Angel Densetsu (エンジェル伝説 , Legend of Angel) is a Shōnen manga created by Norihiro Yagi (who also created Claymore). Serialized in Shonen Jump, the story spanned 15 volumes.It has moreTrope Tropes than Tropes.Angel Densetsu is a story about Seiichirou Kitano, a kind and naive boy with the heart of an angel, but the sinister looks of a devil. This causes many (hilarious) misunderstandings, leading people to assume that he is a villain or heroin addict, and results in him unknowingly receiving the title of being the head thug, or "school guardian" at his new school. This causes him to become a legend that brings many thugs to challenge him (which leads to even more misunderstandings that further his Badass image). Kitano, for pretty much all of the series, remains blissfully unaware of his reputation, and is frequently confused by the odd behavior of his classmates and teachers around him.This series has examples of:
It is to note that Ikuno started out as a Dark Action Girl, going so far as to punch out and KO twenty male students that casually replied that they were good at fighting after she asks them so, just to try and get over her fear of Kitano. She gets better, though.
Actual Pacifist: Kitano, which makes all the rumors around him all the more ironic.
Art Evolution: Done in a very big way as Norihiro develops his style.
One of the most significant changes is that Kitano looks NOWHERE as horrifying as he used to as the art is refined, by the end of the series, his face is completely unrecognizable from the beginning. It may be a case of Fridge Brilliance, as more people grow to know and accept Kitano, he looks less and less like a devil both to the cast AND the Readers. However, The Dreaded Kitano from the beginning could be considered much funnier.
Art Shift: Used at a point in Ikuno's rampage through the school to...disturbing effect.
Asleep In Class: In one chapter, Kitano comes to school exhausted and sleepy, and his strange efforts to stay awake make him seem scarier to his classmates.
Attack Pattern Alpha: "Triangle Formation Alpha", which basically means "Everybody surround that guy and then jump him."
Ax Crazy: Ikuno, after her first "defeat" at Kitano's hands, goes on a rampage.
Everyone who meets Kitano pretty much assumes that he's Ax Crazy, much to his chagrin.
Back for the Finale: Just about every thug and main character shows up in the last volume of the series.
Badass Decay: In-Universe example: Ogisu thinks he's suffering from it. He was the strongest guy in his former school; the first day he transfers he picks fights with five random people: Kojima, Kuroda (sorta), Yuji, Ryoko and Kitano. After a few days he takes on Ikuno. Being slapped around by everyone (including two girls) weighs him down pretty heavily.
During the last battle, he realized that realistically, he's just a badass amongst comparatively uber-strong people. He settles to be "Hekikuu's #8", and proceeds to kick ass.
Badass Crew: Kitano's closest friends also happen to be the three strongest fighters in the story (Ryoko, Ikuno and Takehisa). In the very last chapter, the Badass Crew status of his friend circle is made clear with the following statement: "This is Kitano-sans Hekikuu Army. You don't mess with us unless you want a serious ass-whupping."
Badass in a Nice Suit: Kitano's father is a Salaryman, but ends up falling into this trope because people mistake him for a Yakuza member. The shades actually help him a bit; he's even scarier without.
Badass in Distress: Ryoko has gotten into fights she couldn't handle on her own exactly twice: once when Katayama took her down with a cheap shot, and once when she twisted her ankle while dispensing her third consecutive beatdown to a group of obnoxiously persistent thugs. Both times, Kitano was there to bail her out.
Battle Couple: Kitano has a reputation as being the most powerful badass fighter in all the schools... Ryoko might actually be the most powerful badass fighter in all the schools. When they start going out together, people start referring to the same as "the most powerful violence couple in history".
Battle Cry: Everyone interprets Kitano's "KIIIEEEEE!!" as being this. Same with his father's "GOOOOOOOOHHH!"
Berserk Button: Hurting someone else is the only way to get Kitano or his father to actually use their "Double Palm Press" or "Super Slap" on anyone. Even then, in Kitano's case, the effect is less Unstoppable Rage (or his father's Tranquil Fury) and more "I'm sorry, but I need to stop you before you hurt anyone else."
