Manga / Brave10

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No, it's not a Reverse Harem series

Brave10 and its sequels, Brave10 S and Brave10 Tawamure form a Jidai Geki fantasy series by Kairi Shimotsuki, following the lives of the Sanada Ten Braves, ten loyal ninjas serving under Sanada Yukimura. Rather than going for historical accuracy, the manga (and its anime adaptation) takes a mythical approach, with ninja magic and playful anachronisms in abundance.

The main protagonist is an Iga ninja named Saizou, who meets an Izumo priestess called Isanami on the run from the ninjas who destroyed her temple. He reluctantly protects her on her journey to Sanada Yukimura's castle, only to find himself drawn in by the schemes of the lord there. Yukimura wants to gather 10 warriors, a party unrivaled in skill and power, to protect Ueda from the perils besetting it although he remains vague on just what and who the real peril is...

Shimotsuki is well known for her Yaoi work, but she has also worked on the Sengoku Basara franchise and written a Jidai Geki infomanga. The series takes light notes from both, targeting a Seinen/Shoujo crossover audience.

This series provides examples of:

  • Acquired Poison Immunity: Demonstrated by Anastasia, Saizo and Sasuke during the Knockout Gas attack in the manga.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Saizo's eyes become more deep green than blue, and Rokuro's blood red eyes become purple in the anime.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: No matter how aloof and gruff Saizou acts, Isanami still calls him her shining knight.
  • Always Identical Twins: When Nanakuma is introduced in the sequel, Kamanosuke starts demanding answers from him thinking he's Rokuro as they are identical in everything but the colour scheme of their Coordinated Clothes (white and indigo, and black, respectively). Seeing the two together shocks many of the other characters as historically one twin would often be killed at birth for superstitious reasons so the sight really is rare.
    Kamanosuke: You look exactly the same. It's disgusting!!
  • Always Someone Better: Saizou's skill was famous until he met Hattori Hanzo, who proved to be more than his match.
  • Ambiguous Gender: Kamanosuke, both in universe and out of it, prompts a lot of speculation.
  • Anachronism Stew: Isanami is at the center of many anachronisms, what with her biker shorts, ballet moves and lollipops, but every cast member partakes in their share.
  • Anti-Hero: Kamanosuke and Anastasia are not really heroes, they simply are on the side of good. Kamanosuke, in fact, is the Token Evil Team Mate. Saizou, on the other hand, is young but jaded, with some rough habits, but his goodie instincts are awakened by Isanami and by becoming part of a team.
  • Art Evolution: Although Shimotsuki's early art was actually pretty good as far as dynamism and detail, it was far more chaotic, more prone to being off-model and the character designs saw many adjustments as the series progressed. By the sequel, the art is clear, gorgeous and consistent.
  • Assassin Outclassin': How Anastasia ended up working for Sanada Yukimura. Or so she told Saizou. She's actually The Mole for Hanzo.
  • Attack Reflector: One of Saizo's many techniques, seen in the first episode against Isanami's pursuers.
  • Attempted Rape: Happens a few times in the manga, to Kakei, Isanami and Anastasia to be precise.
  • Ax-Crazy: Kamanosuke Yuri tells Isanami he's a bandit for the chance of people resisting being held up. Becomes more of a Blood Knight later after joining the team.
  • Back for the Finale: Hanzo vanishes and is practically never mentioned after Kamanosuke joins, but he's back once Anastasia betrays the team. It turns out He's Just Hiding. This is also the focus of his Episode 11 preview.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Nearly all of Anastasia's and Rokuro's outfits stop above the waist and pick up again with a low-rise, and Saizo, Kamanosuke, and Jinpachi and Hanzo also get in on this from time to time.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Even when not covered by Censor Steam there is a lack of detail in the nudity.
  • The Beastmaster: Sasuke. He likes all kind of animals, but birds and weasels in particular.
  • Bedmate Reveal: Isanami likes to sneak up into Saizou's bed. But she's a priestess, don't get her wrong.
  • Before And After: Seikai was just another pretty boy before becoming a musclebound bruiser.
  • Big Bad: Tokugawa Ieyasu, although he never really comes to the fore, and both of his dragons have their own agendas.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The bread and butter of the action scenes in this series
    • After Yukimura turns Isanami away, she and Saizo are attacked by her pursuers. Sasuke shows up to turn things around, and Yukimura steps out to reveal his real intent was to flush out the enemy.
