[Adrenaline-Packed Anime Summer 2019] Like Dragon Ball Z? Watch This?

If you’re an anime fan and don’t know what Dragon Ball Z is, then stop reading this article and watch it right now (or you can watch its remastered version, Kai)! Even after 30 years, Dragon Ball Z is still highly regarded as an anime with action that re-defined the imagination with its adrenaline pumping power ups, and creative fight sequences where colliding punches can break the sound barrier and cave-in mountains. It knew how to do over the top in more ways than over 9000 as it tried to break every law of physics you could think of that would make Neil DeGrasse Tyson lose his hair! It’s highly indisputable that very few anime are ever going to top Dragon Ball Z’s status as the best action anime of all time. However, that doesn’t mean that there are still some action anime titles from 2019 that you can’t enjoy!

Liked Dragon Ball Z? Watch Enen no Shouboutai (Fire Force)

  • Episodes: 24
  • Aired: July 6, 2019 - Ongoing

Based on the hit manga by Atsushi Okubo, Enen no Shouboutai takes the gimmick of fire fighting to both Shounen and holy levels. Taking place in an alternate Tokyo now called the Tokyo Empire ruled by organized religion, the fire departments of this city literally fight fire with fire. Most of their duties consist of fighting Infernals, human beings who turn into fire monsters. Our main hero is Shinra Kusakabe, a young man who lost his family in a fire and wishes to prevent tragedies like his from ever happening.

Major Similarities Between Dragon Ball Z and Enen no Shouboutai (Fire Force)

1. Both Take Place in an Alternate Earth

What makes DBZ and Enen no Shouboutai similar is how they both take place in an alternate Earth but express it in different ways. For DBZ, beyond having homes and vehicles stored in capsules, animals can talk and walk like regular human beings and they live together in harmony. In the case of Enen no Shouboutai, it uses steampunk/industrial setting with the architecture and with some of the clothing designs.

2. Gimmicky Action

There’s no denying that the action of DBZ will always be its own thing. Thankfully, the creative world of anime can just give us something just as exciting, and with a different flavor. With Enen no Shouboutai, yes, it does have “ki” attacks, but it has its own unique identity as characters in this anime can inherit abilities that are genetic and holy in nature. Many characters in Enen no Shouboutai have unique powers that are exclusive to them (as they mostly relate to fire) and the series does a great job of expressing how they can use them in battle. As they say in combat sports, styles make fights and this anime does a great job of creatively exploiting that.

Liked Dragon Ball Z? Watch Kengan Ashura

  • Episodes: 12
  • Aired: July 31, 2019

Kengan Ashura is the long awaited Netflix exclusive series based on the manga by Daroemon and Yabako Sandrovich. Just shortly prior to drafting of this article, the news broke that Spider-Man will once again be exclusive to Sony Pictures since they couldn’t come to terms with Disney. However, in the world of Kengan Ashura, such disputes can be settled through Kengan Bouts as multibillion dollar corporations select a champion of their choosing to duke it out in an underground MMA fight/trial by combat. Whoever wins, wins the deal. Representing the Nogi Corporation, is Ouma Tokita, who has entered the tournament to seek the man who killed his master.

Major Similarities Between Dragon Ball Z and Kengan Ashura

1. Criticisms of Big Business/Class Warfare

In case some of you didn’t know, Toriyama based Frieza on Japanese real estate speculators from the late-80’s who made properties expensive beyond inflation. Toriyama thought of these people as the worst as they were exploiting regular people. The Kengan Bouts serve the same purpose. While the corporate big wigs are making all that paper, the fighters, who some can say represent regular workers, are doing all the hard work and in the event they lose, the fighters could face permanent injuries or even die and get cast aside like garbage.

2. Balls-to-the-Walls Action

Kengan Ashura is obviously similar to DBZ as they are both full of in your face, high-octane, and balls-to-the-walls action. However, Kengan Ashura proves you don’t need power ups, ki attacks, or anything that defies the laws of physics in order to have kick ass action sequences. As Raul Julia’s interpretation of M. Bison once said, sometimes we need the purity of unarmed (or in this case unpowered) combat to get our thrills. If you want action based on techniques of actual martial arts and the laws of gravity (ok, there are instances that some fighters do violate them in this anime as well, but not to the extent of DBZ), then Kengan Ashura lives up to its promise. Even without ki attacks, every punch and kick is thrown with the worst intentions, and that’s enough to keep you at the edge of your seat.

Final Thoughts

To sum things up, through Enen no Shouboutai, you’re getting something that represents more of the innocent qualities of DBZ. Like Gokuu, Ashura does have his childish and naïve qualities but of course, Ashura is still a teenager and new to his job. As for Kengan Ashura, you’re getting the old school martial arts tale but with a crazy modern twist. For Ouma, he represents how Gokuu just loves to fight though he has more personal motivations. If you want something gimmicky and yet distinct, we recommend Enen no Shouboutai. If you’re looking for action that is realistic, but is a step above Hajime no Ippo’s realism, then Kegan Ashura is it.

Kengan-Ashura-manga-225x350 [Adrenaline-Packed Anime Summer 2019] Like Dragon Ball Z? Watch This?


Author: Justin "ParaParaJMo" Moriarty

Hello, I am originally from the states and have lived in Japan since 2009. Though I watched Robotech and Voltron as a child, I officially became an anime fan in 1994 through Dragon Ball Z during a trip to the Philippines. In addition to anime, I also love tokusatsu, video games, music, and martial arts. よろしくお願いします

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