Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf Review

So before I tackle another long series in episode chunks I thought I’d take a look at the trio of two OVAs and a film based on Fatal Fury now they’ve been uploaded to Crunchyroll. I’ve always wanted to watch them but could never find them on physical media, so this was a real pleasant surprise, but was it a pleasant watch though? Does it live up to the lofty heights set by Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie that was actually the first anime I ever watched? Let’s find out!

Synopsis:

Terry and Andy Bogard saw their father Jeff murdered by Geese Howard when they were children and ten years later they reunite to learn the final move of their master and get vengeance…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

I see they couldn’t be bothered to animate any writing on Terry’s hat. What do they think this is, the era of hand-drawn animation or something?! …. Oh yeah, right…

I immediately fell in love with the extremely late 80s/early 90s anime style the whole production has (which given it was made in 93 makes sense!) and especially the cheesy music playing in the background, some of which are remixes from the games. I almost regret not going with the English dub for that complete “late night on Sci-Fi channel” feel…

Erm… Apart from that, there isn’t much to talk about that was actually good sadly. The majority of the plot is straight from the games (minus one character and Geese’s fate) and some of the moves are in, that’s … something. Better than most of the live action adaptations of games anyway…

The Bad:

Andy with blue hair, for some reason… Did they think having blond hair like his brother and father would be unrealistic or something?

At just 45 minutes, the same length as the classic DBZ movies, it doesn’t have a lot of time to tell the admittedly simple story, so why they added some extra flavour and then cut back on the action I have no idea! So Terry and Andy see their father die and then go off and train in different parts of the world before reuniting in front of their father’s grave and meeting back up with their / their father’s teacher Tung Fu Rue, who says he will pick one of them to inherit his fighting style and learn the final move, one that wasn’t even written in the scroll his other student and Jeff Bogard’s killer Geese Howard took. Terry and Andy decide to fight each other in the up-coming King of Fighters tournament to see who should inherit the title. At the tournament they meet Joe Hisagi, well, Andy had met him previously and Terry had just met him in a brief bar-room brawl earlier in the story, but from here on in they’re a trio.

Billy Kane and entirely original character Lily, the latter of which plays an important role in this trilogy… SOMEHOW.

Anyway, as Terry and Andy were about to fight in the quarter finals Geese hires a sniper to shoot them both in the ring but Joe takes a bullet for them, then Lilly, a girl Terry met earlier and realised was there when his father was killed, leaves Geese to help them escape but is tossed through a window to her death by Geese as punishment. To make matters worse as they all escape alongside Fu Rue the old teacher is fatally struck by Geese’s right hand man Billy on the way out. Andy and Joe head to Geese’s private island to get immediate revenge while Terry stays behind with his master and is shown the final move before Rue passes away (while standing, somehow…) Andy gets revenge for Tung and beats Billy while Joe beats Fatal Fury classic Raiden (for the hell of it, I guess) but they’re both blown away by a single Geese move. Terry arrives, manages to survive two hits from Geese before killing him with the one new move he was shown. That was it. After all that build up and having his father, love interest and master all killed by the same man, the big dramatic showdown was a single move win. What a colossal anti-climax! To make matters worse Geese is knocked into a pond, not off the roof of his tower like in all the games, future animations and Terry’s Smash Bros. trailer…

So yeah, things happened so quickly and the action was often so brief that the story was pretty poor throughout. They should’ve cut out the brand new love interest character in Lilly and just focused on telling the basic revenge story that the game does…

Overall Thoughts:

Geese is angry at getting the focus of the shortest of the three Fatal Fury adaptations

Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf was a flat experience. It was fun for the nostalgic artstyle and music, but the actual story was pretty poor even by the low standard of the game, and the final fight wasn’t a fight at all. The second OVA is an hour and the movie an hour and a half, so I’m hoping things pick up from here, otherwise this will be a rather poor three weeks…

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