Completed 11 March 2001, revised 11 July 2021
The 35-episode run of the Virtua Fighter anime Filipino dub has just wrapped up, with the final episode airing last March 6. Afterwards, GMA Network began to show reruns, much to the delight of those who missed the earlier episodes of the series.
This fic was primarily written as tribute to the truly great work done by GMA in very effectively and beautifully rendering the whole of the anime in our national language. I particularly adored the Filipino dubbers of Akira and Kage. The former sounds so natural with both Akira’s easygoing and staunch moments, while the latter sounds sexy and mysterious with that slightly hoarse, perpetually calm voice.
Even though Fighter takes place right after Episode 24 or the end of the first season, it was inspired by Episode 35.
Warning: SPOILERS AHEAD!
In Episode 35, Akira stages an amazing recovery after getting badly beat up by Gold Dural. He then proceeds to break Eva Durix’s brainwave headset and takes the fight to her robot, all the while with Pai explaining how he got his resolve and determination to do so. Pai makes a touching analysis of how each of the people, namely the ten fighters, that Akira met during his journey still live in spirit inside his heart, thus giving him all the strength he would ever need. There was a colored sketch flashed on the screen for several seconds that showed all ten of them in a very amazing, poster-perfect pose.
This beautiful picture imprinted itself indelibly onto my mind. Whenever that sort of thing happens, the only natural recourse is to put down my own sentiments in a literary work.
Bringing together all ten “virtua fighters” in just one story sounded rather ambitious at first, but I suppose this is good practice as any in trying to write from the varying perspectives of such a diverse set of characters. I did not want them to recap the events in lengthy melodramatic accounts, but rather simply opted for each of them to derive a few reflections and, if you will, lessons from what transpired in the first 24 episodes of the anime.
I must confess that I allowed the characters to take over while I was writing. Wolf and Jeffry were particularly insistent–and talky. Had I possessed a weaker will wink wink, their parts would have ran for a whole fic’s length each. Even though these guys were given relatively short appearances in the first season, I was delighted to be able to get an idea of their individual motivations.
However, my favorite vignette is the one of Master Shun Di. After wrapping up that part, I read it over and was pleasantly surprised at how he came across to be almost real, as if I was listening to a wise old man talk about making the right choices in my life. And, yes, I would indeed take his words to heart.