Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle Review

The second Fatal Fury OVA is a vast improvement over the first, featuring a lot more actual fighting alongside the now-retro visuals and fun soundtrack. It tells a very by-the-numbers hero redemption arc, so don’t go into it expecting some sort of deep and twisty plot, I’ll say that much… and I’ll also say more, if you read on!

Synopsis:

Geese, who survived his battle with Terry, is visited by his half-brother Wolfgang Krauser, who wishes to know who was strong enough to beat him. With “Terry Bogard” on his lips, Krauser heads out to find him and maybe finally get a good fight…

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

The Good:

An anime adaptation of SNK Boss Syndrome.

As I said in the opening paragraph, the story is really basic but at least it tells the basic story well. After hurting his ankle and surviving a sparring session with Kim Kaphwan Terry is defeated easily by Wolfgang Krauser, whose only goal is to have a good fight for once. This  causes our hero to go through the proper full-on “hitting the bottom of the barrel” depression storyline, I’m talking drunk in bars, living on the streets, not caring about the kid who looks up to him getting beaten up trying to defend him, all that stuff. His brother Andy (now with accurate blond hair) and old ally Joe end up going after Wolfgang themselves, with Mai Shiranui in toe because she’s doing her whole “wanting Andy to be her husband” thing from the games. Joe brow-beats Terry before getting nearly killed by their target, while Andy and Mai beat one of Krauser’s top men at his castle and then head to where Joe is, as does Terry (and Tony, the aforementioned kid who looks up to him) Terry and Andy have a “no holding back” fight to see whose stronger, which Terry wins.

Mai arrives in all her large-breasted, barely-clothed and fan-throwing ninja glory. Also pictured: Andy.

Now back to his old self, Terry arrives and confronts Wolfgang, the two having a battle that thankfully actually goes on for a good while, with a few fun false-finishes. Terry wins (obviously!) and Wolfgang commits suicide rather than live as the second best fighter in the world. Terry tells Tony about how empty the world of a fighter can be and the two head home. Throw in a few flashbacks that show us Wolfgang’s troubled up-brining and even how Geese hated him growing up due to, ironically, the death of his father and so was actually laughing when he heard of his half-brother’s defeat and that’s your lot! It was a perfectly fine 70 odd minutes, but it won’t win any prizes for originality…

The Bad:

For an annoying child sidekick, he wasn’t actually THAT annoying.

Beyond the already mentioned extremely plain and straightforward plot there isn’t much, but that’s obviously a big sticking point, especially if you have no love for the original source material. Also I’ll mention that while the English dub (which I watched this time for maximum 90s nostalgia) is good fun and actually not as bad as I was expecting, there is a scene where Joe fights the former Raiden in a wrestling ring and it’s entirely in Japanese with subtitles! Very odd and doesn’t flow well at all. I can only assume it was cut from the VHS release for time reasons and then re-inserted for later disc-based releases, but they couldn’t afford to re-record the lines. So funnily enough, after having watched the original version of OVA 1 and deciding to go for the cheesier, nostalgic option for 2 I ended up getting a weird mix of both, even if the scene in question is only 5 minutes of the hour-plus runtime…

Overall Thoughts:

A hard fought victory, and his hat managed to stay on his head! Bonus!

Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle (most boring subtitle ever, by the way) is a fine little distraction if you’re a fan of the games. It tells a basic hero fall and redemption storyline with characters from the games, and has some good action to boot. It’s fun, but also completely devoid of twists or character work, beyond a few basic beats. An improvement, but still not worth watching a second time…

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