Fatal Fury 2: The New Battle
This OAV largely follows on from the first OAV, "Legend of the Hungry Wolf", and it could be argued as being OAV 2 of 2. On the other hand it is an independant story, is sold independantly (see the 2 on it?) and, most importantly, it's not complete crap like the other one. It does have similarities in that it continues to provide evidence why being a `martial artist' is not a great career. Reasons being you can't hold down a decent job, you've got a pretty primitive personal philosophy and any nut-case who figures themselves tough feels free to come over and pick a fight. Although our hero is distressed to find he in fact isn't the `toughest' when he gets completely trashed. The shock of this revelation leading him to collapse into drink. His friends, inflicted with same moronic philosophy, see this as simply a challenge. But eventually, through the support of his friends, a young believer and more weird training he find he does have the strength to not only continue but win.
In other words it's another standard martial artsy plot in which people find reasons to hit one another. And the dialog is not subtle enough to provide too much story interest or avoid sounding awful cheesy in parts. Simple and unpleasently familiar sums it up quite well. This video primarily serves to introduce some new characters. We get to meet `More Fanservice', oops, I mean Mai Shiranai for the first time (and at her bouncy best). Plus a new villain in the way too cool for his own good `Schnauser' who's got the bad-ass act down pat. Anyone who wanders around in armor, full cloak, and loves a bit of romantic pipe organ playing really should be avoided...but he actually has a backstory, and some cool lines which makes it a shame he has to lose to the still largely one dimensional Terry Bogart. It's not too bad, which for the fatal fury license is quite an achievement, but I still don't think many will want to watch it more than once.
This quality is also evident in the action animation. Unlike the first OAV there actually is some martial arts animation. Not a great deal, and it still falls back to still frames and massive power blasts too quickly, but it is much improved. The martial arts is not that interesting, or common, to provide reason enough to care. The character work, and dialog, is simple and obvious and the dubbing isn't that much better than the original. There will still be moments, especially for minor characters, where you'll be wishing for subtitles. Although I must say schnauser does manage a certain atmosphere, although his power level rather obviously goes from `unbeatable monstrous' to `beatable' between start and end. In all the animation is distinctly average, as are most other elements of production, roughly equivalent to an average TV series. Still, as I said, it doesn't suck quite as much as what went before, so those desperate for fighting game anime might actually enjoy this.