Street Fighter Alpha-The Movie (1999)
Main Menu Audio & Animation
Featurette-Making Of-Street Fighter Alpha
Interviews-Cast & Crew-31:58
Trailer-Ghost In The Shell,Blood:Last Vampire,Perfect Blue
Easter Egg-Japanese Trailer
Easter Egg-Alternate Japanese Trailer
Easter Egg-DVD Credits
|Year Of Production||1999|
|Running Time||92:45 (Case: 90)|
|RSDL / Flipper||RSDL (50:52)||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||Shigeyasu Yamauchi|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.33:1||Miscellaneous|
|Subtitles||English||Smoking||Yes, a few cigarette butts found on the ground.|
|Annoying Product Placement||Yes, for a Bandai Wonderswan, it's basically an ad!|
|Action In or After Credits||Yes, glimpses of the fighters after the battle.|
I was familiar with the storyline that accompanied the original Street Fighter games (i.e. anything before and including Super Street Fighter II Turbo) but as for Street Fighter Zero (or Alpha as it is called outside Japan) I was a little less sure of its origins. Luckily, this anime focuses on three main characters from Street Fighter II: Ken, Ryu and Chun-Li, ones that I am familiar with. Ryu lives in Japan, training hard to become strong. In fact, the whole point of the movie is to become strong, but spiritually rather than physically. Chun-Li is a cop following the case of Dr. Sadler and Ken turns up in Japan to fight in a tournament that is being held by Dr. Sadler. Another character, Shun, Ryu's very youngest brother, turns up in Japan to meet his brother. The last main character, Sakura, is a schoolgirl who becomes, well, obsessed, with the martial arts after seeing Ryu fight. Although she isn't integral to the plot of the film, her presence is noted for the way it adds more depth to the characters in general.
The plot is split into several sub plots with the main one being about Ryu and his quest against the Dark Hadou, a dark force that is attempting to overwhelm him. Ryu is obviously trying to fight it with his main motivation being Gouki (Akuma), someone who has already been consumed by the Dark Hadou. The film even hints that Gouki may indeed be Ryu's father. The other plot is a more clichéd good vs. bad story involving Chun-Li and her battle against Shadowlaw (a group of thugs) and Dr. Sadler. The reason why Ken is in the film is to explain why they would visit a fighting competition, but this is where the film gets interesting. When Shun is nearly killed after fighting in the competition, he is snatched away by Dr. Sadler so that he can sample his data, or in other words, drain his power. Shun is especially important since he is a user of the Dark Hadou also, albeit a less experienced one. Once Shun is captured, Ryu attempts to rescue him, along with Ken for backup and Chun-Li who accompanies them with the purpose of catching Dr. Sadler. What follows is an excellent example of anime - one of the best I have seen to be sure.
For fans of Street Fighter, or fans of anime, this is for you. I can only hope that the other Street Fighter animes make an appearance in R4 sometime soon, especially Street Fighter II.
Street Fighter Alpha is presented at an aspect ratio of 1.33:1 and is not anamorphically enhanced. As this was a direct-to-video effort, 1.33:1 is the original aspect ratio.
The opening credits and the first scene lack definition. Fortunately, this significantly improves as the first day scene occurs. For the most part, the sharpness is quite good, although the background mattes are slightly blurry compared to the animated characters. This can be attributed to the inherent resolution of DVD, as a problem such as this would be less apparent on VHS or broadcast TV. Careful inspection of lines and borders is rewarding. In comparison to other anime that I have reviewed, the lines are smoother and don't exhibit any staircasing effects. Shadow detail is all dependent on the black level which in this case is slightly off at times, such as 50:14. For the vast majority of the time, though, shadow detail is perfect. Unfortunately, low level noise was noticed all through the opening credits and at 2:08. The closing credits do not feature this annoying artefact.
The colour palette used was a very mature one (if colours can be mature?), with no fluorescent colours being shown during the film. The colours were, however, vibrant when they needed to be (blood being a good example), although uses of vibrant colour were scarce. Dark scenes were more common throughout the film.
No MPEG artefacts were noticed. The only significant problem with the transfer is edge enhancement, especially in the first half of the film, such as at 3:18. There are numerous other times when it is evident, unfortunately. Aliasing was also noted at 13:20 in the background. The print was very clean and I only noticed one instance of grain at 60:40.
As I watched the whole film with English subtitles activated, I compared them to the English language track and found them to be accurate 99% of the time, with the only problems being a small word omitted here and there or a rephrasing of an occasional sentence.
This disc is RSDL formatted with the layer change occurring at 50:52. I nearly missed the change on my first time through the film and had to quickly back up to find it. The change occurs right at the end of a scene and is quite seamless.
There are two audio tracks on this DVD. They are an English Dolby Digital 5.1 mix and a Japanese Dolby Digital 2.0 mix. I listened to the Japanese track first and sampled most of the English track.
Since I do not speak Japanese (not yet, anyway), commenting on the dialogue quality can and will be misleading. For the words I did know, I could pick them up easily within each sentence they were spoken in. The English track's dialogue quality is excellent, as it should be. I had no trouble discerning any word or phrase while sampling that track.
Audio synchronization was better in the Japanese track than the English track, as it is most of the time, but this is animation so we aren't expecting anything spot-on.
Unlike Dragonball Z and its English dubs, where the music is altered, Street Fighter Alpha has the same music for both Japanese and English audio tracks. The music is quite tranquil at times, before it becomes involved with the action. By far the most memorable track is the theme song which plays during the feature at times before being reprised for the credits.
Originally presented in 2.0, the audio has been remixed to 5.1 for the English track. The actual Japanese stream doesn't feature a surround flag in it, but by activating Pro-Logic on my amp, ample surround information was extracted. The Japanese track is (as stated above) the best Pro-Logic surround track I have heard. Besides having a wide front soundstage with layer upon layer of imaging effects, it also adds subtle ambience through the surround channel to add to the forest scene especially. The 5.1 track exhibits all of these traits but with an even wider soundstage, although I still preferred the Japanese audio track for the original language.
|DVD||Pioneer DV-626D, using Component output|
|Display||Toshiba 34N9UXA. Calibrated with Video Essentials.|
|Audio Decoder||Built in to amplifier/receiver.|
|Speakers||Main Left and Right Acoustic Research AR12s, Center Yamaha NS-C70, Surround Left and Right JBL Control 1s|