Manga: High School Exciting Story: Tough

High School Exciting Story: Tough, or Koko Tekken-den TOUGH as it's known in Japan, is a Seinen manga written and illustrated by Tetsuya Saruwatari who was also responsible for the artwork of the popular and notoriously violent manga Riki-Oh. HSE:Tough revolves around Kiichi Miyazawa a 17 year old high school student who is the heir to the secret Nadashinkage-ryu fighting style that was passed down to him from his father Seiko. The Nadashikage-Ryu is a fighting style that utilizes the user's knowledge of and hitting of an opponents vital organs and pressure points in such a way it can outright kill the opponent if the user isn't careful enough. The series revolves around Kiichi's goal to become strong by defeating even stronger opponents in what are essentially Death Matches though almost no one Kiichi fights actually dies (permanently anyway). The original series ran for 42 volumes which ran in Young Jump from 1994-2003 it was apparently popular enough to get a 3 episode OVA adaptation titled Shootfighter Tekken which covers a small fraction of the first arc of the manga, a sequel to the original manga simply titled "Tough" which is still ongoing, along with a side-story that revolves around Kiichi's father Oton.


It provides examples of the following Tropes:

  • Absurdly Long Limousine: Giorgio Bucci owns a hummer limousine which Kiryu later took from him.
    • Ozai brought a bullet proof one of these to protect him from Yamato
  • Absurdly Sharp Claws: Killing Fingers Gen
  • Abusive Parents: Peter Kamanís mother repeatedly beat him with a steel pipe.
    • After his motherís death Kibaís fatherís widow tortured him mercilessly to the point of forcing him to live in a rat infested shed.
      • Kibaís mother was the mistress of Daido rikiyama and was completely obsessed with him. She viciously beat Kiba when he spit on his fathers grave and later attempted to commit murder suicide to go with him.
  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Hidari can slice through the roof of a car
    • Udoís rock blades can slice through flesh with incredible ease it he even chopped off one fighterís nose with one.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: After dispatching all of his men Oton got down on his hands and knees and begged Danjuro Hanakawa to spare Mikhailís life.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Remcoís mother was the type of person who couldnít live without alcohol and would hit him with beer bottles when he tried to get her to stop.
  • Art Evolution: Kiichi before and Kiichi after should be noted Tetsuwari's art improves even beyond those two examples.
  • Accidental Murder: Barely averted with Kuroda at Kiichi's hands who caused the former's heart to stop.
    • Also played straight with Kuroda following a Judo Exhibition with his friend Naruse
  • Action Girl: Takako
    • Miyagi aika The current kanchou of the seisikin karate school Tokyo branch
  • Adult Child: Kichi as flash backs show his personality at age 17 are indistinguishable from his personality when he was a four.
  • Adult Fear: While on a trip to Brazil jetís mom was killed leaving him stranded in the slums
    • Expecting one of the mothers to walk Kichi home Oton trained in the dojo thinking he was with his grandfather who thought he was with his father. Turns out Kichi went to the cemetery to visit his mother
  • Advice Backfire: Tokakoís story about how mitsuhide accidentally killed his friend in a fight while it was meant to get kichi to back off it only caused him to want to fight even more
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Played with Garcia the combat cyborg generally just does what his handlers says however during his second fight with kiba the fact that unlike everyone else kiba lasted longer then an instant made Garcia fell the joy of fighting for the first time in his life. After that he started fighting how he wanted instead of what his handler told him to.
  • Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Oton
  • Air Vent Escape: This was how Oton escaped the assassins sent to kill him by Don Jos
  • Akashic Records: By reading the residual energy someone has left behind the nadashinkage can visualize what they were doing
  • Animal Motifs: Kiba has been compared to a tiger numerous times
    • Gulhad cobra
    • Chosho rat
    • Gojo is an elephant
    • Shiyachi Orca
  • Anticlimax Boss: Kengo who was knocked down after two punches by Kichi.
  • Apologetic Attacker: When Mikhail fought Oton he apologized to a four year old Kichi that he was about to kill his father in front of him
    • Oton apologized to the hitmen sent to kill him by don jos before dispatching them
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Andre Fernandez a man who can dislocate the bones in his spine found it impossible that kichi could dislocate the bones in his shoulder
  • Artificial Limbs: Muhammad Ladish has a rather badass one.
  • Aesop Amnesia: One of the first things Oton taught Kichi was that if they donít give up losers today will become winners tomorrow. So he shouldnít boast about his victories. Nor should you despise yourself after defeat.
    • Given his personality itís obvious that he never took this lesson to heart
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: According to ted victory is justice
    • Kiba is able to get away with horrendous atrocities because people are too afraid of him to do anything about it.
    • Kano takes everything by strength. Heís like a predator who throws himself onto his victim steered by his combat instinct. When this happens, nothing else exists for him not even pity for the weak.
  • Ass Pull: Split second revelation
    • The nadashinkageryu in general. The fact that it seems to have a technique for virtually any occasions a lot of kichiís victories seem to be this especially since heís mastered and even become aware of a lot of those techniques the exact moment he needed them.
  • Audience Surrogate: Moyian and Isiage seem to function as this
  • Avenging the Villain: Once he confirmed the rumors of kiryuís assassination jet swore to kill all those involved
    • B attempted to kill Kiryu for killing his brother Anthony after he shot him with a Bozuka
  • Awesome but Impractical: Galhad Suanpahkti specializes in crushing his opponents in the first round. However because of this the Thai bookies couldnít make money from his fights so even after 17 professional fights he still isnít ranked.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Kiboís like a sponge, even in the middle of a fight, heís able to absorb the opponentís combat techniques and make them his.
