Aug 11, 2022
“Kennosuke-sama” is a short movie based on a one-shot Akira Toriyama manga that was shown in theaters alongside a Dragon Ball Z movie and another short film in 1990. Due to its length, the movie ends rather abruptly, but it’s pretty enjoyable for what it is.
This movie is about a kindergartner samurai boy named Kennosuke, who lives in an anachronistic world which combines elements from medieval and modern Japan. After school, a girl named Oden asks him out on a date, and he agrees to it, but there’s just one problem — he doesn't know what a date is. He asks his mother, who gives
him a vague idea of the concept, and then goes to his pig ninja servant/friend, Shinobimaru, for help. Shinobimaru’s advice is misguided, to say the least, causing Kennosuke to get into various kinds of trouble. Will his date with Oden be successful in the end, or will he fail and be deemed “terrible” by his suitor?
The plot is easy to understand and follow along with, and ends on a decent note, although the ending is abrupt — I would have liked to see the aftermath of everything that happened. The characters, naturally, don’t get much development, but their personalities are distinctive and they are likable.
The whole thing looks and sounds like “Dragon Ball,” which makes sense given that this is based on a Toriyama manga. Two of the characters in particular closely resemble characters from that series, and one even has the same voice actor. The voice acting is good, and the music is cute and goofy, fitting the movie well. The setting is one of the best things about this anime — the world looks interesting, not just due to its anachronistic elements, but also because some of its inhabitants include talking animals. It would have been nice if there had been more time to explore it.
As for potentially objectionable content, although this should be a family-friendly movie considering what other films it was shown with, there are a few crude visual gags in it. There’s a scene in which a character briefly flips someone the bird; Shinobimaru is shown secretly rifling through a copy of “Playboy” magazine for date information; and, most prominently, there’s a villain whose clothing is emblazoned with the phrase “F*** YOU!!” in multiple locations instead of a traditional samurai crest.
Overall, the aforementioned crude humor aside, “Kennosuke-sama” is an anime that’s short and sweet — but too short to leave much of an impact. However, if you want something that’s quick and easy to watch, and the lack of a solid conclusion and character development don’t bother you, I’d recommend checking this little movie out.
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