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Ok, through the manga we have seen kenichi build relationships with his several masters. The point of the thread is simple, to which master is kenichi the closest and why? Overall all of them have shown a close relationship to kenichi however it is not necessarily the case that kenichi sees them all the same as each master is dramatically different.
Koetsuji akisame: He was the first to train kenichi when he joined ryozampaku and in all likelyhood the mastermind behind kenichi's training (body remodelation, treatments and revivals). Kenichi sees him as a voice of reason while ironically he is also the one who gives him the most inhumane training.
Sakaki shio: He is perhaps the master that has shown to care the most for kenichi's well being and in spite of his appearance is perhaps the more forgiving when it comes to brutal training. Kenichi has shown great admiration and respect for sakaki, in particular his demeanor and the fact that not once he has shown killing intent.
Ma kensei: Akisame's sidekick when it comes to the remodelation plans for kenichi body and perhaps gives kenichi as brutal a training as akisame. He has been responsible for treatments and reviving kenichi at times. He does not use brutal inventions to train kenichi but he does hang him on top of fires, put knifes below his arm to stab kenichi if he lowers his arms and is not above of selling out his disciple in some not so serious situations. In turn the manga has stated their relationship evolved into something more than disciple-master but something like friendship thanks to their ero side.
Kosaka shigure: Kenichi is not training to use weapons but her training revolves around kenichi learning how to fight weapons using unreasonable methods (swinging her sword around her, being hit by fluorescent light-bulbs (which should have made kenichi die of poisoning by now). She has shown to care deeply for kenichi and was responsible for kenichi learing how to swim and recover from his fear of battle. Overall her relationship to kenichi is close to what would be a big sister.
Apachai hopachai: Not a particularly strong role model nor a source of wisdom (quite frankly my least favorite master as IMO he makes a mockery of mental retardation). Still, he cares deeply for kenichi and perhaps sees kenichi as a brother (not sure if as a big or small brother though). He has been responsible for borderline killing kenichi several times and has perhaps shown kenichi some of his most deadly techniques (lets face it, muay thai is perhaps the most deadly martial art kenichi is learning as elbow and knee hits are meant to kill- not saying this is the strongest martial art kenichi is learning though).
Fuurinji Hayato: The strongest man on earth, the man responsible for several of kenichi's trauma's, the man responsible for all of kenichi's strongest techniques and balance, the man in charge with perhaps the fist of life itself and a source of wisdom (even though he never seems to quite know what he is doing when it comes to it). Kenichi has shown to revere the old man almost as much as he fears his training.
For me it seems like kenichi is closer to sakaki than any of the other teachers. As we have seen a few times sakaki is perhaps the only teacher kenichi has that actually exceed his expectations. Ma and akisame at times have appeared to be rational, sensible men with wisdom to spare but when it comes to it both of them have shown to be far more brutal and irrational than what their demeanor would imply. In turn, sakaki who appears to be brutal and irrational has been shown to be far more sensible than what would normally appear. He is also the master that appears to personally look out for kenichi and has perhaps protected him the most. Kenichi showed he respected how not once sakaki had killing intent in his attacks in spite of the very real chance of him getting killed.
I would argue against ma because their relationship is too friendlike. Overall there are many things about ma which kenichi does not quite respect.
Well...if we will use method of exception...
Apachai- nope,don't think so
Akisame- nah,hes more like a boss for Kenichi
Sigure- also no,case..well.. their interactions...eeh...mmm...*what interactions? >.> thers almost none*
Hayato- ha-ha,not a chanse
Ma?...hmm...maybe...but i think hes a bit too old to be Kenichis "buddy" he's more like a cool neighbor who can help you with some advise and share with you some ero-pictures
So thats mean what Sakaki is probobly the one to whom Kenichi is "closest"...i maybe wrong..but Sakakis teachings are also the best to Kenichi as a martial artist (as i recall after hes trainings Kenichi "invented" mubyoshi) plus hes the only -shisho in there
Sakaki has always been that idol role model throughout the story with his teachings and wisdom his ability to be rational etc..
I feel kenichi and ma have grown close too as evident when kenichi followed ma when he went to go fight Ma sougetsu or Diego carlo but then again he would probably do that for any of his masters
Appa-not so much you NEVER see kenichi going to apachai for advise lol but they did get a lot closer after the Okinawa arc
Shigure- it took her awhile to open up to kenichi at first but they got closer after he learned her past and they went on that sword hunt together
Akisame- yea he's more like a boss than a mentor becuz he tortures kenichi with his insane training methods...he is rational and does give kenichi strong advice sometimes
The Elder-.........kenichi fears and admires this guy at the same time but they're close too..the Elder calls him ken-chan lol and he gave him those armguards plus he's taught kenichi some of his most secret techniques
Sakaki is the big brother you look up to, but Ma is your best bud that you mess around with.
