Manga: Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple

These six masters will pound everything they know into Kenichi. Literally.

A retool of Tatakae! Ryouzanpaku Shijou Saikyou no Deshi (or Fight! Ryozanpaku History's Strongest Disciple) released as a monthly series back in 2000.

Kenichi Shirahama is a wimp. Even the geeks pick on him. That all changes when he meets Miu Fūrinji after entering high school. Miu, eager to make friends, gladly helps Kenichi with his desire to become stronger. She introduces him to Ryōzanpaku, a dojo which houses some of the most powerful martial artists known to man. Though Kenichi only sought guidance to stop being bullied, his rapidly growing prowess attracts the attention of bigger and badder foes that he has to fight... if he doesn't get pummeled through the floor tiles during training first.

Written by Syun Matsuena, Shijō Saikyō no Deshi Ken'ichi (a.k.a. History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi) follows Kenichi's adventures as the Sorting Algorithm of Evil puts him up against more and more dangerous opponents. It has all the elements of Shonen action stories with a healthy dose of satire on the whole thing. The manga spans at 46 volumes and counting. The anime consists of 50 episodes and is dubbed by FUNimation under the title Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, premiering on their channel on October 2009. Kenichi, Miu and friends appear in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, Sunday VS Magazine Shuuketsu Choujou Daikessen.

In 2012 a series of OVAs began, starting from where the anime ended with Ragnarok Arc closure, introducing Yami and Yomi.

It is very awesome.

The Character Sheet can be found here.

The manga has two spin offs a 4-koma gag manga Tekuni to Shijou Saikyou no Nakamatachi/ Tekuni and Her Strongest Friends in History, and a manga focusing on other characters in the universe Shijou Saikyou no Gaiden/History's Strongest Another Stories.

As of September 13th 2014 on chapter 583, after 12 years of serialization, History's Greatest Disciple Kenichi has reached its conclusion.


This series features examples of:

