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A retool of Tatakae! Ryouzanpaku Shijou Saikyou no Deshi or Ryozanpaku History's Strongest Disciple released as a monthly series back in 2000.

Kenichi Shirahama is a wimp. Even the geeks pick on him. That all changes when he meets Miu Fūrinji after entering high school. Miu, eager to make friends, gladly helps Kenichi with his desire to become stronger. She introduces him to Ryōzanpaku, a dojo which houses some of the most powerful martial artists known to man. Though Kenichi only sought guidance to stop being bullied, his rapidly growing prowess attracts the attention of bigger and badder foes that he has to fight... if he doesn't get pummeled through the floor tiles during training first.

Written by Syun Matsuena, Shijō Saikyō no Deshi Ken'ichi (a.k.a History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi) follows Kenichi's adventures as the Sorting Algorithm of Evil puts him up against more and more dangerous opponents. It has all the elements of Shonen action stories with a healthy dose of satire on the whole thing. The manga spans at 46 volumes and counting. The anime consists of 50 episodes and is dubbed by FUNimation under the title Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, premiering on their channel on October 2009. Kenichi, Miu and friends appear in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, Sunday VS Magazine Shuuketsu Choujou Daikessen.

In 2012 a series of OVAs began, starting from where the anime ended with Ragnarok Arc closure, introducing Yami and Yomi.

It is very awesome.

The Character Sheet can be found here.

The manga has two spin offs a 4-koma gag manga Tekuni to Shijou Saikyou no Nakamatachi/ Tekuni and Her Strongest Friends in History, and a manga focusing on other characters in the universe Shijou Saikyou no Gaiden/History's Strongest Another Stories.

This series features examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage — Renka (Year 2) & Mikumo. Occasionally Shigure. Clothing damage does this to many others.
  • Action Girl — Every female fighter.
  • Action Girlfriend — Miu. And to her credit, she's still a much better fighter than he is.
  • A-Cup Angst — If you value your life, you will not bring up Kisara's lack of boobage.
    • Keep in mind, this is only relative, as while Kisara is probably on the smaller end of average, just about every major female fighter in the series has a huge chest.
  • Adults Are Useless — used and subverted; in most of Kenichi's fights his masters stand on the sidelines, even joking and gambling on the outcomes, even if his life is in danger. This is because they believe that a good master stays out of their disciple's fights. It's subverted to hell and back whenever Kenichi is attacked by a master class or something — they'll step in and beat the life out of whoever attacked their disciple.
    • Played straight with the staff of Kenichi's high school, who seem completely unaware of the massive gang activity right under their noses.
  • Alcatraz — The Big Lock, where they intend to hold all of Yami.
  • Alien Among Us — Everyone is sure Nijima is this. In the anime, it becomes explicit near the end, where he uses his "alien powers" to check Power Levels, and at one point tells Kenichi "In all the years I've been studying your species..."
  • Almighty JanitorHe is the strongest... but he is just a disciple.
  • Always Second Best — Chisato takes an instant dislike to Miu when she's kicked from her position as the rhythmic gymnastics club's ace upon a single demonstration (at her own request) of Miu's talent.
  • Animal Motifs — Quite a few of the characters are compared to animals due to fighting style or general nature:
    • Miu and Kanō are associated with birds, and are sometimes drawn accompanied with surrealistic ethereal feathers (particularly Miu; see also "Meaningful Name" below)
    • Kisara and Renka are associated with cats
    • Tirawit Kōkin's power is compared to an elephant's
      • He's also known as the Lion God.
    • Kenichi is identified by Boris as a... penguin and later a Hawk!...penguin
  • Amazonian Beauty — Again, every female fighter.
    • Or, arguably, averted. This lady is the only female drawn with visible biceps in the entire series. Every other female, regardless of how Badass, is pretty and busty.
      • Freya is probably the best example in the series. While she doesn't show much visible bicep, she has been seen doing bicep curls with pretty huge dumbells, and she's probably got the most ripped abdomen of any woman in the series so far.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling — Honoka
  • Anticlimax Cut — Akira says he wouldn't fight the injured Apachai, or Shigure, and Kenichi thinks he pressed a Berserk Button. Instead they are flattered.
  • Anti-Villain — Most of the named adolescent antagonists have redeeming qualities or sympathetic motives, to the point where it's almost surprising when one of the teen villains gets written out of the story without a minor redemption at minimum.
    • Among members of Yomi, Ethan Stanley is particularly notable. He's quite polite and deferential, he tries to talk Kenichi into retiring from martial arts so he doesn't have to kill him (whereas most of the rest of Yomi would be happy to), he cares deeply about his sister... If not for Yomi's insistence on defeating Ryozanpaku, he likely wouldn't have chosen to fight.
  • Armor Is Useless — Averted. Shigure certainly would never go in a weapon fight without her trusty chain mail. And Kenichi's chain mail has also been proven very useful. Even when fighting Ethan Stanley, who is not a weapons user (because it protected Kenichi's chest from being scraped by Ethan's foot). And, of course, Kenichi's arm guards have proved themselves as a good protection from bladed weapons as well.
    • Averted hard in the latest chapter, when a Master Class opponent would have cleaved Kenichi in two if it weren't for his armor.
    • Played straight with 98% of the rest of the cast and nearly all the Master level warriors. While its being pointed out their usefulness, it has also been stated that they don't make you invincible or all that protected and can be quite the detriment and/or get you killed if your style don't go with them.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap — pretty rare, but there is one (even lampshaded) case.

  Elder: "Why didn't you dodge it, Ken-chan?"

  • Attention Whore — Rachel "Castor" Stanley will actually stop what she's doing and contemplate a new way to steal the spotlight if she sees anyone who's the subject of more attention than she is.
  • Awesome By Analysis — Tirawit "Narasimha" Kōkin
    • Kenichi himself, though it's more subtle in most cases. He is, after all, the second person ever to be able to utilize the complete form of Ryuusui Seikuken, which relies on reading your enemy's heart. He's even been able to predict a few killer techniques and stop them when backed into a corner.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses — Kenichi and Miu do this in the D of D Arc against the Chinese team.
    • And they attempt to do this in their next fight against the Elder... I mean Garyu X.
    • The Pankration team also pulls this off against the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu team.
    • Kenichi does this with Shigure when she takes him sword-hunting — she needed him to cover her blind spot.
  • Badass — Pretty much the entire main cast, even some of the non-martial artists have their Awesome Moments. Even the mouse is badass.
    • Niijima gets awesome moments. Top that!
    • Even Kenichi's father has a badass moment, managing to impress Shigure with his use of a firearm.
  • Badass Adorable — Chikage Kushinada
    • Miu takes this up to 11 in episode 40. Turns out she's been kicking ass since she was six years old!
  • Badass Boast: Thor gives a good one when being attacked by Rimi:

  "You Fool! The Soft cannot cut the Hard! No matter how fast you are, you cannot even think to match me in strength and willpower! I WILL NOT DIE."

    • "God Fist" Akira Hongo gives a very daring boast right before he confronts "Demon Fist" Silcardo Junazard, later in the manga. (For context, the target of the boast was said to have fought Hayato Furinji to a standstill in the past, with no clear winner at that time.)

  "I'll be the one to kill you."

  • Badass Grandpa — Hayato Fūrinji
    • And now Freya's grandfather. In chapter 378, the kindly-looking withered old man who seemed to be senile finally made a move, and my god is his game face terrifying to behold.
      • To further elaborate, Freya's grandfather is shorter than Kenichi due to his old age and uses his bo staff as a walking stick. He single-handedly takes out an entire group of YAMI's armed members, including at least one master class fighter. Kenichi passes out due to injuries and when the rest of the Shinpaku Alliance arrive, they find a letter from the old man explaining that he wanted to stop conflicting with YAMI, but seeing Kenichi's determination has inspired him to wield his staff once again. He leaves for a very short amount of time, returning to his dojo to his granddaughter's surprise and resumes acting like a senile old-man (with the Valkyrie squad tending to him like a friggin' harem). Cut to the final panel where the Ryozanpaku masters discuss a YAMI base being brought down recently. Three guesses as to who took it down?
  • Badass Longcoat + Sinister Shades + Beard of Evil + flowing Badass Longhair — "God Hand" Akira Hongo of Yami
  • Badass Long Robe — Hermit. In a series taking place in modern Japan.
  • Badass Mustache — James Shiba
  • Badass Nickname — The Masters of Ryōzanpaku and Yami all have one. Some good examples from Yami are "Fist of Destruction" Alexander Gaidar, "God Hand" (no, not that God Hand) Akira Hongo, "Demon Fist God" Silkwat Jenazad, and "Saint of Fists" Isshinsai Ogata. Badass Grandpa Hayato Fūrinji might have the best ones: "The Man Without Enemies" and "The Invincible Superman".
  • Badass Normal — Arguably Kenichi. Despite the insane amount of training he goes through and the nearly superhuman levels of martial art skills that he acquires, his masters all agree that he has zero natural talent, and that his only saving grace is that he's willing to keep coming back for more.
    • Kenichi even describes himself at one point as "an extremely ordinary first year high-school student who loves reading books and growing flowers"... With that said, his interests do not hinder him in taking many a level in badassery.
      • Even though the masters agree that Kenichi has no natural talent for martial arts, they silently agree with Miu's observation that Kenichi is a genius at getting beaten up. Given the beatings that Kenichi has taken and survived, that says something.
      • It's hard to tell whether it's typical ridiculous-improvement-in-short-time shonen improvement that is ignored in-universe, but Kenichi effectively gains levels of martial arts skills that enable him to defeat super-disciples trained from birth by other Masters.. in the matter of months?
      • Well, you have to note that after a hundred or so chapters Kenichi moves in with them, inorder to train more often and thoroughly. Assuming that besides going to school or to fights all his time is spent sleeping or training he likely gets a good ten hours of training in a day on school days, and likely 15-16 on non-school days. Training that kills him, requiring his Master's Chinese medicine to revive him. And then they somehow triple it once Yomi/Yami come into the picture. If you take into account that Yami doesn't want to kill their disciples as far as we have seen. Assuming that 12 months have passed that means he has something around 4800 hours of risking his life practice. Which puts him at 200 days of practice.
    • As Hermit demonstrated in his fight with Bezerker, even a genious cannot overcome a mountain of hard work.

