Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple

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Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple
Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple vol01.jpg
Cover of the first volume of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple featuring main characters Kenichi Shirahama (left) and Miu Furinji (right)
史上最強の弟子 ケンイチ
(Shijō Saikyō no Deshi: Kenichi)
Genre Martial arts, Comedy, Romance
Manga
Written by Syun Matsuena
Published by Shogakukan
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Sunday
Original run August 9, 2002September 17, 2014
Volumes 60 (List of volumes)
Anime television series
Directed by Hajime Kamegaki
Studio TMS Entertainment
Licensed by
Network TV Tokyo
English network
Original run October 7, 2006September 29, 2007
Episodes 50 (List of episodes)
Original video animation
Directed by Hiroshi Ishiodori
Written by Eizo Kobayashi
Music by Keiji Inai
Studio Brain's Base
Released March 14, 2012May 16, 2014
Episodes 11 (List of episodes)
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple (Japanese: 史上最強の弟子 ケンイチ Hepburn: Shijō Saikyō no Deshi: Kenichi?) is a Japanese manga by Syun Matsuena serialized in the weekly manga magazine Shōnen Sunday from August 2002 to September 2014.

This manga is a remake of Tatakae! Ryōzanpaku Shijō Saikyō no Deshi (戦え!梁山泊 史上最強の弟子?, lit. Fight! Ryōzanpaku, History's Strongest Disciple), which was serialized in the monthly manga magazine Shōnen Sunday Super, publishing five tankōbon between 2000 and 2002.

The first tankōbon was published on August 9, 2002. An anime adaptation by Tokyo Movie Shinsha aired 50 episodes from October 2006 to September 2007. Brain's Base produced OVAs for the series, which continue from the Ragnarok Arc. The first OVA was released on March 14, 2012, the second OVA was released on June 18, 2012, and a third OVA was released on November 16, 2012.[1] The fourth and fifth OVA were released as a double feature on September 16, 2013.[2] The sixth and seventh OVA were released on November 18, 2013.[3] The eighth and ninth OVA were released on February 14, 2014.[4] The tenth and eleventh OVA were released on May 16, 2014.[5]

Story[edit]

The story focuses on Kenichi Shirahama, a 16-year-old high school student and long a victim of bullying. At the beginning of the story, he befriends transfer student Miu Fūrinji; and desires to become stronger, he follows her to Ryōzanpaku, a dojo housing several masters of diverse martial arts, led by her grandfather Hayato Fūrinji. After learning basics from Miu, Kenichi overcomes a high-ranking member of the school's karate club, and becomes a target for all the delinquents in the school. While initially training to protect himself, Kenichi eventually becomes a full disciple of Ryōzanpaku, and becomes enamored of Miu. Subsequently, Kenichi's daily routine is divided between training under the six masters of Ryōzanpaku, and his fights against the members of 'Ragnarok', a gang of bullies trying alternately to recruit or to vanquish him. After Ragnarok is disbanded, Kenichi and Miu are targeted by Yomi, a group of disciples personally trained by a master of an organization rivaling Ryōzanpaku, Yami. While the masters of Ryōzanpaku and their allies follow the principle of always sparing their opponents' lives (Katsujin-ken), the members of Yami believe that defeating an opponent is valid even including murder (Satsujin-ken). In the struggle between the two factions, Kenichi, Miu, and their allies fight the members of Yomi, while his masters confront the members of Yami.

Terminology[edit]

The series makes use of several in-universe concepts including:

Dou (?)
The word "Dou" means motion. Users seem to rely heavily on instincts and brute strength when fighting; but Dou fighters have a technique of interpreting an opponent's movements. According to James Shiba, a Dou fighter focuses on making their ki "explode" after channeling it through a target to deal damage. According to the manga, Apachai, Sakaki, and Miu are all Dou types.
Sei (?)
The word "Sei" means silence. Users focus their attention on changes in the environment and react to imminent danger. These traits are evident in Kensei, Akisame, Hayato, and Kenichi. This principle requires calmn and clarity of mind. Ryūto Asamiya also seems a fighter of the Sei class; but in an experiment conducted by his master Ogata, he tried to embody both Sei and Dou styles at the same time, incurring some damage to himself.
The Path of Asura
The path of the martial artist who pursues power in order to kill. Isshinsai Ogata walks this path and tries to convince Kenichi to follow him, with no success.
Killing Fist (殺人拳 Satsujin-ken?)
Literally "the Death giving fist": the belief that bare-handed martial arts were created as killing weapons. Despite this a follower is not obliged to kill an opponent. Yami embodies this principle.
Saving Fist (活人拳 Katsujin-Ken?)
Literally "the Life giving fist": the belief that bare-handed martial arts were created in defense of innocent lives. Its guidelines are 'not to kill and not to be killed'. The masters of Ryozanpaku maintain this principle.