    • Kakei's introduction is to show up as Saizo is being curb-stomped by Hanzo at the festival, rifle in hand.
    • With Isanami out like a light, Kakei under assault, and Saizo losing to Hanzo at the Izumo shrine, the recently defeated Kamanosuke swoops in from out of nowhere to stop Hanzo from killing the guy he wants to kill him
    • Seikai and Kamanosuke were not invited along to Kyoto, but their choice to ignore this decision sure came in handy later as the others nearly lost to Benmaru's Death Course before they showed up to save the day.
    • With the Braves pursued by Masamune's army and cornered against the shore of Lake Biwa, they are saved by sudden canon fire as Kakei and Jinpachi unexpectedly sail up out of nowhere.
    • On a particularly cold night, Sasuke jumps through the window to rescue a badly wounded Rokuro from Ana. Rokuro repays him later by getting up just long enough to repel an accidental darkness blast from Isanami while Sasuke is frozen in ice.
    • Hattori Hanzo, of all people, does this in the sequel when Benmaru is kidnapped.
    • The climax of Brave10 S is fundamentally a prolonged series of Big Damn Heroes moments as everybody who was previously scattered arrives in style at the battlefield, one after the next.
  • Big Eater: Isanami. And she has a Sweet Tooth, too.
  • Big "NO!": Sasuke after Kamanosuke asks him if he could skin his weasel Amaharu.
  • Bishōnen: Handsome guys galore. Author Appeal.
  • BFS
    • Saizo has one, the Mari Blade. He later has it reforged.
    • Date Masamune and Sanada Nobuyuki also sport some very large swords.
  • Black Swords Are Better: Saizou wields one.
  • Blade Lock: As usual, an excuse during fights to keep on the Trash Talk and exchanging dialogue, as seen in Hanzo and Saizou's second fight.
  • Blade on a Stick: Komatsu's weapon, the naginata.
  • Bleached Underpants: The anime removes the instances of Attempted Rape and nudity the manga has (so, no naked Anastasia during the Hot Springs Episode, not even with Barbie Doll Anatomy).
  • Blood Knight: Date Masamune who is willing to make any number of impulsive decisions if they'll get him the war he wants so badly.
  • Blood Lust: In Kamanosuke's strange Ho Yay way, he says he wants to see Saizou cut and bleeding.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: During the second ninja attempt in the first episode, Isanami's face gets bloodied by a dying ninja.
  • Bloody Murder: Kuchiba's other skill, aside of Lotus-Eater Machine, as Kamanosuke found out.
  • Blow You Away: Kamanosuke's elemental specialty is wind.
  • Boobs of Steel: Anastasia fighting prowess rivals her bust size.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Saaya, Kakei's musket, doesn't even have a magazine!
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: While Saizo is complaining about the other Braves goofing off, images show of Sasuke hanging out with his animals, Anastasia sitting by a river and Kamanosuke threatening a villager.
  • Breaking the Fellowship: In the sequel, just before the Battle of Ueda, Jinpachi leaves out of anger over Ana and Kamanosuke disappears after some very cutting remarks from Saizo. Then Seikai dies, Isanami chooses to leave and become Izanami to protect the rest of the Braves, Ana's so badly hurt she's in a coma, Yukimura, Rokuro and Benmaru live in exile, and Sasuke, Kakei, Hanzo and Saizo all wander searching for their lost members.
  • Bridal Carry: Yukimura wraps Rokuro in his cloak and carries him after getting his eye stabbed out, repelling Isanami's darkness blast from Sasuke and succumbing to poisoned wounds on the night of Anastasia's betrayal.
  • Broken Bird: Anastasia is tough, self-reliant and cold, and chafes at the safety of Yukimura's castle. Don't expect her to defrost easily.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Saizou, Seikai, Anastasia, Hanzo, Kaio can't apparently use their techniques without informing everyone of their names. One of Kamanosuke's attacks even involves calling his own name as part of it. The rest of the Braves are more discreet.
  • Cast From Hitpoints: Kakei's killing shot on Oukatsu, which goes right through him in the anime and Rokuro's use of the God's Jewel in the sequel, which causes him to collapse multiple times.
  • Censor Steam: Even Yukimura complains about the obscuring steam in the Hot Springs Episode.
