My standards weren’t very high back in 1998, when this film came out courtesy of ADV. I loved the Street Fighter anime, and owned only about 5 anime titles on VHS. As a big fan of 1996’s Tekken 2 (the last time I was really good at a Tekken game), I snapped up the Tekken anime almost as soon as it came out, hoping for another Street Fighter, and even back then, even easily pleased, I was disappointed.
The film opens with a version of the series’ iconic centrepiece: Heihachi Mishima decides that to test the strength and potential of his young son Kazuya, like the lions of Buddhist legend, he will throw him off a cliff. This time, a young Jun is watching, and it is largely from her perspective that the rest of the film unfolds.
Instead of a structured tournament that shows off all the characters, the characters basically have to run through a forest fighting badly-drawn dinosaurs. All the tension is removed from the scenario as a result of the presence of ‘devil powers’, badly tilting the balance of power until the final fight has to be made exciting by very cheesy romantic clichés. The extremely odd art, including eyebrows that stretch well off the face and muscles that make those in Hokuto no Ken look reasonable, and the embarrassing softcore pornography thrown in to excite the young adolescent male fanbase make this very much a sub-par piece of 90s anime.
With none of the camp flair, self-importance or satisfying character clashes of Street Fighter, this was a real disappointment.