Anime / Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie

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This is no video game!

"The ultimate battle computer game "Street Fighter II" is now a full-length animation motion picture! Your favorite Street Fighters stand up against the evil Vega who plots to conquer the world. In an all-ensuing battle, the rivals Ryu and Ken join forces to confront Vega with the never-before-seen technique "the double fireball". A must-see super battle action movie for All Street Fighter fans." - Official description from the Japanese LaserDisc.

After the unexpected success of the original Street Fighter II and its subsequent revisions and console ports, Capcom decided to produce a feature-length anime movie based on the series. The movie, simply titled Street Fighter II Movie in Japan and later released internationally as Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, was first announced in 1993 at the same time as Super Street Fighter II: The New Challengers (the fourth version of the game) began distribution in the arcades. It was released theatrically on August 8, 1994.

The international criminal organization Shadowlaw secretly records fights of the world's greatest martial artists with their human-like Monitor Cyborgs. These recordings help Shadowlaw's leader, M. Bison, determine which fighters Shadowlaw will abduct and convert into brainwashed slaves. One fighter in particular, Ryu, catches Bison's interest after the despot watches a fight between Ryu and Shadowlaw operative/former fighting champion Sagat.

Shadowlaw's innumerable criminal activities capture the attention of Interpol, which sends lead investigator Chun-Li to team up with U.S. Air Force Captain Guile. Guile is initially reluctant of the partnership until he discovers that Bison had killed someone close to them (Chun-Li's father and his Air Force partner). This revelation gives them common ground to work together. The duo soon learn about Shadowlaw's Monitor Cyborgs and eventually land on the trail of Ryu.

Ken Masters, Ryu's friend/former training partner/rival, spends the off-time between fighting tournaments with his girlfriend Eliza, but finds himself unsatisfied. He awaits the day when he and Ryu can settle their "unfinished business" with another fight. Ryu himself travels throughout Asia in search of fights as well, focused on honing and perfecting his skills with each successive challenge. Once Bison discovers Ken and Ryu's shared history, things go from bad to worse. Ryu is blissfully unaware that he represents the key to either Shadowlaw's destruction or complete dominance...

Unlike that other 1994 movie based on the franchise, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie stays as faithful as possible to the original game (and its various iterations of its day). Any changes made to the storyline still do their best to represent the spirit of the series. Soon after the release of this film, Capcom made a video game that follows the events of an upgraded Monitor Cyborg recording various Street Fighter battles. Several fight scenes and new ideas introduced in this film (the fight between Ryu and Sagat at the beginning of the film, Ken's longer hair during his training days with Ryu, how Ryu got his red headband, and a two-on-one battle with Ryu and Ken fighting Bison) eventually became part of the Street Fighter Alpha series. Because of its adherence to the canon and the spirit of the games, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie remains a huge fan favorite to this day.

The film's initial American release in 1995 came with a healthy dose of censorship attached — cuts to the infamous Chun-Li shower scene accompanied toned-down blood and swearing. Manga Entertainment rectified this in 2006 with a dual-sided DVD that contained a (virtually) uncensored version of the English dub and a (completely) uncensored version of the original Japanese version of the film. In 2008, Netflix began streaming a fully uncut version of the film's English dub with either the English or Japanese soundtrack backing the dub. It is currently licensed by Discotek Media, who have announced plans for a DVD and Blu-ray re-release.


Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie contains examples of the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: Chun-Li and Cammy.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • Special Moves in general. In the games, special moves are simply unique, command-input attacks. Depending on the ability, they may do more or less damage than regular attacks. In this film, however, special moves are almost an Instant-Win Condition.
    • This was the first time M. Bison was portrayed as immensely powerful. In the games up til now, his Psycho Power wasn't really utilized in a way that made him seem nearly invincible. This movie turned it into a Story-Breaker Power, and this was later canonized starting with the Alpha sub-series.
  • Adaptational Villainy: Cammy is portrayed in her Delta Red outfit, not her Shadaloo Doll one, but is still employed as Bison's assassin at the beginning of the film. Justified in that this movie predates Alpha, where the Dolls debuted.
