Levius Review

Levius is one of those series that I certainly hadn’t heard of before watching but it was quite the solid show. I’m always up for a good boxing title as it goes without saying that it would have a lot of action thrown into the mix. This one has a solid story to back it up as well and the last fight was quite a bit longer than I expected and that’s a good thing. It was quite climactic and usually you don’t see something like that outside of Shonen Jump so that was pretty cool. All in all it’s a great show with solid pacing and you should have a good time all the way through.

The show starts off by showing a city being reduced to rubble and machines kidnap a bunch of people in the area. In particular one girl was calling for help but Levius was too young and didn’t have the power to save her. This haunts him to the present where he is now a boxer. His destroyed arm was replaced with a metal one but he has decided to keep the other one. It puts him at a disadvantage against fighters who use two metal arms but it has sentimental value to him. He aims to gradually become the world’s greatest boxer but his coach Zacks suspects there is more to his dream than that. One day that girl appears again and Levius is determined to save her this time around. Will his strength in boxing be enough?

Now the show does have a plot outside of the boxing stuff but I would say boxing is absolutely still the main focus and as it should be since that’s likely why you’re here in the first place. The world building is more used to help set up Levius’ big reunion with the girl A.J. (Will just keep as AJ for easier typing) It does open up the possibility for a lot of interesting plots in the future but at the same time Levius is just a boxer. He’s not a CIA agent or anything so odds are that he won’t actually be getting mixed up in any of that. Unless a potential season 2 took a really big shift in story the global issues would be a different character’s concern. It’s actually an interesting angle as you assume there are a lot of big battles going on in the outside but we just don’t see them. Picture an end of the world event going on in Transformers but instead we’re following some big races.

The closest this ties in is the fact that AJ’s suit and mech is created by the guy in charge of the evil machine company. His name is Clown which is kind of fun. That’s his last name but it’s still his name. Imagine walking around and when someone calls you a clown you don’t know if it’s an insult or your name? I thought this guy made for an interesting villain but at the same time he wasn’t quite as good as he could have been. What I mean by that is he gives off the aura of being a great fighter and has a lot of mystery to him but in the end he goes out like a chump. It’s going to take some more time for him to build up his hype again. I still feel like he should be able to fight very well and must be powerful but we have yet to see any real proof of this.

Now the cast here is pretty small but that works well enough since the show is so short. It’s only 12 episodes after all so this lets them really dive into the characters. First up is Levius and he’s a solid hero. He’s the kind of guy who will jump in to protect someone even if it could cost him the match. His best moment was definitely when he went into the ring to save Hugo when his opponent was going too far. Levius was also making sure that any plan the heroes went with would be one where AJ was saved since he wasn’t going to resort to murder. He’s a very stand up guy and a determined lead to boot. He went through various fights without having any leads towards his true goal without ever losing hope. He’s also a nice guy too and when he has to let someone down he does it gently.

There’s really nothing to dislike about the guy. He’s a very well rounded main character. Then you have his uncle/coach Zacks who is also solid. Zacks used to be a fighter himself so he makes for a good coach. He knows what it’s like in the ring and always does his best to give good advice. It can be frustrating being the coach because sometimes the boxer just won’t listen to you even when you’re right but he still tries hard. Zacks has a big moment near the very end of the series which definitely helped to make him stand out. He actually contributed in a very direct way which made him stand out.

The mechanic Bill was also good even if he started to crack a bit towards the end. The pressure was nearly too much for him and so his emotionless façade broke down. Ultimately very few characters can truly be emotionless to the very end. Often times they will end up overflowing when the going gets tough which is always the tough part about internalizing. Bill was very good at his job though and even if he couldn’t get it done in the end, he came close and still gave Levius a whole lot of help.

Then you have Natalia who is a fun rival but her power level is a bit lower than I would have liked. The whole show I was expecting her to get some kind of a big win considering just how confident she is. Unfortunately it turns out that she is a bit delusional and can’t compete with Levius. Now she is still a good fighter as she was climbing up the ranks quickly but he defeated her early on and she just never improved from there. She has some more street smarts than he does and comes in handy for training but I would have liked a big moment for her that involved combat. Natalia is a lot of fun but she ultimately seems to be all bark and no bite.

After that you have the other 3 boxers who had a big role. First up is Malcolm and he’s known as a very dirty fighter who will do whatever it takes to win. The guy also murders all of his opponents. No that’s not a figure of speech, he literally makes sure to attack hard enough to always destroy his opponent to the point where that’s his reputation. Yes this is a futuristic form of boxing where everyone has on mecha armaments but even so he doesn’t have to do that. Malcolm is proud of himself for murdering everyone though and that’s why it’s hard to forget this later on when the show tries to paint on more of a sympathetic edge to the guy. I’m just not buying it, you don’t go from being a mass murderer to then forgetting about it. That’s not how this works.

