Member Favorites: 1,388
Kenichi Shirahama (白浜 兼一)First appearance: Battle 1
Type: Sei (also shown Dou-Type traits)
Type: Katsujin Ken
Martial Arts: Kenichi's Fighting Style (hybrid of Karate, Jujutsu, Chinese Kenpo, Muay Thai, Kosaka Style (Weapons), and Furinji Style)
Shirahama Kenichi is good-natured, timid and polite person in his second year of high school who loves gardening and reading books. Kenichi was frequently treated as a friendless loser at the beginning of the series, however it all changed when he met Furinji Miu. After the fateful meeting, he decided to stand for himself and be truly strong; or at least, strong enough to protect those who are dear to him. Though he's constantly considered cowardly at the beginning of the series, he shows that when his loved ones lives are on the line, he's actually much braver than he appears.
On his way to school one day Kenichi met Miu once again (though he did not recognize her) and the two soon became friends. Kenichi was a member of the school's karate club but was forced to do menial chores and was used as a punching bag until one day he stood up to a hulking student who tried to force him to quit and the two agreed to a match in which the loser will be forced to quit the club. With Miu's help he managed to win but quit the club anyway and drew unwanted attention from the club's president whom he fought twice managing an easy win the second time due to training he received at the Ryozanpaku dojo. However the trouble does not end for Kenichi as the club president had ties to a rising delinquent group known as Ragnarok who begin to take an interest in Kenichi. The manga follows Kenichi as he continues to train at, and eventually live at the Ryozanpaku dojo as well as facing increasingly more powerful foes.
Though it is consistently stated that Kenichi has no talent for martial arts he more than makes up for it with his work ethic. It is due to this and the abnormally intense training regime he is forced to endure that Kenichi has gone from being considered the weakest student in his high school to being able to fight and defeat opponents with many years worth of skill as well as some with borderline superhuman abilities.
Kenichi is kind, compassionate, thoughtful, and moral to a fault. He is against violence and only studies martial arts to protect others, and also adheres to a strict code of morals and refuses to kill or hit women even if it means death. In spite of his strong moral standards however Kenichi can be quite perverted as he will jump at the chance to see Miu or Shigure bathing and also buys pictures of them from Ma (though these pictures are mostly fakes). He also adopted a "fighting style" from Ma called "ecchi mode" in which he attempts to grope women which strangely enough has actually helped him get out of a jam before. As a result of his kindness Kenichi has made many friends some of whom are former enemies and has even managed to unknowingly win the affections of Ma Renka and Li Raichi.
Martial arts are an expression of power, showcasing the potential of the human body when pushed to its physical limit. It also makes for exciting anime, and allows animators and directors to showcase their prowess as things get heated.