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Anime / Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation

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Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation—released in Japan as Street Fighter Zero: The Animation (ストリートファイターZERO?) and also known as Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie—is a 1999 OVA film loosely based on the Street Fighter Alpha series. It was directed by Shigeyasu Yamauchi, with character designs by Yoshihiko Umakoshi. An English adaptation was produced by Manga Entertainment and released in 2000.

The film commemorates the tenth anniversary of the arcade release of the original Street Fighter II. It is not a prequel or sequel to either Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie or Street Fighter II V, but an independent installment, although a handful of voice actors from the previous adaptations reprised their roles for the English version.

The story starts when Ryu is thinking of Gouken's death, then intervenes in a shoot-out to help Chun-Li. Afterwards, he and Ken are contacted by a boy named Shun — who claims to be Ryu's younger brother. Neither is really convinced by Shun's claim, but they decide that there's no harm on letting the boy tag along with them. Things start getting hairy, however, when the three decide to enter the Street Fighter tournament: not only Ryu is starting to show more and more sympthoms of the Satsui no Hado awakening within him, but Shun's background and the people behind it start to unfurl...

Tropes in the anime include:

  • Adaptational Heroism: Birdie teams up with Ken and Chun-Li to battle Rosanov, despite being a member of Shadaloo in the games.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In the games, Zangief, while Hot-Blooded, is nonetheless a Gentle Giant, a Friend to All Children, and even The Big Guy for the World Warriors by the time of Street Fighter V. Here, he's nothing more than a mindless brute who ruthlessly beats Shun, something his game counterpart would never do.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the games, Sakura is, while untrained, a legitimate badass who is able to copy some of Ryu's moves just by looking at them. Here, she's just a normal high school girl. This is justified, as she's only just started to train seriously at the end.
  • Adapted Out: M. Bison and Balrog are not present despite Shadaloo still playing a major role. Oddly enough, Vega does appear, but as an arena fighter without much relevance to the story.
  • Advertised Extra: Akuma is teased as the main antagonist of the film in promotional material, but in the movie proper, he only shows up for a single scene, and doesn't even fight with Ryu until the credits, where it's left off in a cliffhanger. The real villain is Canon Foreigner Dr. Sadler.
  • Attempted Rape: This is heavily implied when Sakura enters a bar and tries to fight the drunk thugs, only to fail and they start grabbing her. Thankfully, Ken saves her before they could do anything else:
    Man A: "Hehe... That was fun, let's play some more."
    Man B: "We'll have a good ol' time!"
  • Badass Adorable: Shun. It later gets subverted when he brutally beats up street thugs and is really a Creepy Child.
  • The Cameo:
    • Several characters from Alpha and II show up for a few second scenes, but play absolutely no role in the actual story.
    • Ibuki can be seen when Sakura plays the WonderSwan version of Super Gem Fighter in the hospital.
  • Canon Foreigner: Shun, Wallace, Rosanov and Dr. Sadler.
  • Creepy Child: Shun at first looks like your average kid, but as the movie develops, he gains more than one trait of this.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • When the heroes fight Saddler's cyborg Dragon, Rosanov, they get their asses handed to them easily.
    • Dan twice gets his rear end handed to him, by Vega and Birdie.
  • Curb Stomp Cushion: A downplayed example, but Ken's Shinryuken is able to visibly damage Rosanov's face. He shrugs it off though.
  • Damsel in Distress: Sakura when she tried to fight a group of drunkards, Ken saves her. She later gets a broken leg after the tower holding the tournament collapses, Ken has to carry her to safety.
  • Darker and Edgier: This is one of the darkest and most violent entries in the overall franchise. There's lots of blood, nightmarish imagery, implied Attempted Rape, Coldblooded Torture, and a child getting brutalized and even dying at the end. Overall, the movie has a depressing tone compared to the more upbeat, while still intense, series in general.
  • Died in Your Arms Tonight: Shun's death in Ryu's arms.
  • Distressed Dude: Shun spends the second half of the movie held captive by Dr. Sadler.
  • Flanderization: Poor Dan gets curbstomped even more than usual.
  • Generic Doomsday Villain: Rosanov has literally no other characterization besides being fodder for Ryu's Hadouken. And besides Ryu's Hadouken, nothing else hurts him. This is justified as Rosanov is an android created by Dr. Sadler to test and study Ryu's powers, with no will of his own.
  • Groin Attack: Chun-Li, of all people, suffers a vicious shot in her pelvic region by Romanov while she, Ken, and Birdie are fighting it. The quick reaction on her face underscores it.
  • Implacable Man: Rosanov. He shrugs off almost everything thrown at him.
  • Invincible Villain: Nothing Ken, Chun-Li or Birdie throw at Rosanov seem to be able to damage him. Even Ryu can't do much to him without giving into the Dark Hado.
  • Kamehame Hadoken: Ryu's Dark Hadoken and Shinku Hadoken pretty much just look like a Kamehameha in this version.
  • Long Lost Sibling: Shun claims to be Ryu's younger brother. He and Ken don't believe him at first, yet they still let him hang around them. However, there are also some really troubling details about the kid like him apparently being able to summon the Satsui no Hado.
  • Mercy Kill Arrangement: Ryu at one point implicitly enlists Ken to stop him should Ryu completely fall to the Satsui no Hado, and even have a match to make sure Ken is still capable of keeping up with him if need be.
  • Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: Dr. Sadler.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: The English dub gives Birdie an American accent when he's supposed to be British.
  • Recursive Canon: Sakura is seen playing Super Gem Fighter, a game she herself is in.
  • Stealth Mentor: Rose tries to be this to Ryu.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The Satsui no Hado. It's called the Dark Hado in the English dub.
  • The Worf Effect: Despite Ken often being considered Ryu's equal, he gets viciously thrashed by Rosanov alongside Chun-li and Birdie to show that only Ryu is a match for him. Even Ryu himself spends both of his fights with Rosanov taking a beating and only by giving into the Dark Hado can he truly put him down.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Zangief during his match with Shun. If it weren't for Ryu interrupting the fight, he would've killed him.