‘Baki Hanma Vs. Kengan Ashura’ Ending Explained: Who Wins The Battle?


Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura is a new anime film released on Netflix that brings together the two worlds of the extremely popular fighting manga series Baki the Grappler and Kengan Ashura. The anime film is a crossover between these two manga universes, as the protagonists from each, Baki and Ashura, face each other in an epic battle as part of a new competition to find the strongest man in the world. Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura is quite typical of the style of anime films adapted from manga, and with extreme action of this particular kind, it is strictly only for fans of the series or of the genre. 

Spoiler Alert

What is the Netflix anime film about?

Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura begins on a typical day in Japan, when the protagonists of the film, Baki Hanma and Kengan Ashura, are on a run as part of their daily exercise routine. Baki Hanma, the titular protagonist of the manga series by the same name, is a skilled martial arts fighter who happens to be the son of the man considered the strongest creature on Earth. Ohma Tokita is a warrior of equal strength and caliber, and he is the hero of the manga series Kengan Ashura. The two adept fighters incidentally cross through the same location during their run at present, and they notice each other with quite some interest. Both have a feeling that they are going to fight very soon, and this is almost confirmed by a pathetic fallacy, as the ground shakes uncontrollably because of an earthquake, which signifies a grand battle that is about to come. The two men do not stop on their paths, and the earthquake does not last long either, with all the drama and action set aside for the future.

Soon, we are taken into the Underground Arena, a secret location situated under the Tokyo Dome stadium. The Underground Arena has been the spot of some deadly fights over centuries, as it was founded by the Tokugawa clan way back in the Edo period. Since then, the fighting arena has been used for numerous battles between warriors, and many times, these face-offs were conducted by company owners and rich merchants. A successor of the Tokugawa clan, Mitsunari, now runs the arena, and he is also close friends with Metsudo Katahara, the owner of another similar underground fighting ring known as the Kengan Association. 

Sometime in the recent past, Tokugawa and Katahara sat down for a friendly drink, which eventually got out of hand, and the two challenged each other with the claim that the strongest man on Earth was among their respective clans. Thus, a fierce competition is now being held at the Underground Arena, with the Kengan Association fighters being the invited visitors. The sole purpose of the competition is to determine who the strongest man on Earth is and to put all claims of superiority to the test. It is here that Baki Hanma and Ohmo Tokita are destined to face each other in an epic fight. 

What happens in the first two rounds of the competition?

The grand competition is designed to have three successive rounds, in which one man from each of the teams will fight each other in order to earn points for their clans. Since an odd number is fixed for the total number of rounds, there is no chance for a tie, and so the tournament begins amidst great anticipation. The sporting event is extremely popular, despite being an underground activity that is not even considered legal, and it is televised as well. Like many other anime of the martial arts genre, if not all, women are entirely absent from Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura, other than a nurse and a commentator, both of whom are extremely sexualized. Perhaps it is indeed better off to keep women away from a domain where muscular men with oiled-up bodies fight each other amidst flying sweat and blood, which definitely looks homoerotic from a subjective point-of-view. Every blow on the opponent’s body, and every change in the fighter’s mental state during the bout is heavily dramatized and presented in an over-the-top manner. Nonetheless, people in the world of the film watch on with gasped breath and tremendous interest, perhaps just like fans of the genre to whom the film is specifically catered.

Saw Paing Yoroizuka was the first fighter representing the Kengan Association, and he was a skilled practitioner of Burmese martial arts, called Lethwei. His opponent in the round is Kaoru Hanayama, who is a famous Japanese brawler who also works at a very senior post at the Hanayama Group of Industries. While Hanyama had been easily convinced by the prospect of the fight because he simply wanted to brawl against anyone worthy enough, Paing seems to have had a more personal reason for joining. The young man’s father was also an extremely skilled fighter who took part in many such underground fighting competitions, and so he now wants to replicate his father’s bravado. Paing has gone through such unbelievably tough training that his skull and every bone in his body are toughened to the point of not being able to break at all. However, Hanayama’s inhuman strength is too much for his body, and parts of it are left literally ripped apart at the end of the fight, when he has to be carried away from the arena. Therefore, the home team of the Underground Arena wins the first round of the battle and takes the lead in the competition.