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     Tropes A-C 
  • Absolute Cleavage: Renka (Year 2) & Mikumo. Occasionally Shigure. Clothing damage does this to many others.
  • Action Girl: Every female fighter.
  • Action Girlfriend: Miu. And to her credit, she's still a much better fighter than he is.
  • A-Cup Angst: If you value your life, you will not bring up Kisara's lack of boobage. Keep in mind, this is only relative, as although Kisara is probably on the smaller end of average, just about every major female fighter in the series has a huge chest.
  • Adults Are Useless: Played with. In most of Kenichi's fights his masters stand on the sidelines, even joking and gambling on the outcomes, even if his life is in danger. This is because they believe that a good master stays out of their disciple's fights. It's subverted to hell and back whenever Kenichi is attacked by a master-class or something: they'll step in and beat the life out of whoever attacked their disciple. However, it is played completely straight with the staff of Kenichi's high school, who seem completely unaware of the massive gang activity right under their noses, and his parents, who are oblivious that their son has a habit of getting into life-or-death battles with skilled martial artists from arround the world.
  • Alcatraz: The Big Lock, where they intend to hold all of Yami.
    • Cardboard Prison: The only thing keeping Masters like Diego and Alexander from breaking out is their honour as martial artists. It doesn't, however, stop them from stepping outside for a stroll.
  • Alien Among Us: Everyone is sure Nijima is this. In the anime, it becomes explicit near the end, where he uses his "alien powers" to check Power Levels, and at one point tells Kenichi "In all the years I've been studying your species..."
  • Almighty Janitor: He is the strongest... but he is just a disciple.
  • Always Second Best: Chisato takes an instant dislike to Miu when she's kicked from her position as the rhythmic gymnastics club's ace upon a single demonstration (at Chisato's own request) of Miu's talent.
  • Animal Motifs: Quite a few of the characters are compared to animals due to fighting style or general nature:
    • Miu and Kanō are associated with birds, and are sometimes drawn accompanied with surrealistic ethereal feathers (particularly Miu; see also "Meaningful Name" below).
    • Kisara and Renka are associated with cats.
    • Tirawit Kōkin's power is compared to an elephant's. He's also known as the Lion God King.
    • Kenichi is identified by Boris as a... penguin and later a Hawk!...penguin
  • Amazonian Beauty:
    • Mildred Lawrence, the most muscular female in the series.
    • Freya is another example in the series. Though she doesn't show much visible bicep, she has been seen doing bicep curls with pretty huge dumbells, and she's probably got one of the most ripped abdomen of any woman in the series after Mildred's.
    • This lady is drawn with visible biceps and a toned physique.
    • Besides them, every other girl/woman, regardless of how Badass, are pretty and busty.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Honoka
  • Anti Climax Cut: Akira says he won't fight the injured Apachai, or Shigure, and Kenichi thinks Akira pressed a Berserk Button. Instead they are flattered.
  • Anti-Villain: Most of the named adolescent antagonists have redeeming qualities or sympathetic motives, to the point where it's almost surprising when one of the teen villains gets written out of the story without a minor redemption at minimum.
    • Among members of Yomi, Ethan Stanley is particularly notable. He's quite polite and deferential, he tries to talk Kenichi into retiring from martial arts so he doesn't have to kill him (whereas most of the rest of Yomi would be happy to), he cares deeply about his sister... If not for Yomi's insistence on defeating Ryozanpaku, he likely wouldn't have chosen to fight.
    • Even some of the Nine Fists of Yami qualify. Agaard Jum Sai, Hongo Akira, and Sehrul Rahman all seem somewhat indifferent to Yami's long range plans, and downright antagonistic to some of the more sinister Fists (i.e. Silkwat Junazard). In the final story arc they, along with (unsuprisingly) Ma Sogetsu, and (somewhat more suprisingly) Alexander Gaidar and Diego Carlo, pull a Heel-Face Turn and fight alongside the Ryozanpaku masters.
  • Armor Is Useless: Averted. Shigure certainly would never go in a weapon fight without her trusty chain mail. And Kenichi's chain mail also proves to be very useful, even when fighting Ethan Stanley, who is not a weapons user (because it protects Kenichi's chest from being scraped by Ethan's foot). Kenichi's arm guards, of course, prove to be a good protection from bladed weapons as well.
    • Averted in the latest chapter, when a Master Class opponent would have cleaved Kenichi in two if it weren't for his armor.
    • Played straight with 98% of the rest of the cast and nearly all the Master-class warriors. Although their usefulness is pointed out, it has also been stated that they don't make you invincible or all that protected and can be quite the detriment and/or get you killed if your style doesn't go with them.
    • Completely averted in later chapters, with multiple members of the master-class weapons group Executioner's Blade wearing armor that is completely invulnerable, to the point that a knight's otherwise unremarkable-looking shield absorbs fire from a 20mm Vulcan at point-blank range while suffering absolutely no damage whatsoever.
