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Street Fighter II V -The Collection-

Review by Jeffrey M. Jacobson (2003 May 4)

Series Info

(Translated from http://home-aki.cool.ne.jp/anime-list/street.htm)

Street Fighter II V is a series based on Capcom's popular fighting game, Street Fighter II. I watched this series on TV in Japan when I was an exchange student there. After watching all of the episodes again on this DVD set, I was very disappointed in Manga Video's treatment of this series.

Preserving the Original version is clearly not a priorty for Manga Video

Missing: Original Opening and Ending Credits, Animation Sequences, and Theme Songs

After changing the language settings from English dubbed audio to Japanese with subtitles, I started playing the episodes. When the first episode started, I thought to myself, "Uh oh." Manga Video had replaced the original opening credits with their own lame opening credits. Instead of the original opening sequence and theme song, there are now just a bunch of clips from different episodes and a really lame techno song. (There are no words in the English language to accurately describe how horrible Manga Video's new theme song is.) Not only the opening credits have been replaced, but the ending credits as well. And the ending credits theme has been replaced by that same stupid techno song. (And before anyone gets there hopes up, this was indeed the Japanese language track that I was listening to, and not the English dubbed track.)

Original Street Fighter II V Theme Songs
(which are not present on these DVDs, not even as an extra feature!)
EpisodesOpening ThemeEnding Theme
1 - 19風吹いてる <Blowing Wind> (by 黒田有紀)Cry (by 黒田有紀)
20 - 29今、明日のために <Now, for Tomorrow> (by 本田修司)LONELY BABY (by 本田修司)

Just imagine if you'd gotten one of the DVD sets of The Simpsons, and instead of the original opening sequence there were just clips from different episodes, and instead of Danny Elfman's familiar theme song there was instead some lame techno song. If anyone would have actually done this to The Simpsons, there would have been a major public outcry.

Unfortunately, many people watching Manga Video's version probably have not seen the original version, and don't know that these changes have been made. They probably just think to themselves, "The rest of the music is okay, but this theme song is terrible."

Worse (in some respects) than Manga's VHS versions

Also missing from the DVD are the bumpers and the "sponsor scene", which were present in Manga's subtitled VHS versions. (I don't know if they were present in the English dubbed VHS tapes, since I never watched any of them.) The "sponsor scene" (I don't know what the actual technical term for it is, if there is one) is where they show a list of the show's sponsors. In SF2V, this consisted of a still image of Ryu and Ken walking away from the camera, with an instrumental version of the SF2V theme song playing in the background. When it aired on TV, there was also an announcer who said something (in Japanese) to the effect of "Sponsored by", then a list of sponsors was displayed on screen. These things should have at least been included as an extra feature.

Another thing that was better on the subtitled VHS tapes was that they eventually dropped the lame techno song and put the original theme songs back in. The tapes still didn't have the original opening animation for the first 19 episodes, however. Starting with episode 20, the series got new opening and ending animation sequences and theme songs. At this point, the subtitled VHS tapes also used the new opening animation, but with all Japanese text blacked out and replaced with English.

"Burned-in" Subtitles

As if the missing credits sequences weren't bad enough, there are also "burned-in" English subtitles. (By "burned-in" I mean that the subtitle is a part of the DVDs video stream and not a separate subtitle stream. Therefore, it cannot be disabled by pressing the "subtitle" button.) The subtitles for the dialogue is removable, but anytime there is non-English text onscreen, there are burned-in English subtitles telling you what that text says. There are also some instances where there was originally Japanese text onscreen, but it has been completely replaced by English. For example, when a character appears for the first time, there will be text telling you the characters name (and sometimes their age). In the Japanese version, this text was in Japanese. But now (in Manga Video's version) the Japanese text is gone, with English text in its place. And for the characters Balrog, M. Bison, and Vega, the wrong names are displayed. (More info about the incorrect names further down.)

With DVD you have the ability to have subtitle tracks that can be activated and deactivated. There is no excuse for having a subtitles permanently burned in to the video stream of a DVD if they weren't part of the original Japanese version of the show. Clearly these burned-in subtitles were put there for the English-dubbed version. They could have used another subtitle track instead of burning them into the video.

Manga Video: Repeat Offenders

I have seen a few other Manga Video releases, and all of these had also had their opening and closing credits replaced as well. These include the VHS releases of the Fist of the North Star TV series and The Guyver DVDs.

Video quality

There are a lot of compression artifacts visible.

Extra Features - Nothing Special

There are no original Japanese trailers or anything included as extras. The original opening and closing credits (that were removed from the episodes) are also not present here.

The bonus features on this set consist mainly of just ads for other Manga Video releases. The stupid announcer on these ads pronounces the word "Manga" as "Meinga". This just goes to show you how moronic the people running this company are; they use a Japanese word in the name of their company, but don't know how to pronouce it.

Overall score: 0.5/5

Misc

Breif explanation of Street Fighter character name-swapping

Earlier in this document I mentioned that there were a few instances in on DVD where a character was introduced, and a "burned-in" subtitle would be displayed with the wrong character's name. The explanation for this begins when the game Street Fighter II was brought to America.

