Friday, 17 May 2013

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Collection 1
Released By: Manga Entertainment
Rating: 15
Running Time: 325 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: 10/5/2013
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes

Hitobashi University is missing an idiot, but he's not all that bad. He's no idea how to talk to people, and even less in making friends. Like Sai from Naruto, he has to read books on dealing with friends on a personal level, not that he would want to befriend any of the other idiots at the Karate Club. They only use him as a punch bag and general dogsbody to clean up after them.

Miu's grandfather also has a martial arts club, but their teachers are honorable, and won't beat him up. Each teacher knows their own disciplines too; Karate, Judo, Muay Thai, and Kendo are a few of what to expect when you watch it, but mostly Kenichi wants to study Karate. After a few lessons at Miu's grandfathers dojo, Kenichi decides he wants to become a keen gardener instead as flowers don't try to beat him up in alleyways, but since he has got good at karate, his enemies are queuing up to fight him, which means he has no choice but to get better.

Bullying isn't big and it's not clever at school, but Kenichi has to deal with it every day at high school, and to be honest, he's had enough. In order for him to defeat his bullying enemy, he has to go to a local dojo thanks to his friend, Miu telling him about her grandfather, and train under a fearless martial arts master - but will he be able to defeat the one who has hurt him for so long?

Like a lot of martial arts anime series, we get to see how far the bond between master and disciple has grown, and whether or not the disciple has learned from him or not along the course of the training. For Kenichi, the training has been intense and worthwhile as he gets a chance to beat the bully who has been dogging his step for a while now. Fighting isn't all he does though, as he also develops a crush on Miu, even as those around him don't notice they are getting a lot closer than before. He still can't get the words out to ask her on a date though, as he's a shy kid even now. The funny thing is that no one else can handle girls either, and maybe that is a social comment on many Japanese school kids.

Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Collection 1 has plenty of comedy between the characters, humour pointed at the characters, romantic interludes which aren't always successful, and kung fu fighting, though the fighting itself isn't as good as it could be compared to other anime series of the same theme.

Bonus Material: Text less Opening - Be Strong, Text less Opening 2: Yahoo, Text less Closing 1: Catch Your Dream, Text less Closing 2: Run Over.

Verdict: Get ready for the mayhem as Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple Collection 1 hits the shops - it'll be a knockout!

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