Manga: AIKI

AIKI is a Seinen action manga, written and drawn by Isutoshi, an artist mostly known for doing H-manga. However, as the series has progressed, the manga has tilted more towards martial arts and comedy and less towards the ecchi side (though a good amount of Fanservice still remains).

The story features Kunitoshi Joukyuu, a young martial artist who is so strong that his father/teacher actually dislocated (and then relocated) all of his joints within one night just so he would only be able to access half of his power, in an attempt to teach him either humility or creativity. Even so, he constantly wipes the floor with the competition, to the point where a couple of muscular female teachers beg him to train their "mistress": a small, raven-haired girl named Kizuki . While Kizuki knows a decent amount of Aikido on her own, she's the granddaughter of the chairman of the school board and a high-value target because of the school's politics.

Of course, it doesn't help that most of Juzenji High School is out to defeat Kizuki, or that Joukyuu's scantily-clad, female cousin Miu Takatori (who's the principal's daughter and Kizuki's main opponent for control of the school) is trying to recruit him by any means necessary. Not to mention that Joukyuu himself is a Jerk Ass pervert who constantly arranges for his students to be thrown into dangerous situations and may be the worst role model ever. Despite all this, Joukyuu grudgingly trains a growing group of women into skilled martial artists while battling a Sorting Algorithm of Evil as he looks for a way to regain his previous strength.

In short, think of AIKI as a much more lewd and evil version of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple.

Gained a sequel called Aiki S which is currently in publication.