  • Chained Heat: Yukimura and Rokurou get bound into a compromising position during Hanzo's attack in Ueda, much to the delight of every Fujoshi watching. In the manga, the argument is both more heated and funny as Yukimura has his hand over Rokuro's mouth at the time.
  • Childhood Friends: Anastasia and Saizo.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Isanami as soon as Anastasia appears. Kamanosuke soon joins in as a Crazy Jealous Guy to increase Saizo's misery.
  • Clothing Damage: Everybody gets their time to shine. Ninja attacks are very precise about tearing open holes in clothes without shredding them altogether in this series.
  • Cold Sniper: Kakei, who is very proper and stoic.
  • Combat Pragmatist: When Isanami isn't around to stop them the ninja side of the team delivers coup de graces and does whatever it takes to win the fights. They are not samurai, after all.
  • Compressed Adaptation: After the first episode of the anime, which covers slightly past the first chapter of the manga, the anime races through the source material, covering over 120 pages worth of manga each episode: most of the cut material featured Those Two Bad Guys, who were left out of the anime adaptation and are pretty much nothing but comic relief. See Pragmatic Adaptation.
  • Cool Big Sis: Anastasia becomes Isanami's sister figure after she rescues her from Date. With a hint of Good Bad Girl in the way she flirts with Yukimura, Sasuke and Saizou. Bad idea, because Ana actually hates the concept of family-like bonds, and it was all an act, probably devised by Hanzo to eventually break Isanami.
  • Crater Power: When Isanami uses her power she is left standing in a shallow crater.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: Kamanosuke is very clear that Saizo is his to battle To the Pain with and no one's allowed to interefere. He naturally has a rivalry with Isanami over their claim on Saizo.
  • Crossdressing Voice: Young Seikai is actually voiced by a female. It's a wonder how his vocal evolved that his current voice is done by a male, and a non-androgynous voice at that.
  • Cry into Chest: Isanami breaks down on Saizou after Yukimura refuses to help her early in the story.
  • Dare to Be Badass: Anastasia tells Isanami to live up to the rest of the team during her Unwanted Rescue.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Anastasia and her family were shipwrecked in Japan, her family died and she was sold into sex slavery, then later trained to be a ninja. While looking for the last heirloom of her family, Hanzo appeared to have it. He then coerced her to join the Iga Five. This is also why 'family' was some sort of Berserk Button for her and what made her hate the easy bonds between the rest of the Braves.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Isanami's Defence Mechanism Superpower is basically holy darkness. Until Izanami takes over, at which point it's only holy in the sense of being related to a god, not one that is nice or good by any strain of the imagination
  • Darkest Hour:
  • D-Cup Distress: Being a practical woman, Anastasia would rather be small breasted because it's less of a burden. Isanami being self conscious about her own thinks she should be happy about it.
  • Decoy Damsel: Kamanosuke pretends to be a hurt woman needing help across the suspension bridge. In reality, he's luring people there to rob and kill them at a location that gives him the advantage.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: This is how you collect Braves, to the point the only Braves Saizo has never had to fight against are Rokuro and Kakei. Yukimura recruited Ana by Assassin Outclassin' and Kamanosuke, Seikai, Benmaru, and Jinpachi join the team after fighting the Braves, although often as not it's the Braves who start it. The case that stretches disbelief the most is Hanzo in the sequel, to the point it breaks up the Braves.
  • Defence Mechanism Superpower: Sure, kidnap Isanami and put her friends in distress. Hope you like getting vaporized.
  • Deliberately Distressed Damsel: Both Kamanosuke and Anastasia have used this trick.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Averted Trope in the first manga. Anastasia only gets paired with a female opponent once, during the second attack on Ueda castle. The tournament arc in the sequel, however, has her face off against Komatsu, Yukimura's sister-in-law, where she has to throw the fight out of consideration, and Isanami also goes up against Izumo no Okuni in a dance off.
  • Determinator:
    • Saizo, of course. Dude has been slashed and bleeding how many times against Hanzo, and he's still standing up and fighting rather than being down for count.
    • Rokuro. You can stab out his eye, it's okay, he'll replace it with a magic stone that casts from HP, because when his HP is down to zero, he's just gonna get back up again and keep protecting his lord and kin.
  • Distressed Damsel: Isanami is continuously being pursued and kidnapped. Get her distressed at your own peril, though.
  • Doomed Hometown: Isanami's shrine was burned to the ground.
