Western Animation: Street Fighter
"Colonel William Guile, one of the greatest martial artists in the world, travels the global tournament circuit, using it to conceal his top secret mission as leader of an elite group of international crime fighters, known only by their code name: Street Fighter!! The heroic Man-Beast, Blanka; hard-kicking fighting machine, Chun-Li; and the team of the most amazing warriors ever seen have joined forces with Guile to combat the criminal empire of Shadaloo, and its superhuman leader, Bison. They have their own code of honor: Discipline, Justice, Commitment, and together they will triumph against the forces of evil. Street Fighter!"
In 1995, the USA Network
and InVision Entertainment decided to make a kid-friendly Animated Adaptation
of Street Fighter
. The problem was that they didn't seem to know which Street Fighter
to use as the template: the video game Street Fighter II
or the American-made movie
based (loosely) on Street Fighter II
As the opening narration
above explains, Guile leads a group of Street Fighters against terrorism, mainly related to Shadaloo. The majority of the Street Fighter
movie's story had taken place in this show and most of the characters who were given full names (William F. Guile, Ryu Hoshi, Carlos "Charlie" Blanka, Viktor Sagat, etc.) and new roles (Dr. Dhalsim, computer-savvy Honda, Dee Jay and Balrog) were kept. However, the characters look like they did in the games, Fei Long and Akuma (who were omitted in the actual movie) appear in the show, and everybody's alliances in the show (except Zangief, who even at the end of the movie was good) reflect how they were in the games.
The series had its share of problems. Some fans didn't like how the characters retained aspects from the movie (Guile being the main character rather than Ryu, for example). The show also had inconsistent animation and character designs
, mostly generic storylines, and weird moments and dialogue in many episodes.
That being said, Street Fighter
lasted two seasons for a total of 26 episodes. It had more Street Fighter
characters seen throughout its run than any other animated adaptation of Street Fighter
, considering the inclusion of the Street Fighter Alpha
characters during the second season and an entire episode devoted to Final Fight
This show provides examples of:
- A-Team Firing: Lots of it.
- Adaptation Personality Change: Just like the movie, Ken acts like a colossal douchebag. Special mention goes to the first episode, in which he wanted to swipe a bunch of ancient treasure from Blanka's friends.
- Adaptational Villainy: Zangief, who is among M. Bison's lackeys.
- Aesop Amnesia: Even after being called out for being an irresponsible Jerkass, Ken still acts like one. An especially notable example is "The World's Greatest Warrior". Ken receives the more character development in the series when he successfully defeats Akuma. However, the following episode is "So, You Want to be in Pictures", in which Ken's jerkiness shines through.
- Animated Adaptation: The American series is the source of many YouTube Poops. YES! YES!
- Animesque: Obvious at times due to the fact that the series was animated in Japan. This is especially noticeable whenever Sunrise animated an episode. It's jarring when compared to the more American looking, error-prone style episodes Madhouse did during Season 1.
- Arc Words: "Discipline, justice, commitment!" is used on a fairly regular basis, not just in the intro either.
- Artifact of Doom: The Kali statue, which Bison uses to heal himself in the second season. It eventually brainwashes him into wanting to destroy the world instead of take it over.
- Artistic License – Physics: The series has far too many examples of this to list here, so let's just have a quote from Dhalsim sum it up:
Dhalsim: "Not if I were bound by your immutable laws of physics. Fortunately, I have advanced beyond such simple-minded perceptions and embraced the limitless enlightenment of metaphysics."
- Bad Boss: Bison will occasionally shows signs of this. Zangief is usually Bison's favorite target.
- Beam Spam: Guile. When all else fails, he'll just constantly throw Sonic Booms and Flash Kicks. Case in point: His and Sagat's method of ambushing Bison in the series finale "Cammy Tell Me True".
- Big Good: Escher for the Street Fighters.
- Big "NO!": All over the place. One of the more notable examples is when Guile screams this and shakes his fists like an angry child when a brainwashed Cammy retreats with Bison and kisses him.
- Big "YES!": Uttered twice in a single scene by a certain character. "YES! YES!"
- Bittersweet Ending: Season 2 ends with Bison finally being defeated and the world saved, but Cammy has no idea what to do anymore.
- Black Eyes of Evil: Both Bison and Akuma have black sclera with white pupils.note
- Brainwashed and Crazy:
- Bison is able to brainwash both Guile and Cammy on separate occasions.
- Bison himself becomes brainwashed by the Kali statue after using it on himself one too many times.