This series features examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: In pretty much every chapter.
  • Action Girl: Any girl with a name in the story, and even some without them.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Houmei is extremely muscular at the start of the manga, such that it actually slows her down in fights and she has to slim down a little bit to be effective. Kageyasu's no slouch in this department either, with a nice set of washboard abs and biceps.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Joukyuu.
  • Author Tract: The sheer weary one-sided contempt and amoral cynicism pouring out of Isutoshi these days is pretty staggering. Before that TendeFreeze and even Slut Girl were comparatively lighthearted and optimistic, with the only real author tracts being the Fanservice, the uncommonly beautiful female designs, some tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, and strong influence from assorted 1990s fighting video games.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis
  • Badass Grandpa: Kaneoto Houju. Due to old age, he has only about a tenth of Joukyuu's speed and lacks the stamina to fight for more than 30 seconds, as well as rheumatism and cataracts. He still manages to fight Joukyuu to a draw. Arguably the most skilled character to appear in the original manga.
  • Battle Harem: It features only Action Girls that Joukyuu is training.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Veronica eats seafood with mayonnaise.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Seriously. We're not talking about implicating or alluding to it either. Joukyuu is a dick.
  • Blatant Lies: This is how Soutetsu got Joukyuu and the others to go to America with him.
  • Blood Knight: Veronica really enjoys fighting and is bored in daily life.
    Veronica: Doesn’t this country have a rebellion or a civil war or something?
  • Boobs of Steel: Cassandra is the strongest member of team Orlando
  • Breakable Weapons
  • Brought Down to Normal: Well, to at least half his power. Joukyuu still manages to beat almost everyone without breaking a sweat.
  • Butt Monkey: Bull, starting from his first appearance in Aiki and continuing into Aiki S.
  • Cassandra Truth: Averted; in Aiki, Bull realized that no one would ever believe that he was kidnapped and just dropped into the middle of a battlefield, so he just left the matter alone.
    • Played straight later when his boss wouldn’t listen when he tried to explain just how dangerous Joukyuu is.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: Akemi's boyfriend Daiki's going off the deep end, and Joukyuu's the only one who might be able to stop him—if he can get back into condition. He needs a sparring partner at his level, but Akemi doesn't think she can actively oppose Daiki. In the nick of time, the mysterious masked wrestler "Joan the Shadow" appears. (See Paper-Thin Disguise).
  • Chef of Iron: Though he’s way past his prime, Soutetsu is both a master of karate and a supreme Japanese chef.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Joukyuu, and he tries to teach his students to be ready for this.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Our questionable hero again.
  • Cool Shades: Daiki which helps hide how he can barely see.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Joukyuu sometimes does this just to demonstrate his strength against anyone trying to buck the Sorting Algorithm of Evil.
  • Dark Skinned White Hair: Miu.
  • Disability Superpower: Daiki is legally blind.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Joukyuu gets diarrhea from eating American food in Aiki S, after Team Orlando eats all the Japanese food prepared for him.
  • Evil Matriarch: Ayake Shinonome, Joukyuu's mother and the one person in the world who can scare the crap out of him with her presence alone.
  • Expy: Miu bears a strong resemblance (physically, if not in personality) to Sayuka from Isutoshi's previous series Slut Girl.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Habu until Kageyoshi one-ups her, at which point they open and stay open.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Bull is portrayed as one of these whenever Joukyuu uses him to fight tough opponents; since they never see Joukyuu fighting, they assume Bull's a badass because of how easily his opponents lose.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Joukyuu never properly teaches his students, even when he's a college lecturer. However, he does give legitimate praise and guidance when his students do learn.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: With 90% of his strength in his left arm, Joukyuu is able to take out two members of an elite military martial arts squad by poking their foreheads.
  • Flash Step: Being able to move faster than the eye follows is a sign that you're one of the stronger characters. On video, it looks like a stupid dance, but Kizuki learned to pull it off by mimicking the dance, earning some respect from Joukyuu.
  • Foreign Fanservice: Metara (The blonde Gunslinger bodyguard of Kizuki).
  • Guns Are Useless: At least anything lethal.
    • Averted in Chapter 64
  • The Gunslinger: Metara
  • Handicapped Badass: Joukyuu can only usually tap into half of his full strength ever since his father dislocated and relocated half of the bones in his body in a vain effort to humble him. He regains part of his ability as the series progresses, but Joukyuu himself believes he will never fully recover.
    • Houju has rheumatism (pain/inflammation of joints/muscles) and cataracts (causes blurred vision) in addition to reduced physical speed and stamina from old age. He's still one of the strongest characters in the cast.
    • Karasumaru temporarily became this as a result of injuries inflicted during his fight with Joukyuu, dropping under 50% of his former ability. He himself notes the irony that his condition is so similar to Joukyuu's. Both he and Joukyuu note he will recover in a few years.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Miu, Akemi
  • Heir to the Dojo: Kizuki
  • Hollywood Healing: Whether they've taken a whip to the face, a large punch to the stomach, had a hand penetrated by a sharp object or breathed in poisonous gas, bandages heal everything.
    "Geez, has my place become a field hospital?"
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Karasumaru's battle with Joukyuu is pretty much entirely going his way... until Joukyuu reveals that just because he's recovered to 70% of his old strength, it doesn't mean he's limited to 70%. Cue beatdown.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: One of Joukyuu's worse habits. As most of his opponents are gorgeous, well-built young women, he occasionally wrangles it so he gets to have his way with them if he wins. And he always does.