    • Averted due to the fact that Kichiís arrogant kung fu guy attitude while he is able to learn the basics of new style relatively quickly it is a far cry from mastering them. He usually just ends up pissing off his opponent
    • Oton can tell a personís height and weight by looking at the imprint of their hand he can also learn a style by healing the destruction it wrought on a body.
    • Garcia can map out the outcome of a chest match in his mind after a couple of moves
    • Basically donít use a move twice on the nadashinkage
    • Bannai
    Moki: There are certain things you learn when you have fought enough matches and one is to know your own capabilities. When you reach a certain level you learn more from a single hit or glance than most and that gives you the luxury to wait for the perfect situation.
  • Awesome but Impractical: Removing a knife with only the power of your muscles alone maybe incredibly badass but it also forces open the wound causing all of your blood to spill out uncontrollably.
  • Ax-Crazy: The AB Brothers take care of people like youíd throw away a rotten pizza. Its said that crazy is a word made for them.
    • The osome brothers are crazy; theyíre the type to beat someone up for no reason. The small brother already spent time in juvenile hall as for the older one, word is heís close to entering the yakuza
  • Badass Boast: According to Heizo even god wouldnít be able to get out of the Flying Enma Lock
    • Peter Herman gave a chilling one after Kakuryo threatened to kill him
    Peter: Youíre just an amateur. Professionals know how to keep you alive
    • Ukon
    Ukon: Come at me then without hesitating with this 150cm long baton Iím invincible
    • Kiichi
    Kiichi: The Nadashinkageryu has no equal and the guy whoíll beat Kiichi Miyazawa hasnít been born yet
  • Badass: While Yoshiki did technically defeat Kichi he couldnít finishes him off due to his injuries and the match was declared a draw. Kichi took him to the hospital after he passed out due to blood loss from the knife in his gut while trying to continue to fight.
  • Bad Ass Bookworm: Oton
    • Mitsuhidei goes to seiken vocational the second highest ranked school in the aoda region
    • It turns out Kiryu is an art conisoar and is able to play Mozartís requiem
  • Bad Ass Grandpa: Heizo "The Destroyer" Onikawa.
    • Kasukabe jouichirou trained Sono for awhile
  • Badass Normal: The AB Brothers really gave Kiryu a run for his money well at least Bruno did
  • Bait and Switch: When Kibo and Mitsuhidei first met everything seems geared to an epic fight only for Kibo to start shaking his hand and praising his skill.
    • Averted in the end when they used the hand shake to measure their strength up against each other.
    • When Wakabashi hinted to have had Rikimaruís father was killed it looked like Rikimaru shot him only for it to be revealed to be all in Wakabashiís imagination
    • During the last hours of the Japanese elimination match it appears that the blind Ukon Tatewaki had discovered an exhausted and injured Kichii hiding in the tall grass. Only for another fighter to be revealed to be hiding as well.
    • After being crippled by Edgar Garcia Kiba walked right off the plane at Tokyo international looking none the worse for wear. Surprising everyone present
      • Averted as that was just to keep [[Determinator his injuries out of out of the press]] he was actually paralyzed for life.
    • During their battle it looked like Oton was going to gouge Kichiís eyes out but he actually went for his jugular
  • Barrier Warrior: The residual demonic energy left behind by Son-o marks a boundary of territory that even a rattle snake wonít cross
  • Batman Gambit: Mikogami wants revenge on the illusive Phantom Joe. So to draw him out he set up the monster wars, had bull attack kichi, then shiyachi, then signed kichi as payment for Bull getting a rematch against shiyachi. Finally he had kichi fight banai during the second monster wars match. Knowing that given the hype of the match and the strength of the two fighter if either won joe would seek them out.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Averted Kichi is not good at this in fact any time he tries he loses
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted Berkleyís turned a face that had invested ten thousand bucks in plastic surgery into minced meat when he found out his wife was cheating on him.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Iron Kiba decided to retire from wrestling to fight in more serious matches after losing in an official match due to using a move considered illegal. It did not end well for him.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After his lose to Chosho in the TDK Barkley was left with a broken forearm, a torn ligament in his right knee, a damaged kneecap and was banned by the NWD from ever getting back into the ring. However thanks to that not only was he able to cut ties with Mister K but since all the breaks were clean they will heal completely allowing him to box in other federations.
    • The opponent that Gulhad first defeated in the ring who was forced to cut off his own leg as penance for his loss. Not only does he hold no ill will towards Gulhad (he gave him the Buddhist pendent that he always wears) the two are still friends and he currently owns a restaurant and seems to be doing well for himself
    • While Kiryu saved Victory Bush he didnít care enough to stop the September 11 attack
    • Garcia defeated Kichi in the TDK but the Nadashinkage techniques that Kichi used on him caused him to die after the match was over.
  • Beleaguered Assistant: Kibaís agent nearly has a heart attack every time kiba challenges someone because theyíre either to dangerous to be sponsored or incredibly important individuals. Something kiba could care less about
  • Berserk Button: Gojo ultimate goal is to be an Olympic champion so anyone who gets in the way of that goal is this for him
    • Any time he hears the name of the nadashinkageryu Kibaís anger reappears
    • Miyagi Aika attacked Kichi when he refused to fight her because she was a girl as she saw it as an affront to her father who passed on the knowledge of the seisikin school to her
    • Insulting a family style is a berserk button for any martial artist
    • Shingoís status as the unfavorite makes the fact that both Kichiís father and Iron Kiba helped him in their battle this for him. The last straw was Kichi calling him a daddyís boy
    • For Oton itís Child abuse
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Outside of fighting and anything that has to do with it Gulhad is actually a relatively quiet and respectable guy. Itís just his associating lose with misery that causes him to be such a ruthless fighter
  • BFG: This is the AB Brothers weapon of choice.