- Broad Strokes: The series implies that the events of the movie occurred, but not exactly as depicted there. "Keeping the Peace" shows a flashback of Guile being court-marshaled for invading Shadaloo City against his superior's orders, which happens in the movie, but the sole fact that Dee Jay and Balrog are now working on opposite sides, among other inconsistencies, makes it impossible for the movie to fit in the show's continuity.
- Broken Pedestal: Sagat for Kip in "No Way Out".
- Bullying a Dragon: Yes, Middle Easterners, go ahead and throw rocks at the big green monster with electrical powers.
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday:
: "Yes, yes, I killed your father. What is it with you women anyway? I killed my father too, and you don't hear me whining about it!
- The Cameo: Some Alpha characters make cameo appearances in "The Medium is the Message". Doubles as an Early-Bird Cameo for Rose and the Final Fight characters that appear there.
- Canon Foreigner: Escher, Lucinda, Mai-Lei, Satin Hammer, and Sachi (Ryu's cousin). Cammy's former teammates from MI5 (Burke, Rory and Celia) are technically from the games, but the original game versions had different names and character designs (Keith Wolfman, Matthew McCoy, Lita Luwanda and a fourth member named George Ginzu).
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Dee Jay in Season 2.
- Composite Character: Blanka and Charlie were made into one character, just like in the movie. A flashback in "The Medium is the Message" shows a pre-mutation Blanka looking just like Charlie did in Street Fighter Alpha, but with a color scheme closer to Blanka (black hair with a green vest and brown pants). He reverts back to his human form for a while in "Eye of the Beholder."
- Continuity Cameo
- Continuity Nod: Despite a few inconsistencies with the source material, there are points in the show that follows the continuity of the games:
- Chun-Li's father was killed by Bison.
- Sagat getting his scar from Ryu's Shoryuken.
- Dhalsim abandoning science for Yoga.
- Ryu and Ken's techniques are based on an assassination martial art.
- Vega freaks out when his face is touched.
- Rose's rivalry with Bison. During their confrontation, Bison mentions that he senses a "bond" between them, which is possibly a nod at Rose being the good half of his soul.
- Cammy being brainwashed by Bison. This is especially notable because not even Capcom USA acknowledged this until Street Fighter Alpha 3.
- Convection Schmonvection: In "Strange Bedfellows," Bison and Guile get awful close to those lava pits without getting burned.
- Crazy-Prepared: Sagat built an escape mechanism into his firing squad wall in case he himself ever got to be on its receiving end. Seems he was rather savvy about being Hoist by His Own Petard.
- Meta example with the Warrior King. He would go on to appear in three other shows in USA Network's Action Extreme Team block. The shows are Savage Dragon, Mortal Kombat: Defenders of the Realm, and Wing Commander Academy. He was voiced by Michael Dorn in almost all of his appearances.note
- The episode "Final Fight" revolves around Ryu and Ken helping Cody and Guy rescue Jessica. This happened during Season 2 when Street Fighter Alpha 2 had just been released on home consoles, which had Guy, Rolento, and Sodom as playable fighters. As such, Season 2 had several episodes focusing on Alpha characters instead of the one-scene cameos from Season 1. Too bad the show ended before we could get a episode dedicated to Dan, Adon, or Gen.
- Cultural Translation: In two ways. First off, Guile is clearly intended to be the primary character of the series. This goes to the point that he overshadowed Ryu and Ken themselves.note Secondly, Ken, the American half of the duo, was the one who received most of the spotlight in comparison to Ryu (the Japanese half). For example, Ken was the only character who actually defeated Akuma in single combat and became "The World's Greatest Warrior" for his success.note
- Curbstomp Battle: Guile tends to knock down most opponents with one Sonic Boom, including Sagat and Zangief, both more physically imposing than him.
- Cutting the Knot: Guile disarms a bomb with a Sonic Boom.
- Dating Catwoman: T. Hawk and Satin Hammer.
- Deadpan Snarker: Guile loves his sarcasm.
- Demoted to Extra: Escher in Season 2.
- Doesn't Like Guns: Guile, who explicitly states that "guns are for wimps!". Not only that but he manages to rip apart the license for getting the weapons by just crumpling it in his hand.
- Doomsday Device: In "Cammy Tell Me True," Bison, under the influence of a priceless statue Cammy stole for him in a previous episode, decides not to Take Over the World, but instead destroy it by activating all the nuclear missiles on Earth.
- Dream Within a Dream: Seen in "Getting to Guile". Guile first dreams that a bunch of hostages are vaporized and wakes up. He then goes to work and meets with Escher, who suddenly turns into a werewolf.
