Darkstalkers (TV series)

Darkstalkers (also known as DarkStalkers: The Animated Series) is an American children's animated TV series produced by Graz Entertainment and aired in syndication from September to December 1995. The cartoon is loosely based on the Capcom fighting game Darkstalkers: The Night Warriors. It ran for one season of thirteen episodes.

DarkStalkers
A.D. Vision VHS cover art
Genre
Based onDarkstalkers
by Capcom
Written byRichard Mueller
Christy Marx
Douglas Booth
Kat Likkel
Brooks Wachtel
Katherine Lawrence
Directed byDora Case
J.K. Kim
Sue Peters
StarringLisa Ann Beley
Kyle Labine
Saffron Henderson
Michael Donovan
Ending theme"Trouble Man" by Eikichi Yazawa
Composer(s)William Kevin Anderson
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes13
Production
Executive producer(s)Kenzo Tsujimoto
Stephanie Graziano
Jun Aida
Daniel S. Kletzky
Producer(s)Victor Dal Chele
Gwen Wetzler
Akio Sakai
Takeshi Sekiguchi
Kenzo Tsujimoto
Running time20 mins
Production company(s)Graz Entertainment
Capcom
DistributorThe Summit Media Group[1]
Release
Original networkSyndication
Original releaseSeptember 30 
December 30, 1995

Plot

As the television series was aimed towards a young audience, the violence and the sexual content present in the games were toned down. In addition, rather than following the complex backstory of the games, the show went for a standard good-vs.-evil plot. Various changes were made to the game characters themselves, most notably Morrigan Aensland, who became a villain descended from Morgan le Fay, and served alongside Demitri Maximoff (who was her rival in the games), under Pyron's command. The main protagonist is an ordinary human boy named Harry Grimoire, a descendant of Merlin created exclusively for the show, with whom Felicia forms a partnership.

Cast

Episodes

  1. "Out of the Dark"
  2. "Donovan's Bane"
  3. "Pyramid Power"
  4. "The Game"
  5. "And the Walls Come Tumblin' Down"
  6. "Ghost Hunter"
  7. "Little Bigfoot's Last Stand"
  8. "My Harry's in the Highlands"
  9. "Aliens Keep Out"
  10. "Samurai's Honor"
  11. "There's no Business Like Dragon Business"
  12. "Darkest Before the Dawn"
  13. "Everyone's a Critic"

Production

The series was co-produced by Capcom USA and Graz Entertainment. According to a June 1995 news article in GamePro, the show would "star Bobby Bridges [later renamed Harry Grimoire], a kid who befriends the game's supernatural cast of characters and sets out to prevent an alien invasion."[2] Jun Aida, Capcom's director of licensing, said: "With an enormous built-in audience of young arcade players across the nation and a colorful range of fun, but spooky characters who lend themselves so well to animated television, we're confident that Darkstalkers will be a big hit with kids everywhere. This show will make it hip to be scared. ... It's this decade's answer to the popular Ghostbusters sensation of the 80s."[3]

Reception

The series was received negatively, both as an adaptation and as an animated series, mainly amongst fans who compared the show to the production values of the original games, which are significantly different from this series, which is aimed at a younger audience than that of the original games. Topless Robot included Harry Grimoire, who "turned Capcom's gorgeously animated fighting game into a cheap, unfunny comedy," on their 2010 list of the 10 worst cartoon kid sidekicks.[4] Rachel Jagielski of VentureBeat commented, "The plot is bad. But even more offensive than that is the shoddy animation."[5] Ryan Winterhalter of GamesRadar, in 2014, blamed the "network" (of which, it did not air on any; it was syndicated) in his negative review, opining that the show "takes the characters that fighting gamers know and love and throws them out the window. In their place, [UPN] inserted the most idiotic band of video game character doppelgangers that you could imagine."[6] The same year, Henry Gilbert of GamesRadar commented, "If you're one of those unfortunate enough to have watched the horrendous Darkstalkers cartoon that aired in the US, you have my sympathies."[7] Vincent Chiucchi of 411Mania rated it first in his 2008 list of the top five "most shameful" video game cartoons, lambasting it as "the worst video game cartoon in history" while adding, "Everything about this cartoon is horrible. The plot is stupid, the animation is complete garbage, and the dialog is atrocious."[8] Whatever the case, it was not renewed for a second season.

See also

References

  1. "Arthurian Literature XVIII". Keith Busby. ISBN 0-85991-617-0. Retrieved August 26, 2016.
  2. GamePro 71 (June 1995), p. 148.
  3. Capcom press release—1995; reprinted on Google Groups. Retrieved July 15, 2015.
  4. "The 10 Worst Cartoon Kid Sidekicks". Topless Robot. 2010-11-08. Retrieved 2013-11-14.
  5. Jagielski, Rachel (April 4, 2011). "Discovering the Darkstalkers Cartoon". VentureBeat. Retrieved June 17, 2014.
  6. Winterhalter, Ryan (July 8, 2010). "Five truly horrendous TV shows based on videogames". GamesRadar. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
  7. Gilbert, Henry (August 1, 2014). "15 esoteric game-to-anime adaptations worth discovering". GamesRadar. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
  8. Chiucchi, Vincent (November 12, 2008). "Hall of Shame: Top 5 Most Shameful Video Game Cartoons". 411Mania.com. Archived from the original on July 14, 2014. Retrieved June 8, 2014.
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