Film Friday- Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple

Film Friday- Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple

An anime adaptation by Tokyo Movie Shinsha aired 50 episodes from October 2006 to September 2007. Brain’s Base produced OVAs for the series, which continue from the Ragnarok Arc. The first OVA was released on March 14, 2012, the second OVA was released on June 18, 2012, and a third OVA was released on November 16, 2012. The fourth and fifth OVA were released as a double feature on September 16, 2013. The sixth and seventh OVA were released on November 18, 2013. The eighth and ninth OVA were released on February 14, 2014. The tenth and eleventh OVA were released on May 16, 2014.

Anime

An anime adaptation of Kenichi: History’s Strongest Disciple animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha first started airing on October 7, 2006. It aired a total of fifty episodes, covering from the beginning of the story to the confrontation against the top members of Ragnarok. Funimation has dubbed the series. All 50 episodes have been released as of May 25, 2010. The rights of the series expired in 2018.
The series made its North American television debut when it aired on Funimation Channel starting October 26, 2009. All 50 episodes have been shown.
An OVA produced by Brain Base was released on March 14, 2012. The story continues from the Ragnarok Arc entering the Yomi arc. The second OVA featuring later story in the yomi arc was released on June 18, 2012, and a third OVA was released on November 16, 2012. The fourth and fifth OVA were released on September 16, 2013. The sixth and seventh OVA were released on November 18, 2013. The eighth and ninth OVA have been announced and released on February 14, 2014. The tenth and eleventh OVA were released on May 16, 2014. The main cast for the OVA series is the same from those of the anime series except for Rie Kugimiya who replaces the late Tomoko Kawakami as Miu and Yuzuru Fujimoto who replaces the late Hiroshi Arikawa as her grandfather Hayato.

Kenichi Shirahama 

  • First appearance: Battle 1
  • Type: Sei/dou(currently specializes in sei)
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Karate, Jujutsu, Chinese Martial Arts, Muay Thai, Hybrid martial arts (Ryūsui Seikuken, Korui Nuki, Mūbyoshi), and Weapons.

Protagonist; currently in his second year of high school. A main point of humour in the series centers on the multiple, varied, and imaginative training methods his masters devise toward making Kenichi stronger, which often exhaust him. The manga follows Kenichi as he continues to train, and eventually live, at the Ryozanpaku dojo, fighting increasingly capable enemies.
His strongest ability, according to the masters, is that he lacks any form of sakki (killer intent); in expression whereof, he is kind, compassionate, thoughtful, timid, polite and moral to a fault, and adheres to a strict code of morals. As a result, Kenichi has made many friends, mostly of former enemies, and wins the affections of Renka Ma, Miu, Izumi, and Li Raichi. His attachment to Miu is usually used as comic relief, in her inattention thereto, though in the final chapter of the manga photographs on Kenichi’s desk show he married Miu and they had a daughter. In most battles, Kenichi often fights by interchanging various techniques from the different styles of his masters, making his fighting unorthodox and hard to predict.

Miu Fūrinji  

  • First appearance: Battle 1
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Hybrid Martial Arts, Pencak Silat

Miu Furinji is Kenichi’s classmate: the granddaughter of Hayato Furinji and the daughter of Saiga Furinji, the leaders respectively of Ryozanpaku and Yami’s One Shadow Nine Fists. Miu came into Hayato’s care when his son (Saiga Furinji) murdered several of his friends and his wife, sparing Miu by accident. Thereafter Miu learned martial arts from her grandfather. Before Miu transferred to her present place, she attended a famous school, but was ill-treated by other girls for her high grades, her athletic ability, and especially her appearance. Although attractive, smart, athletic, and kind, Miu is often clumsy among her fellows, and requires Kenichi’s support in making friends. Miu has a great fondness for kittens and becomes hostile towards anyone who harms one. She is prone to rash decisions in money-making. While her exact martial arts disciplines have not been stated, she has shown knowledge of several styles. Her fighting style is graceful and fluid, taking advantage of her agility, coordination, and flexibility, and makes heavy use of kicks. Her skills have been honed until where she will reflexively throw anyone who sneaks up behind her, especially Kenichi, which is a running gag of the series.

