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Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2 Part 1 (A J!-Ent Anime DVD Review)

May 17, 2010 by  



“Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2 Part 1 is high-energy, funny, action-packed series filled with great characters! A must-see!”

Image courtesy of © Syun Matsuena/FUNIMATION. All Rights Reserved.

DVD TITLE: Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2 DVD Part 1

DURATION: 325 Minutes

DVD INFORMATION: 16:9 WIDESCREEN, ENGLISH 5.1 DOLBY DIGITAL SURROUND SOUND, JAPANESE STEREO

COMPANY: FUNIMATION Entertainment

RATED: 13+

Release Date: March 9th, 2010

Original Comic Books Created by Syun Matsuena

Chief Direction by Hajime Kamegaki

Music by Joe Rinoie

Sound Director by Akiyoshi Tanaka

Art Direction by Nobuhito Sakamoto

Character Design by Masatomo Sudo/Junko Yamanaka

Produced by Susumu Matsuyama/Satoshi Kojima/Kenichi Project/TMS Entertianment, LTD.

 

Featuring the following voice talent:

Tomokazu Seki/ Josh Grelle as Kenichi Shirahama

Tomoko Kawakami/ Carrie Savage as Miu Fuurinji

Takumi Yamazaki/ Todd Haberkorn as Haruo Niijima

Tomoe Sakuragawa/ Cherami Leigh as Honoka Shirahama

Hiroshi Arikawa/ R. Bruce Elliott as Hayato Fuurinji

Unsho Ishizuka/ Christopher Sabat as Shio Sakaki

Hiroya Ishimaru/ Sonny Strait as Apachai Hopachai

Mamiko Noto/ Trina Nishimura as Shigure Kosaka

Issei Futamata/ Vic Mignogna as Kensei Ma

Jurota Kosugi/ Kent Williams as Akisame Koetsuji

Mika Kanai/ Kate Oxley as Renka Ma

Ken Narita/ Jerry Jewell as Odin

George Nakata/ Robert McCollum as Berserker

Atsuko Tanaka/ Stephanie Young as Freya

Keiji Fujiwara/ Travis Willingham as Loki

Mitsuaki Madono/ Chris Cason as Siegfried

Ryo Horikawa/Eric Vale as Hermit

Naomi Kusumi/ Bob Carter as Thor

Minami Takayama/ Colleen Clickenbeard as Valkyrie

When we last saw Kenichi, he was making the transition from wimp to warrior – okay, maybe no warrior, but he was definitely taking steps to man up.

Well, the world is starting to notice, which is good and bad. On the plus side, he’s making friends and getting more respect. In the minus column, his rep is growing faster than his skills, which is tricky now that every thug in town wants to test his new techniques. That means between street brawls and trying to score with Miu, Kenichi still has to hang tough with the six martial arts masters. Lucky for him, the training is getting more tense – because before Kenichi can finally stand tall, he’ll have to beat his fiercest opponent yet!

“Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2 Part 1” starts off as a direct continuation from episode 26. Kenichi is still working under the masters of the Ryozanpaku dojo to become the best fighter in the world. The story concentrates around Kenichi, who is training to become the best fighter in the world after being bullied most of his life. This section of the series deals mostly with Kenichi’s fight against the members of Ragnarok and also introduces characters like Renka Ma and Sougetsu Ma. Kenichi’s grueling training from the Ryozanpaku masters continue while he attends high school with Miu, the granddaughter of the Elder of Ryozanpaku Dojo. Kenichi’s battle with Hermit also continues in this section of the series and more of his past is actually revealed. Will Kenichi be able to defeat Hermit as well as the rest of Ragnarok once and for all or will his softness get in the way?

This particular volume, “Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2 DVD Part 1” contains the first 12 episodes of the second season of “Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple”.

 

“Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple” focuses on the following main characters:

Ryozanpaku Dojo members and Family

Kenichi Shirahama – Kenichi is the main character of the series and is a high school student that is training at the Ryozanpaku Dojo and learning multiple martial arts at once from the masters at the dojo. He is very loyal and very dedicated to his art and has a crush on Miu. Even though he seems to be a mediocre fighter to most at first, somehow he manages to defeat everyone in his path.

