Whoa, whoa! What the heck!? I so expected to just watch this thing to get it over with. I so expected to just write a quick review, about yet another mildly entertaining action-flick which would just feature a bunch of bulked-up guys fighting each other until the hour of airtime was over. However, this is no action flick. This is Studio 4C!!
I’m still surprised at this thing. I almost don’t want to spoil its big strength, which I feel is something that’s best enjoyed when you simply shut up and watch it, but without mentioning I’m almost certain that my review is not going to make any sense at all, so if you like surprises, simply close this window and watch the OVA.
I was really surprised when I found out that Studio 4C was behind this, especially since the character-designs looked way too plain and average. But as the movie progressed, the experimental nature of this OVA became more than clear to me. It takes pure GUTS to pull such a stunt, and yet it’s so simple that any idiot could have thought of it.
With a title as Street Fighter, you indeed don’t have much choices on what to expect from such a thing: fighting, fighting, and more fighting. Well let me tell you: the length of this OVA is an hour. The first fight only takes place, 30 MINUTES after the start. That’s at the HALFWAY POINT. The first half is spent purely on character-building, building up, setting everything right for the storyline in order to make everything run smoothly for when the real meat of the storyline does begin.
I’m entirely new to the Street Fighter franchise, and yet because of this I had no trouble at all getting used to the characters. And even when the fighting does begin, this series always remains the focus on the characters, and never on the action (which mainly consists out of characters punching each other). With this, this show manages to entirely avoid every single pitfall of the game based anime genre, which is so notorious for its crappy adaptations. The characters are simply excellent and continue to captivate throughout the entire hour of airtime.
What also helps is the music, which is absolutely fantastic. It knows exactly when to remain in the background, or when step in the foreground again. It continuously helps to keep the atmosphere going. My only real complaint here is the animation. This is Studio 4C we’re talking about, and the art just looks way too plain for one of their works. The animation is also nothing special, which can be a bit disappointing. Especially certain characters’ haircuts take a bit of getting used to.
But yeah, so what if the story involves yet another bad guy who needs to be stopped? So what if the ending doesn’t conclude the storyline? This OVA is sickeningly simple, when you look at it from a distance it’s got quite a few cliches, but for me it simply continued to push the right buttons throughout its entire airtime. It’s touching, yet never cheesy. The storyline’s has its problems, but never do these problem get in the way of what’s really important. The animation is simple, and yet it never looks cheap. It’s nothing deep, yet it’s an hour of excellent entertainment. Here you have it, the proof that any crappy concept can be made awesome with the right people behind it.