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Virtua Fighter

Episode 1: Akira's Hakkyoku-ken

Copyright: ©2000, SEGA/TMS, AnimeWorks
Length: 22 minutes
Rating: 3+ (suggested rating), PG (Parent's Guide Rating)
Format: Original Japanese Dialogue, English dub (VHS)


Akira has set out on a journey to find eight stars only those with true strength can see. He finds himself in a Chinese restaurant in New Hollywood, where a girl, Pai, runs into him. Pai is being chased by the Koenkan, which is like a Chinese mafia and she also happens to be a martial artist. Akira gets himself involved, but Pai gets captured. And so it's up to Akira to save her from being sent to Hong Kong.

capsule review:

Well, yet another video game based anime. Low expectations are expected, but this doesn't seem to be too bad so far. For once, this series seems to do things right to start with, introducing the first two characters in the first episode instead of the first ten. However, Akira and Pai seem very stereotypical. Akira being the smart-assed young martial artist, and Pai, the stubborn tough girl. The main bad guy doesn't seem to be very three dimensional at all.

The animation and artwork are good and the fight scenes aren't too bad. However, here's where the video game shows through. Twice, attacks by Akira and Pai are frozen, named, and then described as they happen by the very annoying "announcer." Some of the action is animated well, actually.

The music is very unremarkable. The background music is extremely forgettable, while the opening and ending themes, while dubbed, aren't too bad. The dub voice acting is good, but Pai yells too much. As was said before, the announcer/narrator is very annoying. This voice-over is used to announce the episode title, the attack names and descriptions, and the bit before the opening theme. It is a very exaggerated fight announcer.

This episode starts off a story that seems very unoriginal. A small, but growing group sets off to defeat a large, evil or criminal organisation, against all odds. The entire series seems to be set up from the first episode, with two of the main protagonists and the antagonist introduced. It is very obvious from the start that the objective is to defeat the Koenkan, although this may be the first story arc. We can only see as the series goes on. Another plot element seems to involve Pai's father and her engagement to a high Koenkan member who we meet in the first episode. This is also cliche. At this point, I'm not sure how the series will go, as it is unoriginal and stereotypical, yet the interaction between Akira and Pai is somewhat interesting. I want to see how this series progresses, but I don't know if it's curiosity about how bad it will be or how good it will be. But this is a reasonably good start to a series in the usually bad video game based genre.
- JDA, 2001.03.17

café rating (english dub):


2 stars

[2 / 5] - Tough girl gets captured, tough guy saves tough girl, tough girl not impressed. Unoriginal.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Not a bad introductory episode. I can see direction this is going in, and it is relatively straightforward.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Good dubbing, but not great. The announcer/narrator is very annoying.


3 stars
[3 / 5] - Good TV quality animation. Not exceptional, but good.


2 stars
[2 / 5] - The background music is there, but barely noticeable. It doesn't really complement the action.


[ N/A ] - Based on the English dub.

Overall Rating:

3 stars
[3 / 5] - Not a bad start. Better than I expected.

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Page last modified 2001.03.17