I have recently finished Megalo Box and gotten into martial arts anime, Baki, and Kengan Ashura on Netflix. I’ve always enjoyed anime with fighting like Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, and Naruto. However, these series featured martial arts as part of a larger story they didn’t center around a tournament. Anime like Baki is considered to be sports anime. For the sake of this post, I will refer to them as martial arts anime. What separates the typical shonen series from martial arts anime is the level of analysis of fighting. You can find this during any shonen tournament arc, however, the martial arts anime take it to a whole new level.
Another difference is how powerful an average fighter is. Most martial arts anime keep things inside the ring. Later in the series, many shonen characters become so powerful that they couldn’t reasonably fight within a tournament psychical limits anymore, Dragon Ball Super tournament being an exception. Baki, Megalo Box, and Kengan Ashura are more than hyper-violent men brutalizing each other. All fighters have a backstory that tells the audience why they fight. Kengan Ashura, in particular, goes into where the style of each fighter comes from, and how that style functions. Each character has an arc to various levels of interest.
Regardless, my new found love of martial arts anime has set the table for the upcoming, The God of High School. Based on the manhwa of the same name, The God of High School is a series that follows Jin Mori and his friends as they compete in a tournament. The fighters borrow powers from the Gods and use a variety of fighting styles and weapons. It’s unclear whether the series will share the same type of detail as the other series, but I hope it will. I expect the series to focus on the fighters as people and warriors. Produced by MAPPA, the animation is stellar, and I can’t wait until July 6th.
The God of Highschool begins July 6th