Anime is the perfect medium for martial arts! Seeing the fluid animation of fights, hearing the sounds of punches landing, and listening to drama between the fighters can lead to exciting moments. However, there are some great martial arts manga that never made the jump to anime, largely due to their brutality.
Here are some brutal martial arts manga that will never get an anime adaptation. Regardless, they are perfect to compliment your weekend. So, do give them a read.
1. Sun-Ken Rock
Ken Kitano is a high school delinquent who leaves Japan in pursuit of his love, Yumin Yoshizawa. He follows her to Korea and discovers that she has become a police officer. While trying to make a meager living in order to become a cop, Ken saves the life of an elderly man who is being harassed by loan sharks. This violent act of kindness attracts the attention of a local gang and they blackmail Ken into joining them.
Yuu Kamishiro has been bullied since middle school. The harassment gets so severe that Yuu stops showing up to school and trains to fight. He now wanders the streets, finding peace in fighting. Yuu’s skills attract the attention of many different martial artists and street fighters.
3. All Rounder Meguru
Meguru Takayanagi and Takashi Yamabuki are old childhood friends who are reunited as they both enter the world of amateur mixed martial arts. While they share an interest in the sport, they have different reasons for training. Meguru just wants to have fun and make new friends, while Takashi wants to go pro and escape his dark past.
Ryo Narushima was a talented student who was about to enter the prestigious Tokyo University. Before setting a path towards success, Ryo murdered his parents and was sent to a reformatory. Instead of being rehabilitated, he was gang raped and took up karate for self-defense. Now a free man, Ryo uses his martial arts skills to participate in deathmatches and to commit heinous crimes.
5. Kengan Ashura
Yamashita Kazuo is an underachieving salesman with a failing family life. One night, while wandering the night streets, he meets a street fighter named Tokita Ohma. After this fateful meeting, Yamashita’s boss notifies him that he will be Tokita’s manager during a series of Kengan Matches – which are unarmed fights that are used to settle disputes on the behalf of wealthy business owners and merchants.
During the Edo Period, the region of Unbara became infamous being home to countless warriors. Naosata Washitzu is Daimyo of the region and he is looking for a successor. He calls upon his 31 sons to summon a warrior to represent them in a tournament. The warrior who wins will be crowned as the best fighter of Unbara, and the son they represent will become the new Daimyo.
Bunshichi Tanba enjoys challenging fighters from various dojos and defeating them. One day, he stumbles upon an underground wrestling club and challenges one of the students. After a humiliating defeat, Bunshichi disappears for three years and trains intensely so that he may never lose another match.
Riku Azami has lived a life of pain and suffering. Following the death of his father, Riku meets a former-boxer-turned-Yakuza who teaches Riku how to punch. This skill saved his life when he had to defend himself from his mother’s drug dealer, but the punch resulted in death. Now marked by criminals seeking revenge, Riku searches for the Yakuza member so that he may better defend himself.
9. Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru
Kohinata Minoru attends a college that is famous for their sports programs. Initially enrolled to become a gymnast, Kohinata finds himself being bullied by higher ranking members. However, karate student named Mutuo Ryuuji steps in to protect Kohinata and to drag him into the world of karate.
What martial arts manga do you think is too brutal for anime?
Martial arts manga with strong male lead
Additionally, if you are looking for martial arts manga with strong male lead, this list is perfect. As most of the MC are male, and are brutal af.
Manga Like God of Martial Arts
All in all, I’ve also been getting queries asking for manga like god of martial arts. The first six of them are manga like god of martial arts. The manga has become a reference point when it comes to martial arts manga.
Which among these is your manga? Do let me know about it via the comments.