10 Things You Didn’t Know about Kengan Ashura

Kengan Ashura is a fighting anime that can be found on Netflix. Like most such shows, it started out as a manga before it was adapted as an anime. Currently, there is a follow-up to Kengan Ashura called Kengan Omega, so it is possible that there will be a Kengan Omega anime at some point down the road as well. Here are 10 things that you may or may not have known about Kengan Ashura:

1. Not a Realistic Fighting Anime

Some fighting anime can be pretty realistic, whereas others are much less so in nature. For those who are curious, Kengan Ashura is very much an example of the latter because it takes a fair number of liberties with what is and what isn’t possible for humans. With that said, this isn’t to say that Kengan Ashura doesn’t care at all about the semblance of realism, which can be much more important than actual realism when it comes to such shows.

2. The Creators Acted Out a Lot of the Panels

For instance, it is amusing to note that the creators of the Kengan Ashura manga actually physically acted out a lot of the panels. In part, this was important because it enabled them to get the right look for the characters’ stances. However, it was also useful for getting the right flow for the right panels. Naturally, some of this effort carried over to the anime itself.

3. There Are Two Major Characters

There are a couple of major characters in Kengan Ashura. One would be a middle-aged salaryman named Kazuo Yamashita, while the other would be the fighter Ohma Tokita. The latter can be considered the main character of Kengan Ashura, though the first plays an important role in the narrative as well.

4. Kazuo Yamashita Is the Audience Surrogate

After all, Kazuo can be considered the audience surrogate. Essentially, he is a normal person with a normal job who happens to have an interest in combat sports. In fact, Kazuo’s one special ability is that he has excellent eyes, which enables him to keep up with what is happening in the fights in much the same way that the viewers can. Having said that, Kazuo is far from being useless, though it takes some time before he becomes a capable manager thanks to his interaction with Ohma.

5. Ohma Tokita Is the Main Character

Ohma Tokita is the fighter, so of course that would make him the main character of Kengan Ashura. Character-wise, he is quite arrogant, though to be perfectly fair, this isn’t an uncommon trait in the show’s fighter characters. Like Kazuo, Ohma also undergoes character development over the course of the show.

6. Ohma Has a Special Technique

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ohma has a special technique. In short, his Advance enables him to overclock his heart so that he will move faster as well as hit harder. However, there is a cost in that the use of the Advance will shorten his lifespan. Furthermore, it isn’t necessarily an advantage because while it will boost Ohma’s already impressive physical capabilities, it will also disorientate him enough that he can’t use much of his own fighting style. Due to this, there are some opponents against whom the use of Advance is actually more of a liability than an asset, which is an interesting way to balance it out.

7. The Show Likes to Subvert Some Expectations

Speaking of which, Kengan Ashura has a fondness for subverting some expectations. For instance, it isn’t uncommon to hear about secret forbidden techniques that will have a negative impact on the user’s health in either anime or other forms of media. However, there aren’t a lot of stories in which such techniques will actually have a very notable effect on the story. Furthermore, there is one other notabe subversion that comes into play at the end of the show, meaning that it is best that it remains unspoiled here.

8. The Fighters Are Proxies

Story-wise, the fighters in Kengan Ashura are corporate proxies. In short, the story is that the leaders of various businesses are using hired fighters to serve as their representatives for the purpose of settling disputes. As such, while Kengan Ashura doesn’t use the actual names of real businesses, a number of the businesses that show up are very blatant stand-ins for real world businesses. One example would be how Nintendo shows up as “Nentendo,” while another example would be how MOS Burger shows up as “Boss Burger.”

9. Not Quite Gladiators

There are those who compare the characters in Kengan Ashura to gladiators. However, the comparison is a bit off. Historically speaking, gladiators referred very specifically to the fighters who fought one another in the afternoon of Roman games rather than either those who fought animals in the morning or those who were condemned to die during noon. The Romans had very exacting specifications for what kinds of fighter would fight what kinds of fighters, with an excellent example being how the trident and net fighter called the retiarius was almost always paired up with the much more heavily armored murmillo or the murmillo variant called the secutor. Plenty of people died in gladiatorial matches, but it wasn’t the main point for them in the same way that it was for the people who proceeded them. Instead, gladiators were supposed to show off their skill as well as their physical courage, which is why those who fought well were supposed to be spared. Meanwhile, the combatants in Kengan Ashura are very much in it to win it. Sometimes, this is because of the interests that they are representing. Other times, this is because of their own focus on winning over other considerations, meaning that a lot of the fighter characters are perfectly willing to use cheap tricks if that gets them their victory. However, whatever the case, the spectacle is very much a side effect rather than the primary purpose of their fighting.

10. Expect It to Be Brutal

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Kengan Ashura can be pretty brutal. Due to this, interested individuals shouldn’t watch it unless they are prepared for the sight of blood as well as the sight of that blood being beaten out of people.


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