  • Adapted Out: There is no sort of Tournament Arc whatsoever. This film takes the "Street Fighter" title literally. Even Ryu's fight with Sagat, which was supposed to be the final round of the first-ever World Warrior tournament, is done in a completely empty field in the middle of the night.
  • Advertised Extra/Billing Displacement: Almost every piece of merchandise and promotional material released in Japan featured Cammy. She even received top billing on the Japanese flyer (as seen above) — despite her screen time totaling less than five minutes. Guile, who is actually more important to the plot than she was, is lumped together with the less important Street Fighters.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Even Bison and a friggin' cyborg couldn't resist perving on Chun-Li (see the Male Gaze entry).
  • The Anime of the Game: It's right there, in the title.
  • Anime Theme Song: "Itoshisa to Setsunasa to Kokoro Tsuyosa to" plays during Ryu and Ken's fight with Bison. Street Fighter Zero, the Japanese version of the Street Fighter Alpha, features an instrumental version of the song for its Dramatic Battle mode.
  • Antagonist Abilities: Bison. To whit, his Psycho Power has Flight, Deflector Shields, Villain Teleportation, Death from Above, Mind Manipulation, and many other abilities that no one comes even close to countering. The only reason Ryu and Ken manage to defeat Bison is because they double teamed him after he decided to fight them on their level.
  • Arc Words: "What do you see beyond your fist?" It's a question Ryu and Ken were asked by their late master. During the final battle with Bison, Ken has a moment of clarity and realizes the answer: "My fate."
  • Ascended Extra:
    • Despite being a main character in the game itself, Ken's role is minor. The Animated Movie changed this by fleshing out his history with Ryu and reveals that his iconic red headband used to be Ken's hair ribbon. This was later canonized in Street Fighter Alpha 2, albeit under different circumstances.note  Ken is also given plot relevance, by having Bison target him as a means to get to Ryu, and makes him jointly responsible for Bison's defeat at the end.note 
    • E. Honda usually has a very tangential role in the games. Here, he's helping out with Ryu's training. He even helps out the heroes in the final battle by taking on Balrog.
    • The Indian girl Ryu befriends makes a cameo appearance as his female form during Demitri's Midnight Bliss in Capcom Fighting Evolution.
  • Battle in the Rain: This happens in the movie's famous opening fight between Ryu and Sagat.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Chun-Li beats the living daylights out of Vega, but ends up severely wounded in the process and is immediately rushed to the hospital.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: The movie ends with Bison appearing out of nowhere, driving a truck. Ryu then jumps toward the truck and is about to attack it when the credits roll.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Bison amplifies Ken's normally healthy competitiveness with Ryu to the point of hostility or even hatred.
  • Bullying a Dragon: Ryu and Ken are both subjected to it (by Fei Long and T. Hawk, respectively), and both end their respective confrontations in short order:
  • The Cameo: Akuma has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in Calcutta.
  • Canon Immigrant: Dr. Senoh, the old scientist who works for Shadowlaw, makes a cameo appearance in Bison's Street Fighter Alpha 2 ending.
  • Climb, Slip, Hang, Climb: Seen near the end of the movie while Ryu is free climbing in the mountains of Cambodia. A foothold collapses beneath his weight, though he saves himself by quickly grabbing onto a spur of rock.
  • Clothing Damage:
    • Chun-Li's nightshirt gets torn, which exposes her bra, during her fight with Vega.
    • Ken's shirt and pants leg are blown off by his own Hadoken, when Bison deflects it back at him.
  • Combat Pragmatism: It's called "Street Fighter" for a reason: because there aren't any rules, except to be the last man standing. And the characters are fully aware of that fact, because their lives usually depend on it:
    • Chun-Li uses her bedroom lamp and her couch as improvised weapons, to defend herself against Vega's claw. She also grabs hold of the rafters to give herself extra momentum to kick/shove him straight through the wall and out of her apartment.
