Virtua Fighter is a 35 episode series (first season: 1-24, second season: 25-35) made from TMS and Sega, released in 1996, which features the characters from the fighting game Virtua Fighter.
Though some of the character's plot still remains the same as the game, this anime has a different story, and is mostly based on Virtua Fighter 2.
The story begins with Akira Yuki, a martial arts expert who fights with the Hakkyoku-Ken fighting style, on a quest to see the eight stars in the sky that can only be seen by those who possess true strength. In Chinatown, he encounters Pai Chan, who is attempting to escape a martial arts criminal organization known as the Koenkan, refusing an arranged marriage to its leader, Liu Kowloon. They later encounter Jacky Bryant and Sarah Bryant, who help drive the Koenkan out of Chinatown and travel together afterward. Sarah is later kidnapped by Kage-Maru and brainwashed by the scientist Eva Durix, who believes martial artists limit their potential by their own emotions, conscience and fears, and removing such traits would allow them to become the perfect soldier, developing combat machines to prove this.
Suspecting Koenkan is behind her kidnapping, Jacky discovers that Pai is the daughter of the founder of the Koenkan, Lau Chan, but she reveals a strained relationship with her father because his obsession with martial arts took precedence over her dying mother. Furthermore, Liu is his most trusted pupil and her marriage to him will place him as Lau's successor. Much of the plot focuses on finding and rescuing Sarah while fighting off against the Koenkan throughout the world, meeting new friends and enemies. In New York, the group helps a boy named Jimmy find his sister, kidnapped by the Koenkan, and they are led to an underground casino with a fighting ring. Akira faces off against the champion Wolf Hawkfield, and Jimmy reveals himself to be the leader of Koenkan USA, older and more intelligent than his appearance would let on. When Akira wins, he is trapped in a room with Jacky and they are ordered to fight each other, and Jimmy is baffled by their friendship, more so when Wolf demands Akira be freed. Pai discovers that Sarah is in Europe, and unable to make sense of the idea of friendship, Jimmy activates the self-destruct mechanism. Akira goes after Jimmy, but the two are the only ones not to make it out when the explosion occurs. The two survive, and Akira makes Jimmy realize he has a friend in him.
Pai and Jacky head off to Europe to find Sarah, where they are captured by the Hauer sisters, the leaders of Koenkan Europe. Meanwhile Jimmy takes Akira to a boat and begs Jeffry McWild for help in taking him overseas. Witnessing the torturous experiments being performed on Sarah, Kage can no longer bear it and betrays Eva by freeing Sarah, but she has become an emotionless fighting machine controlled by Eva. In Paris, Akira encounters Lion Rafale, who runs away after the constant pressure in becoming the heir of his father's company. Liu offers his assistance in returning Lion to his father, and when they are encountered by the Koenkan, Akira gives himself up so he is taken to their headquarters and reunites with Pai and Jacky. Lion arrives as they face off against the Hauer sisters, but as the two escape, they are discovered incapacitated by Sarah. She not only fails to recognize them, but critically injures her brother. Kage informs the group of what happened to atone for his mistakes, and discovers that Sarah is behind held in Eva's castle in Germany. Liu is infuriated with Eva's betrayal, while the incident has captured the interest of the Rafale company.
With the heroes headed to Germany, Liu arrives before they do with the intention of terminating Eva, but with the arrival of the heroes, he postpones her fate in order to capture Pai and succeeds. Sarah and Jacky face off in an emotional battle where Eva makes him realize his overprotective nature robbed Sarah of any independence, which allowed for her to be easily brainwashed, but Jacky prevails. Despite the outcome, Eva is given the funding by the Rafale company to continue her research. As she escapes with a mysterious project, she orders the place to be destroyed with the heroes inside, including Liu. However, Liu catches her and forces her to go with them to Hong Kong, and proceeds with demolishing the place. The heroes all manage to escape, and Sarah regains her memories.