Miu Furinji – Miu is the very well endowed 16 year old that is the granddaughter of Hayato Furinji and the classmate of Kenichi. Despite her cute looks, she is rather shy… and also quite a skilled fighter. She also loves cats.

Haruo Niijima – Niijima is the self-proclaimed leader of the Shinpaku Alliance who has the appearance of an alien and acts like one as well. He and Kenichi call each other bad friends, but are somewhat friends nonetheless despite not wanting to admit it. Niijima dreams of taking over the world one day.

Honoka Shirahama – Honoka is Kenichi’s very energetic and hyper young sister. She is saved from thugs one day by Hermit and since then, she has a very strange but cute bond with him.

Hayato Fuurinji – Hayato is the grandfather of Miu and the undefeated elder of the Ryozanpaku Dojo. He is rather, tall, muscular, and loves lollipops.

Shio Sakaki – Sakaki is the karate master of the dojo. He is rather tall and rugged, has a scar on his face and is usually wearing a leather jacket.

Apachai Hopachai – Apachai is the master of Muay Thai of the dojo. He is very strong, but can be rather childish and says “apapapa” alot. He also likes the game, “osero”.

Shigure Kosaka – Shigure is the weapons master of the dojo. She is the only female master of the dojo and is rather quiet and has a pet mouse named Tochumaru.

Kensei Ma – Kensei is the Chinese Kenpo master of the dojo. He is rather short and balding and is usually seen holding a pervy book. He is supposed to be the master of thousands of students back in China, however he is “goofing off” in Japan at Ryozanpaku.

Akisame Koetsuji – Akisame is the Jujitsu master of the dojo. He is also the master of various other arts including calligraphy, go, painting, etc. He likes making inventions that serve a certain purpose… as well as training Kenichi at the same time.

Renka Ma – Renka is Kensei Ma’s 16 year old daughter that came from China to bring her father back home. She also may or may not have some feelings for Kenichi.

Ragnarok

Odin – Odin is the strongest of the members of Ragnarok and seems to have some sort of connection with Kenichi’s past.

Berserker – Berserker is the second fist of Ragnarok who is rather quiet and usually seen chewing gum.

Freya – Freya is the third fist of Ragnarok and is the leader of the Valkyries.

Loki – Loki is the fourth fist of Ragnarok, and one of the main antagonists of this section of the series. Just like his namesake, he is somewhat of a trickster and doesn’t play very fair.

Siegfried – Siegfried is the fifth fist of Ragnarok who by rumor is immortal. He is obsessed with music and hopes to use his fighting experiences in making new compositions.

Hermit/Natsu Tanimoto – Hermit is the sixth fist of Ragnarok and can probably be seen as Kenichi’s biggest rival. Despite being his rival and wanting nothing more than to defeat Kenichi, through the series it’s evident that he’s not that bad of a character. He is a very fair fighter and has a weird yet cute bond with Honoka, Kenichi’s younger sister. He also seems to be a bit bi-polar…

Thor – Thor is the sumo fighter and the seventh fist of Ragnarok.

Valkyrie – Valkyrie is the eighth fist of Ragnarok. She tries to act tough but seems to have a soft spot for cats.

“Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2 Part 1” features a total of 12 episodes on two DVDs. Here is a spoiler-less summary of each episode:

DISC 1:

  • EPISODE 27- Hard vs. Soft! Once-in-a-Lifetime Quarrel between Brothers! – Master Ma must fight hid older brother, Sougetsu.
  • EPISODE 28- Here Comes the Shock Troop Commander! Battle Royale at the Restaurant! – Kenichi fights Loki and is forced into the Shinpaku Alliance.
  • EPISODE 29- The Fearsome Siegfried! Prelude to Destruction! – Kenichi fights Siegfried to try to get Niijima back.
  • EPISODE 30- The Results of Training! Align Forward Half! – Kenichi may not be able to save Niijima.
  • EPISODE 31- Honoka Will Help You! – Honoka encounters Hermit, aka Tanimoto.
  • EPISODE 32- Honoka’s in Danger! Loki’s Plot! – Loki kidnaps Honoka to try to lure Kenichi to him.