    • Also averted if you are a woman and fighting Ryouzanpaku. Because the instant he realizes you're a woman, Kensei will strip you naked.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Pretty rare, but there is one (even lampshaded) case.
    Elder: Why didn't you dodge it, Ken-chan?
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Kouetsuji's "pink muscle." The concept has basis in reality, but definitely not to the extent Sakaki explains it. In fairness, Sakaki might just not know what he's talking about.
    • The Elder's "bi-vocal" ability. Lampshaded by Kisara immediately after it's explained.
    • Kisara again Lampshades it with Siegfried's inhuman flexibility a few chapters later.
  • Attention Whore: Rachel "Castor" Stanley will actually stop what she's doing and contemplate a new way to steal the spotlight if she sees anyone who's the subject of more attention than she is.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: This is played straight for the most part, with the leadership of Ryozanpaku, Ragnarok, and pretty much every other organization in the series being based on who has the strongest fighting ability. However, it's surprisingly averted with the Shinpaku Alliance, whose commander Niijima has absolutely no fighting ability whatsoever, and yet he commands an entire gang of fighters, all of whom could beat him to a pulp with little to no effort if they tried. Granted, he doesn't get a lot of respect from most of his high-ranking subordinates, but he still maintains his position of leader regardless.
  • Awesome by Analysis: Tirawit "Narasimha" Kōkin
    • This is one of the main abilities Nijima has, a practically supernatural ability to scan his surroundings and the people in them to formulate the best plan of action.
    • Kenichi himself, though it's more subtle in most cases. He is, after all, the second person ever to be able to utilize the complete form of Ryuusui Seikuken, which relies on reading your enemy's heart. He's even been able to predict a few killer techniques and stop them when backed into a corner.
    • Ogata Isshinsai as well. Once, when Kenichi attacks him not only does Ogata dodge, he then attacks Kenichi with the same move, where Kenichi was aiming, with the same power Kenichi used. He manages to copy a Mubyoshi, despite never having seen it before.
    • In an Anime filler, the Elder gives Izumi a semi-graceful out from joining Ryouzanpaku by requiring her to do ten push-ups in order to join. Turns out she cannot complete a single push-up.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Kenichi and Miu do this in the D of D Arc against the Chinese team.
    • And they attempt to do this in their next fight against the Elder... I mean Garyu X.
    • The Pankration team also pulls this off against the Brazilian Jiu-jitsu team.
    • Kenichi does this with Shigure when she takes him sword-hunting: she needed him to cover her blind spot.
  • Badass: Pretty much the entire main cast, even some of the non-martial artists have their Awesome Moments. Even the mouse is badass.
    • Niijima gets awesome moments. Top that!
    • Even Kenichi's father has a badass moment, managing to impress Shigure with his use of a firearm.
  • Badass Adorable: Chikage Kushinada
    • Miu takes this up to 11 in episode 40. Turns out she's been kicking ass since she was six years old!
  • Badass Boast:
    • Thor gives a good one when being attacked by Rimi:
      Thor: You fool! The Soft cannot cut the Hard! No matter how fast you are, you cannot even think to match me in strength and willpower! I WILL NOT DIE."
    • "God Fist" Akira Hongo gives a very daring boast right before he confronts "Demon Fist" Silcardo Junazard, later in the manga. (For context, the target of the boast is said to have fought Hayato Furinji to a standstill in the past, with no clear winner at that time.)
      Akira: I'll be the one to kill you.
    • Hayato Fūrinji gives one to a pirate boss threatening to shoot Miu in a flashback chapter:
      Hayato: Hmph! Try it and see! But it will be... the last thing you ever see!
  • Badass Family: The entire Fūrinji family. Grandpa is the Invincible Superman, Miu kicks ass with style and grace, Miu's mother was the scion of an entire breeding program devoted to producing incredible martial artists, and Miu's father is One Shadow, the leader of YAMI.
    • It's later revealed that he was actually undercover in the government to get the chance to catch/kill his impostor.
  • Badass Grandpa:
    • Hayato Fuurinji, literally Miu's grandfather, is a gigantic man who looks like he's 300+ lbs. of 100% muscle. He's able to take Apachai's fatally strong punches with his hands, and can run on water.
    • Also Freya's grandfather. In chapter 378, the kindly-looking withered old man who seemed to be senile finally makes a move, and his game face is terrifying to behold.
      • To further elaborate, Freya's grandfather is shorter than Kenichi due to his old age and uses his bo staff as a walking stick. He single-handedly takes out an entire group of YAMI's armed members, including at least one master-class fighter. Kenichi passes out due to injuries and when the rest of the Shinpaku Alliance arrive, they find a letter from the old man explaining that he wanted to stop conflicting with YAMI, but seeing Kenichi's determination has inspired him to wield his staff once again. He leaves for a very short amount of time, then returns to his dojo (to his granddaughter's surprise) and resumes acting like a senile old man (with the Valkyrie squad tending to him like a friggin' harem). Cut to the final panel where the Ryozanpaku masters discuss a YAMI base being brought down recently. Three guesses as to who took it down?