In Hong Kong, Liu orders Eva to brainwash Pai into a willing bride. He also orders the assassination of his former mentor Lau, who was training in the mountains. Lau's master Shun Di foils the assassination attempt, and is disappointed to see that Lau has forsaken his compassion, blinding him to the fact that Liu not only tried to have him killed, but has also turned Koenkan into a criminal organization. Akira, Jacky, Sarah and Kage arrive in Hong Kong and fend off against countless Koenkan while Eva plots an escape with the help of the Rafale company. She also puts a flaw in Pai's brainwashing that allows her to snap out of it during the wedding, before she can agree to it. Akira and Jacky crash the wedding with a police car shortly after, and Liu challenges Akira to a fight. Lau appears and interrupts, taking Liu on himself with the intention of killing him for his betrayal and for using Koenkan to fulfill his greedy ambitions. The final blow is interrupted by Akira. Pai, angered to see her father, attempts to fight him for abandoning his family, but is promptly beaten without showing an ounce of emotion. Akira takes her place and challenges him, holding him responsible for all the suffering he witnessed at the hands of Koenkan. Akira is victorious, with Shun interrupting the final blow, revealing why Lau's heart went cold; Pai's mother was suffering from an incurable disease, and despite Lau's reputation as a legendary martial artist, the fact that he was helpless and unable to save her was too much for him to bear. From that point on, he hid behind martial arts, trained his heart not to feel, and severed all ties to the world, including his daughter, resulting in Koenkan's corruption. Confirming Shun is telling the truth, in a shocking move, Lau takes responsibility and announces that Koenkan is dissolved entirely.
Liu confronts Eva for betraying him again, only to find himself at the hands of her ultimate weapon, Dural, instead. Eva taunts him as a failure while Dural will prove her scientific genius to the world, and after claiming she loves him and kisses him, shoots him. Jacky, Sarah and Kage hear the gunshot, and are also attacked. The others hear the commotion and arrive in time to help them, but Dural proves to be too strong for all of them, even Lau. Liu appears, still alive, and prevents Dural from finishing off the former Koenkan leader, but falls victim to the machine's beatings. Lau knocks Dural out the window, and Liu reveals that he wanted to be like his mentor, strong and powerful, and took what he thought was the necessary path to achieve it. He dies from his injuries, and the police car from earlier explodes due to the fight causing electrical malfunctions. Dural returns and defeats Lau with his own techniques, as well as Shun. Akira refuses to allow a heartless fighting machine to put all of their training to waste, and remembering his grandfather's words, disables the machine with the Stun Palm of Doom. Eva runs away, but the growing flames prevent the others from getting to her. She attempts to retrieve the data to build another Dural, but the room explodes and the stairs collapse, supposedly killing her. The fighters are able to escape, with Shun telling Lau to overcome his grief, and Akira continuing his quest to see the eight stars once again.
Taking place three years after the first season, Pai and Jacky realize their dreams: Being a famous actress and a professional Indy car driver. They decide to visit Akira in Japan when they suddenly get attacked by the Oni-Maru Ninjas. With Lion's help, they discover that they are on a secret kill-list, and the Secret Organization wants to grab information about the most famous fighters of the world. It is revealed that Eva Durix survived her defeat and becomes an ally of Oni-Maru, an old friend of Kage's childhood, who wants to kill him to become the new leader of the Hagakure clan.
Along with the Secret Organization, Eva creates Dural Gold with the fighter's information, and Oni-Maru fights it in order to provide it with the fighting data necessary to kill Kage and his companions, but dies as a result. Akira defeats Dural, and it is seemingly destroyed by a bolt of lightning on the edge of a cliff. Eva attempts to pull a gun on the heroes, but Dural grabs her and attempts to pull her into the chasm. Akira manages to grab Eva, and she asks him why he saved her. He says he does not know, but she needs to live to atone for her actions. She then realizes Akira's compassion, but claims it is a future she cannot accept, lets go and dies with a smile. The secret list is still in the hands of the Organization, and the anime ends with an image of all the crowd of characters with Dural Gold, with a voice which says: See you next game level.
