‘Kinnikuman: Perfect Origin Arc’ Episode 0 Recap: Who Are the New Adversaries of Kinnikuman and Co.?

The name Kinnikuman might sound unfamiliar at first to even the most devoted anime fans, a lot of whom have already enjoyed the animated adaptation of the legacy series in the form of its more popular American version, Ultimate Muscle. This fun, fighting-oriented manga series created by mangaka duo Yudetamago was quite unknowingly one of the most influential shounen mangas in history. For better or worse, it pioneered a number of tropes that were later followed by the Dragon Ball franchise and a host of other popular shounen animes. The series’ recent relegation to obscurity doesn’t do justice to the fact that Kinnikuman used to be an extremely popular manga and anime series back in the day, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original anime series, the sequel series Kinnikuman Perfect Origin Arc has been considered for a new anime adaptation. Episode zero of the new series does a decent job of familiarizing the new generation of viewers with the legacy of the titular character and the world-building, as a friendly sparring session leads to Kinnikuman and co. reminiscing about the good old days. 

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Spoilers Ahead


An Introduction to Kinnikuman and Chojins

Kinnikuman combines traits of the pro wrestling and superhero literary genres and combines them in such a way that it turns into an exaggerated parody of both of them. The titular protagonist, Kinnikuman, aka Suguru Kinniku, is a dumb goofball who learns about his heritage as a decorated prince of planet Kinniku, which is famous for its legacy of producing superheroic wrestlers. In order to take his rightful place as the king of Kinniku, Suguru needs to prove his worth by participating in wrestling matches with legendary heroes known as Chojins. In the universe of Kinnikuman,  Chojins are superhumanly strong or abled individuals who possess unique abilities, either from birth or by gaining them through extraordinary means. As Suguru proves himself by unlocking his potential, he comes across a myriad of friends and foes, all with their own personal motivations and journeys. Many of Suguru’s adversaries eventually join his side, and along with Suguru’s allies, they form Idol Chojin, a group of champions dedicated to upholding justice. 

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The Vibrant Adventures of Justice Chojin 

Coming back to episode zero of Kinnikuman Perfect Origin Arc, we see Suguru and his best buddy Terryman undergoing a sparring session, as they remember how back in the days, Terryman used to be an arrogant brat, and Suguru helped him to change his ways by showing through example that heroism should be selfless. Other members of Idol Chojin (a close group of Justice Chojin), namely Robin Mask, Warsman, Buffaloman, Ramenman, Brocken Jr., Wolfman, and Geronimo, are also present at Kinnikuman House in Tokyo, where the sparring session is taking place, and one by one, they reminisce about their shared history with Kinnikuman. 

During his initial days as a prominent wrestler, Kinnikuman faced Ramenman in the Chojin World Cup and emerged victorious, while intervening in an assassination attempt on Kinnikuman resulted in Terryman losing one of his legs. In the finals, Kinnikuman had defeated the fierce, flamboyant Robin Mask, who decided to seek revenge by unleashing his protégé Warsman in the next Chojin Olympics event. The fearsome brainwashed Russian wrestler put Ramenman into a coma  and almost killed Kinnikuman as well—until the champion of Kinniku was inspired by the heroic sacrifice of Ramenman to turn the battle in his favor and defeat Warsman as well. Kinnikuman’s nobility, humility, and genuine attempt to connect with them as human beings turned all his adversaries into allies. 

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Next up, Kinnikuman and his friends faced the threat of Akuma Chojin, a group of dreaded spacefaring Chojins who dedicated their lives to Satan, of which Buffaloman was a former leader as well. Kinnikuman and co. ran a gauntlet of Akuma Chojins, the Six Knights controlling them, and finally the legendary Akuma Shogun, aka Goldman, the wearer of the Gold Mask of Strife, which is one of the sources of powers for legendary Chojins across the universe. Akuma Chojins had taken apart Kinnikuman’s accomplice and trainer, Meat Alexandria, aka Meat Kun, and after defeating them, Kinnikuman was able to bring his dear friend back to normalcy. 


Who Are the New Adversaries of Kinnikuman and Co.?

Kinnikuman and Terryman had formed a long-standing tag-team wrestling team, the Machineguns, which received considerable success in tag team championships, and they eventually faced the threat of the godlike Perfect Chojin duo, hell emissaries Neptuneman and Big the Budo. Neptuneman planned to defeat the Chojin defenders of the planet and take over the earth by summoning other, even stronger Perfect Chojins, but their plans were thwarted by the brilliant partnership of Kinnikuman and Terryman. 

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Finally, Kinnikuman faced his greatest trial during the battle for Kinniku’s royal throne, where he had to battle five other imposters to prove his worth. One of them, Kinnikuman Soldier, even turned out to be Suguru’s own elder brother. In the final event, Suguru faced Super Phoenix in the battle of a lifetime, and after defeating him using exceptional holds and moves, Suguru was acknowledged as the deserving champion by the Chojin gods. Instead of fulfilling his royal duties and preparing for his upcoming marriage with Bibimba, Suguru is now sparring and chatting, which is quite expected of him, as mentioned by his friends. While trading blows, Terryman congratulates his best friend on his upcoming marriage, and the episode comes to a close. 

However, in the post-credits sequence, a bunch of superpowered, cosmic Chojins are seen looking over earth from space, and presumably their leader in a grill face mask (like Big the Budo) seems to have some nefarious plans for the planet. These beings are the empowered Perfect Chojins, and their leader, whom manga fans might recognize, is simply known as the Man. The sequel series, Kinnikuman Perfect Origin Arc, will focus on these extremely powerful Chojins as they put the defenders of earth through their toughest battles yet in the upcoming episodes. 


Siddhartha Das
Siddhartha Das
An avid fan and voracious reader of comic book literature, Siddhartha thinks the ideals accentuated in the superhero genre should be taken as lessons in real life also. A sucker for everything horror and different art styles, Siddhartha likes to spend his time reading subjects. He's always eager to learn more about world fauna, history, geography, crime fiction, sports, and cultures. He also wishes to abolish human egocentrism, which can make the world a better place.

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