  • Downer Ending: The sequel ends with four out of eleven Braves dead, one completely done with them, and the remainder standing around getting ready for the Battle of Osaka, which will see them all dead. Doomed By History, of course.
  • The Dragon: Hattori Hanzo is Tokugawa's main ninja enforcer, but naturally the One-eyed Dragon of Oshu features here as his less cladestine one.
    • Dragon with an Agenda: Unfortunately for Ieyasu, Hanzo has his own plans for capturing Isanami, and pretty much cares less about the upcoming Tokugawa vs Toyotomi clash, his team would be the one ruling from the shadow... or so he claims. Masamune also lacks respect for Ieyasu. He's just in it for WAR!
  • Dragon Lady: Oukatsu; open kimono, humongous cleavage, hidden blade, snake powers. Succeeded by Kaio, her sister.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Kamanosuke has to do very little to look feminine something he used to ambush people during her times as a bandit. Although maybe it's just that she looks masculine, as seen in the Lotus-Eater Machine..
  • The Dulcinea Effect: The first time he saves Isanami was just self-defense. And the second time, too. And the third...
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Isanami's hair is dark green in the manga at first. It later gets recolored to cyan, and then white by the end of the first manga. Saizo's eyes go from brown to blue over time, and Rokuro appears to have dropped the purple lipstick.
  • Epiphany Comeback: During his fight with renegade Iga ninja Goemon, Saizou is thoroughly beaten until Goemon tells him he's no longer an Iga ninja. Saizou realizes he should think like a one of Yukimura Braves. Cue fight reversal.
  • Et Tu, Brute?: Isanami didn't take well to Ana being a False Friend all along. Neither does Sasuke.
  • Expy: It's hard not to see Anastasia as a Darker and Edgier Kasuga, or Mizuki Tachibana, the latter also being the resident blonde, ponytailed Ms. Fanservice Cool Big Sis with the same voice to boot, as well as The Mole. Also, Isanami looks a lot like Kaname, and the author draws Date Masamune exactly as she did in her Sengoku Basara works.
  • Evil Redheads: Hanzo is revealed to be one beneath his ninja mask. It's Anime Hair too.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Rokurou hides his right eye until he loses it to Anastasia in episode nine, at which point he starts hiding the God's Jewel behind it instead .
  • Face–Heel Turn: Anastasia is actually working for Hanzo.
    • Heel–Face Turn: Ana is brought back by Sasuke and Saizo expecting to be executed but Yukimura offers her freedom. Although she is more miserable for being granted this mercy, she still gives her all for the Braves up until her death.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Hanzo is 100% evil, but he's sees no need for rudeness and is quite a polite speaker, even when describing how he likes to kill people. Also exemplified in his monologue for Episode 11 preview.
  • Five-Bad Band: Five Iga Ninjas.
  • Flat Character: Unfortunately, most of Hanzo's five (including Hanzo himself) have very little background and look like they're just in for simple megalomania, aside of Anastasia, who's shown to have Dark and Troubled Past and had other goal unlike them. More of Hanzo's personality comes out in the sequel
  • Flechette Storm: A trademark of Hanzo that can be seen in the anime opening.
  • Forced into Evil: Zig-zagged. Turns out, the reason why Anastasia joined Hanzo was because Hanzo was holding her family heirloom that she's been searching since little. However, during the time she spent with Hanzo, she turned into a cold-hearted Broken Bird Ice Queen who's just as bad as Hanzo is. But, even Jinpachi could see her slowly being defrosted despite her insisting otherwise.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: Saizou need Sasuke to give him a pep talk after being thouroughly beaten by Hanzo during their first fight (or when Isanami gets captured by Masamune in the anime).
  • Gilded Cage: Date is a good host for Isanami, besides the chain spiked to the ground
  • The Glomp: Isanami is fond of jumping onto Saizou and not letting go.
  • God in Human Form: Isanami is an incarnation of Izanami, goddess of the Japanese Underworld.
  • Good Old Ways: Kakei is prone to reminding Saizou of the proper ways.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Kakei has a fashionable scar on his jaw. Oukatsu has scars, too, but they aren't obvious until she gets comfortable.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: While being tightly tied and weaponless, Rokurou decides to use Yukimura as an improvised weapon
  • Grin of Audacity: Bordering on Slasher Smile sometimes when the more loose canon Braves get provoked.
  • Hair Decoration: A jade headpiece that it's clearly more than for looks. Its name is the Kushimitama.
