[ ANIME INFORMATION ]
Virtua Fighter started off as a video game on Sega PC during the 1990s. The series lays claim to being the first polygon-based fighting game. The game was given animated life at around 1994-1995. The video game characters were re-introduced in the anime, each still sporting their distinguishing looks and fighting styles that defined them in the game. Although the total roster of fighting heroes and heroines in the game was up 14 as of Virtua Fighter 4, only ten characters were present during the span of the anime. They were also not given equal screen time, some taking only supporting roles and appearing in a few episodes.
The 35-episode anime mostly revolved around five characters: Akira Yuki, Pai Chan, Jacky Bryant, Sarah Bryant and Kage-Maru. Lion Rafale and Lau Chan played more defined roles in Season Two, but Shun Di, Jeffry McWild and Wolf Hawkfield provided "star power" at best in their limited appearance time. The characters also appeared a little younger in the anime compared to the video game.
The protagonist of the entire anime is Akira Yuki, who is on a quest to once more see the eight special stars in the daytime sky. These can only be seen by those pure of heart and Akira had lost sight of them when he started competing and winning in martial arts tournaments. The Season One action begins when he runs into and rather unwillingly helps Pai Chan at New Los Angeles, who is being pursued by her father's notorious underworld gang disguised as a martial arts school, the Koenkan [Tiger and Swallow]. Pai is running away from the Koenkan because she does not want to marry Liu Kowloon, the second in command to her father, the Koenkan founder Lau Chan.
Akira and Pai then meet siblings Jacky and Sarah Bryant, the American racing sensation and his Race Queen sister. Together, they fight against the Koenkan leaders of New Los Angeles to free the people from the terror brought about by the gang. Afterwards, the four of them journey to New Las Vegas, where Jacky will be competing in a racing event.
Little did they know that their activities were being closely watched by Eva Durix, a robotics and psychology expert financed by the Koenkan and under the direct command of Liu Kowloon. Eva hires the ninja Kage-Maru to kidnap Sarah Bryant for her own experiments, along the course of her ambition to create the perfect robotic soldier.
What follows is an intense chase all over the world to retrieve Sarah from the Koenkan's clutches, wherein Akira, Jacky and Pai must each come to terms with their own pasts and different personalities in order to work together against a very formidable enemy. Kage-Maru enters the mix by beginning to question his own sense of justice and honor and wondering which side he should really take.
Season Two takes place two years after the end of Season One. In this faster-paced story arc, the Virtua Fighters are up against a shadowy underworld organization, theorized as Judgment 6 like in the video game, that is bent on destroying the best fighters in the world by sending to these people a group of ninjas, under the leadership of Oni-Maru, an evil ninja from Kage-Maru's past.
For more information on the anime, visit the page on WikiPedia.