Kengan Ashura
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Ohma Tokita
ケンガンアシュラ
GenreMartial arts[1][2]
Manga
Written byYabako Sandrovich
Illustrated byDaromeon
Published byShogakukan
English publisher
  • NA: Comikey
ImprintUra Sunday Comics
Magazine
  • Ura Sunday
  • MangaONE
DemographicShōnen
Original runApril 18, 2012August 9, 2018
Volumes27 + 1 extra
Manga
Kengan Omega
Written byYabako Sandrovich
Illustrated byDaromeon
Published byShogakukan
English publisher
  • NA: Comikey
ImprintUra Sunday Comics
Magazine
  • Ura Sunday
  • MangaOne
DemographicShōnen
Original runJanuary 17, 2019 – present
Volumes16
Original net animation
Directed bySeiji Kishi
Written by
Music byYasuharu Takanashi
StudioLarx Entertainment
Licensed byNetflix
Released July 31, 2019 – present
Episodes36 (List of episodes)

Kengan Ashura (ケンガンアシュラ) is a Japanese manga series written by Yabako Sandrovich and illustrated by Daromeon. It was serialized on Shogakukan's Ura Sunday website from April 2012 to August 2018, with its chapters compiled into twenty-seven tankōbon volumes. A sequel, titled Kengan Omega, began in January 2019. It was adapted into an original net animation (ONA) anime series. The first 12-episode part premiered in July 2019 through Netflix; the second 12-episode part premiered in October of that same year. A second season premiered in September 2023; the second part is set to premiere in 2024.

Summary

Since the Edo period of Japan, gladiator arenas have existed in various forms around the world. In these arenas, wealthy business owners and merchants hire gladiators to fight in unarmed combat where the winner takes all, called Kengan matches. Yamashita Kazuo, an average Japanese salaryman for Nogi Group witnesses a street fight in an alley between two mysterious fighters. One of the fighters, Tokita "Ashura" Ohma is scouted out by the Nogi Group CEO, Nogi Hideki, due to defeating their previous fighter in the street fight. Kazuo is roped into managing Ohma who joins these arenas only to devastate his opponents. His spectacular ability to crush his enemies catches the attention of big business owners, leading to his inclusion in the Kengan Annihilation Tournament under the invitation of Hideki. This tournament is held by the biggest CEOs in Japan and the winner gets the seat of Kengan Association chairman, a position which holds immense power and prestige. As the tournament unfolds Ohma tests his strength while struggling with his mysterious past coming back to haunt him as Kazuo struggles with managing Ohma and figuring out the true intentions as to why he was invited to this tournament.

