Why settle disputes, company mergers, takeovers and contract buyouts with lawyers when all these things can be settled with violence in a winner takes all stakes? That is the world in which Kengan Ashura is played out with a gory level of violence!
Having stumbled into an alleyway fight, Kazuo Yamashita witnesses our protagonist Ohma Tokita in a street fight against a formidable opponent and cannot help but watch in awe. Soon after this incident, his company takes on Tokita as their fighter and before Yamashita knows it, he has taken on a contract which sees him sponsor Tokita in a major life-or-death tournament against multinational companies and their fighters, with brutal outcomes.
With the manga as its source material, this Netflix original anime is not for the faint of heart. Although I’m not a big fan of CGI anime, the series is entertaining enough to keep you ticking along although the CGI is painful to watch at times and the fight scenes don’t come across as well or as fluid as one would like. Yamashita provides the comic relief to Tokita’s serious persona; it’s a balance that works well and is a welcome respite from an overly macho series.
Kengan Ashura holds itself well with an array of interesting characters which I hope we will get a chance to explore further. One can’t watch this without comparing it to the brutal fighter series Baki of which Kengan comes across as the more modern and polished overall. Although when taking the earlier seasons of Baki into account, Kengan has a bit of a way to go.