Escher: The Street Fighters have no more use for you, Colonel Guile!
- Easter Egg: An unintentional one is contained in the episode "Face of Fury", with a frame of Blanka heads◊ hidden during the climax of the battle between Guile and Chun-Li vs. Blanka.
- Enemy Mine:
- In the appropriately titled episode "Strange Bedfellows," Guile and Bison are left with no choice but to form a temporary alliance to counter Akuma.
- In "Cammy Tell Me True," the heroes and Sagat team up to stop Bison. Cammy also joins the fray after her brainwashing wears off.
- Evil Tastes Good:
- For Bison, watching Guile get his ass kicked by one of his mutant soldiers in "The Medium is the Message".
- Satin Hammer is also prone to stating her view on the tastiness of whatever is currently happening.
- Family-Friendly Firearms: Specifically Bison and his followers all have lasers instead of real guns.
- Flat Character: How most of the characters are handled.
- Follow the Leader: The premise resembles G.I. Joe more than it does Street Fighter.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: In the beginning of "Chunnel Vision," a man is reading a newspaper. When paused, the following headlines can be read: "Street Fighter III Released!" "Final Fight 3 Released!" "Darkstalkers 3 Released for Home Systems." "Android Brought to Life" (Dr. Light's name is even mentioned in the subtitle). A similar newspaper can be seen in "Keeping the Peace".
- Gang Initiation Fight: In "Final Fight", Ryu and Ken go undercover to infiltrate the Mad Gear gang, and are told that the only way to join is to beat Sodom, one of the bosses from the original Final Fight game. They're up to the task.
- Heel-Face Turn: Sagat in "Cammy Tell Me True", as he does not want the planet to be destroyed.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: In the final episode, Bison's Psycho Power rages out of control, and he can't stop discharging an ever-strengthening magnetic field. This causes the metal computer console he landed on top of to rip him apart and explode.
- I Owe You My Life/Pet the Dog: At the end of "Strange Bedfellows," in an rather awkward Out-of-Character Moment, Bison spares Guile's life by stopping Zangief from shooting Guile as payback for saving him earlier.
- The Immune: It's revealed in "The Adventure Begins" that Blanka's blood contains antibodies that are being used to fight off a deadly virus. It is then used to create a vaccine to cure Ryu.
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: When it's not A-Team Firing, nobody can hit anyone with bullets or lasers. Ever.
- Incoming Ham:
- Instrumental Theme Tune: Based on the theme of Street Fighter II, naturally.
- Just a Kid: In "Second to None", when Sakura says that she wants to go with Guile to rescue her sensei, who is not Dan, he calls her a kid and tells that it is too dangerous. She throws him on the ground and tells him that she knows her way around the area where her sensei is located.
- Large Ham:
- Bison. Richard Newman was obviously having way too much fun with this role. Coincidentally, this ends up making him the most well-acted character in the show.
- Ditto with David Kaye as Akuma, and he's in two episodes maximum.
- Lethal Lava Land: The island that Akuma leads Guile and Bison to in "Strange Bedfellows" is full of active volcanoes that are getting ready to erupt.
- Limited Wardrobe: Many of the Street Fighters wear the same thing all the time, even in places where it would be seen as unprofessional or impractical. Averted by Chun-Li, however, who wears some casual clothes in her apartment in "Getting to Guile", and a business casual lavender skirt when she works as a reporter. This is also averted in "The Warrior King", when she wears a formal dress to a party. She wants to get out of it and into her Street Fighter uniform as quickly as possible, though, because she has a hard time fighting in the dress.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: To the point that characters from the Alpha series, most notably Sakura and Rose, and Final Fight, as noted, appeared.
- Look Behind You: In the beginning of "Chunnel Vision," Bison is busy fighting MI5 when one of them shouts to look behind him. Bison scoffs, thinking it's a lame attempt at a distraction. He almost gets hit by a train.
- Made of Iron:
- If "Desert Thunder" is to be believed, Escher. He takes a shot from a misfired laser superweapon in the arm and head, and suffers no ill effects despite said laser's island destroying power.
- Literally in the case of an iron gate in "No Way Out", which takes a lot of punishment from Sagat's platoon before they finally get it out of the way with tanks.
- Magic Countdown: In "Cammy Tell Me True", as the countdown to apocalypse happens, it's incredibly slow, even when it speeds up.
- Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All: Bison gets captured by MI5 in "Chunnel Vision," but it turns out to be a ruse that allowed his agents to hold all of England hostage unless he is freed. Bison then forces the British government to hand over a ransom of one billion pounds sterling, all while chillaxing in his cell and sipping tea.
- Mind Screw: The episode "Getting to Guile" in which Guile keeps having nightmares about people turning into monsters, and his friends turning on him. This is justified, since Bison was actually screwing around with his mind.
- A Minor Kidroduction: In "Getting to Guile," the Torture Technician sets the memory-scanning/brainwashing device too far back, resulting in a scene of a young Guile defending a kid from bullies only to be chased himself and forced to hide.
- The Mole: Cammy is secretly Bison's sleeper agent, who goes back to working for him after he sends her a certain telepathic message.
- Moral Dissonance: Despite boasting about justice, discipline, and commitment, Guile very often attacks his opponents from behind.
- Motor Mouth: In "The Hammer Strikes", everyone sounds like this at times, especially Sawada.
- Mundane Utility: Bison uses his Psycho Power to do everything from go down a subway tunnel on a handcart to dialing an old rotary telephone.
- Never Say "Die": Characters sometimes substitute it with "destroy", but there are quite a few exceptions.
- No Pronunciation Guide: Ryu, again being called "Rye-you."
- Nothing Is the Same Anymore: Invoked by Cammy at the end of "Cammy Tell Me True". After learning the truth about her brainwashing, she decides not to rejoin MI5, and put everything behind her somehow.
- Oblivious to Love: Averted. Guile is well aware that Cammy has a crush on him (due to the not so subtle hints that she has given him). He does not share these same feelings, however, due to the fact that he is still being in love with his ex-girlfriend Lucinda (whom he would eventually get back together with at the end of "Strange Bedfellows"). Despite this, Cammy still hits on Guile until she is brainwashed by Bison in "Cammy and the Bachelor".
- Off Model: Everybody, at least once. Neither animation company were consistent with each other, much less amongst themselves.
- One particular moment in "Eye of the Beholder" is when Dee Jay appears to shrink. He got out of an elevator by running out of it, and then he turned to his left while still running. Some guy was shooting at him. But by running towards the left, he was supposed to become "closer" to the camera. Instead, it's as if the distance wasn't even changed; if anything, he was actually getting smaller. And that's how he avoided being shot. Plus they spelled "MAXIMUM" wrong on his trousers.
- In "Keeping the Peace", a sniper takes aim at Sawada and Guile pushes him out of the way. The sniper misses, but the shot appears to hit Guile's shoulder anyway, with no lasting effects.
- "Desert Thunder": At one point, a superweapon that Satin Hammer commandeers misfires thanks to Guile and one of her shots goes wide and heads in Escher's direction. It looks as if it was supposed to miss Escher according to script but seems to hit him in the arm and the head. It doesn't affect him in any way despite having the power to obliterate islands.
- Sometimes characters are drawn with the wrong emotions, or look like they were. For example, in "Second to None", Ken is in the hospital, injured, and Escher is supposed to be comforting him. But the way he was drawn makes him look menacing as hell.
- Guile, Bison, and Akuma in have different facial designs in "Strange Bedfellows". Bison's cape also can't decide if it's flapping in the breeze or not, and often alternates between shots.
- Bison has eight different facial designs in "The Warrior King".
- In "Strange Bedfellows," Sagat puts his feet up on Bison's desk to reveal he has two right ones. In "Cammy Tell Me True," his iconic chest scar disappears.
- Ken's hair flips back and forth between being blonde and strawberry blonde throughout the series.
- Every now and again, the animators will occasionally overdo the shadows of a character in certain scenes.note However, this normally results in animation that's somehow better than the rest of the show.
- Oh, Crap: The epic look on Bison's face when he realizes Chun-Li is about to Lightning Kick him in the back of the head ("The Warrior King").
- Opening Narration: See page quote.
- Out-of-Character Moment:
- Ken, while he's fighting Akuma. While it's out of character in comparison to his normal douchiness in this series, it's ironically closer to his actual in-game persona.
- Subverted the first time Bison saves Guile's life in "Strange Bedfellows." He quickly provides a rather in-character explanation:
Bison: Self-preservation narrowly won out over the pleasure of watching you burn.
- Percussive Maintenance:
- At one point, Guile throws a Sonic Boom at a bomb to defuse it.
- In "Cammy Tell Me True," both Guile and Sagat try wrecking Bison's computer terminal after trying to stop the missile launch the normal way just speeds up the countdown.
- Plot Hole: T. Hawk and his power of flight in "Desert Thunder". And then in his next appearance he has no such ability.
