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Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf

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Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf

Postby Curt » February 28th, 2007, 10:31 pm

Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf: Yet more fighting game-based anime. Not being a fan of this particular game, I can't say how true the characters or plot are to the button-masher, but fortunately familiarity isn't a prerequisite. The story starts from the beginning and supplies enough basic detail that it functions as a stand-alone piece of anime, albeit a relatively generic action-based one.

The plot isn't anything special--basic "join fighting tournament for revenge" stuff. Still, it has a respectable amount of drama, and does manage to serve up some twists. It qualifies as "decent action movie plot," meaning you're not going to watch it for the story, but it's good enough to pay attention to. Interestingly, while it offers a reasonably satisfying conclusion, there are two sequels--both of which are significantly better than this opener--that add quite a bit of depth and breadth to the characters and their world.

The main characters are lean on detail, but they do manage to stand on more than just their fighting ability. Even the bad guys have some personality, although I can't say that's a surprise in fighting-game-based anime. What is a bit of a surprise, and a pleasant departure from many video game conversions, is that there aren't a huge glut of "just there for face time" folks--the cast is mercifully compact.

The other thing that sets this fist-centric OVA apart from your average fighting game-spawn is reasonable abilities. There are no random street brawlers capable of leveling buildings with a fiery punch, and nobody can shoot laser beams from their eyes or steroid beams from their meaty palms. This isn't to say that it's completely devoid of supernatural abilities, but that stuff is reserved for the really impressive moments.

That's about as far as it deviates from the norm, unfortunately; artistically, it's rather average. The art and character designs are acceptable, although they're nowhere near as distinctive as some fighting-game anime character designs. The animation, however, is rather weak, particularly when you consider that it's an action movie whose main draw is watching people duke it out. There are a couple of good action scenes, but it's nowhere near the level of most OVAs with a similar heritage. Though, considering this is a 92' title, its best to look past that flaw.

I can't speak for the dub, but the original japanese is generally quite good. It sure starts out on the wrong foot, though--for some reason the opening scene is very poorly acted, and the "little girl" sounds way too much like her adult self. After that, I have no complaints about the casting, and there's an unusual accent or two thrown in for good measure. The acting holds up pretty well, particularly in the dramatic scenes.

Verdict: 6.5/10(Although I wouldn't highly recommend Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf, if you're a fan of the video game or just like martial arts action flicks, you'll probably enjoy it, and if you follow through with the rest of the series it does get much better.)
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Postby Dann » March 10th, 2007, 9:24 pm

Well of the fatal fury series, there are three movies. I have em all currently and am a big fan of em :). The first movie was my favoriate and i would rate it a bit higher than a 6/10 id say about a 7-8/10..
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