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 Post subject: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Uncut
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 02:04 
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This is quite interesting to watch again, because of the impending release of Ultra Street Fighter II: The Final Challangers on the Nintendo Switch. The game will feature Evil Ryu and Violent Ken added to the roster, and here's where things get interesting. Spoilers ensue.

This film has the first appearance of Violent Ken, at least a prototype of him. At one point, M. Bison fights a winning match against Ken and later brainwashes him to turn to his side, under the influence of Psycho-Powers. Violent Ken as he appears here has darker, redder hair, as opposed to the gray color in the game. The film climaxes in a fight between Good (or in software terms, Vanilla) Ryu and this Violent Ken, and it follows every fighting-subversed-friend-against-intentions trope in the book.

Violent Ken's first video game appearance was in the Neo-Geo crossover fighter SNK vs. Capcom: SVC Chaos from 2003. Turns out he existed back in the halcyon days of Street Fighter II's global popularity.

This film was made around the same time as Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers was released to the arcades, and coincided with the release of the console ports, so to serve as a tie-in, scenes are written in to introduce these new characters.

Some of these characters are underutilized. Cammy's introduction and role throughout was a method of introducing the audience Shadowlaw. T. Hawk makes a cameo appearance and never shows up again. Ryu fights with Fei Long and the discount Bruce Lee isn't seen again. These characters exist, in the film at least, to sell the then-newest iteration of Street Fighter. It was just too early to put Akuma in the story.

I viewed the Sony/Renegade English dub from the mid-90s on LaserDisc. Like many dubs of the era, it's very cheesy. It was marketed to "Mature Audiences", so expect to hear the occasional burst of color in the language. Also it features some "alternative rock" that Sony had the rights to, for the most part, and they range from the timely to the dated. I started to become fond of the track for Chun-Li and Vega's tango in the apartment, whatever that song is (the song credits were out-of-sequence anyway, and I'm too lazy to find it now).

Now how does this compare to Hollywood's live-action adaptation?

Video:

Video Chain: Panasonic LX-600u - Composite >> Toshiba D-RW2 - Component >> Samsung DLP 1080p TV

Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie is presented here in a rougly 16:9 letterbox within 4:3. The film is most likely sourced from a theatrical print, changeover marks are present every 18 minutes. This disc was also pressed by Sony DADC in USA, a controversial Laserdisc plant. In addition to the mildly distracting laser rot, the print telecined here contains hairs and negative dirt (white specks) with some positive dirt (black specks). To top it all off, the black level is severely boosted, blacks appear light gray and lack detail. Before viewing, I calibrated my set with the THX Wow disc. This is certainly a hot mess.

Can I say some positive things? Colors aren't too bad, but are washed out due to the brightness boost. Therefore, it gives the film a sort of pastel look, whether intended or not. Modern-day anime, most notably Gurren Lagann (2007), have softer looks, softer colors, softer outlines, with a hazier, dreamier aesthetic. This hardly represents the aesthetic of late 20th century anime, but the washed-out look could be compensated by turning down the brightness (and maybe up the contrast). Just be sure to revert to your default settings afterwards.

This transfer hardly represents the Laserdisc format and its quality, not even for the late-80s.

4/10

Audio:

Audio Chain: Panasonic LX-600u - RCA Stereo >> Samsung DLP 1080p TV

Not as offensive as the video transfer, but not all there. The English dub is clearly mixed with the intent of being a video release with TV speaker dynamics and very dominant in the mids. Some early Cammy action is a telltale sign of the mix's mediocrity when the sound elements all struggle to remain loud and clear, with poor EQ. It isn't too bad, dialogue is clear and the Western radio rock and score don't sound any lesser than they should. Mediocre, but sufficient enough.

5/10
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 02:25 
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I don't know if I'll ever watch this LD, but that was a wonderful review. :thumbup:
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 03:39 
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The soundtrack is significantly different in the Japanese versions. Chage and Aska are featured and that Chun Li scene was...I think, something from KMFDM whereas in the original it was something classical, IIRC, which makes a lot more sense. Industrial on a tube amp? Not likely.