 Hermit: "Of course, one hundred parts of hard work may not overcome one part of gifted talent..."

Hermit continues to batter relentlessly on Bezerker

Hermit: "Then how about a thousand parts of hard work? What if it was ten thousand parts?"

Bezerker swings wildly, being countered at every turn

Hermit: "Do you know why martial arts can be passed down from thousands of years ago to now? It's because in the world of martial arts..."

Hermit strikes down Bezerker with a final vicious blow

Hermit: "Hard work will overcome talent!"

  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Applied weirdly inconsistently. When Renka and Rachel Stanley have their fight, both lose their tops at some point, but only Rachel has nipples. Miu's nips are almost always visible through her very tight leotard, but vanish when she suffers Clothing Damage that should expose them. Likewise for Kushinada Mikumo.
  • Battle Aura: of the literal variety. In particular, when one of the masters gets really pumped about something, their eyes will shine like headlights. Metaphorically. It looks really weird in the manga.
  • Battle Couple — Kenichi and Miu during the D of D tournament.
  • Beach Episode
  • Beat Them At Their Own Game: Kenichi actually tries to outcrazy Siegfried of all people. It... helps, sort of, but it ultimately isn't what leads to Kenichi's victory.
  • Berserk Button — All over the place. Their enemies can have fun with this!
    • Kenichi: Miu being hurt... or any one of his other friends being hurt. For your own sake, do not do that.
      • Outright stating you want to kill Miu is the quickest way to get him to want to break you hands down.
      • Saying you'll confess your love to Miu (sincere or not) also will press it hard.
      • One guy accused him of pressing his button because Kenichi made him bleed. Kenichi had to go through training with Shigure that day to learn how to prevent himself from getting hit with a knife. Aside from mocking his terrible form and showing him what was wrong with it, Kenichi beat him senseless for insinuating he didn't know what it was like to go through hell.
    • Miu: Hurting a kitten — "Let's kill her!" *slasher smile*
      • That's more of an "Angry Button". The real berserk button is almost killing all of her friends.
      • *ahem!* "DAIRY COW!" *runs the opposite way*
    • Sakaki/Apachai/Koetsuji/Shigure/Ma: Kenichi being hurt/put in danger underhandedly (also theoretically for Miu)
    • Hermit: Kill Stealing
      • Being Kenichi where nobody can see you.
    • Sigfried: harming his "Precious Demon Emperor" (Niijima)
    • Kisara: Bringing up her lack of physical assets
      • Or hurting a cat, she and Miu share this button.
    • Shigure again: hurting her mouse.
      • Being Ma and having a camera aimed up her skirt or trying to do anything remotely perverse earns you shuriken, kunai, or sword aimed at you.
    • Apachai: Hurting animals or mentioning that you have done so in the past earns you "The-Punch-You-Don't-Let-Good-Children-See" right in the...everything.
      • Same thing happens if he finds out you're doing anything bad to children. Dealing in child slavery" is a real quick way for him to 'forget' he was your bodyguard a few minutes ago
    • Sakaki: Using dirty methods to fight in general will make him get pissed off.
      • An adult picking fights with kids, or attacking children in general.
    • Akisame: Do not insult his mustache, he can have Shigure find you if he really wants to.
    • It's implied that the Ma family live by the code "be true to yourself " and this applies in any extreme way they feel like it should. so in theory, doing ANYTHING that angers Renka or Ma will press their berserk button.
    • Honoka: "Bullying" Kenichi. She can't really do much on her own (even with her squeaky hammer) but she CAN control Apachai, who can do a LOT on his own.
    • Everyone else: Being Niijima.
    • Niijima: Insulting his information gathering abilities.
    • Renka: Touch Kenichi, go on, hurt him and she'll jump your ass faster than Miu
      • Taking advantage of her habit of chasing anything that moves also sets her off.
    • Chikage: Physical contact from anyone but Kenichi or her Mistress usually makes her snap straight to "Yami Mode" and flip your ass all over the place.
    • Boris: ORDERS. ARE. FINAL!!! (he can however use loopholes if he really feels like it.)
    • Rachel Stanley: steal her spotlight. there are no depths she won't sink to to get it back, stripping is a valid method for her. Along with stripping YOU and making up blatant lies.
    • Ethan Stanley: One rich man joked about buying Rachel for kicks. Ethan punched his head through a closed car window for it.
    • Kagerou: Calling him by any nickname which refers to his excessive tallness, his flat nose, or his urchin hair.
      • If you'd just follow his handy guide pamphlet, you'd be just fine.
    • God Hand Akira of Yomi: He wasn't pleased at all when he found out someone killed his disciple. he was LESS pleased when he found out it was some random ass soldier with a gun.
    • Alexander of Yomi: Pointing a gun at him will make him shout "Don't point that filthy metal at me!" and give you a death glare which he is all too happy to follow up on.
    • Silkwat of Yami: Failing to meet his expectations can cause him to do things like bury you in an avalanche. It's been implied he doesn't mind killing his disciples if they screw up once.
  • The Berserker — Not the character named Berserker, but Apachai and Kisara when she uses Nya Kwon Do.
    • In chapter 399 we learn that Apachai is actually not a berserker. He seems like a berserker, but he has complete control over his strength and movements, which is how he's been able to follow Katsujinken. Although, it's been implied he only managed to gain full control after almost killing Kenichi waaay back in chapter 32 or so.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Ground spinning fist ball attack!
    • Honestly, a better translation would be "Rolling Boulder Barrage" or "Rolling Ball of Fists!".
  • Big Breasts, Big Deal — Shigure barely even comments on hers; Miu laments her growth.
  • Big Brother Mentor — Gender flipped: Freya is a Big Sister Mentor to Kisara.
    • Played straight, in backstory, with Apachai and Agaard.
  • Big Damn Heroes — Kenichi saves the day a few times. However the real trope examples are his masters who occasionally jump in.
  • Big Damn Villains — In chapter 466, Miu's father, the leader of YAMI who was disguised as the "clumsy" mercenary John the entire time, saves Kenichi and Miu from Jenazad's fighters.
  • Big Fancy House: Siegfried has one.
  • Big Good — Ryozanpaku as a whole counts as they are the cornerstone of the opposition against evil and Yami, but Elder is the Biggest of them all, one of his nicknames is "The Invincible Superman" and at one point he is described as 'The Most Powerful Being On The Planet'.
    • Note that this was said when he was fighting at 0.0002% of his power... with his eyes closed.
    • At one point, Sakaki declares he'll "capture [Kushinada] and present her to the Elder as a trophy". Ironic that Sakaki and the Elder are good guys while Kushinada is the evil one. Kenichi even points out how it was something a villain would say.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Ryōzanpaku
  • Bishounen — Ma Kensei in his youth is a prime example. It's even lampshaded by Kenichi.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing — Natsu Tanimoto is one of the few male examples.
  • Blade Reflection — Turned to practical use for Shigure.
  • Blood Knight: Too many to name. Most of them villains. But a few heroes like Sakaki tilt strongly this way.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Sakaki. What freetime he doesn't spend training is spent getting drunk, or riding his motorcycle, and he loves fighting to borderline Blood Knight levels.
  • Boring but Practical — Kenichi doesn't have the kind of advanced moves or styles that many of his opponents have, and while he has his awesome moments, strictly speaking he's just using the basics of martial arts. However, this is precisely the kind of martial artist Bruce Lee stated was the most fearsome...
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Miu, thanks to Jenezad,
  • Bunny Ears Lawyer — The series is overflowing with them, but Siegfried really takes the cake. He composes music while fighting (once even using a fallen opponent as a music sheet paper), and he even goes into withdrawal when he goes without composing for too long. He even took a prayer wheel as a master.
  • Butt Monkey: Koga. You'd feel bad for him if he weren't such a little prick.
  • Brick Joke: In the mini arc where Miu befriends Kisara, Apachai mentions that he once owned a cat. Nearly 300 chapters later, in a flashback to Apachai's past, we see the cat. It's a tiger.
  • Can't Catch Up — Many of Kenichi's friends and allies in the Shinpaku Alliance begin training much harder to catch up to Kenichi. Ukita Kouzou, however, has it the worst because he failed to consider the merits of Training From Hell and just trained normally.
    • Although it is often subverted, in that many people like Siegfried, Kisara, Natsu (who may have already caught up), and Takeda do catch up, and in a relatively short period of time.
      • It's also because, as Kenichi's own teachers point out, they all have more talent for martial arts than he does. Unlike him they're all talented individuals who also put in a fair bit of hard work. Except {{Ukita Demoted to Extra}}.
      • Also at times used on Kenichi, as he can't catch up to Miu or Renka.
  • Cain and Abel — Ma Kensei and his brother Ma Sougetsu (Hermit's master, and apparently one of the members of Yami).
  • Calling Your Attacks — Most of the fighters do it, yelling out loud (or thinking) the names of their martial arts moves. This takes reasonably predictable forms in combat, although in certain situations it's played for laughs or otherwise taken a little bit further than usual.
  • Calvin Ball: Whatever Apachai and Shigure are playing here with Touchumaru. Check the middle panel.
  • Cannot Spit It OutPoor Izumi.
  • Catch Phrase: "APA!" and "It's a strategic withdrawal!"
  • Character Development: More than one is lead to believe at first glance. This is one of the few popular shounen manga where the character development of the main character is still the most important thing, whereas in others it's treated as secondary to the the action or plot. It's most notable with Kenichi, being the titular character, but several other characters get to shine and grow as well, even the side characters.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower — Taken to extremes by just about every single character.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Justified against the Kyouken no Izayo in chapter 388. While not completely striperrific, it let bare her stomach and part of her thighs in contrast with her male counterpart in full body armor. But then it shows that she relied in extremely fast movements, acrobatics and SuperReflexes which a full body armor would have seriously slowed her down to the point of being suicidal against a Master level. She still lost, but it was because Ma was far faster and an expert in armor destruction.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Radin Tidat Jihan's maid, Sham. Introduced in chapters 181 + 182 with an Omake in 188, she reappears in chapter 452 following Kenichi and Sakaki, and in 453 supports them.
  • Chivalrous Pervert — Ma Kensei uses his peaceful Ero will (and panty thievery) to cause a hardened assassin to regret the choices that led her down the path of a killer.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl — Miu tends to react badly whenever she thinks another girl is showing Kenichi affection, or vice versa. This even includes his sisterly Sexy Mentor Shigure. Of course she and Kenichi are Just Friends. Ma Renka is a more straightforward example.
    • Shigure may have recently somewhat justified Miu's reactions. Miu's recent serious suspicions about Shigure's feelings for Kenichi after Shigure and Kenichi's training outing together do have some weight: The Stoic seems to smile only around Kenichi, and seems to like flirting with him. Doesn't really seem like the two are just friends.
  • Close-Call Haircut — Happens in a fight between Shigure and Kii Kagerou.
  • Clothing Damage — Happens to Miu on more than one occasion.
    • Also a large part of the battle between Renka and Castor.
      • More like a large part of any battle involving Castor.
      • And if it doesn't happen by accident, she'll make it happen.
      • And it doesn't have to happen in a battle.
      • And around Chapter 360, the fighter with the machete faces clothing devastation by Shigure.
    • Shigure in recent chapters.
    • That weapons user that Kensei fought in chapter 390.
  • The Collector — Fortuna.
    • Also I swear Ogata's this as well, his latest target you ask? Why our hero of course!
  • Combat Commentator — On many occasions, but the two best examples are Kenichi's final battle with Odin and the fights on the D of D Tournament. Also worth mentioning are the two occasions where a challenger fought Kenichi inside the Ryōzanpaku dojo, in front of all Kenichi's masters who heartily commentated the fight.
  • Continuity Nod: In chapter 325, Miu mentions that she hasn't infiltrated an enemy ship since she was a kid — an event depicted in a flashback over a hundred chapters previously.
  • Continuity Reboot: Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple is actually a reboot of a previous work by the same author, Tatakae! Ryouzanpaku Shijou Saikyou no Deshi. It tells the same story, more or less, but isn't as deep. A number of character designs are different as well, notably Takeda and Tanimoto.
  • Cosmopolitan Council — Yami's "One Shadow Nine Fists". Although a little Japan-centric (four of them being Japanese, which includes the only female member), it includes: a Chinese, an Indian, an Indonesian, a Mexican, a Russian and a Thai. Unlike the typical Cosmopolitan Council, here it's not so much about different national costumes or accents as much about individual dressing styles of the members, which partially reflect their nationalities, partially their martial arts preferences and partially their personalities.
    • This Cosmopolitan Council structure is also reflected through their disciples in YOMI, although two (and later three) of them are not the same nationalities as their respective mentors.
  • Covers Always Lie: Happens occasionally. For example, chapter 290's cover shows Siegfried and Tanimoto holding swords. Neither of them is so much as mentioned during the chapter.
  • Crazy Prepared: Niijima. he has traps hidden all around town in the event he has to make an escape. brought nearly a Magnificent Bastard Level in the Data Transport Arc that cd they are protecting? it's an hour of Niijima laughing. the data is really on a USB drive. that gets chopped up by the weapons users? no problem, the data was already leaked to the internet
    • Not to mention that the disk they're protecting is actually a back-up of the original disk Niijima made in case the original was destroyed. Basically, the internet was the fourth layer of protection.
    • Nijima even points it out to Berserker that the reason that he's number one in Shinpaku is because he's so prepared. The crazy thing? He's actually right.
  • Creator Cameo: In a Brand X restaurant named Matsuenald's.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass — There's a young pencil-pusher taking part in the D of D Tournament. He asks to wait a bit before the fight, he has a call from his wife on his cellphone. Then he takes out the body builder in front of him with one hit. He re-appears later, too. Also, Freya's Badass Grandpa.
    • Kenichi himself is an excellent example of this trope. He has undergone over a year of Training From Hell on steroids, has taken on numerous badass martial artists and yet still cowers when bullied by freshmen. Nijima even calls him out on this at one point, pointing out that Kenichi's gentle personality only seems to cause more people to pick fights with him. Oh and let's not forget that he is a devoted member of the gardening club.
