In case anyone missed it, a new anime series based on the iconic fighting game, Tekken, will hit Netflix sometime this year. Tekken: Bloodline follows the journey of Jin Kazama, who must “learn how to control his anger rather than letting it control him,” as he embarks on a quest towards The King of Iron Fist Tournament (the location and fighting competition that the games are based on).
There isn’t much information on the specifics regarding the series — the official Netflix page for the forthcoming show is largely empty outside of a link to the trailer, but per the video description, we know that an encounter with “a monstrous evil” sets the events in motion.
Additionally, there is a reference to Heihachi Mishima, who serves as the primary villain in the Tekken video game series, as being Kazama’s grandfather. Maybe a showdown between the two at the Iron Fist Tournament is in play.
Other familiar faces — Toward the end of the trailer, we catch a brief glimpse of some of the other fighters that will be involved in the series. Aside from the aforementioned Mishima, I recognized King, a massive individual who fights wearing a jaguar mask, and Leroy Smith, a relatively new character in the Tekken universe.
While I’m normally wary of — or at least indifferent to — the release of animated video game adaptations, Bloodline holds my interest a bit because of both the animation style and the voice acting. The former is chock-full of bolded lines that remind me of darker, grittier programs like Yu Yu Hakusho and Outlaw Star, while the latter involves subdued performances, without falling into tropey distinctions (i.e. Mishima having a menacing, baritone of a drawl just because he’s the antagonist).
This year has to mark some sort of record for the amount of content Netflix is introducing that is based on video game IP. The Cuphead Show dropped in February, and there have been announcements for both a forthcoming Bioshock film and a Mega Man project (although that one has not gotten an official word from Netflix yet).
When it comes to these adaptations, give me the television series over the movie every single time.