Bloodline Anime, Releasing in 2022

Crop of the main poster for Netflix's Tekken: Bloodline, showing the glowing eyes of the lead character Jin.

Image: Netflix

Having already successfully brought League of Legends, Castlevania, and The Witcher to television, the next video game on their list is…Tekken? On Saturday, the streaming service revealed a trailer for their upcoming anime series based on Bandai Namco’s successful fighting franchise.

Tekken: Bloodline puts the focus on fighter Jin Kazama. First introduced in 1997’s Tekken 3, Jin wants revenge for the death of his mother Jun at the hands of an apparent demon (Ogre, also from Tekken 3)and the only way to get it is to seek out training from his grandfather, Heihachi Mishima. Longtime fans know that Heihachi is ultimately the big bad of the entire franchise, but he’s more than willing to help his grandson become powerful by beating the living hell out of him.

Jin’s quest for revenge will eventually lead him to the King of Iron Fist Tournament, the competition that underpins the entire competition Tekken franchise. It’s there at the tournament where he’ll brush shoulders with a variety of characters across Tekken’s history, including the jaguar-masked King, Paul Phoenix from the original Tekken, Tekken 7’s DLC fighter Leroy Smith, and Jin’s father Kazuya Mishima.

Tekken was one of the first fighting games to use 3D animation in 1994, and later games included the ability to move away or towards the camera to create the feeling of real 3D environments rather than moving vertically across the screen. The trailer manages to capture the feeling of the games as the camera pans around characters preparing to fight, or swings towards someone right as they’re about to be hit in the face.

Like fellow fighting franchise Mortal Kombat, Tekken’s dabbled into non-video game mediums multiple times throughout its 28-year history. The first anime was a two-part series called Tekken: The Motion Picture in 1998 that adapted Kazuya’s revenge quest against Heihachi from Studio Deen and directed by Kunihisa Sugishima. In 2011, the CG anime film Tekken: Blood Vengeance released and served as an alternate retelling of Tekken 5 (2005) and Tekken 6 (2007). And of course, there was the 2009 live action adaptation that also spawned a 2014 prequel, Kazuya’s Revenge.

Tekken: Bloodline will release on Netflix later this year.


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