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.
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