I would rank it like this
1. Sakaki: always seems to have kenichi's best interests at heart and they are always looking out for each other.
2. Shigure: call me crazy but there's just a subtleness to their relationship that makes me think there very close although she hasn't had much screen time with him lately.
3. Ma: Just gives off the favourite uncle vibe.
4. Apachai: Well its obvious how much he cares for kenichi it just seems his simpleness will never make him #1.
5. Akisame:He just gives off to much of a strict teacher vibe and while kenichi goes to him for advice he just doesn't open up the way most of the others do.
6. Elder: Kenichi is just way to scared of him .
I think I'd have to agree with mostly everyone else and say either Ma or Sakaki. It seems like most of his one on one interactions are with them. They all care for Kenichi, but you're closest with those you associate with outside of your craft or your job and to me, the only person he really does that with is Ma Kensei (even if it is just to talk about women and exchange nude photos...i wouldn't mind someone giving me nude pics of shigure and miu...now if he could only get some good ones of Freya...lol)
Kenichi is close to all his masters and they in turn equally return his devotion. My vote goes towards Akisame, however. Akisame is recognized as Kenichi's primary instructor and Akisame was one of the critical elements in securing Kenichi to Ryozanpaku (the other being Miu). Jujitsu is also the fighting style that we see Kenichi employing on a regular basis (as in contrast to say Muay Thai) and is one of the styles that Kenichi is more comfortable with (the other being Karate).
I agree with Sakaki, after the look he gave him after the disciple underground battles and the fact that he teaches Kenichi the Martial arts Kenichi wanted to do.
Apachais level improved because of the Koukin matter, but I think the realtionship of Ba with Sougetsu and thus Tanimoto is much more special. Also Bas daughter is after him^^
I think he will end up more like Akisame in the future but as some people pointed out it's way more a teacher student relationship.
With Shigure the relationship improved, but he doesn't want to use weapons so she teaches him defense against those and other skills.
The elder stands in his way with Miu and is the strictest, so he can't be to close with him^^
Its sakaki thats a definite, the other masters are cool but the character of kenichi and sakaki are less like master nd student and mroe like big bro nd side kick.
sakaki and kenichi are the closest even when sakaki rejected kenichi at first after listening ot kenichi getting pounded sakaki helped him out and all
after that i see akisame
I think Sakaki is the chosen one here...not just personality wise, or the way he treats Kenichi, but he had the most screentime of all masters, so we saw his relationship with Kenichi a bit more...also Kenichi is more like a partner-in-crime, this rogue saviour of the world when he rides the bike with Sakaki and goes on the mission...so there's definitely a stronger connection
This might change though, or at least some of the masters might catch up, because they still need this sort of personal story arc with Kenichi...Apachai already had it, but given his nature, I can't really rank him....
Ma also had this, and there has been a pretty strong bond between him and Kenichi...
But we still have 2 masters to go....
Anyways...I think the Elder is on 2nd place...and not necessarily, because he taught Kenichi his secret techniques and personally trained him, but also because of Miu...as stronger the relationship with Miu will get, the relationship with the Elder will improve as well....especially after this arc IMO
1.Personally, I'd have to say it's Kensei cause of how he interacts with Kensei from time to time. I've noticed that their relationship is like a father-son kind of relationship as Kenichi has never doubted his methods.
2.Sakaki to be second since he's the most "normal" master and how he worries over Kenichi more than any other master and even bets on him to win all the time. He's also the more protective type to him.
3.Apachai due to Kenichi crying over his apparent death. He views Apachai as kinda an older brother figure and always keeps his little sister safe. He admires Apachai for his kind heart.
4.Shigure because of how he trains with her the least since of his fear of weapons. Plus, she doesn't interact a whole lot with him, though she does start to open up and even Miu thinks she might like him.
5.Akisame because of how he's the cruelest to Kenichi with his training methods and shows no mercy towards the boy, though Kenichi does respect him just as much as the others.
6.Elder, well, seeing what he saw with Miu, don't get me started.
I will go with Sakaki. He cares so much about Kenichi that will do things other masters won´t even if it spoils Kenichi, like being softer in training.
But the most important reason: he cares for Kenichi to the point of interfering in a disciple fight (hermit) for him, he was stopped by Akisame the 2 times he was about to attack Hermit.
Last edited by Lectro Volpi; April 10, 2012 at 12:21 AM.