With fighting games, there are the big three; Steet Fighter, Mortal Kombat, and Tekken. While the first two have had success with adaptations of their franchises, Tekken really hasn’t enjoyed that same claim. Two direct-to-video movies, an anime from the 90s, and a CGI film aren’t enough. But with Netflix’s Tekken: Bloodline series, this may be what it needs for more expansions. Before I continue, SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
(Remember this live-action movie? Very few do...cause it was bad. Like, Mortal Kombat Annihilation bad...)
The series has pretty much the same premise as Tekken 3, where we see the character Jin Kazama as the main protagonist. A young Jin and his mother Jun are training in the ways of martial arts when a mysterious creature called Ogre arrives. Searching for only the strongest of fighters, Ogre attacks the Kazama family. Sacrificing herself to save Jin, Jun dies at Ogre’s hands. Swearing revenge, Jin reaches out to his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima, and learns Mishima-Style karate. Heihachi, however, has other plans, as he wants to use Ogre’s powers. Learning of Ogre’s desire for powerful warriors, Heihachi creates the King of Iron Fist Tournament to lure him out while exploiting Jin’s latent potential.
So, I didn’t expect this amine to blow my mind, but upon watching it, you can really tell that the animators and writers did their homework, giving us the full Tekken experience, the fight scenes, complete with combos straight from the games (splash effects and all), fan-favorite characters making their appearance, and music all heighten the story we all know. While I was pleased to see characters like Paul Pheonix and Hworang, others like Leroy Smith, Nina Williams, Feng Wei, and others felt like glorified cameos. However, I did appreciate the duality of Jin and his internal struggle. Struggling with combining Jun’s and Heihachi’s teachings, Jin learns to combine the hard style of his grandfather with his mother’s soft style. Also, upon learning that Jin has something called the “Devil Gene” (the same genetic code his father, Kazuya, shares.), Heihachi plans on using Jin to achieve his own goals.
The episodes are short enough to avoid being bored, with plenty of action to keep viewers’ attention. The soundtrack is also banging, although I was hoping for some variations of the Tekken 3 OST, considering the series’ premise is based on the game. Overall, if you’re a Tekken fan, you won’t be disappointed. Or, maybe you will, if your favorite character loses or isn’t even present. I give Tekken: Bloodline a 7.5 out of 10. Tell me your thoughts in the comment section, and till next time fellow blerds!