The King of Fighters destiny anime is an adaptation of the famous King of Fighters game franchise that probably has been a part of most our childhood. While KoF maybe super popular as a game, not many people know that it actually has its own anime series.
And I was no exception until recently.
Lately, I’ve been into Chinese anime and I was searching for more of them to binge on. That’s how I found this gem of a CG anime.
If you didn’t know already, CG anime are 3D anime series that are infamous for being crappy. Don’t get me wrong, not all of them are bad, but most of them suck. They have awful facial expressions and somewhat crude animation flow.
But King of Fighters Destiny on the other hand had a top notch animation with brilliant game like fight scenes and wonderful character design!
It had a typical arcade game styled linear story which goes from one fight to another and eventually reaches the final boss stage. Nothing too special about this and is kind of cliched, but not bad nonetheless. It makes sense because this anime, or this franchise in general, is all about those fancy martial arts and fighting. There’s really no need for it to have a Steins;gate level, over the top story.
The two heroes
There are two main characters in this anime– Kyo and Terry, two of the most popular characters in the KoF franchise.
Kyo hails from the famous Kusanagi clan, one of the 3 legendary clans to be entrusted with one of the seals of the fearful power called Orochi which almost destroyed the world in the past.
He is always cool, calm and collected. Although he might seem too sure of his power, he actually doesn’t let it get to his head. He relies on his brains more than he does on his raw power.
Terry on the other hand, is a badass looking guy out for revenge against Geese– the man who killed Terry’s stepfather in order to obtain the scroll that gives him access to the Orochi’s power.
He and his little brother Andy trained rigorously for 10 years to get strong enough to exact their revenge.
The two Villains
The first antagonist is Geese, the man who killed Terry’s father and obtained the power to stand atop the entire nation. Him hosting the 3v3 King of Fighters tournament sparked the beginning of this anime’s story.
After being abandoned by his family and being beaten, but spared from being killed, by his stepbrother, he started hating everything. He stopped believing in bonds and family. That night he promised himself to stand at the top of everything, which he eventually did.
Rugal Bernstein A.K.A R
The other one is R, the man who wants to be the strongest being in the entire universe (although he was already insanely strong to begin with.) I mean, it took the two MCs and 5 other top class fighters to take him down. Of course, he drugged himself with the Orochi’s power right after and came back even more powerful.
I honestly think he was only defeated at the end because of the plot.
He also has a nasty habit of killing people and making their bodies into decorations for his room.
Kyo and the gang
Kyo’s group consists of the Taekwondo master Goro Daimon and the spunky, narcissistic, rich guy Benimaru Nikaido. Daimon is always silent. He rarely speaks (or opens his eyes), but Kyo trusts him the most and Daimon has proved that he is more than worthy that trust on several occasions.
Benimaru on the other hand is pretty noisy, and is a lady’s man who always jumps into a fight at the next opportunity. He also loves his hair so much.
Terry and the gang
Terry’s group consists of his brother Andy and his goofy friend Joe Higashi, who has joined the brothers to defeat Geese. Andy is an impatient guy, but he can be reliable when it counts.
Joe is a Muay Thai fighter who’s pretty powerful but has never once won a battle in the anime. The first time, he let his guard down because he was fighting a girl and the second time he had to fight another girl who had been under mind control and doped with Orochi’s power. He’s just unlucky, I guess.
Unlike most other shounen anime where the female characters aren’t as powerful compared to the males, in King of Fighters destiny both the genders are equally matched. One could even say that the girls are a bit more powerful than the general male characters (other than the MC and Villains of course.)
Yuri is the little sister of Ryo, a famous martial artist who practices Kyokugen Karate. After being denied entry to the King of Fighters tournament by her family, Yuri ran away from her home in order to find fellow female fighters who are interested in participating the 3v3 team tournament to prove the world that women are capable of fighting too.
Mai is the granddaughter of a ninjitsu master and is a skilled fighter who uses fans as her weapon. She is crazy in love with Andy Bogard and self proclaimed him as her fiancee.
King loves money. She joins the Yuri and Mai to participate in the king of Fighters tournament solely for the prize money. The reason for her obsession with money is her sick little brother who needs medical surgery that would cost a lot. At one point, she was even being a bodyguard for shady people for the money.
Athena is by far the most powerful among all the other King of fighters destiny female character from what I’ve seen. She’s got the ability to telepathically communicate with people and has some amazing psychic powers. However, it takes time for her to concentrate her powers and materialize it into a big ball of destruction. She can even make psychic shields.
Unlike all the other female characters in King of Fighters Destiny, Angelina is the only one who does not have any fighting prowess. She is the adopted daughter of Geese and is Terry’s childhood friend. Even though she is Geese’s daughter, she fell in love with Terry (at this point Terry doesn’t remember her as a childhood friend. Only she remembers it) and helps him defeat Geese.
Now we come to the main focus of this anime. The Fights. As I mentioned before, this anime had absolutely stunning fight scenes.
It had game like fighting mechanisms where you’ll see flashes with each punch and hear the “special attack” sound effect, which all KoF players would be familiar with.
For the first half of the anime, majority of the fights were centered around Terry. It was all about him finding Geese and his encounters with Geese’s men.
And then there was his boss fight with Geese.
This fight was pretty satisfying and believable compared to Kyo’s boss fight.
The only major disappointment…
Unfortunately, Kyo’s boss battle (the one that I was looking forward to the most) was kinda unrealistic and cliched.
They used this very old shounen strategy where the MC develops a new super move out of nowhere and defeats the villain in one strike. It was really inconsistent. One minute Kyo can’t even see R’s hilariously fast moments, and the next minute Kyo’s able to one punch him. Yeah, right. What a bummer.
R could have easily dodged it if he actually were as fast as they showed him to be. Not to mention he had the capability to mimic the other fighter’s abilities in a split second. They made him way too OP for their own good that it felt unreal when he was taken down.
Other than this, the anime was pretty decent.
Did I enjoy The King of Fighters Destiny anime? I did. It was kind of refreshing to watch a 3D anime for once. It was also fun to see my childhood favorite characters once again and their personality, backstories were a treat too. Luckily it had a Japanese version available, if not I’d have had to watch it Chinese which might’ve been a bit awkward since I’m not accustomed to the language yet.
They ended the series with a cliff hanger after introducing my all time favorite character, Iori Yagami. So I’m kind of hyped for the next season!
Overall it was worth the watch!!