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Kenji is a manga about a Japanese teenager named Kenji, who practices the martial art Bajiquan, and his encounters with other martial artists, some of which are taken from real life (Adam Hsu and Liu Chia-Liang) This series primarily features Bajiquan, but also gets into Tanglangquan, Baguazhang, Chen Taijiquan, Piguaquan, Xingyiquan, Xinyiliuhequan, Shaolinquan, Hung Gar, Daito ryu Aikijujutsu, Shotokan Karate and numerous other styles.


Related Series

Associated Names
Ken Ji
Quyền Nhi - Phương Thế Ngọc

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)
v.21 c.5-9 (end) by tripledraw & Toomin over 6 years ago
v.21 c.1-4 by tripledraw & Toomin over 7 years ago
v.20 c.193 by tripledraw & Toomin over 7 years ago
Search for all releases of this series

Status in Country of Origin
21 Volumes 1988 (Complete)
12 Volumes 2001 (Complete)
8 Volumes 2010 (Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter

User Reviews
Kenji by KrisKelvin

2 topics, 12 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 8.3 / 10.0 (246 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.1 / 10.0
 27% (66 votes)
 25% (62 votes)
 24% (58 votes)
 12% (30 votes)
 5% (13 votes)
 3% (7 votes)
 1% (3 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 0% (1 votes)
 2% (5 votes)

Last Updated
May 22nd 2016, 12:32pm PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #770 increased(+164)
Monthly Pos #1339 increased(+524)
3 Month Pos #2415 increased(+357)
6 Month Pos #3017 decreased(-252)

List Stats
On 545 reading lists
On 357 wish lists
On 645 completed lists
On 25 unfinished lists
On 149 custom lists

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Forum Posts
any romance in kenji??? over 3 years ago
Discrepancy in the chapter count over 7 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by usefulness ]

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Decent but boring   
Rating: 6.0 / 10.0
by PZcolo
March 29th, 2016, 4:30pm
This series felt like a class on martial arts and an excuse for the mangaka to brag of his knowledge of them, about half of the pages are just explanations of techniques or martial arts schools or famous characters.
The story is the classical and straightforward business of a main char getting stronger in this case with the added grampa search touch, nothing original nor great, a generic setting which is fine by me for this kind of mangas. The art is nice and fluid, it's easy to understand how the movements and battles are played out, that's a big plus here
Character-wise I couldn't stand the main char much, he's main attribute is being boring and the way he's portrayed has some hypocrisy imo, he's pictured like the perfect conjunction of the 5 virtues and helped by everyone as such and as a hero yet other of his main traits is not obeying his masters orders (every time he's told not to do something he goes and does it) and going looking for fights all the time directly or indirectly, before the fight start he says "I don't want to fight" but many of the fights happen because he puts his nose were he shouldn't. I like duplicity of the characters but here the duplicity is not intended it seams, this hypocrisy is rather of the mangaka than of the character, likewise,
Secondary chars are decent but save for his gramps none is developed much so they are all shallow and lack importance and even he doesn't have any appearance for more than 2/3th of the story. Females too are just there to make the main char look cool since the all get interested in the main char but that's all there is. Lastly for trying to be realistic about martial arts this series present us all young martial artists as rash and excitable idiots, save for the dull main char of course...
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Good Manga - very engaging   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by kri91
November 22nd, 2013, 1:28pm
Everyone has already commented how good this manga is, so I wont repeat it

The Negatives 4 me:
waaaaay too much information!!
seriously I felt like I was being bombarded with info everywhere!
Its good that d author wants us to knw abt different martial arts, the techniques involved etc but really it should be condensed by say 50% at least!

Mediocre artwork...not too bad

MY VERDICT: Read it if u like martial arts manga's...but its ok to skip a lot of dialogues wink

... Last updated on November 22nd, 2013, 1:29pm
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Great manga!   
Rating: N/A
by trunck
February 15th, 2011, 12:14pm
If you like martial arts. and a simple yet interesting story, with fights that seem real yet and a lot of information about kung fu, i'd recommend this one. A must for all martial arts manga lovers, and a good read for all action lovers.
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great manga   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by Midnight Carnival
June 20th, 2010, 6:59pm
from the begining i thought it was a good manga, but when i was reading chapter 6 the scene when kenji's grandad kick those punks asses saing: "your habit of picking on the weak cannot be cured without a harsh lesson" i realized that this was going to be epic. i'm tired of the main characters that after a few punchs to the "bad guys" just leave like those guys are not going to do the same again to someone else.
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Best old school m.a. manga   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by Oddwaffle
April 27th, 2010, 11:40am
This is one of the few manga that goes a bit into the old school m.a. and stick with its tradition. The art and story is pretty old. Even the clothing people wear in the manga is different. While the techniques aren't over-the-top like HSDK and more realistic, I'd say some of them are closer to m.a. myths rather than real techniques. It's an old manga alright but it's extremely rare to see a manga that catches the spirit of old chinese m.a.

