They Go To Meet the Strong
- Episodes : 29
- Genre : Action, Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Shounen
- Airing Date : April 10, 1995 – November 27, 1995
- Studios : Studio Hibari, Production Reed
Street Fighter II V Introduction
In this interpretation of Street Fighter, Street Fighter II V (with the V standing for Victory) portrays Ken and Ryu as teenagers who travel around the world to test themselves against the strongest fighters. So what pushed them to go on this journey? While Ryu first visits Ken in San Francisco, they encounter Guile at a bar and get their butts whipped so hard, the next Bison wannabe likely felt it. Despite the severe beatings they received, they see their defeat as motivation to improve themselves. Not only do they seek top quality fighters, they find themselves taking down drug cartels and terrorist organizations who are hell bent on taking over the world!
What We Liked About Street Fighter II V
Street Fighter II V still largely takes from the original source material, but it makes appropriate changes to keep things fresh. While Ken and Ryu 17 may seem awkward, it easily makes their character developments more believable. The story is standard for martial arts media, with its rich cast of characters and a balanced pace, but the development is believable and the journey is very immersive. Whoever is featured in this anime all play a role and contribute to the progression of the story.
1. Kick Ass Action
While Chun Li vs. Vega from the movie will be next to impossible to top, Street Fighter II V offers its own flavor of explosive and exciting action. Just like the movie, this series tends to rely more on actual hand-to-hand combat as opposed to gimmicky moves from the games such as the Hadoukens. While they do play a part, they aren’t shoehorned and serve a substantial purpose. Ryu vs. Guile does a great job of establishing of what you’re getting from Street Fighter II V is hardcore action. The fight masterfully displays that though Ken and Ryu as teenagers have quality training, they lack the battlefield life and death experiences Guile has.
Guile initially takes it easy on Ryu but when push comes to shove, whoever witnessed that fight should’ve called child protective services for pummeling a minor! As the series progresses, you see how Ken and Ryu adapt to street fights as opposed to the rules of a tournament and/or dojo.
2. Awesome Soundtrack
Just like the action, the soundtrack is pretty much in your face with how bombastic it is. While Manga Entertainment’s release couldn’t get the original Japanese opening and ending themes, we still recommend you listen to them. Kaze Fuiteru perfectly captures the spirit of Ken and Ryu’s journey being far and difficult, they will still persist in achieving their goals. For Ima, Ashita no Tame Ni, its second opening theme, it’s a very positive song about never giving up and having hope for the future. It’s one of those songs where if you feel down, it will inspire to get right back up.
1. Some characters are changed
(Un)fortunately, some personalities and designs are radically changed, starting with Sagat. He has both eyes and does not get his trademarked scar courtesy of Ryu’s Shoryuken. However, he still maintains his imposing height and physique. While the character has always been portrayed as an antagonist, Sagat’s character is presented as a good guy and has a friendlier relationship with Ryu. He is sympathetic since he’s in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, and was stripped of his title as the Muay Thai champion. The only sense of villainy he has is that he’s the boss of a prison.
In addition to Sagat having a design change, another change that will throw hardcore Street Fighter fans off is that of Charlie/Nash’s. Since this anime debuted around the time the Alpha/Zero series debuted, there was no time to implement his official design. While he does retain his glasses, the Charlie/Nash of this series has short brown hair and a beard. As for Ryu, not once does he wear his famous bandana and as for his design, he pretty much looks like Ryo Hazuki from Shenmue without his bomber jacket.
2. Some characters are entirely omitted
While a majority of the cast up to Super Street Fighter II Turbo are featured, T. Hawk, Dee Jay, Honda, and Blanka are nowhere to be found in this series (with Akuma/Gouki reduced to another simple cameo). When you watch this series, though their absence is a major bummer, the direction of the story justifies that featuring them would be pointless. Where Ken and Ryu travel, there’s no motivation to include these characters. Even if they could, would you rather have a pointless fan service cameo? Or would you want them to have a contribution to the story?
For those that love action and/or the Street Fighter franchise as a whole, we strongly recommend this anime. Sadly, it never got a second season because it could have been used as an opportunity to feature characters from the game who couldn’t be in this edition. While the original anime movie helped pave way for the Alpha/Zero series, this anime didn’t do much to help contribute to the games. For example, there are no alternative costumes in the games to look like Ryu from this series. Either way, we promise you’ll still get a (flash) kick out of this series. And if you’re a huge Guile fan, you’ll most likely enjoy how he’s used.