The second round has two even tougher opponents fight, as the Underground Arena’s Jack Hammer is pitted against Raian Kure of the Kengan Association. Both of these men have intense hatred for each other as well, as they have some conflicting views about things in life. Jack Hammer is a fighter who has attained superhuman stature and strength with the help of unlimited amounts of steroids, doping, and unorthodox training methods, all of which are considered extremely unethical. To a warrior like Raian Kure, the use of such practices is something to be ashamed of, and so he does not see his opponent as a worthy competitor at all. However, Raian’s own physical attributes can be questioned because he belongs to the famous assassin family of Kure, who are known to have genetically modified their successors with the help of attributes of people from outside the family. Therefore, Raian himself is also genetically modified, meaning that he is no more natural than Hammer, and this feud takes on an intense shape in the second round of the tournament. 

A fierce battle ensues, with both fighters eventually getting rid of their human forms to present themselves in devilish appearances. The bout ultimately ended with Raian Kure being announced as the winner, although none of the fighters technically lost. This is because of the intervention of a beastly man known as Pickle, who belongs to the world of “Baki Hanma.” Pickle was originally a man from the Jurassic era who had been brought back to life by American scientists, and so his instincts are not humanly at all. Pickle has a habit of eating up his enemies, and in order to avoid such a situation, both Baki and Tokita enter the battlefield and calm the monster down. As Pickle is managed to be taken away from the place, the competition continues, with both clans having earned a point each.

What happens in the epic battle between the two fighters?

Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura finally provides the much-anticipated fight, which in fact forms the very title of the film, in the last twenty or so minutes. Both the young men are extremely powerful and talented in equal measure, and their preparation for the fight has also been quite unusual. Tokita had even already fought the same battle inside his mind as part of the preparation for the event. But Baki is also as prepared, and he does not slip up in the fight at all, with an extremely intense battle soon taking place inside the ring. However, there is ultimately no resolution to the bout because of the intervention of two very special warriors, who are also related to the protagonists.

Baki Hanma has always been on the hunt to defeat his own father Yujiro Hanma. In the manga universe, Yujiro is considered the strongest person alive. Yujiro had killed Baki’s mother, his own wife, Emi, and this was the reason behind Baki wanting to defeat his own father. Yujiro now intervenes in the middle of the fight and expresses his desire to battle against the worthy Ohma Tokita, who is the current successor of the Niko style of fighting. But before matters can get resolved, Kuroki Gensai walks into the arena to fight against Yujiro and challenge his title as the strongest man in the world. Gensai is a friend of Tokita’s father and is seemingly the strongest man in the universe of Kengan Ashura. Ultimately, the organizers of the competition, Tokugawa and Katahara, have to call an end to the bout and promise to host a fight in the future between Yujiro and Gensai.

For the moment, Baki and Tokita’s battle has to be called off as well, and both men hold their competitors in extreme high regard. They exchange promises of fighting once again, and Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura turns out to be more of a teaser for further anime films and shows to come. The competition also ended in a draw since the two clans had won each of the first two rounds, while the final round had to end in a tie. Therefore, there is no answer yet as to who the strongest man is in this shared universe, but there are way too many contenders for the position for sure. 

Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura‘s ending shows a fighter named Seishu seemingly stumbling upon a group of brawlers who all seem to be other-worldly spirits. He unites them all under a command, and it seems most likely that he will control an army of ghostly warriors in some sequel whenever it arrives. The anime film also features a comedic post-credits scene in which two of the staunch rival fighters, earlier seen denying each other entry to the washroom despite both feeling the need to relieve themselves, finally fail to hold on to their urges any longer. Despite possibly relieving themselves in their respective pants, the fighters do not give up on the stand-off and refuse to face the humiliation of being called the loser. This senseless egoism brilliantly sums up the terribly banal Baki Hanma vs. Kengan Ashura.

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Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya Sur Roy
Sourya keeps an avid interest in all sorts of films, history, sports, videogames and everything related to New Media. Holding a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies, he is currently working as a teacher of Film Studies at a private school and also remotely as a Research Assistant and Translator on a postdoctoral project at UdK Berlin.

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