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Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple - Season One, Part One
Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple - Season One Part One
Actors: Josh Grelle, Carrie Savage
Director: Monica Rial
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
UR     2009     5hr 12min

Yeah, Kenichi?s a total wimp. He?s always getting picked on and doesn?t have a lot of friends to stick up for him. The guy needs motivation if he hopes to graduate in one piece. Well, Miu?s the perfect motivation. She?s ho...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Josh Grelle, Carrie Savage
Director: Monica Rial
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Studio: Funimation Prod
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Animated,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/10/2009
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 5hr 12min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaDVD Credits: 2
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: Japanese, English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Addictive (to me anyway)
Days2Daze | Michigan | 03/15/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple is a simple action comedy that is very entertaining. The character himself is the nice guy underdog who is completely isolated at the beginning. Since his strength is lacking and he has no friends he is often mocked at the very least and beat on the very worst. I don't want to talk about key points in the plot but its engaging to see Kenichi evolve to become both physically and emotionally stronger. His training and the various interactions between characters are quite humorous and the fights are well done.

When he fights a tough opponent it is plausible he is able to be a contender because his training is not only sadistically harsh and long but also he learns counter moves. They go into great detail about the fighting styles in this anime. What they are used for, their strengths and weaknesses, and how they are learned (performed). I hope my review was helpful and I hope enough people enjoy (purchase) Kenichi that funimation will license the rest of the show (they licensed 26 out of 50 episodes to test the product.)

This DVD Contains 13 Episodes and B will have 13 Since Funi only licensed the first 26. Trailers and clean opening/ending are the only special features included here... standard/generic special features only. Total Run time for the 13 episodes is 312 Minutes.

Edit: Part Two is Available Now."
One of the anime I think would make a good USA tv series.
Courtland J. Carpenter | Fort Wayne, Indiana United States | 09/19/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ever wish you bought Microsoft back in 1992, sometimes I remember thinking about it then. When I do, I realize if I had I'd have become seriously rich, and could do lots fo things like finance a movie or a TV series. After saving Firefly, the Joss Whedon series, the next thing I think I'd want to finance would be History's Strongest Disciple. Yeah, I know that's not the US title of this, but it's still the one I know it by. Kenichi was not received as well as it could have been by fan groups cause many of them were expecting a straight martial arts show. Kenichi is more of a comedic series with an interesting martial arts twist. The martial arts part is blown up to be a bit larger than life, but it works on both a comedic and an action level. The character development in Kenichi is stellar and that's why I think it would make a good live action series as well as anime. Not that far into the series, we all seem to have a handle on his family, his school friends, his enemies, and the mystical dojo that houses six masters of various martial arts.

The plot is simple, I'm not really sending spoilers by saying Kenichi is a wimp who wants to be more than that, and gets his wish with the chance meeting of a new girl at school Miu. They have met before a long time ago, but only Miu puts it together at their first meeting. It is through her that Kenichi gets his opportunity to change himself. There is a subtle point which was meant to preserve the comedy and perhaps prolong the series early on. To explain that I'll go to the manga series, of which there are two. In the first the plot is different and Kenichi becomes a fighter for different reasons and gets stronger much sooner. After about 40 chapters or so they scrapped that story, and started a new one from scratch. In the new version which echos the anime, Miu is the one who drives Kenichi more, and in this case involves him in something the masters would have spared him from.

While this is a small spoiler, I'll tell you it cause it can be missed if you don't pay close attention. Kenichi, like most people wants to get himself out of a bind, but he would never have chosen the path he took had he known what it implied. The bind he was in involved the Karate club, where he is challenged by a much larger new member who plans to beat the crap out of him, and force him to leave the club. After Miu gets Kenichi involved with the masters, a funny enough introduction in it's own right, they train him with harsh conditioning methods. Miu, feeling sorry for him, and overhearing the person he's going to fight boast about the beating he'll get, teaches him an advanced technique. In the end he wins, but the move is illegal, so he leaves the Karate club, but not without attracting some attention from the upperclassman in the club. You see the thing the masters knew, that Kenichi and Miu did not, was that if he was conditioned and had no knowledge of technique, a person with no natural martial arts aptitude like himself, would survive the beating. He could then go on with his everyday life mostly unfettered. Unfortunately, since Miu teaches him an advanced technique, now stronger and stronger fighters will now come at him till he'd finally completely defeated, or he has to get stronger to beat them. What he finds out is he'll now likely spend the rest of his life battling new challengers.