  • Happy Flashback: During the Back to Izumo arc Isanami remembers how the temple was before the ninja attack. Anastasia also has one in the middle of fighting Jinpachi.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Kamanosuke tag-teams Hanzo with Saizou during the Izumo arc and joins the team afterwards. Even more extreme, Hanzo joins the Braves in the sequel at the invitation of Yukimura, claiming to have only been doing his job before with no personal feelings on the matter.
  • Heroic Comedic Sociopath: Kamanosuke's penchant for mixing bloody murder and affection is usually Played for Laughs.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Attempted by Rokuro in the anime, when he revealed that the prophecy was about having the ten braves sacrifice their lives to stop Izanami no Mikoto. Saizo will have none of that shit.
  • High-Pressure Blood: Every big slash is marked by a brief blood spurt.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: It has to be tough to be a blonde, blue-eyed infiltrator in 16th Century Japan, Anastasia.
  • Historical-Domain Character: Sanada Yukimura is the strategist version, more of a Guile Hero like the gender-flipped Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls version than Hot-Blooded as in Sengoku Basara, and older than those versions, too, matching up with his historical age at the time the manga is set. There's also Tokugawa Ieyasu, Date Masamune, Ishida Mitsunari and Naoe Kanetsugu. The sequel manga, Brave 10 S features several others not seen in the anime/1st manga, including Yukimura's brother Sanada Nobuyuki, along with Honda Tadakatsu and his daughter Komatsu (Ina), and several minor appearances by other famous figures of the time.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Well, it's an anime about Sanada Yukimura. Of course Tokugawa Ieyasu and his men HAD to be villainized! Hanzo probably got it the worst. At most, Ieyasu is depicted as an incompetent tanuki (which is lampshaded by Masamune). Hanzo goes beyond being 'loyal' to Ieyasu into having probably different goals than Ieyasu and being much more sadistic, making his way towards Hero Killer, although there's a justification in that 'Hattori Hanzo' is a title passed down through Iga ninja leaders so this Hanzo may not be the same Hanzo that escorted Ieyasu through Iga after Nobunaga's death (Hattori Masanari).
  • Hope Spot: Kamanosuke broke down Kuchiba's Lotus-Eater Machine and cut him in half! Finally, there's one Brave who survived the Iga Five — Not so Fast, Bucko!, Kuchiba reveals his other ability and finishes off Kamanosuke... Until the end.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Second half of episode six in the anime. In the manga, it comes as a brief respite after the second assault on Ueda.
  • How to Gather Characters: Isanami gets rescued by Saizou and forces him to come to Ueda. Yukimura manages to con him into staying, and then he starts to add more and more protectors in a Debut Queue.
  • Hulk Speak: Sasuke speaks in very broken Japanese owing to his Raised by Wolves backstory. His sentiments can often be quite elegant, nonetheless, as his few words can have a lot of impact.
  • I Call It "Vera": Saizo's sword is called Mari Blade and Kakei's gun Saaya.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Equal opportunities for getting abused (as Kakei can attest to during his fight with Oukatsu), but Anastasia gets most, even in her introduction (manga only).
  • An Ice Person: Anastasia can turn water to ice with her Iga techniques, and she also prides herself on being cold in other senses of the word as she shows when she betrays the team.
  • If You Kill Him, You Will Be Just Like Him: Isanami stops Saizou from killing a beaten Kamanosuke when he has him in a Sword over Head situation.
  • Implausible Hair Color: There are three redheads in the series (Benmaru, Yuri and Hanzo). Not exactly common in XVII century Japan.
  • In a Single Bound: Typical ninja fare.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Kamanosuke gets fascinated by Saizo's killing intent.
  • In-Series Nickname: She is known as Anastasia of the Glacier, but everyone calls her Ana.
  • Instant Runes
  • It's All My Fault: Isanami come to this conclusion after the second fight with Hanzo and briefly gives up. She's then goaded by Hanzo during the fight against the Five into another breakdown that pulls out her Superpowered Evil Side.
  • I Was Only Pretending To Like You: Anastasia upon her Face–Heel Turn.
  • Japanese Pronouns: For 'I', Kakei uses 'soregashi' while Seikai uses 'sessho'.
  • Jerkass Façade: By the end of the first episode, Saizo totally hasn't saved the girl three times and definitely isn't working for Yukimura. Really.
  • Jidai Geki: Historical Fantasy set in 1599.