  • Creepy Child — Chikage Kushinada. Subverted when exposed to flowers and sweets.
  • Cuteness Proximity — Kisara and Miu, wherever cats are involved. Kisara even evolves a "Cat Fu" version of her Tae Kwan Do through it.
    • Miu does this with Renka because she resembles a cat so much.
    • Shigure as well, except with a tank...
    • Averted with Freya's gang, who just use it to their advantage to catch their opponents off guard.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy — Nijima. Dear lord... to sum up, his basic strategy is thus: 1) Make your minions think you actually care for them and 2) don't let them know you're actually a Dirty Coward.
    • There are signs that he is Becoming the Mask though. Even Nijima notes that he's been acting uncharacteristically brave and chivalrous of late.
  • Dark Is Not Evil — Dou-Type martial artists, who fuel their abilities with rage and aggression, are more prone to be evil, but people who are gentle by nature, such as Apachai, Miu or Kisara, can avoid this.
    • Sakaki is pretty much the most menacing and scary of the Masters but is also the most caring and protective when it comes to Kenichi — Shigure even calls him "Mother Hen" because of that.
  • Dead Little Sister — The memory of his sister is one of the primary motivators for Natsu Tanimoto (a.k.a. Hermit). Then Kenichi's sister Honoka becomes his Morality Pet.
  • Deadly Upgrade — Odin and Shō Kanō's Dou/Sei Combination — "Seidou Goui" or also called "Roar as One" — I think Kensei described it best.
  • Death by Genre Savviness — A hilarious variation. While eating his first meal at the dojo, Kenichi is leaning heavily over his food in an attempt to avoid having it stolen as part of an "eating is training exercise." One master derides this as cliche, so Kenichi stops. Unfortunately, all the other masters have decided that they like the idea...
  • Death Is Cheap — played with. Kenichi never kills his opponents, but has been briefly dead many times over due to his Master's training (including right before his father visits the dojo). Fortunately, Ma Kensei is always ready with powerful mystical medicine.
    • Actually, once a brief death happened to him not while training, but in a real fight. Tirawit Koukin gave him a devastating blow to the chest, and not even his masters would arrive in time to save him if it weren't for Niijima giving him his special reanimation technique.
    • Death also almost claimed Apachai recently, but he came back from the dead just to protect Kenichi from a Master-Class opponent. By which time Kensei and Akisame got to them with their techniques.
  • Defeat by Modesty — Almost never works. Too many women just don't care. Rachel openly subverts the trope.
    • Does work on occasion though. Miu nearly loses a poolside fight when she almost loses her top (Kenichi ends up stepping in for her), and Renka unintentionally ends up turning it against Rachel (of all people) in their fight, getting away from her at a few points by accidentally removing her top and shorts.
  • Defeat Means Friendship — Pick a non-adult villain who was defeated by Kenichi or his adolescent allies. There is a greater than 75% chance that this will come into play.
  • Defusing the Tykebomb — The characters attempt this with Chikage Kushinada.
  • Determinator — the only talent the Masters credit Kenichi with is his stubbornness and never giving up.
    • — Siegfried. The man went without sleep for three days straight after being summoned by Niijima, refused to stop looking for him and his comrades, flew a plane SOLO through a practical Macross Missile Massacre, survived it getting blown up, POWERDOVE through the missiles, coming to an epic, if less-than-graceful landing, and proceeding to destroy two members of the Capoeria team. Earlier than that, he kept reviving himself from Ma Kensei's sleep acupuncture out of sheer force of will. NOTHING will stop him from coming to the aid of his friends and his master.
    • And then there's Tanimoto, Mizunuma, and Takeda.
  • Deus Exit Machina — Both averted and played straight at the same time. While Kenichi's masters are almost never actually indisposed whenever he happens to get into a big fight (in fact, there's usually at least two or more watching his fight, and usually wagering on it), they almost never intervene in the battle, even if Kenichi's life is in danger. Justified by their stance that a good master should not get involved in the affairs of his/her disciple. However, they have stepped in before, when actual master class combatants show up.
    • Chapter 409 sees the Masters of Ryozanpaku taking an indefinite leave-of-abscence from the Dojo, leaving Kenichi and Miu to their own devices, leaving nothing but an explanatory note. And plans for Kenichi's continued training, of course.
  • Dirty Coward — Nijima, but he's just so good at it that it loops back around to Lovable Coward.
  • Dirty Old Man — Ma Kensei
  • Distress BallRachel Stanley first held this and currently it is in Miu's possession.
  • Does Not Like Men — Kisara tries to pull this in chapter 383, not that anyone's going to believe her. Of course, that might have something to do with Freya being in the room, naked. She repeats it in chapter 423, then promptly averts it by trying to pry details of her relationship with Kenichi out of Miu.
  • Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: This is a reflex conditioned into Miu through years of martial arts training: she always throws anyone who touches her (or, God forbid, grabs her) from behind.
  • Double Standard — Ma and Renka do not let each other get any "fanservice". Ma's case is being able to look at naked or nearly naked women. For Renka, it's being able to spend time with Kenichi alone. Renka's presence can make Ma cling to the nearest large object to stop her from dragging him back to China. Ma hides listening devices in Renka's bells so he can spy on her.
  • Dumb Muscle — Apachai is the Grim Reaper of Muay Thai boxing, and can crush rocks into dust with his bare hands. He also appears to be mildly retarded. But he's more of a Savant, he just can only fight, learn facts about animals, and break things.
    • Partially subverted, at least in the anime. Due to Honoka's extreme skills with Othello (more better known as Reversi), Apachai has become so skilled that he nearly beat Akisame, a highly-skilled Othello player.
      • This also happens in the manga.
  • Dysfunction Junction — Many members of YOMI and Yami.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Seriously, doesn't matter what are you doing or where you are, they will either lose their shirt or show their attributes one way or another. Taken to eleven with Hayato who can make Kimonos form fitting and use a Fuindoshi in any of the Beach Episode
  • Estrogen Brigade Bait: All the fighters in Kenichi Verse and in all the Flavors: Normal (Kenichi), Bishonen (Tanimoto, Shō Kanō), ex otic ( Kokin,Boris, Ethan). Then you get to the Masters and one chapter characters... there is at least one example for every taste.
  • Eek! a Mouse! — Freya
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: This appears to hold true throughout the various arcs. Some Ragnarok members were True Companions such as Thor and Siegfried. YOMI has Rachael and Ethan who are loyal siblings. This is however ironically most apparent in YAMI. There are various masters sharing an almost paternal bond with their disciples such as Alexandar and Boris or Agaard and Koukin. Some of them are even an out and out Parental Substitute like Akira and Shou or Mikumo and Chikage. The last part cuts both ways, some YOMI disciples faithfully search for their missing mentors when their defeated masters are thrown in a secret jail.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Most of the Master-class opponents follow a particular code of conduct. They generally do not attack someone of the Disciple class, they do not interfere in a bout between Disciples, they do not team up with each other to fight another Master and above all they protect their Disciples. Even most of the One Shadow Nine Fists follow these rules and those Masters who break them tend to be of the Complete Monster or Card-Carrying Villain variety.
  • Even the Girls Want Her — A quick glance at the background of this page indicates that it's not just guys who enjoy Rachel Stanley's awesome boobs.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins — According to YOMI member Boris Ivanov's perception, Kenichi's animal motif is a penguin. That later evolves into a hawk... penguin. Yeah.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning (and several of its subtropes) — Siegfried.
  • Everything's Worse with Bears — Kenichi experiences a bear attack while training in the mountains. Which he handles in the worst possible way, as explained via chibi people, telling you the PROPER procedure to escape bears.
  • Evil Mentor — Yami is an entire organization of these.
    • Each member of Yami has had a single disciple who is was a YOMI member. Kensei-sama in particular seems to relish Evil Mentoring. He inspired Hermit to be a ruthless martial artist, molded Odin into a killing machine, and has twice attempted to make Kenichi his disciple, and has shown no signs of giving up.
  • Expy — Kenichi's father looks remarkably like Golgo 13. And he loves guns.
  • Extremity Extremist — Ikki Takeda (Boxing); Kisara Nanjo (Tae Kwon Do); Koga the Kicker.
    • Takeda took this even further than the common type of example when he first fought Kenichi; because his left arm was paralyzed, he could only use his right.
    • Kisara needs a little more explanation. "Tae kwon do" ("kicking & punching arts") does emphasize kicks more than most hard martial arts, but it doesn't completely neglect punches and neither does Kisara entirely.
  • Expecting Someone Taller — Most challengers' response to meeting Kenichi.
  • Eyepatch of Power:
    • Kajima Satomi. The eyepatch (as well as the scars all over his body) is a symbol of his high level of combat experience, particularly learning to cope with defeat. Yet to be revealed whether he's really missing the eye.
    • James Shiba. Confirmed: he did in fact lose his eye in a fight with none other than the Kajima's master himself (who is the leader of Yami).
    • Shigure's foster father, master Kosaka, who polished her weapon fighting skills and whose surname she inherited.
    • One of the members of the Chinese kung-fu team on the D of D Tournament
  • Face Framed in Shadow — some members of Yami are initially shown like this. The most notable example of this is, of course, their leader, whose face has not been shown yet. See also In the Hood below.
  • Fan Service — Relentless and in many forms, for both male and female fans.
  • Fan Service Pack — Miu's breasts grow from 'just about plausible' to 'how can you move without black eyes?' between chapters 267 and 305. It's handwaved/justified in an omake.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry — Kisara's one-legged jeans and Jenny's weird one-legged dress.
  • Fight Magnet
  • Foreign Exchange Student: The Stanley siblings, Rachel and Ethan. Also Boris (a Russian). Tirawit (a Thai) also technically counts, but in his case there is little or no racial gap, and the cultural gap is not so prominent.
  • Foreign Fanservice — Rachel
  • ForeshadowingRemember when Apachai said that he was going to throw away his life to protect Kenichi? He did. Well, almost.
    • In the D of D tournament Akisame says there is a Jujitsu technique that lets you throw your enemy without using your hands but he hasn't taught it to Kenichi. Cue around 100 chapters later Akisame throwing Alexander Gaidar without touching him.
  • Forgotten Childhood FriendOdin to Kenichi. To a lesser extent, Miu. She was a little girl that Kenichi met who first sparked a desire to get stronger... Something Kenichi completely forgot by the time he first takes Miu's offer to train at the dojo. Of course, Miu apparently knew right away and didn't feel the need to bring it up when they meet again.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Many characters, women and men alike; women like Miu and Renka have their attires skintight (no matter if it's pratical or not) to point out their beauty and crank up the Fan Service, not surprising since the series is targeted ar males, but the big muscular men are also like this; Hayato, Sakaki, Apachai and many others wear impossibily tight clothes to show off their statuesque bodies.
  • Foe Yay — Kenichi with almost all of his rivals.
  • Friendly Enemy — Kenichi to all his opponents at first at least. He tries to avoid fighting like the plague and just makes friends with YOMI's members. This strategy is starting to work on Chikage, the first person he got a genuine shot at trying it on. Niijima even acknowledges it as a valid strategy to be friendly on the outside.
    • Chikage has gone from thinking, "God I wish I could kill these idiots," to, "They're amusing, and I don't want Band-aid dead." She literally hates everyone else in the world minus her mistress. She tags along on anything they do and even fought against Yami's armed division alongside the Shinpaku Alliance.
    • Ethan Stanley: Is extremely polite to everyone, earning him a lot of friends. He even takes Kenichi out for tea.
    • Rachel Stanley: Is flamboyant as all can get and flirts with anyone for attention. She doesn't even mind being groped by Kenichi once, replying "ohh, be gentle~"
    • Boris: He was also fairly passive when at school. Especially when Ohno Sensei is involved.
    • Koukin: At the end of his battle with Kenichi, admits he can't bring himself to hate Kenichi, who admits the same about Koukin.
    • Hermit: Is still technically an Anti-Hero, but he will work with Kenichi and the Shinpaku alliance when given next to no other choice. Especially when Honoka is involved. He has the entire "I am the only one allowed to defeat you" Complex with Kenichi and doesn't appreciate when people make claim to his targets.
    • Takeda: When he was a villain, was pretty laid back and was the least likely to start a fight, usually that was Ukita, who had a fuse shorter than a microbe, he got better though.
    • Kisara: When she was a villain, she would talk to Miu about cats once they figured out she had an affinity for them, without need for restraint, because they mutually loved them to bits.
    • The Pancration Team Leader: He's very friendly to Kenichi despite being his possible opponent.
    • Agaard: Is extremely friendly for an enemy, outright helping Kenichi against the barbarian sword user after his fight with Apachai.
    • Renka Ma considers Miu her enemy for Kenichi's heart, but doesn't mind working with Miu if the occasion calls for it.
      • Kensei Ma, despite being a self proclaimed hentai, pervert, ero lover, dirty old man etc. Prevents Renka from having any alone time with Kenichi. HE can't stop their "trianing accidents" where Kenichi gropes Renka (It's her fault). But he uses his skills so he can peek on Shigure and give her and Miu a good slap on the ass whenever possible. Renka in turn does the same thing and tries to stop him.
  • Friend to All Children — Apachai
  • Friend to All Living Things — Apachai
  • Gag Boobs — most of the girls are very *ahem* 'blessed', but Miu's the one who gets most of the fun poked at her for it.
    • Kushinada Mikumo's breasts are each bigger than her head. Which is probably why she can never close her top...
    • This has definitely gotten worse as the series progressed. In the beginning Miu was called a "Dairy Cow" by Kisara and "Big Boob Girl" by Honoka; yet at this point, Miu isn't even in the top 3 named characters in chest size, lagging behind Shigure, Renka, Mikumo, and Rachel.
    • Around ch. 292 Miu got a Fan Service Pack (hinted as puberty) and grew almost to the size of Shigure. Then Shigure started accumulating clothing damage...
  • Gainaxing — Miu in the Anime.
  • Genius Ditz — Apachai can remember and recite in full information about animals, and can also beat everyone except Honoka at Othello.
  • Gilligan Cut — Ukita invites Chikage to a Shinpaku meeting, she refuses. He then says they're going to a pastry buffet and this happens:

 Chikage: "I won't be soiled." <Gilligan Cut to her stuffing a piece of cake in her mouth> "I won't be soiled!! Starting tomorrow.

  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: In 448, Nijima gives one of these to Kenichi when the latter actually starts punching himself over not protecting Miu. Nijima reminds him that that's why he started training in the first place, and that he's got friends who care about Miu too... all whilst beating Kenichi with a folding chair.
  • Giving Up the Ghost — When Kensei pursuades Kenichi to join him to peek in on the hotsprings expecting to see Miu and Shigure, they eventually find out it was Hayato Furinji in the hotspring, who saw through the whole plan. He scared Kenichi so hard that his ghost's ghost gave up the ghost.
  • The Glasses Come Off — Odin when he uses Gungir.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go — Miu is a subversion of Meganekko because she inverts this trope.
  • Gonk/Human Aliens — Most characters agree that there's no possible way that Niijima can be human. One omake suggests that his insides are just as bizarre as his external appearance (his heart is hairy).
    • Also noteworthy that Niijima does nothing to disabuse this. In the English dub of the anime he frequently refers to his "alien powers" (his ability to hide, escape from fights, and read people's moods and expressions), and in one of the closing episodes when he reveals his over-arching plan to Kenichi he uses the phrase "your species" when talking about people in general. Well, what does that make you?
  • Good Old Fisticuffs — Takeda "The Puncher"
  • Grade School CEO — Hermit was one when he was younger, due to his adopted father dying and leaving him with control of the company. In a rather cruel but realistic twist, the company's managers and lawyers immediately conspired together to trick the young Tanimoto into signing over control of the company and its assets to them. It's implied that this stopped soon after Tanimoto was taken in by "The Great Sage Fist", as he's still fairly wealthy at the time of the series.
  • Gun Fu — Jenny
    • Kenichi's father Genji might be considered a case as well, as he's shown to be able to shoot and even reload a bigass shotgun with ONE HAND.
      • While running and carrying Kenichi mind you!
        • He earns praise from Shigure, now That's Really Something.
  • Hammy Herald — Kenichi's father for his guns.


