Darkstalkers the Animated Series
September 21, 2020
|Ugly beyond belief|
It was quite a curiosity as to HOW Darkstalkers had the attention of TV producers in western countries and went on making an American cartoon adaptation of the monster-filled capcom fighting game. There was already a Street Fighter American cartoon showing up in the USA channel, but given that was a far more famous gaming franchise, Darkstalkers just came out of the blue and was slapped into normal TV show spots in the 90s.
And that is pretty much how one would see it. If you could acquire the rights of a videogame to create a TV series why not two? Sure, Darkstalkers was not that known to the masses but maybe this could be the time that kids could find out about it right? Yeah well...
Just like Street Fighter, Darkstalkers was set up with that formula on picking up characters and dividing such into groups of good and evil. Seemingly, this is what an American cartoon adaptation is what was about. Street Fighter was mostly based on that live action movie and its purpose reflected such events on it, having a ragtag of street brawlers fighting for the greater good whereas Darkstalkers didn't even had any other media appearance to let anyone know just who they were besides that videogame that few had played at the time. As such one Sunday morning you would tune in to see what leftovers from Saturday would be chosen to show up and Darkstalkers was right there, with all the appeal of a zit on your face that couldn't be bothered to be covered up.
The story revolved around Felicia, a catwoman who befriends some brat named Harry Grimoire who was the descendant of MERLIN who was totally real and not part of Arthurian lore, as well as the kid being also totally a part of the game...except it wasn't. In both accounts. They travel around the world for something or another while thwarting the plans of the evil Pyron who came to Earth and assembled his own Legion of Doom for world domination. Yeah, its as bland as it sounds. Other characters would join in and partake on the hilarity of each of the 13 episodes that were shown during 1995 and then the cartoon simply vanished from existence, appearing in DVD box sets for anyone who wants to remember how awful it really was.
The story here has no ties with the game whatsoever, nor it shares its weird and sexy looks of the game much less the cartoony gore that was one of the most appealing factors from said fighting games. The cartoon series also was shown before the third adaptation of the game series was about, thus characters like B.B. Hood and Lilith were absent and I guess this could had been for the better all things considered.
Even when Morgan was made Harry's adversary due to that Merlin vs. La Fey lineage, she would try to put the moves on him in hopes to make him her apprentice. So much for toning it down for a family friendly series. Besides how horrible it looked, the series would also feature weird as hell instances like flying cars and the occasional WTF factor which made it so kooky and cheesy that you swore this could not had based on a videogame more than it was a homage to the likes of The Addams Family.
There was an Anime adaptation of the game and it was far more faithful to the game than the American cartoon ever tried to be. While the story of said Anime was lacking it at least looked a lot more better and you could appreciate it for that alone. I would suggest watching that instead.
If however you want to waste precious hours of your life or try to riff on how bad the American cartoon is, then by all means be my guest. Otherwise just skip it and pretend it was all but a fever induced dream.
On my end, Darkstalkers would be shown on Sunday mornings just before Dragonball Z and Teknoman, which would be the main reason as to why I ever bothered to continue watching it.