The show sort of glosses this over a bit I’d say. He does end up donating to charities later on but it’s just a bit late for that. He makes for a good villain but it’s hard to see him as anything more than that. A hero or an anti-hero? I don’t think it’s quite deserved yet. He was certainly an impressive boxer though so nobody can really doubt his abilities in the ring. Those were definitely for real.

Then we have Hugo who was my favorite character in the series. The guy is just a very straight laced boxer who goes in and tries to take his opponents down by force. There are no tricks or gimmicks here, the guy just fights very logically and with a lot of force. He puts up a tremendous fight against AJ and really never wanted to give up. It was super impressive so while the guy may not have appeared a whole ton, he left a good impression. This is the kind of guy that you want to have on your side.

Finally we have AJ herself. She has the coolest mech suit in the series to be sure. It just looks really impressive and since she has the best tech developers behind her, her equipment is the most efficient as well. Her own natural fighting moves are really good too. Without the enhancements I don’t see her taking on Hugo or Levius but with them she’s basically unstoppable. I would even say they probably made her a bit too strong because you really don’t see Levius holding his own here. AJ was just too powerful with each hit dealing massive damage.

Throw in the speed as well and Levius was outmatched. I sort of buy into the whole taking advantage of her rage and making her sloppy at different points in the fight but lasting long enough to pull that off is where I have my doubts. Still a great fight though and the perfect way to end off the series. It was everything the show had built it up to be and it would be difficult for any sequel fight to top this one. Especially since it was basically 3 episodes long.

As for the animation, it is CGI so it’s not quite going to hold its own against the big hand drawn titles but I thought it looked well enough. They did a good job with the fights and the character models are on point. It definitely beats some other CG titles that I’ve seen in the past. Then with the soundtrack it’s good but not super memorable. I thought there were some decent action tunes mixed in there and the theme song was decent but on this aspect it’s a little more forgettable.

The show always does a good job of nailing the build up to the fights. I like the way the arena looks and you feel that excited crowd atmosphere for every fight. We get good cliffhangers during the episodes and the pacing is on point. The dialogue/writing are good as well and so the show can hold its own even when the action scenes aren’t happening. It even takes some time for more emotional type moments with the characters as they want Levius to abandon the fight several times when his opponent seems too powerful.

Ultimately Levius doesn’t waver which is why once again he is such a great character. No matter who is trying to get him to quit the guy just won’t listen. Above all else he has his own moral compass and knows what he needs to do in order to win. The show also doesn’t waste much time on the past. We get quick flashbacks for Natalia, Bill, and Zacks but it’s always very quick since they know we’re more interested in what’s going on in the present. Everything else can really just wait until another time.

If I have just one minor issue here it would be that the third last episode overdid it with the flashbacks a bit. It felt like half the episode was the characters remembering things and considering how short the show is, I don’t think almost any of them were necessary. You could have one or two quick ones if you want for narrative reasons but that episode was spamming them. I figure maybe they wanted a very specific episode ending cliffhanger and so this was for the pacing but it felt a little bit forced.

On one more positive note, I like how in detail they went on the actual boxing training. We got to see them practice the moves that Levius would be using in the actual matches. Each time it felt like there was actual coaching and adjustments happening which was nice. It’s not overdone or anything, it just helps add extra context and detail to the fights. I thought it worked out really well all around. The spin punch for example was a really fun technique and I also liked the side step technique Levius learned later on. The blur effect and the squeaky sound effect was satisfying. Moreover it felt like a technique that really could be effective with some practice and not something the show just made up on the fly.

In the end, if I was in this future there is no way I’d ever want to be a boxer though. It feels like you are constantly at risk of dying there and your opponent will get off completely free each time since it’s still just within the rules. One realistic element they included here is about bribing the association though. One boxer lands a hit on the referee but because of her group’s pull there are no penalties or anything like that. It’s pretty crazy but that’s the power of widespread influence I suppose.

Overall, Levius is a great show. What really seals it is how solid the fights are and the characters hold their own as well. You’ll have a lot of fun watching the show and it has a good amount of replay value. The ending is very satisfying so there really aren’t any weak points here. It’s also a very safe recommendation to anyone whether they be action fans or looking for a good story. The series has 0 fanservice in it which is always impressive and so the writers are confident enough in their story to keep everyone’s attention the whole time. This show really does all the right things and will be remembered fondly. It’s crazy to think about how this was all G3 level fighters, just wait until we reach G1! I’d definitely recommend checking this show out.

Overall 8/10

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