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Video Game / Kenka Banchō

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KENKA (喧嘩): 1) Fighting, wheter through physical or vocabular prowess. 2) 1-on-1 fights are incredibly manly.
BANCHO (番長): The strongest person in a school or group. One who leads through power and intimidation. Some banchos are respectable and care for the peons.
— "Bancho 101", Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble

A series of free-roaming beat-em-up games published by Spike Chunsoft for the PS2 and PSP, where you play a delinquent Japanese high school student looking to become a powerful banchō, or "ringleader". To that end, you run around beating people up, make friends and defeat enemies, learn new fighting techniques, try to date girls, and maybe buy nice-looking clothes.

The third game in the series, for the PSP, was released in English by Atlus in 2009 under the title Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble.

The franchise also has an otome game spinoff, Kenka Bancho Otome.

The series consists of the following games:

  • Developed by YSK:
  • Developed by Bullets:
    • Kenka Banchō 3: Zenkoku Seiha (National Conquest) / Kenka Bancho: Badass Rumble (2008, PlayStation Portable)
    • Kenka Banchō 4: Ichinen Sensō (One Year War) (2010, PlayStation Portable)
    • Kenka Banchō 5: Otoko no Rule (Men's Rule) (2011, PlayStation Portable)
    • Kenka Banchō Bros.: Tokyo Battle Royale (2012, PlayStation Portable) — Gaiden Game
  • Developed by Studio ZAN:
  • Developed by Red Entertainment:
    • Kenka Bancho Otome (2016, Play Station Vita)
    • Kenka Banchō Otome ~Kanzen Muketsu no My Honey~ (2017, PlayStation Vita)
    • Kenka Banchō Otome: 2nd Rumble!! (2019, Playstation Vita)