Attacking Kitano in front of his "family" will result in, at minimum, two girls and a blond berserker beating you senseless.
Whenever Kitano believes Takehisa is trying to kill himself, it also invokes a berserk reaction as he rushes to save his friend and teach him the value of life. The first time he performed the Double Palm Press was against Kojima to get him out of the way quickly because in his peripheral vision he'd seen an injured Takehisa engaging in a knife fight and thought Tekehisa was trying to commit suicide.
Betty and Veronica: Ryoko (being Betty) and Ikuno (being Veronica). Though funnily enough, even though Ryoko is the Betty, she's still more violent than the Betties usually found in other series.
What makes it funnier is that Ikuno at times lampshades it later on, much to Ryoko's dismay when she fails to prove otherwise.
Book Ends: The "At the end of this dreamless, hopeless, inhospitable century there was a boy who possessed a serenely honest and simple heart" speech is the first thing that is read in the series and it reappears in the last chapter, however there is an addition after the part where it describes Kitano's thuggish appearance which describes how, even though he looks like that, his heart helped him make friends.
Charles Atlas Superpower: Kitano can take a lot more abuse than just about anyone else in the series, and the few times he pushes people, they fly away.
Even in the first chapter, we see Kitano lifting a fallen tree on the school grounds without any more difficulty than he was earlier picking up empty cans and discarded wrappers. This also leads to his first Accidental Hero moment when his strength later gives out over the possibility of getting in a fight.
Chick Magnet: Despite looking like a heroin addict that comes out of a Horror manga, Kitano does awfully well with the ladies. He has three girls who fall for him, and one male underling that adores him a bit too much.
Comically Missing the Point: Kitano asks Takehisa to stop getting into fights because he's afraid that he'll get hurt. Takehisa says he understands, he'll just get stronger so he can fight without getting hit once.
Also, people completely miss the point of mostly EVERYTHING Kitano does or says. Which makes most of the plot happen.
A certain amount of Fridge Brilliance applies as well; since people assume Kitano is a junkie, anything that seems strange or is a non sequitor is put down as the ramblings of a guy high on drugs.
Confusion Fu: Trained fighters have a hard time fighting Kitano because he often reacts to their attacks in a completely unexpected manner — usually because he doesn't actually realize what's going on, and is trying to do something completely unrelated to the fight.
Then there's this which seems to depict the student council president and his flunkie as the heroes.
The anime goes one step further, the opening credits feature Kitano flying around, and people staring at him like he's Superman. Also averted, again, the whole thing is clearly metaphorical of what happens to him in the story, Character Development wise.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Doubly twisted with Kitano: he seems badass at first glance; when you know him you find out he's a gentle, caring person, and Actual Pacifist; then when someone is in danger he 1-hit ko's all the baddies around. Kuroda gets a humorous moment of this too: he hits his head, forgets for a moment how much of a coward he is, and is able to stand his ground against Ogisu.
Dark Mistress: After befriending Kitano, Ryoko tends to be treated like a "gangster's moll," to her embarrassment.
Defeat Means Friendship: Most noticeably with Yuji and Kuroda, though Kitano didn't even know that he "defeated" them.
Delinquent Hair: Takehisa's spiked blond hair and complete lack of eyebrows, and Ogisu's bright red pompadour. Kitano gels his naturally-spiky hair down in an attempt to avoid being seen as a delinquent; a quick gander at some of the other tropes on this page can tell you how well that works.
Determinator: Not only Kitano has put up with this treatment for so long, he's actually developing rapid reflexes from being hit so often. And this is only for him to be able to Turn The Other Cheek.
Put this into perspective, a kid thinks Kitano is a demon (as usual), and asks his Action Girl friend Ikuno to beat him up. Kitano doesn't know why Ikuno's beating him, but he specifically tells that unless I know why I'm getting beaten up, I will always rise again.*
Why? Because otherwise it would be rude to the person doing the beating. Even most messiahs aren't that dedicated to turning the other cheek.
