Netflix's anime roster has been growing at an impressive pace over the last few years, whether that mean introducing new, original shows or fresh adaptations of classic manga. Kengan Ashura, which hit the streaming service on Wednesday, doesn't quite fall into either category: it's a TV take on a relatively new manga series that debuted in 2012. But while that's only a few years worth of the story, there's still plenty to draw from should Kengan Ashura return for Season 2.
Kengan Ashura's premise sets the show up for the kind of episodic storytelling that long-running anime series like One Piece, Naruto, and Dragonball Z have built empires around — albeit with a little more blood and guts. The show follows professional fighter Tokita Ohma (aka Ashura), who participates in Kengan matches — brawls in which major corporations and businesses pay fighters to settle professional disputes. The manga series it's based on only ran until 2018, though the show could certainly move past its source material should it run out of story. But if you really can't wait for more Kengan Ashura, you'll be delighted to know the original manga spawned a sequel and spinoff series — the latter of which has already been adapted for TV and is available to stream.
The sequel series, called Kengan Omega, debuted in 2019. It leaves Ashura behind and instead follows a different fighter caught up in the world of corporate-sponsored underground fighting. This suggests that should the Kengan Ashura anime bring Ashura's story to a close, it could continue on to explore the characters in Kengan Omega, if not inspire another adaptation all its own.
As far as the already-adapted Kengan Ashura spinoff, How Heavy Are Those Dumbbells You Lift?, it's currently available to stream on Funimation. However, it has a much different look, tone, and creative team than its predecessors. Whereas Kengan Ashura is a bloody, brutal display of violence, Dumbbells is a primarily comedic series centered around a group of women interested in body-building. So while the spinoff could be a great watch for those who are simply looking to see more of the original manga series' shared universe, it may not be ideal for those compelled by the rough-and-tumble CGI brawling of Kengan Ashura.
Right now, it's too early to tell if Netflix will bring Kengan Ashura back for a second season. But the fact that the show already has a rich, established universe bodes well for its future. Perhaps the service will start streaming How Heavy Are Those Dumbbells You Lift? as well, or commission their own adaptation. Maybe they'll adapt Kengan Omega and we'll even get some kind of crossover down the line? The possibilities are truly endless.
In the meantime, those looking for more can either seek out the original manga series (if you haven't read it already) or stream How Heavy Are Those Dumbbells You Lift? over on Funimation. There only appear to be five episodes currently, but hey, it's better than nothing!