    • Ryu and Ken also exemplify it, by teaming up to take on Bison. Near the end of the fight, Ryu even goes so far as to grab Bison's legs to hold him still, so Ken could nail him with his Tastumaki Senpuu Kyaku.
  • Combined Energy Attack: The battle with Bison concludes with Ryu and Ken throwing both their Hadokens at once. Their combined might overwhelms Bison, blasting him straight through his VTOL, causing it to explode around him.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Guile gets his ass handed to him by Bison, who's Teleport Spam made him untouchable. After he exhausts himself trying to hit him, Bison one-shots him, making it a Victory by Endurance.
  • Demoted to Extra:
    • Blanka, Cammy, Dee Jay, Sagat, T. Hawk, and Zangief are only in the movie to fit as many characters as possible.
    • E. Honda fights Dhalsim while in India. Afterwards, he appears again during the final battle for no reason other than to fall off a cliff with Balrog.
  • Defrosting Ice King: Chun-Li ultimately does this to Guile. He goes from ignoring her when they first met to vowing to get revenge on Bison after she was injured by Vega.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Invoked in the opening scene, which recounts the fateful battle between Ryu and Sagat.
  • Effeminate Misogynistic Guy: Vega. In fact, his characterization here, as well as his earlier game appearances, was the reason gamers believed that Vega was gay until Capcom set the record straight (as it were) years later. In the movie, he seemingly becomes jealous when he notices Bison staring at Chun-Li's breasts, while watching a video feed of her and Guile. Bison notices his reaction and gives him the order to eliminate her, which Vega gladly accepts. During the fight, he takes his time torturing her until she fights back and and steps on his face. At this point, Vega loses his sh*t and drops all pretense of toying with her.
  • Evil Genius: Bison's head scientist clearly enjoys his job.
  • Fanservice: The entire scene in Chun-Li's apartment, including the shower scene. It also contains...
    • Fan Disservice: Chun-Li fights and gets injured by Vega while wearing a loose fitting nightshirt.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Moments before the battle with Bison, Ryu is forced to face his best friend, Ken, who'd been enslaved by Bison's Psycho Power. Rather than fight back against his attacks, Ryu tries getting through to him, by reminding Ken of who he was and their friendship. He takes a beating, but ultimately succeeds without throwing a single punch.
  • Foot Focus: The audience gets treated to multiple close-ups of Chun-Li's bare feet, between her Shower Scene and her fight with Vega. They're the first thing you see at the start of said shower scene, again when she finally steps out of the shower, another when she slumps against the couch after Vega kicks her, again when she steps on his chest (then his face), another when he places his feet against hers and pushes her back toward the rafters, the entire time she's kicking the crap out of him against the wall, and finally we get a gratuitous close-up of both soles as she kicks/shoves him straight through it and out of her apartment.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • The Monitor Cyborgs analyzing the fighters. Pause and you can see lots of stats.
    • When Chun-Li is presenting her briefing to Interpol about some of the characters, pause and you can see their profiles behind her. They are identical to Capcom's profiles of them. In the English version, while both Balrog and Vega's profiles are listed under their English names, their Japanese names can be seen in the comments section.
    • If you pause at just the right time during the montage scene in Calcutta, you'll spot Akuma meditating against a wall.
  • Gainax Ending: The film ends with Bison trying to run down Ryu in a semi-truck.
  • Heroic Build: You can count the number of guys who don't have super-muscular builds on one hand. Sagat and Bison notably take this to almost Top-Heavy Guy proportions.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: It wasn't long before Ken realized conventional attacks were useless against Bison, so he resorts to using the Hadoken. Bison counters by his using his Psycho Power to send it back and drops him.
  • Hospital Surprise: Chun-Li is wounded in her fight against Vega roughly half-way through the movie. After Ryu and Ken defeat Bison in the climax, Guile goes to the hospital where she's staying only to found out that she has died. When Guile tells Chun-Li about Bison's defeat, she sits up, revealing that she has recovered and was pretending to be dead in order to prank him.
