Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
Terry Bogard is having problems. You see, he can't handle the fact that he is defeatable, and he is haunted by the memory of the girl he couldn't save. So he starts drinking. But with the help of a young kid who really believes in him, he manages to conquer his inner demons and defeat the bad guys. Or something like that.
Fatal Fury was one of the first anime series I watched back when I was working at that video store (yeah, the same one I was working at when I reviewed MD Geist). And while Raph had more than adequately hacked the other two installments of this lackluster franchise to pieces, the middle episode, A New Battle, had never previously been reviewed.
So here goes.
It's basically the same story as the first episode - good guy deals with emotional trauma, good guy meets bad guy, bad guy gets toasted by stupid-looking ki blast move. The only difference here is in the peripherals - now we get to see Shiranui Mai (LOTS of her, if you know what I mean) and instead of the whole Terry-meets-cute-girl-and-she-tragically-dies subplot, you get an annoying little kid who really, really believes in our hero.
While the villain this time around is a little better than Geese (come on, what name WOULDN'T be better than Geese?), despite a remotely interesting backstory, all he is really present for is to be defeated by the righteous fist (er, I mean, "super-ultra-cool" finishing move) of Terry Bogard after he's finished dealing with his angst. The plot is just *that* simplistic. Matching that simplicity is the characterization, which is dopey at best, excruciatingly stupid at worst. And the animation is on par with the original OAV, mildly competent, but hardly enough to carry such a pedestrian story.
What bugs me the most in this, as well as in the movie, is the depiction of Shiranui Mai. In the game, she is funny, charming, and occasionally even incisive and sarcastic. In other words, she has a likable personality. A personality which, unfortunately, in the anime, has been replaced by silicone, to the detriment of Mai fans (and anime fans) everywhere. No wonder there are so many hate sites for Mai, if this is what people think she's really like. And, oh yeah.
Someone call a chiropractor!
Granted, video game and action buffs may find something to enjoy out of this title, and it's not as painfully stupid as other anime out there. However, if you want to see these characters in the medium they properly deserve, I would rather recommend the King of Fighters video game series, which is infinitely better than this totally weak "martial arts" anime. Or, if you really insist, skip this and go straight to the movie.
A waste of time for any but the most diligent fans of the series, this episode is Fatally flawed. — Carlos/Giancarla Ross
Recommended Audience: Screening this title with a bunch of teenage boys and young single men (the only appropriate audience for this flick) is akin to watching the crowd at a tennis match, because their eyes keep following the bounce of Mai's improbable breasts. Young children shouldn't be watching this, due to the violence, and mature adults (a demographic the reviewer would honestly like to claim himself to be in) will have a hard time digesting the trite, hackneyed storyline or ignoring the blatant attempts at fan service. And female fans (and sometimes, those married to them) might wince with pain any time they see Mai bounce like that.
Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle © 1993 SNK / Fuji TV / NAS
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