    • Though in fairness the person did offer it up if he won the fight. Naturally he didn't waste any time beating her.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Eventually this becomes more of a rule than an exception, from bizarrely shaped multi-bladed swords to circular three barreled guns and even more indescribable weapons. It seems that for many modern martial artists, getting an edge means developing a signature style too weird to be predictable.
    • In both Aiki and Aiki S, Joukyuu would fight using Bull as a puppet, mostly to throw off whoever his opponent was fighting against.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Rin Kizuki. Particularly impressive, considering basically everyone else in town is a foul-mouthed brute.
  • Instant Sedation: Sometimes averted, sometimes not with Habu's poisons.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Joukyuu's a jerk, but his advice is usually pretty good.
  • Kid Samurai: Akifumi Wado, one of Miu's Quirky Miniboss Squad.
    • Katanas Are Just Better: Joukyuu makes fun of him for using a custom titanium blade instead of a real katana or bokken.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After arriving in America, Joukyuu yells at Soutetsu, explicitly mentioning that the airplane scene was skipped over.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Andrew, a product of an old Soviet science experiment to create someone super-fast, ultra-strong that feels no pain.
  • Mighty Glacier: Houmei's bulk makes her physically strong and extremely tough. The disadvantage to this build is lampshaded when it turns out that she bulked up too much to keep up with higher-end opponents, and sabotaged her own ability to use kung fu as a result. She actually has to slim down to be competitive again.
  • Mistaken for Badass: In ''Aiki S',' Bull is mistaken for an expert martial artist by the tournament committee because he's hanging around Jouykuu and his group. It doesn’t help that Joukyuu intentionally invokes Mistaken for Servant so that Bull's fear-induced freakouts are perceived as threats by the other competitors.
  • Mugging the Monster: In Aiki S, Bull’s new yakuza boss gets pretty mad about being mocked by Joukyuu's group, and decides to try beating up Joukyuu and selling Veronica and Akemi into prostitution. He learns very quickly that this is a bad idea.
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours
  • Nepotism: Tenhou is thrown into a martial arts-focused school despite having no strength because his mother has high connections there.
  • Oh Crap!: The yakuza boss, once he realized that Veronica was a bona-fide Action Girl.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: "Joan the Shadow," but no one buys it at all.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Ten Knights
  • Red Baron: Joukyuu, called the "Gravity Magician". For good reason.
  • Restraining Bolt: The entire first arc was spent with Joukyuu slowly but surely easing most of his handicap, and even coming up with little ways to work around his restricted physical limitations.
  • School of Hard Knocks: Juzenji High; admissions at Ryobu University also depend on an applicant's martial arts skills, which drives some of the plot.
  • Shown Their Work: For all its ridiculousness, AIKI is actually fairly grounded in reality for a martial arts manga.
  • Show Some Leg: Miu flashes Joukyuu to set him up to be thrown. Unfortunately, he'd positioned himself so he could bounce off a light pole in his flight path back at her.
  • Slasher Smile: Isutoshi appears to have a lot of fun drawing these.
  • Smug Super: The only reason Joukyuu gets away with being such a cocky bastard is that he has the skills to back it up.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Cassandra of team Orlando
  • Take That: During the fight between Houmei and Seiji Sawatari, Seiji breaks out his "Cat Fist". Joukyuu's reaction...
    Joukyuu: I know that the Chinese martial arts have 4000 years of history, but doesn't "Cat Fist" just sound too weird?
  • That Came Out Wrong: Seiji Sawatari (the Chinese Kempo fighter who humiliates Houmei) has a tendency for his expressions of bloodlust to come out the wrong way. For instance, when trying to challenge Joukyuu:
    Seiji: I'm here to screw with Joukyuu-san.
    Joukyuu: (Grimaces)
    Seiji: Hold it right there, I'm not a homo...
    Joukyuu: Go kill yourself.
  • The Starscream: Habu became disgruntled with Daiki and in chapter 40 of the manga revealed her intention to take control from him. She didn't get the chance to act on it.
  • The Strategist: Tenhou
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Joukyuu spends a good amount of time being injured in later arcs to avoid being a total Boring Invincible Hero, but readily curbstomps his opponent as soon as he recovers.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Bull's new Yakuza boss in Aiki S decides to try and teach Joukyuu and his friends a lesson. Joukyuu, Veronica, and Akemi don't look the least bit scared of him, they laugh when he brags about how strong he is, and he completely ignores Bull's attempts to warn him about how dangerous they are.
  • Trickster Mentor
  • Troll: Some of Joukyuu's more outrageous stunts are purely done to piss people off.
  • Tyke Bomb: Habu, the poison-user.
    • Andrew, the Super Soldier who was engineered to be a superstrong Lightning Bruiser that feels no pain who is doomed to die young thanks to the side effects of the experiments performed on him. Even Joukyuu feels a little sorry for him.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Joukyuu, very much. The audience is not expected to empathize with him in the least.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Kizuki's small stature but immense skill with throwing techniques qualifies her as this; she can't take very many hits and isn't that strong, but she moves pretty damn fast. To quote Joukyuu on the subject:
    Joukyuu: Power should just be the icing on the cake. If you utilize your opponent's power, even a little kid should be able to send a two-meter-tall wrestler flying. It's not easy, but it can be done... It's not power, nor is it speed.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Everyone else in the series calls Joukyuu out on his, well, everything, all the time. He never listens. When Bull-kun tries it in chapter 77, Joukyuu turns it back on him by making him realize that he isn't any different.
  • When You Snatch the Pebble: Joukyuu challenges Kizuki to catch a small fish — with one hand, slowly — to prove that she's worth his time.
  • World of Buxom: A consequence of Boobs of Steel being applied practically across the board.