Virtua Fighter had been aired in various television stations in Argentina, Chile, Italy, Mexico, the Philippines and the Arabic part of the Middle East, dubbed in their national languages. The series had been licensed for distribution in North America by Anime Works / Media Blasters. Due to falling sales, Anime Works had ended its distribution of the Virtua Fighter anime after only dubbing the first season, 24 of the 35 episodes, and no other licensor picked up the series.
In March 2020, RetroCrush announced that the anime will be streamed with English subtitles provided.
The main characters are Akira Yuki, Pai Chan, Jacky Bryant, and Sarah Bryant.
For the most part, the characters' personalities and backgrounds are retained or are similar to their game counterparts. The most apparent exception is Akira, who is shown to possess a large appetite and provides much of the comic relief, both to the chagrin of his friends. However, he becomes much more serious when people are being harmed. As Dural is shown to be a robotic creation of Eva Durix, it has no connection to Kage-Maru or his mother, who is not mentioned. Sarah is also shown to be a kind, shy and gentle person prior to her brainwashing.
The remaining cast of Virtua Fighter 2 appear in certain episodes. Other characters are made exclusively for the anime and they do not appear in the game.
- Liu Kowloon: Found and saved by Lau Chan as a poor child on the streets, he becomes Lau's disciple, the leader of the Koenkan in Hong Kong, and betrothed of Pai Chan. Behind Lau's back, he turned Koenkan into a criminal organization, seeks to eliminate him and marry Pai to become the head of Koenkan worldwide. Power hungry, controlling, and a strong martial artist in his own right, he does not tolerate failure or betrayal and has a reluctant alliance with Eva. After being betrayed three times by her, he is fatally shot by her, and is killed by Dural while trying to save his master, where he reveals the path he took was to become like Lau, strong and powerful.
- Eva Durix: Antagonist of the series and the creator of Dural and Dural Gold. In the first season, she had Kage-Maru kidnap Sarah for the creation of Dural, and used her to gather fighting information from the others. She had once presented a paper believing that the potential of martial artists was limited and restrained by their own emotions, conscience and fears, and if they were removed, they could become the perfect weapon and far more dangerous than a trained soldier. But this claim was dismissed by the scientific community. With the help of Koenkan, she is out to prove the effects of her research, though her use of combat machines is often ridiculed by the martial artists, including Liu and Akira. However, the results shown through Sarah end up capturing the interest of the Rafale company. Lacking empathy, traitorous, and manipulative, she will stop at nothing to achieve her goals and never shows concern for anyone other than herself, and even mocks the others for mourning Liu when he dies. She is supposedly killed at the end of the first season from a collapsing building, but is revealed to be alive in the next. After the defeat of Gold Dural, she attempts to pull the gun on the heroes but is pulled into a chasm by Dural. Akira grabs her and tries to save her so she can atone for her actions, and after finally understanding that his compassion makes him strong, she refuses to accept that future and falls to her death with a smile.
- Yan Wei Min: The leader of Koenkan in Chinatown, who was sent by Liu to retrieve Pai. He is defeated by Akira in Chinatown, but follows the group when they travel out. After repeated failures, he is terminated by Lee Coleman on orders of the Koenkan.
- Lee Coleman: Another leader from a gang of Koenkan, he fights Akira when Sarah is kidnapped, and blows up a gas station in an attempt to kill him and Jacky. He is also seemingly killed by the Koenkan for his failures.
- Jimmy Gates: The leader of Koenkan USA, having the appearance of a young child but is a ruthless man and cunning mastermind. He does not grasp the concept of friendship and views compassion as a weakness, but is saved by Akira when he blows up the Underground Casino. He then recognizes what Akira meant and saves him, bringing him on Jeffry's ship with a new outlook on life.
