"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!
#1: "Kimi ga iru kara" by Issei Eguchi (eps 01-15) #2: "Catch Your Dream" by Koike Joanna (eps 16-25) #3: "RunOver" by Koike Joanna (eps 26-45) #4: "Kokoro Kara no Message" by Sakura (eps 46-49) #5: "Be Strong" by Kana Yazumi (ep 50)
You are a person who loves fighting anime and is looking for something with epic battles and intense rivalries. Or you are someone who is looking for a good laugh and an entertaining anime that will last you for awhile. Or, you are somebody who is simply looking for an amazing anime that has all the right pieces that make it extraordinary. If any of those above scenarios fit you, simply put, Shijou Saikyou No Deshi Kenichi (History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi) is a must-watch anime for you to pick up on.
The story, although simple at heart, becomes more complex at the surface as the anime progresses through the episodes. Kenichi is your run-of-the mill weakling kid who is always getting picked on by everyone and has no confidence in his abilities whatsoever. But that doesn't stop him from doing the right thing and stepping into some pretty hairy situations despite his shortcomings. The story begins with Kenichi wanting to get stronger because of his will to protect his friends. As a result, he joins the Ryōzanpaku dojo and from there on out, every episode has meaning, and will have you wanting for more. The story ends with Kenichi in an final showdown verses the leader of the most intense gang in Japan - Ragnorak. Just from that, it gives you the sense that the plot development is spectacular in this show.
The art for Kenichi is well done. All of the characters are drawn very well and have distinguishing characteristics that cosplay members will love to create. Animation is also done very well, as you have great battles and very few repetition of frames.
Arguably, the sound is probably the weakest point of the anime, and its not even that weak. Opening/ending songs are pretty good and the scores used throughout the anime fit quite well with the current scene you are watching. However, it is the voices to each character that really brings all the characters alive, as you can feel the emotion from all of the characters.
The character design in HSD Kenichi is so original and great, that you'll wonder why nobody has ever came up with this before. Kenichi is trained by six masters, who all specialize in a different form of martial arts. All of their personalities are so different and unique, you'll also wonder how each of them get along in the first place. Hence, the many comedic moments and episodes that you'll inevitably witness as they all fight amongst themselves to be the one who trains Kenichi. Ah, and let's not forget the beautiful Miu Furinji, Kenichi's love interest, who, unlike other female protagonists of similar plots, is one hell of a fighter and the reason Kenichi joins the dojo. As the anime progresses deeper in the story, you'll be unveiled to a plethora of unique characters who have different fighting styles and unique personalities, which will all amaze and have you laughing at the same time. For the sake of keeping this section as short as possible, I'm simply going to say character development is flawless in this anime.
Even with all of this that I have written about, this anime would be nothing without its comedy, and that is what makes Kenichi so much fun and enjoyable to watch. You will be literally laughing out loud at some of the hellish training that Kenichi is forcibly put through and will wonder why he hasn't died yet. (Yes, the training is that hellish). Even with 50 episodes, the comedy of Kenichi never gets old and you'll find that to be the case right up to the very last episode. Hell, sometimes you'll wish that they had more comedy than serious fights, because its that good.
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. read more
I was going to wait until I reached the end of the series to write a review, however this anime has finally worn away my tolerance.
In short, skip it.
For a longer explanation; Kenichi is a moron. He is stupid, gullible and doesn't actually seem to grow as a character. Every time he is taught (or supposedly learns) a lesson he reverts back to his original self, he's dull and easily suckered.
Miu appears to be a complete ditz with a total lack of social skills, yet is a martial arts master. She's only there in the story to be fan fodder, as apparent by her breasts and skimpy outfits.
Many of these characters appear to be high school students, yet are drawn to look like 30 year olds who never got past the 9th Grade.
A lot of the masters Kenichi trains under start out fairly interesting but quickly fall into space-fillers. As masters, and people in general, they are terrible. There is almost no positive reinforcement of Kenichi's training and he is constantly belittled. The Drunk, The Samurai, The Pervert, Wise-man, etc. All fall into a category that adds nothing to the story.