Driven to Suicide: A running gag in the first few chapters is that Kitano thinks Takehisa is suicidally depressed, and assumes that whatever threatening actions he's taking or injuries he's sustained are the result of his attempts to hurt himself.
Emotionless Girl: While Ikuno does have emotions, she appears to be completely unaware of them and is quite surprised when she finds herself acting on them..
Kitano's house is even worse, as its dark and creepy aura forces its neighbors to move away. Sure, the manga gives a perfect explanation for the house's darkness (Because of their small irises, Kitano and his dad can't withstand bright light) but still...
Entendre Failure / Un Entendre - Kitano always speaks extremely literally and without deceit, and assumes that everyone else around him does, as well. Thus, he often ends up misinterpreting what other people are saying to him, and people usually end up interpreting his entirely-innocent comments in the most evil and threatening way possible.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Inverted. Kitano cannot follow the conversation of the people around him about 80% of the time because they are talking about doing bad things, or fighting. He just cannot understand that anyone would ever want to do either of those things. People can be actively attacking him and he will still not get the point.
Expy: Ikuno gets an expy of herself in Norihiro Yagi's later manga Claymore. She looks amazingly like that series' protagonist, Clare.
The episode in which Kitano dreams of the film he's watched the night before feels very different too, after reading Claymore, just take a closer look at his sword and the oni's eyes.
Leo, the boy that gets Ikuno to beat up Kitano once, looks a lot like Raki.
Face of a Thug: Kitano!◊ The whole plot is driven and catapulted by how he looks like a horrible thug that does drugs and kills people with impunity, which causes everyone to fear and respect him. Of course, all of that is false, and he's the nicest person on earth.
Lampshaded by Hishida Haruka, who tries to make him less scary. She succeeds... for several panels (Kitano does look like a normal person with his hair down). What she doesn't know that his hair, when not secured with his hair gel, tends to go up, and this makes him scarier. See Looks Like Cesare entry below.
Finishing Move: Whenever Kitano uses what Ikuno dubs as his "double palm strike", that usually means the fight is over and he wins. Two things about it: it's a standard shove, yet it's just that strong, so strong it makes people fly.
Quote from a mook: I didn't know humans could fly.
His dad has a different one: a simple, muhfugginly strong slap.
In both case, it's their first, last, and only aggressive move.
A bit of this, a bit of that, probably. He seems to be aware to an extent of his aspect (keep in mind that he tries to keep his hair flat to minimize it) but seems to be completely unaware of the full aura of creepiness he involuntarily irradiates. The few times he has been directly confronted with the fact border Tear Jerker status (it hurts him), and he tends to misattribute any related reaction to a misunderstanding and/or a fault from his side.
A certain degree of Fridge Logic might apply. In flashbacks we see that the staff and students of his previous school really like Kitano. He's expecting the same to happen in Seikaku; that people might be put off by his appearance at first but will eventually tumble on to how much of a nice guy Kitano is.
Flash Step: Starts appearing midway through the storyline.
Kitano starts pulling this stunt during and after the Date. Goes Up to Eleven in the photography arc.
Kitano's father takes this even further in the Days of Our Youth arc, as he trips up a couple of thugs without anyone even noticing that he moved at all.
Friend to All Living Things: Kitano saved Ryoko from a bee, without her knowledge. He let it go rather than squish it, and he's not stung.
Funny Foreigner: The American father of the Halford twins, who has not really managed to assimilate into local culture (or even speak semi-fluent Japanese) even after 20 years of living there.
Generation Xerox: A later chapter has a flashback depicting Kitano's father who was similarly feared as a demon, despite being a kind and gentle person, and was the protector of his school.
Gentle Giant: Kitano's tall and thin, and his dad's built like a brick house. Neither would intentionally hurt a fly.
Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Both played straight and subverted. Ikuno has much narrower eyes than Ryoko and is correspondingly much more cynical and a dirtier fighter, and Ryoko's friend notes that Ryoko's own eyes were much narrower previously before she mellowed out. Subverted though with Kitano of course, who has the narrowest eyes of any character and is The Messiah.
Especially in the anime, almost everybody but Kitano has soulful puppy eyes (particularly when confronted with/by him), perhaps as an intentional contrast.
Haunted House: In one of the later chapters, Kitano and Ryoko must brave a ghost-infested haunted house to help a little girl find her lost cat. Subverted when it turns out that there aren't actually any ghosts in the house — just Ikuno and her dad, who moved into the house because it was cheap. Double-subverted in that there was a ghost in the house at one point (the little girl looking for her lost cat, in fact), but because Ikuno and her dad kept ignoring it, it eventually wandered outside to bother passers-by instead.
Heroic Albino: While Kitano probably doesn't literally have albinism, he is unnaturally pale and sensitive to light.
Heel Realization: Hilariously inverted in chapter 71, where Ikuno realizes that rather than 'accidentally' beating up thugs, she is to her surprise, "a lot nicer of a person than [she] thought"
Hilarity Ensues -Anything that is not a combat sequence and/or a crowning moment.
Hell, everyone, really. No matter how inept Kitano shows himself to be at fighting, everyone keeps believing his more-luck-than-brains dodges of serendipity are some kind of ultra-special secret martial arts technique. It's like everyone poops out half their brains when they see him.
It's more that Kitano shows a natural ability to either avoid or minimize damage by retreating at the instant of impact (a skill doubtlessly acquired by years of people attacking him based on his appearance) and mistake it for a honed martial arts technique. His "finishing move" aside, how many of his opponents end up on the ground generally is a total fluke, depending on the circumstances and often, Kitano is the only one around to see it, causing people to make the usual assumptions.
In Love with Your Carnage: Arguably, quite a few characters that admire Kitano because of how Badass he appears to be (especially when it looks like he single-handedly took on a whole army of people).
Yuji is initially this way with Kitano.
Ryoko too has her moments.
Ikuno too. She even said it outright more than once.
Insane Troll Logic: Kitano is very guilty of this, but Kuroda takes the cake trying to explain why old Russian spies posing as teenagers are throwing stones at him (It still makes NO sense whatsoever, even in context).
Kissing Cousins: Midori Asai (AKA the future Mrs. Kitano) and her cousin Chuji in the Days of Our Youth arc. Neither of them is particularly dedicated to the relationship, however: Chuji sees Midori as just another girl in his harem, and Midori is... well, the future Mrs. Kitano.
And to the Shonen genre: "Who do you think you are? An enemy character in a fighting manga?"
Large Ham: Kuroda. He usually addresses Ryoko by screaming her full name, gives a passionate monologue about the personal sacrifices that Soviet spies have to make after he saw a girl he didn't recognize, and is prone to maximum volume declarations of his plans to elope with Ryoko. Kikuchi of the photography club doesn't get a lot of page-time, but he seems to have similar tendencies. In the course of two pages he tells Kitano that that he'll give him an ass-whupping with the Power of Friendship and then makes the case for being a Knight Templar. One of the other photography club members hangs a lampshade on it.
Lightning Bruiser: Takes hit after hit and keeps getting up, moves faster than most people can follow, and if pushed, hits hard enough to literally send humans flying. If Kitano wasn't an Actual Pacifist, he'd be this.
Loud of War: Kuroda, without any kind of amplification device... and without any clue he's actually doing it. (Not that he usually has any clue whatsoever, mind you.)
Ryoko's father does this quite a bit too.
Love Triangle: There's one between Kitano, Ryoko, and Kuroda. Later, there's one between Kitano, Ryoko, and Ikuno.
Evolves into a (luckily toned down) Love Dodecahedron later on. Kitano is The Messiah and loves everyone, Ryoko loves him and they're the Official Couple. Kuroda cannot wrap his brain around this and continues to hit on Ryoko despite being routinely kicked in the face. Yuji and Ikuno have a crush on Kitano and start to be Foe Yay for each other. Ikuno gets a shota admirer and Kitano a loli one (who are brother and sister). Leo appreciates Kitano, but Sana really dislikes/is jealous of Ikuno. Oh, and Kitano gets a Stalker with a Crush too.