  • Badass Longcoat + Sinister Shades + Beard of Evil + flowing Badass Longhair: "God Hand" Akira Hongo of Yami
    • Although, oddly enough, he seems like a decent guy, or at least not as bad as the other members of YOMI.
  • Badass Long Robe: Hermit. In a series taking place in modern Japan.
  • Badass Mustache: James Shiba has one.
  • Badass Normal: Arguably Kenichi. Despite the insane amount of training he goes through and the nearly superhuman levels of martial art skills that he acquires, his masters all agree that he has zero natural talent, and that his only saving grace is that he's willing to keep coming back for more.
    • Kenichi even describes himself at one point as "an extremely ordinary first year high-school student who loves reading books and growing flowers"... With that said, his interests do not hinder him in taking many a level in badassery.
      • Even though the masters agree that Kenichi has no natural talent for martial arts, they silently agree with Miu's observation that Kenichi is a genius at getting beaten up. Given the beatings that Kenichi takes and survives, that says something.
      • It's hard to tell whether it's typical Instant Expert shonen improvement that is ignored in-universe, but Kenichi effectively gains levels of martial arts skills that enable him to defeat super-disciples trained from birth by other Masters.. in the matter of months?
      • Well, you have to note that after forty or so chapters Kenichi moves in with them in order to train more often and more thoroughly. Assuming that besides going to school or to fights all his time is spent sleeping or training, he likely gets a good ten hours of training in a day on school days, and likely 15-16 on non-school days. Training that kills him, requiring his Master's Chinese medicine to revive him. And then they somehow triple it once Yomi/Yami come into the picture. If you take into account that Yami doesn't want to kill their disciples as far as we have seen, then assuming that 12 months have passed that means he has something around 4800 hours of risking-his-life practice. Which puts him at 200 days of practice.
    • As Hermit demonstrates in his fight with Berserker, even a genius cannot overcome a mountain of hard work.
      Hermit: Of course, one hundred parts of hard work may not overcome one part of gifted talent...
      [Hermit continues to pound relentlessly on Berserker]
      Hermit: Then how about a thousand parts of hard work? What if it was ten thousand parts?
      [Berserker swings wildly, being countered at every turn]
      Hermit: Do you know why martial arts can be passed down from thousands of years ago to now? It's because in the world of martial arts...
      [Hermit strikes down Berserker with a final vicious blow]
      Hermit: Hard work will overcome talent!
  • Babies Ever After: In the last page of the last chapter, there is a picture of Miu and Kenichi's daughter
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Applied weirdly inconsistently. When Renka and Rachel Stanley have their fight, both lose their tops at some point, but only Rachel has nipples. Miu's nips are almost always visible through her very tight leotard, but vanish when she suffers Clothing Damage that should expose them. Likewise for Kushinada Mikumo.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Miu's outfit when the Ryozanpaku group take their first trip into the mountains. Number 20's initial outfit.
  • Battle Aura: Of the literal variety. In particular, when one of the masters gets really pumped about something, their eyes will shine like headlights. Metaphorically. It looks really weird (and often hilarious) in the manga.
  • Battle Couple: Kenichi and Miu during the D of D tournament.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 18 of Season 1.
  • Bears Are Bad News:
    • Kenichi experiences a bear attack while training in the mountains. He handles it in the worst possible way, as explained via chibi people, who tell you the PROPER procedure to escape bears.
    • Isshinsai Ogata a.k.a. Kensei of YAMI establishes his Badass credentials by giving said bear a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown, saving Kenichi in the process.
  • Beat Them at Their Own Game: Kenichi actually tries to outcrazy Siegfried of all people. It... helps, sort of, but it ultimately isn't what leads to Kenichi's victory.
  • Bedtime Brainwashing: Watch it here. Kenichi's martial arts masters use the Command version of this in the attempt to convince Kenichi to accept the Training from Hell they want to give him to prepare for an opponent he was having trouble with. The actual attempt doesn't work, though.
  • Berserk Button: All over the place. Their enemies can have fun with this!
    • Kenichi:
      • Outright stating you want to kill Miu is the quickest way to get him to want to break you hands down.
      • Saying you'll confess your love to Miu (sincere or not) also will press it hard.
      • One guy accused him of pressing his button because Kenichi made him bleed. Kenichi had to go through training with Shigure that day to learn how to prevent himself from getting hit with a knife. Aside from mocking his terrible form and showing him what was wrong with it, Kenichi beat him senseless for insinuating he didn't know what it was like to go through hell.
      • Destroying the plants he works on.
    • Miu: Hurting a kitten. "Let's kill her!" *slasher smile*
