Darkstalkers: The Animated Series is a Canadian/American series that originally aired in 1995, produced by Graz Entertainment. This series is loosely based on the video games, having numerous differences from them, such as the new character Harry Grimoire. The cartoon uses "The Trouble Man" by Eikichi Yazawa, the same song used for the Night Warriors: Darkstalkers' Revenge OVA.
To conquer the world, the fiery alien Pyron assembles an army of supernatural beings with magical powers: the DarkStalkers! And two of the biggest and vilest lead Pyron's army: Demitri Maximoff, Lord of the Vampires, and Morrigan Aensland, a powerful succubus.
But the good guys are… More fighting back! Around the catwoman Felicia rallies a band of freedom-loving Darkstalkers: the merman Rikou, the fighting werewolf Johnathan Talbain, the Frankenstein monster-like Victor von Gerdenheim, and the sasquatch Bigfoot and his nephew Hairball. To crush the rebels, Lord Demitri and Morrigan send the lunatic pharaoh mummy Anakaris, the rockstar zombie Lord Raptor, and the cursed samurai Bishamon. Things get complicated when demon hunters Donovan Baine and Hsien-Ko decide that all Darkstalkers, regardless if they are good or evil, must die!
Yet the fate of the world depends on a human, Harry Grimoire. If Harry can master his secret magical legacy and the intricacies of alien computer technology, the world might have a chance!
The series was very badly received by Darkstalkers fans and the gaming community.Topless Robot included in an article about Harry Grimoire from the cartoon saying "There shall be no forgiveness for the American-made Darkstalkers cartoon, which turned Capcom's gorgeously animated fighting game into a cheap, unfunny comedy" on their list of The 10 Worst Cartoon Kid Sidekicks. According to VentureBeat, "So the plot is bad. But even more offensive than that is the shoddy animation".
Nowadays, mostly thanks to the internet, this old and obscure animated series has been rediscovered and enjoys a kind of "so-bad-it's-terrible" memetic status, thanks to several of its totally absurd scenes and drawings barely scrawled awkwardly, as happened with the TV series Mega Man (1994-1995) and Street Fighter (1995-1997) (not by chance other cartoon series created under license on the basis of franchises also owned by Capcom).
In addition to audience and fan backlash at least one of the people working on the series expressed his dislike towards the show. Frank Brunner, who worked as a character designer for Graz Entertainment, responded to an 2010 email sent to him by YouTuber Pan-Pizza wherein Brunner said: "Darkstalkers was mindless garbage... like most of the crap on TV right now! Thank the gods I didn't have to write it! Just because I worked on it doesn't mean I have to like it. My main work was on X-Men and Darkstalkers was done with little attention on my part... I still have some model roughs but but I'm not occupied right now to find them. When it truly becomes a cult classic, maybe I'll look at it again in a different light?" Pan-Pizza included the original email and quotation by Brunner in his 2019 Holloween review of the animated series.
|Voice actor||Character(s) voiced|
Lisa Ann Beley
|Felicia, Hsien-Ko, Orin|
|Victor von Gerdenheim, Huitzil, Computer, Irving I. Irving, Hendrick Farr|
|Demitri Maximoff, Dracula, Dragon|
|Morrigan Aensland, Morgan LeFay|
|Rikuo, Anakaris (ep. 3, 5-13), Lord Raptor, Merman Ambassador, Bigfoot Tribe Member|
|Pyron, Merlin, Terramon|
|Quan Ying, Mei-Ling|
Zoltan Buday (uncredited)
|Anakaris (ep. 1-2, 4)|
Differences from the video games
- Characters have a more western cartoon look in contrast to the Japanese style used in the games.
- Almost every character has a complete personality change. For example, Anakaris is silent and mysterious in the games, however in the cartoon he is looney, humorous and talkative.
- Harry Grimoire, a young boy wizard and descendent of Merlin, was created specifically for the series. He often serves as the series primary protagonist, a role shared with Felicia, who serves as his guardian.
- Felicia is stated to be hundreds of years old, and is covered up more with a costume of some sort instead of just having a minimal amount of fur.
- Sasquatch is renamed 'Bigfoot'.
- Anita is referred to as Amanda, her original North American name. She is also blonde.
- Hsien-Ko's skin color is that of a normal person instead of blue and she has enormous metal hands instead of her claw weapons. Her name is also mispronounced as 'sin-ko' and she's given a very heavy accent and more adult-sounding voice. She also floats as opposed to hopping. Her backstory is also entirely different, being a warrior servant rather than a jiang-shi, seeking revenge on Dimitri for killing her family, including her sister who has no continued role after she becomes a warrior.
- Morrigan, Anakaris and Demitri are all evil and work for Pyron in the cartoon. Bishamon originally sides with Pyron but switches sides at the end of the series.
- Huitzil's backstory is quite different. In the games, the Huitzils are a series of robots made by Pyron to destroy life on Earth. In the cartoon, however, he is a single unit made by Aztecs and was made to destroy any aliens that come to Earth, including Pyron.
- Sasquatch has a nephew named Hairball. Aditionally, he has access to technology such as cellular phones.
- Pyron stays in the same shape rather than loosely flowing. He also now has a more powerful older brother named Terramon who is both solid, gold in color and posseses pupils. Additionally, Pyron claims his mom liked Terramon better.
- The idea of Pyron having siblings, family or more of his race was reused in his Capcom Fighting Evolution's ending.
- Lord Raptor's midsection is a tattoo rather than a gaping empty area. He is also a failed musician as opposed to the rock and roll sensation seen in the video games.
- Rikuo is the last of his species, wheras he has a family in the video games.
- Bishamon's curse comes from his sword (which is named 'Gieni' instead of 'Kien') instead of his armor.
- "Out of the Dark"
- "Donovan's Bane"
- "Pyramid Power"
- "The Game"
- "And the Walls Come Tumblin Down"
- "Ghost Hunter"
- "Little Bigfoot's Last Stand"
- "My Harry's in the Highlands"
- "Alien's Keep Out"
- "Samurai's Honor"
- "There's no Business Like Dragon Business"
- "Darkest Before the Dawn"
- "Everyone's a Critic"
|Darkstalkers TV series • Night Warriors anime|
|Darkstalkers TV series episodes|
|Out of the Dark • Donovan's Bane • Pyramid Power • The Game • And the Walls Come Tumblin Down • Ghost Hunter • Little Bigfoot's Last Stand • My Harry's in the Highlands • Alien's Keep Out • Samurai's Honor • There's no Business Like Dragon Business • Darkest Before the Dawn • Everyone's a Critic|