The Netflix Original Anime Levius begins its 12-episode first season with a fight in the boxing ring. Levius is named after its main character, the 17-year old boxing phenom, and is based on the 7-volume Haruhisa Nakata manga series, also of the same name. We’re introduced to what’s known as metal boxing and is it ever fun to watch. So without further ado, let’s dive right into this Netflix Levius Season 1 Review.
Netflix Levius Season 1 Review
As we learn in Episodes 1-3, Levius Cromwell has essentially been orphaned. He’s the byproduct of the 7-year Fosanian conflict between the nations are Whitel, which Levius and his family are citizens of, and the Republic of Rosvia. And this conflict is over something called Agartha mineral water rights. It’s this water when mixed with steam and a fighter’s blood, that powers the mechanized limbs of the metal boxers.
Although his mother survives the Fosanian conflict, she’s incapacitated and severely injured, thus requiring 24-hour hospitalized care. As his city pf Greenbridge burns, Levius loses his right arm while trying to save his mother. And we learn his father, a military man, dies in the war. Levius is taken in by his Uncle Zack Cromwell and Grandmother. Soon after, a 10-or 12-year old Levius, I couldn’t get this straight, is introduced to metal boxing.
The Look and Feel of Levius
The animation of Levius is faithful to the Haruhisa Nakata’s manga. If you like what you saw in the voluminous pages of the manga, then you’ll love what you see in this anime. The animation of Levius is reminiscent of other anime series’ where there’s a wide latitude given to the use of highlights and shadows. Using photography terms, each character’s facial features are washed out with blown-out highlights and accentuated with hard shadows. You’ll notice this mostly scenes that take place at Zack’s gym.
Because this is an anime involving boxing, the movement of the fighters is quick and detailed. It’s fantastic to watch.
The voice-over, like the background music, is spot on. Dialogue is at a distinguishable volume and is never overpowered by the background audio tracks. I give a lot of credit to those who were selected to be the English voice-over talent and to those editing the finished product
The plot moves at a decent pace with some time-shifting to fill in the back stories. Overall, the storyline is excellent, and in most cases, there’s proper character development.
Episode 2 opens with a flashback to 7 years earlier when Levius’s home was under attack in the war. He witnesses children being carried off by mechanized infantry, thus keeps quiet as to not be carried off himself. Once he’s adopted by his longshoreman (and former boxer) Uncle Zack, he visits his mother in the hospital. As he’s leaving, he notices a young girl from Greenbridge, one that was crying while carried off by a mechanized soldier, as she and another are en route to the coliseum. This is Levius’s introduction to the violent and often deadly sport of metal boxing. This episode also introduces us to Natalia Garnet, a cocky 17-year old boxer you loses her G5 bout to Levius by TKO in 27 seconds. She provides the comic relief of the series
Episode 3 is a must-watch and provides us with a history lesson on the conflict that brought Levius Cromwell to his Uncle Zack. When Levius was young. there was a war ravaging his sea-side city of Greenbridge. A combined twenty thousand soldiers and citizens were killed during this 7-year war (known as the Fosanian Conflict) when the country across the sea wanted access to the Agartha water springs. Greenbridge is well-known for this type of water. While trying to save his mother, Levius loses his right arm in the battle to retake Greenbridge. This retaking involved the use of mechanized soldiers from Amethyst Steam Technology Enterprises. We learn a lot more about this corporation throughout the series, not all of it with well-intentions.
With Levius’s promotion from Grade 5 to Grade 3 of the Metal Boxing Association (MTA), we’re introduced to Malcolm Eden. He’s a talented 40-year old fighter who was demoted from G2 to G3, and he’s not ready to hang up his gloves just yet. In Malcolm’s last five fights, all of his opponents have died from injuries sustained by his hands. The match is amazing!
Once Malcolm is defeated, he retires and works to make up for his sins by helping the families of those he hurt. Levius is now ranked 7th in G3 and is offered a promotion match to G2, but he has to fight the number one contender, the large-and-in-charge Hugo Stratus. Levius barely comes up to Hugo’s chin. Something appears to be afoul as a boxer with Levius’s lower-ranking wouldn’t get him this promotion match. But first, Hugo needs a tune-up match and this comes with the mysterious AJ Langdon. We also meet Hugo’s father, Chairman Stratus of the MTA. He’s the spitting image of Johnny Depp’s character Edward Ratchett in the film Murder on the Orient Express.
The match between Hugo and AJ spans from Episode 5 to 6, and once again is fantastic! I would argue that this is the best boxing match of the series.
Hugo’s top ranking is earned, and technically, he’s the superior boxer. Nonetheless, AJ is not your typical metal boxer and she does not go down easily. In fact, she defeats Hugo Stratus, nearly killing him in the process. It wasn’t a fair fight.
At the halfway in the series, Zack, Levius, Bill, and Chairman Stratus visit the mysterious Chairman of the Board of Amethyst, Dr. Clown. (I’m not making it up, that’s the character’s name.) Dr. Clown is somewhat of a long-winded poet who loves to hear the sound of his own voice. He’s been up to something sinister all along.
As it turns out, AJ is Dr. Clown’s adopted daughter from the Fosanian Conflict. We learn that Amethyst’s mechanized soldiers actually kidnapped many of the orphaned children of Greenbridge during the fog of war. Two of these children are AJ and her younger brother, who we do not meet in Season 1. These children were subjected to medical experiments that are clearly noticeable in AJ. It becomes clear to all in attendance that Dr. Clown has used a combination of mind control and drugs on AJ. While she believes Amethyst saved her, in reality, she was kidnapped and experimented upon. Her words say one thing, but the tears down her cheeks reveal the truth.
Levius tries to take AJ away from Dr. Clown, which oddly enough would also be kidnapping. This is where Dr. Clown makes a grand bargain. He tells Levius that AJ can go with Levius provided he defeats her in the ring during the promotion match. If Levius loses, he becomes the ward (essentially property) of Dr. Clown. Levius agrees to the offer and signs a contract to finalize the arrangement.
Soon after, Malcolm Eden shows up at Zack’s Gym and offers be Levius’s sparring partner. As a long-time boxer, he has unique insight on how to defeat AJ. His preparation of Levius is most helpful.
This brings us to the final 3-4 episodes of the series where the “fight of the century” between Levius and AJ takes place. You’ll have to see what takes place for yourselves. It would irresponsible of this reviewer to share any more. All I will say is that there are some surprises.
The final episode ends on the same note as the 12-episode first season began, with a fight in the metal boxing ring. All-in-all, Levius Season 1 brings us a terrific story with intense action and interesting characters. I haven’t liked an anime this much since the introduction of Love, Death & Robots, also on Netflix. We hope this first season of Levius is viewed by more than those who love anime or boxing. There’s a great story at play here.
We’re looking forward to a second season of Levius. Should there be one, we’ll see some terrific G2 boxing matches, and maybe we’ll learn what happened to the other Greenbridge orphans which Amethyst so-called “saved.” This post will be updated when we learn more.
What did you think of the Netflix Anime Series Levius Season 1? Let us know in the comment section below or via social media. We’re eager to hear your thoughts.
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FTC Disclosure: Netflix did not compensate us at Beantown for this review. This writer’s opinion is 100% his own and not a paid ambassador.
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