Plot: What’s it about?
Bison has just arranged for a massive scale fighting tournament to take place, which all of the world’s finest warriors are sure to enter and stake their claim as the best. But while some of these warriors fight just to become the best, many of them have other reasons as well, from personal ones to professional ones. Ryu and Ken find themselves at odds once again, but also have a feeling that they might be forced to work together, which could prove to be most interesting. In addition to his duel with Ken, Ryu also runs into small boy who claims to be his lost younger brother, but before he can prove it, he is taken by some agents of Bison. Meanwhile, military officers Guile and Charlie are on hand and of course, seek to put an end to Bison’s criminal underworld once and for all. Add in a wealth of others doing battle for internal reasons and you’ve got one heck of a fight on your hands, which means the final winner must truly be the best there is. But with much more at stake than simple titles and championships, who will emerge in the end as the true victors and survivors?
I had just finished the first volume of Street Fighter II V, so I was in the groove for this release and gave it a quick spin. This is a two hour movie based within the same realm of events as the series, so if you liked the series, then chances are you’ll pleased here also. I do wish I could have seen more episodes of the series first though, as I feel like I am missing out on a few points, although I still had fun with this release. Much of the same I said about the series is true here, with the same cool characters, basic animation style, and direction of storylines, but since this is a feature film, it seems broader in scope, which is always cool. This is a loaded flick too, with lots of the elements you’d expect such as fights, chases, and all out action overload. It is also kinda nifty to see so many of the characters back together again, especially to see them battle it out however. I found the storyline to be much better than I expected also, so don’t expect a cartoonish and oversimplified plotline here. This film is a little darker than the series was, but if you’re a fan of this franchise, I recommend you give this release a look.
Video: How does it look?
Street Fighter Alpha: The Movie is shown here full frame, which is how the feature was meant to be shown. This is a very solid transfer, one of the best Manga has delivered in fact. The colors appear bright and vivid, but never too rich to the point of bleeds and such. No issues with the black levels either, detail is good here and the image never becomes murky in the least. I saw no evidence of compression flaws either and the animation is sharp as well, no real problems to discuss here.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc includes an English Dolby Digital 5.1 track, as well as a pro-logic Japanese option, so both camps should be pleased here. I am a little let down with the lack of a Japanese 5.1 choice, but both tracks seem to handle this material well enough. The surrounds are used to better ends in the 5.1 track, but not too much and as such, not a lot is lost in the transition there. The English voices lack some acting range, but I can understand why some folks would choose it instead of reading subtitles. But whichever track you decide on, I think you will be pleased with the results. This disc also includes a 2.0 surround track and English subtitles, in case you’ll need them.
Supplements: What are the extras?
In addition to the usual Manga previews and weblink, this disc also has some title specific supplements. You can also check out a five and a half minute behind the scenes featurette, interviews with a wealth of the cast & crew from the Japanese production (subtitled in English), and the film’s trailer.