    • Barukan Bobby wields a M134 Gatling gun which weighs a 15.75 kilos 4000 rounds of magazines weighing 128 kilos
  • Big Eater: Oton became one after fasting for three days when his sonís digestive system was destroyed
    • Remco as a sumo wrestler itís a given that he is this
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: While at first Kichi appears Older and Wiser in Tough he still has the same Jerkass personality before the time skip. So where in Koko Tekken Den he is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold here he just comes across as this especially with all the hypocritical and out right cruel things he says to people.
  • Blatant Lies: Kibo is prone to this often claiming heís losing on purpose
    • Or telling Mitsuhidei That heís never heard of nadashinkageryu
    • Oton claims that gouging out Kibaís eye was an accident. He was about to hit him in the jaw before Kiba tried ducking to avoid his attack
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Following the ways of martial arts Ukon Tatewaki has managed to get over his handicap and become a superman
  • Blood Knight: Samon
  • Body Horror: Phantom Joe ripped off all of Mikogamiís limbs and half of his scalp
  • Boring but Practical: Oton contemplates on weather or not the ultimate technique of the Nadashinkage was an eye poke
    Oton: Could the ultimate technique in the nadashinkage arsenal be the eyepoke
  • Born in the Wrong Century: Heizo locks are an artform. No matter the opponent, he is always able to get inside his guard and perform a lock all in the blink of an eye. However this is the reason his wrestling career never took off as the spectators were never truly able to understand his techniques because they [[boring but practicle werenít very entertaining and were done lightning fast. However with the emergence of koppo, pancrase o jiujitsu, the spectators eyes are much sharper. If heiko was in his prime right now, heís certainly be a superstar
  • Bread Egs Breaded Eggs: When Udo was told that he wasnít a fighter but an arms dealer. He replied that he was an arms dealer that fights.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: This trope is used in volume 12 telling us Kichi English teacherís name
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Inchikawa actually pissed himself when Shutoís fight with Kichi caused him to remember his mutilation
    • Kichi was so worked up about his fight with Samon that he peed the bed
  • Broken Pedestal: Suzuki couldnít believe that such a brave man of integrity like Oton. The man feared by the Hagyuu School had come to resemble a child who has just learned to walk due to the injuries he sustained after his defeat by Kiryuu
  • Bully Hunter: The Wind
  • Bullying a Dragon: Kichii tends to do this lot in an effort to get strong fighters to fight him
    • Kichi does this repeatedly the greatest example however would have to be Chosho at the Black Dragon temple initially taking him to be a weakling that he would have to fight to get to someone else Kichi took to taunting and even throwing rocks at him. He later found out that Chosho was the infamous 3000 bone combatant.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: For Phantom Joe fighting Kiryu was a step towards his final goal, but for Kiryu it was just a chance to become stronger.
    • Inverted when Oton was able to see the direction that Yamada Ichirou shot from in an assassination. Oton forgot about the incident until Ozaki Kentarou mentioned it while Yamada saw them as important enemies
  • But Not Too Foreign: Marcio ďJetĒ Naito
  • Butt Monkey: The karate guy Kiryu gave him a no hold barred beatdown to take his roll as a Hyper Battle contestant then didnít even fight
  • * Cain and Abel: Kiryu to Son-O and Oton.
  • The Cameo: The real Yoshiki Takahashi makes a cameo in chapter 192
  • Characterization Marches On: During the first arc Kichii would deny any knowledge of the Nadashinkage ryu after that he would tell anyone whoíd listen about it
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Martial arts are really incredible. By following their ways, we can become such an incredible person as you are
  • The Chew Toy: Kiryu turned Bucci into this
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Seeing that Dark Monkey was about to loss Gambino gave him a wireless electric shock.
  • Combat Clairvoyance: A specialty of the Nadashinkage ryu
  • Combat Pragmatist: The notion of illegal does not exist in the Nadashinkage style. Kichii isnít above fighting dirty as in a fight the one who punches first is the one who wins
    • Even going for the groin
    • He has even resorted to biting his opponent
    • Many characters have no problem using underhanded tactics even in sanctioned fights, hell both Oton & Kiichi have shown willingness to use underhanded tactics such as eye gouging and low blows.
  • Continuity Nod: When Kiba betrayed Mikhail the later ended up punching him in the same eye that Oton would later gouge out
  • Contrived Coincidence: Kichi just happened to have the same blood type as Yoshiki
  • Cooldown Hug: Kichi did this to the Dark Monkey
  • Cool Versus Awesome: A master sniper vs a master martial artist
  • Cowardly Lion: Ina was a Dirty Coward who ran away from everything. one day he killed someone in that guy in that traffic accident got scared and just ran away. He swore on that day that he would never run away from horrible things. He showed his redemption during his fight with gen. knowing that jail wouldnít make up for his sin, and even though he through up before the match he stayed and fought and ended up having his carotid artery ruptured.
    • Kikuta is a very modest person his breathing goes wild just by the pressure of a dangerous opponentís glare. However in that weakness lies his strength. Itís because he thinks of his opponent as a superior being that he prepares the most elaborated strategy. And he tries to overcome the difference with exhaustive training.
      • The stress of the savageness of the hyper battle combines with Dogen treat of selling his organís if he lost turned him into this to the point that he vomited before every match
    • Hych garncie getís so stressed before his matches that he canít even piss
  • Crapshack World: Bullying seems to be a big problem in the Tough universe.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Knowing that as a man of big business that he absolutely must go out in person to protect himself against the sniper Ozai wore a highly bullet resistant spectra guard helmet fitted with resin. The most advanced type of body armor there is, equipped with a spectra shield and special ceramic plate. His vehicle is a special made hummer limousine with equal bullet resistance to any other armored car. Its bullet resistant glass is 100cm thick, and cannot be destroyed by bazooka cannons or rocket launchers. And his business meeting was moved to a boat.
