Film Review: Baki Hanma x Kengan Ashura Crossover


Baki Hanma x Kengan Ashura has been hyped a lot ever since Netflix announced the crossover special is underway. Fans of both sides wanted some questions answered if two martial arts anime universes ever come face to face.

The Plot of the Crossover:

The head of the Kengan Association and the head of the Underground Arena had a few drinks and decided they'll have match between their fighters under the Tokyo Dome. This sets up the plot of the crossover as a friendly match among representatives for each organization.

Since it's a crossover, instead of using isekai as a seal for the plot hole why these organizations weren't mentioned in their respective franchise, it was was explained that the Tokugawa clan from the same Edo period created both organizations.

It's patch to make it canon that both shows exists under the same universe but there are still plot holes like why does one show not acknowledge the other show's "strongest man in the world" title? At this point, the right approach to enjoy the film is suspend disbelief and just enjoy the treat (fully explained at the bad side section of this post).

![SPOILER The Good]
The film managed to squeeze in the unique notable features that make each character standout on their respective franchise even with a short amount of screen time. This show was meant for the fans of both sides. While it is possible to watch the film without knowing anything about Baki or Kengan, or just knowing one of them, some of the references unique to one franchise would have been missed.
There were plenty of references used and you'd only catch majority them if you've seen both shows. The film answers what would it look like when this signature move was used against this or what if this character fights this other guy.

![SPOILER The Bad]
The film received a lot of negative attention from both respective fandoms because of the power scaling issue. Baki universe has absurd amounts of powerful characters capable of doing one shots on Kengan characters, in terms of power scale. Kengan Ashura had its own absurd power system but not to the point where there's one character that can punch the ground and stop an earthquake or have X-ray vision capable of surpassing state of the art medical technology (I'm talking about Yujiro from Baki).
It just screams my favorite character is stronger than yours when the film was meant to be entertainment appealing to both sides. They had to downgrade power system for Baki and up a few points for Kengan Ashura to meet each other on even ground. Good crossover films done right are supposed to display the best qualities of both franchises without disrespecting or making one side look bad.
Crossovers and parodies are tricky to do in Japan because of fierce corporate intellectual right protections. There's a ton of legal implications to consider that most companies wouldn't go through the trouble of doing crossover specials even if these intellectual properties are owned by the same parent company.

The Animation:

2D animation was used which something Baki shows tend to lean on as opposed to Kengan Ashura using CGI models for their fights. My own bias is in favor of 3D CGI because the movements look more fluid than stop motion 2D but good fight animations are done with a combination of 2D and 3D (like what you see from Demon's Slayer). There are people who like 3D in anime, there are those that don't.


If you enjoy both shows, it's a nice crossover film provided you're not obsessed with power scaling and animation stylization. It gave fans a reasonable amount of fan service while respecting both franchises which is how crossover films are supposed to be done. The film ended with a cliffhanger hinting for a future sequel which is something I'd be looking forward to.

Thanks for your time.


When you watch crossovers, you have to do it without brain. In every media, most of crossovers are just like that. Not only in that case.

I've read your review (roughly, I didn't want to give any spoilers, but I don't think there should be anything, it's just a slap in the face), I can see that I'll get what I expected from the trailers. Thanks, have a nice day.


When you watch crossovers, you have to do it without brain. In every media, most of crossovers are just like that.

It's just made for fanservice and I'm not complaining~
The number of upset reactions over this film on YT and comments are just meh.


+1. That's why I try very hard to curb my inner, malicious troll and not respond to such comments. 95% of the time it's just a waste of time.


I'm not a fan of animes but you introduced something interesting. This might be a must to watch.


Probably not, the film is for already existing fans and watching it without being familiar with any of the two shows would be confusing.


These two shows are shows I've been postponing and procrastinating on watching.
Regardless they are on my list, and this movie is too...

Eventually, I'll get to it😂😂


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I haven't seen either of these two shows yet, but the movie looks interesting, it would be a matter of watching it and drawing one's own conclusions.


I don't agree so much that Baki's characters suffered a downgrade in this short movie, on the contrary, I think that for example, Baki is very powerful and that made the fight worse than it was.

The animation is bad, the fights are bad and the fanservice is right, but the rest was bad, it overshadowed everything possibly good about the film.


By downgrade I meant power nerf to accommodate the other IP and then meeting each other on equal grounds. It didn't live up to expectations but it was a reasonable outcome given how much production limitations had to consider.


I don't agree so much that Baki's characters suffered a downgrade in this short movie, on the contrary, I think that for example, Baki is very powerful and that made the fight worse than it was.

It's true that I haven't seen this movie yet, but Adamada is right. Yes, the representatives of both anime are inhumanly strong, as if it were some DBZ or HxH (because it does not fit the Bleach / Naruto setting), but the characters from Baki are clearly stronger. This can be seen after the fight with Pickle, the heroes of Kengan Ashura would not be able to hurt him like that. I'm leaving out Gaolang, Fang, or that old man with the Killing Spear.


I misspoke in my comment, what I meant to say was that despite the downgrade of the two protagonists, Baki remained stronger than his rival.
I think they could have taken the liberty in this movie and made the fights better, whether they use all their power or not.


What a coincidence, I just find this review when I'm about to upload one of this movie too xd
I agree 100% that they had to adjust the power scales quite a bit in order to make the fights interesting. I think both fandom know that Baki characters are generally stronger than in Kengan Ashura.
Good review, cheers n.n