Put away your opera glasses and pump up the volume for Street Fighter: The Opera!
Texas-based indie band Man Factory breathes life into the Street Fighter universe with their rock opera, Street Fight! Featuring the familiar (street) fighters, the opera focuses on the tale of Chun-Li on her road of revenge whilst intertwined through the lives of fellow fighters.
Man Factory has released three albums over the course of six years. And although it isn’t in the realm of musical classics such as the tear-jerking Les Miserables, the tinge of torment Street Fight possesses is just as strong.
Below are spoilers! You’ve been warned.
The story begins with Street Fight: Round One! The album’s first song, “Night of the Arcade” sets the stage and introduces our cast. The lyrics of the track recount the story of how a particular game console has been banned because of the disappearance of 11 children, but our protagonist, Chun-Li, cannot resist the urge to street fight. Even when she looks at the only means of her escape, there stands a silhouette of someone that won’t let her free. Basically, it’s a whole lot of metaphors and foreshadowing.
The plot thickens with the second track, “Chun-Li, Outside,” where things get interesting. M. Bison and a masked henchman of his, murder Chun-Li’s father and escape. For those of us familiar with the Street Fighter franchise, this is the classic tale of why Chun-Li fights. The kicker though, this song alludes to a relationship between Chun-Li and Vega, her “conquistador.”
The rest of album one follows her travels throughout the world and the individuals she meets along the way. There’s the song of the pilot who falls in love with her and pleads her to stay home; a tune about a missing Ryu and another about E. Honda who has to take his place in hunting down M. Bison; Zangief, a former champion down on the dumps, but hell-bent on solving the crimes with motives of gaining Chun-Li’s affections; and finally there’s Balrog’s song about his growing list of opponents since becoming Bison’s henchman.
If you aren’t hooked by now, well, punch yourself in the face. Man Factory’s next two albums are just as pained with thrilling lyrical story-telling and rock tunes so awesome, you’ll air guitar along.
I won’t spoil the rest of the albums for you, but here’s a few things to look forward to:
- Ryu betraying Ken
- Guile’s need to be a family man
- Vega’s conflicted feelings and what happens when Chun-Li and he meet once more
- The final showdown
Overall, the story is refreshing and more developed than the Chun-Li movie. The actual music composition isn’t half bad either and work so well with the lyrics that not only progress the story, but shows you a new understanding of these characters we barely knew. However, there are a couple of songs that made me wonder why it’s part of the album as if it was placed there just so they could include a Street Fighter character. The songs aren’t too bad, but detracts from the main storyline.
To listen to all three albums, check out the tunes below. And if you need a shoulder to cry on, leave your thoughts in the comments.