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Pulling Strings is the sixth episode of the anime adaptation of Kengan Ashura.

While some try to enjoy their time on the luxury liner, others strategize behind the scenes, with one savvy shogi player pulling a surprising move.

Appearing Characters


Finally arriving on the luxury cruise ship, Yamashita Kazuo is bittersweet over his childhood dream of attending such a fancy event due to the sheer amount of debt he incurred to get there. Nogi Hideki arrives with Hatsumi Sen to congratulate Tokita Ohma on his victory, but Ohma rebuffs Nogi, saying he doesn't need him anymore, as he earned his own way into the tournament.

At the same time, Rihito is seen harassing Akiyama Kaede for her phone number, who struggles to dissuade Rihito and send him back to his employer. Rihito then replies that he is his employer, being the President of his own SF Cold Storage corporation that he also serves as a fighter. At this point it is revealed that Nogi set up several subsidiary corporations, much like Yamashita Trading Company. In their subsidiary contracts are requirements that, should their fighter win in a Kengan Annihilation Tournament, that company will be required to select Nogi as the new Kengan Association Chairman.

As Yamashita walks around, he notices several people huddled around Kaneda Suekichi, a shogi player gambling with ¥10,000 entry fees and ¥100,000 returns should anyone defeat him. Ohya Ken asks Yamashita to try, as he also lost to Kaneda, and Yamashita ends up losing five times in a row. Chiba Takayuki looks in on the chess games, but before he can try himself, Kengan Association Chairman Katahara Metsudo arrives. He announces that in 27 hours they shall arrive at the battlefield and commence the "competitor registration", officially entering them into the Kengan Annihilation Tournament, however, by rule, no existing competitors may fight each other on the cruise ship.

Soryuin Shion talks with Nogi regarding the rule. They both agree that there are many ambitious people on board who may take advantage of Katahara's words, but when Ohma notices their conversation, she heads over to him. She mentions her fighter Kiryu Setsuna having a keen interest in him, and Ohma grabs her collar to demand to know where Kiryu is. She takes the assertiveness as flattery until Rihito pulls Ohma off of her, and she tells Ohma to be thoroughly prepared if he wants to defeat Kiryu. Kiryu, meanwhile, is currently brutalising Yodoe merely because Yodoe caused some of Hassad's blood to spatter on Ohma when he kicked him.

In an ornate hallway on the boat, Kaneda Suekichi asks Ken to replace Himuro Ryo with him as the fighter for Ginokuniya Bookstore. Citing a loophole in Katahara's rule against competitors fighting, as a non-competitor Kaneda can fight Himuro for the position, thus becoming a competitor only after the fight is over, and therefore not breaking the rule. Himuro accepts the challenge, and although Kaneda makes polite reassurances of fair play, Himuro quickly punches him in the face mid-speech, offering to abrogate his position only if Kaneda can withstand one minute.

The fight begins in earnest with Kaneda trying to analyse the fight, but is again punched in the face while thinking. Kaneda staves him off long enough to identify Himuro's specific Jeet Kune Do fighting form and, knowing what to anticipate, has more success blocking his attacks until Himuro wears him down and knees him in the stomach. Kaneda collapses, seemingly defeated, until he pops back up and lands a blow on Himuro. Himuro rushes back in, but Kaneda blocks enough of his attacks until taking an opening to hit him yet again, sending him to his knees.

Himuro rises and again goes in, now taking Kaneda completely seriously, and begins to regain the advantage. Just has he lands the final blow, Kaneda manages to get his arm into a lock and uses his momentum to twist and break his arm. Himuro doesn't quit however, and begins to fight one handed, but Kaneda quickly blocks each strike and then kicks him in his broken arm. Kaneda dodges a kick from Himuro, and Ken realises that Kaneda is literally predicting Himuro's every move and beginning his dodges before they even begin, just as he did in shogi. Himuro refuses to give up despite Kaneda's taunts to back down, and in one final rush from Himuro, Kaneda slips around him and sends his head smashing to the ground. Meekly, Himuro tries to reach out, but Kaneda finishes him with a numerous stomping kicks to the face until he passes out. Ken, although shocked at how far Kaneda went, is nonetheless pleased to make Kaneda his new competitor.

On an outside deck, Rihito shares a concern with Ohma that other non-competitors could abuse the loophole by attacking them at random, although Ohma is unconcerned. Wakatsuki Takeshi and Imai Cosmo however, talking in an engine room, are indeed targeted by unscrupulous non-competitors who seek to take their spots. Cosmo however is joyful at the challenge, having been utterly bored, and prepares to fight.

Anime and Manga Discrepancies


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