MORE EXTREME ACTION!
- Episodes : 12
- Genre : Action, Martial Arts
- Airing Date : October 31, 2019
- Producers : Larx Entertainment
Kengan Ashura Season 2 Introduction
Continuing where the first season leaves off, season 2 provides the rest of the preliminaries of the Kengan Tournament. What is the Kengan Tournament? What if Fortune 500 companies could engage in mergers and acquisitions through underground MMA fights without getting lawyers, board members, judges, and nagging politicians involved? In a nutshell, that’s what the Kengan Tournament is. For this tournament, the champion gets their corporate sponsor to become the chairman and control all of Japan’s businesses!
1. Non-Stop Action
If there’s any reason to watch this edition of Kengan Ashura, it’s that it is full of fighting! It’s not just the quantity of the action that makes it exciting, but the quality! As they say in combat sports, styles make fights. It has the classic striking vs. grappling matchups, street fighting vs. years of training, skill vs. will, and just about any gimmick you can think of. Some of you reading might be listeners of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast where he recently interviewed lethwei champion, Dave Leduc. The reason we bring this up is that a lethwei fighter is featured in this season! While lethwei may be new to international audiences, it’s a brutal striking martial art that dates back 2000 years and its inclusion does a great job of showcasing how it’s an ancestor of Muay Thai and how it allows headbutts!
2. Excellent Use of Its Cast
Granted, many of the cast members are kind of one-and-done, the series does a great job of not showing their individual skills but highlighting their motivations to fight. The audience is given ample time to invest themselves in the characters regardless of the outcome and no matter what happens, they accept the results and see it as a chance to either hang up the gloves or to live and fight another day. Each character is likable and relatable in their own way, and thankfully, they get some development even if its predictable and minimal.
3. Killer Soundtrack
For lovers of heavy guitar riffs, we can guarantee that Kengan Ashura is FULL of them! The soundtrack does an excellent job of bringing the audience into the intensity and excitement of the action. Whether the fight is stalling, on the ground, or standing up, the heavy soundtrack excellently syncs with the energy that makes you want to scream, play air guitar, throw punches and kicks in the air or bob your head while doing the sign of the devil-like you’re at a rock concert! We promise that the soundtrack can provide an adrenaline rush as if you’re the one fighting!
1. Ohma’s Lack of Presence
For audiences that care about the main character getting the spotlight most of the time, unfortunately, Ohma gets very little of it until the end. Granted, he is given a few moments here and there but for most of the series, he kind of feels non-existent and whatever presence he has until the last two episodes is just to remind the audience that he’s still the main character. Much of the series is focused on who is fighting in a respective episode, and Ohma doesn’t get to fight until the climax.
2. You Need To Watch Season 1
In order to enjoy this series, watching season 1 is a requirement. If any interested viewer skips to season 2 without watching the first 12 episodes, then they’re going to be lost in context to what the story is and who the characters are. In addition, a certain portion of the characters fighting in this season were already introduced in season 1 so it would be very helpful to watch season 1 in order to understand who the characters are and the world they live in.
3. Unoriginal Concepts
We understand that the concept of underground MMA in pop culture kind of dates back to before MMA itself. Not only that, tournament-oriented anime and manga, in regards to Shounen, has already been done to death (this dates back to Ring ni Kakero, but was popularized in Dragon Ball and Yuu Yuu Hakusho). The series is full of every fighting anime cliché/trope fans can think of and if you’re not into fighting anime, then Kengan Ashura is certainly not the anime for you.
We feel that those that enjoy professional wrestling can ultimately appreciate Kengan Ashura with how action-oriented it is. Lots of people criticize action anime for lacking any plot or storytelling technique but that’s where we beg to differ. When it comes to, say, professional wrestling as sports entertainment, its matches are intended to tell a story. It can be striker vs. grappler, will vs. skill, youth vs. experience, or David Vs. Goliath. Action anime such as Kengan Ashura adhere to those same principles.
When audiences watch the action-oriented second installment, they need to see the action as a storytelling technique, and not as a novelty. Through Kengan Ashura’s fights, we see the struggle of someone wanting justice, someone wanting to make a better life for their family, or just to become the very best (like no one ever was!). Thanks to the variations of what the fights have to offer, audiences are provided many stories to enjoy that are uniquely relatable in their own ways, which is why we ultimately recommend it.