Ah, the anime video game adaptation; one of the most alienating film experiences imaginable for anyone not familiar with the source material! Resident Evil has one, Street Fighter has many and now Tekken can add another to its list! Doing so very little to bring the casual viewer up to speed with the established storyline, Blood Vengeance throws us right into the action as Ling Xiaoyu is hired by Anna Williams of the Mishima Zaibatsu to track down a young man named Shin Kamiya. Xiaoyu forms a friendship with Alisa Bosconovitch who eventually turns out to be a robot deployed by Anna’s sister Nina. Hijinks ensue!
As a videogame series, Tekken has one of the most barmy and convoluted storylines imaginable; a twisty, turny plot involving families, martial arts tournaments, mystic Devil genes – all in an attempt to justify numerous characters smacking each other about. It’s silly fun and suits the environment of the game, but when translated like this is a little bit baffling. Truth be told, while it didn’t look as good, the storyline of the live action Tekken movie did a better job as it distilled the key elements of the plot down into a 1hr 30min film. But then, this isn’t really for casual viewers! It’s fun, and if you’re aware of the story it’s worth a watch, but give it a wide berth if you’re not or if dodgy voice over acting isn’t your thing.
I should note that I watched this on a Nintendo 3DS as part of the Tekken 3D Prime Edition game pack. The game here includes the full version of the film in 3D. Well, it’s kind of 3D. I’m not sure if it’s the hardware, as I’ve seen better 3D produced by the handheld, but in this film it was so subtle that I was frequently checking I had it turned on. Some shots added depth and there were a few times where fists and feet were thrown towards the camera producing a good effect, but all in all the 3D was bland. I should also mention that, while it was nice watching on the portable screen, it wasn’t ideal as the quality of the video varied between excellent and horribly pixelated. Again, this could be hardware or it could be a poor video compression on the cartridge.