What makes Kenichi so funny? It's often in the crazy training techniques, like the squid dance where Kenichi is hung on a spit over an open fire fanned by one of his masters, and has to keep twisting back and forth to keep from getting fried. This helps develop the abs, rather quickly I would assume, or he might be giving the master a ride by pulling him on a tire. He once asked if there was a faster way to get in shape while doing this, and the master said their was... Kenichi waited to hear about it, whereby the master produced a whip, then told him to pull him on the tire faster! Other funny scenes involve Kenichi's father and his pet shotgun Sebastian, his busybody sister, who thinks Kenichi, (and she may be right) has been seduced away to this dojo by Miu's large chest. There is humor in the foes he fights as each one has his share of quirks, from a cat loving female kick artist, to a crazy aristocrat, who composes and hears music in his fighting. There is humor in the interaction between the masters, composed of a childlike monster who can't control his power, to a female master of weapons who is constantly fighting the perverted attempts to photograph her by the Chinese master, a drunken Karate master who says he refuses to take disciples, and Kenichi's philosopher, artist, and mentor who constantly tricks him into getting stronger. There is humor in Kenichi's forked tongued, alien like, or demon like friend, who plans to use him to conquer the world, and then lead it himself. Kenichi generally can become serious enough when the fighting starts, but is more often humourous when there is not a battle going on.

It's been a couple years since the series aired, and they do not seem to be interested in making more at this time. This is unfortunate because the manga has material to do three times or more the number of episodes they've produced. The manga is on it's 353 chapter as I write this. This is the first part of season one, and officially there was only one season of 50 episodes. Funimation has only half that season licensed, so hopefully they will pick up the second half. The stories a somewhat episodic so this is a fair way to release them, but it would be nice to collect the entire season. As for me, I'm still thinking who I'd cast in the parts fo the various characters, who knows, I might win the lotto one day, and I'd love to make this into a hit live action series in the states."
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 11/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"An anime series about a boy learning martial-arts from a gang of masters sounds... kinda boring. Fortunately it's anything but -- "Kenichi: Season One, Part One" is a solid start to this deliciously oddballish series, with plenty of gutsplitting comedy, explosive action, a hint of romance, and extremely eccentric martial artists. And the "weak knees" main character makes it easy for you to root for him.

Throughout his school life, Kenichi Shirahama has been weak, bullied, friendless and nicknamed "weak knees." He enters the high school karate club to become stronger, but quickly finds himself at the bottom of the food chain -- and challenged to a match by a big muscled thug.

But his life is unexpectedly saved by the new transfer student Miu, who can beat down an entire street gang. She guides him to the Ryzanpaku dojo where she lives... and where five great martial arts masters currently reside, each at the peak of their skill and strength. Unsurprisingly Kenichi joins up with the hope of becoming stronger, but he soon discovers that their methods are kind of brutal (think racing around the city pulling jiujitsu master Akisame in a tire!). With the strength training -- and a little help from Miu -- Kenichi pulls off a miraculous victory.

Unfortunately, his martial-arts win only leads to more trouble. First he attracts the attention of the cruel Tsukuba, foremost karate fighter at the school; and then he unwittingly gains the attention of Ragnarok, the strongest street gang in the city. While Kenichi tries to keep his life as normal as possible, his new fame as a fighter only causes more chaos for him, as Ragnarok's boxer Takeda and cruel Shinnosuke challenge him to fight.

"Kenichi: Season One Part One" is a strong start to the anime series -- it quickly introduces us to the characters and scenario, then plunges right into the world of martial arts training. But on a deeper level, "Kenichi" is also about a young man who gains not only physical strength but mental endurance, and how his innocent quest to be strong rapidly escalates into something far more life-changing.

And.... it's funny. REALLY funny. Every episode is packed with slapstick, insane training (the Great Leg Divide -- a sort of medieval torture device), eccentric characters ("Riiiiiise, SEBASTIAN!"), and tsunamis of hormones whenever Kenichi gets within two feet of Miu. All this humor keeps the series from getting too deadly serious. There's also a lot of action that twists through the various episodes, as Kenichi is confronted by all sorts of opponents -- karate, boxing, street fighters, knife-wielding thugs -- and has to use different techniques to defeat them. Lots of special punches, low kicks, pivots, body-weight throws and other fun techniques.

But Kenichi himself is a strong point -- he's a likable and earnest kid who hasn't been soured by his constant mistreatment at school, and who just wants to be strong enough to defend himself and other people. And it doesn't go to his head, since he shows immense compassion towards the people he defeats. Miu is also an excellent female lead in the vein of Tite Kubo's Orihime -- busty, friendly, industrious, naive, and just a little bit weird.

And the supporting characters have a brilliance of their own: there's Miu's imposing grandpa, the rough and blunt Sakaki, the silent sword-swinging Shigure, the lecherous Kensei, and the vast and deadly child-man Apachai ("Only limit is limit of fear!"). And while we haven't seen much of him yet, Takeda the Puncher is a promising rival/buddy for Kenichi.

"Kenichi: Season One Part One" is a solid start to a thoroughly enjoyable series, crammed with martial-arts fighting and loads of comedy. A fun, wild little anime series that deserves immediate watching! Apapapapa!"
Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple part 1
S. J. Greville | 04/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It's been some time since a decent martial arts anime came out and finally one has arrived. Kenichi has everything a guy could ask for; hot babes, and great fights. An absolute must add to any anime collection."