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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, Season 2 DVD Impression


Kenichi is not the most amazing anime in any one sense but it does so many things right, most importantly the story. Season 1 was that weak boy gets stronger by training story while season 2 really kicks in with a Tenjho Tenge vibe. Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2 from FUNimation should not be missed by martial arts and school rival/fight fans. So what’s the mightiest disciple up to, let’s take a quick peek …

Season 2, Part 1
– Kenichi continues his training in the most brutal manner possible. Niijima and the Shinpaku alliance keep things interesting as they continue to challenge Ragnarok. Ragnarok members Loki and Siegfried as well as Hermit and the new battle are in full swing. Throw in a new love rival in Renka, a certain master’s daughter, and fighting seems to easiest path for Kenichi. Taking the fight to Ragnarok, Kenichi seeks out and challenges Thor while later getting involved as Kisara is targeted by former ally Freya. Time to step up the training as the true big wigs of Ragnarok are taking notice.


… solid, and it leads into …


Season 2, Part 2
– A fated meeting, Kenichi and Odin. They share a history, one sadly forgotten which involves Miu and a certain pin. Seeing that he needs accelerated training the Elder takes Kenichi into the mountains for seven days of training. Meeting a former disciple and Odin’s teacher, Kenichi realizes what his true path is and makes the move for his final confrontation with Odin. The Shinpaku alliance is falling thanks to one man, Berserker but in order for Kenichi to challenge Odin at full power it’s time for Hermit to step in. As every master looks on the accumulation of Kenichi’s training and drive is put to the test, a battle not to be missed and one without a clear conclusion.


My comparison Tenjho Tenge is really driven from the school age kids with amazing fighting abilities. Before it was all about Kenichi, his training with insane masters and varied challenges but with Ragnarok and the Shinpaku alliance it’s now a gang war. What is great is the story creates a nice flow of training and back-story that makes sense and drives the story. Kenichi’s ties to the past, his present training all wraps up in a nice rounded manner. The new characters are insane power wise and run the range of fighters. The animation is another story as it’s not as good as I’d like to remember from season 1 (it’s still the same), maybe I’m just noticing now. The animation is not poor but is a step below solid, longer running series. Just look at a 50+ episode Gundam Seed or Fullmetal Alchemist and you will be amazed at the animation difference. I point this out as Kenichi spans two full seasons. It stays true to the manga but there is polish missing. The only other knock is how insane the body types of these kids are. Yes, the masters are crazy buff also and that does add to the humor at times but some fans may be turned off in the same manner some otaku no like panty shots or bouncy cleavage.


What’s it all mean? Simple, if you liked season 1, season 2 ramps up the story and provides a very satisfying journey. If you are a fan of sports/training and fighting anime with some humor then check out Kenichi. Questionable animation aside it’s a solid purchase choice and plain fun to watch.

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