“Weak Legs” Kenichi Shirahama would rather spend his time reading self improvement books than fighting. However, when he finally works up the courage to become strong and join his school’s karate club, he is coerced into fighting a bullying upperclassman who is intent on getting him kicked out of the club. He is about to give it all up until he falls for his mysterious new classmate, Miu Furinji. In order to face this challenge, he undergoes rigorous training at the dojo she lives at, Ryouzanpaku. Some initial training by the masters there allow him to defeat his upperclassman, however his fighting prowess brings him to the attention of the powerful gang of delinquents, Ragnarok. Wishing to protect the things he loves and determined to have the strength to face the increasing adversity, he must learn various martial arts from the dojo’s resident masters, taking Karate, Muay Thai, Ju Jitsu and Chinese Martial Arts and combining them to create his own fighting style! – My Anime List
Based on 15 review scores:
All in all this is one of my all time favourite anime shows. It has good animation, good plots and a great main character who is a far cry from the normal anime hero. In my opinion a must watch show!
The Otaku’s Study
Engrossing from the start, this show punches well above its weight.
This anime has twice as many episodes than many other series but I finished it in about one and a half months. I gave it 4 stars overall because it is a very good anime if you like comedy. You learn a lot about some martial arts too!!!
Though its timeline of events is nothing out of the ordinary, Kenichi’s personal journey makes for compelling viewing. Of course, while their number one disciple suffers at the hands of their training regime, the dojo masters keep the mood light and entertaining with their outlandish personalities. I certainly know that my day instantly brightens up when I hear a little cry of “Apa! Apapapa!” coming from my speakers.
Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple is fun and interesting. The explanation of each move gives you an added insight into the fights, not present in other animes. It also makes you feel as if you’ve taken away a little self-defence knowledge for yourself…not that you should start any fights to practice. For an anime so crazy and intense it feels fairly grounded, centring on an average guy and his quest for strength, along with highschool jerks and overly intense masters. Kenichi is a cool anime that continues to escalate and just keeps getting cooler. I mean, there’s a fight on the roof of a speeding bus, and it’s not even a major fight. Awesome.
Overall, I enjoyed Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, it is an anime that doesn’t go ridiculous with it’s fight scenes and for the most part stays firmly grounded in reality. There were some pacing and dialogue issues for me with the story early on, mainly because the stellar characters hadn’t come along yet but once they did things picked up. All the masters at Ryozanpaku are great character and while their training methods may seem to be like adventures in torture for Kenichi, they work and make him into a great fighter. I will however stick with a regular work out, one that does not involve pulling boulders, sharp objects being thrown at me and being kicked into the atmosphere by a mild mannered kick boxing master.
Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple is one of those series that will appeal to fans of the shounen jump series, yet also in a strange one, will appeal to ones who may enjoy more of a general look into martial arts styles. Whilst some of the moves and abilities are ridiculous, and the whole plot based on a school gang like they are ready for war is really stupid, the actual characterization, attention to detail and likeability of the leads make this certainly one to give the casual viewer a second look. Definitely worth it just for a series you can switch off and enjoy.
What makes the show funny is Kenichi remains timid unless he has a good reason to fight. Unlike say Dragonball Z the 50 episodes of this show go quickly and the Ragnarok story arc comes to a satisfying conclusion. I’ve seen the Funimation version and the Japanese version and they are both good.
My Anime List
All in all, Kenichi is one of those rare anime shows out there that is able to blend in comedy with the overall serious plot extremely well. One of the few qualms that I did have with this show was that the ending occurred a little to quick and you’ll also wish that they gave more information about the history of each of the masters, as they provide you with relatively very little on each one of them. In the end, once you watch the final episode of this anime, it will take you five seconds or so to wish that there would be a second season to it.
Anime News Network
Contrary to its appearance, Kenichi is not disposable or forgettable in the grand swath of shonen fighting anime if for no other reason than it has no shame. Fans of the first season should definitely pick it up provided they’re not allergic to Niijima’s unsettling presence, and the usual heaping helpings of ham and cheese. It’s those elements of unabashed fun that also make this series worth checking out to newcomers. It’s easy to forget that behind all the angst, dark backstories, and extreme violence associated with shonen, there’s a genre based on camp, energy, and cartoony, childish fun and Kenichi is a welcome reminder of this to anyone with a hunkering for lovable nonsense.
The Otaku Judge
Even if it isn’t anything out of this world I found it to be more fun than your typical shonen show as it doesn’t treat itself too seriously. In terms of weaknesses the only things I disliked would have to be Kenichi’s whinging, which can get annoying at times, and the series’ visual look. Like with many long running animes the budget gets stretched thin resulting in some animation shortcuts (such as an over use of still images) and some parts were the quality of the artwork noticeably dips. Even so I think Kenichi is worth watching for anyone who appreciates over the top martial arts action or comedic high school capers. It’s recommended viewing for days when you cut yourself away from human contact and stay at home to avoid those meanies from school (insert painful high school flashbacks.)
It is a fine distinction, but Season 1 of Kenichi earned itself a lot of goodwill, and that carries through to this collection of episodes, especially as it still manages to keep those comic moments and stand alone episodes that deliver comedy rather than the increasingly tedious narrative. And when all is said and done, a shonen action show does need a multi-episode spanning battle sequence to raise the blood, and invoke a little fist-pumping at a vicarious victory or two. In that respect, Kenichi delivers just what it is supposed to. All in all, Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple is a disposable bit of silliness, but with its comic emphasis, and its larger than life characters, it’s a bit of nonsense that I can see myself making a lot of time for.
The Hollywood News
KENICHI THE MIGHTIEST DISCIPLE does have promise, and is clearly headed somewhere interesting. Lovers of anime who have become jaded by magic and supernatural fighting abilities may prefer the more rational fighting techniques on display, but also enjoy the times exaggeration is used for both comic effect and a tension builder. The fight scenes do demonstrate the bold frenetic animation style, and are a worthwhile excuse to explore the show. Fun and frantic, but with too many worn tropes to excel into the territory of greatness, despite an ending that leaves you wanting more.