Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf
Well, you've got this martial artist name Jeff Bogard, see, and he gets murdered by this guy named Geese (no, there's only one of him) because both of them were after the same Ultimate Martial Arts Technique. Jeff leaves behind two sons named Terry and Andy. Both of them train themselves in the martial arts like their father did, hoping to take revenge on Geese (boy, that's a stupid name) for what he did to their father. Fifteen years later they were reunited. Now Caine faces new challenges. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Anyway, they meet up with Jeff's old master, who tells them that only one of them can learn the Ultimate Martial Arts Technique to destroy Geese. Who's it gonna be? Along the way, they meet various other martial artists and other sundry characters before the showdown with Geese. (Hooray.)
Yawn. I was more than a little bit disappointed with this anime, especially since I've heard so much about how good it is in terms of martial arts anime. Unfortunately, it didn't meet my expectations.
The artwork was good enough, nice and stylized with bright and vivid colors and lines. Animation was pretty decent, too. However, the martial arts were a giant disappointment. Virtually no "straight" martial arts were used in this flick; instead, everyone just decides to use "special techniques" instead. Unfortunately, the "special techniques" are rather silly-looking and lack any punch (no pun intended).
And the last showdown? Geese is a man who seems to not know any sort of martial arts whatsoever but instead has the ability to casually fling giant chi-blasts as if they were going out of style. So the final climactic battle had Geese blasting chi-blast after chi-blast at the young Bogard until he finally manages to toast Geese with the Ultimate Martial Arts Technique, which seems to involve spinning around really really really fast with your arms extended. Whoop-de-do.
Plotwise, it was just another "You killed my father; prepare to die" type of story. Nothing groundbreaking here. The writers could have made a really interesting story if they decided to deal more with the rivalry between the two brothers, escalated only more with the fact that only one of them can learn the secret technique. But they didn't, preferring to focus more on "Hey! Let's see how fast I can make these martial artists spin around!" Sigh.
Dubbing was adequate. Not that the Japanese voices could have helped much. Overall, mildly entertaining, but not really worth the time. If you want martial arts anime, go rent Street Fighter instead.
Recommended Audience: There's plenty of violence (one or two bad guys even get killed!), but it's so stylized and removed from reality that it won't really affect kiddies. No profanity, either. The only thing you'd really have to worry about is the kids afterwards trying to spin around like the martial artists in the film and getting sick.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, Japanese with English subtitles
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Fatal Fury: Legend of the Hungry Wolf © 1992 SNK / Fuji TV / NAS
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