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Japan Anime News Edit by Satoru Shoji

Netflix movie "Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura" announces match lineup.The theme song is by Atarashii Gakko!and Lead

The Netflix film "Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura" will be exclusively streamed worldwide on Netflix starting June 6th. A trailer and key art heralding the epic and furious dream battle have been released. An "unavoidably thrilling" match lineup has also been announced. Additionally, the theme songs that will powerfully enhance the fierce battles have been decided; the opening song will be "Fly High" by Atarashii Gakko!, and the ending song will be "Don't Stay" by Lead.



This work is a dream collaboration between two giants of the fighting manga world, the "Baki" series and "Kengan Ashura." The main character showdown features Tokita Ohma (CV: Tatsuhisa Suzuki) vs Baki Hanma (CV: Nobunaga Shimazaki), along with other popular ultimate character matchups, including Yoroizuka Saw Paing (CV: Nobuyuki Hiyama) vs Kaoru Hanayama (CV: Takuya Eguchi), and Raian Kure (CV: Yoshitsugu Matsuoka) vs Jack Hanma (CV: Kenta Miyake). These dream pairings have now been revealed.

The "Baki" series by Keisuke Itagaki, currently serialized in "Weekly Shonen Champion" (Akita Shoten), is a highly popular fighting manga that centers on the deadly battle between Baki Hanma and his father, Yujiro Hanma, known as "the strongest creature on Earth," along with the fights of various other martial artists.

"Kengan Ashura," created by Sandrovich Yabako with art by Daromeon, is streamed on the website "Ura Sunday" and the manga app "Manga One." It is a battle action manga that follows the salaryman Kazuo Yamashita as he meets the mysterious fighter Tokita Ohma, and gets drawn into "Kengan Matches," where companies wager their rights and make fighters battle for them.


The newly unveiled footage for the Netflix movie "Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura" introduces an unprecedented crossover between the "Underground Arena" from "Baki" and the "Kengan Association" from "Kengan Ashura," escalating the excitement to its peak. The line-up reveals a series of dream matches, featuring confrontations between the notorious fighters from both series.

The first match features Yoroizuka Saw Paing, a fighter from the Village of Dawn and a master of the traditional Burmese martial art "Lethwei" from "Kengan Ashura."  Yoroizuka faces off against Kaoru Hanayama from "Baki," a 15-year-old who became the second leader of the Hanayama Group and Japan's top street fighter, known for his bare-knuckle brawling ethos.

The second match pits Wu Lianhan, considered the most brutal man from the assassin clan Wu Clan and a fighter for Under Mount Inc. in "Kengan Ashura," against Jack Hanma from "Baki," a pit fighter from Canada who has achieved the ultimate physique through extreme doping and unconventional training.

The third match features the well-known protagonist of "Kengan Ashura," Tokita Ohma, a mysterious martial artist who utilizes the long-lost Niko Style techniques. His intense aura and sharp gaze are overwhelming. He fights not for money or power but solely for the proof of being the strongest. His opponent is the unyielding protagonist of the "Baki" series, Baki Hanma, the young Underground Arena Champion who has survived numerous deadly battles. Driven by his days of fierce fighting to surpass his father, the "strongest creature on earth," the preview reveals intense moments of recognition like "Just a little fight was enough to know, you are 'of the same kind'!" and "This guy...is incredible!"

The video also features well-known characters from "Baki," such as the Underground Arena manager Tokugawa Mitsunari (CV: Mugihito), the founder of Shinshinkai, Doppo Orochi (CV: Takayuki Sugo), and the pinnacle of Chinese martial arts, Retsu Kaioh (CV: Kenichi Ogata). From "Kengan Ashura," characters like the life-changing salaryman Kazuo Yamashita (CV: Cho), the Kengan Association Chairman Katahara Metsudo (CV: Hidekatsu Shibata), and Nogi Group secretary Kaede Akiyama (CV: Yumi Uchiyama) also make appearances. These familiar faces promise an exciting collaboration beyond their battles.

At the "AnimeJapan 2024" Netflix Special Stage in March, Suzuki remarked, "The script is incredibly interesting from both fans' perspectives. There is a timeline for both series, and great care has been taken to ensure there are no contradictions. It’s meticulously crafted to be enjoyable even as a standalone." Shimazaki added, "The collaboration between these two intense and substantial works is really exciting!" Prepare for an unprecedented shock in this unique crossover event only possible on Netflix.


■ Opening Theme: "Fly High" by Aratashii Gakko!


Atarashii Gakko!

Atarashii Gakko!


Self-proclaimed "Youth Representatives of Japan." Known for their powerful dance performances, all choreographed by the members themselves, their live shows are said to be hotter than a radish in oden. They debuted globally in 2021 under the label "88rising," which broadcasts Asian culture to the world, creating a significant buzz. Their total social media followers exceed 15 million.


■ Ending Theme: "Don’t Stay" by Lead


Lead

Lead


Lead is a dance vocal unit consisting of Shinya Taniuchi, Keita Furuya, and Akira Kagimoto. They debuted on July 31, 2002, at an average age of 14.5 years with the single "Manatsu no Magic." They won the Best New Artist award at the 44th Japan Record Awards in 2002 with their second single "Show me the way." They also won the Gold Award at the Japan Record Awards in 2004 and 2005. As of 2024, they have released a total of 35 singles and 9 original albums. In recent years, they have also been actively participating in theater and musicals alongside their music careers.