  • Kick Them While They Are Down: Anastasia is a Combat Pragmatist, after all, and will hit a helpless enemy or former ally. Ask Sasuke.
  • Kid Samurai: Benmaru.
  • Knockout Gas: Used during Goemon's attack on Ueda castle. Too bad some Braves have Acquired Poison Immunity. Played for a humour the morning after, with Isanami wondering whether she crossed the line with Saizo the night before and just can't remember, and Yukimura waking up to discover that heavy weight is Rokuro lying on top of him.
  • Leave No Witnesses: Silly ninjas, they got Saizou involved in protecting Isanami because of being overly thorough.
  • Light Is Not Good: Saizo's ninja tricks are themed after Marishiten, Shinto goddess of Light.
  • Like an Old Married Couple: Yukimura and Rokuro in their natural element. Rokuro is fussy and proper while Yukimura is a lazy genius and womanizer.
  • Limit Break: Looks like Isanami has one (being depressed or afraid will do the trick).
  • Live-Action Escort Mission: Kakei and Saizo escort Isanami back to Izumo.
  • Living Emotional Crutch: Saizo for Isanami. After watching her home being burned to the ground and almost everyone she knew being killed, she adopts Saizou as "her light".
  • The Load: Isanami's role in the team is just being there to be protected.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Seikai is Isanami's elder adoptive brother. Sort of.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Kamanosuke faces one in the fight with Hanzo's Five.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: Rokurou uses sonic attacks in the rare instances he gets to fight.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Saizo is pretty much being dragged around by Isanami although she sometimes more of a Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl.
  • McNinja: Russian ninja with appropriate Ice powers!
  • Meaningful Name
    • With a name like 'Kamanosuke', it's pretty appropriate that he'd be fighting with a 'kama'/sickle chain.
    • Also, Isanami no miko for Izanami-no-Mikoto.
    • Rokuro and Nanakuma, the sixth and seventh Unno heirs.
  • Meet Cute: Saizo meets Isanami and within a day they are already in bickering mode.
  • Miko: Isanami, priestess of Izumo.
  • Modesty Shorts: Isanami under her miko attire.
  • Moe Stare: Isanami is usually seen smiling, eyes wide open. It's as if she got lost in the way to another series.
  • The Mole: Anastasia works for Hanzo.
  • Morality Pet: Isanami for Saizo. Were not for her intercession, Kamanosuke wouldn't have lived to join the Braves. And in turn, Kamanosuke behaves while Saizou is around.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Anastasia. Her outfit is already revealing, and she's prone to not wearing it.
  • Mugging the Monster: At the beginning of Brave10 S, a group of bandit try to mug an assortment of Braves. Considering they're all anti-heroes and Kamanosuke used to mug people for entertainment, this goes exceedingly poorly for them.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Seikai will smash you if you don't comply.
  • Mysterious Waif: Why is Isanami, a simple miko, so important? Why was her temple destroyed? What is the source of her Defence Mechanism Superpower?
  • Ninja: Well, that is what the "historical" Brave Ten were, isn't it?
  • Ninja Log: Saizou uses this substitution trick on Sasuke during their fight.
  • Not Good with People: Sasuke is quite shy.
  • One Rokuro Limit: Enforced when Benmaru (formerly Mochizuki Rokuro) joins the team.
    Benmaru: I don't care how you address me. The name Rokuro is lame anyway.
    Rokuro: (bristles)
    Yukimura: Leaving aside whether the name is lame or not, there's only one Rokuro for me.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Kamanosuke's reason to help Saizou and join the Braves.
  • "On the Next Episode of..." Catch Phrase: Saizo's "Bring it on!"
  • Only In It For The Hottie: Jinpachi agreed to help Kakei and eventually join Yukimura on the fact that there's one certain busty blonde named Anastasia in Yukimura's entourage. And kinda true too. He splits out of anger on Anastasia's behalf in the sequel, and it seems he just stops sticking with the Braves after her death.
  • Orphan's Plot Trinket: The only thing Isanami keeps from Izumo. It looks like a Protective Charm.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Saizou just slings Isanami on his shoulder to get away during their first meeting.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Russian = blonde hair and blue eyes.
  • The Pollyanna: Isanami comes across as this, but there is a lot of Stepford Smiler in her.
  • Power Limiter: The Kushimitama isn't the source of Isanami's Power of the Void: it's keeping it at bay.