  • Handicapped BadassOdin, wheelchair-bound after fighting Kenichi. Also, Takeda before fighting Kenichi.
  • Handwraps of Awesome — All Muay Thai fighters wear these. Since Kenichi's custom-made training uniform (introduced in Chapter 145) is patched up from pieces of outfits for various martial arts (which reflects various fighting styles of his mentors), it also includes a pair of such bandages.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works — Set up straight, then subverted. During the fight between Hermit and Berserker, Hermit even acknowledges that one part talent may overcome 100 parts hard work. He then goes on to show his hard work by beating the everloving crap out of the talented Berserker, defying him to over come a hundred thousand parts hard work.
    • Hell, subverting this trope is arguably the entire point of the series, as Kenichi has absolutely NO talent for martial arts (a fact his masters remind him of at every possible opportunity), so he endures Training From Hell cranked Up to Eleven in order to fight and defeat the insanely talented opponents who wish to destroy him.
      • It doesn't hurt that Kenichi is doing his Training From Hell every single day under five ridiculously talented masters. (The 6th one is the worst offender of this[1], but only pitches in when Kenich would lose the next fight without it) Nobody can catch up to him because his daily training tops the average Training From Hell trip by several magnitudes... He's supremely relieved during the Beach Chapter when he gets a whole two days of no training.
        • This hard work is pretty much what keeps Kenichi ahead of his comrades in the Shinpaku Alliance, because Kisara, Takeda, Siegfried , Takeda and his other friends all make major progress in their martial arts skills with less hardship and far less formal training(Kisara and Sieg are actually self-trained, and the others have only one sensei each). In a sense Kenichi is actually lucky to be training so much with some of the best martial artists in the world, because as his own senseis observe, all his friends are more talented than him.
    • This acts as a large difference between Ryozanpaku and Yomi. While Yomi only trains fighters after they've extensively scouted for incredible and unique skills and talent, Ryozanpaku has... Kenichi, who basically wandered in one day and asked them to train him. Understandably, Yomi members are a bit pissed that he's wiped the floor with so many of them.
  • Heel Face Return: Loki was once a leader of Ragnarok, and an all-around unrepentant jerkass. In a later arc, he was shown spying on Yomi for Nijima.
  • Heel Face Revolving DoorNatsu Tanimoto, apparently.
  • Heel Face Turn — At least seven or eight members of Ragnarok (including six out of Eight Fists) and several of the D of D competitors. Some of the members of YOMI turn as well, but the Yami arc isn't so forgiving to its AntiVillains in some cases.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: This is one of the basic principles of teaching martial arts in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: it's repeatedly said that a martial arts mentor must not interfere in his (or her) disciple's fight with a non-master fighter, even when the disciple's life is in danger. However, mentors sometimes break a sparring (i.e. friendly) match when a disciple is in a serious danger. (It happened once to Takeda and once to Kenichi.)
    • The one exception to this rule appears to be fighting against master level combatants. Kenichi's masters find it incredibly distasteful when one of his rival's masters attack Kenichi and take it very personally.
  • Heroism Incentive: Kenichi had lost all self confidence and just wanted to run away after watching a bit of the D of D tournament. The Elder offered him the thing he always wanted: he can ask Miu out if he wins the tournament; courage ensues.
    • Then it all but completely vanishes when, in the next match, it's revealed that the Elder has entered the tournament under the disguise of the 20-year old Garyu-X.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: The Funimation dub has a lot of actors in common with its Keroro Gunsou dub, leading to the feeling that they're doing it on purpose when you hear Christopher Sabat playing a scar-faced uberbadass on both shows (Sakaki here and Giroro there).
    • See also Todd Haberkorn as both Keroro and Nijima, Carrie Savage as Angol Mois and Miu, Cherami Leigh as Natsumi and Honoka, John Swasey as Kogoro and Kenichi's dad, Kent Williams as Paul and Akisame, J. Michael Tatum as Dororo and Takeda, and R. Bruce Elliot as the Narrator and Hayato. That's nearly the entire main cast of Sgt. Frog!
  • Holding Hands: Miu and Kenichi, for a full minute. Kenichi was excited.
  • Hot-Blooded — Every one of Kenichi's masters. Even Shigure is easy to fire up in her own strange, subdued way.
  • Hot for Student — Though nothing explicit comes of it, there's definitely inklings of this between Ono-sensei and Boris Ivanov. Just read Chapter 300.
    • Some readers see hints of it with Shigure and Kenichi. It's been said several times that Kenichi has caused Shigure to be more social, is the only one to make her smile or joke, and the only one Shigure has given her life's story to outside of her housemates. She's also rather uncaring if Kenichi sees her naked, even teasing him a bit. Since she was essentially raised by the most absent-minded dad ever, then moved into a house of martial artists and has presumably not had romantic contact with anyone before, that's saying a lot.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl — A non-romantic example would be Miu traveling with her grandfather as a child.
    • Ukita and Chikage seem to be developing into this.
      • Ukita and Kisara, in a romantic example. Of all the (teenage) members of Shinpaku, he's the second largest, and she's the most petite.
    • Also Tanimoto and Haruka.
    • What, we're already forgetting Honoka and Apachai?
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: parodied with Nijima.
  • I Am Spartacus — A variation in chapter 161, to protect Sigfried from the YOMI assassin demanding Kenichi (who wasn't yet there), many members of the Shinpaku Alliance claim to be Kenichi.
  • I Call It Vera — Kenichi's father Genji calls his shotgun "Sebastian". His double barreled over-and-under shotgun, that is. He has a pump shotgun he calls "Maximillian". And a hunting rifle he calls "Rotowski".
    • Also Kagerou, the Ax Crazy swordsman from the Yami's weapon division, calls his sword "Setsunmaru" and talks about it as if it were a person.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Jenezad manages to kidnap Miu during Hongo and Sakaki's Duel, and is taking her to an undisclosed location to teach her his martial art.
  • I Know You Are in There Somewhere Fight — Kenichi attempts this with Ryuto at one point. He fails.
    • Kenichi is currently locked in another one with Miu, brainwashed by Jenezad to teach her Silat. So far, he's attempted using the first moves Miu taught him on her, and the... unorthodox method by which he broke her out of her Unstoppable Rage before. Both have failed.
      • He finally managed to.
  • I Uh You Too: Sort of. In Chapter 423, Kenichi clearly indicates how he feels about Miu, but says he wont say it aloud until he's strong enough to protect her. Miu, for her part, says that she's aware, and reciprocates his feelings with a light kiss on the cheek.
  • If You're So Evil Eat This Kitten — Kanō Shō gets tested/educated this way by his EvilMentors from Yami when he is still a child.
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: An early chapter-opening image in the manga shows Shigure doing a shadow puppet of Apachai (who will be starting his tutoring of Kenichi in said chapter) against a spotlight to scare Kenichi... And her hands look like she's just doing a dog or something.
  • Impossible Task — Takeda is so determined to become James Shiba's disciple that Shiba gives him two Impossible Tasks just to get rid of him. But Takeda, surprisingly, fullfills them all. To Shiba, this is the first sign that it's actually his destiny to take Takeda as a disciple.
  • Improbable Weapon User — Shigure, who successfully managed to defeat several armed (female) mooks by breaking their weapons and causing clothing damage with a wooden spoon.
    • Later topped by Hayato Fūrinji when he used armed soldiers as giant shuriken.
    • Koetsuji fought a sculpting master by resculpting an angel sculpture into a jizo in mid-air and throwing it back at him.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun — When Nijima dubs Kisara's cat-styled Tae Kwon Do "Nya Kwon Do" in the middle of the D & D tournament, the entire coliseum is stunned into silence.
  • Informed Flaw — A lot of mention is made of Kenichi's utter lack of talent. Yet he surpasses people who also train and are supposedly more talented in incredibly short periods of time. Also invents and mixes his own styles and can copy his Masters' styles.
    • As noted above in Hard Work Hardly Works, it may also be that Kenichi is talentless but puts so much work and effort into his training (whether he likes it or not) that it is the primary reason he can excel as he does.
    • You have 6 absolute masters of their arts, all of whom co-operate so that their training feeds off each others, schooling a Determinator in Training From Hell cranked Up to Eleven. They also state the fact it takes Kenichi as long as he does to get as good as he does under such circumstances is proof of his lack of Talent.
      • This is backed up by other martial artists as well. Takeda started out at roughly Kenichi's strength without his good fist, started his own personal Training From Hell much, much later than Kenichi, and only had one Master. Nonetheless, he's still sitting on even ground with Kenichi, and even managed to learn Ryuusui Seikuken on his own, which is one of a hundred and eight abilities created by the Elder, who has only ever trained Kenichi. That's right, Takeda was able to learn something created by the Invincible Superman, completely on his own, even if it's unreliable for him.
      • The masters themselves have said that Kenichi isn't entirely talentless, he's just completely untalented in physical matters; instead his talent IS that he's the ultimate Determinator, pushing himself farther and harder against the odds than anyone else would (though it helps that they keep forcing him to go through it). As stated before, too, his Determinator qualities may also extend to his Constitution, since he can seemingly take more damage than anyone in the series, going so far as to actually survive a few attacks from a Master level weapons-user.
  • In the Hood — Hermit in his first appearances as a member of Ragnarok. Also some members of YOMI are initially shown like this.
    • including Moon who is a character that is later replaced by Hermit after a position challenge.
  • Indy PloyEvery "plan" Kenichi's masters concoct.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: In the second-last episode of the anime, Kenichi starts imitating the fighting styles and personas of his masters to break through the "Gungnir" of Ragnarok's First Deadly Fist, Odin. Sakaki is furious at Kenichi's portrayal of him, and while Kensei Ma isn't angry, he still gets upset at Kenichi's portrayal of him.
    • Subverted with the other three masters, though. Kōetsuji takes his portrayal philosophically (and with a hint of pride), Appachai finds it funny, and Shigure is excited when she sees Kenichi imitating her.
  • Jerkass — Haruo Niijima, AKA Mr Plot Device for making sure Everyone Who Knows How To Fight is pissed off with Kenichi.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold — Shio Sakaki, who plays this trope as straight as can be.
    • Tanimoto might count, too, though the jerkiness is extreme and the gold is a tiny nugget he'd really like to get rid of.
  • Kick the Dog — Tirawit Kōkin's "tactics" during his fight with Kenichi. See Made of Iron below for more details.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control — Niijima has an almost Final Fantasy style summoning of Siegfried whenever he is in a pinch. Probably the best example is this
  • Knowledge Broker — Niijima has elements of this, appearing to be omniscient with all the information he possesses, though he gathers all this info for his own selfish ends rather than turning a profit.
  • Kung Shui — An epic example of this happens during the fights in the Yami base on Okinawa: a destruction of not only walls, but also floors of a luxury hotel.
  • The Lancer — Hermit
  • Leitmotif: In the anime, Seigfried is associated with A Night on Bald Mountain, and his constant "la-la-las" are actually sung to go along with the background music as it plays.
  • Le Parkour — Kenichi's second week of training with the Elder uses this to teach him something else.
  • Let's Get Dangerous — The most triumphant example would be Freya's grandpa handing everyone their asses.
  • Light Is Not Good — Sei-type martial artists, who fuel their abilities with calm and clarity, can still be pretty sadistic. Koukin is a Sei-type, for example.
  • Like Brother and Sister / He Is Not My Boyfriend — Miu tends to deflect any questions about her and Kenichi in this manner. Nobody buys it.
    • Particularly hilarious is Miu's legendary response after Kisara insinuates that Miu is lonely because Kenichi is absent. Yeah, right, "like a little brother".
      • More like a dog actually...
        • Made even funnier because one of the Mooks points out "That's kind of mean..."
  • Limited Animation — It's mediocre when compared to other studios' (especially T Ms', as they animated the series) work. Characters' chins do not move when they talk, it is very inconsistent, and their facial features do not align where they should on their faces at some points. Hayato, who is probably 8 feet tall, is suddenly drawn as a literal giant, whose head is twice as large as another characters, simply when the gag calls for it. Sometimes, this is subverted, as there are also scenes that feature almost Disney-like squash and stretch!
  • Love Bubbles: When Kenichi first meets Natsu Tanimoto, Hermit, he sees roses.
  • Love Triangle — Kenichi, Miu, and various characters. Most obviously, when Renka tricks Kenichi into taking her out to a pool, the chapter is called Triangle Relationship.
    • A little with Rachel as well — consider her obssesion with him when they first meet.
    • Seems to be going on with Ukita, Freya and Kisara: Ukita has a crush on Kisara (which she knows about), Freya likes Ukita (which he doesn't know about yet), and Kisara's actions around both Ukita AND Freya are somewhat suspect.
    • Kano and Takeda also end up in love triangles with Miu and Kenichi.
  • Luke, I Am Your FatherMiu may be set up for this trope, seeing as how her father is the leader of Yami.
    • There is another similarity with the Trope Namer (Star Wars) in the fact that Hayato gives Kenichi the arm guards that belonged to Miu's father without telling him the bitter truth about the former owner, which resembles Obi-Wan's giving Anakin's lightsaber to Luke.
      • Chapter 459 reveals that Kenichi's aware of the arm guards' history.
  • Luminescent Blush: An odd twist in that it's Sakaki who does this when Kenichi calls him "Sensei" the first time after he moves in.
  • MacGuffin Melee: Miu engages Elegant Gothic Lolita Rimi in a running battle over a disk with vital information about Yami. It turns out to be a fake.
  • Mad Martial Artist — Oogata Ishinsei has no qualms using his students to test deadly upgrade mentioned above, and to keep that student around as an "unusual test case". There is also a hint that he experimented on colleagues just to gain greater understanding of Martial Arts. He even has an Evil Laugh.

