Street Fighter Alpha: Generations Review

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AKA: Street Fighter Zero: Generations

Genre: Martial Arts
Year Released: 2005

Distributor: Manga Entertainment

Origin: Japan/USA
Running Time: 45 minutes

Rating/Recommended Audience: 13+
Related Films/Series: Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Street Fighter II V, Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation, Street Fighter (American animated series), Street Fighter (live-action), Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun Li, Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind, Street Fighter: Legacy, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist, Street Fighter: Resurrection
For Fans Of: King of Fighters: Another Day, Naruto, Shura no Toki, Tokyo Underground, Ikki-Tousen
Notes:

-Gouki will be addressed as Akuma to reflect his American name and people who are familiar with his character.

-Alpha: Generations is in no way connected with Alpha: The Animation’s canon despite Akuma and Sakura showing up or briefly referencing the Dark Hadou.



Fun Facts:

-Much like Alpha: The Animation, this was a co-production with Manga Entertainment. However, this was animated by A. P. P. P. instead of Group TAC who animated Alpha: The Animation and Street Fighter II V.

-Fuka’s Japanese voice actress is Yuri Amano. Despite being a fully original character, Amano has voiced two Street Fighter characters in the games. Hokuto from the EX series and Ibuki in Street Fighter III.


I watched this short film right after checking out Street Fighter Alpha: The Animation. I figured that it was only forty-five minutes, and I had nothing better to do that night.

 Boy was I such an idiot for doing so. The sad part is that Street Fighter Alpha: Generations had a sliver more wasted potential compared to the previous Alpha installation.

The movie starts with the title and a scream accompanying it which I found unintentionally funny. I said to myself: “Wow! They’re trying to ape the old Mortal Kombat games that way!”. Then it goes into Akuma’s backstory leading up to him killing his master. That in itself should be awesome because Akuma has been this mysterious villain where people don’t know much about his past and is such a lone wolf. However, the execution was so flimsy with him being another villain who needs to be stronger. Even Shonen Jump villains have more depth than that and it’s including those dime-a-dozen martial arts/fighting/scream-the-names-of-your-attacks dreck.

Ryu shows up near the compound where Akuma killed his master and is just meandering around before getting beat up by this short old man who steals his onigiri. They fight, but Ryu gets completely punked by the old man. He uses his straw rice farmer hat as a weapon like he’s Kung Lao from Mortal Kombat (another reference from that game series!), does some flippy kicks, and at one point, he grabs Ryu’s badly animated Hadouken and throws it right back at him. Wow, Ryu was totally pathetic in that scene.

For a Street Fighter movie, I was surprised how few of those characters show up. There’s the aforementioned Ryu and Akuma, but there’s Gouken (only in backstory), Ken, and Sakura. The latter two have issues on their own. Ken barely does anything and spends a good amount of time getting stopped by that old man and is sat on by him despite Ken being bigger and stronger than him. That was ridiculous. Sakura has a bigger role and the sparring match she has with Ryu mid-way through the film made her more useful of a character than Alpha: The Animation, but her voice acting in the Japanese version was just off. She had a lower voice which gave her a different personality. Sure, she still looks up to Ryu, but she sounds older than what she is and comes across as stalker-ish with how she comes all the way from Tokyo to this small rural Japanese town.

The animation was the most disappointing aspect especially given who animated Alpha: Generations. Since it’s a mid-00s movie, it’s all glossy, but it is way too reliant on CGI that looks dated. It reminded me of the worst elements of Noein from an animation perspective, but at least Noein had better animation and a much better story. The characters get off-model all the time and Akuma just looks plain hideous and not cool like he did in the games or even Alpha: The Animation. What made this even more frustrating was who animated it: Studio A. P. P. P. I still think they are an underrated animation studio, but this is one of their worst projects. These are the same people who animated Roujin Z and Kurogane Communication. That movie and TV series were both made in the 90s and they were both more impressive than Alpha: Generations. Maybe if KSS animated this Street Fighter movie, I would be way more forgiving, but given A. P. P. P.’s track record, it’s just appalling. 

Street Fighter Alpha: Generations is just a sloppy mess of a short film. The characters are boring, the fight scenes weren’t even all that impressive, and the shiny, yet abysmal animation was infuriating. I’d even say that I’d rather watch the horrible Street Fighter cartoon over this because at least it’s laughably bad. Speaking of that cartoon, should everyone pass Alpha: Generations to watch something else?

M. Bison: YES! YES!

Indeed, Bison.


Adjustable Point System:

Add 1 point if you’re a Street Fighter completest.

Pros:
-Sakura has more purpose than what she did in the previous Alpha movie
-Some consistency with the Dark Hadou lore
-Some interesting breakbeat sounds in the score



Cons:

-Mediocre animation and character art
-Boring characters
-Not consistent with any SF canons



Final Score: 1/10 Points

Content Warning: Teens and up. The fights are bloodier than most other Street Fighter adaptations which surprised me a bit. There’s also some lechery with the old monk peeping at Fuko and Sakura in the bath. Oh yeah, there’s a bit of language and one scene involves the ghosts of fallen warriors who are missing limbs.

-Curtis Monroe

Photos property of their respective owners and used under US “Fair Use” laws.

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