Media[edit]

Manga[edit]

The manga series is written and illustrated by Syun Matsuena. The manga is serialized in Shogakukan's weekly shōnen manga magazine Shōnen Sunday from August 2002 and currently more than five-hundred chapters has been serialized. The series ended with the release of its 583rd chapter, on September 13, 2014. The story of manga focuses on Kenichi Shirahama an average 17-year-old high school student who has been picked on but after meeting mysterious transfer student, Miu Fūrinji and following her advice of joining a dojo named Ryōzanpaku (梁山泊?) which changes his life.

The manga is a remake of Tatakae! Ryōzanpaku Shijō Saikyō no Deshi (戦え!梁山泊 史上最強の弟子?, lit. Fight! Ryōzanpaku, History's Strongest Disciple), which was serialized in the monthly manga magazine Shōnen Sunday Super.

Shogakukan has released chapters in tankōbon format under Shōnen Sunday Comics (少年サンデーコミックス?) imprint and as of now 60 volumes has been published. The first volume was published on August 9, 2002,[6] and the latest on November 18, 2014.[7] Kodansha also released limited edition versions of several volumes beginning with volume 35.[8] The series is licensed in France by Kurokawa.[9]

Anime[edit]

An anime adaptation of Kenichi: History's Strongest Disciple animated by Tokyo Movie Shinsha first started airing on October 7, 2006. It aired a total of fifty episodes, covering from the beginning of the story to the confrontation against the top members of Ragnarok. FUNimation has dubbed the series. All 50 episodes have been released as of May 25, 2010.

The series made its North American television debut when it aired on FUNimation Channel starting October 26, 2009. All 50 episodes have been shown.

An OVA produced by Brain Base was released on March 14, 2012. The story continues from the Ragnarok Arc entering the Yomi arc. The second OVA featuring later story in the yomi arc was released on June 18, 2012, and a third OVA was released on November 16, 2012.[1] The fourth and fifth OVA were released on September 16, 2013.[2] The sixth and seventh OVA were released on November 18, 2013.[3] The eighth and ninth OVA have been announced and released on February 14, 2014.[4] The tenth and eleventh OVA were released on May 16, 2014.[5] The main cast for the OVA series is the same from those of the anime series except for Rie Kugimiya who replaces the late Tomoko Kawakami as Miu and Yuzuru Fujimoto who replaces the late Hiroshi Arikawa as her grandfather Hayato.

Music themes[edit]

OVA Openings:

  • 1st OVA Opening - Wish by Iori Nomizu (OVAs 1-9)
  • 2nd OVA Opening - Higher ground by Tomokazu Seki (OVAs 10-Present)

Opening themes[edit]

Title Transcription/Translation Artist Episodes
Be Strong n/a Kana Yazumi 1-25
Yahhoo ヤッホーYahhō Diva x Diva 26-50

Ending themes[edit]

Title Transcription/Translation Artist Episodes
Kimi Ga Irukara 君がいるから Because you are there Issei Eguchi 1-15
Catch Your Dream☆ n/a Koike Joanna 16-25
Run Over n/a Koike Joanna 26-45
Kokoro Kara No Message 心からのメッセージ A message from Heart Sakura 46-49
Be Strong n/a Kana Yazumi 50

The Song Titles are from Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 1- Complete DVD Set (2010) and Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Season 2- Complete DVD Set (2011).

Games[edit]

On March 15, 2007, Capcom released the series' first game, Shijō Saikyō no Deshi Kenichi: Gekitō! Ragnarok Hachikengō, exclusively on the PlayStation 2.

References[edit]

External links[edit]