    • This turned out to be an aversion due to the Awesome but Impractical of a lot of his decisions which allowed Yamada to Take a Third Option. For example the super-safe limousine was to big to go into any underground parking lots. So Ozai would have to walk thirty meters from the entrance to the car.
    • Then played straight as Oton had the forethought to make him wear terminal velocity
  • Captain Ersatz: Kiba could pass as a somewhat reasonable facsimile to Antonio Inoki.
    • Berkly the magnificent and Mister k are obviously Mike Tyson and Don King.
      • An later we were given Mark ďMad DogĒ Berbrick complete with a face tattoo and a rape charge
    • Mark Hamilton is Mark Kerr
    • Rodoma is obviously katakana for Denis ďRodmanĒ who Rodoma is the spitting image of
    • George fogman the current heavy weight champion of the world is clearly a reference on George Forman
    • Ukon Daredevil or Dtick
    • Dido Raikiyama (Kibaís father) is based off of Riki Dozen the first real Japanese pro wrestling star
    • Oton has a lot in common with Clark Kent
  • Calling Your Attacks:
  • Creepy Child: Barkley was the son of a drug addicted hooker. At the age of to he had already gotten someone pregnant. Mister K discovered him at the age of 13 as he was beating up a bunch of cops.
    • Kibaís son Katsuichiro carves kill repeatedly into his desk with a box cutter
      • Given that Kiba regularly beats people to death in front of him
    • He gets it from his father who beat a man to death with a bat when he was nine.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Many wrestlers have suffered one-sided defeats in vale tournaments. Because of this more and more people are now claiming that wrestling is just for show and shouldnít be considered a real combat technique.
    • You can only use recognized karate techniques in a karate tournament. To a vale tudo fighter this is pretty much The Worf Effect
  • Cry for the Devil: Kibaís death really did effect kichi
  • Curbstomp Battle: Kiichi handed out a couple of these over the course of the series.
    • Manji Shindou never took Aikaís father even remotely seriously and the outcome of the fight had been decided in an instant.
    • This is used as merely an excuse for his Ax Crazyness as fights to the death is taboo in the Shindo style, but when practitioners donít have any other choice than to fight crushing the opponent completely is the safest option.
  • Cut Short: The Original manga only had 6 volumes released in America by Viz before they stopped publishing it.
  • Damn You, Muscle Memory: The smallest of threats to Kibaís eye makes his body tighten up.
  • Dance Battler: Speed dancer shows the meaning of his name he dodges the blow in an almost dance like fashion showing great grace and agility.
  • David Versus Goliath: Due to Kichiiís size this analogy is used often.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Kiichi seems to love befriending or becoming friendly rivals with the people he fights.
    • A great many of Kichiís fights end this way. No matter who the opponent is he always makes a new friend to the point that it completely erodes the audiences Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
  • Deliberate Injury Gambit: During his fight against Kiba, Kiichi deliberately allows himself to hit a ring post head first, the reasoning behind this was that if Kiichi hit the post originally as Kiba intended he would've suffered a much serious injury to his head.
    • This is how Kaneda got out of trouble with the cops
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: Jet
    Jet: God doesnít make mistakes and somewhere deep in his heart he knew that his life had a purpose and that in time it would reveal itself to him.
    • It turns out being kiryuís son is his purpose in life.
  • Determinator: Mikogami
    Mikogami: But even after losing my limbs, I did not die. But I will never give up on making this body the one that can kill him. And itís for this goal and the goal alone that I will become stronger and stronger
    • Even when his legs are convulsing and his brain is mush, Kuruda is still willing to fight.
    • As long as there is a drop of blood in his veins Iron Kiba fight
    Kiba: Thing is, giving up doesnít exist for wrestlers. If their right hand breaks, then theyíll fight with the left. If both hands break, theyíll fight with their legs. Thatís the type of men wrestlers are.
    • The majority of children that would be beaten finished by becoming so docile that they lose consciousness of who they are. Kiba was different, after his motherís death he was sent to live at his father estate with his fathers widow who tortured him mercilessly and made him live in a rat infested shed. Yet the more he was beaten the more his personality was developing. The more the sentiment of rage grew within him.
    • After being crippled by Edgar Garcia Kiba walked right of the plane at Tokyo international looking non the worse for wear. Surprising everyone present. However the moment he got into his car away from the prying eyes of the press Kiba secame to his injuries
    • This was deconstructed in Kichiís fight with Gulhad. While Kichi kept fighting through sheer determination Gulhad fought because he truly feared what would happen to him if he loss. Kichiís selfish goals were simply no match for that
    • Kichi
    Kichi: My body is broken, itís screaming with every move in agony. The insides of my mouth are reduced to a pulp. I feel like Iím eating razors. A distorting mist is covering everything I see. Even breathing is getting painful. Itís really strange, why am I continuing to try fighting despite this.
  • Deus ex Machina: Sadly the series started to veer towards this during its sequel Tough as it took New Powers as the Plot Demands to to ridiculous level, while not even bothering with the training montage usually seen in Koko Tekken Den. For example the Hensui technique which was only seen once and no one else not even Oton in their match used it.
    • This was actually lampshaded by both Kichi and Suzuki the later asking him when could he have mastered the nadashinkage vision techniques and the former admitting he didnít even know they existed
  • Dirty Coward: Kiba attempted to show that he was stronger then the Nadashinkage when he and Oton first met by sucker punching him.