- Poirot Speak: Zangief dips into this.
- Psycho Electro: In addition to his usual Psycho Power,note Bison can also manipulate magnetic fields and, consequently, metal objects.
- Red Eyes, Take Warning: Bison's eyes tend to glow red when he's angry or about to unleash his Psycho Power.
- The Rest Shall Pass: "Bison is mine!" (or some variant) is said by numerous characters throughout the series, but usually by Guile.
- Satellite Love Interest: Mai-Lei, the girl Blanka falls in love with in "Eye of the Beholder", doesn't really have much going for her in terms of personality.
- Say My Name:
- Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: This is Ryu's reaction after he gets slimed by a pig while he and Ken are looking for a temple in "The Adventure Begins".
- Self-Made Orphan: Bison, as he reveals to Chun-Li in battle after she angrily reminds him that he killed her father:
- Shirtless Scene: Due to getting injured in "Cammy and the Bachelor," Bison spends the next couple of episodes with no shirt on.
- Sigil Spam: The "SF" emblem that Escher uses to summon Guile to missions can pretty much be anywhere or anything. Among the creative ways it's used, the letters can even be spelled with sandwiches on a dish ("The Strongest Woman in the World").
- Soundtrack Dissonance: A brassy, upbeat, heroic fanfare, actually "Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor", can be heard during several inappropriate moments throughout the series. Most notably, it is heard during Bison's famous "YES! YES!" scene, even though he's the Big Bad and might've finally triumphed over the heroes. Guile's Big "NO!", as mentioned above, also features a brassy stinger that wouldn't sound out of place on The A-Team. The former can be heard the during the following scenes:
- In "Getting to Guile", when the house Guile and Bison goes into turns into a monster during Guile's nightmare.note
- In "So, You Want to be in Pictures" when Ken nearly falls to his death.
- In "Final Fight", a much shorter build up of the fanfare can be heard when Belger fires a laser gun at Cody, Guy, and Jessica while they are hiding behind a table.
"It's only a matter of time until you're all FRIED!"
- Terrifying Rescuer: In "Eye of the Beholder", Blanka rescues the Japanese Prime Minister. Upon seeing his savior, the Prime Minister yells "Kaibutsu! Kaibutsu!" ("Monster! Monster!") and flees. This is part of Blanka's ongoing characterization of the identity struggle caused by his forced mutation.
- Third-Person Person: Zangief often talks like this. Blanka starts speaking like this in "The Flame and the Rose" while fighting Zangief, probably to make fun of him.
- Vocal Dissonance: The feral boy in the episode "The Beast Within", who has the voice of a ten-year-old despite having the body of a teenager.
- Villain Teleportation: Akuma is very found of Teleport Spam in his debut episode. Bison also teleports behind Guile several times in "Cammy Tell Me True".
- Villainous BSOD: Cammy, after learning she was brainwashed by Bison.
Cammy: Everything is lies! EVERYTHING IS LIES!!!
- We Need a Distraction: In "The Flame and the Rose," Rose offers to distract Bison on the astral plane while Ken and Blanka break into his hideout and get rid of his Kali statue.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Balrog never appears after his first appearance. Where did he go? Never explained. To quote the annotation near the end of this video:
"What will Cammy do next? Can Ryu and Ken stop Akuma from murdering fighters and stealing their chi? Can T. Hawk set aside his feelings to stop Satin Hammer's terrorist vendetta against those who wronged her? Will Warrior's World ever be saved and with Chun-Li ever reunite with her lover?note Can Fei Long end the Triad's grip on Hong Kong and rebuild his tarnished career? Will Guile ever regain his old life and will Blanka regain his humanity? And what happened to Vega and Balrog?"
- What the Hell, Hero?: Fei Long chews out Ken in "So, You Want to be in Pictures" for allowing his fame to get in the way of his training, making him a sloppy and unreliable mess during filming. To elaborate, he and Ken were filming a scene where Ken's character was meant to die. However, thanks to getting more funds for the film from his dad, and being handed creative control of the film, Ken rewrote the scene to have him get up triumphantly, amongst other things.
- You Killed My Father:
- The focus of the plot in "The Strongest Woman in the World" (Bison killed Chun-Li's father). This receives a callback in "Cammy Tell Me True" during a exchange between Bison and Chun-Li (see Self-Made Orphan above for the quote).
- It went double for Cammy here, as she found out in the same episode that Bison had both her parents executed. Hence Bison's "What is it with you women anyway?" line when Chun-Li confronts him.