Now, readers, while I attempt to keep this site's articles on topics that everyone else will be able to
understand (and not have to jump back and forth from Google), I believe it's time for me to unleash an article I've long had
in limbo...this one. I've been heavily inspired by the Top 5/7/10+ articles at Cracked.com
(note: fully browsing their archive may take several days), but I hope not to entirely copy them. Anyway, I'm making this
article, even if I'm the only one who reads it.
Let me give you guys a brief summary on Kenji...he appears in two Japanese cartoons called Tetsujin
28 and Giant Robo. In the latter, he's a secret agent who wears pink trenchcoats and is immortal (seriously).
He's more prominent in the first of these shows, given that he was in Tetsujin's 60's version, more well-known as Gigantor.
Everybody's catching on now, right? He gets bonus points for having the dub name "Dick Strong".
Tetsujin 28's new-age remake is what I'm looking at today. In recap, Kenji is an ex-spy who lives
with his brother Ryusaku (a kamikaze pilot dropout) and Tatsu (an orphan they adopted as a brother after WWII) on a boat.
At night, they pull heists of military blueprints and cash, all the while wearing distinct suits.
Then one night, a giant robot lands in the middle of Tokyo, accidentally crushes Tatsu to death, and
a deranged Ryu gets in a truck with Tatsu's corpse
and drives into the robot's leg, then burns to death. Probably the biggest kick in the balls is how Tatsu didn't do much
, and this all happens to Kenji during the first two episodes of the series
On a side note, Kenji doesn't really associate Tatsu as a brother. When he's having a flashback (while holding
lit dynamite), he asks why war had to "kill (his) friends", accompianied by a shot of him kneeling next to Tatsu's
corpse. When Ryu dies, Kenji spends at least ten episodes trying to avenge him...the dynamite and seven gunshots
are nothing next to that. But Ryu was awesome.
Throughout all this, Kenji wears a bright pink suit and has fluffy Tenma hair. He gets more bonus points
for acting the way he does while looking the way he does. Not that he looks bad at all, hur hurr. I've
tried to include all the moments where Kenji has done something amazing or insane that helps further the plot...there
was an episode arc where he helped out the Mafia, but that's not awesome because it involvedwith Kenji getting beaten to a
pulp and Tokyo being on fire. Let's start the show...
5. Helping Out Dr. Franken
Less than 24 hours after witnessing the firey deaths of his brothers, Kenji is held up in jail. A mysterious
tank has been discovered in a hidden lab, and Dr. Shikishima goes ape over having the tank protected. Kenji's cell is directly
across from the tank's, and that night, the robot Black Ox shows up to fight with Tetsujin and breaks the jail. Kenji is about
to be greeted by several chunks of sandstone, when the creature in the tank steps out and saves him...
This big guy is Dr. Franken
's greatest creation, the doctor also being the creator of Black Ox. Franken is another great character; he's only around
for three episodes, but makes the most of that.
Anyhow, Kenji and the monster hide in the sewers, with Kenji bringing him food. He brings the monster along
while trying to spy
on Shotaro and Dr. Shikishima at the lab, but suddenly, Franken shows up to steal back his documents on the monster. The
monster starts crying and breaks through the window to get to him, but Shikishima acts like a dick and orders Shotaro not
to let the two meet. When the monster meets Tetsujin's fist, Kenji jumps in to save the monster, a few switchblades on hand.
Later, Kenji and the monster are in the sewer again, with Kenji pulling bullets out of the monster's back and bandaging him.
How many of you, as a child, wanted to befriend a giant monster? I can't say I was one of those kids, but
I knew a good lot who did. Anyhow, after defending the monster from the police, Tetsujin smashes open the sewer and takes
the monster with him. Franken has just been shot, and limps through the sewer, meeting Kenji in the process. Kenji immediately
helps the doctor out of the sewers, breaks the monster out of a police transport truck and gives Franken enough time to take
control of Black Ox. Kenji gets the monster to Franken, despite Shikishima's interference yet again, and watches in horror
as the monster and Franken act out their pre-arranged suicide pact.
Turns out that the monster is Franken's adult son brought back to life...his son died during WWII, maybe
because his full name was Yoshihisa Franken. The doctor brought him back to life as good as possible, but realized
that process is a little too godlike. Kenji sits by the two's bodies at the end of the episode (keep in mind it's been less
that 48 hours since Ryu and Tatsu died), wondering why everybody was making such crazy things during the war.
4. Dressing Like A Woman
During a robot race up the Kurobe Mountains, Dr. Bigfire and Velanade camp out in a hotel room, drinking
sakę and doing the things that villains do. Kenji wants to sneak in and listen in on them, so he goes with a perfectly logical
"Think 'feminine charm', Murasame...'feminine charm'."
