Street Fighter Assassins Fist, is a 13 episode mini-series adaptation that has been in the works for the past 4 years created by Joey Ansah and Christian Howard on the YouTube Channel Machinima. Based off of the long running and popular fighting game franchise “Street Fighter” with about 25+ main Street Fighter games spanning across all consoles and arcade machines and even more along with versus games and collections of games. All having a dedicated fan-base, through the years there have been two live action movie attempts to recreate the Street Fighter Magic the first was the 1994 movie with action star Jean Claude Van-Damme albeit the movie was so bad and campy it was almost good even funny at times. They just shouldn’t have called it Street Fighter. The second attempt was in 2009 with Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li. This movie was not only bad in everyway but it seemed that it tried to do what Marvel is doing and Start a Cinematic Universe but with the Street Fighter Characters. Why they began with Chun-Li who is only a very small part to the Street Fighter Mythos is beyond me (nothing came of this while they did try at the end to introduce Ryu as to have the next movie) The only movies that have been able to come close and superseded the Street Fighter magic were the anime adaptations Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter Alpha Generations, and Street Fighter 2: The Movie. When the first trailer calling itself “Street Fighter Legacy” showcased main fighters/friends and rivals Ryu (Played by Jon Foo) and Ken (Christian Howard) fighting in a forest doing all of their signature moves such as the Hadoken, Shoryuken, and the hard to pronounce by the average person Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku. At the very end it showed Akuma (Joey Ansah) and then it was over. This trailer got fans of Street Fighter who have wanted an adaptation done right at a whole new level of “Hype” for the series what with Street Fighter 4 coming back after a ten year hiatus from Street Fighter 3: Third Strike-Fight for The Future and being total success and reinvigorate the even the most casual of Street Fighter fan. With the show on a four year hiatus fans began to worry about the shows future, but the creators made sure to keep up with the fans and let them know that Street Fighter Legacy now Called Street Fighter Assassins Fist was very much alive and in production! May 23, 2014 is when it was finally released, but did it live up to the name of Street Fighter? Or was it just another Hollywood
mess? Read on to Find out as I talk about The Good, The Bad, and The Special
Street Fighter Assassins Fist (SFAF) opens up to 3 men training in a Martial Art called “Ansatsuken” which in Japan was used as an Assassination Art. Goken the Master (Akira Koieyama) Ken Masters (Christian Howard) and Ryu (Played by new actor Mike Moh) demonstrate much skill and soon display those familiar moves being done.
The show takes place in the 1950s through flashbacks to the 1980s as its “Present Day” SFAF does an amazing job with the Flashbacks explaining The Younger Goken (Shogen) training under his master Goutetsu (Togo Igawa) and his Brother Goki (Gaku Space) and his struggle for ultimate power leaving the Dojo to fully master the forbidden art of Satsui No Hado (Murderous Intent) and seeing their struggles as both brothers and as they learn Ansatsuken. For the first time I felt like the flashbacks were ACTUALLY necessary to the story itself instead of just being shoehorned in just to increase runtime. Such as the flashbacks of Goki of how he was once a good man to him abandoning his humanity and training in Satsui No Hado taking the path of the Shin Oni for preparation to become Akuma (demon)
Another thing this show does well is making it feel like the video game brought to life! Which has only been done by Mortal Kombat films and Mortal Kombat Legacy but even then some of the characters didn’t feel like the characters in the games. I know I may sound like a Street Fighter Fan Boy and a Mortal Kombat hater but that’s not the case at all! I love both series a lot Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter 2 were the first games I ever played. Its just when I am close to a video game like Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter and there is going to be a live adaptation of it I want it to be perfect so I can see more in the future! While I was watching SFAF I noticed that in the fighting that the fighters would only move in a 2-D like fighting ground despite being in a 3-D background like the video games (minus the EX series) It was a nice little touch for the creators to add. The characters felt like the video game characters brought to life and done well! Ryu (my favorite character in Street Fighter) played by Mike Moh was going to get my heaviest of judgment and I was pleasantly surprised at how he played the Young Ryu! He really played up all the qualities; from him being a very skilled fighter but still a bit inexperienced to not knowing much if anything about life outside of his dojo and the forest he really made the character his own and at the same time staying true to him. I had no complaints with him or any of the other actors. They all did a phenomenal job I will say even beyond Phenomenal even for staying so true to the characters and the source material!
No The Bad! I know I will really sound like a fan boy now but I am very serious when I say there is no bad in this mini-series. The only bad thing I can even think is that The episodes are only 9-14 minuets long although they are action and story packed I would have loved to see what else the writers would have put in if it had a longer run time maybe some more fights, dialogue, or explanation of the Satsui No Hado but with what they had they did an amazing job with not making it feel boring or an episode that is just kinda there. Every episode was important!
Throughout the episodes true fans of the series and of Capcom will see tons of Easter eggs and it’s so good! Mire casual fans may not but I will point out my favorites and arguably the best ones! For instance when Ken and Ryu go to the Bar and see an Underground Fight Club as soon as they enter a man appears and stops them! Those who follow Street Fighter will automatically know who this man is! Its Yoshinori Ono who some have called the Grandfather of Street Fighter! Another special thing is that When Akuma is Fighting his Master Gotetsu he does a Tatsumaki Senpuu Kyaku followed by a Shoryuken which in tournaments and online people who play as Akuma do this sort of combination. Another special thing is a training montage with Ken and Ryu you hear the Street Fighter theme (but that’s only a small part of it) Then their Master Goken pulls up with to their training grounds with groceries. As Ken walks up to the car door Goken opens it stopping him and hands him a package in that package is the hit game Mega Man 2 a game created by Capcom in the 80s! One of my favorites was when Ken and Ryu were about to do their final test they gave each other the fist bump which they always do in the games when you pick Ryu and Ken! There’s a ton more but these are probably the best!
All in all Street Fighter Assassins Fist is not only a way to show big mainstream studios that there can be great live action video game adaptations but also that anything is possible if you believe in what you are doing and are absolutely serious about it! Despite its short run time and low budget it rose above all past Street Fighter adaptations and set an incredibly high bar (In my opinion) not only for themselves for a next season but for anyone or studio who wants to tackle Street Fighter! That is why I am giving Street Fighter Assassins Fist a 10/10! I feel it’s rightfully deserved they touched on everything important in the mythos of Street Fighter and again set an incredibly high bar for anymore Street Fighter Adaptations whether they be anime or live action. If you are a fan of Street Fighter you should (and probably have watched this already) but for new comers who are a bit curious about what it is this is a great starting point if you want to get into the games or anime! Ultra Street Fighter 4 has just released as DLC to Super Street Fighter 4 and Super Street Fighter 4: Arcade Edition along with other Street Fighter games and Capcom fighters on PSN, eShop, iOS, and XBLA! So you can get a nice Street Fighter fix anywhere!
FINAL SCORE 10/10
-Stayed True to Source Material
-Great Character development