The last four "boss" characters that a player must fight in Street Fighter II are part of a criminal organization known as Shadowlaw. The first one is M. Bison, a boxer who resembles Mike Tyson. This character was also in the first Street Fighter game, where he was simply called "Mike". So his full name is Mike Bison. Then comes Balrog - a "Spanish Ninja" who wears a mask and has a big claw on one hand, and climbs walls. Third is Sagat, the final boss from the original Street Fighter game. And the last guy who is in charge of the criminal organization is a guy called Vega, who wears some sort of military uniform and a cape.

Apparently Capcom USA was afraid of being sued by Mike Tyson for depicting him as a criminal, so they swapped the names of three of these characters in the American version of the game. The boxer's name was changed from M. Bison to Balrog, the Spanish Ninja went from Balrog to Vega, and their caped leader went from Vega to M. Bison. (Sagat got to keep his original name.)

Street Fighter II became very popular, and was eventually made into a TV series in Japan called Street Fighter II V. Manga Video released the VHS tapes of this series in two versions -- a subtitled version and an English dubbed version. In the subtitled version, the characters all kept their original names. But in the English dubbed version, the characters names were changed to match the American version of the video game.

And on the DVDs, they have used the video from the English dubbed version, complete with burned-in subtitles showing the wrong names for Balrog, Bison, and Vega.

Name swap table
Character DescriptionOriginal (Japanese) NameAmerican Name
Leader of Shadowlaw, wears a military style uniform with hat and cape.VegaM. Bison
Masked Spanish BullfighterBalrog Fabio LaSerdaVega
Boxer who resembles Mike TysonMike BisonBalrog
Has pink hair, wears a Gi (like Ryu and Ken), and wears beads around his neck.

Gouki was introduced in the game Super Street Fighter II X: Grandmaster Challenge. In Street Fighter II V he only makes a few cameo appearances in the background, and is never referred to by name.

GoukiAkuma
Episode Listing
EpisodeAirdateEpisode Title
* = The first two episodes listed (marked "*" in the episode column) are not actually episodes. I have not seen these, so I don't know what they are. They were included in the episode list on http://home-aki.cool.ne.jp/anime-list/street.htm, so I included them here. Based on the episode titles, I'm guessing that the first is a preview for Street Fighter II Movie, and the second is a preview of something called Ultraman Day 7, Street Fighter II V, and Mahou Kishi (Magic Knight) Rayearth.
*1994.07.22STREET FIGHTER II MOVIE Special
*1995.04.10ウルトラマンデー7 STREET FIGHTER II V 魔法騎士レイアース
11995.04.10旅立ち サンフランシスコからの招待状
21995.04.17空軍の王者 炸裂、脅威のミリタリーコンバット
31995.04.24香港上陸 潜入、魔闘窟への挑戦状
41995.05.01暗黒の九龍クーロン城 無法地帯、命がけの大脱出
51995.05.08飛龍フェイロン熱血!激写、スーパーバトルアクションムービー
61995.05.22秘伝見参!漲る気、波動の覚醒
71995.06.05阿修羅の報復 襲いかかるムエタイの刺客
81995.06.12罠、牢獄、真実の叫び 誇り高きリュウ
91995.06.19ムエタイの巨星 壮絶、獄中戦交響曲プリズンバトルシンフォニー
101995.06.26暗黒の予兆 ベールに包まれた真の君臨者
111995.07.03野獣来訪 聖なる荒法師、若武者への忠告
121995.07.10幻の真剣勝負 精神と肉体のはざまに潜む闘神
131995.07.17波動拳伝説 森羅万象、エネルギーの結実
141995.07.24血に飢えた貴公子 美への執着、春麗への媚薬
151995.07.31両雄激突 プライドと命とシンデレラを賭けた死闘
161995.08.07ベールをぬいだ君臨者 暴走を始めた恐るべき征服欲
171995.08.14戦慄、暴君の司令 忍び寄る策謀、迫り来る危機
181995.08.21美しき暗殺者 緑色の瞳、十字架クロスの恐怖
191995.08.28鉄人への特命 救出の空に発つ最強の助っ人
201995.09.04秘められた爆発力 渾身に満ちるとてつもないパワー
211995.09.11服従への強制 サイバーチップ、脳支配への挑戦
221995.09.18昇龍、空へ 怒りの絶頂、目覚める波動
231995.10.16凍りついた眼光 悪魔に魅入られた勇者
241995.10.23悪夢の再会 悲痛の呼び掛け、閉ざされた意識
251995.10.30死闘<第一章> 壮絶、トリプルバトルコマンド
261995.11.06死闘<第二章> 力尽きゆく親友の断末魔
271995.11.13死闘<第三章> 臨界点、激突する波動エネルギーの極限
281995.11.20死闘<第四章> 君臨者ベガ、その圧倒的破壊力
291995.11.27死闘完結 全身全霊をかけたファイナルバトル