Only avid fans of The King of Fighters will be able to overlook some of Another Day’s problems.
Released in North America as part of a pre-order bonus for The King of Fighters: Maximum Impact for the PlayStation 2, Another Day is a four-episode ONA (original net animation) that provided some background about the game’s main protagonists. Due to the awfully specific requirements to get the special edition of the game and an error on the developer’s side, a lot of fans missed this flawed yet intriguing animated series. And that’s a shame because fans would have enjoyed Another Day the most.
The story’s as simple as you’d expect: there’s some sort of terrorist attack in Southtown and this is where the good guys and the bad guys meet and fight each other in the middle of the destroyed city. Soon you’ll realize that you have to be somewhat familiar with The King of Fighters franchise to understand what happens in these episodes. There are popular characters such as Mai Shiranui and Iori Yagami, but there are also specific references to events from Maximum Impact and several new characters. Even after watching the four episodes, I had to go and read a Wiki to see what the story was all about and someone who hasn’t been following the King of Fighters plot closely, I found Another Day confusing. Fans will feel right at home with this short series, but newcomers won’t have any idea what they are watching and what’s the context of it all.
Of course, you don’t need to know anything in terms of story to see characters fight each other and there’s more than enough of that. Fights are fast-paced and easy to follow and most of the iconic characters are here and they use their trademark attacks, so even if you don’t know anything about the story, you can enjoy the brawls.
There’s also some fan service, but this represents a serious problem: the female characters wear revealing outfits, Mai always finds reasons to grab her breasts and other female fighters strike provocative poses or the camera focuses on specific parts of their anatomy. Although The King of Fighters franchise has always been this way, I feel like this alienates a significant part of its audience and since fighting games have always been about including people, The King of Fighters feels strangely out of touch.
In the end, The King of Fighters: Another Day has its fair share of problems, such as the alienating portrayal of women, confusing plot and lack of context for everything that happens. All of this makes Another Day only recommendable to fans who have been following the series for some time and are willing to ignore its missteps. Those looking for an accessible entry point for the series will be sorely disappointed.