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Manga: Angel Densetsu
Kitano, the scariest looking Nice Guy ever.
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 more Trope 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:

  • Abusive Parents: Ikuno's father is implied to be one, at the very least of the Training from Hell variety.
    • Ryoko's father isn't a sterling example of parenthood either.
  • Accidental Hero: Although Kitano is genuinely heroic, his rumored fighting prowess comes from this.
  • Action Girl: Ryoko
    • 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.
  • Affectionate Parody: Of fighting/high-school delinquent mangas.
  • All Amazons Want Hercules: It's not that Ryoko doesn't like men, it's just that she can't fall in love with anyone weaker than she is, in body or in spirit. Kitano turns out to meet her criteria in both areas, albeit not in the manner she was expecting.
  • All-Loving Hero: 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.
  • Art Evolution: Done in a very big way as Norihiro develops his style.
    • One of the most significant changes is that by the end of the series, Kitano looks nowhere near as horrifying as he did at the beginning as the art is refined. 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 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.
    • The Days of Our Youth arc has a completely different art style. It looks more like Claymore.
  • 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, but only in the beginning. When she first loses to Kitano, she goes on a rampage to try to regain her self-confidence.
    • 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-san's 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 them as "the most powerful violence couple in history".
  • Battle Cry: Everyone interprets Kitano's "KIIIEEEEE!!" as being this. Same with his father's "GOOOOOOOOHHH!"
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: The subversion is the entire point.
  • 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 "crew" 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 Takehisa 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones meets Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil - During the Koiso arc.
  • Blatant Lies: Played With in the Halford arc, where Ikuno walks up and backhands a thug into the ground, then tells him it was an accident and her hand slipped. Reader and thug alike take it for an obvious lie until we get a look at Ikuno's Thought Bubble, where she's wondering at how odd it is that she accidentally walked up and backhanded somebody into the ground. She eventually decides it's simply proof she's a nice person.
  • Bird Run: Kitano's favored method of running is with both hands outstretched in the air, normally with a massive Slasher Smile while screaming "KIEEEE!"
  • Boisterous Weakling: Kuroda is a shining example of people who only pick on people weaker than them. Irony bites because he is big, strong, and tough, but too stupid and cowardly to capitalize on his advantages. When he gets knocked out on his feet, the punch he throws at his opponent, unhindered by his usual cowardice, is devastating.
  • 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.
  • Braids of Action: Ryoko's got 'em.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: How Kitano's father got his reputation, just by tanking punches, kicks and even wooden swords, letting arms, legs and swords break on him. He says he just tries not to feel the pain.
  • Brutal Honesty: Kitano's father. His reaction when his future wife asks if he saw down her blouse? "Yes, sorry. I am very tall so I had a good view." She points out that this would have been a good time for a polite lie but he didn't even think of it.
    • Ikuno too. When Ryoko gets suspicious that everybody is showing up at once in the last chapter, Ikuno's response is to explain that they were all spying on her.
  • Buffy Speak: Kuroda's thoughts lapse into this when he is confronted by Kitano's Kubrick Stare in Chapter 19.
    Kuroda: It's like he's poking a sword into my mouth and poking that hangy thing in the back of my throat to the tip!
  • But Not Too Foreign: The Halford siblings seem to play Race Tropes straight look-wise, they are half-Japanese, half-American, speak perfect Japanese and even claim that they are not proficient in English. However the trope ends up justified by deconstruction: they were born and raised in Japan and, looks aside, they're not foreign at all. Their classmates (and assorted Japanese Delinquents) try to invoke it straight, but it gets defied mercilessly.
  • Butt Monkey: Poor Ogisu seems to be here just to be beaten up by everyone, everytime. Kuroda at least contributes a lot to the story.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Ryoko's father starts doing this when attacking Kitano, meshing martial arts terms with hammy language about vanquishing demons. Ikuno comments how ridiculous this is.
  • Camera Fiend: Kiyomi Kaburagi.
  • 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 four girls who fall for him, and one male underling that adores him a bit too much.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander: Kitano, often.
    • Papa Halford even more. He constantly comes up with mangled proverbs, likes to talk about his bowel movements, and doesn't understand anything about Japanese culture despite living there for decades. Notably, he's the only person in the entire manga who doesn't assume Kitano's a dangerous person based on his appearance, and is quite friendly when he first sees him.
  • Coincidental Dodge: Kitaro does this all the time, whether by finding a coin just before someone tries to sneak attack him or swaying on his feet because he has a cold and evading dozens of kicks from a skilled martial artist.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Katayama may not be the guardian of Hirin, but the fact that he is this trope is what makes him really dangerous.
