Since the Edo periods of Japan, gladiator arenas exist in certain areas. In these arenas, wealthy business owners and merchants hire gladiators to fight in unarmed combat where winner takes all. Toki Taouma, nicknamed "Ashura", joins these arenas and devastates his opponents. His spectacular ability to crush his enemies catches the attention of the big business owners, including the Nogi Group chairman, Nogi Hideki.
It's pretty cool to be the first to review this manga. Just as much as it is surprising, as I think Kengan Ashura is probably the best fighting manga out there at the moment.
The basic plot of the Manga revolves around the idea that companies from around the world champion street fighters to compete gladiator style on their bosses behalf to win business opportunities or property in Japan, which is a pretty interesting concept.
But, plot aside (because, let's face it, this is an action manga) the fighting itself is great! Every character has their own unique fighting style which pairs well with their equally
expressive character designs, not to mention that every fight scene (which there are plenty of) is choreographed well and drawn beautifully.
Super cool, would recommend to any fan of the genre.
It is extremely surprising to me to find so few reviews on here for Kengan Ashura. Besides myself, there is only 1 other review here on this page.
Anyhow, the manga itself is absolutely a masterpiece. It is able to convey everything that it wants to without feeling too forced and is able to introduce significant character depth within only a chapter. There isn't a single character within Kengan Ashura that I haven't grown attached to in some way, and, unlike most other manga, I actually don't mind when the main protagonist isn't the center of the world. The art in the series has honestly some
of the highest quality panels I have ever seen, and, while not the absolute best, are still quite breath taking.
But, the main reason this series is so amazing is the fighting. Each and every fighter, even if they use the same martial art, seemingly have their own distinct fighting styles that go in line with their personalities and designs. (The manga is also able to explain the mechanics of their fighting styles and allows the reader to have a greater understanding, while minor, of how their abilities work.) There also seems to be something along the lines of supernatural involvement from time to time, where certain characters briefly enter a transformation and completely change their eye, hair, and skin color. Oddly enough, though, it doesn't really stick out and just feels like another part of the story.
If anyone is interested in a darker shounen fighting manga, this manga is the greatest thing you can give to them.
[Also, about two years ago there was a confirmed upcoming anime adaptation, but I haven’t heard any news since. If anyone knows anything, please tell me.]