Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind [2009]

sf4

This short animated film is more or less a sequel to the highly regarded Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie [1994].  That film tour de force is a hard act to follow.  Its quality was high, the fighting outstanding and the art direction so well received that it in turn changed the game franchise.  SF4: TTTB did not equal its predecessor in these qualities (honestly, what could?) but it is still good and well worth checking out.

Cammy is back with her twin braids a flyin' and her behind a posin'.

Cammy is back with her twin braids a flyin’ and her behind a posin’.

The cast is smaller.  M. Bison and his goons are off the stage for the moment.  You only spend time with classic characters Ryu, Ken, Guile, Cammy, Chin Li, and Sakura (I know, Sakura is not really a classic SF II character).  You get introduced to two new losers Crimson Viper and Seth.  You see more of Crimson Viper than most of the other characters combined, and that is too bad because she is annoying.

Nobody wants to see their favorite SF characters mistreated by someone of her calibre, especially since she is the goon for Seth.  He is okay as a villain.  He spends most of his time saying cryptic things in front of a monitor in extreme close up.  He does not have the screen presence of M. Bison, but makes for a decent fight scene at the end.

Ken thankfully shows Crimson Viper who the real heavy hitters of the Street Fighter franchise are.

Ken thankfully shows Crimson Viper who the real heavy hitters of the Street Fighter franchise are.

Speaking of the fight scenes, I found them disappointing.  They really went all out in the 1994 film to make the fighting exciting, filled with signature moves and… special.  This included consultation by professional fighters.  SF4: TTTB missed the mark in this area more than any other.  The fights are typical.  They are not unlike something you might see in an episode of a good quality anime.

Where the 1994 film’s story went out of its way to set up head-to-head matches between the fighters, SF4: TTTB seemed to stumble into disorganized fights of less interest.  If you saw the 1994 film’s epic fight between Chun Li and Vega you know what I mean.  Even so it was nice to see the characters out and about again, going on with their lives but not forgetting their friends.

Chun Li dons her iconic outfit and proceeds to kick this guy's butt and the butts of his 30 nearby friends.

Chun Li dons her iconic outfit and proceeds to kick this guy’s butt and the butts of his 30 nearby friends.

The art direction was well done.  Character designer Ikeno came in after SF II, but people have grown accustomed to his stylization since then and it is pleasing.  The animation quality could have been better though, to show off his designs.  The music at times hinted back to the 1994 film’s memorable soundtrack.  Aside from that I have to say it is not nearly as memorable.

Guile and Chun Li got little in the way of fighting scenes.  Chun only got to beat some security guard heads and Guile only fired a single sonic boom.  Ken threw one punch.  Cammy got some action, but the single scene was unsatisfying.  However she did sport her famous posterior pose, and was voiced enticingly well.

Fighting Ryu any time is a bad idea, but getting him this mad makes him hell on Earth.

Fighting Ryu at any time is a bad idea, but getting him this mad makes him hell on Earth.

The film tried and partially succeeded in having some heart.  Ken with his wife Eliza.  Sakura and her idolization of Ryu.  Ken and Ryu’s deep friendship.  These plot points gave the film some needed emotional buy-in.  If you are a Street Fighter fan, you do not really need emotional buy-in to see SF4: TTTB.  For those who are not this film is still a fun way to spend 65 minutes.

See another cute pic of Chun in Top Ten Animated Pics Vol. 2.

Check out our Street Fighter

& martial combat related takes:

Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind [2009]

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li [2009]

Naruto Shippuden [2007] Season 1. 26 Episodes

Rurouni Kenshin [1996-1998] 95 Episodes

Transporter 3 [2008]

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2 thoughts on “Street Fighter IV: The Ties That Bind [2009]

  1. sweet its in my stash pile as movies to watch when i get bored. I hope I can get to it this weekend, your review made me want to watch it 🙂 Great post!

    I have a anime/film movie review blog as well, swing by if you ever get a chance!

    • Thanks a lot cello85. I checked out your site http://japancinema.net/ and I see we have the same design sense. We both like streamlined, no-nonsense sites filled with interesting info and a pic or two. I hope we start a full blown trend. 😉

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