...He dresses like a hotel maid, going in to give them their beer. If you can, watch this scene in the english
dub. While his Japanese actor gave Kenjiko a faint, effeminate voice, the American actor gave him an outlandish voice
that sounds like someone who's trying to impersonate a woman for a comedy act. Hear him saying "It's time for a beer; right,
gentlemen?" like this, and your life will never be the same.
When Kenji recognizes Tetsujin on TV, the other men become uneasy ("This woman's suspicious!") and hold
a gun to his head. In response, Kenji throws his wig in Bigfire's face, whips off the kimono and jumps out a window.
"And I'd better not see fan art of this!"
3. Going Undercover Downtown
In episode 20, Shotaro passes out after a battle without Tetsujin that yields him half a map of the Madara
Rocks. Kenji takes the boy to his apartment and lets him stay there for the day, unfortunately sending a bunch of pedo-vibes
that shouldn't have been there. But Shotaro has Shinji Ikari Syndrome, and Kenji has to be the Kaji. The two dress
like middle-class folks (Kenji dressing like a beatnik with a pipe) and go through town in search of a clue of the Madara
Rocks. Why is this important? Well, we actually get to see what Kenji would be like when he's not having psychological trauma
and trying to destroy Tetsujin. On the streets, Kenji flips up a woman's skirt, makes fun of Detective Saki (whom is ogling
manniquins), and saves an oblivious Shotaro from a creepy prostitute at the Tanabata.
Did you know that shotacon is actually named after Shotaro?
Then, they get followed (by the former chief of police and his windpipe assistant) and throw them into a
pond. No, really. But I'm in heavy support of anything that involves throwing Miss Takamizawa into something. She's like Asuka
on cocaine, except Asuka is tolerable in the Japanese version.
2. The Last-Minute Gunslinging
"Is this the part where I go batshit insane?"
In the very last episode, the PX Syndicate men are swarming all over the city in hopes of getting Shotaro's
control box. Kenji is after the control box too, and manages to nail only one guy with a knife, so one of the PX men quips
that Kenji's going to run out of knives soon. Kenji has a self-imposed ban on using guns, and is prepared to die when...
"Go crazy. Do it for me, little brother."
Ryu appears (in his mind?) and tells him not to let everything die in vain. Then he disappears, and Kenji
starts one of the most violent sequences in the show...he picks up the knived guy's gun, shoots down most of the surrounding
guys, and when he's out of bullets, grabs another dead guy's gun and kills some more. Wash, rinse, repeat. All the while,
Ryu soothingly tells us in a voiceover that Kenji shouldn't have been afraid to use guns, and that it wasn't Tetsujin's fault
Ryu died. (Tatsu, yes.) Kenji takes down the entire PX Syndicate and gets the control box. Which leads us to the following...
1. Kenji Dies...?
Shotaro and the gang find Kenji standing with the control box. As everybody gets excited, he holds out the
control box...and slumps down with three bloody holes in his back, alike Roy Fokker. He dies dramatically, urging Shotaro
to go to the mountains and stop the Black Ox clones, going away with a great deal of dignity.. They leave, with Miss Takamizawa
sobbing into Kenji's corpse.
"Well, all the villains were dying, too..."
I'm going to simplify things, but at the mountains, molten metal spills everywhere and somebody dies a-la
Monty Python. Halfway through that, we cut back briefly to the mourning Takamizawa. She clutches Kenji tighter and
keeps crying, but suddenly, a male voice starts saying "ow, ow..."
Kenji, alive, stands up and reveals that he never got shot in the back, he just had a piece of metal in
the back of his jacket. Furthermore, he says that 'dying' was the only way to get Shotaro to go to the mountains. Kenji admits
he can't stay in Japan much longer, otherwise Shotaro's going to come back and be rightfully ticked. Then, he gives Takamizawa
one of the most forced-looking kisses
I've ever seen. And he just turns away and walks down the hill. Takamizawa snaps from pleading him to stay, to saying something
to the effect of "Screw you! I'll get a better husband!" And you need to congradulate Kenji for not getting involved in yet
another unplausible pairing with a tsundere.
And if you're feeling bad that Kenji leaves the show alone, let me tell you...in Giant Robo
. And that's what counts, aside from being completely immortal in that series.
And so, kudos to you, Kenji. You may possibly be the awesomest anime character of the 21st century...no
one has taken as much shit as you have, and a lesser few have been able to turn right around and become unstoppable. To hell
with you kids and your white anime ninjas, and your effeminate tennis players...I'll stick with Murasame here.
CLICK ON SHINY KENJI TO GO BACK TO THE MAIN PAGE
Note: This hasn't been edited, but it came from episode #20, which was part of a three-episode
streak of bizarre comedy.