  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts: Stores (and gas stations in 2) will be cheaper or more expensive, depending on their location.
  • And Your Reward Is Interior Decorating: In Kenka Banchō 4 and 5, it's possible to spend money customizing the main characters' hangout.
  • Another Side, Another Story: In the first game, getting the Golden Ending and successfully dating the sukeban Reina will let you play in an epilogue as her. Kenka Banchō 5: Otoko no Rule lets you unlock extra stories from a character from one of the game's main eight factions, including a side character from the main character's faction.
  • Arrange Mode: Kenka Banchō 3 features the Night Out mode, which lets you fight against low-level gangsters without any time constraints. Kenka Banchō 4 has the Holiday mode, which lets the player fight against the previous game's 47 nationwide banchōs.
  • Badass Biker: The second game introduces player-controlled motorcycles and expands the game's mechanics for them. This includes a whole faction of bosozoku bikers, and it's possible to join them.
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': Just try and do any of the shabai things mentioned on the website. You will regret it if you ever get to Shabazo or Shabazo King "rankings".
  • The Cameo: Makoto Mizoguchi from Fighter's History appears as an Optional Boss for Kenka Banchō 3 / Badass Rumble, and Daiya and Mondo Oowada of the game Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc appear in Kenka Banchō Bros..
  • Cel Shading: The main style for the first two games, although the first one is exclusive to its home console release.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: The first two games wee promoted by Daisuke Shima (best known overseas to be the main character and theme tune singer of Choujuu Sentai Liveman), who lends his 1982 rock'n Roll hit Otoko no Kunshō as their theme song. He also appears as an Optional Boss in the second game, and has a cameo as the main character's father in the Live-Action Adaptation of the first game.
  • City of Adventure: A common setting in every game. It usually features a train line, bus or both which connect the game's Hub Levels for a fair price.
    • The first Kenka Banchō happens in the city of the Far East Line, a train which connects the towns set around the game's schools. Kenka Banchō 2: Full Throttle turns it into a Wide-Open Sandbox, with the trains and buses still hanging around to go faster, or new highways to drive through in case you've acquired a motorcycle.
    • Kenka Banchō 3: Badass Rumble is set in the city of Kyouto, which is blatantly meant to be a collection of Kyoto's tourist hotspots. Interestingly enough, most of the characters in the game are coincidentally visiting it in a Class Trip.
    • Kenka Banchō 4: Ichinen Sensō happens mostly in Kōnan High School. Kenka Banchō 5: Otoko no Rule expands it into various districts near the Amihama Line.
    • Kenka Banchō 6: Soul & Blood is mostly set in Kukijima High School, but also features the nearby surroundings of Hanagasaki City.
    • Kenka Banchō Bros. is set in Toukyo, obviously meant to be Tokyo. However, the game has no connected settings, since every zone is its own separate stage.
  • Class Trip: The Excuse Plots of 3 (Kyouto) and Bros. (Toukyo) feature them, and it's possible to have one in Kenka Banchō 6.
  • Combination Attack: Kenka Banchō Bros. allows you to do this. But of course, they're not limited to you either...
  • Cool Bike: Kenka Banchō 2: Full Throttle lets you purchase Bland-Name Product versions of classic bosozoku motorbikes, such as the Kawasaki Z400FX, Honda CBX400F, and the Kawasaki Zephyr, and even lets you customize their paint, headlights/windshield, cowls, tails, seats, handlebars and mufflers. Other non-customizable motorcycles include scooters such as the Yamaha Jog / Majesty or Honda Forza, cruisers as Yamaha DragStar or Honda Steed, sports motorcycles such as the Yamaha FZR and the fictional YSK250RR, or others such as police-custom Honda Cub and a FZR.
  • Death Glare: An essential mechanic of the series, known as the "Menchi Beam": once you lock the playable character's Eye Beams into a possible enemy, you enter into a Trash Talk minigame (by choosing the correct words in 1-3, and as a rhythm game in 4-5). If you win, you good reputation will grow up and you will get the first hit — if you attack without doing so first (or ignore the enemies' own glare), you will be regarded as a Dirty Coward, and the glare is ignored if you've got the worst reputation.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Defeating other banchōs forces them to become your peon. It's forced, but they're still very quick to praise you for defeating them.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Under no circumstances would a banchō outright attack policemen.
  • Felony Misdemeanor: Unlike Grand Theft Auto and most of its clones, in Kenka Banchō 2 there's a huge quantity of strict (and easily breakable) traffic laws, and you're likely to amass a bunch of them simply by not being careful. The police's response is likely to do a police car blockade and run over the main character to have an easier time to handcuff him.
  • Gaiden Game: Kenka Banchō Bros.: Tokyo Battle Royale is one to the main series. Its loose plot is similar to Kenka Banchō 3, but completely focused on fight missions.
  • Gotta Catch Them All: Kenka Banchō 3: Badass Rumble's gimmick is to defeat the banchōs from The 47 Prefectures within a week. Kenka Banchō 4: Ichinen Sensō changes it to collecting emblems of the school's 300 students (3 courses x 100 students) as a proof of their defeat, which Kenka Banchō 6 expands to 500 emblems.
