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Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge

a.k.a. Vampire Hunter

nightwarriors-2
Genre: Action
Company: Capcom/Amuse Video, Inc.
Format: 4 OVA
Dates: 3/21/1997 to 3/27/1998

In a dark world populated by humans, old legends are very real and take the form of Darkstalkers, beings with powers beyond imagination. They fight amongst one another until the day they’re threatened by a powerful entity from beyond the world with the intent of conquering Earth. Now, the Darkstalkers must fight this abomination before their world is dominated.

summary by Eek

 

Reviewed: 06/16/2004 by
Grade: 57% av-Eek

Highs: Superb battle animation; combat will have you at the seat of your pants

Lows: Throwaway characters; cast that comes and goes; cheeseball ending

Anyone who has seen a Street Fighter II or Fatal Fury anime knows that a good game-to-anime conversion requires more than haphazardly throwing in the game’s characters, cobbling together situations where said characters fight and adding something that resembles a plot. Unfortunately, the “geniuses” behind Night Warriors must’ve thought that such characteristics made good anime.

Capcom threw a fair amount of money into the creation of Night Warriors, but where the production values really shine is the battle animation. Even though this anime was made in 1997, the clean and smooth cel transition will make you think that it was made just yesterday. Watching life-like movements and character’s special moves will have you on the edge of your seat as every fight unfolds. Whether Donovan is swinging his massive sword about like it weighed no more than a feather, or Lord Raptor is wailing away on his guitar to steal people’s souls, characters designs are unique and make for some great battles that’ll keep your attention every second of the way.

I have to wonder what the point was of even having some characters in this series. Perhaps the aim was to get the entire cast from the game into Night Warriors, but that doesn’t happen. Or maybe numerous characters were used as merely filler elements, only on the screen to awe you with a few trademark moves and nothing else. As well, the characters that aren’t filler are only seen now and then; Donovan is given quite a lot of onscreen time, but this only helps to push everyone else like Hsien-Ho and Lei-Lei to the side. On top of that, the ending is pure cheese. It all comes down to the typical big bad guy vanquished by good guy who finds his true power within himself after near defeat. Never mind the fact that the various other important subplots are never even concluded…

While Night Warriors sets itself aside from other fighting anime by using famous movie and folklore creatures, there isn’t much here that will make you eager to play the game or watch this series again. And just so no one is confused by the alternative title, this anime has nothing to do with Vampire Hunter D.

 

Night Warriors can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.


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