Hayato Fūrinji

  • First appearance: Battle 6
  • Type: Dou / Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Hybrid Martial Arts/Furinji Style

Hayato is Miu’s grandfather and the elder of the Ryōzanpaku Dojo. He is also known as mutekichōjin (translated “The Invincible Superman” in English materials). He is very tall, very muscular, and possesses tremendous vitality despite his advanced age. Not much is known about Hayato’s past, but flashbacks have revealed that he was very reckless and violent in his youth. It has also been shown that Hayato used to travel the world with Miu and help people in need. Hayato is a kind old man but still possesses a reckless streak and can be arrogant. He attempts to convey his plans to others through a blunt manner of speech. He is fond of Kenichi, calling him “Ken-chan”, and is the only one who apologizes to him for difficult exercises.
Whilst fighting Kenichi and Miu at a tournament, Akisame comments that he still is the most powerful man in the world when he closes his eyes. In this state, he remains strong enough to tear a tree in half while simultaneously effortlessly battling Miu and Kenichi, using only 0.02% of his strength. He is capable of throwing kicks so fast that cameras slowed down to 1/1000 of a second can only catch a glimpse of them, and he can move fast enough to run on water.
Hayato is also shown to be pragmatic with his approach to martial arts, as when he asks Kensei Ma to help with Miu’s training and encourages Miu to use what [a rival teacher] Junazard taught her.
It is hinted in the end that Kenichi somehow managed to surpass his strength since photos of Kenichi supposedly married to Miu are shown. He had always sworn he would only allow Miu to marry someone capable of defeating him first.

Shio Sakaki

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Karate

Sakaki is a 30-year-old master of karate who claims to hold 100 dan. He is a tall man almost always seen wearing a leather jacket and has a long scar across the bridge of his nose. Little is known about Sakaki’s past; but he has mentioned that he used to travel the world and fight, and he also at one point belonged to a group that consisted of himself, a French martial arts master named Christopher Eclair, and an Englishman named Mycroft; but left them when their activities brought harm to the innocent, and later buried them alive. It is unknown when he came to Ryozanpaku, but he is one of the junior members along with Apachai and Shigure. He is often depicted as fierce in conversation and embarrassed by trivial things, and tends to quarrel with others, especially Apachai. He also gambles and drinks frequently and often places bets on Kenichi.
Sakaki is well-versed in multiple forms of karate and can survive a fall from one of the top floors of a tall building without any noticeable injury. He has yet to be noticeably injured in any of his battles, including his fight with Yami assassin Christopher Eclair and his brief encounter with Silcardo Jenazad, a member of Yami’s One Shadow Nine Fists. Silcardo was so impressed by Sakaki’s skill that he seeks a battle to the death. His abilities are further cemented by the fact of his win/loss record of 125/126 against fellow Karate master Akira Hongō.

Apachai Hopachai

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Dou
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Muay Thai and Muay Boran

Apachai is a 28-year-old master of Muay Thai and is known as the “Death God” (“Grim Reaper” in the English anime) of the Muay Thai underworld fighting circuit. He is extremely tall and powerfully built, has tanned skin, and is usually seen wearing a tank top and shorts with bandages wrapped around his hands and feet. Apachai has been fighting life or death battles in underground Muay Thai fights since he was a teenager. Later, he was an enforcer for a cruel pirate who (accidentally) fed Apachai while he was starving in a harbor in Thailand. He served this man faithfully until Hayato Fūrinji brought his misdeeds to Apachai’s attention. The two of them then defeated the pirates, and Apachai has been at the dojo ever since.
Apachai enjoys playing with children and animals. He has a habit of saying the syllables “apa” when he speaks and sometimes yells it while training or fighting. As a result of his violent past, Apachai subjected Kenichi to the hardest exercises; but is very fond of Kenichi and is the only master who consistently shows an open concern for him. Apachai has a voracious appetite, often consuming large meals with incredible speed, and even eating other people’s shares. He can be easily distracted and persuaded by food. Apachai later becomes “legend of the giant”, which famous for basketball players in Kenichi’s school and firefighters. He is extraordinarily strong, able to shatter stone statues and kick down trees without any apparent difficulty. Despite his incredible size, he is able to dodge bullets while fighting. Even while holding back, Apachai was able to stalemate a master level fighter by the name of Kei Retsumin, a man who had once killed an entire village of people by himself. He was also able to hold his own against Hayato Fūrinji, although quite young when the fight took place. As a running gag, he is somewhat incapable of holding back during training.

