Penned and drawn by Tomoya Haruno since 2008 and published by Media Factory's Monthly Comic Alive
, to say that D-Frag!
) is an oddball comedy is severely understating things. It has nine published volumes so far (plus a bonus one), and has spawned at least two drama CDs and an anime adaptation, which aired during the Winter 2014 Anime
Kenji Kazama fancies himself as a delinquent. Given the company he keeps, it's not too surprising everyone else sees him like that too, but he doesn't really mind. He was perfectly content spending his school days skipping classes and hanging around with his two buddies Yokushima and Nakayama, who round off the so-called "Kazama Gang".
Until, that is, he and his buddies make the mistake of visiting the room of the "Game Development Club". Made up of four really
strange girls, before the day is done poor Kenji is "convinced" to join the said club. While one would think it would be a blessing of sorts to be surrounded by four attractive girls, their combined eccentricities ensure that, whatever passed as normal for Kenji's life before, it's pretty much over.
Compare and contrast with Fujimura-kun Mates
, which takes a similar situation (a delinquent meeting a strange girl) and Boke and Tsukkomi Routine
comedy structure, but goes off into another direction instead (in that case, full on harem rom-com).
D-Frag! provides examples of the following tropes:
- Action Mom: Takao's mom.
- A-Cup Angst: The girls in this series are either stacked, or have little to no bust. The latter have this compared to the former.
- Affectionate Parody: While the series doesn’t always revolve entirely around parody, it certainly has a lot of fun lampooning many manga/anime and video game tropes.
- Aloof Dark-Haired Girl: Chitose Karasuyama
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Roka, in turn, finds her sister Tsutsuji's devotion deeply annoying.
- Badass: Shawn Conecone and Takao's mother. She might be the strongest character in the series.
- Bald of Awesome: A lot of the minor characters are bald. Either by choice or not.
- Beach Episode: Chapter 50.
- The Bet: In Episode 3 Takao challenges the entire Game Development Club (temp) to a booth popularity contest during the School Festival, stipulating that they would get disbanded and its members assimilated into Takao's unless they win. Needless to say, they do win... through Chitose "volunteering" the Student Council as construction crew to her mini-carnival.
- Better Than a Bare Bulb
- Big Brother Worship: Or Big Sister Worship in this case — Roka's little sister Tsutsuji seems to think Roka is perfect in every way, and makes her bento that you'd expect more from a harem member.
- Bland-Name Product: Several in the anime, including many of the games in the Game Development Club (temp)'s clubroom.
- Bound and Gagged:
- This happens a lot to Kazama and Takao.
- There's an interesting meta example. One translation of the ending song has the girls encouraging the listener to take the chance to "bind them up" during a punishment game.
- Butt Monkey:
- Takao, the creator of the real Game Development Club.
- Shinsen is worse; everyone calls her Pukey, from her friends to her boss.
- Cannot Talk to Women: The organizers of the Hashimoto Island Arc. Because of this, they caused the plot of that arc
- Charles Atlas Superpower: Played for laughs. Most of the female main cast is this. Chitose could lift a locker. But Takao and her mom take the cake. Her mom was able to jump to down a floor level without hurting herself. Takao when angry enough can easily overpower a robot.
- Chekhov's Gun: Remember how Kazama denied luck in the past to get luck in the present? Guess what tactic the Game Club (temp) members do in order to get enough luck to win against Takafudou.
- Chekhov's Gunman:
- Takao's mother, who is the woman who abandoned Kazama and his friends (along with an old man in a power ranger-style suit) on top of a burning rooftop (they were luckily saved by Shawn Conecone), is one of the opponents during the race for the legendary spring water that turns out to be a fake. Earlier on, Kenji recounts a story during a contest for one of the girls' pouches where he found money belonging to a little girl named Tama-chan, and handed it in to lost and found. Turns out Tama-chan wasn't a little girl after all, and she has a beef with the creators of the Game Development Club (temp).
- A minor example is Funabori. She was first mentioned in Chapter 13 and became a recurring character from Chapter 16 onwards.
- Clingy Jealous Girl: Nearly every girl in Kenji's harem.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Almost everyone. Poor, poor Kenji.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Takao has shown shades of this starting in Chapter 31, when she effortlessly stops a spinning robot with one hand, and then pushes it on its back causing a dent in its chest. Yes, Takao did that. Even the main cast was surprised. Considering that she got that from her mother, it begins to make sense.
- Death Glare: Most of them come from Roka. Always Played for Laughs. A good one came from Noe when she finds out that some of the males tricked her into sharing some of her shampoo. It kinda Makes Sense In Context.
- Demoted to Extra: Yokushima and Nakayama in the anime.
- Determinator: Kenji, and it seems to be a family trait; just ask his little sister.
- Distressed Dude: While Kazama can hold his own in a fight, he tends to get kidnapped or is held hostage. Chapters 31 and 32 lampshade this. When the girls hear he was kidnapped, they only ask "Again?", and they give him the nickname "Princess Pinch".
- Dude, Where's My Respect?: A Running Gag is that Kazama Kenji's reputation is kinda nonexistent and that he doesn't really stand out.
- Elemental Powers:
- The girls of the Game Development Club (temp) think they have one each. Roka is fire (actually darkness), Chitose is earth, Sakura is water, Ohsawa-sensei is lightning, and Kenji is wind. Roka also attributes light to Shiou and ice to Noe.
- This gets parodied in the Hashimoto Island Arc. When each participant has to write their element, they write nonsensical elements like eats bread in the morning and ball pen. Takao got "breasts".
- Embarrassing Nickname: Shinsen, the former student council secretary, is called "Pukey" by just about everyone.
- Everyone Can See It: Nearly everyone can tell Takao has a massive crush on Kenji, no matter what she says to the contrary.
- The Faceless: Kenji's childhood friend. Makes sense, since Roka bagged her before her face could be shown.
- Fetish: Tama-sempai apparently gets turned on if an underclassman refers to her by the -chan suffix. During the contest and battle that follows between her and the main characters, she constantly tries to get Kenji to call her by the -chan suffix.
- Fractured Fairytale: Chapter 30 spoofs Momotaro, with Funabori in the title role. It turns out to be All Just a Dream by some minor character.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus: Some of the Game Development Club (temp)'s bookshelves are stuffed with manga and light novels. One closeup in Episode 9 shows such titles as Aria the Scarlet Ammo and The Severing Crime Edge, both being serialized in Monthly Comic Alive just like this manga.
- Friendly Enemy: Takao is still the captain of the Real Game Development Club. Tama also starts hanging out with Kazama's harem after the former student council is defeated.
- Gag Boobs:
- Takao's amazing pair of knockers, which she inherited from her mother.
- Later a girl named Takafudou appears with milkshakes that bring all the boys to the yard, who declares all people with "Taka" in their family name have comparable power. Kenji naturally points out the utter insanity of this.
- Gag Series
- Gonk: So many. In fact based on the number of gonks, you could consider the main characters' good looks as the oddities in the series' art.
- Hot Springs Episode: Chapter 51 cheerfully spoofs the expected fanservice. When the guys get to the hot springs, instead of peeping, they devise a plan to get the shampoo from the women's bath. When the Game Development Club (temp) girls arrive on the scene, the story focuses on Kenji's plotline instead, and only returns to the girls at the very end once they're out of the springs.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Tama-chan-sempai, whose official height is listed at 181 cm, which in English measurements is just shy of six feet tall.
- Improvised Weapon: Takao and her.... zipper.
- Insane Troll Logic: Kazama during the tournament. Deny luck of the past to get luck in the present.
- Insistent Terminology: Tama is exceptionally keen on having Kazama call her Tama-chan, despite being his senior.
- It Runs in the Family: An inversion. Many things do run in the Kazama family, the main one being Sanity. The others include being a Deadpan Snarker and Spiky Hair.
- Japanese Delinquents: The Kazama Gang. Kenji's mother used to be one. They aren't alone, either; literally everyone at the school aside from Funabori is either a member of a delinquent group or might as well be.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
- Kenji leans on the Nice Guy side. He may act cocky and disrespectful, and aspires of being a notorious delinquent, but otherwise he's actually a good friend and schoolmate who cares deeply for the well-being both of his gang members and his clubmates. It's this nice side of his that attracted Roka, Takao and Funabori to him.
- Chitose leans on the Jerkass side. She's practically a bully who only managed to become Student Council President by literally beating the crap out of her competition, but many of her actions are ultimately for the sake of Roka, her frequently-misunderstood friend, and occasionally shows signs that she's not as bad as she makes herself look like.
- Last Name Basis: Takao and Funabori are only known by their family names.
- Lazy Bum: Oosawa-sensei. She is asleep in nearly all her appearances.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: Parodied. There are TONS of them. Excluding the main characters, there’s an entire Revolving Door Cast of side characters that appear, disappear and reappear at random. Some mob characters are even given names and personal motives and back stories, only to appear for a few panels/scenes. Some won’t reappear for countless chapters before spontaneously reappearing much later on, often as a Call Back or Chekhov's Gag or even as Chekhov's Gunmen. Of course, this gets mercilessly lampshaded later on.
- Locked Out of the Loop: Shiou doesn't get many memos. Doesn't help Roka actively tries to erase him from her mind.
- Loophole Abuse: Roka's club challenges Takao's club to make games and compete for visitors in the school festival. Takao's club make some new video games. Roka's club has neither skill nor experience for that. Their solution? Build a mini-theme park on the school grounds, which has lots of "games" like bowling and darts.
- Memetic Mutation: In-Universe, Takao's Gag Boobs has always been of this caliber, though that Wardrobe Malfunction incident during the Tournament Arc generated more publicity than before, setting off several copycat attempts, including one by Saginuma. She failed so hard she actually went into a Heroic BSOD.
- Moe: Invoked in Roka's "fire" attack. It hasn't worked once onscreen.
- Mundane Made Awesome:
- The "Scramble for Porn Mags in Space" board game developed by Roka and friends, complete with the players getting really in-character and "in-game" footage of their plays.
- The Tournament Arc — never has musical chairs been so serious and dirty at the same time.
- My Friends... and Zoidberg: Shiou is technically a member of the Game Development Club (temp), but is never informed about group activities. His official seat is in the corner behind the bookcase.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Shawn Conecone. There is also an unnamed teacher who looks suspiciously like Chuck Norris.
- Obliviously Beautiful: Takao is completely ignorant of her breasts.
- Older Than They Look: Minami Oosawa
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Even Shinsen's manager at work thinks of her as "Pukey".
- Only Sane Man: Kenji. As his younger sister Noe and their mother shows, it's a family trait. Funabori also qualifies.
- Open Secret: Chitose having the soil element and Roka being the "secret boss" of the school.
- Perpetual Smiler: Sakura
- Popping Buttons: Takao managed to pop the zipper of her gym jacket, with enough force to knock Kenji out.
- Punny Name: Most of the character names are based off Japanese train stations. Even the minor mob and background characters.
- Romanticized Abuse: Chitose abuses Ataru. Ataru likes every second of it, no matter what he overtly says to the contrary.
- Sadist: Chitose
- Selective Obliviousness: Roka refuses to acknowledge Shiou's existence.
- Ship Tease: Quite a bit, but interestingly very little is between Kenji and his club members. Most of it is between Kenji and Takao, or Kenji and Funabori.
- Shout-Out: In the ruins in Chapter 55, there's a statue that looks very similar to a Chozo.
- Spiky Hair: Kenji's hair is very spiky, to the point that it pokes anyone who touches it. It seems to be naturally like that too, and is apparently a family trait.
- Stockholm Syndrome: Kazama towards the Game Development Club (temp).
- Surreal Humor
- Tournament Arc: Possibly the most pointless tournament ever.
- Uncanny Family Resemblance: Chitose looks just like her older sister.
- Unwanted Harem: Kenji may be getting one. Takao is clearly interested in him, Funabori gives him special treatment, and some of the Game Development Club girls (mostly Roka) may be interested in him as well. And judging from one of the recent chapters, Tama may be interested in him as well. As of chapter 49, there is a harem. Roka, Takao and Funabori are unquestionably interested, while Sakura and Tama might be.
- Victory Pose: The girls do this while claiming that they're sorry for trying to blackmail, or failing that, eliminate Mogusa-chan, Kenji's childhood friend.
- Weapon of Choice: Roka with her bag, the president with her dirt, the teacher with her taser and Sakura with her water... though it seems to be more of a psychological weapon.
- Weirdness Magnet: Kenji even lampshades this.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Nearly everytime we see Shinsen, she has a new part time job.
- Widget Series
- Winds of Destiny, Change: Takafudou claims she has this: by absorbing other people's sighs, she absorbs their luck.
- World Gone Mad
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: While some of the girls have natural (if implausible for native Japanese) hair colors — Roka having blonde hair for example — we also have unorthodox colors like Sakura's bright pink or Shinsen's dark rose.
- Youngest Child Wins: Takao is the youngest daughter and the only one that inherited her mother's chest. Based on how everyone treats her chest, she won the DNA lottery — although she wouldn't agree. Chapter 31 shows she also inherited her mother's power.