    • Ryoko's got this going on too. When her father challenges her to a serious fight she can't win, she gets help from local thugs by claiming he's a Stalker, runs away and hides, and waits for him to get weaker from skipping breakfast.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Sana Halford accidentally gives her father and brother a look up her skirt after she collapses in shock from seeing Kitano through their home's window.
  • 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-sequitur 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.
    • Ikuno's father explains that he hates fighting such people.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Kuroda turns into one after getting hit by a rock. Apparently the Soviets are out to get him.
  • Covers Always Lie: Kitano does not have actual angel wings.
    • 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.
  • Creepy Good: Kitano.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Yuji and Ikuno.
  • 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.note 
  • Digging Yourself Deeper
    Kuroda: N... No, it wasn't Kitano-san who did this to me ... and it wasn't from some unfamiliar girl kicking me, it just started flowing as I stood here, thinking of you ... Ah ... no, no they weren't like ... those kind of thoughts ... I just, um, really want to eat chocolate when I think about you ... B ... But wait, that doesn't mean I really want to eat you! I just ...
    Kuroda's Lackeys: (What the hell is he saying?)
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Kitano. He just won't stop being nice and helpful to everyone he meets, even when their first reaction to him is to scream, faint, or run away in terror.
  • The Dreaded: Subverted hilariously. Most of the insanely nightmarish drawings of Kitano would normally scare the shit out of readers if they were present in a Horror manga—but his kindly thoughts, good nature, and honest intentions are shown clearly to the reader, making it funny instead. Of course, that doesn't prevent him from being The Dreaded to the other characters In-Universe.
  • 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 making 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..
  • Empathic Environment: Most people feel cold and death hanging in the air before they see Kitano.
    • Kitano's house is even worse, as its dark and creepy aura forces its neighbours to move away. Sure, the manga gives a perfect explanation for the house's darkness (because of their small irises, Kitano and his dad are uncomfortable in 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.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Kitano. Also overlaps with Chick Magnet.
  • Everyone Calls Her Friend #A - Ikuko, until her name's revealed. Some still call her so even then.
  • Exact Words: When his gang talks about going to the park to remove the trash (a rival gang), Kitano (of course) thinks they're all very civic-minded young men, and suggest getting brooms, saying "If you clean up trash... you use brooms, isn't that right?". Of course they go for the metaphorical meaning...
  • Expy: Ikuno gets an expy of herself in Norihiro Yagi's later manga Claymore. She looks amazingly like that series' protagonist, Clare.
    • Leo, the boy that gets Ikuno to beat up Kitano once, looks a lot like Raki.
    • Chujin Asai got also one. The bandit leader with the snake sword who was killed by Teresa. Both are Asshole Victims.
  • Face of a Thug: Kitano! Deconstructed hard! 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 cases, it's their first, last, and only aggressive move.
  • First Girl Wins: Looks like she's going to have to earn it, though!
  • Flanderization: In the beginning, Kitano was aware his appearance scares people, but later episodes depict him as being virtually oblivious to the fact. Is he that dumb or or is he in a state of serious denial?
    • 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 radiates. The few times he has been directly confronted with the fact, it borders on 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 liked 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 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 as Kitano and Kiyomi Kaburagi have an encounter—her trying to photograph him, him trying to avoid it—that's too fast for the normals around them to see.
    • 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.
  • Friendless Background: Inverted. Kitano had many friends in his old school.
  • 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.
  • Genre Savvy: Ryoko tends be pretty savvy, such as when everyone at the school is trying to figure out who drove the thugs out of a local park. Ryoko is the one who points out that Kitano could probably beat them all up by accident and never even realize he's doing it—which is pretty much what happened.
    • Another instance has Ryoko and Kitano start a romantic walk home alone together, when Ryoko realizes something comedic is probably going to interrupt them. As it does, on the very next page, and then repeatedly for the entire chapter.
  • Gentle Giant: Kitano's tall and thin, and his dad's built like a brick house. Neither would intentionally hurt a fly.
  • Good Cannot Comprehend Evil: 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. He believes people attack him because he did something bad to them that made them angry, and that's why he lets them attack him. Or he mistakes their aggressive actions as games.
  • 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 an All-Loving Hero.
    • Especially in the anime, almost everybody but Kitano has soulful puppy eyes (particularly when confronted with/by him), perhaps as an intentional contrast.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Kitano has one on his face, but it only comes up twice. Kitano's father has a scar on his left hand. He got it from catching and holding a knife blade.
  • Half-Identical Twins: The Halford siblings to the point that Sana is basically Leo with Girlish Pigtails.
  • Happily Married: Kitano's parents, of course. The Halfords, too.
  • 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.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: Pretty much everybody who meets Kitano, but a few characters really stand out.
    • The principal.
    • Ryoko's father, Heizo.
    • Kitano himself, as he often thinks that school thugs are nice people, and mistakes normal people for hoodlums. Somehow justified, he doesn't notice that the thugs are friendly to him because they are afraid of/respect him, and those said normal people are actually attacking him.