Characters

Ohma Tokita (十鬼蛇 王馬, Tokita Ōma)
Voiced by: Tatsuhisa Suzuki[3] (Japanese); Kaiji Tang[4][5] (English)
A fighter in his late 20s. After defeating another fighter in a dark alley one night, a representative of the Nogi Group for the Kengan Association, he was picked by the Nogi group to be its new representative with Kazuo Yamashita as his caretaker. The bond between these two individuals begins as they participate in the Kengan matches, and later taking part in the Kengan Annihilation Tournament. Nicknamed "Ashura" in the Kengan matches.
Kazuo Yamashita (山下 一夫, Yamashita Kazuo)
Voiced by: Chō[3] (Japanese); Keith Silverstein[5] (English)
A 56-year old salaryman of the Nogi Group. After a fateful encounter with Ohma Tokita, he was reassigned to be Ohma's caretaker by order of the Nogi Group's CEO. Skittish and meek, something awakens inside of him as he ventures deeper into the Kengan matches, as well as his bond with Ohma. Later made President of the Yamashita Trading Co., a shell company of the Nogi Group.
Hideki Nogi (乃木 英樹, Nogi Hideki)
Voiced by: Jouji Nakata[3] (Japanese); Michael C. Pizzuto (English)
CEO of the Nogi Group. He challenges the Kengan Association for the position of Chairman, resulting in the creation of the Annihilation Tournament with a stipulation that, if the Nogi Group fails to win, the company is dissolved and taken by the Kengan Association. He forms the shell company Yamashita Trading Co., with Kazuo Yamashita as its President and Ohma Tokita as its representative fighter. He also formed a 2nd shell company SF Cold Storage with Lihito as both its President and fighter.
Kaede Akiyama (秋山 楓, Akiyama Kaede)
Voiced by: Yumi Uchiyama[3] (Japanese); Erika Harlacher[6][5] (English)
Hideki Nogi's personal secretary, later assigned to help Kazuo and Ohma as they proceed into the tournament.
Lihito (理人, Rihito)
Voiced by: Hayato Kaneko[7] (Japanese); Jonah Scott[8] (English)
Nicknamed "The Superhuman". Ohma's 2nd opponent in the Kengan matches initially on behalf of Yoshitake Real Estate. He was later made the head of a shell company SF Cold Storage by Hideki Nogi, making him the first president/fighter in the tournament's history. His name comes from his technique where his fingers are sharp enough to cut through flesh. His real name is Ichiro Nakata.
Jun Sekibayashi (関林 ジュン, Sekibayashi Jun)
Voiced by: Tetsu Inada (Japanese); Jake Green (English)[7]
A pro wrestler representing the company Gandai. Nicknamed "Hell's Angel".
Cosmo Imai (今井 コスモ, Imai Kosumo)
Voiced by: Junya Enoki[7] (Japanese); Bryce Papenbrook[9] (English)
Specializing in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, he is the youngest fighter in the Kengan Annihilation tournament. He represents Nishihonji Security Services. Nicknamed "The King of Stranglers".
Setsuna Kiryū (桐生 刹那, Kiryū Setsuna)
Voiced by: Daisuke Namikawa (Japanese); Todd Haberkorn (English)[7]
A fighter for the Koyo Academy Group. His insane attraction to Ohma has driven him to kill his own master, who murdered Ohma's master prior to the start of the series. He enters the tournament in the hopes of fighting Ohma and to be killed by him as his ultimate form of affection.

Media

Manga

Kengan Ashura is written by Yabako Sandrovich and illustrated by Daromeon. It was serialized in Shogakukan's online platform Ura Sunday and in the MangaONE app from April 18, 2012 to August 9, 2018.[10][11] Shogakukan collected its chapters in twenty-seven tankōbon volumes, released from December 18, 2012 to February 19, 2019.[12][13]

A sequel, titled Kengan Omega (ケンガンオメガ), began its serialization on Ura Sunday and MangaONE on January 17, 2019. The sequel is set two years after the events of the original series.[14] Shogakukan has collected its chapters into individual tankōbon volumes. The first volume was released on February 19, 2019.[15] As of April 12, 2023, sixteen volumes have been released.[16]

Both series are licensed digitally in North America by Comikey.[17]