- Hauer Sisters: Isabel and Eliza are the leaders of Koenkan Europe. Seeking to be the next in line after Liu, they capture Jacky and Pai as they travel to the Netherlands. When they reunite with Akira, Eliza is defeated by Lion at first, but when the two retreat, they are quickly beaten by a brainwashed Sarah, which seen by Liu as an act of betrayal by Eva. They appear once more when the heroes are headed on a plane to Hong Kong, now accompanied by the Hauer Amazons, but are defeated and arrested.
- Yan Hong: He's the younger brother of Yan Wei Min, who shares his creepy appearance and claims to be stronger than his brother. Appearing in Hong Kong, he is killed when a game of chicken against Jacky ends with him driving off the roof of a parking garage.
Onimaru and the Secret Organization
They're the main antagonists of the second season, nobody knows who are they really. They're six leaders, three men and two women, they're somehow linked to Rafale Company and interested about Dural. Oni-Maru and his ninjas work for them, also there are his allies:
- Gao: He rarely fights in the series, but he knows lots of things about the secret list. Akira and their friends meet him for the first time in a train while they're about to visit Wolf.
- Nyon: She's the one who fought against Wolf before he knew about the secret list. She loses against him in a match.
- Alexander: Sarah's pet squirrel.
- Colonel Moreno: A mercenary soldier and leader of a mercenary army, employed by the Rafale Company. In the first season, he fights against Jeffry in order to force him to sell his island, and returns again to retrieve Lion. In the second season, he protects Lion from Oni-maru but accidentally dies.
- Vandoll Rafale: Lion's controlling father, who appears briefly in the first season and is involved with Koenkan, hiring Moreno to bring his son back. In the second season, he is forced to work for the mysterious organization to protect his son, as well as aid Eva Durix for the creation of Dural Gold.
- Blues Davis: A famous film producer who witnesses Pai's graceful fighting skills when she ruins a movie shoot, and hopes to turn her into a star. Unfortunately, the Koenkan ruin the movie, but Davis insists on making Pai an actress someday. He appears in both seasons.
- Lily Anna: After grieving Akira's assumed demise in the first season, Pai and Jacky continue their search for Sarah in Holland. There they meet a little girl named Lily Anna where she asks them to be her bodyguards for her dance studio, as the Koenkan wants to turn it into a dojo.
- Jacky and Sarah's parents: They appear in the sixth episode of the first season, when Jacky is at a sponsor party for his race. Jacky's father strongly disapproves of his dream of becoming a race car driver. Pai reveals they are one of the richest families in the world.
- Airport Thief: The first appears in episode 12 of the first season, stealing the luggage of Akira, Pai and Jacky and escapes the airport on a pick up truck. Another one appears in episode 15 in Holland and takes Jacky's wallet, except this time Pai subdues him.
- Jake and Elwood: First appearing in episode 11, Jake and Elwood are two actors who were involved in Blues Davis' movie. They are introduced when Pai accidentally thinks that a bride is in trouble and attacks the pair where in reality, it was a scene for Davis' movie. The pair are revealed to be in charge of the "Tiger and Swallow Office" which Akira realizes is part of Koenkan. The name Jake and Elwood is a reference to the radio host in Sega's 1993 arcade racer OutRunners, named Jake Elwood.
