Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in posts
Search in pages
Anime TL;DR 
Review
Kengan Ashura Season 1 (2019)
ケンガンアシュラ

Synopsis

Since the Edo periods of Japan, gladiator arenas have existed in various forms around the world. In these arenas, wealthy business owners and merchants hire gladiators to fight in unarmed combat where the winner takes all. Tokita “Ashura” Ohma joins these arenas and devastates his opponents. His spectacular ability to crush his enemies catches the attention of big business owners, including the Nogi Group CEO, Nogi Hideki.
Directed by
Written by
Screenplay by
Music by

Rating

  • The overall rating of the show.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Animation

  • Animation quality and consistency for that time. 

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Story

  • How well the story flows and keeps you engaged.

Poor < Fair < Good < Great

Pros

Character design
Character development
Combat/Action
Dialogs
Music
World building

Cons

Fetish

PROs CONS

Overview

The first of a two-part anime adaptation premiered on July 31, 2019 through Netflix. The second part began streaming on October 31, 2019.

Alternative titles

– Kengan Ashura
– ケンガンアシュラ

TL;DR Review

Kengan Ashura (Japanese: ケンガンアシュラ) is a Japanese manga series written by Yabako Sandrovich and illustrated by Daromeon.

As stated in my first impression, I thought this was a Baki clone at first. I am pleasantly amazed it is way more enjoyable than Baki. The dialogs are surprisingly good and hilarious, though the show is still quite exposition-heavy. You’ll see people give commentary during a fight. Normally, I am not a fan of such a heavy-handed exposition plot, but the script keeps me involved as it aids with the world-building.

We get a bit of a back-story for most combatants, including their motivation and combat style. This gives it a sense of mystery and a puzzle mechanic in seeing which fighter will win.

The brutality and carnage aren’t as cringy as Baki’s, but it is still quite intense. The series balances the gore with humor very well. I never got the feeling of constant dread and unease like I did with Baki.

The anime has good 3D shading techniques that made it hard to tell if it was truly rendered in 3D. If you just look at a certain screenshot, you may have a hard time telling if it was hand-drawn or not. Though, I shouldn’t say it was completely 3D CGI rendered as flash-back scenes used a different animation method. It looks like line art with chalk coloring and animated like a story planner.

There is a main plot of the series, but the competition itself is also a plot of its own. If you enjoy shows that have competition like Hunter X Hunter, you’ll like Kengan Ashura.

Though the series has two seasons, the anime feels more like a 24-episodes season that was cut in half.

I highly recommend this anime to fans that enjoy intense combat competition that have a nice humor balance. Kengan Ashura contains graphic violence, some nudity, and suggestive themes/dialogs. Intended for mature audiences.

Similar Title 
Recommendations

Deadman Wonderland Season 1 (2011) Review

A massive earthquake ravaged Japan’s mainland and destroyed most of Tokyo, sinking three-quarters of it into the ocean. Ten years later, the story starts with Igarashi Ganta, a seemingly ordinary, unassuming middle school student attending Nagano Prefecture’s middle school. An escapee, a survivor of the great earthquake, Ganta has no memories of the tragedy and has lived a simple, normal life. This all changes one day when a strange man covered in blood and crimson armour appears, floating, out of his classroom windows. Smirking madly, this Red Man massacres Ganta’s entire class and, instead of killing him, embeds a red crystal shard in his chest. Within days of the massacre, Ganta is declared the sole suspect and, following a suspiciously quick trial, is sentenced to life imprisonment in Deadman Wonderland, a massive theme-park-like prison.

Kengan Ashura Season 1 (2019) First Impression

Since the Edo periods of Japan, gladiator arenas have existed in various forms around the world. In these arenas, wealthy business owners and merchants hire gladiators to fight in unarmed combat where the winner takes all. Tokita “Ashura” Ohma joins these arenas and devastates his opponents. His spectacular ability to crush his enemies catches the attention of big business owners, including the Nogi Group CEO, Nogi Hideki.

Baki the Grappler OVA (1994) Review

Baki, a new grappler on the no-holds-barred fighting scene, is flying up the ranks. All that is left in his wake are the dead and the defeated. However, no one can tell whether he can keep this up against the previous champion, a fierce fighter who severs his opponents very nerves to win.

Music

Opening Theme

– “King & Ashley” by My First Story (eps 2-12)

Closing Theme

– “King & Ashley” by My First Story (ep 1)
– “Born This Way” by BAD HOP (eps 2-12)

Credits

Photo

All images are copyright to their respective owners.

Photo by Nicolas LB, Jon Flobrant, and Yvette de Wit on Unsplash.

Close Menu