    • Kiba has been sending fighters after Oton since kichi was a child
    • The bullies that beat up Kibaís son only to cry What the Hell, Hero? when Kiba attacked them
    • Gosuka had no problem beating a nine year old child half to death on a daily bases but screamed for help the moment that child went after him with a bat.
    • Gen is pretty brave whenever kiru isnít around otherwise heís down on his knees begging for mercy
  • Dirty Old Man: Otons father watches porno first thing in the morning.
  • Disappeared Dad: It appears that kichiís biological father ran off when he found out that Kie was pregnant
  • Disease Bleach: Chico Fernandez hair turned white after the beating he took from Yoshiki
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: For a series about incredibly skilled martial artist this is surprisingly common
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Asada Noboru received a diploma in legal studies at the university of Tokyo and was named magistrate. When he made a comment to people who had no education, they would just reply with violence. Asada could only see pity in the eyes of the people who saw what was happening. The humiliation was so bad that he would have preferred death.
    • Naito Hidenori wanted to avoid fighting Ukon because he didnít want to feel guilty of defeating an elderly blind man. Ukon showed him exactly how stupid that mentality was.
    Ukon: Donít you dare look down on me because I’m blind
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: This is the reason Kaku Shobun tried to kill Master Ma who was presented a sort of a deconstructive combination of wise Old Master and Sink-or-Swim Mentor.
    Kaku: Master never tried to acknowledge me. The stronger I became, the father away he placed me. How much painful training do you think I went through in order to become strong. And then the finally the master chose to give the succession over to not me but some lower disciple. The disciple Chou Genbin has neither talent nor strength. Did he expect me to yield to a man who excels in nothing but flattery
  • Easily Forgiven: Barry smith forgave Samon for ruining his life.
  • Elite Mooks: There are two types of pro wrestlers the spectacular and the assassin the spectacular seem to be this as they are usually used as Cannon Fodder to show how strong kichii's current opponent is
    • The fighters who made it to the final hours of the Japanese elimination match
  • Emotionless Boy: Edgar C. Garcia has the allure of a cyborg.
    • Manji always wears the same board expression even when heís being kneed in the face
      • Up until he meets a worthy opponent then it becomes a Slasher Smile
  • Epic Fail: After seeing the Black Dragon temple choke training Kichi attempted to do it stressing that if a weakling like Chosho could last a full minute he could last two. He lasted nine seconds.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Kakuryoís ultimate technique
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Neither Kiba or Douishi(the yakuza boss helping Mikhail) couldnít understand why anyone would risk their life for justice
    • Averted with Douishi he can comprehend good perfectly but as a yakuza boss he just doesnít care. Though he does admire integrity.
  • Evil Counterpart: Kichi isnít Otons biological son but he raised him as his own Jet is Kiryuís biological son who he abandoned only to come across again years later.
    • Kiyomasa Samon to Heizo where Heizo is a Hitman with a Heart Kiyomasa Samon is a Blood Knight who destroys fighters merely to appease his blood lust.
    • The black house to the white house Don Jos to the President
  • Evil Is Petty: Don Jos wishing to sell the NTS as a Super Serum forced Tachikawa to give it Kikuta during his fight with Jet as a demonstration. Since his pride was on the line if Kikuta lost he refused to let him administer the counter and threatened to kill him while being perfectly willing to let Kikuta blow up.
    • Dogan canít except losing even the littlest amount of money. Any time he makes a bet and loses he makes sure to make the winner pay just as much
      • He later put a hit out on Oton for embarrassing him
  • Evilly Affable: Manji is a Psychopathic Man Child who apologizes to his opponents as he crushes them completely.
  • Evil Twin: Kiryu
  • Evil Versus Evil: Kiryu vs Phantom Joe
  • Exactly What I Meant To Say: While don Gambino agreed to stop rigging the matches that doesnít mean he couldnít injure the fighters before hand.
  • Extreme Melee Revenge:
  • Eye Scream: Kiba became an unfortunate victim of this at the hands of Oton though he's come's off nonchalant about it.
  • Fingore: During his fight against Kiba, Kiichi gets 2 of his fingers broken doesn't stop him from popping them back into place.
    • also happens to an unfortunate gangmember who made the unfortunate mistake of stabbing Yoshiki.
    • This is a regular occurrence in the series
    • Kujuu would get peoples life rings by cutting their fingers off
  • Faux Affably Evil: Nagahide comes across as incredible nice and understanding when in fact he is an incredibly sadistic fighter who enjoys crippling those weaker then him.
  • Fragile Speedster: Andre Fernandez has neither the technique nor the capacity to take knock down strikes. But his technique and capacity to dodge such strikes is incredible
    • Though still quite durable given his age Heiki Onikawa canít take as much punishment as he once could
  • Freudian Excuse: Combined with being an in universe Designated Villain Gulhadís upbringing means that he readily brings a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown to anyone he fights because everyone he fights are unknowingly psychologically torturing him
    • Was a disciple of Kasukabe Jouichirou when Son-O came to train with him. He is using the name of his old master to make sure that the name Kasukabe Jouichirou is known as the master of the true shrinkage style.
    • Phantom Joe: You have no idea what it means to lose your master before you were able to learn it all. And then you nadashinkageryu act as if your style is the true art instead of my masters.
  • From Bad TO Worse: After Gen got caught in Sadoís trap he was attacked by a rattle snake
  • Gag Penis: Itís implied that Yoshiki has one if Kichiís reaction to seeing it in the bathroom is anything to go by
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Doctor Tachikawa in addition to being a mad scientist
  • Gecko Ending: Subverted by the OVA which ended at the conclusion of the manga's first arc.
