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Review: The Seis Manos Anime Is Netflix’s Homage to 70’s Kung Fu Movies

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BY April 28, 2020
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Netflix’s latest original is the Seis Manos anime; a series steeped in the vintage Kung Fu movies of decades past. And it’s insanely good.

Most Netflix anime have been adaptations or sequels of existing franchises or brand new series in a similar genre. The Seis Manos anime, on the other hand, is a wholly original creation. One that sees throwbacks to a classic genre, along with others blended for good measure. And the fusion works incredibly well.

An Anime Series That Is A Beautiful Blend Of Genre Classics

Seis Manos is an anime that is very much like a 70’s classic martial arts movie. Three Mexican orphans raised by a Kung Fu master, find themselves in the crossfire of warring drug cartels using a mystical super serum. Yep. You heard that right. It’s witches, magic, martial arts, and a smooth-talking sassy Black cop completely our of his element.

The Story Of Seis Manos Is Emotional And Action-Packed

When a mysterious creature brutally kills their adopted father and master, these three Mexican youth embark on a journey of revenge and justice. Along the way, they discover more about their master, his past and themselves than they could have ever imagined.

Seis Manos Poster from Netflix Image via Netflix

During their road to discover their adoptive-father’s killer, they stumble upon the secrets of their small Mexican town. A secret drug cartel who are good guys, an insane murderer dabbling with mystic dark arts, as well as an unknown supernatural threat that no one sees coming. It’s all these elements of Seis Manos that make the anime one of the best I’ve seen in years.

Seis Manos Is A Throw Back To The ’70s

There is utter brilliance in the Seis Manos anime series, as it truly blends the essence of those various genres. The martial arts is excellent. The series homages the Kung-Fu genre that saw the rise of cinematic icons like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Sonny Chiba.

The callbacks to that era of storytelling is evident from the first scene of Seis Manos. There are moments of the show where the cinematographic quality will degrade ever so subtly. And you can visibly see the screen flickering, something that used to happen as film strip ran through a projector in those days.

Keeping in mind that Seis Manos is an anime, this attention to detail shows such extreme dedication by the makers. Doing so completely steeps the show in that era and you almost forget it’s a show made in 2019.

The Creators Of The Fusion Anime

Co-Creator and Producer Brad Graeber has credits to his name like Netflix’s own Castlevania. Not to mention being the CEO and CCO of the Powerhouse Animation Studios that was responsible for that anime. As well as the upcoming Kevin Smith produced He-Man sequel. He brings his animation expertise to this series and it shows.

Seis Manos Anime from Netflix. Image via Netflix

Co-Creator of Seis Manos, Alvaro Rodriguez, is responsible for writing Machete and has had various credits throughout his career. Having written for Chicago Fire and From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Rodriguez’s writing of the series is impeccable. The blend of humour, action and emotional depth of the show is astounding.

The Voice Talent Of Seis Manos

While it may seem like the voice cast of Seis Manos would be a bunch of unknowns, I’m so glad to say that that’s not the case. The show features the recognizable voices of Mike Colter (Luke Cage, Evil) as Brister, the fish out of water DEA agent in Mexico. It’s through Brister that the show brings in elements of the Blaxploitation genre into this as well.

The big bad of Season 1 of Seis Manos anime is none other than Machete himself, Danny Trejo. The character of El Balde looking as imposing as Trejo himself, the role is an amazing one for the already multi-talented actor.

You Need To Watch Seis Manos Now

Seis Manos is a one of a kind gem. It’s an Anime series which usually feature Japanese or Asian characters. How they makers incorporated Latinx characters into this kind of a story is all kinds of brilliant. It’s a show with incredible martial arts action. The creative minds combine Eastern philosophies, meditation and Kung-Fu with Mexican supernatural mysticism and myth. It’s a story that is wholly relatable, deeply emotional and a pacing that never lets up.

It’s impressive in its scope and range, and it’s a story that has legs for multiple seasons, without ever feeling dragged out.

Seis Manos is now streaming on Netflix.

What did you think of Seis Manos’ genre throwbacks? Let us know in the comments below.

Anime NewsanimeDanny TrejoMike ColterNetflixOriginal SeriesPowerhouse AnimationSeis Manos

Shah Shahid is an entertainment writer, movie critic (so he thinks), host of the Split Screen Podcast (on Apple Podcasts & everywhere else) and filmy father on a mission to educate his girls on decades of film history. Armed with uncontrollable sarcasm and cautious optimism, Shah loves discussing film, television and comic book content until his wife’s eyes glaze over. So save her by engaging him on his own blog at BlankPageBeatdown.com or on Twitter @theshahshahid.

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