Sadly, Kawada’s rad MMA manga Martial Master Asumi is no more. With one final chapter launched today, it left us with that all-too-familiar loose ending: not enough time to pull together every thread, just enough time to satisfy the key motivation. And while we loved what we got, we’ll miss what we’ll never see. And we’re still hungry for more.
If you are, too, try tuning into these fighting-centric anime. From sci-fi action to another title in the same universe, these will help will the Martial Master Asumi void.
Based on a manga also by Kawada, Hinomaru Sumo ran for 28 mighty volumes and even got an anime adaptation. The story follows Hinomaru Ushio, a former young sumo champ who stepped away to the sport due to his small size. But in high school, he’s using his build to his advantage, fighting with a technique that makes use of his lower center of gravity.
This is an obvious one to go to since the two works share a creator. However, they also share a universe! The masked Chihiro Kunisaki of Hinomaru Sumo departs for the U.S. at one point and returns as an MMA champ and single father. And you’ll catch him—older now in Martial Master Asumi—alongside his daughter Okome!
If your only exposure to the Baki anime is seeing President Obama getting terrorized by Yuujirou Hanma… well, you’re not alone. Between its art style and its unhinged madness, Keisuke Itagaki’s Baki the Grappler has something of a reputation in its many forms. But don’t be deceived—it actually is super weird. And, while it does follow fighters like Martial Master Asumi does, it notably has a no-rules approach to fighting.
There’s lots of Baki out there with the latest anime adaptation being Baki Hanma. This arc sees our title hero taking on even stronger foes, training with the same goal in mind: defeating his father. There are fully five Baki anime projects, though, so you’re in no danger of running out of things to watch anytime soon.
Metal Fighter Miku
One of our favorite things about Martial Master Asumi was the presence of, and focus on, women in fighting. Some of the manga’s coolest rivalries kicked off when the ladies stepped into the ring. If you’re craving more of that, give 1994’s Metal Fighter Miku a try. Though be warned: it’s a tough one to find right now.
Directed by Akiyuki Simbo (who also worked on Sayonara, Zetsubou Sensei and lots of the Monogatari series), Metal Fighter Miku takes place in the year 2061 and follows a league of pretty, power-suited wrestlers. As the Pretty Four climb the ranks of Neo-Pro Wrestling, they also moonlight as pop idols. (So, you know, that whole mentality is several decades old in anime.) If you can get hold of a copy, it’s a fun watch, coming in at 13 episodes.
Need a new manga? Here’s why you should start reading Astro Baby!