  • Genre Shift: Tough has a more serious tone then the original
  • Glass Cannon: It may not look like it, but a fist can break pretty easily. If the shots have too much punch, sometimes the hand breaks. Particularly the bones on the top of the hand are the most fragile.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Kiboís combination of what the hell hero and reason you suck speech to Ishige about being bullied so often caused him to stand up to a gang of thugs
  • Gone Horribly Wrong: Despite the teachings of the black dragon temple being that The way of martial arts is meant as a way of self-improvement: in no way does it tolerate being used to harm others. Every warrior shown to have ever trained there have turned out to be vicious beast
  • Gonk: The girl Moriyanís girlfriend tried to set Kibo up with
  • Go Out with a Smile: Anthony of the AB Brothers did this. Mainly because he was killed so fast that it never had time to leave his face
  • Graceful Loser: While practitioners of the Kenjutsukan are Blood Knight delivering vicious No-Holds-Barred Beatdown without cause they also except lose quite graciously
  • Groin Attack: Yoshiki once threw a man by his groin
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Kikuta after being injected with IDF-1 and later N.T.S
  • Gun Porn: Surprising for a martial arts manga
  • Handicapped Badass: Mikogami added numerous robotic parts to his body to protect himself from [[TheDreaded Phantom Joe.
    • Mikhail was part of the ďSpetsnazĒ the Russian special forces and a Master of systema. Despite having only one arm he handily defeated Kiba.
    • Yoshiki continued to lift weights while confined to a hospital bed
  • Hard Head: The word concussion or fractured skull doesn't seem to apply to most of the fighters in this series.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: According to Son-o the muscles in a personís body have a huge effect on the techniques used and their power. However the main component that decides the strength of your muscles is your dna as there are certain things you canít learn no matter how much you practice.
    • Kichi studies for 2 hours everyday yet always gets the worse grades in class
  • Heel Realization: Kichi realized just how much his comment about not fighting woman hurt Miyagi after she passed out crying because she couldnít get out of the Winds hold.
    • This was mainly do to discovering they were Not So Different in that they were both fighting to uphold their fathers teachings
  • Henpecked Husband: Heiki shows signs of this.
  • Hero-Worshipper: The real reason the Wind decided to accept the assignment of assassinating Kichi was to see the Quite Tiger again after witnessing his strength in his battle against Shirogitsune
  • Hidden Depths: kichii gives his blood once a month
    • It doesnít seem like it but the Dark Monkey is a real gourmet with a very demanding taste whether itís cuisine or women
    • The side story another side of kiryu
  • Hitman with a Heart: Heizo ďThe DestroyerĒ Onikawa
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: After all the years he destroyed a great number of wrestlers Heizo was destroyed by a fighter he trained personally
  • Honor Before Reason: Onihei always refused to compromise his technique for the entertainment of the spectators and little by little he found himself in the shadows.
    • Despite being terrified of Booker Zero Bull refused to just tell him that he had just defeated Kichi as that would lower Kichiís rank
    • Heizo trained kichii to fight samon even though with his injuries he risk deforming his arm
    • Samon will rather be crippled then give up
    • Aika decision to fight Manji despite the clear difference of skill and power between the two
    • Kichi deciding to fight Kuju on the ride home on the way home from the elimination match even though the later the later was at full strength while he had just waken up from a three day coma and was still horribly injured. Not to mention the fact that that fighting him meant that he could have been eliminated from the finals of the hyper battle.
    • Even though he would be dead in six month. Seiko had to be the one to fight in the hyper battle. Even if he must take part in Doctor Tachikawaís demonic treatment. Something he initially refused to do.
    • Played with Kikutaís the igf-1 during his fight with the giant because dogen put the fear of god into him. Later he refused to take the nts during his fight jet because he wanted to win using his own skill
      • Unfortunately he wasnít given a choice here either
  • How Much More Can He Take:Kiichi usually gets worked over bigtime before he pulls off the inevitable (but not always occurring) victory.
  • Hulking Out: His muscles have expanded to increase the strength of his punches
  • Humiliation Conga: After his defeat by Samon Barry Smith was forced to retire. Afterwards his wife left him and he is currently living as a drunk in the slums.
  • Hypochondria: Played with while oton is one since kichi was born premature anytime he got sick oton would freak out. One day when kichi had a fever oton suspected everything from measles to eczema. Luckily it turned out to be nothing more then a bad cough
  • Hypocrite: The Nadashinkage ryu was created for the sole purpose of being an assassination art yet its current heir was disgusted when he found out a fighter was using martial arts to assassinate people for the U.S government.
    'Kichi: I know that martial arts were created with the goal in mind to kill, but using them with that as the sole purpose is different.
  • I Just Want to Be Special: The Winds main goal is to be stronger when 15 years of Hagyuu training didnít accomplish that he decided to become Kiryuuís disciple
    • Seems to be one of the main reasons people take up martial arts
  • Implausible Deniability: After Oton was caught in the Yamanashi area searching for Ryuuichi Kusanagi on behalf of his daughter he told them he was collecting samples
  • Important Haircut: Yoshiki shaved his head for a vale tudo tournament.
    • Kibo forced Ishige to get one to improve his self image
    • Minoruís motivation for his fight with oton shows even in his haircut
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Ichirou Yamada is a super A-class sniper who prides himself in his 99% success rate. If youíre targeted by Yamada Ichirou youíre pretty much a goner
  • Improvised Weapon: Since the usage of weaponry are not authorized in the Hyper Battle Elimination Match participants are forced to rely on their clothing, belts and whatever else they can get their hands on such as any grasses or trees that are in the area.