  "Then let's cheat God! Let's cut up the cycle of rebirth; let's distort nature!! The human technique that challenges the Second Law of Thermodynamics head on!!! That is known as medicine!!!!!"

  • Made of IronJustified in that almost all characters have a lot of training in how to take hits. Subverted when Tirawit tricks Kenichi into fighting the school Karate club. Since none of them had any real defense training, his usual efforts left them all hospitalized.
    • Kenichi gets a special mention — his method of fighting seems to be based on wearing the opponent out by letting them beat him bloody. Most other fighters use this strange concept of dodging, but Kenichi just takes the abuse. Hey, it worked for Muhammad Ali.
  • The Man Behind the Man — The role of Big Bad seems to have gone from Kisara to Ryuuto to Ogata to Saiga.
  • Man Child — Apachai Hopachai.
    • Kenichi's father too.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Miu's a big girl, so when she hugs him in relief... Though Kenichi clearly enjoys it.
  • Martial Arts Do Not Work That Way: Averted. Syun Matsuena had done a very extensive and thorough research (at one point traveling to Thailand for this very reason) and it shows. The only possible gripe (and only the most Anal retentive nitpicker might have) is the fact that the levels of ability (moving faster than a bullet, breaking cement with a Fist, cutting steel with a game controller in the form of a sword and so on) can't be done in real life.
  • Martial Medic — Koetsuji and Kensei. They even make a profession out of it, running osteopathy and acupuncture clinics, respectively.
  • Martial Pacifist — Kenichi. Ryōzanpaku supports this stance overall but stresses he needs to learn to be really good in order to keep it.
  • Mega Manning: Kenichi utilizes the techiniques of his masters to break Odin's guard.
    • It's also what the master's of the dojo are teaching to Kenichi. He is being taught Kempo, Aikido, Muay Thai, weapons usage... just remember that he's just the apprentice.
  • Meganekko — Subversion: Miu wears glasses to tone down her appearance. When she's called out on this 'dishonesty', she stops wearing them.
    • The straight up example would be Yūka Izumi, Kenichi's fellow member of the gardening club.
    • Another straight example: Ono Kyōko, the cheerful Shrinking Violet English language teacher.
  • Meaningful Name — Miu's name actually means "beautiful wings" or "beautiful feathers", which is in accord with her bird-like fighting movements.
  • Memento MacGuffin — Kenichi's Yin-yang pin, which he got in a trade with a six-year-old Miu.
  • Missing Mom — Miu's, through death, implied to be at the hands of her father.
  • Motorcycle Jousting — Shigure once does a motorcycle joust against an armored horseman.
  • Ms. Fanservice — Most of the females have their moments, but... Shigure. Oddly enough, while she violently rebukes Dirty Old Man Ma Kensei whenever he tries to get candid shots of her, she doesn't seem to mind if Kenichi gets an eyeful...
    • Kensei's daughter Ma Renka, too.
    • Meta-example in Rachel Stanley, as she does this to get the attention of male characters within the story.
    • See also: Miu's outfits. She gets more screentime than Shigure, too.
      • In recent chapters, Freya seems to have challenged Shigure for the title of Ms Fanservice with gusto. A battle that Shigure is more than willing to fight.
  • Mugging the Monster — Some delinquents attempt this on Tirawit Kokin, amazingly enough he didn't kill them.
    • No, instead he just took over all the school gangs — save for Shinpaku — and taught them Muay Thai... which doesn't sound so bad until you read Made of Iron...
  • My Dear Idiot: Takeda "The Puncher" and Kozo "The Thrower" manage to use their monikers very touchingly in the dub after both complete their Heel Face Turn (s) (managing to save Kenichi (for both), save Takeda and Kenichi (for Kozo)), and both upright quitting Ragnarok, reaffirming their friendship and promising to help each other out. Prior to this, their monikers were being used rather beratingly by their superiors.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours
  • Mysterious Parent — Miu's father.
  • No Doubt the Years Have Changed Me — It took quite a while for Kenichi to recognize Odin as his Forgotten Childhood Friend.
  • No Social Skills
    • Shigure is a borderline example. She spent her formative years in the wilderness with her swordsmith father; though he did love her he was so absent-minded that he never even bothered to give her a name. This (lack of) upbringing probably contributed to her present-day lack of social graces.
    • Chikage falls under this as well; having endured a strict upbringing for most of her life under her master, she is revealed to have difficulty adapting to normal life. Hence her transformation into child mode whenever she encounters sweets or toys. This comes to a head when she is forfeits the challenge to Kenichi because she was distracted as a result of being invited to a birthday party.
    • Apachai too, to a degree. In fact, in the earlier chapters, he's the only one that's regularly seen hanging around Shigure (the only one without a camera, anyhow).
  • Not Just a Tournament: The "D of D Tournament", where both the bad guys (who organized the event) and the good guys are engaged in various activities behind the scenes which are as important as the tournament itself. The climax of these background activities takes place simultaneously with the final tournament battle between Kenichi and Kanou.
  • Not So Weak — Kenichi, who is still afraid of delinquents despite officially being the strongest disciple around.
  • The Obi-Wan — Akisame Koetsuji
  • Oblivious to Love: Kenichi has a bad case of this. It mostly stems from his devotion to Miu and the fact that he still cannot wrap his mind around that girls might like him now that he has taken several steps of Badass. The list below are only people that have admitted liking him in one form or another.
    1. Renka: this is in part because she ends up hurting him every time they meet. And because he's a generally nice guy to her.
    2. Izumi Yūka, the girl in the gardening club. She's has a crush on Kenichi since he joined the club, but between Miu showing up and other factors every time she gets the courage to ask him out he does not hear her.
    3. Li Raichi, the skating girl — this one is at least slightly understandable in that they only met, like, twice.
    4. Chikage Kushinada. Though its more that he's the only person she has ANY emotional attachment to because he treated her like a normal girl, as opposed to a genius he should be admiring. She has a MAJOR internal conflict when the possibility of Kenichi getting killed shows up during his battle with Ethan Stanley.
    5. Rachel Stanley: this one may just be Rachel being her usual spotlight-hogging self, but she doesn't mind when Kenichi gropes her, and she kissed him once. Which is a helluva lot further than Kenichi's gone with anyone else, including Miu, even if it wasn't by his own free will. Ethan does tell Kenichi to take care of Rachel when he leaves, so it's likely that Ethan thinks Rachel has feelings as well.
    6. Shigure. She never said it directly, but the other masters have noted that she really acts more comfortable around Kenichi than she ever did with any of them. This says a lot given that she's lived with them for many years, and has only known Kenichi about 1-2 years in canon. She'll try and castrate Ma for looking up her skirt, but will take a bath ALONE with Kenichi if given the chance.
    • Miu is also pretty oblivious to her own feelings towards Kenichi. Which in turn he is oblivious to her true feelings. Don't they make quite the pair?
      • As of chapter 423, she's acknowledged his feelings and returns them.
  • Oh Crap — Kenichi when Honoka asks the forbidden question.
    • Kenichi's face just screams this.
    • Chapter 400: Apachai just got a hole punched THROUGH HIS CHEST... and pulls off a punch in 406 though he is already dead?
    • Chapter 463: Junazard gets this expression when Hongo breaks a piece off his mask with an attack Junazard assumed had missed.
  • Older Than They LookCreepy Child Chikage Kushinada's Yami master, Mikumo Kushinada, is apparently a senior citizen. Given that she looks like this, this is somewhat jarring. Justified by her 'Kushinada style' anti-aging methods, making Chikage's actual chronological age somewhat vague...
  • One-Man Army: Ryozampaku's and Yami's masters. Every single one of them.
    • Furinji Hayato, aka "The Invincible Superhuman" deserves a mention of its own, especially after this chapter.