  • "I Know You Are in There Somewhere" Fight: Ryu's fight with a brainwashed Ken.
  • Improvised Weapon: During her fight with Vega, Chun-Li tries to defend herself from his claw by using the lamp post in her apartment, which he cuts in half. But when he cuts her cheek and makes a show of Licking the Blade,she retaliates by throwing her couch at him.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Naturally, the Hadoken is one of Ryu and Ken's signature moves. However, its power in this movie has been elevated to near-One-Hit KO levels —even opponents that can weather a Shoryuken are not getting up from a Hadoken.
  • Ken Doll Anatomy: Ironically, Ken himself. He is shown naked with no genitalia while Bison brainwashes him.
  • Kick Chick: Chun-Li.
  • Lowered Monster Difficulty: After mopping the floor with Guile thanks to his Psycho Power, Bison decides to fight Ryu and Ken without it. He loses.
  • Licking the Blade: Done by Vega, to taunt Chun-Li after cutting her cheek. He winds up regretting it a moment later. See the A Taste of Their Own Medicine entry.
  • Male Gaze: Since Chun-Li provides the film's T&A, she's the subject each time it happens:
    • The video feed of Guile and Chun-Li is shown from the monitor cyborg's perspective. When its gaze shifts to her, it zooms in on her breasts for several seconds, then her thighs, and finally focuses its attention directly between her legs.
    • This is used liberally during her shower scene, which features close-ups of her backside and breasts. When she finally steps out of the shower, the camera focuses directly on her bare feet.
  • Market-Based Title: The film, known in Japan as Street Fighter II Movie, was retitled Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie for its overseas release to avoid confusion with the live action film.
  • Meditation Powerup: Ken regains his strength and center after Bison nearly kills him through meditation.
  • Mind Rape: Bison uses a combination of technology and his Psycho Power to invade Ken's mind and brainwash him. Ken screams in anguish the whole time.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: Ken's sclerae turn faint red, while he's under Bison's control.
  • Mood Whiplash: Near the end of the movie, Guile returns to the hospital to discover that Chun-Li died from her injuries that she got in her fight with Vega. This turns out to be a rather messed-up prank that she plays on him, but everything worked out in the end.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Vega visibly becomes jealous when he sees Bison perving on a video feed of Chun-Li. This doesn't go unnoticed. When Bison gives him the order to eliminate her, Vega accepts without a moment's hesitation.
  • Mythology Gag: An unintentional one on the part of the animators, but in the comments section of different YouTube videos of fight between Ryu and Sagat, fans have snarked that Sagat was a noob for using an unsafe jump in and not expecting Ryu's Shoryuken on wakeup.
  • Named by the Adaptation
    • This was the first piece of Street Fighter media (outside Hasbro's action figure line) to use the last name "Masters" for Ken. Cammy was also given her last name (White) in this film.
    • Subverted with Ryu and Ken's master. He was given the name Goutetsu in this movie, but he ended up being named Gouken instead, while Goutetsu became the master of the master.
  • Neck Snap: Cammy does this to the British Minister of Justice, Albert Sellers.
  • Nipple and Dimed: The uncensored Shower Scene of Chun-Li features her nipples.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Semi-subverted, during Ryu's match with Fei Long. Ryu defeats him in short order, leaving him with a broken arm and dislocated shoulder.
  • Not Quite Dead: After being thrown off a mountain by Ryu and Ken, Bison looks like he was done for. But at the very end of the movie, he turns out to be just fine and tries to run over Ryu in a truck.
  • Not Worth Killing: Bison invokes this after humiliating Guile. Just as it seems he's about to finish him off, Bison stifles a laugh and decides Guile isn't worth the effort.
  • Off Model: A minor case. When Balrog is fighting Honda towards the climax, his eyes are constantly pointing in different directions.
  • Panty Shot: We're given several glimpses, including two close-ups, of Chun-Li's bra and panties, during her fight with Vega. Facilitated by her frequent use of kicks, while wearing a nightshirt, which gets torn by Vega's claw.
