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[Art of Fighting box art]
AKA: バトルスピリッツ 龍虎の拳 (Battle Spirits: Ryuuko no Ken)
Genre: Martial arts action
Length: OAV, 46 minutes
Distributor: VHS and R1 DVD from US Manga Corps / Central Park Media out of print
Content Rating: PG (violence, stupidity)
Related Series: Fatal Fury
Also Recommended: Fatal Fury, Street Fighter the Animated Movie

The Art of Fighting


Sometimes it just isn't your day.

Take Ryo and Robert, two average, run-of-the-mill karate experts. Ryo and Robert didn't mean to witness a mob murder concerning the Sirius Diamond -- they were just trying to retrieve a runaway cat for Ryo's cat-sitting job. But witness it they did, and after a heated battle and escape, Ryo and Robert figured they had seen the last of Mr. Big's (yes, that's his name) thugs.

Of course, Mr. Big had other plans, thinking that Ryo and Robert were in possession of the priceless Sirius. Mr. Big kidnaps Ryo's sister, offering her in exchange for the diamond. Are Ryo and Robert going to take this lying down? Does a dubbed martial artist's lips ever match his dialogue?


Art of Fighting is a truly amazing piece of Japanese Animation. We could not believe our eyes and ears when we viewed this title. Such an utter lack of anything resembling quality, we had thought, existed only in the theoretical world. However, Art of Fighting will make even the most ardent skeptic believe. There is absolutely nothing to redeem this title. Art, animation, scripting, plot -- you name it -- it wasn't there.

Let's start from the bottom and work our way up (if there is one). The technical aspects of this title were _worse_ than anything you could find on Saturday morning. Choppy animation, illogical perspectives, uninspired art, badly choreographed fight scenes, and most of all HORRIBLE voice acting pervaded the entire 46 minutes of this turkey. If there was anything that could be done wrong, Art of Fighting did it. The action was laughable -- I've seen more sophisticated martial arts watching 3rd graders imitate Power Rangers. If you've rented this thing (and I hope to goodness that you _rented_ this thing) in hopes of some eye-popping martial arts action, you're going to be in for a heck of a disappointment.

Incomprehensibly, the technical depravity of this title is only the tip of the iceberg. All of this title's technical shortcomings are dwarfed by the title's pitiful excuse for a script and story. The plot is about as original as sliced bread, peppered throughout with lines that threaten to suck your intelligence away just by listening to them. The viewer's sense of credibility will be mercilessly insulted throughout the show, from thugs who won't shoot a guy who's charging at them from a mile away to the amazing helicopter that can explode not once, not twice, but four times while sitting in a swimming pool. If you've rented this thing in hopes of an interesting story with some surprising developments, you're going to be in for a heck of a disappointment.

However, I would be dishonest if I said that I didn't enjoy watching Art of Fighting one bit. The truth is, we all had a great time seeing this bomb, but only because we were able to completely trash it the whole time. Go ahead and rent it, but only to make fun of it in a group setting. If you rent it in hopes of seeing something even kind of good, though, you're going to be in for a heck of a disappointment.

Four out of four viewers present agreed that the previews were the best part of the video. Raphael See and Sam Yu

Recommended Audience: Lots of cartoon-style violence. However, the parent must be cautioned on the negative effects this title might have on a developing child's mind due to its extreme inanity.

Version(s) Viewed: VHS, English dub
Review Status: Full (1/1)
The Art of Fighting © 1993 SNK / Fuji TV / NAS
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