Stream it or skip it?

When it comes to fighting games, the Tekken The series stands out among the rest of the pack. There are several deliveries, each one more striking and complicated than the previous one. But what he has done Tekken Such a memorable part of fighting game history over the years has undoubtedly been its commitment to telling compelling stories while delivering blockbuster battles and exciting moves.

Tekken: bloodline is Netflix’s attempt to translate the fighter into an anime series. And while it puts in a respectable effort, in the end this series doesn’t hold much promise against its source material. From stark CGI to downright boring battles, there’s little reason to watch this series rather than play one of the games.

Opening shot: We see the silhouette of a wrestler as the camera zooms out. A pair of glowing purple eyes appear before it looks like someone is waking up and sees his mother. The children run through a forest interspersed with shots of another child being bullied: it’s Jin Kazama, the star of the show. He is also a Tekken mainstay.

The essence: Jin Kazama (Kaiji Tang) is a 15-year-old boy who finds himself running through the woods while being chased by thugs for an unknown reason. He has to face them and finally defeat them, but his mother Jun Kazama (Vivian Lu) is disappointed in his actions. She doesn’t encourage her son to fight when she feels like it, and she would rather he control her anger and channel it into healthier outlets.

Jin and his mother train together: she is responsible for helping him become the strong fighter he is becoming, but one of the boys from earlier comes dragging his father to the couple’s door. The father is easily defeated when Jun confronts him, but she explains to Jin that he shouldn’t be thrilled with the others’ defeat. It’s clear that Jun wants to raise an honest young man who doesn’t feel the need to fight all the time.

But his peaceful existence is threatened when, one day, a strange being known as Ogre (Bill Butts) darkens his door. Jun knows that she must face him and will likely fall, something the episode doesn’t go into much detail about. She advises Jin to look for her mysterious grandfather, Heihachi Mishima (S. Hiroshi Watanabe), if he falls, which he apparently does, and Jin leaves to find Heihachi.

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Heihachi is a hot-headed old man who believes that Jin is not worth training as he can’t live up to the Kazama family name, but everything changes at the end of the episode…

Tekken: bloodline
Photo: NETFLIX

What shows will it remind you of? In the end, all the Netflix original series based on video games start to seem a bit homogeneous. There are shades of the (much nicer) Dota: Dragon Blood Y Castlevania here as they are both based on video games. They are also higher quality projects, unfortunately.

Our take: An anime series based on a fighting game should feel more dynamic, exciting, and involved in the property it draws inspiration from. Though Tekken: bloodline features characters and plot points pulled directly from the games, relies heavily on telling viewers why they should care about Jin Kazama’s plight, and even attempts a pacifist story where neither Jin nor his mother Jun “should” caring about fighting, even when the thugs jump on Jin at the beginning of the episode.

There is only one major fight in this installment, and it focuses more on still shots of the house Jin and Jun live in rather than the terrifying Ogre and the power he is capable of wielding. As a result, the fight scenes feel rushed and even forced. They are laborious and slow, and I looked at the clock several times to see how much longer it could last, bored out of my mind. That’s never something that should happen when you’re playing a fighting game, let alone watching a show based on one.

With no real reason as to why Jin is being bullied, insight into his mother Jun’s views on fighting and why she expects Jin to completely reject his desire to fight, or who or what Ogre might be, it’s hard. establish a connection with any of these characters, unless you already know who they are. And if you are, you probably don’t need to watch an anime series to explain it to yourself.

Slow animation, character designs that don’t really look like their in-game counterparts, and lackluster dialogue all work together to make something that will no doubt put even fans to sleep instead of getting them excited to see their favorite characters come to life in the future. other way.

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Sex and skin: None are found in this episode, although there are Tekken fighters showing a lot of skin. However, they are not in this part.

Parting shot: After insisting that Jin isn’t good enough to be part of Kazama’s bloodline, Heihachi reconsiders after Jin explains his encounter with Ogre and his mother’s fate. Heihachi seems full of resolve and agrees to train Jin, explaining that he will help the young fighter train to fight and defeat Ogre, even if he kills him. The camera pans over to a shocked and bruised Jin, who can’t believe Heihachi would go to such lengths, before the credits roll.

sleeping star: Vivian Lu lends a motherly and believable tone to Jun Kazama, Jin’s mother. Although she is not a gentle housewife and can hold her own in battle, acting as Jin’s teacher, she is a caring person who loves nature, people, and being kind in general. Lu amplifies this part of Jun’s personality perfectly.

Most of the Pilot-y line: After knocking Jin down with little effort, Heihachi takes a moment to listen to the boy’s story. When he finds out about his encounter with Ogre, Heihachi is more willing to help. “The creature that killed your mother is known as an Ogre. I will train you to fight him. I will train you to defeat him.” He has a bit more to say, but we know the score right away. This saga will be about tracking down this Ogre and giving him what for.

Our call: SKIP IT. Fighting games aren’t necessarily known for their commitment to story beats and intriguing plotlines. Tekken: bloodline has a lot of lore to draw from, as there are multiple entries in the legendary fighting game saga. Although he draws much of his inspiration from Tekken 3, one of the best fighting games PlayStation has to offer, relies slowly on slow and uninspired story beats, laborious battles, and lackluster animation to unravel its story. It would be better served by breaking a Tekken game and play it while periodically reviewing a Tekken wiki for additional story details.

Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and technology for over a decade for publications like G4, Popular Science, Playboy, Variety, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, GameSpot, and more. When she’s not writing or gaming, she collects retro consoles and tech. Follow her on Twitter: @MolotovCupcake.

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