Genre: Martial Arts
Year Released: 2005-2006
Running Time: ONA, 4 episodes, 6-8 minutes each
Rating/Recommended Audience: 13+
For Fans Of:
Street Fighter II series, Dragon Ball Z, Virtua Fighter, Shadow Skill,
Naruto, Shura no Toki
-This miniseries takes place right after KOF: Maximum Impact.-EDIT: This review was written before the existence of KOF: Destiny.
-This is so far the first animated adaptation of The King of Fighters not counting Art of Fighting and the Fatal Fury movies.
-KOF: Another Day was released as a bonus for KOF 2006 AKA KOF: Maximum Impact 2, but there was a huge delay that made fans furious when they pre-ordered it until they finally released this anime stateside.
Not going to lie to anyone here, I was a huge fighting game fanatic during my childhood. I remember owning both The King of Fighters Dream Match 1999 and The King of Fighters ’99: Evolution on Dreamcast back in the day. I feel old mentioning that I had that system. Sure, I was more of a Capcom guy, but I still played what SNK had to offer.
I remember hearing that they made a KOF anime over a decade ago, and I was interested since I’ve liked the games. After watching it now, I regretted that decision.
KOF: Another Day is an ONA which means Original Net Animation, so these episodes were released directly to the internet as opposed to being direct-to-video like its big brother, the OVA as far as anime release methods are concerned. I will say that the animation is quite good and they do not skimp out on the fight scenes. Granted, this was done by Production I. G (Ghost in the Shell franchise, Psycho-Pass, Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade), so this doesn’t come as a surprise. However, great animation wasn’t enough to save this anime.
These short episodes are little vignettes of some of the characters in the KOF universe. Southtown is in trouble (again), as it’s set ablaze and various characters wonder who started it, but who cares? It’s an excuse for some fights to happen, right? After not playing the KOF series for ages, I do recognize most of the characters except for Alba and Soiree for example. I had no idea what they were doing there and there was no other context as to why everyone was in Southtown other than it being an obvious locale for those familiar with the games, especially the Fatal Fury franchise. I found out that KOF: Another Day takes place right after the Maximum Impact game, but that was only after watching it and researching this title.
I didn’t care what was going on as the characters were popping up left and right with little to no explanation even with the characters that I actually knew. Sure, it was great seeing Kyo, Iori, Rock, and K’ (pronounced K Prime) animated and kicking butt, but I felt that there should have been a bigger story as to why they were there. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not asking for some huge and artistic plot, but the reasoning was nonexistent and quite flimsy. Just random fights happen and stuff is burning in Southtown.
I thought that this was made as pure fan service to SNK fans (must resist obvious Mai Shiranui joke!) with these appearances and the fights. There’s barely any exposition and if someone watched this ONA without playing the games, they will be confused. Even I was confused and I know who most of the characters were. The only cool scenes that involved some good characterization was when Iori stopped the fight between Kyo and Alba. He holds both of their punches and they stop battling each other. Then, Iori tells Kyo to live well because he’s going to kill him sooner or later. That was very in character for him given the blood feud that’s between him and the main protagonist Kyo. I knew that, but not everyone would. Say what you will about fighting games, but at least a good deal of the KOF games had storylines to them.
If the KOF series should be animated, then they should at least make it a full-on TV series with 39 episodes minimum and tackle some of the story arcs like the Orochi arc from KOF: 1997 for example. There would be enough time to give context, characterization, and even some backstories if necessary.
KOF: Another Day was a big letdown despite the high-quality animation. You’ll get great fight scenes and see some characters that you might like if you’re familiar with the gaming franchise, but not much else.
Adjustable Point System:
Add 1-2 points if you’re an SNK fan
Subtract 1 point if you hate fighting anime
-The characterization between Iori and Kyo despite being brief
-The train scene with K’ and Maxima
-Way too short
-Not enough story
-Cannot be watched in isolation from the games and other KOF media
Content Warning: Teens and up. Sure, there’s a good deal of violence, but it doesn’t get that gory. There’s some brief language, but it’s not that prevalent. There’s some fan service since Mai shows up early on with her skimpy ninja outfit.
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