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Kinnikuman: Perfect Origin Arc

Credits

Cast

Network

Reviewer

Kennedy Unthank

TV Series Review

Very few people can stay in the ring with Suguru Kinniku.

Suguru (also known as Kinnikuman) started his life on Earth after he was accidentally left behind when his parents took off in their ship back to Planet Kinniku. But despite that rough start, living on Earth has its advantages. Just as Superman is superhuman on Earth, so too is Kinnikuman.

That’s why he was quickly identified as Chojin, the Japanese word for superhuman. Earth’s absolutely full of Chojin, actually. And while some are called Justice Chojin (who only use their powers for the sake of justice, naturally), other Chojin wouldn’t mind using their powers with nefarious intent.

To determine who is the most powerful, Chojin will often fight in rings. That’s how Kinnikuman’s managed to stop plenty of world-threatening villains, actually. Other times, he’s managed to convince them to join his own side and become Justice Chojin themselves through the power of friendship.

Most recently, Kinnikuman returned to his home planet to fight for his claim to the planet’s throne—and won. But despite his momentous victory, Kinnikuman’s still interested in spending time on Earth.

Yes, with the adoration of two planets, Kinnikuman’s journey seems to be coming to a close. He’s defeated the big baddies, claimed his rightful spot on the throne and is set to be married soon.

But it seems there’s always another threat. Because even as Kinnikuman rules over Planet Kinniku, another strong and ominous group of Chojin prepare to fight against Kinnikuman.

And given that they’re confident in their abilities even after seeing Kinnikuman become king of the planet, you can be sure they’re a sizeable threat.

Bop to the Top

Unless you’ve seen the previous shows starring Kinnikuman, Perfect Origin Arc forces you on a steep learning curve.

For fans of the original release (which spanned 1983-1986) and its 2002 follow-up, Kinnikuman’s 2024 release may very well feel like being greeted by a long-lost friend. But just as those memories and inside jokes come rushing back soon after, knowing those memories and jokes are somewhat required to get into this show.

The 2024 release does its best to bring ignorant people like me up to speed. Its zany characters recount every step of the journey they’ve taken, which helps newcomers climb the show’s daunting narrative hill. Still, with mountains of lore (and plenty of content issues) to absorb, it may still be difficult to enter the series by starting here.

As these superhuman fighters clash in the ring, we’ll see crazy moves that often result in splashes of blood (and even a couple of deaths). Other fighters dive deep into spiritual themes, with many Chojin having come from the Demon World. And if the recap episode is anything to go off of, there’s much more of that to come, too.

(Editor’s Note: Plugged In is rarely able to watch every episode of a given series for review. As such, there’s always a chance that you might see a problem that we didn’t. If you notice content that you feel should be included in our review, send us an email at [email protected], or contact us via Facebook or Instagram, and be sure to let us know the episode number, title and season so that we can check it out.)

Episode Reviews

July 8, 2024 – S1, E1: “Episode 0”

Kinnikuman and his friends recount all the adventures (and fights) they’ve endured to get to where they are.

Characters lose varying amounts of blood after they’re struck—from small nosebleeds to hemorrhaging wounds. Someone gets shot in the leg. Another man is stabbed through the head (though he survives). A corpse is shown. A boy is cut into pieces via magic, though he’s unharmed once the pieces are put back together. Men spar in a boxing ring. A kaiju (giant monster) burns down a town. Someone rips his own skin away.

We’re told that someone sold his soul to the devil to gain power, and he was later punished by Satan when he joined the Justice Chojin. We see a shadowy depiction of the devil form on the man’s chest as he is briefly possessed. A group of fighters are called the Devil Chojin (“Akuma Chojin”) and are composed of fighters who’ve committed themselves to Satan or were born in the Demon World. A man uses an attack he dubs “Hell’s Guillotine.”

Contrasting the Devil Chojin are the Perfect Chojin, who are said to be the “closest to the gods.” A duo calls themselves “Hell’s missionaries.” Someone looks like the Hindu god Vishnu. A man says he was tricked into fighting by an evil god. Kinnikuman, upon winning in a tournament, becomes accepted by many gods the Chojin people worship.

Shirtless men in tight spandex shorts fight one another. A man jokes that Kinnikuman better “get started on making a baby” once he gets married.

“B–tard,” “crap” and “h—” are used a couple times.

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kennedy-unthank
Kennedy Unthank

Kennedy Unthank studied journalism at the University of Missouri. He knew he wanted to write for a living when he won a contest for “best fantasy story” while in the 4th grade. What he didn’t know at the time, however, was that he was the only person to submit a story. Regardless, the seed was planted. Kennedy collects and plays board games in his free time, and he loves to talk about biblical apologetics. He thinks the ending of Lost “wasn’t that bad.”

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