    • Kujuu Baramaru used a stick during the Japanese Elimination Match
    • In the hands of a self defense specialist a simple t-shirt can become as flexible and as hard as a whip using the Nadashinkage
    • Kichii took this a step further by wrapping that t-shirt around a handful of life rings
  • Insane Troll Logic: After defeating Kichi Iron Kiba stated that the reason he wanted to be the strongest is so that he could marry a woman like his mother the Ax-Crazy woman who tried to strangle him to death
  • Insufferable Genius: Chosho was this before his shoot fighter trainer set him straight
  • Insult Backfire: Kichi refered to Tomogachi as a dog of the yakuza Tomogachiís reply was that if kichi wanted to compare him to a dog he would show him the strength of a k9 and afterwards he would admit to being simple dog food.
  • It's All About Me: While Kichii is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold the Jerkass part really shines through when he doesnít get his way
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: Kichi though he usually comes up weak against those that specialize in a specific field.
  • Jerk Ass/Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kiichi can come off a jerkass a great deal of the time even too his friends, though he has also been known to shown compassion and even respect to his opponents even after they just came out of fight where they intentionally try to kill or cripple him.
    • This is Kichiís defining character trait
      • Jerk with a Heart of Jerk: However his need to be the strongest makes him this such as giving a "The Reason You Suck" Speech to kiba for not wanting to fight Garcia again (and warning him against it) after Garcia crippled him for life.
      • Later when at the black dragon temple thinking that Chosho was just a weakling that he had to get pass to fight Rodoma he repeatedly taunted him and even through rocks at him to show that he was nothing more then a formality
    • The reason Kiba wanted to fight Oton was because some random person told him that the Nadashinkage was the strongest martial arts. So he shows up out of the blue and attacks him.
      • He then threatened his son when that didnít work
    • Tetsuzan itís hard to find but its there. Heís a violent drunk who puts everyone of his students through training from hell, but cares about them in his own way and rewards them when he they do make progress. He also fought the yakuza for his friend
  • Important Haircut:Yoshiki get's one along with a goatee in the second arc which practically makes him almost unrecognizable.
  • Man Bites Man: Kengoís most terrible attack is his bite. Kengo has a powerful jaw and his teeth are as sharp as a lionís. In his last match, he bit away the cheek of his opponent
  • * Karma Houdini: Despite all of the crimes Gojo committed and the people he brutalized he still got to go the Olympics after Kichii defeated him.
    • It seems that the only reason Jet was created was to absolve Kichi of killing Garcia which was done in the most obvious way possible
  • Kick the Dog: Kiba's backstory.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: After everything Kiba did before and after his fight with Oton gouging out his eye turned out to be this
  • Kill Or Be Killed: The Dark Fights
    • Kiryu abandons the mother of his child later by chance he happens to come across that child living in the slums of Brazil. After saving his life that child came to revere Kiryu as a god and not once is it ever mentioned that it was his fault that he lived their in the first place.
  • Knife Nut: Kibaís son Katsuichiro carves kill repeatedly into his desk with a box cutter and was about to stab the bullies that were picking on him for being Kibaís son before Kiba showed up and gave them a no hold bard beat down.
    • Given that Kiba regularly beats people to death in front of him
    • Udo
    • The younger Osome brother
  • Kung-Fu Wizard: The Nadashinkage started to veer into this a lot during Tough
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Having someone thatís so much stronger then you crush you without a hint of mercy doesnít feel good does it Kiba
  • Laser-Guided Tykebomb: To Kuju his father was the embodiment of fear. He trained Kuju without mercy or pity, even threatening to kill him if he failed. However not even he could overcome aging and one day fought another warrior and lost ending up severely injured. Kuju disgusted by how weak his father had become killed him.
  • * Lampshade Hanging: Kichi listing the many similarities between Jet and Edgar
    • Don gambino contemplating the absurdity of Kiryu being alive after witnessing him being shot in the head.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Played with in Remcoís case while he was pretty fast as a sumo his excess weight meant he wasnít very agile making him more of a Mighty Glacier. However after his training at the demon factory all of his excess weight was removed but making playing this straight
  • Loophole Abuse: Kiba agreed to leave Oton alone if Kichi was victorious in his fight with Samon. However since Kichii didnít kill Samon that means it wasnít an official match in Kibaís eyes
    • Back when Oton was the clan head he proposed a truce between the Nadashinkage school and the Hyaguu school now that he is no longer the head they can destroy the Nadashinkage.
  • Manly Tears: Kiba' & Kiichi's fight at the end of the first arc was powerful enough to invoke this from those there.
    • Happens during Kiba's retirement speech among some fans.
  • Mighty Glacier: Huo Chong Gao training at the Mount Song Shaolin temple has made him this
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours:
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Asura,Maneater, The Destroyer just to name a few.
    • Heizo ďThe DestroyerĒ Onikawa
  • FemaleSuccessIsFamily: averted with Komatsu the secretary at the bank where Oton works. She didnít want to rely on men economically or mentally. She wanted to be a completely self-reliant woman.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
  • Normal Fish in a Tiny Pond: Kiba is the greatest wrestler of Japan and has always stressed the superiority of wrestling yet the moment he stepped into the world of Vale Tudo he lost spectacularly and was crippled for life.
    Kiba: in the world of vale tudo, where there are no lies, the glitz and glamour of wrestling flakes off.
    • Kiba called Kichi this after the later gave him a reason you suck speech for not wanting to fight Garcia again and expressing that the notion that someone on this earth is stronger than him pisses him off.
    Kiba: ďthe Frog at the bottom of the pond does not yet know the ocean. There are many men stronger than you besides Garcia.
  • Original Video Animation:
  • Overprotective Dad: Oton gets called out for this during Kiichi's fight
  • Papa Wolf: Oton doesn't like when someone purposely threatens Kiichi's life (even though Kiichi gets himself into these very situations).
