Anime Vice News

Why Do Fighting Game Anime Always Lose? -- THE VICE PIT

How come anime adaptations of fighting games keep missing the mark? The Tom & Sam tag team wrestles with the good, the bad and some possible solutions! After you watch this ask yourself... ARE YOU OKAY?!?1

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  • Big thanks to Bigheart711 and TopHaZZard for the most excellent Q!

    Be sure to submit questions and topics for a future Vice Pit session here. We will answer them!

    Tom Pinchuk’s a writer and personality with a large number of comics, videos and features like this to his credit. Visit his website - - tompinchuk.com - - and follow his Twitter: @tompinchuk

    Sam Weller is a writer and actor who's scribed for shows like FIRST EDITION, GEEK THERAPY, and most recently BATGIRL: SPOILED. He also really likes anime. To know what is going to happen next, follow@cravesam

    CapeBarneson Sept. 7, 2012 at 2:57 p.m.

    I like the Fatal Fury movie and oavs >_> And Street Fighter 2: The Animated Movie is pretty good, me thinks. The Alpha movie, not so much. Haven't seen II V

    sickVisionz moderator on Sept. 7, 2012 at 3:13 p.m.

    I think the issue is that fighting games don't really have stories. The closest you come is stuff like you don't press the start button quick enough and you see some nonsensical cutscene that has like absolutely nothing to do with the actual game or stuff like Dead or Alive where before you start a match you might get 4 seconds of dialog that is,

    "What are you doing here?"

    "I shall have my revenge!!!"

    "Round 1, FIght"

    The stories in these game are absolutely ridiculous and border on non-existent. Anime based off of them try to take that absolute nothing and spin it into some emotional and gripping tail. I think they fall short because while you play games, you watch anime. You can have absolute crap or nothing for a story in a fighting game and nobody cares as long as the gameplay is good. I think the popularity of the game (solely based off of gameplay) leads some anime production company to believe that the popularity is because of the story.

    The Mortal Kombat film is the only quality fighting game movie mainly because they realized how stupid it all was and never tried to do something dumb like tell a story not based around people beating each other up in a tournament. The story was people going to an island and having to fight in a tournament. The entire story was them fighting in a tournament and everything else was in the background and only given enough screen time to add drama to the tournament fights.

    Petiewon Sept. 7, 2012 at 5:22 p.m.
    Yeah like you said, anime based off of games like Street Fighter often fall flat because they try to add in a bunch of characterisation and crazy plots that shouldn't really exist in the first place. The main draw of fighting games are their mechanics and their competitive potential, the characters and backstory are mostly inconsequential.
     
    @sickVisionz
    Playing through Blazblue right now, the story and characters in this game are actually quite good. Each character has their own individual story path in a visual novel like style where you make decisions and can get multiple endings, although most are bad ends or gag reels. Eventually this all culminates in a true ending path which will be continued in the next game. The whole story is going to span at least 4 full games.
    Blazblue is so anime like already, I think an adaption would go quite well.
    Fat_Magnumon Sept. 7, 2012 at 9:08 p.m.

    Modern directors simply lack the mental capacity to adequately express the artistic and high minded narrative expression found within the fighting game genre, some of gaming's most deep and philosophically profound stories are represented therein.

    I'll never forget when Ryu dragon punched that waterfall... Quality.

    Dream moderator on Sept. 7, 2012 at 9:33 p.m.
    The problem with most movies and anime adapted from video games are that the makers of said movies/ anime are more concerned with making a quick buck off the title's popularity than offering a good quality movie/ anime worth watching. There are certainly good quality movies and anime based off fighting games where the effort to make it entertaining is there like the mentioned Mortal Kombat film, the first Street Fighter II movie and the Darkstalkers OVA series. But most of the time, it all comes down to trying to make money off fans of the video games.
    Marshal Victoryon Sept. 7, 2012 at 11:31 p.m.

    @Dream said:

    The problem with most movies and anime adapted from video games are that the makers of said movies/ anime are more concerned with making a quick buck off the title's popularity than offering a good quality movie/ anime worth watching. There are certainly good quality movies and anime based off fighting games where the effort to make it entertaining is there like the mentioned Mortal Kombat film, the first Street Fighter II movie and the Darkstalkers OVA series. But most of the time, it all comes down to trying to make money off fans of the video games.

    Dead on .Could not agree more.Put better than i could... an probably could not type that with out my own spelling errors either :/ but i still agree non the less.

    TopHaZZardon Sept. 7, 2012 at 11:59 p.m.

    So what you are really saying is that they should make an anime based on Tekken endings.

    sotyfan16on Sept. 8, 2012 at 12:12 a.m.

    How could this Vice Pit episode go without anyone even mentioning the Tekken animated movie? Was it bad? Yes, but I still like watching it from time to time. Plus, the soundtrack was actually badass.

    As for the live-action Tekken film, I was disappointed. It felt bland.

    samweller999 staff on Sept. 8, 2012 at 11:44 p.m.

    @Fat_Magnum said:

    I'll never forget when Ryu dragon punched that waterfall... Quality.

    @TopHaZZard said:

    So what you are really saying is that they should make an anime based on Tekken endings.

    I we're all onto something here... anime movies based entirely on the cutscenes of old fighting videogames. I guess what I'm saying is:

    "TEKKEN KAI"

    @sotyfan16 said:

    How could this Vice Pit episode go without anyone even mentioning the Tekken animated movie?

    Completely agree! I guess with the speedier format it just completely passed my mind... so here's the entire thing to watch and freak out over:

    sotyfan16on Sept. 9, 2012 at 6:44 a.m.

    @samweller999:

    You are a good man. I'm surprised it's on YouTube though since it has nudity.

    DocHauson Sept. 9, 2012 at 7:31 a.m.

    For the most part, fighting game animes usually fail because, as others have said, most of them don't bother with a story or shoehorn one in after the fact. For what it's worth, Mori expressed interest in making a BlazBlue anime, though it is still in the "rumor" stage right now, but there have been manga and light novel spinoffs (and the few I've seen translated have been terrible).

    JiCion Sept. 9, 2012 at 11:01 a.m.

    Might sound weird, but if there's one fighting game I'd like to see an anime adaptation, it's BlazBlue. The story is huge and the fights don't take as much space as they would.

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