I’ve been talking about it on the show, from stills to trailers, and I was happy when I got the release date. Now it’s here. Machinima’s new web series Street Fighter Assassin’s Fist, Season 1. Assassin’s Fist tells the story of Ken and Ryu as they are trained by their sensei, Gouken, in the art of Ansatsuken and learn to master their hado. In this series, you get a bit of backstory to the history of Ansatsuken, as well as the story of Ryu and Ken’s sensei Gouken and his brother Gouki, who would later submit to the Satsui No Hado (Dark Hado) and become Akuma. This series answers the question of how Ken came to train with Ryu, where Ryu came from (with added hints to who his parents are à la Street Fighter Alpha: Generations), and why Gouki gave himself to the Dark Hado.
So, was it worth the wait? Do you leave satisfied? The answers are yes, yes and yes...but you want more. My God. This is hands down THE BEST LIVE ACTION VIDEO GAME ADAPTION EVER. From the main story to the characters’ back story, and that fight choreography, all I can say is that it was flawless. You can tell that the creators of this series - Joey Ansah (Akuma) and Christian Howard (Ken) - cared deeply about the authenticity of this series and were passionate about Street Fighter as a whole. The writing is on point. They covered each character’s story and how they translated in a live-action feature. Ken, being a hothead that is easily frustrated by Ryu mastering certain techniques before him, pushes himself to become even greater. Ryu, always being somewhat stoic, slowly starts to feel something dark growing within him. I also love the dynamic of Ken and Ryu’s friendship as it grows from being rocky to a friendly rivalry, and ultimately, to a brotherhood that you can tell will be tested as this series progresses. Also, Gouken and Gouki’s story is a tragic tale about two brothers that desire to be masters of their craft but who are willing to sacrifice everything to be a complete warrior.
It’s hard for me to pinpoint who was the breakout performer, because everybody performed their respective roles immaculately. But if you’re going to put a gun to my head and say, “DAMNIT, MAN CHOOSE!”, I’d have to say it’s a tie between Gaku Space as Gouki and Christian Howard as Ken Masters. Gaku made you empathize with Gouki and his reasoning for giving himself over to the Dark Hado, and why he wanted to be a greater warrior. Howard really made me like Ken with his snarky comments and his wild, but affective, fighting style. I kind of feel bad for just pointing those two out, being that everyone was great, but I loved their portrayals of the characters. The fight scenes were superb. The Hurricane Kick was awesome and that was the one thing I had a question about. I just kept asking how they were gonna do it. And question answered! Of course they have Mike Moh (Ryu), who happens to be a martial artist and stuntman, pull it off. The Dragon Punch didn’t look cheesy at all, especially Ken’s Flaming Dragon Punch and the Hadoken…all I have to say is finally a fireball that wasn’t just a close up flash.
If anything, the only thing that people can complain about was when Akuma does the Shun Goku Satsu (The Raging Demon). But I was cool with it and feel that it can get better in time as the series progresses and the budget grows.
I honestly can’t wait until they do Season 2, The World Warriors (Street Fighter II). They want to get UK martial artist Scott Adkins to play Guile. I’m wondering who else they are going to get to play the other characters, such as Sagat, Chun-Li, Vega, M. Bison... The list goes on and I’m already in. This series is the result of being passionate about something that you are a fan of and Hollywood took heed of that. Those that love Street Fighter worked on this project while Hollywood fronted the bill. This is the Street Fighter live adaption that we have been seeking for years. I loved it, and if you like Street Fighter - not just as a fighting game but for having a pretty good story - this is for you.