Btw, Akuma *is* in this movie. He's leaning against a wall in Calcutta, sorta hidden, just like he was in SSFIIX. I may be misremembering but I think all the US versions are pan and scanned to 4:3 and therefore cut Akuma of if the movie! That may have been a dream I had though.
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 05:10 
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signofzeta wrote:
The soundtrack is significantly different in the Japanese versions.


What soundtrack gets used on the final scenes on the US release?

In Japan it was the popular 1994 Tetsuya Komuro-produced "Itoshisa To Setsunasa To Kokoro Tsuyosa To (愛しさとせつなさと心強さと)" sung by Ryoko Shinohara.

Glad they re-used it for the trailer!

Ultra Street Fighter II The Final Challengers Japanese Trailer

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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 13:47 
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Apparently, immediately after I wrote this review I learned that Akuma was indeed in this movie, at least as a cameo. I don't really remember this cameo, or I didn't notice him, but I seem to be half-right about him being conceived too early for the story to be complete. This American Laserdisc release is indeed in Widescreen. I don't know if it was a P&S from 2.35:1, but that can't be true because the movie should have been filmed in 1.85:1.

And yes, the Chun-Li apartment scene featured "Ultra" by KMFDM in this dub. I listened to most of that album Nihil on the way to work today.
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 14:16 
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I just watched this last weekend. I used to watch the DVD all the time, it's both bad and enjoyable at the same time. You're absolutely right about the brightness, it actually looks pretty good if you readjust the brightness/contrast settings specifically for the movie but that's a PITA. I find this is true with a lot of anime, but it's even worse with this title.

The Akuma cameo is very short, he's just sitting down in the background of one of the scenes. Easy to miss.
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 14:50 
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On a dim-bulb DLP in a room that drew in a lot of light at the time I watched it, I didn't bother with the brightness/contrast settings.

It seems like anime from this period were very inky and dark when processed on film, that when they were transferred to video they had to compensate by cranking up the brightness so it'll look decent on most televisions. Beauty and the Beast (1991) on its 1993 CAV Laserdisc release sort of had this too, but not as extreme, but it is slightly brighter than the 1992 VHS of the film. I think by the time DVD came around with its superior color space it was less of an issue, and starting with Blu-ray, over-darkening (and crushing blacks) started to become a perceived issue, such as the 2010 Blu-ray of Alien (1979) compared to earlier video releases.
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 20 Apr 2017, 15:36 
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sega3dmm wrote:
Apparently, immediately after I wrote this review I learned that Akuma was indeed in this movie, at least as a cameo. I don't really remember this cameo, or I didn't notice him, but I seem to be half-right about him being conceived too early for the story to be complete. This American Laserdisc release is indeed in Widescreen. I don't know if it was a P&S from 2.35:1, but that can't be true because the movie should have been filmed in 1.85:1.

And yes, the Chun-Li apartment scene featured "Ultra" by KMFDM in this dub. I listened to most of that album Nihil on the way to work today.


Perhaps it's the US VHS that cuts out Akuma.
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 07 May 2017, 02:45 
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I have the VHS... enjoyable and delightful colors
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 10:17 
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gohanx wrote:
The Akuma cameo is very short, he's just sitting down in the background of one of the scenes. Easy to miss.


Here he is :-)

Image

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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 18:22 
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Those poor b*****ds are about to get the Raging Demon. I actually had a friend land one on me while we were playing a while back, I went bananas, lol.
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 Post subject: Re: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [MLV49861] LBX/Unc
PostPosted: 11 May 2017, 20:51 
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Regarding the colors: a lot of anime from this time period was shot slightly overexposed in order to blow out all the details on purpose, since the only "details" in animation this cheap are usually defects in the cell.

See: YouTube wankers showing off their crap collections. Overexposing makes all the yellowing and scratches much less noticeable in close up photos, combine with vivid white backdrop and you're set to show off all your smelly 8 tracks and Star Wars crap and nobody will point out in the Comments how many pubic hairs and Cheeto crumbs they can see.
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