 Kenichi: T-This is insane, shishou! Even though it's the elder, taking on the American military alone...

Akisame: The elder? Ah, Garyuu X. Don't worry, he won't hurt them.

Kenichi: That's what you're worried about?!?

  • One Steve Limit — Averted by Ma Kensei and Kensei of Yami.
    • Well, not exactly. Only the Japanese pronunciations of the Ryouzanpaku's master name and the Yami's master nickname are equal, but they're written with different kanjis. (And then, there is the controversy over which way Chinese names should be written in translations: whether to approximate their Chinese pronunciations or to write them the way they're pronounced in Japanese. Ma's surname is actually pronounced "Ba" in Japanese, and some translations rendered it as "Ba".)
  • Only Known by Their Nickname — Many Ragnarok members didn't have their full names revealed until after the D of D tournament.
    • Lampshaded with Thor. Apparently, the characters were as shocked that he had an actual name as you are.
    • Loki and his underlings, the most notable being Number 20.
    • Also, know who Hayato Furinji is? He's the Elder, or Garyu X! No, really, I think we only hear his name once.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You — Pretty much the extent of Kenichi's and Tanimoto's "friendship".
    • Also pretty blatantly spelled out with Masters Sakaki Shio and Akira Hongo.
    • Agaard and Apachai apparently have had a mutual understanding of this for a while.
  • Only Six Faces — Sort of averted, but lampshaded in the anime.

 Thug: We're looking for a girl who looks just like you. Except she's taller, and her hair and eyes are different, and she's not so scrawny.

  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: Sei and Dou type martial artists. Katsujin-ken and Satujin-ken.
    • Opposed Mentors: Kenichi once finds himself in a situation where he can choose between Hayato's and Evil Mentor Ogata's mentorship. It's very tempting for Kenichi because previously Hayato seemingly abandoned him and Ogata seems like a very friendly person. The catch is that the Trickster Mentor Hayato himself put Kenichi in this situation to test his moral priorities.
  • Ordinary High School Student — The manga is always quick to remind the reader how ordinary Kenichi really is. Usually while he's in the middle of something really, really crazy. It's practically a Running Gag

 "I am Shirahama Kenichi, an extremely ordinary first-year high school student who loves reading books and growing flowers. But, for some reason now, I'm locked in a desperate battle on top of a speeding bus!"

  • Perfect Play AIthis certainly looks like it
  • Pet the Dog — Nanjo Kisara (aka Valkyrie) when she buys food and milk to feed an abandoned cat in a back alley.
  • Please Wake Up: APACAHIIIIIII!!!! And he does wake up. EVEN WITH A HOLE IN HIS CHEST.
  • Pointless Band-Aid
  • Pregnant Badass: Miu's mother Suzuha.
  • Pummel Duel: Kenichi vs Odin, via seikuken vs seikuken.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad — The Eight Fists
  • Razor Floss — Captain K of the Black Force
  • Real Men Wear Pink — Kenichi is a dedicated bookworm and loves growing flowers. Siegfried composes classical music and sings during battle.
  • Really Dead MontageApachai.
  • Redemption Equals DeathShō Kanō. Also a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • I think this is more subverted in that he was never all that bad to begin with. He just was wearing an evil mask to survive in the organization he was in. His personality didn't change, just what we knew about him and his motives changed.
  • Renaissance Man — Kōetsuji Akisame is a master in many fields. The things he haven't mastered will be mastered almost instantly.
  • The Rival — Hermit, Odin, and Shō Kanō to Kenichi; Kisara to Miu (at least from Kisara's point of view)...and those are just the unambiguous and (at least initially) hostile instances.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors — How Kenichi's masters decide his training order, and other trivial, nonsensical things, too.
  • Running Gag — Miu's habit of throwing anyone that comes up behind her. Kenichi, other fighters, even total non-combatants. She even does it on the very first page of the manga!
    • Renka instinctively "chasing moving objects"
    • Someone trying to move Kenichi in some way shape or form stopping then saying "What are you — made of iron? You weigh a lot more than you look".
    • Apachai answering the phone by saying he kidnapped your child, or some other terrible crime.
  • Save the Villain — Freya's all female mook squad goes looking for Kisara... and runs into Shigure. They then decide it would be a jolly good idea to attack her. Shigure calmly tells them that they are out of their league. Cue Kenichi begging Shigure not to kill the mooks. He begs her down to using a wooden cooking spoon (she'd been helping prepare supper) with which she destroys all their weapons in a single panel.
  • Say It with Hearts: Miu loves to add hearts to the end of her sentences. Occasional Izumi Yūka does when she thinks that she in gaining ground with Kenichi.
    • And Shigure when Akira dismissed her as an opponent because she was a woman. Probably the only female fighter that has so far taken "I won't hit women" as a compliment.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses / Glowing Eyes of Doom — An interesting play on both tropes that combines their characteristics. Many characters, especially the masters, will somehow project bright beams of light from their eyes when they are either REALLY serious about something, or are just being very creepy. Apachai is highly prone to it, for the former reason.
    • It's explained as a sort of indicator of killing intent, or at least, intent to do something drastic, painful, and combat-related. Apachai, who never learned to hold back, is very prone to it because he still doesn't quite understand the idea of not attacking with such intent very well. Which leads to Kenichi's chronic fear of sparring with Apachai. With good reason!
      • Lately it appears that the eyebeams are activated when the person is using a (near-)Master-Class technique. Siegfried (who is still at Disciple-Level) is said to use some moves that are almost Master-Level as well as Niijima's Dodging- and Escape-techniques. And then Kenichi decides to join in on the fun...
  • Scenery Censor — Often the mouse covering up Shigure.
  • Sensei for Scoundrels — Kensei Ma and Sasaki Shio certainly qualify, in many ways helping Kenichi overcome his confidence issues in general, be it by dragging him along for some Accidental Pervert antics or by guzzling some beer and giving some advice.
  • Shadow Archetype — Kanō to Kenichi. Kenichi embodies the light aspect of martial arts, and Kanō embodies the dark aspects. They are opposites in pretty much every way, personality and appearance-wise, yet they are also very similar in that both are students of multiple Master-class fighters and partly because of this, they are viewed as the best fighters in their individual peer groups.
  • Shaggy Dog Story — Apachai's backstory is told to Kenichi to explain why Miu's grandfather bought an expensive scroll on their limited budget. Kenichi doesn't buy it as a reason and gets his mind wiped at the end by a technique used in the story.
  • Shown Their Work — Many of the fighting techniques that Kenichi learns are accurately described as well as the styles he encounters.
  • Shout-Out
    • To Detective Conan, in chapter 357. Akisame lampshades this by saying he's an original character because he has different hair.
    • Doraemon also has one in the same chapter [1]. There were also a few instances in prior chapters when Kenichi ran to Ryōzanpaku yelling "Doraemon!" when he needed Koetsuji's advice. In one of those instances, Koetsuji's eating dorayaki.
    • The Flintstones — Apachai says Yabba Dabba Doo a couple of times.
    • To Fist of the North Star here.
    • Not sure if it counts, but in a fansub of the anime, when Niijima uses his "alien powers" to read power levels, they are stated as being "over 9000".
    • To Hajime No Ippo is Takeda's "Double Cat-Eyed Frog Punch" bears more than a passing similarity with Aoki's upper cut version of his "Frog Punch". The only difference being that Takeda puts a spin in his fists where Aoki just does two jabs at the same time from the same crouching position. Neither of which are considered a normal frog punch, which constitutes punching with your middle finger knuckle extended and aiming for the throat.
    • Hakubi translates to Pai Mei in mandarin.
    • In the first episode when Kenichi wonders where Miu learned to throw people over her shoulder on instinct "at hitman school?" He has an image of what looks like Golgo13 holding a gun.
      • Look at Kenichi's Dad, then at Golgo13. He's pretty much a good guy version of Golgo with the goofyness cranked up to 11. He also has extreme skills with a gun that even Shigure said were impressive.
      • To specify, he reloaded a double barrel shotgun with one hand by spinning it after managing to chuck the new bullets into the air so they'd land in the gun while holding an unconscious Kenichi under his other arm while running from Shigure. This man is dangerous and would probably be considered a master if the series used guns as a weapon and he wasn't so goofy. He was even ballsy enough to punch Sakaki in the face, true that didn't even PHASE Sakaki, but the fact he did it certainly speaks volumes for his bravery if he feels his family is threatened.
    • Sakaki slams a random foe ontop of a car with Muku of Hocaloid on it.
    • Niijima is probably related to Himura of Eyesheild21. They Both:
      • Have pointy ears.
      • Can bluff their way out of nearly any situation you throw at them.
      • Keep their blackmail info handy at all times. (Niijima has a PDA, Himura has a little black book with a bat on it)
      • Scheme quicker than most people can add 2 and 2
      • Can calculate information about their opponents with a good long stare, sometimes a short one will do as well.
      • Elongated canines
      • Scare the shit out of their "allies". Niijima because he's downright creepy, pops out of nowhere whenever he feels like it, and knows more about you than most people do by staring at you. and Himura because he's scary, trigger happy, and can somehow own a rocket launcher despite being a high school student.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Just about any Master vs anyone who is not master level, but Kenichi got one recently fighting a disciple of a Yomi from the weapon division. This was after he had been hit by a master with a sword so it's also a CMOA.
  • Slave to PR — Tanimoto. Only the Shinpaku Alliance knows that he's really a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Smug Snake: Ragnarok's Loki, who considers himself a master strategist for such things as throwing lots of mooks at the protagonists and kidnapping Kenichi's little sister. Also Yomi's Radin Jihan, who spends most of his fight shrieking about how he deserves to win because he is the king of a small nation in Indonesia and sending his own minions at Kenichi.
    • All that screaming about being king undergoes a sort of Funny Aneurysm Moment, when it is revealed that his belief in his divine kingship is the only thing that keeps him from falling into a yawning chasm of loneliness.
  • Sneeze CutKouetsuji can even tell who is talking about him by the sneeze.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil — Delinquents < Ragnarok < YOMI < Yami (With a number of assassins/guards and non-Yami masters in there as well. These have to be taken on an individual basis, though)
  • Spoiled Sweet: Siegfried. It's implied that he's both a wealthy Heir and a professional composer. Niijima mentions that Siegfried is personally funding the Shinpaku Alliance with profits from the Opera he wrote about them.
  • Stand-In Parents — Miu does this once. When she applied to the high school, she gave false data about her parents (including the lie about them being still alive), because she wanted to present herself as a girl with a normal family. This backfires on her when the representatives of her school come to Ryouzanpaku to check up on her. Hilarity Ensues when she eventually chooses the jerky (although good-hearted) Sakaki and the Lady of War Shigure with No Social Skills to pose as her parents.
  • The StarscreamLoki of Ragnarok tries to pull this off against Odin, and has about as much success as the trope's namesake. Which is to say none.
  • Status Quo Is God: Invoked in universe. The night when Kenichi and Miu had their Kiss interrupted by Grandpa Furinji bursting through the front Gate became the "Night that never happened"

