June 24, 2024

Baki Hanma VS Kengan Ashura 2024 Movie Review

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Baki Hanma VS Kengan Ashura 2024 Movie Review

The OGs Ohma Tokita aka Kengan Ashura, Metsudo Katahara and Mitsunari Tokugawa are back. It is thanks to the latter, from the worlds of Ashura and Hanma, that the concept of competition began. On the other hand, Sea Emperor Kaku, Retsu and Jaku make a cameo appearance, and it is as good as them not being in the film. Nobunaga Shizamaki is back to give voice to Baki Hanma, while Tatsuhisa Suzuki is seen in the voice of Kengan Ashura. They both, as always, stand out in the franchise.

The film begins with an earthquake. Of course we know what it means in the world of Baki Hanma. Thus, when Hanma met Ashura, well, rest is history. It is a history that is set to be retold. Just like in Baki Hanma, Kazuo Yamashita is the one introduced.

This tale is about power, and with thunder pouring down, it makes that very thing absolutely clear. Keeping the tone of the series intact, there’s always tension about when will a fight erupt, but at the same time, there’s also a lot of admiration for the other person. The film has the same message to convey.

Saw Paing Yoroizuka and Kaouru Hanayama go at it first. Just as it feels one sided, the match takes a turn. This is very on point for the concept. They have a surprise around them that you probably did not see coming. Of course, there’s a lot of violence and gore with this film, given the concept of WWE, so it is not made for the weak-hearted.

Julius Reinhold and Biscuit Olivia go next, but in a different way. It takes Goki Shibukawa to set them straight.

Raian Kure and Jack Hammer, like most, get an interesting introduction. Their looks are like literal demons, and so is their fighting style. For some reason, there’s lights when they punch each other, which could be overdoing it. The backstory to the moment when they were offered competing with each other is narrated, and the buildup really works. The moment Kure loses all control is something you would not want to miss. Theirs is where it all begins. There’s the deja vu moment, where it is to kill or be killed.

Pickle is here. The former comes at the perfect moment. In that very moment, Ashura comes face-to-face with Pickle and that is something, especially because Hanma already shares a strong bond with the primitive being.

With that, Hanma and Ashura give us a moment even before their fight begins. This sets a good tone for what is to come.

Ashura and Hanma’s fighting techniques as well as training for it vary drastically. This is seen through a scene in the movie, right before their match.

Their fight is finally here, and they demand all your attention because of how fast their fights progress. Both Hanma and Ashura have developed techniques to become the top in MMA, and thankfully we have people spelling it all out here. Their match also turns out to be more one-sided than you would have expected. Just then, there’s a supernatural twist.

Much like what we have seen in the franchise, their fight brings people closer. They want to know what will happen next, for this is no longer a fight to just win. It is a fight to pride in oneself and the other for how far they have come in their training. If there could be an end for them, it couldn’t get better than what is shown in the film.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get better, the OGs dad Yujiro Hanma makes a surprise entry. To say he still has it would be a grave understatement. Yujiro, even in his soft era, is still pretty dangerous and that is seen in his brief appearance in the movie. Thanks to that, it is now junior vs senior instead of junior vs junior and senior vs senior.

Gensai ‘The Devil Lance’ Kuroki undoubtedly has the best entry in the film. He not only walks out from dust but is also acknowledged by the best of them all.

Within minutes, the match gets over with the promise for a new season. And while the match is over, the movie is not. There are still some surprises left. One of them hints at the story taking a drastic turn the supernatural way.

Coming to the OST, if you have been a fan of the franchise, you will like listening to both the opening and the closing theme. They do not offer too many visuals so don’t keep your hopes up, but they are surely pleasing to the ears.

Adam Dudley and Chiharu Shiba end up having a competition of their own. Even though this was supposed to bring in relief (read pain) in the tense environment, it hardly ever does so, for the joke is as old as Edo period (mentioned in the movie) itself.

Although Baki Hanma vs Kengan Ashura has a few things to offer, it is still not at par with what the franchise has been. This could be because they are just building up, but the build up took an hour, and had few moments to really pique your interest. We have seen better, but to follow the storyline, you can give this a watch once.

Baki Hanma VS Kengan Ashura 2024 Movie Review