Ikuno takes the cake; she openly states that she supports Kitano and Ryoko's relationship and thinks they should get married... so that she can move in with them as Kitano's mistress.
Love You and Everybody: Ikuno likes Kitano... and Ryoko, and Ryoko's friend #A, and Takehisa, and Kuroda, and Ogisu, and....
Made of Iron: Kitano. There are several tricks for how he can withstand so many blows, but even without it, he can take punishment like nobody's business. Goes double for his father: punks that tried to beat up Kitano's dad when he was younger ended up hurting their hands and feet by hitting him.
He's a bit more like a Smug Snake, seeing how he ended up when his plan backfired on him and was rendered impopular after the student body see his True Colors. He's never heard from again until the last few pages in the final chapter.
Ryoko and Ikuno's fathers believe their 3-way fight with Kitano's father was engineered by Kitano.
Malicious Slander: Many characters end up spreading more rumors of Kitano's "murderous ways" and "gangster connections".
The Messiah: Kitano. Seriously, there aren't many characters out there that are as pure-hearted or kind as him. To elaborate, he apologized to Ikuno after she had beat the stuffing out of him the day before because he would not go down which, as Leo pointed out, hurt her emotionally because she did not want to attack him. He was crying as he apologized to her.
Meaningful Name: The town of Hekikuu (blue sky). Kitano says he often looks at the sky because it's so blue and beautiful. (Scoring another point with Ryoko in the process.)
Deconstructed a bit with Seiichirou Kitano, "Sei" is written as "truth".
Moment Killer: During chapter 83 Yuji and Ikuno both have to fight the urge (and Kuroda) to do this. Then a rival gang boss shows up and does it anyway.
Mugging the Monster: There are several instances where someone threatens Ryoko and Ikuno thinking they are weak because they are girls, and proceeds to get beaten up by them.
Neighbourhood Friendly Gangsters: The delinquent version of this is definitely in play, as the "Chief Bully" is referred to as a "Guardian" of the school, and it's demonstrated that this is usually a put-on, given that Kitano needs to be identified as a good Guardian. After being reformed by Kitano, Yuji takes on a lot of "noble Yakuza" mannerisms and behaves as a neighborhood friendly gangster who just happens to be a high school student.
No Ending: The protagonists were getting totally out of hand for the author by the end of the series, so he tied up what he could and left us with a "the manga stops here, but they're going on with their lives" message. However the very end does feature a great Grand Finale.
No Name Given: Ryoko's petite, short-haired friend is this during the first part of the manga. We eventually learn her given name is Ikuko about halfway through, but her family name (Hirayama) isn't made explicit until the final volume.
Oh Crap: Asai's expression, during the Days of Our Youth arc of Kitano's parents when they were young.
Ikuko (aka "Ryoko's friend #A"), as the only member of the main cast who isn't either a hoodlum, a martial artist, or a complete idiot, ends up as the much-ignored voice of reason.
The Vice-Principal is the only one who knows that Kitano is not evil. He never tells anyone.
Kuroda's two henchmen/followers often try to act as his voice of reason, being very sensible in almost every situation. He always ignores them.
Overprotective Dad: Ryoko's father, who thinks she is being manipulated by the devil incarnate.
Panty Shot: Largely averted: Ryoko loves high kicks but we rarely see anything when she uses them (with the occasional exception). Bonus points for doing this with canny camera angles instead of a Magic Skirt. It's even lampshaded.
Sadist Teacher: Well, actually the principal - he's constantly hiring thugs and correctional teachers to try to get Kitano expelled (because Kitano "is a demon!"). In a kind of subversion, most of the teachers in the series are afraid to pick on Kitano.
Further subversion in that the one who causes the most trouble for Kitano actually has truly good intentions... but is going about it all wrong and said poor efforts only do further damage.
