Netflix has been dropping a lot more hits than misses when it comes to anime lately and speaking of hits and misses. Their most recent release, Levius, is definitely a Boxing anime that hits its mark. With a killer soundtrack and well-choreographed and animated fight scenes, if you’re a fan of Hajime no Ippo or Megalobox, this show should definitely be on your radar.
The show takes place in a fictional steampunk version of the 19th century. it is a fictional version of what I assume is Europe, because the countries have fake names but the map clearly shows Italy when looked at. In a similar vein to Megalobox, people in Levius have attachments that they box with instead of just their normal arms. The twist in Levius is that boxers amputate their arms, in order to receive more powerful prosthetics.
Levius himself is a young and up and coming boxer, who lost one of his arms when his home town was attacked during a war early in his life. This war left Levius without a father and with his mother in a coma. Levius, now being trained by his uncle and living with his paternal grandmother, boxes in order to find what he is missing in life and pay for his mother’s medication. Levius is also one of the last boxers to still have his normal arm, only losing one.
The world of Levius is a steampunk fans dream, with a victorian era aesthetic, that somehow still manages to have some more advanced technology, despite the time. Obviously steam plays a huge role in the series, being the way that Metal boxers control their prosthetics. The world also has some cool steam tech, like automated mechs and automatons.
The action in Levius is crisp and hard-hitting, you can really feel the impact of the punches. As a boxer, I really appreciate the detail that goes into the moves the characters use. The techniques and strategies they use are for the most part accurate, but obviously they make up some moves because it is an anime after all. another thing that makes the fights cool is the use of steam, as the matches continue and fighters use strong moves and get hit, steam comes out of their armour, creating a nice visual effect.
The animation style is, like most other Netflix anime, heavy on 3D animation, with this show completely relying on it. I’ve stated before how this doesn’t bother me and while the animation is good, it’s really bad in comparison to the art in the manga, which is amazing
I really wish that the animation team tried a bit more to get the style that the artist of the manga has, which I know would be hard as every manga panel looks like a renaissance painting. I t’s just a little generic the animation in the show, not bad, but not stand out either.
The characters are pretty hit or miss in the show and it suffers from what I like to call tournament anime characterization syndrome. This is where the main character is overshadowed by characters he beats, who have more interesting motivation. This appears in the show, as while Levius is a cool character, he tends to be very mild-mannered, even when angry and has pretty average motivations for an anime character.
My favourite character is Zac Cromwell, Levius’ uncle and trainer. Maybe it’s just my weakness for somewhat dimwitted characters who are just trying their best, but I just find him the best. He also has the best jokes and interactions with most characters. One character that has a ton of personality is Natalia, it’s too bad that she’s kind of annoying. She is a former opponent of Levius because men and women box each other in this world, who was undefeated until she lost to Levius. She then forcibly moves into Levius’ gym and becomes his training partner. She’s the generic tsundere who is sassy and insults everyone around her and that’s something that I’ve never really liked in characters.
Overall this is a great addition to Netflix’s anime line up. With solid action, good Voice work by everyone involved and a world I can’t wait to learn more about, you’re a sucker if you don’t give this one a try.