|#||Title||English Dub Title||Airdate|
|1||Akira of the Hakkyoku-Ken|
Hakkyoku-Ken no Akira Tōjō
|2||Cry of the Heart|
Kokoro no Sakebi
|Cry of the Heart||1995-10-16|
|3||The Gorgeous Sibling Fighters|
Utsukushiki Kyōdai Kobushi Shi Tōjō
|Brother & Sister: Martial Arts Team||1995-10-23|
|4||Showdown in Chinatown|
Kessen Chūkagai (Chaina Taun)
|Showdown in Chinatown||1995-10-30|
|5||To Seek the Stars|
Hoshi o Motomete
|In Search of the Stars||1995-11-06|
|6||Behind the Battle Scene|
Gekitō no Kage de
|In the Shadow of Battle||1996-11-13|
Shukumei no Ni Nin
|The Destined Twosome||1995-11-20|
|8||Sadness of the Past|
|A Sad Past||1995-11-27|
|10||Death Match on the Lake|
Kojō no Shitō
|Death Match on the Lake||1995-12-11|
|Pai, the Dreamer||1995-12-18|
|12||Subway Out of Control!|
|13||Arena of Darkness|
Yami no Ringu
Bakuen no Kanata
|Behind the Blaze of the Explosion||1996-01-08|
|16||The Sea Warrior|
Umi no Kakutō Shi
|17||Here Comes the Prince|
|A Young Noble Appears||1996-01-29|
Hijō no Saikai
|A Cold-Hearted Reunion||1996-02-05|
|19||A New Departure|
Arata na Tabiritsu
|A New Journey||1996-02-19|
|20||A Bond of Love Between Brother & Sister|
Kyōdai (Kyōdai) no Kizuna
|21||A Wizard and a Master|
Sennin to Tatsujin
|A Wizard and a Master||1996-03-04|
|22||Evil City Hong Kong|
|Evil City Hong Kong||1996-03-11|
|24||The Eight Stars!|
Yattsu no Hoshi
|The Eight Stars||1996-03-25|
|25||Raid! The Mysterious Ninja Corps|
Shūgeki! Nazo no Ninja Gundan
|26||The Man from Hell! His Name is Onimaru!|
Jigokukara Kita Otoko! Sonona ha Onimaru!
|27||Shattered Friendship!? Akira vs. Jacky|
Kudake Chiru Yūjō!? Akira tai Jakki
|28||The Approaching Giant Shadow! The Dangerous Rion|
Semaru Kyodai na Kage! Rion Ayaushi
|29||The Targeted Ring! Save Wolf|
Nerawa Reta Ringu! Urufu o Sukue
|30||Pai Chan the Actress|
|31||Become Enraged, Jeffrey! The Ruthless Trap|
Okore Jefurī! Hijō no Wana
|32||Life or Death! The Onimaru Corps' Last Battle|
Namaka Shika! Onimaru Gundan Saigo no Tatakai
|33||Let Out the Fist's Soul! Akira vs. Onimaru|
Unare Tamashī no Kobushi! Akira tai Onimaru!
|34||Activate! The Strongest Dural Plan!?|
Hatsudō! Dyuraru Saikyō ka Keikaku!?
|35||The Final Battle! Burn Up, Fist of Friendship|
Saishū Kessen! Moeagare Yūjō no Kobusi
- Rimon Chouchu (by Akira Yuki)
- Byakko Soushouda (by Akira Yuki)
- Somersault Kick (by Jacky and Sarah Bryant)
- Mouko Kouhazan (by Akira Yuki)
- Tetsuzankou (by Akira Yuki)
- Senpuga (by Pai Chan)
- Houken (by Akira Yuki)
- Doppo Choushitsu (by Akira Yuki)
- Toushin Inshou (by Pai Chan)
- Northern Light Bomb (by Jacky Bryant)
- Rasen Anshou (by Pai Chan)
- Katsumen Soutai (by Akira Yuki)
- Giant Swing (by Wolf Hawkfield)
- Daiden Housui (by Akira Yuki)
- Jouho Shoukou (by Akira Yuki)
- Face Crusher (by Jacky Bryant)
- Splash Mountain (by Jeffry McWild)
- Saishu Houko (by Lion Rafale)
- Junho Honko (by Akira Yuki)
- Juchou Senshou (by Lion Rafale)
- Shajoushou (by Lau Chan)
- Zabantetsu (by Shun Di)
- Tenshin Ha'inshou (by Lau Chan)
- Hougeki Unshin Soukoshou (by Akira Yuki)
Opening and Ending themes
|The first Opening Theme: "Wild Vision" is sung by Kouji Hayashi. Both the opening and ending themes have been sung in different languages throughout the world.|
|The first Ending Theme: "Kuchiburu no Shinwa" (Mythology of the lips) is sung by Vivian Hsu.|
|The second Opening Theme: "Ai ga ta ri nai ze" (Love is not enough) is sung by Takenobu Mitsuyoshi.|
|The second Ending Theme: "Kyohansha" (Complice) is sung by Vivian Hsu.|
|The Third Ending Theme: "Eien no man-naka de" (At center of the eternity) is sung by Akiko Seko.|
One close look at you, I find myself in you,
My destiny is shouting at me.