  • Perfectly Cromulent Pronunciation: Oh, Sagat? The "moo tie" champ?
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Chun-Li collapses after suffering critical injuries in an epic fight with Vega that takes up 4 minutes of screen time. Despite her devasting wounds, Chun-Li ultimately prevails, literally kicking Vega out of her apartment.
  • Power Level: Ryu's potential fighting capacity is 3620. Martial arts masters are said to only average at least 2000.
  • Psycho for Hire: The Animated Movie marked the beginning of Vega's portrayal as a psychotic, sadistic narcissist. It stuck from that moment on.
  • Reality Ensues: Chun-Li realized she was at a disadvantage against Vega, since she was unarmed, with little more than a nightshirt for protection. So she tried to even the odds with her bedroom lamp, which predictably, didn't last long. Even though Chun-Li ultimately wins the fight, she sustains life threatening injuries which causes her to spend the remainder of the film in intensive care. She does recover at the end.
  • Ret Canon: Various parts of the movie's narrative influenced the Street Fighter Alpha series:
    • Back when Street Fighter II was first released, Chun-Li was simply a martial artist who was out for revenge over her father's murder. The Animated Movie cast her as an Interpol agent to further justify her motivation for pursuing Bison. This retroactively became part of the series canon beginning in Street Fighter Alpha.
    • Guile was made a U.S. Air Force Captain whereas the original game hadn't specified what branch of the military he was with, or his rank. It also marked the beginning of the collaboration between the U.S. Air Force and Interpol in the game series itself.note 
    • In the movie, Cammy briefly speaks with Chun-Li, which later became the basis of their partnership in the Street Fighter IV series, where she's the third member of their triumvirate (along with Guile).
    • The background used in the movie's opening scene later became the bonus stage for Sagat's boss battle against Ryu at the end of Alpha 2.
    • There was no explanation for the change of Ryu's headband until Capcom worked in the movie's backstory about it being a gift from Ken. However, the reason behind the gesture was changed. Conversely, the explanation from the movie was later adapted into Street Fighter: Assassin's Fist.
    • Dr. Senoh was added to the series in Bison's Alpha 2 ending. So was the Psycho Drive, which was used for Bison's "Doll Program", instead of enslaving Ken with it.
    • Vega was originally just a vain matador who happened to work for Bison. From the Alpha series onward, he canonically adopts The Animated Movie's portrayal as a psychotic narcissist. However, his beef with Chun-Li wasn't canonized until Street Fighter IV, where she becomes one of his rival matches.
    • While Bison's profile in Street Fighter II stated that he was an unrivaled street fighter and was able to form Shadaloo strictly by way of Asskicking Equals Authority, his actual skills and abilities weren't that far beyond what other characters in the game were capable of. In this movie, Bison has full-blown Story-Breaker Power to the point that no other character even comes close to touching him. This was later copied over to the Alpha series, where this form of Bison was dubbed "Shin (True) Bison" and is the absolute peak of Bison's Psycho Power. It was retconned that after the Shin Bison body was destroyed, along with the Psycho Drive, Bison was forced to use a much, much weaker body in the second World Warrior tournament.
    • In this film, just before Bison fights Ryu and Ken, he removes his cape, the first time he does so in the entire film, and declares that he will "fight them on their own level". Afterwards, he displays no Psycho Power (aside from briefly hovering) and is defeated by Ryu and Ken without using any of the Story-Breaker Power he'd used throughout the movie. In the Alpha series, it was established that Bison's cape is an Amplifier Artifact which allows him to use all of his power (similar to Rose's scarf). In some games, he is shown removing it during a pre-battle cutscene.
  • The Rival: The movie plays up this aspect of Ken's character, by having him repeatedly reminisce about his sparring days with Ryu and their promise to settle their rivalry once and for all. However, their "fated match" ends up being postponed due to Bison.
  • Second Person Attack: Chun-Li unloads on Vega, at the end of their fight, where she kicks the ever living shit out of him for about 7 second straight. She then ends it by putting him through the wall with both feet. Almost all of it is seen from his perspective!