Volume list

Kengan Ashura
No. Japanese release date Japanese ISBN
1 December 18, 2012[12]978-4-09-124110-8
2 January 18, 2013[18]978-4-09-124237-2
3 April 18, 2013[19]978-4-09-124332-4
4 May 17, 2013[20]978-4-09-124334-8
5 September 18, 2013[21]978-4-09-124417-8
6 October 18, 2013[22]978-4-09-124531-1
7 February 18, 2014[23]978-4-09-124600-4
8 May 16, 2014[24]978-4-09-124691-2
9 August 18, 2014[25]978-4-09-125234-0
10 October 17, 2014[26]978-4-09-125478-8
11 January 9, 2015[27]978-4-09-125709-3
12 April 10, 2015[28]978-4-09-126056-7
13 June 12, 2015[29]978-4-09-126184-7
14 October 9, 2015[30]978-4-09-126588-3
0 January 12, 2016[31]
January 8, 2016 (SE)[32]
978-4-09-127010-8
978-4-09-941866-3 (SE)
15 March 11, 2016[33]978-4-09-127082-5
16 June 10, 2016[34]978-4-09-127300-0
17 September 9, 2016[35]978-4-09-127434-2
18 December 19, 2016[36]978-4-09-127465-6
19 February 10, 2017[37]978-4-09-127519-6
20 June 12, 2017[38]978-4-09-127633-9
21 August 18, 2017[39]978-4-09-127757-2
22 October 19, 2017[40]978-4-09-128007-7
23 December 12, 2017[41]978-4-09-128041-1
24 April 12, 2018[42]978-4-09-128267-5
25 July 12, 2018[43]978-4-09-128440-2
26 October 19, 2018[44]978-4-09-128700-7
27 February 19, 2019[13]978-4-09-128839-4
Kengan Omega
No. Japanese release date Japanese ISBN
1 February 19, 2019[15]978-4-09-128848-6
2 July 19, 2019[45]978-4-09-129290-2
3 December 19, 2019[46]978-4-09-129475-3
4 January 17, 2020[47]978-4-09-129506-4
5 April 10, 2020[48]978-4-09-850093-2
6 July 10, 2020[49]978-4-09-850195-3
7 November 12, 2020[50]978-4-09-850327-8
8 March 12, 2021[51]978-4-09-850477-0
9 June 10, 2021[52]978-4-09-850592-0
10 September 16, 2021[53]978-4-09-850701-6
11 December 10, 2021[54]978-4-09-850829-7
12 March 10, 2022[55]978-4-09-851024-5
13 June 10, 2022[56]978-4-09-851158-7
14 September 12, 2022[57]978-4-09-851276-8
15 January 12, 2023[58]978-4-09-851538-7
16 April 12, 2023[16]978-4-09-852001-5
17 July 19, 2023[59]978-4-09-852553-9
18 September 19, 2023[60]978-4-09-852831-8
19 October 19, 2023[61]978-4-09-852874-5

Anime

See also: List of Kengan Ashura episodes

Ura Sunday opened a fan poll in January 2015 to let fans decide which of their series should receive an anime adaptation.[62] In May 2015, it was announced that Kengan Ashura had won the poll with 2.3 million out of 9 million total votes, and would be adapted into an anime.[63] Two years later, on December 7, 2017, it was announced that the anime was still being planned,[64][65] with the 23rd volume revealing on December 12, 2017 that the anime would be a television series.[66] The staff and release window for the series were announced on March 22, 2018.[67] The series was directed by Seiji Kishi and written by Makoto Uezu, with animation by Larx Entertainment.[67] Kazuaki Morita provided character designs for the anime, while Yasuharu Takanashi composed the series' music.[67] The world premiere of the series took place at Anime Expo on July 7, 2018.[68] The series premiered in Japan at Toho Cinemas Roppongi Hills on January 27, 2019.[7] The series premiered on July 31, 2019.[67][69][70] The opening theme is "King & Ashley" by My First Story, while the ending theme is "Born This Way" by BAD HOP.[71][72] Netflix streamed the anime.[73][74] The second part of the series, also consisting of 12 episodes, premiered on Netflix on October 31, 2019.[75]

On March 24, 2022, it was announced that the anime is receiving a sequel.[76] The editor of Kengan Omega manga has confirmed on Twitter that the anime continuation will adapt the original manga’s story "until the end of the original (the end of the tournament)!". It was later revealed to be a second season, whose first part premiered on September 21, 2023;[77] the second part is set to premiere in 2024.[78] SiM performed the opening theme "Red",[79] while Band-Maid performed the ending theme "Shambles".[80]

Other media

A drama CD was bundled with the special edition of volume 0 on January 8, 2016.[32]

In July 2020, a crossover art by Daromeon and Keisuke Itagaki, featuring Ohma Tokita and Baki Hanma from Baki the Grappler, was drawn to promote both series availability on Netflix.[81]

Sandrovich launched another manga series, titled How Heavy Are the Dumbbells You Lift?, which is set in the same universe as Kengan Ashura.[82]

Reception

By December 2017, the manga had over 1.5 million copies in circulation.[83]

References

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