When Kengan Ashura showed up on Netflix I had no idea what the hell the anime was about. It looked like Fist of the North Star mixed with a healthy dose of Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure, with smidgens of Flame of Recca and Yuyu Hakusho.

Ok yeah, my knowledge of anime’s stuck in the 90s (when I was a hardcore otaku) but Kengan Ashura is pretty much in the vein of those anime I mentioned.

Big burly men, engaged in mortal combat, with fancy moves (with even fancier names) and over the top animation.

I’m only up to Episode 4 of the anime but I’m already in love with the art style; the bold, clean outlines, the hyper realistic musculature of the fighters, the shading that reminds you of heavily of the manga the anime’s inspired from and the smooooooth animation during the fights.

The story’s pretty basic so far but like I said, I’m just done with Episode 3. It’s a shame that there’s only 12 episodes in Season 1 (so no way this is going to end with a satisfying conclusion), which is much too short in my opinion.

Kengan Ashura’s setup is simple and pretty standard; there’s an underground fighting organization that all the major Japanese businesses use to settle disputes. Using a fighter as a proxy, the fights are used to resolve any issues corporations might have against one another.

Ohma Tokita (the hero) is one such fighter.

Kengan Ashura
This guy.

He’s representing the Nogi Group, whose head is jostling to be the Chairman of the Kengan Association, the group behind all the fights. I’m damn sure there’s going to be a major tournament along the way since Episode 3 ends with an announcement of one; it’s pretty much a requisite of martial arts anime.

I just can’t get enough of the fighting in the series; every single episode has Ohma Tokita fighting somebody for his employers. From where I am now, he’s fought in two official fights so far; first against a fighter called Lihito (who can gouge flesh with just his fingers) and then against a champion pro wrestler called Sekibayashi.

Both fights are excellent and take up a good chunk of each episode. I particularly love the second fight, when Sekibayashi does a German suplex and immediately flips up to do a second one. Shades of Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit! Not to mention King’s and Armored King’s chain throws from Tekken!

I’m just 1/4 in and I’m already hooked on the series! If the series continues its fevered pace, I can’t wait to see who Ohma fights later on. Damn…it’s going to be a pain to wait for Season 2.

Sal's been in the industry since the early 2000s. He's written for a ton of gaming and tech publications including Playworks, Hardwarezone, HWM and GameAxis. Recently, Sal served as a juror for the Indie Game Awards at Taipei Game Show 2020. A geek and hardcore gamer, Sal will play everything, on any platform.