  • Series Continuity Error: One of Bison's monitors lists the name of Ryu and Ken's sensei as "Goutetsu"; while the film's producers intended to use that name for him, nobody spoke it. After Gouken (a Canon Immigrant from a Street Fighter II manga) was established to be Ryu and Ken's sensei, Capcom used Goutetsu as the name of Gouken and Akuma's sensei instead.
  • Shoryuken: It wouldn't be Street Fighter without it. It's first seen near the end of Ryu's fight with Sagat, at the beginning of the film, and seen again when Ryu nails Bison with it, during their showdown at the end.
  • Shout-Out: The President of the United States is named after Edward Pressman, a veteran film producer who worked on the live action Street Fighter movie.
  • Shower Scene: The movie provides one of the earliest and most well known examples in anime. In fact, word of Chun-Li's shower scene actually helped the film gain notoriety, during the time of its original release.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The movie refers to Bison's organization as "Shadowlaw" instead of "Shadaloo", even on printed documents. Capcom used the "Shadowlaw" spelling in the manuals for the home versions at the time before making "Shadaloo" the standard spelling.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Ryu and Ken are the focus of the plot. While they are technically the series' lead characters, neither of them were involved at all in Street Fighter II's main conflict against Shadaloo. This movie was the first time that either of them became connected in any way to Bison and Shadaloo (aside from Sagat joining out of hatred for Ryu), and made them the primary adversaries of Bison rather than people with an actual grudge against him (Guile, Chun-Li, Cammy, and T. Hawk).
  • Stat-O-Vision: The Monitor Cyborgs have this ability.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Bison's Psycho Power is so utterly powerful, that the heroes can't even scratch him. Guile gets curbstomped, and all Ryu manages to do on his own is singe Bison's cape. It's only once he stops using it out of frustration that Ryu and Ken are able to defeat him.
  • Supernatural Martial Arts: It's practically what the movie's about, considering the video game it's based on. Gravity defying spinning kicks, dragon punches, ki blasts and elemental powers are all accounted for. It's a faithful adaptation.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: Chun-Li didn't appreciate the stunt Vega pulled, so she paid him back by returning the favor four times over: first by hitting him in the face with her couch, followed by repeatedly hitting him in the face with her Spinning Bird Kick, then pushing him back down on the floor, stepping on his chest when he tried to get up, and finally planting her barefoot on his cheek and doing a full pirouette. To say the least, he does not take it well:
    Vega: M-my beautiful face is ruined! YOU BITCH, I'LL MAKE YOU SUFFEEEEEEEEER!
  • Title: The Adaptation
  • They Have Served Their Purpose/They Have Failed Me: Just before departing for Cambodia, Bison orders Sagat to eliminate Cammy and Vega, since he no longer had a need for the former, while the latter failed to carry out his assignment to kill Chun-Li.
  • To the Pain: Vega does this to Chun-Li — and pays dearly for it.
    Vega: My hobby is to slowly peel the skins off the rabbits I catch- especially cute little bunnies like you! And my friend here is thirsty for blood.
  • Violence Discretion Shot: For the first minute or so, the audience is treated to a shot of Chun-Li's living room while she and Vega are heard scuffling in her bedroom. In between muffled thumps against the wall and sounds of breaking furniture, she can be heard crying out in pain, until Vega finally kicks her through the door, hard enough to knock it off its hinges. Which also knocks over the phone, right as Guile is trying to call her. It then becomes an in-universe example, since all he hears through the receiver are her screams.
  • The Worf Effect: Bison desires to recruit Ryu into his organization as a result of Ryu defeating Sagat in a fight. He tells his men "Any man strong enough to beat the crap out of Sagat is a man I want found."
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: The film never shows Sagat again after Bison gives him the order to dispose of Cammy and Vega. Judging by how he just stood alone after Bison left with Balrog, it's likely Sagat was having a Heel Realization from being denied his rematch with Ryu.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Guile almost fights Chun-Li at one point. He stops when he learns that Bison killed her father. This is played straight when Vega attacks her.


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