Kinnikuman is a superhero... a bad one. The one day a person named Meat tells Kinnikuman that he is the prince of an alien planet. Kinnikuman must save the day numerous times fighting evil chiyojins and competing in tournaments to prove himself to his family and to gain respect and money.
Ah Kinnikuman. One of the pioneers of modern Shonen anime. It makes me sad that series like these are barely recognisable outside Japan, and mainstream anime like nowadays don't captive me as much as 80's animes (Hokuto no Ken, Kinnikuman, City Hunter, Otokojuku, etc). At least the sequel Kinnikuman Nisei, also known in the west as Ultimate Muscle, gained more attention. So without further ado, let me give my opinion on the classic Kinnikuman.
The story is simple. Suguru Kinniku, known as Kinnikuman (Muscleman in english) is the son of the king and queen of Planet Kinniku, and heir to the throne. When he was a baby, his father mistook him for a pig when there was a real pig right beside him and threw him of a spaceship and Suguru landed on Earth. So Suguru wanted to become a superhero more than anything, and he wants to protect Earth from evil monster attacks, but he is so clumsy and stupid that he can't do anything right. He then gains a kid sidekick named Meat, who also hails from Planet Kinniku. Meat is his advisor and though he tries to help Suguru through his life and training, he is also subjected to his clumsiness and most times loses his temper. The story then progresses from being a parody to the superhero genre towards a more serious over the top wrestling genre. Here is where the series starts to lose its comedic tone to become an epic, manly and action filled anime. Through the episodes, Kinnikuman becomes even better and stronger thanks to his intense training and wrestling matches against bizarre but tough enemies. He evolves from being a joke superhero to be a respected hero that definately fits to be the heir of Planet Kinniku. This series is also known for the "power of friendship", whick means that thanks to the support from your friends, there is nothing that will stop you.
The art is pretty much dated. This is an anime that came in 1983 (the manga came in 1979) so its art was good for its time, but now if we see it, it's not so great. But I love all the goofiness around its anime so a 6 it's fair.
Soundtrack is epic! It has that 80's vibe that never gets old. However, the sound effects are pretty old and repetitive, but that's what you should expect from an 80's anime.
This series is very good thanks to its character development. Kinnikuman evolves from being a clumsy and childish superhero wannabe to a strong, dedicated, respected and manly fighter. The same goes for Terryman that goes from being a superhero that only fights for greed towards a friendly and respected warrior, and becomes Suguru's most trusted friend alongside Meat. Robin Mask also overwent a great transformation on his personality, from being a ruthless villain who seemed to only wanting to destroy others towards a highly respected fighter that fights with honor and later became Kinnikuman's ally.
The series is action packed, filled with manly scenes with also great comedy. The first episodes are kind of episodic being Kinnikuman's attempt to fight alien monsters but to not avail and are only for comedy purposes, but during the progression of the anime, we see a more serious fighting anime with epic over the top action, and even some manly tears.
I really like Kinnikuman. This series is really known in Japan, but it's a shame that outside of Asia it's barely recognisable. I really think that this anime should need a remake with the current animation nowadays. Perhaps maybe it would attract more viewers thanks to the power of the internet (like Crunchyroll, etc). I wish they could do to Kinnikuman the same they did with Tiger Mask W. Sure there's Ultimate Muscle that is more recent than the original series, but Kinnikuman I think is even better with more memorable scenes, epic fights, comedy and, of course, manliness!
Like all artforms, anime has been subject to censorship around the globe. The cases in this list, however, went beyond your typical TV edits and resulted in whole episodes or even full series being either banned by governments or withheld from broadcast due to outside pressure.