September 13, 2011

History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi

I've been working on this series now for about two months on and off. It has been entertaining, but I'm so busy lately that finishing an anime series has been a bit harder than I had hoped. History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi (I know its a mouthful) combines action, romance, and comedy into 50 episodes.
The story follows Kenichi, a boy who has no aptitude for martial arts and is constantly being picked on and bullied. Kenichi ends up meeting a girl named Miu one morning on his way to school while being harassed by some street thugs. Miu ends up making quick work of the thugs and leaves Kenichi speechless. After watching how Miu handled herself, Kenichi decides to take on martial arts at Ryozanpaku (the dojo owned by Miu's grandfather) so that he can protect Miu. While at Ryozanpaku, Kenichi ends up having a number of masters in various fighting styles, who are striving to make him history's strongest disciple. The interactions between Kenichi and his masters are continually filled with humor and sprinkled with morality. As Kenichi embarks on his path to becoming a strong martial artist, he is continually tested by a gang known as Ragnarok. In his battles with Ragnarok, Kenichi learns more about himself and gains the respect of his opponents.
Near the end of this series I began to found the story take more of a serious turn. There was more emphasis on Kenichi becoming strong to defeat Ragnarok rather than on his sense of justice. The pace of the story also picks up near the end with a lot of action packed scenes and quick plot development. While I am a fan of fast-paced action, it would have been nice if the story was paced along the 50 episodes. It became very back-end heavy in this regards. The development of the characters over the series was well done and kept my interest peaked throughout. Animation style is visually very appealing (big boobs and all) and soundtrack is well placed.
Overall, this is a very entertaining anime and well worth your time to watch. There is a good balance between action, comedy, and romance, which allows this to cater to many audiences. For me personally, this ranks up there with Hajime No Ippo as a series that focuses on overcoming the odds.

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