2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Let's just burn down the house; this couldn't possibly get any worse,
This review is from: Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: Season 1, Part Two (DVD)
The No. 1 student of Ry'zanpaku is about to face his greatest, most terrifying challenge -- moving into the dojo!
And unsurprisingly the training and action are amped up considerably in "Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple - Season One, Part Two," which follows Kenichi's life as an official student who lives, works and trains at his dojo. And while the sitcom antics take center stage for several episodes (gratuitous beach episode ahooooooyyyy!), Kenichi's fights start to shift from fighting one-off thugs and into tackling Ragnarok's strongest fighters.
Kenichi is shocked and horrified when the masters suggest that he move into the dojo... until Kensei points out that he'll be living under the same roof as Miu. From then on, Kenichi's training becomes even more hardcore -- and he also deals with island vacations (and swimming lessons from Shigure), teacher visits, romantic rivalries, hot springs, Honoka's infiltration of the dojo (and discovery that the masters aren't actually that bad), and challenges from another dojo (Crab-head!).
But the threat from the megagang Ragnarok hasn't vanished, and Kisara has become one of their highest-ranked fighters, the Fists of Ragnarok. She sets out to destroy Takeda for his defection, leaving it up to Miu and Kenichi to rescue those who have left the organization. And Kenichi is horrified when Miu is cast as Juliet in the school play, opposite the school heartthrob Tanimoto -- but he'd be even more horrified if he realized how close Ragnarok is...
The first five episodes of "Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple - Season One, Part Two" are rather fluffy and lightweight compared to the ones that precede it, with classic sitcom antics like Shigure and Sakaki pretending to be Miu's parents. And there's plenty of fun comic relief, especially from Apachai ("When she turns you down, please don't hurt yourself! Live is worth living!") and Kenichi himself (stoically slapping Nijima while the latter rants about world domination). The mass shark attack was kinda silly, though.
But the rest of the season gets darker, bloodier and nastier -- there are savage street fights, Takeda and his buddy beating up/being beaten by Ragnarok, Miu and Kisara's heated brawl, and the formation of Nijima's own bizarre gang, the Shinpaku Alliance. It climaxes on a slightly unsatisfactory note, since Kenichi's nervewracking bus-top fight doesn't have much of an ending, but it is fun to see Kenichi becoming strong enough to take out the bad guys without much visible effort.
And Kenichi is getting a lot stronger, to the point where the lesser Ragnarok thugs see him as a cat-eyed black demon figure -- but he's still the same kind, sympathetic guy who flies into a teary fit at the idea of Miu dating someone else. Miu shows what she's capable of when she's mad, reveals her longing for a "normal" nuclear family, and her determined ambition to play Juliet in the play; while Takeda shows the depth of his friendship with Kenichi and Ukita.
The masters all get some fleshing out too, whether it's Shigure's gentler tutelage, Akisame's friendship with Miu's dad, or Apachai's basketball fun. And the voice actors all deserve a great shout-out -- Josh Grelle and Carrie Savage are brilliant as the kind, flaky Miu and Kenichi. Christopher Sabat, Sonny Strait, Trina Nishimura, Vic Mignogna, and Kent Williams are awesome as the masters, while Jason Liebrecht is both warm and creepy as Tanimoto, and J. Michael Tatum is great as Takeda.
The second half of "Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple's" first season has a slightly unsatisfying ending, but it leaves you eagerly waiting for what comes next. A must-see.