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Heartwarming / Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple

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For a badass shonen series on martial arts, a lot of heartwarming moments occur nearly once an episode.

  • When the series begins, the one thing that keeps Kenichi returning to the dojo for his hellish training is Miu. She's the one dojo resident who acts like a regular human being and treats Kenichi with kindness. During a period where Kenichi is trapped in his own quarters overnight at the dojo, Miu beckons him over to the rooftop in her jammies so they can have a picnic and look at the stars. Awww.
    Miu: Kenichi, I would like it if we could be friends for a very long time.
    Kenichi: (Thinking) I'm pretty sure she just told me I have no shot at being her boyfriend. But, I think I can live with that... For now.
  • When Apachai literally comes Back from the Dead to save Kenichi.
    • And later, this line from Koetsuji when he was desperately trying to save Apachai: "I won't give my precious friend's life away to a mere God!" And he DOES save Apachai.
  • Any time Apachai plays with small children or Honoka, or interacts with small animals, it is pure, unfiltered adorable.
  • Kenichi helping Takeda to get him out of his hellhole gang life and revitalize his boxing career.
  • When Kenichi's father decides to raid Ryouzanpaku to "save" Kenichi. Sakaki catches up to them and Kenichi's father moves to protect him by punching Sakaki. When asked why he didn't dodge the punch, he responded with "To protect his son, a father throws a punch with all his power, if I dodged it, then isn't that too rude?
  • Episode 28: Kenichi gets a love letter and seeks advice from his masters because it complicates his relationship with Miu. While Kensei makes a hotrod joke, Sasaki is much more straightforward and helpful. In the English dub, Kenichi says this to Sasaki, while Miu happens to be in the rafters overhead
    Kenichi: I used to think she (Miu) was a goal I was working towards but now she's a really good friend and I don't want to do anything to mess that up. I know she's the one for me, even if she doesn't.
    Miu: (thinking) Kenichi...that's so sweet....(blush)
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  • This chapter altogether. Scratch that, any interaction between Honoka and Tanimoto is a plain CMOH.
  • When Kenichi faces a master weapon-user alone to buy time for his friends' escape, the Ryouzanpaku masters scold him for nearly throwing his life away and send him to his room. But they're really secretly proud of his growth as a martial artist and as a man. Kenichi cries with happiness.
  • This wonderful exchange:
    Kenichi: "Actually, there's a feeling inside me that I want to express in words, but... I want to keep those words until I'm able to protect you. For now, all I can say is that I have that feeling inside me... Do you think I'm a coward?"
    Miu silently shakes her head
    Miu: "Because... if that's so... until now... not by your words... but by your actions... you have already told me. That's why... I will also... [do the same] with one action...
    Miu proceeds to kiss Kenichi on the cheek!
    Or she would've if not for the Ryouzanpaku Masters' Moment Killer.
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  • Chapter 58, when Miu is depressed that she has no parents to take to the play she's in when everyone else in her group can. All of the Ryozanpaku master's solution is to dress up and go as a surrogate family for their daughter.
  • In Chapter 140, Kenichi imitates all of his master's skills to throw off his opponent, and you can just feel the pride they have in their student when he manages to pull it off.
    • Not only that, but they all are genuinely flattered when he does. Special mention to Shigure who is quiet and unmoved through the whole fight, but immediately does a cheer with Apachai when he copies her.
  • The whole of Chapter 406. "I will protect him even if I die," in-fucking-deed!
  • Chapter 448. Kenichi has just had Miu kidnapped, and is so down in the dumps about it that he starts literally beating himself up over his failure to protect her. Cue not only the Shinpaku Alliance rallying around him, but the Yomi members at school offering moral support as well. Chikage does it in the form of chocolate!
  • Chapter 465 is this wrapped up with awesome. Miu and Kenichi have little celebrations of her having been brought out of Junazard's brainwashing even as they take down the insanely powerful swordsman Kenichi's been fighting thus far.
  • Chapter 496: Takeda is preparing to sacrifice his healed left arm to a YOMI submission/counter specialist so he can deliver a devastating punch with his right. Ukita desperately tries to get the others to stop him, not wanting Takeda to throw away everything he's gained back, but the others don't move, not wanting to interrupt the one on one fight. Finally, Ukita rushes forward, shouting, "If no one stops them then I will!! Before being a martial artist, I AM HIS FRIEND!!" This inspires Kenichi to break the fight before the YOMI breaks Takeda's arm.
  • Chapter 519: All of the Shinpaku's efforts on Defusing The Tykebomb Chikage Kushinanda have finally payed off. At one point, Kenichi asks Chikage, should she decide to stay with YOMI, to remember the times when they were friends. She does, and the results are adorable.
  • Chapter 539: Mixes this with awesome. Shigure, alone, faces seven masters, just so Miu and Kenichi will be safe. It didn't work, but the intent was amazing.
  • When Tanimoto loses consciousness during his fight Chou Enshin he (predictably enough) see's his dead little sister telling him not to "sleep here." Then he sees Honoka, his Replacement Goldfish, asking him to play Othello. Cute, but far from unexpected. Then he sees Kenichi telling him that "it's dangerous if you sleep here!" Aw, he really does care!
  • Niijima, of all people, has a few:
    • When Kenichi can't watch Miu's play because he's keeping Kisara from ruining it, it's Nijima to tell her why he wasn't there, and for no reason other than why not.
    • Nijima's sincere trust in Kenichi during his fight with Thor. Even when the others were ready to give up he just knew Kenichi would win-and he delivered.
    • Nijima and Matsui are trapped by Ragnarok with no escape, all of the other strong fighters of the Shinpaku Alliance have been already defeated or cannot be reached, so what does he do? He sends Kenichi a sincere email in which he compliments him on everything he's accomplished and how he made him change his worldview regarding everybody having a predestined role in life. He could have asked for help and run during the distraction, but as he wasn't sure Kenichi could defeat Odin yet...
  • Tanimoto's Hermit outfit is based on what Ogata was wearing the day the Yami master saved his life and gave him some good life advice.
    • Why did Ogata do that? Because he was taking a stroll on or near a bridge and stumbled on Tanimoto's employees being about to murder him, so he went, saved the kid, and gave him some advice on how to save himself the next time.
  • The battle between Kenichi and Thor has more than a few:
    • Nijima's plan is easy, to provoke Thor into a one-on-one fight with Kenichi... Because Kenichi asked him to, and Nijima, for all his jerkassery, trusts him that much, and may be grateful for Kenichi trusting him too for once.
      • During the fight it seems that Kenichi has no chance of victory, Takeda and Ukita start losing hope... And Nijima, of all people, reminds them that Kenichi is going to win, because he sees it in his eyes. Sure enough, Kenichi does just that.
    • Thor demands that, if he wins, Kenichi will become his student in Combat Sumo... Because Siegfried, who had previously lost against him, spoke of him to his best friend Thor that well.
    • After Kenichi somehow wins, Thor feels down because, by Kenichi's conditions, he will now have to quit Ragnarok and street fighting and thus his dream of spreading Combat Sumo... And Kenichi quickly points out that he only spoke of Ragnarok, and encourages him to pursue his dream and make Combat Sumo even more formidable.
    • After the fight, Thor compliments Nijima for his subordinate, but Nijima corrects him: Kenichi is not his subordinate, but his bad friend. This exchange is what would later spark Thor's Heel–Face Turn (not that he was that villainous to begin with).

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