    • Student Saeki Yumi subverts this by seeing a hint of the real Kitano, then exemplifies the trope when something hilarious and terrifying happens to reset her opinion of him. Twice.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl
    • Kitano's dad is ludicriously buff and gigantic, while his mom is normal-sized, about one head shorter. In their youth, she doesn't even reach his shoulders.
    • Kitano himself is One Head Taller than Ryoko.
    • In an odd Pair the Spares moment in the final chapter, Kuroda finds momentary courage and protects Ikuko from a couple of thugs. She barely reaches his sternum.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the Soukyuu Park chapter, Takehisa and Kuroda with his two henchmen split up to beat some thugs. Takehisa beats three thugs at once, Kuroda and his fellows only one guy at the same time. They get more injuries than Takehisa. Later, Takehisa beats four thugs at once, but Kuroda's group, who attack a single thug again, run away from him because he's stronger than the last one.
  • Idiot Ball: Kuroda's is permanently glued to him, but Kitano's is pretty sticky too.
    • 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.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Kiyomi Kaburagi is a pretty convincing ninja, considering her training is in photography. She even has Hammer Camera Space.
  • 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.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Kitano is by far the scariest character to be incorruptibly pure.
  • 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).
  • In-Series Nickname: Kitano gets an ever growing list of epithets over time but the one we see used most often is the "Kitano Family" to describe his inner circle of friends. Naturally they are mistaken as his personal army.
  • It Runs in the Family: Apparently Kitano's incredibly scary looks were inherited from his father (who looks like a Yakuza) and his mother (who is so abnormally beautiful that it scares people).
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: while Ikuno is interested in Kitano, she'd prefer that he and Ryoko to get together... so she can become Kitano's mistress and they'd all be together.
    Ikuno: "So when they get married, I can be his lover, and things will stay the same. That'd be best."
  • Japanese Delinquents: A lot of them. Of course, the character that everyone thinks is the evilest delinquent of them all turns out to be a wonderful person.
  • The Jinx: Hishida Haruka is part of the "Shadowy Seven" group of counselors, but not because of any combat skills or manipulative abilities. She truly does want to guide erring students onto the right path, but everyone she tries to help always ends up worse-off than when she started. She's the only one of the seven to even get close to getting Kitano expelled.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Ryuichiro Kitano as seen in the Days of Our Youth arc. He is willing to feign being taken down in order to protect the kitten he had been playing with during the whole arc.
  • 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.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: The conclusion to 15 volumes of sexual tension.
  • Kubrick Stare / Slasher Smile - Basically Kitano's default expression.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Lots and lots of it, especially when the Large Ham is around.
    • "You are a very loud person."
    • 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.
    • Kitano's father is tougher, stronger, and even faster than him.
    • Surprisingly, Kuroda of all people becomes this when he's driven by the Power of Love. He can even compete with Kitano's speed.
  • Looks Like Cesare: Kitano is unnaturally pale; when his hair stands up, he "looks like Ryuk".
  • Loners Are Freaks: Kitano, due to his appearance and the rumors. However, he gets better.
    • Inverted, as a side story chapter reveals that Kitano was very popular among the students and teachers from his old school and he had many friends there. They all know his face is scary, but also he's a nice person.
    • Kitano's father was also a loner, but for almost his entire high school life.
  • 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 an All-Loving Hero 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 them, 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.
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Student Council President.
    • 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".
  • Marry Them All: Proposed by Ikuno, that if Kitano and Ryoko get married in the future, she will become his lover to maintain the status quo.
  • The Masochism Tango: Kuroda thinks that Ryoko hits him because she likes him. Of course, she actually likes Kitano, the guy that she treats nicely and doesn't hit.
  • Mle Trois: Between Kitano's, Ryoko's and Ikuno's fathers.
  • 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".
  • Miles Gloriosus: Kuroda
  • Missing Mom: Hilariously subverted.
  • Mistaken for Badass: Makes the whole series.
  • 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.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: They weren't together yet, but Ryuichiro was angered enough to use his powerful slap on Chuji when he implied Midori was easy.
  • 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.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Ikuno and Ryoko.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Kitano
  • 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.
  • Noble Demon: After a while, many students believe that Kitano is this, since he never skipped classes, did anything wrong at school or didn't harm any ordinary student.
  • Obviously Evil: Averted. Most people thinks Kitano is this, but he's (beside his parents) the kindest person in this manga.
  • Oh, Crap: Asai's expression, during the Days of Our Youth arc of Kitano's parents when they were young.
  • Only Sane Man
    • 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.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Ogisu used to be undefeated in fights until he came to Heikiku. Then he got crushed by four people in quick succession including two girls. He comes to terms with this in the finale when he realizes he's not weak but rather is surrounded by people who are crazily strong.