 Miu: Oh you came back last night? I didn't notice at all...

Apachai: Apachai never saw anything

  • Stay in the Kitchen — Miu, mostly by Kenichi (even though she is FAR better than him in fighting).
  • Stealth Hi Bye — happens several times.
    • Kanō enjoys doing pickpocketing tricks with his hands. That's how he exchanges his earring with Miu's hairclip, for instance.
    • Both Stanley siblings pull this off at various moments — Ethan to Niijima once, and Rachel once to her D of D tournament opponent and once to Kenichi.
    • The most surprising example is Ono-sensei (the Shrinking Violet English language teacher) doing this to Boris, which leads Boris to think that she might be a master class martial artist.
  • Stepford Smiler — The Yami Luchadore master "Laughing Fist" Diego, or rather, the "Angry Iron Fist".
  • Stripperific — Miu's spandex. She's drawn nude with Barbie Doll Anatomy and screen tone — the only time you can actually tell she's not wearing Body Paint is when she experiences Clothing Damage. Fortunately, this happens all the time.
    • That nothing. Compare the first chapter with this one. You can't get more blatant than that.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders — Natsu Tanimoto is pretty enough to distract straight men with the sexy (yes, even Kenichi)
  • Super SpeedFlash Steps are there, but only the Elder has actual run-on-water, outrun-a-car superspeed.
    • Well, Kenichi's other masters have been shown to outrun vehicles, and they all managed to come to his rescue by beating up a collapsing warehouse together, arriving on scene together with no lag time between their arrivals.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: Kenichi certainly did not touch Miu's hair while she was sleeping.
    • Latest chapters give us a villain whose entire schtick is this.
  • Team Pet — Touchumaru, Shigure's mouse.c
  • The Thing That Goes Doink — At Ryōzanpaku
  • This Is Unforgivable! — It's a fighting series, of course this gets used, by Miu, Kenichi, even some of the masters.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill — The key point of contention between Ryōzanpaku and Yami; Ryōzanpaku believes in this and Yami doesn't. The main conflict of the series turns out be Ryōzanpaku trying to prevent Yami from spreading their point of view of the purpose of martial arts.
  • Title Drop — Nijima refers to Kenichi as "history's strongest disciple" after he beats up a gang.
  • Tomokazu SekiKenichi's hands glows with an awesome power!! Its burning grip tells him to defeat his enemies!
  • Token Evil Teammate — Niijima and Natsu (Hermit)
  • Took a Level In Badass — Kenichi
  • Tournament Arc — The Desperate Fight of the Disciple Tournament. "D of D" for short.
  • Tragic Keepsake — Miu's pocket knife hair clip, which belonged to her deceased mother. Also Kanō's birdcage-shaped earring, which Kenichi always carries around tied to his school bag as a reminder of the promise given to Kanō that he'll protect Miu.
  • Training From Hell — For the Masters of Ryozanpaku, there's pretty much no other kind. You wouldn't BELIEVE the training Kenichi goes through; the other characters of the manga don't. And after defeating Ragnarok and getting targeted by YOMI, his masters decide to TRIPLE his training.
    • It should be noted that at one point, Kenichi's father believes that Kenichi is using the dojo as a means to slack off, and thus comes to pay the five masters a visit. They all agree to go WAY easy on him for the day... causing his father to come to the conclusion that the training has been altered for his visit. He's under the impression that the masters have been extra hard on him for the visit to prove Kenichi is working hard, when the truth is it's precisely the opposite. The training causes his father to attempt a "rescue" of Kenichi until traps around the dojo allow him to show his father just how strong he's become.
    • One could easily call this tale, "Training From Hell — the Series"
  • Training Montage — About Once an Episode, in keeping with the genre. As expected from the above, some of the training is sadistically creative.
    • An example: the masters observe that Kenichi's arms are only a third as strong as his legs. Their solution? Running around the block in a handstand.
  • True Companions: There are several examples including the Shinpaku Alliance, Ryouzanpaku, the Ancient Pankration Team and Freya's Valkyrie Squad among others.
  • Tsundere: Renka tries so HARD to be one of these, but always ends up blushing when Kenichi compliments her and ends up coming out looking like a genki girl with a slight attitude.
  • Twice Shy — Dear Kenichi and Miu, Just go out with each other already! Signed, The Fans.
  • Unconscious Objector: Kenichi during his final epic battle against Shou Kanou on the "D of D tournament". While he's fighting unconscious, the lack of moral inhibitions actually makes him noticeably stronger, which amuses his Evil Counterpart opponent.
  • Unstoppable RageMiu
  • Unusual Eyebrows — Nearly everyone's eyebrows are on the atypical side, ranging from fiery to swooped and even lightning-shaped.
  • Verbal Tic — Apachai's "APA!". Preserved in the dub.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds — Kenichi has decided that he's going to be Tanimoto's best friend whether he likes it or not. Tanimoto's solution is to play along when anyone's looking and tear him a new one (verbally or physically) when they're not.
  • Weak but Skilled — Chikage Kushinada
    • The entire Kushinada-style Jujitsu is built around this concept, being made to employ 0% strength and 100% skill.
    • Koetsuji appears to be this at first. Kenichi even comments that his skinny body doesn't look very strong. Then we find out otherwise.
    • Also Miu. Lacks power, but has far more technique than the much stronger (physically) Kenichi.
  • Wham! Episode: Double Wham. Chapter 400. Apachai gets a hole punched through his chest. Will he get better? No. And then he did!
  • What Do You Mean It's Not Awesome?EPIC ROCK,PAPER,SCISSORS complete with glowing eyes and slow motion
    • The unveiling of Sebastian and the other guns owned by Kenichi's father have all the pomp of the launching of the Yamato.
    • Sakaki drinks beer by KARATE CHOPPING THE BOTTLE NECK OFF. Possibly a reference to real-life karate master Masutatsu "God Hand" Oyama.
      • The above may be more of a Mundane Utility example, since he's pretty casual about it.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer
  • When I Was Your Age: When Kenichi's masters want to tell him how little talent he has. (Example.)
  • Will They or Won't They?: Kenichi and Miu. Even the masters at the Ryōzanpaku constantly listen to their conversations when they're alone to see if a relationship will progress.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Rachel mentions that there are techniques to retain/gain youth and that just about any master of eastern martial arts ends up at that point.
    • Mikumo is the most fitting, having both been mistaken for several decades younger and going by the code name Bewitching Fist.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl — Kenichi has a bad case of this. While it initially enrages Kisara, she eventually realizes he's not actually being sexist... he doesn't refuse to hit girls because he thinks they're weaker or less worthy, he just doesn't want to.
    • Slightly averted later on. He won't punch them outright, but will grapple and use submission holds.
    • This attitude is put to the test later, when an attack by a brainwashed Miu forces him to fight back.
  • World of Badass
  • World of Buxom
  • Wuxia — The series increasingly becomes this as time goes on, with the plots revolving around the schools and styles of martial artists and the personal conflicts of their masters passing onto their students, a common theme in wuxia stories. They even use the phrase "Underworld" once or twice, a loose translation of the word used to describe the private world of martial artists in wuxia stories.
  • You Fail Biology Forever — Kouetsuji's "pink muscle."
    • The Elder's "bi-vocal" ability. Lampshaded by Kisara immediately after it's explained.
    • Kisara again Lampshades it with Siegfried's inhuman flexibility a few chapters later.
    • Sakaki's "organ lift" secret art.
  • Your Head Asplode: At least in an imagine spot in an early chapter.
  1. I could keep going