  • If You Taunt Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Except not. You lose badassitude if you back down from smash talking and gain a bit after successful smash talk sessions.
  • In-Universe Game Clock: In the second and third games. Both have a mix of internal game clocks (full 24-hour cycle in 2, roughly 12 hours per day in 3) and event-induced time advancement. The third game only lasts for seven in-game days, so part of Kenka Banchō 3's appeal is to be on the right place at the right time.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Of course!
  • I Shall Taunt You: During Smash Talk. Only makes the enemy angry if you say something non-sensical or stupid. Especially if you choose something that they have a specific response to. Example messup: "Shake it like a man!" Response: "Shake this, jerk!"
  • Karma Meter: Shabai vs Shibui, with Shabai being gained for being a petty thug and Shibui gained for honorable fights. Later installations lets you be more merciful or merciless.
  • Manga Effects: Kenka Banchō 6's aesthetics are purposely done to resemble a manga.
  • Mini-Game: Such as part-time jobs done as an easier way to get money, or a Fighting Game adaptation of Kenka Banchō 3 within Kenka Banchō 5.
  • New Game Plus: There literally is too much to see and do in the third game in one play through. However, this lets you carry over your stats, items, and powerups. The only real loss is going back to the middle of badassitude, not having everyone's cell phone numbers, and a few unskippable cutscene-started fights.
  • Police Are Useless: Played straight and subverted. If for some reason you are being tailed by the 5-0, then go into any place that changes screens (another part of the town, a shop, a transportation service, etc.) and the order will have be called off. If you're getting horribly beat down by other yankiis (read: shabazos), run toward the police or wait for them to come by and every one of them will run off, leaving you safe as long as you aren't fighting back. In addition, police don't show up PERIOD during boss fights and Night Out mode.
  • Romance Sidequest: Common in most of the games, usually with three possible choices.
  • Rule of Cool: The premise of the game and many in-game elements revolve around this.
  • Rule of Funny: Oh so many instances. Easily deserves its own folder.
  • Safety Gear Is Cowardly: Heavily favoured in Kenka Banchō 2, if playing as a bosozoku (and whatever other traffic law-breaking act you can do).
  • Shout-Out: Loads of them in the third game's localization, especially during the Smash Talks. What You're Supposed To Say: "Go to Hell!" The Messup: "Heaven to Hell!" The response as your enemy nails your head in? "Let's Rock!" Some of the "hidden smashes" have shout outs as well, including lines like "Don't stop! This is bat country!" and even "Suck my missile punch!"
  • Spiritual Successor: To the Kunio-kun series, especially the first two games: expect to fight colorful rival schools, bosozoku bikers, strong Gonk women, Elite Four villains, and even a Yakuza or two. Much like Downtown Nekketsu Monogatari, the games themeselves are semi-open world with strong RPG elements. Two of them even involve the main characters going in a field trip to another city, and in later entries, there's even a number of sports-based minigames.
    • Kenka Banchō itself got various spiritual succesors, namely PS2's True Crime-ish Shinjuku no Okami (made with Kenka Banchō 2's engine), the PSP Cool Teacher game GachiTora! (a spiritual adaptation of various manga as Great Teacher Onizuka), and the PSVita Beat 'em Up Uppers. The first two were developed by Tomoyuki Matsumoto (the director of the first two Kenka Banchō games and 6), while the third game was developed by Bullets (the studio responsible for Kenka Banchō 3-5 & Bros.)
  • Story Branching: Done in the first game, mostly via getting allies through the most diplomatic way possible and Romance Sidequests. The second game expands it to two factions and eleven possible endings.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Of the 47 prefectures of Japan, only two of the regional banchos are female: Sayo Jinguu of the Gunma prefecture and Airi / Eri Sumikawa of the Shimane prefecture.
  • Universal Driver's License: Averted in Kenka Banchō 2, where the main character must get a motorcycle driving license to ride them, and isn't useful for anything else.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: If you build a bad reputation, the clerks will refuse to attend you, the enemies won't hesitate to wait you to start the fight, and some allies will refuse to aid you. If you're at the deep end of bad reputation, it will be impossible to turn back to neutral unless you do extreme methods, for example paying for an expensive spiritual cleansment ritual.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Your banchō starts out with a pre-set look. However, once you go to the barber and tailor, you can purchase various options to customize him with varying consequences (certain clothes have less pockets than others).
  • We Help the Helpless: The first two games and 6 highly reward you by helping anonymous people.
  • What If?: The fifth game has an alternate storyline for the main character, where he approaches a Mixed Martial Arts career instead of getting to school.
  • Wide Open Sand Box: Nearly every day on the trip of the third game, your class heads off to "some boring shrine or another". The game very rarely forces you to do anything, outside of two unskippable cutscene-started fights. You can just roam around town, picking fights, finding UFOs, or pretty much whatever you want. "Or just stay in your room all week; see if I care."
    • There's an award from going straight to your room from the very beginning and fast-forwarding all the way to the end of the week, emerging only for mandatory story events.