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Samurai Showdown

a.k.a. Samurai Spirits

samshow-1
Genre: Action
Company: King Records/NAS
Format: 1 movie
Dates: 1994

Hahomaru, Galford, Charlotte, Wan Fu, Tam Tam, Nakoruru and Amakusa were warriors who upheld the seal that locked away the evil god Ambrosia. Amakusa decided to betray his vows and break the seal in order to obtain Ambrosia’s power. With that, he defeated his former comrades, but their souls managed to escape. It has been one hundred years since, and Amakusa now dominates Japan as the puppet master behind the shogun… but the six defeated warriors have now reincarnated and are ready to face against him again, as soon as they obtain the biggest power of all: the power of the people.

summary by Griveton

 

Reviewed: 07/20/2003 by
Grade: 31% av-Griveton

Highs: Can induce a chuckle or two…

Lows: … but not when it’s supposed to

Anime based on fighting games have carried a long tradition of ranging from bad to terrible in what seems to be a sad and lazy attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the games.

The basic storyline in Samurai Showdown isn’t completely hopeless; the whole idea could have some potential. The problem, as usual, comes in the execution. What could be a worthy narration is bogged down by shoddy writing and cheesy moments, lame attempts at comedy, clichés and glaring inconsistencies, all of which border on unintentional comedy brilliance from time to time. The characters are poorly developed, ending up so annoying that one simply cannot care about them. The only positive point about them is that they all have their place without it looking like they were squeezed in.

In all honesty, the only thing a fighting-game-based anime has to do to be considered good is to display great fights. After all, that was the basis of the game before it. Yet, Samurai Showdown fails even here, too. While the art is, for the most part, passable, the animation and direction only help to make the poorly conceived combat scenes even worse. The music is utterly forgettable and thus manages to stay in the back, without aggravating the situation.

Samurai Showdown might be enjoyable with a couple drinks, a friend or two and a desire to relentlessly mock the events onscreen. But even then, it’ll be just for a short while. If that’s not what you’re looking for in a movie, then I understand completely.


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