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Double Dragon is one of my favorite video game franchises, the first game (the arcade game) was one of the first video games I've played. The fact you can play martial artists to fight crime with martial arts skills and weapons to pick up along the way was awesome. It was also one of the factors that go me into martial arts and become a martial artist. The fact that there was a cartoon adaptation for this video game franchise, I was slightly sceptically about since cartoon adaptations for video game franchises have always been hit or miss with me, this one I personally thought was one of those hits, and one that crawled under the radar.
There's really not a whole lot I can say. It's true that this cartoon probably isn't going to be for everyone since it does take plenty of liberties which may or may not be agreeable; but a lot of adaptations of works do, it's that fine line of being different and the same at the same time to stand on it's own.
The animation is solid, it's not the greatest animation I've ever saw but it's good enough in my book. Background animation is solid but I like the character animation the most, each of the characters are designed memorably.
The story is solid, I like that they kept the simplistic plot from the game, however they added some things making the show a bit of a pulp fantasy; kinda like the movie "Big Trouble in Little China" which I personally didn't mind since I like that movie. I even like how there was some sense of plot development in some places, though sadly this doesn't completely pay off; most cartoons weren't taken seriously back then what are you going to do.
The action is solid/decent, the martial arts chirography is good and I like the use of the vehicles, weapons and super powers. The theme song is decent, enjoyable to listen to despite some of the lyrics coming off kinda chessy.
I do like how the characters are handled. Supporting characters and villains are solid and seem to each have distinctive specialties and personas which make them colorful though not entirely memorable. One supporting character I like is Marian whom was the damsel in distress in the video game, I really like how they made her a strong female character that is actually useful in some points; kinda like how she was handled in the "Neo Geo" one on one fighting video game where she became one of the fighting characters. The only disappointment is that she never really becomes a permanent part of the team which isn't fair, let alone disappeared as the show went further, so that to me is a weak point of the show.
But I like how the brothers are handled both have a solid back and forth like in any buddy cop film. Billy whom is the serious level headed one. But my favorite character in the show is Jimmy whom is the not so serious one. What's interesting about his character was the fact that throughout most of his life he's been fighting for the wrong team, and throughout the show he's on a road to redemption. I like those kinds of characters/protagonists because I feel it's a good message showing it's never too late you can repent for sin but that it's still possible to be a good person.
The only problems I have including the one I mentioned earlier are, I didn't care about the masks the Dragons wore, they weren't necessary; let alone really didn't make a difference since everyone knows who they were. Also I do think they use their superpowers a bit too much, instead of martial arts skills which I felt was kinda cheating but then again same could be said for a lot of other super hero properties out their, so I can't hold it totally against the series.
Overall, I thought this was a solid adaptation which I'll admit might not be for everyone, but still like any good video game it's worth a try.
Rating: 3 stars
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