Most of the stuff in the 1st few vols aren't very special. Once you reach over vol6+, you start to get some of the old etiquette that old m.a. schools deal with each other. You don't really see any of such etiquette (like a host is responsible for the guest's safety until the guest reaches home) in modern m.a. manga. Even rankings among members of the same m.a. school is a pretty rare sight.
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Another 10   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Lefance
March 15th, 2010, 10:57am
I have read lots of martial arts manga and Kenji became my favorite of them in an instant. Most m.a. series has lots of fanservice or the techiniques are ridiculous, but Kenji is an exception. I like super power manga too, but sometimes it's very nice to read something that is realistic. It's not as violent as for eg Baki but it's not too tame either. Thanks for this gem, really.
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A nice treasure   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by CowTail
February 25th, 2010, 4:24am
If you're looking for some high-flying, super over-the-top unrealistic martial arts manga, go research Tenjou Tenge or something. Contrary to that, there's this little gem.

Kenji is a nice old fashioned manga with a high focus on kungfu techniques (mainly Bajiquan). The protagonist fits the role of a pure martial artist perfectly. While some complain that this is too "nice" of a manga, it's a great change of pace from today's typical shounen variety.

The art style is solid and consistent. Yes it's old, but it's got a good quality to it, and I love the older style clothing that everyone's wearing. It's certainly refreshing.

As for the story, it's pretty simple and linear. The protagonist spends a lot of time training, and gets into some skirmishes, finds new masters of different arts to get a variety of different kinds of training, and trains some more. It's down-to-earth and the beginning focuses on the protagonist's development in martial arts. As the story starts introducing more grander elements at around volume 6-7, it'll no doubt start picking up more action.

I find myself looking forward to releases of this manga more than most others I'm reading. I give it a solid 10/10.
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very nice   
Rating: N/A
by mono-sama
February 24th, 2010, 2:39am
if you like martial arts manga, this is a good read. it has plenty of stories on famous martial artists and seemingly well researched explanations of techniques in various styles, and the philosophical aspects of some of the martial arts teachings come through. . also it's not macho like a lot of other fighting series.

im hoping as it goes on, kenji gets even older. (after volume 2 it skips forward a fair few years), at the end of volume 7, kenji is 15
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Some trivia   
Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
by 狂気
February 7th, 2010, 9:42am
This story is fictional but based on the experiences the author Matsuda Ryuuichi had and the people he met, researching and training Chinese martial arts (CMA). Kenji and his experiences are sort of idealised version of Matsuda and his experiences. It's one of the most realistic representations of CMA in fiction that I've come across.

Li Shuwen is quite central in the story although he's been dead for decades before the actual story starts. Kenji's grandfather and various other people tell Kenji stories about Li Shuwen (Li Shobun in Japanese). He was known for having countless challenge matches, never losing and almost never striking more than once. The last volume is a kind side story of sorts, telling a story of Li Shuwen's life.

Some of the real-life characters who appear in the story (given names have been changed in the manga):
Liu Yunqiao (Ryuu Unshou) with the sunglasses, Li Shuwen's student
Su Yuzhang (So Ikushou) the small man with the mustache, Liu Yunqiao's student
Zhang Shizhong (Chou Shichou) old man in Chinese restaurant in Yokohama, grandstudent of Li Shuwen

Overall the most informative manga on martial arts I've yet read. The author falls to the same trap as most Japanese martial art stylists and tries to systematise CMA too much. The principles are explained well, yet the result is a bland and static expression of the arts, something clean but useless. Someone once said that Matsuda seems to be a better mangaka than he is a martial artist. Well, it's obvious that he is more the "scholar-type" than the "warrior-type". Nevertheless just as important and much more influential, having started the "Baji-boom" in Japan late 80's.

Having gone to find the "home of Bajiquan" and finding a place that had ceased to be so a long time ago and bringing in the limelight a small branch of Baji and making them into the "original", just as placing the hybrid Wutan Baji style as the successor of Li Shuwen's lineage and starting the Baji-boom in Japan making Bajiquan the most common CMA in Japan after Taijiquan, one can see how this is not just another manga but an actually influential piece of modern literature.

However that may be, it's an effort to applaud to.

... Last updated on September 9th, 2015, 1:06pm
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A golden find   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Regnak
January 15th, 2010, 1:52am
This has definitely been a surprise. Even though the manga is quite old (88) it still is a excellent read to this day. The art is very nice, if somewhat simple, and has aged quite well. There is a good sense of depth to what is shown, as most of it is in relation with real people. The moves and fights are well explained without feeling cumbersome. The main character has a great personality and look, and the series follows his life from childhood (which is not done often anymore) Somewhat reminiscent of how DragonBall first started (feel of the character and art)

... Last updated on October 13th, 2013, 1:35pm
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