You’ll know pretty early on whether Levius is an anime for you or not. Doubling down on its action and reveling in the polarizing CGI animation many of the latest offerings in this genre have nowadays, Levius is a sport-based, action anime that’s simple in concept and pretty good in execution. It’s an intriguing idea and one brought to life perfectly across the 12 episodes on display, even if it does have a few glaring flaws along the way.
Levius Cromwell is a prized metal fighter, raised by his Uncle Zack after a tragic accident involving his Mother in the past. The story revolves around this blonde-haired fighter and through Zack’s guidance and shared passion for boxing, this sport-based anime sees Levius rise the ranks to superstardom, overcoming numerous foes and mental ghosts from the past along the way.
As an action-packed anime expect a dizzying array of different fights along the way, culminating in a climactic clash at the end with a formidable foe who crops up throughout the season, spread across three episodes. There’s a pretty nice twist here too, despite its cliches, but I won’t spoil that for spoiler purposes. Suffice to say, the past ties in to the present in a really nice way, adding some meaning and gravitas to this final fight.
Taking cues from some of the more recent animes, Levius combines hand-drawn animation with CGI for its entire run-time. Some of the lighting effects and facial expressions on display are decent though and for point of reference, the best example here would be the Godzilla animes on Netflix, which use a lot of the same tools.
While I personally prefer the more intimate, hand-drawn approach seen in titles like Attack On Titan and Violet Evergarden, the CGI does allow for a lot more motion in the fights. Of course, the series does adhere to all the usual tropes you’d expect from animes of its kind, including close-up shots of faces, slowed fight sequences and the usual dose of flashbacks. Personally, the animation lacks that same subtle intimacy hand-drawn efforts achieve and while I appreciate using CGI like this makes it easier for animators, I’m old school by nature and much prefer a hand-drawn anime.
Much like Netflix’s other action-packed animation Baki, Levius’ strong suit comes from its action and here the series excels. There’s some really nicely worked fights too and seeing these tie in to Natalia and Zack’s hard work in prepping for these fights is pretty satisfying to watch.
Of course, those looking for an in-depth or deeply characterised anime may be left disappointed here. This is a series that values its action before characterisation, although there are some solid arcs for the characters at the heart of this one, including one particular returning player during the final episode that helps round out Levius’ arc.
As expected, the English dubbing really isn’t that good either so if you intend to watch this, I’d recommend sticking with the authentic Japanese voices. The musical score is pretty good though and the epic orchestral strings during fights certainly helps accentuate and emphasize some of the action.
If you’re in the mood for an action-packed anime on Netflix, one that brings everything together in satisfying fashion by the end (whilst leaving the possibility of a second season to come), Levius is worth checking out. Having not read the original manga I can’t tell you how well this matches up but the series is highly enjoyable nonetheless and features some pretty decent action scenes too. If you can look past a few of the cliched bouts of dialogue and the CGI animation, Levius is well worth checking out.