Street Fighter Alpha: Generations
-Manga Video (2005)
A young, skilled warrior is seduced by the dark sideÖ and it has nothing to do with politics, space battles, clones, or young wooden love.
Most of the anime movies and series based on Street Fighter games have been focused on Ryu and Ken, with all the other characters playing supporting roles or cameos. Street Fighter Alpha: Generations is no different, although it mainly focuses solely on Ryu and his first battle against Gouki (thatís Akuma to us in the Ďstates).
The best part about the film is the beginning. It shows Gouki training with Ryu and Kenís eventual master, Gouken. Goukiís master fears that Gouki is taking a wrong turn down his road of training. Gouki already has a good life ahead of him. He has a girl that loves him and is a skilled, although arrogant, fighter. However, Goukiís master will not teach him the dangerous and darker arts of the Hado so Gouki practices them on his own. He does not understand why someone wouldnít want to learn them and become an even more powerful fighter. He lacks control of the Hado and is seduced by its power. He kills his master and leaves the dojo.
I enjoyed seeing Gouki as a once normal fighter and his corruption to the ďdark sideĒ per say. Unfortunately, this whole sequence is over is about ten minutes. We are only provided a brief look into the origin of the evil Gouki. The rest of the film centers on Ryu.
Ryu visits Master Goukenís grave on the anniversary of his death. He stops for lunch and gets into a fight with an old man. This old guy works Ryu over pretty good and Ryu becomes his apprentice for a short time. Ryu reveals that he is looking for the man that killed Master Gouken. He has visions of the man and believes it his destiny to fight him. At one point the old man states that he must not let Ryu become seduced by the "dark Hado" like Gouki was. While heís at the old manís house training Sakura randomly shows up to fight Ryu for the first time ever, according to this movie at least. Ken shows up but only until very late in the film. His screen time is probably less than five minutes.
The biggest flaw with Generations is its length. At only 45 minutes long it doesnít leave much time for good character development or to delve into the history of the fighters it presents. For some reason Ryu was changed to an arrogant fighter for Generations. Ken has always been the arrogant one, not Ryu. Ryu's always calm and collected in the other series, even when he was presented so young, so this personality alteration was very odd. I really would have preferred an entire movie just exploring Goukiís transformation into the demon fighter he is in the games. Or at least have a half hour devoted to each character and their road to face one another for the first time. The addition of another master to Ryu got to me at first. How many times does Street Fighter history need to be re-written? But, since it was just for a very short time I suppose it could work itself into the overall story. It was a bit surprising to see that Gouki and Ryu also have many parallels to Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. It's more than you probably think and there is one shocking revelation, which I'm not sure if I am willing to accept as actual Street Fighter fact yet.
The animation is good overall, but Ryu and Gouki look like they get deformed a couple times and Iím not talking about the cameraís fish-eye lens that accompanies a few shots in the film. Their arms get short and their bodies look deformed which is a bit distracting. The look of the characters is done well and fits with how young they would appear at this point in their fighting careers. Ryu and Ken are just young bucks in this movie and actually look their age, unlike the Street Fighter II: V versions of the two characters that appear to be in their twenties when theyíre really seventeen.
The picture quality is excellent, but is in only in full-frame format. The audio is well presented in both English and Japanese. I preferred the Japanese language track for Generations, though, as it seemed to fit the movie better. However, the English subtitles were quite off from the dialogue at a few points.
Street Fighter Alpha: Generations is decent, but I would only recommend it to well established fans of Street Fighter. Itís more of a quick side story than the big feature I was hoping for.
Best Buyís version of the DVD included extra extras that were not included in other retailersí versions. Itís kind of a shame because without Best Buyís extra stuff there isnít much there.
First up is a featurette featuring short interviews with the Japanese voice actors. They all talk about their characters a little bit and all say that the things to watch for the most are the fight scenes. Well, of course Iíll be watching the fight scenes. Those are pretty much the main reasons someone would even buy a Street Fighter DVD.
Interview with the Producer is a very short (about five minutes) interview with the producer. He explains a little what he wanted to show with the film.
Under Soundtrack youíll find three music selections from the film. A still picture accompanies each track as they play. The music is pretty good. Two of the tracks are nice Asian styled scores, while the other sounds like a remixed track from one of the Street Fighter games.
Of course, every version of the DVD also has the obligatory anime trailers.