In the bustling city,
The energy come alive.
Don't turn away, accept it all.
Tear away the old faded map, laugh, be carefree and positive.
Toss a coin, tempt the fate, and see what your future holds, and get the whole world involved.
Lured in by the twinkling stars,
We are departing for the future.
Only relying on your smile...
That's right, Hot Wild Vision!
My heart is flying,
No matter how far the sky is,
KNOCK WILD VISION!
And exalt you,
Until the day I hold you in my arms.
Destiny awaits as life unfolds in front of me
Take a closer look up at the stars and I will see
A journey lies before me now, and I must make a path somehow
I can't deny it, I must go forward
Searching for the truth and strength that lies so deep within
Trusting only instinct, letting faith become your friend
Throw away the scars of pain, and learn to see the stars again
Though my heart is weary, I must keep going
It's a battle of a war that's never ending
But a fighter must be strong and always willing
To stand up for what is right; chasing that is the key
'Cuz it's a hot wild vision - a warrior on a mission
Honor and passion, I rarely thought of wisdom
Hot wild vision, there's no more indecision
I thought clear, and I've found what I've been seeking
Kuchibiru no Shinwa (Mythology of the Lips)
I want to confide you
the most precious I have inside
And whisper you that
I love only you
The winter city looks like a watercolour
Through your wet T-shirt covering your chest
I can see your heart
I want you to teach me with your lips
How to love someone
He woke me with his kiss
While I was dreaming, I changed
I only wish that you could see
The feelings hidden inside of me.
My heart wants you to know, that you hold the key.
So, tell me is this real?
If it's true love I feel
Is this a dream, or just some fantasy?
The stars will always glow, when you learn to see.
Look up into the sky,
And see what you can find.
The answer's there, it's part of destiny.
Then look into your soul,
I promise you will know it's not just a dream.
Together we'll find the answers we need to know.
WIth hands held tightly, our eyes will be opened
Into a brave new world, where gentle kisses whisper
For you and me.
- ↑ https://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2020-03-30/digital-media-rights-retrocrush-anime-streaming-service-launches-with-classic-anime-titles/.155012
|Virtua Fighter Series|
|Main Series||Virtua Fighter (Remix) • 2 • 3 • 4 (Evolution, Final Tuned) • 5 (R, Final Showdown)|
|Related Games||Virtua Fighter Animation • Virtua Fighter Kids • Virtua Fighter CG Portrait Series • GG Portrait • Fighters Megamix • Virtua Fighter 10th Anniversary • Virtua Quest|
|Characters||Akira Yuki • Pai Chan • Lau Chan • Wolf Hawkfield • Jeffry McWild • Kage-Maru • Sarah Bryant • Jacky Bryant • Dural • Siba • Shun Di • Lion Rafale • Aoi Umenokoji • Taka‑Arashi • Lei‑Fei • Vanessa Lewis • Brad Burns • Goh Hinogami • Eileen • El Blaze • Jean Kujo|
|Other Media||Virtua Fighter (comic book) • Virtua Fighter (anime)|