DISC 2:

  • EPISODE 33- Strike, Kenichi! Fists do the Talking! – Kenichi fights to get Honoka back.
  • EPISODE 34- Don’t Give In! The Words Left by a Loved One! – More of Hermit’s past is revealed.
  • EPISODE 35- There’s No One in Our Way! Now is the Time to Settle the Fight! – Kenichi and Hermit settle their fight.
  • EPISODE 36- Miu vs. Renka! The Love Triangle Creates a Storm! – Renka and Miu fight over Kenichi.
  • EPISODE 37- Dangerous Trap! Let’s Have Sumo Chanko Stew Together! – Kenichi fights Thor from Ragnarok.
  • EPISODE 38- Cute Kitten! Hand-to-Hand Battle Among Women! – Kenichi and Miu encounter Valkyrie… and a kitten.

VIDEO & AUDIO

“Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple” is presented in 16:9. The animation honestly might not be the best that I have seen, especially considering the fact that this series came out in the last few years, but the characters and story make up for it. The art is not bad, but definitely not the best that I’ve seen. There definitely wasn’t a “wow” factor in that department, and because there is a lot of fighting in this series, the art can get rather low quality at times. The character designs for the female characters = fan service and more fan service. The boob sizes ranged from big to bigger, so I’m sure there are some fans that will definitely enjoy that. Lots of bouncing… and some strategical ripping… The music is average but in some parts of the series, there is 8-bit game type music which I personally like quite a bit.

For audio, you have the option of either Japanese or English.

There are only English subtitles available.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

The only special features available on the discs are textless songs and FUNIMATION trailers.

“Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple” is a fun action series filled with great characters and comedy. Season 2 deals with the fighters from Ragnarok as Kenichi’s main rivals to become the best fighter ever. I think the strongest element holding this series together is the interesting characters and the comedy. Of course, there is fighting and a lot of it because it is a martial arts series. Most of the episodes in Season 2 Part 1 deal with Kenichi vs. Hermit and somewhat Loki as well. This is indeed a very character heavy series, but I didn’t find it to the point of being overwhelming. This is the first time I’ve watched “Kenichi”, and despite not watching the first season, the story wasn’t too hard to follow after doing a little bit of research.

This series deals with themes such as what’s more important: power vs kindness? Power or Love? Kenichi is a decent main character: he doesn’t really have too many annoying traits and his determination to learn about five different styles of martial arts at once is commendable. Each of his mentors have their own characteristics and are all fun to watch. A handful of the antagonists in this section of the series also seem to be the type that aren’t all bad either.

Despite Hermit being one of Kenichi’s biggest rivals, it’s obvious that he’s not a bad person… just a little mislead and angry. His interaction with Kenichi’s younger sister Honoka is adorable. His bipolar personality also provides some comic relief for the audience as well. It’s always nice when you don’t have a completely serious rival/antagonist. As I mentioned earlier, the boob size of the girls in this series is big and bigger. Miu’s, for example, is ridiculous. I don’t mind it too much, but the ridiculousness makes me laugh.

Another great thing about this series is the seiyuu they got for this series. There are a lot of veteran seiyuu including Toshihiko Seki, Ryo Horikawa, Minami Takayama, Atsuko Tanaka, Ken Narita, Keiji Fujiwara, Jurota Kosugi, just to name a few. Overall the characters all seemed to have voices that fit their personalities and the English dub was well done as well. The English dub also featured the usual popular FUNIMATION cast including Vic Mignogna, Christopher Sabat, Travis Willingham, and Todd Haberkorn.

I think that the main audience that would appreciate this series is shonen manga fans, martial art fans, and comedy anime fans. I’m not sure how many girls will enjoy watching this considering the boob fan service… but despite it being there, it’s definitely not what the series is mainly about… but it does stick out. I know I mentioned that a lot, but since the story and the characters are intriguing enough, in the end the fan service didn’t bug me to the point that I don’t want to see more of the series. Actually, I do want to see what happens next because this ends with a slight cliff hanger at the end of the 2nd DVD.

Overall, if people just want to check out this part of the series, I think that will be okay (however I would always encourage watching earlier episodes of a series instead of just jumping into random episodes), but I think after watching this part of the series, viewers would be interested in watching prior episodes as well as upcoming episodes. It’s a fun, action-packed fighting series with bits of comedy and moral values… and boob fan service.

I definitely do recommend this series for those who enjoy entertaining characters, comedy, and a lot of fighting. Check it out!






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