person who could make me come all this way,” Ryu and Ken are reunited at San Francisco airport.
The show's main antagonist is M Bison, but it’s after Guile gives the pair a major beating that they decide to embark on a spot of globe trotting, hoping to improve their powers of fightery along the way. On their journey they meet Chun Li and Fei Long in Hong Kong, Sagat in Thailand and Vega in Spain.
And it's all wrapped up in lashings of sexual innuendo. Most of it between Ken and Ryu.
Does it do the game justice? The only real connection the series has to the Capcom beat-'em-ups is the fact that some of the characters are in it, although their back stories are wildly different to the games. Although it doesn't follow the game's storyline or visual style as much as its American counterpart, it feels like the creators had a far better understanding of the Street Fighter franchise and what the fans would want from an anime tie-in. Overall, it's a lot more refined visually and much better than the US series.
Would we watch it today? Surely would. The animation is slick, while the storyline and fights are genuinely enjoyable. If you haven’t already seen it, we suggest you do. You can pick up the entire series on DVD for a bargain on Amazon. Go.
What can we learn from the series? There's a strong possibility that Ken and Ryu are fighters and lovers.
Watch the second, more exciting part, of episode one below.
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