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- Episodes: 21+
- Genre: Action, Historical, Martial Arts
- Airing Date: April 3, 2018 - ongoing
- Studio: Polygon Pictures
Souten no Ken Preview (No Spoilers)
Taking place some 60 years before Hokuto no Ken, Souten no Ken: Regenesis tells the story of Hokuto Shinken’s previous successor, Kasumi Kenshiro, the older brother to Ramon, who was the adoptive father of Hokuto no Ken’s Kenshiro. Through this series, we learn that the Kenshiro of this series is the namesake of the Kenshiro of Hokuto no Ken. During his training in Shanghai, he befriended a local mobster and fell in love with his sister. However, Kenshiro returned to Japan to be a university professor. A few years later, he receives a letter than his friend and former lover are in trouble and needs to return to Shanghai. As he battles Shanghai’s criminal underworld, he finds that his battle his only begun since World War II is now starting and the fate of the world is now in his hands.
Kasumi Kenshiro Highlights
1. He’s Got a Bad Ass Martial Art
If you thought Cobra Kai was a bad ass name for a fighting style, then Hokuto Shinken makes it look like Tai Chi for old people. Ever wanted to make a person explode by just touching them? Well, with Hokuto Shinken, you can! Want to make a person tell the truth and if they lie it puts them on the brink of death? Then Kenshiro can do that. Want to throw 100 punches within a second and have the person blow up? I think we mentioned that. In addition to techniques that makes the opponent explode, Kenshiro can make his opponents hallucinate that there are clones of him and on occasion, throw projectiles. However, he tends to make it more hand-to-hand oriented, which makes the fights more exciting and intense.
2. Koichi Yamadera
You got the voice of Spike Spiegel from Cowboy Bebop as the voice of Ken. As opposed to the stoic and no mercy Kenshiro from Hokuto no Ken, the Kenshiro of Souten no Ken is more openly friendly, sarcastic, and social. Yamadera’s voice is able to capture these dimensions for audiences to enjoy. He’s not panicky and can make a joke in the middle of a fight. He’s a lot more kid friendly and charismatic around the ladies. But when he’s pissed, you better run for the hills because he does not mess around.
3. He’s smart
Other than having a black belt in the ultimate martial art, he happens to be educated. As stated before, he was also a university professor so he’s got to have a PhD. In addition to his unorthodox sense of smell, he happens to be fluent in numerous languages such as Chinese, German, English, and Ancient Hebrew. Plus, he’s a pretty good piano player, an avid reader, and has a photographic memory. With his training in Hokuto Shinken, when he sees a technique once, he’s able to grasp the concept and when an opponent tries to use it again, he can fight through it. As a fighter, he shouldn’t be smoking, but apparently he says it’s to help clog up his arteries when he bleeds. So does smoking have its benefits? Maybe someone should introduce him to cannabis.
4. He has a good supporting cast
His initial supporting cast is a local Shanghai mafia, but they’re a mafia that cares. Guāng-Lín, his best friend, really wants to make Shanghai a better place. Shortly after Guāng-Lín- is incapable of leading the gang, Kenshiro’s true love, Yu-Ling, becomes its leader. During her time away from Kenshiro, she actually learned how to fight and became something of a tribal leader in the Northern part of China, making her a stronger character upon reuniting. Through the gang, Ken also befriends Charles de Guise, an officer with the French army who wanted to save the Jews in Germany. As we share later, some of his opponents, who show redemption, become some of his greatest allies. As the series progresses, Ramon, his brother, provides more contribution to the protection of one of the series’ most important cast members, Erika, who wants to create a paradise for sacrificed Jews.
5. He’s a Man’s Man
In the end, he’s what being a man is all about. While he doesn’t take crap from anybody, he is willing to forgive when necessary. Throughout this series, he has allied with two of his former foes not just for the sake of redemption, but to fight the true enemy and save the Jews. One notable former foe he befriends is Yasaka. After Kenshiro reveals to the truth of Yasaka’s heritage, he gives Yasaka a chance of redemption and becomes one of his greatest allies. Another notable character is Fei-Yan, who wanted to protect Erika with his life, and trusted Kenshiro and Yasaka with that responsibility when his time was up. When he can connect to you man-to-man, what he can make a bitter rivalry into the greatest of friendships.
Thankfully, you really need no exposure to Hokuto no Ken to enjoy Souten no Ken Re: Genesis. Though they are related, they tell distinct stories. If you’re someone that’s into classic Kung Fu movies that takes place in old Shanghai (like Jet Li’s Fist of Legend), this may be the anime for you. Kenshiro in this series gets involved in a lot of crazy conspiracies that makes the Illuminati seem like that Boys’ Club in The Little Rascals. We’re talking about mystical martial artists who crazy abilities who want to rule the world, and only Kenshiro’s Hokuto Shinken can stop them.