Feb. 19 is the day of professional wrestling. Its origin derives from Japan's first professional wrestling international match, Rikidouzan x Kimura vs The Sharpe Brothers that was held on the same day in 1954.
Here at Anime! Anime! we had conducted a reader survey asking “What is your favorite professional wrestling character?” in 2018, which placed the characters from the “Kinnikuman” series at the top of the ranking.
“Kinnikuman” which began its series in “Weekly Shonen Jump” in 1979, is a popular manga that has seen many anime adaptations so far. A new series is currently being serialized in “Weekly Pure NEWS” (Weekly Playboy online website) which is attracting a lot of new fans.
Here at Anime! Anime! we conducted a reader survey asking “What is your favorite character in the ‘Kinnikuman’ series?”. During the survey period between Feb. 5 to Feb. 12, a total of 52 responses were received.
There were more male respondents with the gender ratio being 70% male and 30% female. The age group was about 25% of those under 19, 20% of those in their 20s, and 35% of those in their 40s, gathering a wide range of generations.
■ The top goes to Ramenman, the protagonist in the spin-off!
The 1st place is Ramenman with an approval rating of 25%.
Ramenman, a Chinese Choujin, who specializes in Kung Fu, and the long queue hairstyle and the character “中” on his forehead are his trademarks. At first, he was a Brutal Choujin, but later he became a hero of justice joining Kinnikuman and the other superheroes. In addition, the manga spin-off “Tatakae!! Ramenman” in which he was the protagonist, is a popular work that has also received an anime adaptation.
Readers have left some comments such as, “His technique shows many similarities with the kung fu. It is fun to watch'', “He is very tough when it comes to fighting, but he is usually a gentleman'', and “For some reason, he is a character that makes you want to root for”. He also received many votes for when he was fighting by wearing a special mask made of a healing tree bark, “Mongolman was very cool”.
After that, it seemed that he gripped the Kinnikuman fans’ heart by using diverse techniques and changing costumes that readers would not be able to get tired of, such as his reappearance as Ramenman wearing a headgear.
The 2nd place goes to Robin Mask, with an imperceptible gap of votes from the 1st place.
Robin Mask, a Coujin from the UK, features a blue-painted armor in the anime. In the original manga, the mask he wears is silver in color, and also a 1/1 size metal mask was newly released in 2019.
Among the readers, there were some voices supporting the match with Atlantis, one of the seven Devil Choujin, by saying “I received a lot of courage after seeing the brave figure fighting Atlantis”. In the Perfect Origin Arc serialized in the online website “Weekly Pure NEWS”, a passionate story about Atlantis' thoughts on Robin Mask was shown.
The 5th place goes to his son Kevin Mask. Unlike Robin Mask who is a British gentleman, Kevin Mask received some comments saying, “He is so cool and rough-mannered that you can't believe that he is Robin Mask's son”. He is the only character from “Ultimate Muscle” that ranked in the top 5, which makes him stand out in the ranking.
The 3rd place goes to Kinniku Suguru, or Kinnikuman, obtaining 15% of the votes.
There were many votes from fans in their 30s and 40s who enjoyed the work in real time; “When I was a child, he was simply a funny character, but after becoming an adult I realized how cool he was on the inside'', “I was impressed by his friendship with many Coujins, such as Terryman and Robin Mask, and “I think that, among the original characters of the series, he is the strongest.”
As a result of the survey, the top-ranking mainly includes characters that have been appearing in the series “Kinnikuman” for a long time.
■ Top 20
“What is your favorite character in the ‘Kinnikuman’ series?”
Kinnikuman Big Body
Neptune King (Big the Budou)
(Survey period: Feb. 5 to Feb. 12, 2020)