Netflix's 'Levius' beautifully combines martial arts and steampunk in the new cyborg boxing anime series
It's the 19th Century and the world is slowly recovering from the fires of war. The war claimed lives and destroyed infrastructure, creating a semi-dystopian landscape. So what does the world do in such dire circumstances? Two words: cyborg boxing.
This is the premise of 'Levius', a brand new anime coming to Netflix in the winter of 2019. The show is an adaptation of the hit manga by Haruhisa Nakata. The show follows Levius, a young man who has lost most of his family and an arm in the war, as he struggles to survive as a "Mecha Boxing" arena fighter.
'Levius' brings quite a lot of emotional depth to the table. Our young hero lost his father in the war and his mother was put in a coma. He is taken in by his uncle who is pretty much the only family he has left. Levius doesn't fight because he desires fame or glory, he fights because it is the only way for a cyborg like him to survive in the world. Also, it helps that he is really good at it.
Of course, you can't have a story set in the 19th Century and not bring in a beautiful steampunk aesthetic. Coined by science fiction author KW Jeter, the term "steampunk" refers to works of art that feature an alternate world where steam never stopped being humanity's primary source of power. While the genre has faded into the background of pop culture in modern times, it has given rise to some of the most visually stunning artworks ever and 'Levius' is no different, as proven in the trailer.
From the trailer, we know that the show will feature breathtakingly beautiful retro-futuristic technology. Levius' lost arm is replaced with a steam-powered prosthetic and he goes up against other cyborg fighters, all powered by what the show calls "hypersteam". The result is a look that is aesthetically pleasing and insanely cool.
Aesthetics aside, 'Levius' promises to be a compelling story about the trauma caused by war. The young hero of the show is haunted by the loss of his family and the suffering he went through during the war. Being thrust into the world of competitive fighting probably doesn’t help his mental health either.
Despite this though, Levius possesses an innate talent for the martial arts and quickly rises up through the ranks to become one of the most formidable fighters in the arena. His past may have taken everything away from him but he is determined to never stop fighting. With compelling characters and an aesthetic that brings a 'Real Steel' vibe to the world of steampunk, 'Levius' is one show you definitely need to watch out for.
'Levius' will debut on Netflix in the winter of 2019.