I always thought the Darkstalkers franchise looked awesome and it was something to check out. I never did play any of the games but those character designs really appealed to me as a kid. I’ve only ever played as characters in Marvel vs Capcom as I think most have counting that Capcom doesn’t seem to care about the franchise besides the few iconic characters. While the franchise seems to have been left in the attic it did have some notoriety since it didn’t get one animated interpretation but two; An Anime comprised of a 4 episode OVA and a 13 episode western cartoon of all things, so let’s rave it up and look back at these shows.
The anime always looked appealing since the games have awesome character designs and I remember seeing trailers for it and dying to see what I was missing out but there was no easy way for me to get my hands on it. The Darkstalkers OAV look awesome and is very faithful to the character designs and it’s a beauty to watch however there just isn’t much to it after that. The story is pretty crappy and generic not to mention that it makes absolutely no sense While you may like what you are seeing, it ends up being rather boring without anything else as interesting as the fights are, which is a shame.
I guess that is what you should expect with a series based on a videogame based on movie monsters but the characters are so cool they deserve something more. Could they really not figure out a better story for them? Street Fighter proved you could do it even if the games gave you paper thin bios for each character. We’re not expecting the next Ghost in the Shell here but a fun movie that you can follow to the end.
The american animated series on the other hand is a weird hybrid that gets mixed results. Since they don’t have much to work with and much of it isn’t appropriate for kids you get something different that isn’t all that bad. Its a mix of a a superhero show like the american Street Fighter cartoon to just random stories. The character designs are a bit different but some of them are still plenty scantily clad with odd levels of cleavage showing, almost as if they didn’t know how much they should show but at the same time they didn’t want to stray too far from the source material
The cartoon introduces a new character Harry Grimoire to make a somewhat logical storyline and so kids could relate to and luckily for the show he actually isn’t that bad. The show has a lot of fights but the story doesn’t make much sense either in this incarnation since they never decided too well exactly if they were superheroes or not. A lot of characters aren’t handled too badly counting there is a huge cast of characters in the show and only one season. So with bad animation and character designs aside, it gives hope for a decent adaptation since this one leaves a lot to be desired.
Darkstalkers characters deserve something better since they can easily be written into a more interesting universe and it definitely deserves some type of reboot. It shouldn’t be stuck with a crappy story just because the original lore of the characters was an afterthought to a fighting game. Felicia and Morrigan deserve more than being stuck in Capcom VS fighters.