Genre: Martial Arts
Parental Guidance Recommended
1995. Hideaki Tonokatsu (director). Tokyo Movie Shinsha. TV Tokyo.
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Akira of the Hakkyoku-Ken - The series starts off in New Los Angeles' Chinatown. While a young man stuffs his face in a small Chinese restaurant, a young woman bursts in, chased by several tough-looking guys in black. The girl fights her way through some of the guys and gets away, but soon after is captured. The restaurant owner asks the hungry man(who totally ignored the fight while it was going on) to rescue the girl from a local gang of criminals called the KoenKan. The man agrees on one condition: he can eat as much as he wants for free at the restaurant after. The owner agrees and the man leaves. During this, the girl is brought before the gang's leader, Yang, and told that she is going to be sent back to Hong Kong to her anxious fianc· She tells Yang off and is taken to a cell to wait. Shortly after, this is where Akira(the guy from the restaurant) finds her. After he gets her out of the cell, she tells him to go away because she can do the rest herself. They both race outside, disposing of several thugs on the way. When they get outside, Yang is waiting for them...
It's supposed to be a fighting anime, isn't it? >>> by firesenshi
But I was laughing. Akira is unlike Ryu of Street Fighter. He's not silent nor very serious. He is a glutton -- and look, I don't mean that to sound very mean, but that's just the noun for it, which only means he eats a lot, of course. The goofiness ends there because Akira packs a mean touch using a technique called Hakkyoku ken. The part of him being a glutton, where in one episode, he devoured so much food in an eating contest and still asking for more, is probably an effort in adding spice to his character. Don't get me wrong, it works.
There's still Pai Chan who wishes to escape an arranged marriage and is constantly fighting with Akira. There's comedy involved here and I did laugh at those parts but isn't this supposed to be an anime based on SEGA's fighting game? I laughed but I wasn't impressed as much with the fight scenes. Sure there are kicks and punches unique to each character because they have varying techniques but to me, they all look too easily executed.
There's a narrator who explains the character's techniques in a simple slow re-enactment but that isn't what I want to see. For example, they explained Jacky Bryant's Jeet Kune Do, a kind of martial art, at which I start yawning. I've heard about Jeet Kune Do many times since I've been practicing martial arts before. But to those who don't know, would you really listen to a cut in the episode where the narrator explains the details as though a documentary entered the scene? For fighting anime, I wasn't really expecting much of the story since creators were meant to focus on the martial arts. But then, this one does have a clear storyline that continues each episode. That's why people who like this fighting anime consider that as a strength. I however, can't help but compare Akira to Ryu, Pai to Chun Li -- or it's probably just the appearances or country of origin. I enjoyed this one though. I just think Street Fighter is better. Or why not just get the game? That one has better reviews.
Individual Rating: Art/Animation 5; Story 6; Characters 7; Sounds 7