Shigure Kōsaka

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Weapons

Shigure is a 23-year-old weapons master, who dresses in a small pink kimono; underneath she wears bandages over her chest and a fundoshi. When fighting seriously, she dons chain mail. Shigure’s past has been shown more in depth than any of the other masters’: in so far as that she lived initially with her father, a weapon maker and master who made swords for Yami. Akisame, seeking to find the maker of a particular sword, met Shigure’s father, who requested that Akisame kill him. When Akisame refused, the man forced him into a fight, which Akisame won; whereupon Shigure’s father stated that he wanted his daughter to see the fate of a weapons’-maker, and took his own life. After defeating some Yami members, Akisame took Shigure to live with an old man who taught her the Kosaka fighting style. She remained there until the old man died, after which Akisame took her to Ryozanpaku. There, she speaks very little and is given to sleeping, or walking, on the rafters of the building. Before Kenichi came to the dojo, she rarely interacted with its other residents except Akisame and Apachai and even refrained from eating with them. After Kenichi’s arrival, she became more social. Despite her slenderness, she is very strong; even capable of cutting metal with a dull-edged spoon or dislocating the cannon of a tank. Shigure has a pet mouse, Tochūmaru, used mostly for comic relief but extraordinarily strong for a mouse, beating one of Boris’s men with nunchaku and, in an omake, beating a cat with its tail.

Akisame Kōetsuji

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: Jujitsu

Akisame is a 38-year-old Jujitsu master, and the first master to train Kenichi. He is an old friend of Miu’s father, Saiga. Despite his apparent fragility, he is immensely strong and capable, and can easily interpret other characters’ unspoken thoughts. Additionally he has mastered calligraphy, painting, pottery, and sculpting, and builds contraptions as both training devices for Kenichi and power sources for the dojo, including a treadmill generator. He also owns an orthopedic clinic and can reset bones with ease. He has proved to be a good trauma surgeon also, and speaks Russian fluently.

Kensei Ma

  • First appearance: Battle 7
  • Type: Sei
  • Type: Katsujin Ken
  • Martial Arts: All Chinese Martial Arts (preferred fighting style is soft forms)

Kensei is a 42-year-old master of Chinese Kenpō. He is very short, balding, and always wears a hat. He has been training in martial arts since he was very young and was the leader of a large martial arts alliance in China, which has 10,000 followers, which he left behind. He has a wife and three children in China, including a 16-year-old daughter named Renka, and an older brother named Sougetsu, who is a member of Yami. Kensei himself is often shown trying to take pictures of attractive women, particularly Shigure and Miu; but results in pictures of other things nearby, which he sells to Kenichi. Kenichi has absolute trust in Ma and has stated that he has never questioned his convictions as a martial artist.
Ma is a very experienced martial artist, having been trained since he was very young, and purportedly knows all martial arts indigenous to China. In spite of his small size, he is able to destroy a small bridge with a single kick and to rend the flesh of Diego Carlo, a man said to possess a body hard as steel, with his bare hands. He is very agile, capable of jumping from atop one moving car to another. Ma runs an acupuncture clinic and usually, along with Akisame, mends the wounds of Kenichi and the others. The characters in his name of ‘Kensei’ are pronounced ‘Jianxing’ in Mandarin, or literally “Sword Star”. This differentiates him entirely from Isshinsai Ogata’s moniker Kensei, pronounced ‘Quansheng’ in Mandarin, literally “Fist Saint”.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *