There are dozens of iconic fighting games out in the market but one of the most legendary series is, of course, Tekken. The King of Iron Fist Tournament, the staple of the Tekken series, has been released in so many formats we can’t keep track. Card games, video games, arcade cabinets, and of course, anime. Tekken isn’t a stranger to the anime scene as it had an OVA/movie series released and now in 2022, a new anime has been released on Netflix. Dubbed Tekken: Bloodline, this six-episode series might be one of the better ways to reflect the video games but does it do the franchise justice where many before it have failed? Let’s enter the ring and find out in our review of Tekken: Bloodline!
The Story Of Jin Kazama
The Tekken series has dozens upon dozens of iconic warriors like King, Paul Phoenix, Marshall Law, the weird Yoshimitsu, Nina Williams, and Bryan Fury but the staple of the franchise is no doubt those who have the last name, Mishima. Of the several Mishima that have appeared in Tekken like Kazuya and Heihachi, one of the most popular of the family is Jin Kazama. Born from Kazuya and Jun, Jin appeared in Tekken 3 and from there has appeared as the poster boy for Tekken with his image plastered on a lot more than live-action movies and such. Tekken: Bloodline focuses on Jin’s past as we see him go from a young man to his semi-angry older self and it works well instead of just using random fighters from the franchise. The story does also reflect the in-game lore pretty well—with obvious liberties—but we were happy with the results and didn’t dislike how Jin’s story played out.
Plenty of Cameos
This is first and foremost Jin’s story and how he wanted to gain strength to avenge his mother from Ogre’s attack but didn't fret. There are plenty of appearances by other Tekken characters like Hwoarang, Ling Xiaoyu, Paul, Julia, and Nina, and some we don’t want to spoil. Sadly, because this is primarily Jin’s story, they all feel a bit underutilized. Being a 6-episode series doesn’t help that feeling, sadly, but we’d be hard-pressed to think there was a legitimate way to fix these issues without making every episode 45+ minutes which would be too long. Still, a lack of too many characters does give Tekken: Bloodline more of a focused plot and allows Jin to shine, at least when he isn’t being overly stoic and edgy.
Feels Like Tekken and Looks Like Tekken
In the fighting games, Tekken can be quite flashy with sparks flying from characters’ hands and fiery explosions that define the franchise. Tekken: Bloodline does a fantastic job visually utilizing the series' staple special effects and moves from various characters that appear. We didn’t dislike the animation style either though, it felt like it made some characters look a bit weird. Heihachi looked like a giant and could be compared to the Hulk at times and some of the other Iron Fist characters shared a similar fate. Don’t mistake what we’re saying as a complete negative, Tekken: Bloodline has a very distinct visual animation/style and it works well but it did take some time to get used to and might not appeal to everyone.
Really Only 6 Episodes…
Again, because there are only 6-episodes, Tekken: Bloodline suffers in storytelling and made us desire more of the world that Jin exists in. Episode 2 skips most of the fluff of Jin’s school life and how he met some of his “friends” but that could have been avoided with maybe a 10-episode run or even 8 episodes. Having only 6 episodes is the weakest element of the entire anime and we have no doubt many viewers will find that to be why they dislike the show.
Tekken: Bloodline is both enjoyable and lacking all in one breath. We enjoyed the attempt at staying close to the source material all while being original, and we equally loved the cameos despite how quick most were. Yet, Tekken: Bloodline is way too short for what it attempts to do and it does have these small issues we mentioned above that keep it from being great. Tekken: Bloodline is made for fans but fans will definitely find themselves divided on where they stand.
How did you, readers, feel about Tekken: Bloodline? Leave a comment below to let us know and others as well! Be sure to keep stuck to our Iron Hive here at Honey’s Anime for even more anime reviews and articles!