  • The Power of the Void: Isanami's power is darkness that rusts and rots everything it touches into dust.
  • Pragmatic Adaptation: Because of time constraints, in the anime some characters dissappear and others take their roles in some arcs, some fights and events are cut and some villains are somewhat weakened. And because of Moral Guardians, a general helping of Bleached Underpants.
  • Pursued Protagonist: Isanami is on the run from Tokugawa the whole series.
  • Radial Ass Kicking: The Braves often find themselves beset this way, and sometimes beset new members in this fashion.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: The Braves are an assortment of of BunnyEarsLawyer Bunny Ears Lawyers, orphans with nowhere else to turn, and people who flaunt convention as much as possible, sometimes all three. "Oh great, another weirdo," practically becomes Saizo's mantra as more and more unconventional team members are acquired.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech
    • Anastasia will gladly tell you while you are helpless how being sentimental and idealistic makes you weak and only power matters.
    • Hanzo loves to tease opponents about how they fail to live up to the hype or victims about how they're the cause of everyone's trouble.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Date said so about his Pimped-Out Dress.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Saizou and Sasuke.
  • Religious Bruiser: Seikai.
  • Right-Hand Hottie: Rokuro has crowds sighing over him, not that he notices. He's too busy nagging Yukimura.
  • Rival Dojos: Koga and Iga ninjas don't get along too well. Sasuke is a Koga, Saizou is from the Iga.
  • Rope Bridge: The setting for Kamanosuke and Saizou's first fight.
  • Rummage Sale Reject: The Braves are pretty terrible in their sartorial choices, but although it's the villains who really take the Stripperiffic Rummage Sale Reject aesthetic up a notch. Award-winners include Fuuma Kotaro who is covered in blades including platform stillettos, Ishikawa Goemon with a crossdressing asymmetric belt-heavy number, Date Masamune in his Kyoto outfit that is indeed fearsome to behold but not for the reasons he thinks, and Kaio who has no bottoms on.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: Saizo almost does this after being curb-stomped by Hanzo and fearing he Can't Catch Up. The anime replaces this with Saizo doing it after Masamune captures Isanami.
  • Seinen: That means violence and nudity. There was a slight toning down in sexual violence by the time the series migrated to a Shoujo magazine, but still, it's written by Kairi Shimotsuki, that always means violence and nudity.
  • Sensual Slavs: Anastasia.
  • Sequel Hook: Yes, Izanami is calmed down, and Hanzo and his five except Anastasia are dead. However, there's still Masamune and Ieyasu (whose casualties are probably just missing out Hanzo), all ready to wage war.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: It turns out, the heirloom Anastasia is looking for which was in Hanzo's hand was fake.
    • Shoot the Shaggy Dog: If you're a history maniac, you'll know. No matter how badass the Braves got, they're destined to die with Yukimura during the Siege of Osaka.
  • Sleep Cute: On a horse!
  • Sphere of Power: The form Isanami's Defence Mechanism Superpower takes is a growing black energy sphere emanating from her, first seen during the first episode.
  • Standard Female Grab Area: Anastasia puzzlingly lets some joke villains almost rape her during her first appearance in the series just because they caught her by her wrist?!
  • Stock Ninja Weaponry: Knives, poisons, throwing daggers... the usual. Not many throwing stars, though.
  • Subordinate Excuse: The mangaka notes in one of her doujinshi that Rokuro (and Nanakuma, by extension) is way too old to be Yukimura's page at 26. Given how the characters usually interact, it's easiest to take this as the in-universe explanation as both he and Yukimura seem happy with the arrangement they've always had, despite the constant bickering.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: The Goddess of the Underworld is, well, not nice.
  • Super Strength: Seikai and Byakugun.
  • Survivor's Guilt: Isanami is weighed down by the destruction of her temple (being her adoptive family, too), but she rarely lets on it, like when she did to Saizou after believing Yukimura wouldn't help her.
  • Sword Pointing:
  • Taking the Bullet: The Head Priest of Izumo to save Isanami at the opening of the series.
  • Terse Talker: Sasuke finds easier to talk with animals than with people.
  • These Hands Have Killed: While trapped with Isanami after the fight with the giant snake, Saizou tells Isanami he's just a killer and cannot be anybody's shining knight.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Ichimaru and Niko, fairly ineffective ninja villains and comic relief who first appeared attempting to rape Anastasia during her introduction. They are absent from the anime adaptation except for a brief cameo in episode five.
