Manga / Kengan Ashura

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Tokita Ohma, the titular "Ashura".

Yamashita Kazuo is a 56 year old underachieving salesman from Nogi Incorporated. His wife divorced him and left, his oldest son is a shut-in and his second son dropped out from school and steals from him after joining a gang. Kazuo is an unhappy man who can’t help but to constantly lower his head as everything around him seems to be above in rank and status.

Tokita Ohma is a mysterious young man presumably in his late 20s who lives an ascetic life, living only to satisfy his base desires for picking fights, he seems to be looking for something, someone, by picking these fights, reasoning that sooner or later he will find it.

These complete opposite individuals meet by chance one day when Kazuo was traversing the night streets and Ohma was picking yet another fight in a dark corner; Kazuo witnesses the average built Ohma easily take down the muscle fortress that was his opponent, Kazuo becomes completely enchanted by Ohma’s feral nature, feeling compelled to ask his name, Ohma bluntly introduces himself and asks the same, Kazuo feels power in Ohma’s words and quickly shouts his own name. This first encounter became the bridge for this unnatural duo.

The following day Kazuo is summoned by the Nogi Incorporated’s CEO, Nogi Hideki. Wondering what he had done wrong Kazuo goes to meet the boss. Hideki instead introduces Kazuo to the story of Kengan Matches, fighting matches that have been organized since the Edo Period, a concept built to end conflict between merchants of that era so it wouldn’t end in mass scale bloodbaths, business owners would choose and appoint top fighters to represent them in these Kengan Matches, the winner would automatically win whatever was the source of conflict between the opposing parties (market share, market reach, locations for subsidiaries, etc.).

Hideki states that Kengan Matches are still going to this day, regulated by the Kengan Association, and the Nogi Incorporated Group is a registered participant, a match is about to break soon and Hideki appoints Kazuo as the manager for their new fighter, the previous one was beat down senseless by some stranger, Ohma is the man in both cases. So it begins Kazuo and Ohma’s initiation in many Kengan Matches.

Kengan Ashura is a manga series written by Sandrovich Yabako and drawn by Daromeonnote , beginning publication in 2012 it runs in Ura Sunday, a Shounen Magazine, published by Shogakukan.

In May 2015 the series won a poll organized by Ura Sunday in which the winner would become eligible for getting an Animated Adaptation, Kengan Ashura got more than 2 million fan votes, winning, and Ura Sunday will reveal more details about production and release date in the future.

Compare to Baki the Grappler. Kengan Ashura shares some similarities to the early beginnings of Baki and both protagonists are similar in design and personality.

Kengan Ashura provides the examples of:

  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Ohma is extremely arrogant and provokes all of his opponents, although it isn’t unprovoked as many of his opponents are of the same braggart clause. Despite this, Ohma is often a lot less aggressive to those who support him, especially his manager.
  • Audience Surrogate: Kazuo is an underachieving salesman who is immersed as a fighter manager in a secret society where powerful Businessmen organize fighting matches to settle their market disputes. Kazuo is constantly thinking about the ludicrousness of all but still admiring such a different world from his usual pathetic life, and the ridiculously strong fighters who are the very opposite of his weak self.
  • Badass Grandpa: The chairman of the Kengan Association is noted to be giving waves of energy like a volcano to the point where even fighters were affected despite him being in his nineties.
  • Blood Knight : Ohma can be seen as this as he asked Kazuo if he wants to fight him after he has finished his fight in the first chapter. After Kazuo declined Ohma was disappointed. Later, after beating about a hundred delinquent he turn his attention to Kazuo's second son and asks him if he wants to fight too. However, the later was probably to set the boy straight. Many others can be seen as this.
  • Body Horror: Most of the injuries in this series are absolutely horrific, in no part thanks to the artists skill in depicting such injuries.
  • Cast from Lifespan: Ohma's special technique that he uses to defeat Inaba and other fighters takes a serious toll on his lifespan every time he uses it. This is symbolized by him mentally blowing out a series of candles, potentially taking years off his lifespan.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: After years of publication the series has been consistently about one big fighting tournament, and as such its dozens of fighters have very varied designs and each fight is given panel time, even those where the protagonist isn’t taking part. While some are shorter, some are longer than others and all fighters are given some character and a background. This even extends to one-off Mooks, who all look different from each other.
  • Deadly Doctor: Hana Fusajime, a fighter who happens to be an excellent doctor. His mannerisms and Dull Eyes of Unhappiness also seem to imply that he is a Mad Doctor as well, only to reveal that he's actually not that bad a guy when he saves Mokichi's life despite gaining nothing from it.
  • Deuteragonist: While Ohma is the protagonist, his sponsor/partner Kazuo is also given a lot of focus in the story.
  • Full-Name Basis: Ohma only addresses his manager Yamashita Kazuo as such, even when Kazuo told Ohma to be more casual. The people that he does this to usually are the people he doesn’t to beat into a pulp, so in his case it is his own way of being polite.
  • Gladiator Games: Kengan Matches, events in which businessmen decide to settle their differences and market share not through court but through appointing fighters to win it all. These fights are very brutal and can end up with one fighter dead or seriously crippled and although there is a referee present his presence is just for show- if a fighter can be smart enough to cheat in a way that the referee and the audience can’t blatantly notice it then all is fair.
  • Kick the Dog: To show how evil Raian is, he murders Mokichi during their match, despite being able to non-fatally incapacitate him easily. Most of the other competitors find this distasteful, even Raian's own Kure Clan. Mokichi is later revealed to have survived, but this doesn't underscore how evil Raian was during their bout.
  • A Man Is Not a Virgin: Thoroughly averted with Ohma, who seems to have a difficult time with suitors being upfront about sex.
  • Meaningful Name: Tokita Ohma can be translated as “Witching Hour”, Kazuo remarks that even Ohma’s name is strong and links to the fact that before the Kengan Matches, Ohma wandered late at nights looking for a challenge.
    • More accurately, "Witching Hour" in Japanese is "ouma ga toki", but it sounded similar enough to Kazuo. It is later revealed that Tokita Ohma was named after Tokita Ward and Shichiohba, two fictional lawless zones of Tokyo. Ohma grew up on the border of these zones.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Kazuo gets this. Due to not understanding business jargon, he acts completely unconcerned when the director of Ohma's first opponent wants to make a very expensive bet on their fight, leading that director (who is specifically mentioned as being fairly smart) to believe he has Nerves of Steel. Later on, he accidentaly hits Julius' head with a thrown can (he didn't even see the guy) just when he was about to break Sawada's legs. Nikaido gets convinced he is extremely skilled for doing that perfectly from a blind spot and later dodging his nearly invisible needle (he bowed at the exact right time to apologize for the can), while Julius is surprised that the guy managed to hit him without letting out any "bloodlust".
  • Parental Substitute: Kazuo acts as a calming agent for Ohma before and after fights, while Ohma inspires Kazuo to see his life differently. Niko was also this for Ohma.
  • Pet the Dog: Ohma's relationship with Kazuo and Rhito are this.
    • In a roundabout way, Ohma's fight with Inaba is this. He gives Inaba the fight of his life, and both competitors are full of respect for the other by the end of the match. The fight ends with Inaba's loss, but it's clear that Inaba can't be happier with the outcome, finally glad to have met someone in his life he can work towards beating in a fair fight.
    Ohma: Did you have fun, Inaba Ryo?
    Cut to Inaba's face, stretched into a goofy smile
    • Even Adam Dudley, perhaps the most crude person in the entire series, is disgusted by Raian's callous murder of Mokichi.
  • Red Baron: Later down the road with many Kengan Matches under his belt Ohma gets nicknamed “Ashura”, a vicious fighting demon. This is coming from an Association filled with vicious fighters, so Ohma became a demon among demons.
  • Sexy Secretary: Akiyama Kaede, Mr. Nogi’s secretary. She is very attractive but of the composed variety. Most of the Kengan Association fighters have displayed interest in her, and even Ohma has teased her before.
  • Stalker Without a Crush: Kiryu is incredibly obsessed with Ohma, and will go to absurd lengths to "protect" Ohma. This, much like Hisoka, is for the purpose of murdering him later. Also like Hisoka, his discussions on "fighting" Ohma carry a lot of sexual overtones, making this somewhat of a subversion.
  • Soul Brotha: Jerry Tyson.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The series’ title can be either Kengan Ashura or Kengan Asura, the official Japanese print romanizes it as Kengan Ashura, some fan translators however prefer to stick with Kengan Asura.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Kazuo start as weakling who bow down to almost anyone, but after spending some time in the Kengan matches world and around Ohma specifically he stars to change, becoming desensitized to the everyday happenings of his businessman life. Along with this, Kazuo begins displaying impressive analytical skills when the Annihilation Tournament kicks off- all five of the fighters he thought would win in the primaries did, in fact, win, and it was not a guess. Note: this was a room filled with around 100 fighters, and he picked the five people he could tell were the strongest.
    • Later, he manages to get the highest number and thus priority to choose his fighter's slot. He does this by being able to clearly see the numbers in an incredibly fast rotating slot machine. He doesn't even realize what he's done, and thinks the machine had a bug.
    • This trend continues and eventually escalates to the point of being a Running Gag: at one point, Kazuo not only hit Julius Rhinehold in the side of the head with a can (by accident, no less), he also dodges a bullet-speed fast assassin thread from one of the Annihilation Tournament infiltrators.


Alternative Title(s): Kengan Asura

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