Verdict: This anime is good. It probably won’t rock your world, but it’s solid.
Kenichi is the story of Kenichi Shirahama. From the very beginning, we learn that he is a weakling. He was teased all throughout middle school and is called weak-knees because his knees always shake and knock together when he’s scared.
We see the first example of this when he sees the girl he met earlier (Miu pronounced Me-you) is outnumbered by 3 street thugs. Kenichi struggles with whether to do something or not. He ultimately decides to jump into the fray, but his knees are visibly shaking and we can tell that he is terrified. Miu ends up handling the guys on her own, and inviting Kenichi to train at Ryozanpaku, a dojo that we later find out is owned by her grandfather.
This starts Kenichi on a journey to become history’s strongest disciple.
This anime follows Kenichi as he gets stronger and faces better and more skilled opponents. It starts with him facing off against the strongest bully in the Karate Club and it escalates to end with him fighting the strongest members of the gang Ragnarok.
This is a true start-from-the-bottom come-up story. We see Kenichi go through intense training and practice the moves he’s learning in actual combat. We see him win fights, lose fights, and have to be saved from fights as well. We experience the moments when his power is not enough to do what he wants or needs to do, along with him. These are the moments that push Kenichi to train and work harder.
What I personally liked about Kenichi is that he’s relatable in that he has moments where he wants to quit. There are times in the show where he is overwhelmed and feels like he isn’t making any progress or he’s scared and so he thinks he’s hit his limit. Everyone has felt like that at some point, so adding that into the anime made Kenichi feel like he had more depth to him.
I also liked that Miu wasn’t your typical female anime character in that she wasn’t useless. She was actually more powerful that Kenichi and she worked hard for it and even taught Kenichi. He was aspiring to her level and that was a nice change of pace from having female characters in shows like this only be surface level strong and constantly be the weakest link and need protection. We see her training and sparring with Kenichi, but also on her own. She effortlessly defeats opponents who Kenichi struggles with and it’s nice to see him training hard to get better than her so that he CAN protect her.
By the end of the series, Kenichi has improved so much, he’s nothing like the person we see at the beginning of the show, but he’s humble. He doesn’t let his new strength go to his head. If you’re into martial arts anime, like true martial arts, then this anime is right up your alley. Kenichi works hard and in the end, it pays off. It’s got funny moments and good lessons and high school crushes all wrapped up into one anime.
Overall, it’s definitely worth a watch in my opinion.
The Otaku Couple