  • Through His Stomach: Get a bodyguard for a soba bowl!
  • Throw Down the Bomblet: Part of Benmaru's bag of tricks are grenades enough for carpet bombing.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Seikai left the Izumo temple to pursue his own brand of Buddhism which involves worshipping all gods to maximise holiness.
  • Total Eclipse of the Plot: An eclipse marks Isanami's Superpowered Evil Side appearance.
  • Trash Talk: Hanzo teases Saizou continously on the gap between his fame and his actual skill during their first fight.
  • Trauma Conga Line: This is actually an omnipresent presence in-story too, according to Yukimura. Any time Isanami fell into some trauma or sadness, the power of Izanami spreads out and kills everything nearby, and Kushimitama is only surpressing the power. And making matters worse, Isanami overheard this while trying to recover from the trauma of Ana's betrayal. Nice job being a Mr. Exposition in the wrong time, Yukimura
  • True Companions: As much as a group of deeply weird and often violent mavericks can be. With most of them orphaned, the Braves really are each other's family.
  • Undying Loyalty: Many of the Braves end up feeling this towards Yukimura and the lands of Ueda, even Saizo, to his own surprise. The best examples of this trope are definitely Sasuke, Rokuro and (in the sequel) Nanakuma, all of whom never waver and will pursue loyalty past the point of reason.
  • Unusual Weapon Mounting: Oukatsu has a kunai-like razor blade in her tongue.
  • Unwanted Harem: Saizo starts building one up with Isanami and Kamanosuke fighting over him. Throw in Hanzo getting touchy-feely in the sequel and he's earned himself a seriously unwanted yandere harem.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Isanami gets scared of being fought over, claims It's All My Fault and just gives up and resigns herself to being a prisoner of Date.
  • Unwilling Suspension: Isanami gets to hang over a precipice courtesy of Kamanosuke before he joins the Braves, and Anastasia gets hung up upside down while prisoner of Date.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Little-Anastasia is adorable. She turns out real cold when she became an adult. Thank you, Hanzo.
  • Very Loosely Based on a True Story: The Brave 10 are based on some historical figures, but mostly they are as real as Robin Hood's Merry Men (on top of the Ki Attacks and Magic and Powers). Also unlike even the existing stories, Anastasia and Isanami are Gender Flip versions of Anayama Kousuke and Seikai's historical brother Miyoshi Isa. Benmaru also gets a name change from Mochizuki Rokuro to consciously enfore the One Steve Limit and in the sequel a second change to Sanada Daisuke, Yukimura's son, as this Yukimura never marries.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Hanzo learns the hard way how to control darkness with darkness.
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Goemon. Since his whole family was targeted to be exterminated, he had to disguise himself as a girl. Also, Kamanosuke Yuri would use this to trick people while he was a bandit.
  • Wham Episode: Hoo boy, episode 9. What would be a good night sleep went downhill when Ana is revealed as The Mole for someone who's presumed to be Hanzo, goes on to cripple Rokurou (and forced him to sacrifice the important information in his eye) and Sasuke, and Yukimura reveals the reason why he wanted to gather the Brave 10: to surpress the power of Japanese Death Goddess Izanami...incarnated into Isanami. And she overheard that too.
  • Warrior Therapist: Hanzo uses her Survivor Guilt against Isanami and Jinpachi guesses his opponent isn't actually above it all against Anastasia.
  • What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?: Kamanosuke doesn't get what love/affection is and it confuses him, so he approximates it to what he likes most: killing. His relationship with Saizou is colored by this.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Isanami literally shuts down near snakes.
  • With My Hands Tied: Anastasia can easily clean a room full of guards with her hands tied and hanging upside down.
  • World of Badass: Everyone kicks ass in this series. Only Isanami is an exception, and not quite since she is a God in Human Form. She is able to beat Izumo no Okuni with battle fans in the sequel.
  • Would Hit a Girl: Ninjas are professional killers , after all, and they don't hesitate in hitting female opponents or even old women as Hanzo did during his attack on Ueda.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Kakei, not being a ninja and a pretty old fashioned gentleman, won't fight women. That doesn't prevent women from fighting him as seen in episode four.
  • You Killed My Sister: Kaio is pretty pissed at Kakei killing Oukatsu.

Alternative Title(s): Brave 10

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Manga/Brave10?from=Anime.Brave10