Thanks to its popularity, the Street Fighter
series received an anime film adaptation
in 1994: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
The international criminal organization Shadowlaw is secretly recording fights of the world's greatest martial artists with their human-like Monitor Cyborgs. These recording help Shadowlaw's leader, M. Bison, determine which fighters Shadowlaw should abduct and convert into their brainwash slaves.
One fighter in particular, named Ryu, catches Bison's interest after watching his fight against Shadowlaw operative and former fighting champion, Sagat. Shadowlaw activities captures the attention of Interpol and its lead investigator, Chun-Li. She teams up with U.S. Air Force Captain Guile in her investigation.
Ryu is travelling throughout Asia in search of a good fight. Meanwhile, in the United States, Ken Masters, Ryu's friend, former training partner, and rival, is also searching for fights, but is unsatisfed with his challengers. He awaits the day when he and Ryu can settle their "unfinished business" with another fight. When Bison discovers the history between Ryu and Ken, he kidnaps and brainwashes Ken. Now it is a race between the investigators and Shadowlaw to find Ryu.
As opposed to other movies based off of Street Fighter
, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
stays as faithful as possible to the original game and the 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
following the events of an upgraded Monitor Cyborg recording various Street Fighter battles. Several fight scenes and new ideas introduced in this film including the fight between Ryu and Sagat at the beginning of the film, Ken's longer hair during his training days with Ryu (and how Ryu got his red headband), and a two-on-one battle with Ken and Ryu fighting Bison eventually became part of
the Street Fighter Alpha
series. Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie
remains a huge fan favorite to this day.
The film's original American release in 1995 had a healthy dose of censorship attached, including cuts to Chun-Li's shower scene and swearing toned down. 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.
Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie provides the following tropes:
- Action Girl: Chun-Li and Cammy White.
- 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. Even Ken's girlfriend Eliza (a non-playable character in the series) has a bigger presence in the movie.
- The Anime of the Game
- 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.
- 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."
- Battle in the Rain: This happens in the movie's famous opening fight between Ryu and Sagat.
- 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.
- 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: Ryu gets a scene like this, near the end of the movie.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Guile gets his ass firmly handed to him by Bison. He doesn't even get one hit in, due to Bison dodging all of his attacks.
- Demoted to Extra: Blanka, Cammy, Dee Jay, Sagat, T. Hawk, and Zangief all receive this treatment.
- Dramatic Thunder
- Evil Genius: Bison's head scientist clearly enjoys his job.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: The Monitor Cyborgs analyzing the fighters. Pause and you can see lots of stats.
- Also 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.
- Also, if you're 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.
- I Know You Are In There Somewhere Fight: Ryu's fight with a brainwashed Ken.
- Improvised Weapon: After Vega's claw slices her up, a pissed off Chun-Li retaliates by throwing her couch at 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 Claw: Vega.
- 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 his head off the the whole time.
- Mind-Control Eyes: Ken's eyes become small and beady while being brainwashed.
- 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.
- 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: Once Bison defeats Guile, he invokes this.
- Perfectly Cromulent Pronunciation: Oh, Sagat? The "moo tie" champ?note
- Power Level: Ryu's potential fighting capacity is 3620, martial arts masters are said to average at 2000.
- Ret Canon: This movie influenced numerous aspects of the Street Fighter Alpha series.
- Second Person Attack: The film includes a lengthy example of this at the end of Chun-Li's fight with Vega, where she kicks the ever living sh*t out of him with her Lightning Kick. And ends it by putting him through the wall with both feet!
- 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 "Goutetsu" as the name for Ryu and Ken's sensei, nobody spoke his name. After Gouken (a Canon Immigrant from a Street Fighter II manga) became Ryu and Ken's sensei, Capcom used Goutetsu as the name of Gouken and Akuma's sensei.
- Shout-Out: The President of the United States is named after Edward Pressman, a veteran film producer whose credits include the live action film.
- Shower Scene: Chun-Li gets one; it changes to a Shower of Awkward thanks to Vega.
- 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.
- 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.
- Title: The Adaptation
- To the Pain: Vega does this to Chun-Li and pays dearly for it.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Sagat is not seen or heard from again after Bison gives him the order to leave for America to dispose of Cammy and Vega.