The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: Tekken aka The King of Iron Fist Tournament the Movie
Genre: Action
Company: Studio DEEN
Format: Movie; 60 minutes.
Dates: 21 Jan 1998

Synopsis: Mishima Kazuya was thrown off a cliff by Heihachi, his uncaring father, when he was a young boy. The experience left him scarred both emotionally and physically and now he is out for revenge. Heihachi is holding a martial arts tournament on his private island and Kazuya sees this as a perfect opportunity to exact his revenge. Kazuya isn’t the only one with an agenda at the tournament. Hong Kong detective Lei Wulong and agent Kazama Jun have been sent to the island to investigate reports of illegal genetic research.

The Highlights
Action: Horribly animated; fight scenes are too short.
Characters: Unsympathetic, Unclear motivations, Unoriginal, “Ungood.”
Plot: They fight.
Notability: Perfect for use in “The worst anime you’ve ever seen” topics in forums.

Fighting games are infamous for having little or no plot. That being said, companies are occasionally possessed to try to make movies out of them. At best, the end result will be something like the Mortal Kombat live action movie. At worst, you have Tekken, one of the least stimulating ways to spend an hour staring at a screen.

Tekken is as ugly to look at as its plot is brief. The fact that the character designs resemble Blue Gender’s will send many running for cover, as will the animation quality, which makes the last few episodes of Neon Genesis Evangelion look high budget. Most of the fights are over before you can blink and consist of about three cels each. Dragonball Z has better fight animation than Tekken. I don’t think you can diss an action anime much worse than that.

Even if you are the biggest die-hard fan of the Tekken fighting games you will want to avoid this anime. Tekken doesn’t even adequately fulfill the purpose of allowing fans of the game to see their favorite characters in action. Paul Phoenix gets about five seconds of screen time and doesn’t even fight. Martial Law doesn’t even show up. Kuma is seen climbing a tree for all of two seconds (How dare they!). Nothing new or revolutionary is revealed about any character, and the games do a better job of explaining the characters’ motivations. I don’t think you can diss an anime worse than mentioning a fighting game with better developed characters.

For those who want a less elegant description of the plot than I gave in the Highlights, it starts off like Enter the Dragon and it ends with an “I’ll be back next time” moment. The producers of Tekken couldn’t even do “They fight” right. They could have stuck with ripping off Enter the Dragon, but even that would have been terrible. I don’t think you can diss a movie much worse than by saying that Enter the Dragon has a better plot. Don’t watch this; you can’t diss anything much worse than by comparing it to Tekken.

The Rating: 2

Reviewed by: Kuma

Top of page