It was time, today, to get my 1995 VHS of SFII: The Animated Movie out, mostly for the nostalgic laughs. It’s a very, very silly film made yet more comical by the silly, hammy dub, full of lines that were much-quoted in my youth: ‘You worthless pile of excrement!’ ‘My beautiful face is ruined! You bitch I’ll make you suffer!’
But for the time, given the other feature films being made at the time, and beside the terrible anime made for other fighting game series (like Tekken’s), this really isn’t bad. It’s actually pretty good-looking, well-paced and smoothly animated for an anime from the 90s – obviously not up there with Ghost in the Shell or Princess Mononoke, and with some rather odd facial expressions and funny muscle-men bodies, not to mention the silly soft porn meant for the teenaged male audience (bizarrely, the version we had kept a shot of Chun-li's breasts but not one of her rear), but still on the good side. It nicely sets up its premise and makes Bison more sinister than in any other media up to that point, it works in good solid flashbacks for Ryu and Ken and it finds space for all the SSFII characters to make at least a cameo, although most could do with a few more minutes’ screentime, and it does a good job of giving Ryu and Guile some time as point-of-view characters. It’s all very much to a formula and it’s hard to care that much about these super-powered strongmen with chests eight times the size of a normal person’s, but this probably remains to this day the best feature film to come from a fighting game.