Scars Are Forever: Kitano has one on his face after Takehisa slashed him. It only appears when he's agitated.
She Is Not My Girlfriend: Subverted. Kitano initially denies that he has special feelings toward Ryoko, but after a moment of thought, tells people while blushing, "Sorry, I think I just lied. I guess I really do like Ryoko-chan after all."
Sneeze of Doom: Kitano's sneezes sound like screeches of death that causes lesser men to run in fear
Stealth Hi/Bye: Not so much on the "bye" part, but Kuroda has the amazing ability to suddenly appear in front of people, screaming their name at full volume.
Stop Helping Me!: Hishida Haruka is the most feared of the Shadowy Seven, not for her fighting ability (she has none to speak of), but because her well-meaning efforts to help someone inevitably end up making life worse for them somehow.
Superhero Sobriquets: As the series goes on, Kitano starts collecting nicknames. A LOT of nicknames:
Hekikuu's guardian, the greatest guardian of them all, the demon of Hekikuu, the first-year guardian of Hekikuu High. The devil himself, manifested into our world. The final boss, the ultimate weapon. Also, the human weapon, the last boss, the god of slaughter and pillage, the guardian of Hell, bloody Saburo, and exploding Goro.
Kitano and Ryoko together are known as: The most powerful violence couple in history, and the strongest couple in Hekikuu.
As the cast grows, the collected group is known as The Kitano family, or Kitano-san's Hekikuu army.
Back in the day, Kitano's father was known as the devil guardian.
Sycophantic Servant: Vice-President Koide. Sudo even bemoans the fact that his only "pawn" is a bumbling moron that can't seem to get things right.
Tempting Fate: "But hey, what if she fights with Kitano-kun and she falls in love with him too?" Rrrright, never talk about my boyfriend, ever again.
Those Two Guys: The guys who are always with Kuroda. Lampshaded hilariously in a discussion between the Student Council President and the vice-president on how there's not much info on those two and that it was a miracle to get their full names at all.
Transfer Student Uniforms: Due to transferring to so many schools (her father is a guidance counselor), Ikuno refuses to change her uniform again.
Turn The Other Cheek: When Ikuno beats Kitano because of a promise she made to a boy, he kept rising until the boy told her to stop out of grief. Upon being told by Ikuno that It's All My Fault that she beats him, he promptly collapses. Why? Because he thinks he made her so angry that he deserved every punch and kicks Ikuno threw at her. He collapses in relief because that meant their friendship would now not be in trouble as he didn't do anything wrong. My God...
Unexplained Recovery: Parodied. Kitano was thought to have died fighting a Yakuza (his father) earlier. His classmates were absolutely terrified when he came to school later that day.
Unknown Rival: The first time that Sudo tried to antagonize Kitano, Kitano genuinely had no idea of who he was or what he was doing here. Being thoroughly ignored was a pretty low blow for someone as full of himself as Sudo.
Unwanted Rescue: Kuroda's idea of "rescuing" Ryoko from Kitano with his Power of Love. Of course, not only is Kitano a kind-hearted and wonderful person who would never do anything bad to her (or anyone), Ryoko doesn't want to be rescued, because she likes Kitano.
Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In the Days of Our Youth arc, Midori claims that Chuji used to be one. By the time of the story, however, there is very little evidence of this remaining.
Waif-Fu: Ryoko, partially justified because she's a martial artist and everything, but she's 1.67 meters tall and weighs 49 kilos (just a bit under 5'6" and a bit over 100 pounds, for the metrically challenged).
Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Averted with most delinquent characters who have no problem attacking girls and will only use this phrase as an excuse after they've had the crap beaten out of them by a girl; played straight with Kitano, in the sense that he is an Actual Pacifist, but violence against women is the closest thing he has to a Berserk Button.
His father seems to be quite similar, in the little we've seen of him.
Wrong Genre Savvy: Ogisu, who acts like he is the main character in a fighting manga when he first appears. Nedless to say, he is not.