I have played SNK video games ever since Crystalis on the NES, and I have always been a fan on the fighting games on the Neo Geo system. Of all the games, Samurai Spirits/Samurai Shodown has always been one of my favorites of all time (just behind King of Fighters and Tekken). Besides stellar gameplay, wonderful atmosphere, and some of the best animation and art... The CHARACTERS were paramount! SNK's games all have such detailed characters, all with distinct personalities that make the game. The problem with this is, if a new artist doesn't understand the character the way the creator had intended, it's easy to mess things up. In Samurai Spirits, the anime, it's as if the writers hadn't even played the games. It's as if they saw drawing of the characters, and set out to reinvent the characters. Unfortunately this is about the same in another SNK series that became an animation, Art of Fighting. Because the characters weren't true, it just didn't work (though poor overall production didn't help). It wasn't subtle differences, but complete fabrications. Characters stories were completely re-written, and not for the better. The Samurai Spirits game series has a VERY deep and detailed plotline, well portrayed in the RPG on Sega Saturn or the official Manga, but this new plotline was fairly cookie cutter, and a bit odd. Not particularly bad, but just not true to the character. If you aren't a fanatic of the game, you shouldn't be bothered. It's not nearly as good as Ninja Scroll, Ninja Resurrection, or Dagger of Kamui but not a bad bargain movie. If you want a good video game-to-anime conversion, Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Street Fighter II V (series), Vampire/Darkstalkers, Sakura Wars, Sonic Anime (NOT the US cartoon), and Fatal Fury are all pretty good. Animations that doesn't do the game justice include: Battle Arena Toshinden, Art of Fighting, Samurai Shodown, and Panzer Dragoon (the game is a fabulous work of art, but the anime is fair at best).
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