  • 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.
  • Perpetual Expression: Kitano's Death Glare and Slasher Smile rarely ever come off his face, despite how blithe his disposition his. Needless to say, it's problematic.
  • Personal Appearance Tropes
  • The Power of Friendship: Invoked and Subverted. Nothing resists the aura of Kitano.
  • The Power of Love: Invoked and Subverted oh so much during the time when the local Schemer convinces Kuroda that he must save Ryoko from Kitano using The Power of Love. Too bad for him that she doesn't want to be rescued.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Most fights against Kitano look like this to the outside observer.
  • 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."
  • Shipper on Deck: Takehisa, Ikuko and Ikuno ship Kitano and Ryoko together. And everyone else at school (except Kuroda) believes that they are a couple.
  • Shout-Out: Ogisu describes Kitano he's like a alien, a Saiyajin. Few chapters later, Kuroda's henchmen call him a "Super Guardian".
    • Inverted. 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.
    • Several times, mythological figures or video game characters are mentioned.
    • Kuroda's crazy Mario-rescues-Princess Peach-from-Bowser-plan.
  • Signature Move: Many of the fighters have one.
    • Ryoko's powerful roundhouse kick.
    • Ikuno's backhand strike.
    • The Halford kids think they have this going on with the Grand Cross Attack. In reality it does nothing.
    • Not specifically called out, but Takehisa usually settles matters with a left jab.
    • Kitano's double palm press and his father's slap attack would be this, but since nobody ever gets up from either of those they're more Finishing Moves.
  • Shrouded in Myth: This trope is Kitano.
  • Slice of Life: all the action and assorted delinquents are ultimately secondary to a story that focuses on interpersonal relationships and personal growth.
  • Sneeze of Doom: Kitano's sneezes sound like screeches of death that causes lesser men to run in fear.
  • Speech Impediment: In the OVA, Kitano has a very noticeable lisp.
  • Stab the Scorpion: Kitano does this with a bee once. He doesn't kill the bee, but he catches and later releases it in a way that looked like he was about to punch his opponent. And then he, of course, says...
    Kitano: That was close... A little further, and you would've been hurt.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Subverted. Kiyomi Kaburagi has a crush on Kitano, after she finishes stalking him.
  • 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!: In-Universe example. 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.
  • Team Rocket: Kuroda and Those Two Guys with him; also, the female photography club president and her nerdy male followers.
  • 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.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kuroda; his Idiot Ball is so big it powers a good third of the story. (We even have Word of God he has that specific role.)
  • Took a Level in Badass: Kitano starts out as a determinator who's really, really good at taking punches, but by the end of the story he becomes so good at dodging that he's nearly at Flash Step levels.
  • 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 thought he made her so angry that he deserved every punch and kick Ikuno threw at him. He collapses in relief because that meant their friendship would now not be in trouble as he didn't do anything wrong. My God...
  • Tsundere: Ryoko is type B. Ikuno is a mild version of type A. Kiyomi Kaburagi is definitely type A. Sana is more type B.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Or demonic Yakuza-looking guy with a so pretty she's incredibly creepy wife.
  • 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.
    • Happens again when Ryoko gets the bright idea to fake Kitano losing a fight and being beaten badly, in order to end his reputation for violence and stop thugs wanting to face him. Naturally, only a few minutes after she's covered him in bandages and told the whole school he was beaten to within an inch of his life, the bandages slip off revealing that he's not even bruised. The school promptly decides he has a Healing Factor, doubtless from making a Deal with the Devil.
  • Unknown Rival: The first time that Suda 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 Suda.
  • The Unsmile: Oh GOD Kitano...
  • Unwanted Harem: Kitano gets Ryoko, Ikuno, Kiyomi, Sana, and Takehisa.
    • Harem Seeker: Kiyomi assumed that Ryoko, Ikuno and Ikuko were the only girls in his harem and she believed they were deceived by Kitano. She also believed that there was a ranking and Ryoko was his girl #1.
  • 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.
  • Villain Sue: In-Universe, to the characters who don't know Kitano, he seems to be a Manipulative Bastard, Enemy to All Living Things and a Noble Demon with really good publicity all rolled into one.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Ryoko.
  • 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).
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?
  • When She Smiles: Ikuno. [1]
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: There's no Hekikuu in Japan.
  • 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.
  • Yakuza: One of the many rumors about Kitano is that he has relations with the Yakuza. His father also looks like one, and so does Heizo.


Yoku Wakaru Gendai MahouMagazine/Shonen JumpBlue Dragon
    Sh&# 333 ;nen (Demographic)Assassination Classroom
Rustproof BloodImageSource/Anime and MangaFace of a Thug
Angel CrushMangaAngel Heart

alternative title(s): Angel Densetsu
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