  • Playing with Syringes: At first Kikuta refused to take the N.T.S during his fight with Jet because he wanted to win using his own skill forcing Tachikawa to inject him with a syringe the moment his back is turned
  • Put on a Bus: Mysteriously and unfortunately winds up happening to Kuroda towards the end of Kiba & Kiichi's fight despite being at the fight from the start.
  • Race Against the Clock: Kikuta had to defeat Jet before the final countdown of the Super Serum
  • Rage Breaking Point: It took Kiba sucker punching Oton, threatening his son, sending a Russian assassin after him with the promise of sending him home, and admitting that that he was planning on handing the Russian over to the mob before Oton agreed to fight him
  • Reality Ensues: Dogen Arikawa can bench press 200 kilos and squat 300. His inhuman grip allows him to crack nuts between his thumb and index. The strength of his punches are also amazing. Their power is superior to those of many heavyweight boxers. However years of mistreating his body to gain that strength makes his a regular patient at Yumikoís clinic.
    • During his match with Shintaro kakumaru the leader of the Goetsu school Genshu Ibara gravely wounded his defenseless opponent. He was imprisoned for the wounds he afflicted and attempted murder.
    • While Yoshikiís martial arts training may allow him to mentally ignore a knife in his gut that doesnít mean he can physically ignore it.
    • Turning your back on an armed conscious opponent isnít a good idea.
      • Not even a made of iron martial artist can survive a gunshot to the head
  • Redemption Equals Death: Samon
  • Rubber Man: Jet seems to have what you can call rubber ligaments, his ligaments are extremely limber and flexible and thus he can twist them more than a normal person can. Thanks to that they have the capability to twist for a max of 270 degrees
  • Sadistic Choice: In Tough the Four Foxes sent Kichi a letter stating that although heís the biological successor of the Nadashinkageryu the Hagyuu school will not allow him to be the head of the school and that he must either close the school or be killed
  • Sadist Teacher: After being adopted by his father Rikiyamaís wife, Kiba was initiated into all sorts of combat styles by Gosaka.
  • Scary Black Man: Barukan Bobby
  • Seppuku: Oton makes a point to remind Kiichi that if he ever sullies the name of the Nadashikage Style by losing he will be forced to take his own life.
  • Serious Business: You do not throw a fight for money
  • Shout-Out: In the first chapter of the manga, Kiichi fights a wrestler named Mammoth Nishi.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: The Devil Factory managed by Shawn J. Akutsu is a place where people who wouldnít even harm a fly are turned into ferocious beasts. A real factory to create demons, just like itís name says. In that place, sadistic and violent impulses that your subconscious hides are revealed by mind control. As for your physique and thoughts theyíre transformed with the use of drugs.
  • Sore Loser: To Dogen money is his blood, his flesh, his darling and he could never forgive anyone who would try to steal his money, even if they were from his own family. He once lost one billion in Las Vegas. Later he brought the casino.
  • Squick: In this series legs get broken, arms get snapped, and in the most extreme cases bones splinter causing them to pop through the skin not pretty.
  • Sword Cane: Hidari fights with one of these
  • Take That: Numerous ones towards Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the Gracie family specifically, early on in the manga. The bias is significantly downplayed later, coinciding with the rise of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu schools and instructors in Japan.
  • The Alcoholic: Tetsuzan is almost never seen without a bottle in his hand he even brought one to kanedaís fight with kichi
  • The Berserker: Kuroda in his Ashura form
  • The Brute: Gojo fights because he enjoys hurting and seeing other people suffer.
  • The Spartan Way: The elimination match thrives upon this.
    Announcer: Everything is dangerous. Everyone is an enemy. Trust nothing besides your wits, strength and skill. Sharpen your senses and with your wild instincts go out and fight. The instant beast senses beast fight. The strong will thrive and the weak will shed blood and flesh until they beat corpses. That is the cruel and bitter rule of the wild. Let the battle begin.
  • The Stoic: Oton when's not acting like a mild mannered salary man who has to.
  • Tiger Versus Dragon Versus Phoenix: Oton, Kiryu, and Son-o
    • Jet vs kichi the nadashinkage ryuís tiger vs the dragon from brazil
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kiichi abuses the hell out of this trope.
  • Tough Love: Played justifiably straight with Oton & Kiichi.
  • The Worf Effect: Kiba suffers this fate "badly" at the hands of the second arc's big bad.
  • The Paralyzer: Onikawa's specialty.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kiba set up Mikhail to fight Oton by promising him that if he defeated him and taught him Systema he would use his connections to clear his criminal record so that he could be go back home. However Kiba new that the Yakuza family Mikhail was working as The Dragon for were planning on betraying him so if Mikhail had defeated Oton not only would he not receive training in the ultimate martial arts but he most likely would have been killed.
  • Training from Hell: Played straight with Kiichi & occasionally with other characters.
    • Garcia has been trained to resist any kind of torture techniques to make him accustomed to pain and suffering one such experience consisted of inserting a needle under his fingernails neither his cardiac rhythm nor his vascular tension were disturbed. There was no reaction either when the nails were ripped. And he wouldnít do as much as flinch even if his guts were getting removed with a knife
  • "Well Done, Son!" Guy: Kiuma Yamaki the son of the late Minoru Yamaki has challenged Oton to a fight many times despite his repeated refusals, because he put Oton and his father in the same place. He felt that by overcoming Oton his father would speak well of him.
  • Women Prefer Strong Men: According to shiho Men have got to be strong
  • Work Off the Debt: After conning Kikuta out of 50 million yen Dogen forced him to be his slave to pay it back.