The series focuses heavily on cliche's, sexism, tropes and stereotypes to move it supposed "plot" along. Kenichi and several girls in the series constantly talk about how women CANT do this and CANT do that because they are clearly weaker than men and that will never change. Kenichi himself wont fight a girl because he has "principles" and its "not right", despite the fact that these people have proven they're strong and have challenged him to a fight. I find it degrading that he would deny a woman a fight but not a guy.
Apachai would be the worst crime in this series. They took a character who had the opportunity to be interesting based on his background and fighting style and made him mentally retarded. He is almost too stupid to be able to function, and its insulting.
I liked the series when it started out as a young kid trying to find his way, learning martial arts and better himself, but it quickly devolves into a DBZ wanna be with "special moves", "power up's" and drawn out fights.
These teens talk about their training as if they've been at it for decades, when really it seems like only weeks or months have passed.
This anime is bland, repetitive, lacks growth and is completely forgettable. I will finish it purely out of spite, but I would advise everyone else to skip it.read more
If you're looking for something engaging, with thrilling action sequences and a story that will keep you on the edge of your seat at the end of every episode, then go ahead and skip this anime. It's the ultimate definition of a mediocre anime. I had to force my way through every episode. The hero of the story is not likable, and the character Niijima is the equivalent of Jar-Jar Binks in Episode 1. Actually, I take that back because I hated Jar-Jar less. The boob jokes get old, and the action sequences are weak. You can find SO much better. If you want to watch an underdog story with excellent action and lots and lots of GOOD humor, then watch Hajime no Ippo and skip this one. I don't know what the target audience for this was, because teens will see through the weak action sequences, adults will find the perverted jokes unappealing, and children would be bored to tears with the lame story line.
Thumbs down. read more
This is the crappiest of all crapfests ever. Imagine your least favorite anime. Now imagine if it had footage of your favorite pet dying. In slow motion. In the OP & ED. History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi is worse.
Story- 2: Kenichi has the most stereotypical shonen premise I've ever seen. A wimpy young schoolboy wishes he was good at fighting but he isn't. Luckily, he meets a busty schoolgirl who (surprise!) lives at an amazing dojo that takes him on as their disciple. This plot was only barely interesting the first time I saw it, however everything about it seems ripped directly from a better and/or more original anime.
Art- 3: Everybody in this series is both disturbingly muscular and overly sexualized. The art reminded me of a cross between Dragon Ball Z and Love Hina... certainly not a good thing. However, here is the one place Kenichi didn't shine as remarkably bad, although just as uninspired as the rest of the series, Kenichi has at least mediocre production values. Similarly, the fight scenes aren't awful, just worse than 95% of the shonen-fighter genre.
Sound- 2: Ugh! The voice acting in this series was outstandingly grating, just as the music was outstandingly forgettable. I would've given it a 1 but at least it did have a memorably bad theme song. Actually, months after seeing some Kenichi, I doubt you'll remember the music much at all...
Character- 1: Which is in stark contrast with the characterization. Believe me when I say *there isn't a single character in Kenichi you haven't seen somewhere else before*. More importantly, the characters all adhere religiously to their stereotypes, making them both generic AND predictable. To say Kenichi has 2D characters is an understatement, I felt like the series was entirely inhabited by flat background characters.
Enjoyment- 1: There are those shows that are so bad, they are fun to make fun of. Kenichi dodges this category by acting like it might be funny already. It also might have a good plot and original characters. (It doesn't.) Kenichi goes past "so bad it's funny" back into the realm of "so bad it's terrible". I can honestly say I would've enjoyed myself more doing absolutely nothing.
Overall- 1: This is straight-up the worst anime I've ever watched. I hate wasting my time writing bad reviews, but this show was bad enough I felt I had to warn other people away from it. If you love shonen, fighting anime, etchi, AND martial arts.... you could do better. If you don't love every one of these genres, please do not waste your time. There is such a wealth of other series that fall into these genres and are better in every way... the only thing I have to say that's good about Kenichi is that I only watched 3 episodes of it. Maybe it gets less outstandingly awful after that point... But that would still only make it terribly mediocre. read more