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.
Initial Reaction: This is the anime version of The Karate Kid and is about to be a really good come-up story.
This first episode was really good. It has a good “hook” factor to it; it makes you want to watch the second episode. From the very beginning you understand the plight of Kenichi very well. He’s a weak kid who wants to learn karate to become stronger. He meets this new girl and that’s really where his story starts.
This story had some action, and it wasn’t really unexpected given the genre (martial arts anime), but his reaction to it was. Like, there isn’t this “GAAAAHHHHH I WILL BE THE BEST IN THE UNIVERSE! GAHHHHHAHHAHAHAHA!!” feeling to Kenichi. He’s a guy who wants to learn karate and become stronger to help and protect people. That’s it. He’s not out to take down a bunch of people or just love to fight. He just wants to be stronger.
Given other anime like Dragon Ball, Yu Yu Hakusho, Kenshin, and Taboo Tattoo and others where the main character LIKES to fight (not kill, but fight), it was nice to see this trait in a main character.
There is an intro, but it adds to your understanding of the show without throwing in spoilers. It’s nice actually. We understand immediately what kind of life Kenichi lives and there’s plenty of things that you don’t expect. It’s a solid beginning and I’m definitely going to keep watching. It also seems like one of those anime that is probably better if it’s watched with someone else. It gives this impression that there are going to be a lot of “oh! Did you see that?” moments.
The Otaku Couple