      • That's more of an "Angry Button". The real berserk button is almost killing all of her friends.
      • *ahem!* "DAIRY COW!" *runs the opposite way*
    • Hermit: Kill Stealing
      • Being Kenichi where nobody can see you.
    • Siegfried: Harming his "Precious Demon Emperor" (Niijima).
    • Kisara: Bringing up her lack of physical assets.
      • Or hurting a cat. She and Miu share this button.
      • Or being stupid enough to refuse to fight her because she's a girl.
    • Kenichi's masters: Kenichi being hurt/put in danger underhandedly (also theoretically for Miu).
    • Shigure: Hurting her mouse.
    • Apachai: Hurting animals or mentioning that you have done so in the past earns you "The Punch You Don't Let Children See" right in the...everything. The same thing happens if he finds out you're doing anything bad to children. Dealing in child slavery is a really quick way for him to "forget" he was your bodyguard a few minutes ago.
    • Sakaki: Using dirty methods to fight in general will piss him off. In particular, an adult picking fights with kids, or attacking children in general.
    • Akisame: Do not insult his mustache. He can have Shigure find you if he really wants to.
    • Ma: Do NOT attempt to distract him by STRIPPING his daughter Renka. IT WILL NOT WORK.
    • It's implied that the Ma family live by the code "be true to yourself" and this applies in any extreme way they feel like it should. So, in theory, doing ANYTHING that angers Renka or Ma will press their berserk button.
    • Honoka: "Bullying" Kenichi. She can't really do much on her own (even with her squeaky hammer) but she CAN control Apachai, who can do a LOT on his own.
    • Niijima: Insulting his information-gathering abilities.
    • Renka: Touch Kenichi. Go on. Hurt him and she'll jump your ass faster than Miu. Also, taking advantage of her habit of chasing anything that moves.
    • Chikage: Physical contact from anyone but Kenichi or her Mistress usually makes her snap straight to "Yomi Mode" and flip your ass all over the place.
    • Boris: ORDERS. ARE. FINAL!!! (He has, however, learned to use loopholes if he really feels like it.)
    • Rachel Stanley: Steal her spotlight. There are no depths she won't sink to in order to get it back. Stripping is a valid method for her. Along with stripping YOU and making up blatant lies about you.
    • Ethan Stanley: One rich man jokes about buying Rachel for kicks. Ethan punches his head through a closed car window for it.
    • Kagerou: Calling him by any nickname which refers to his excessive tallness, his flat nose, or his urchin hair.
      • If you'd just follow his handy guide pamphlet, you'd be just fine.
    • "God Hand" Akira Hongou of Yami: He isn't pleased at all when he finds out someone killed his disciple. He is even more displeased when he finds out it was some random-ass soldier with a gun.
    • "Fist of Destruction" Alexander Gaidar of Yami: Pointing a gun at him will make him shout "Don't point that filthy metal at me!" and give you a death glare which he is all too happy to follow up on.
    • "Demon Fist" Junazard Silkwat of Yami: Failing to meet his expectations can cause him to do things like bury you in an avalanche. It's been implied he doesn't mind killing his disciples if they screw up once.
  • The Berserker: Not the character named Berserker, but Apachai, and Kisara when she uses Nya Kwon Do.
    • In chapter 399 we learn that Apachai is actually not a berserker. He seems like a berserker, but he has complete control over his strength and movements, which is how he's been able to follow Katsujinken. Although, it's been implied he only managed to gain full control after almost killing Kenichi waaay back in chapter 32 or so.
    • Additionally, any fighter who can't control their Dou power can become a berserker.
  • Big Ball of Violence: Ground spinning fist ball attack!
    • Honestly, a better translation would be "Rolling Boulder Barrage" or "Rolling Ball of Fists!".
  • Big Brother Mentor: Gender flipped: Freya is a Big Sister Mentor to Kisara.
    • Played straight, in backstory, with Apachai and Agaard.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Kenichi saves the day a few times. However, the real trope examples are his masters who occasionally jump in.
    • Hilariously subverted in episode 7, when Sakaki wanders by while Miu and Kenichi are surrounded by 9 guys. He gives one thug such a vicious Death Glare that the thug's glasses breaks and he collapses from the sheer awesomeness. Sakaki then criticizes and corrects Kenichi's stance, then walks away without actually doing anything. Later he thinks that his training helped, when in actuality, it was a combination of Kensai's training and Miu's explanation of it for him, Miu taking out the other 8 guys by herself, and according to Kenichi sheer luck, that saved the day.
  • Big Damn Villains: Subverted. In chapter 466, Miu's father, the leader of YAMI, who was disguised as the "clumsy" mercenary John the entire time, saves Kenichi and Miu from Jenazad's fighters. Turns out that the leader of YAMI is an imposter disguised as Saiga while the real Saiga is one of the heroes (an agent of the Japanese Government).
  • Big Fancy House: Siegfried has one.
  • Big Good: Ryozanpaku as a whole counts, as they are the cornerstone of the opposition against evil and YAMI, but Elder is the Biggest of them all. One of his nicknames is "The Invincible Superman" and at one point he is described as "The Most Powerful Being On The Planet".
    • Note that this is said when he is fighting at 0.0002% of his power... with his eyes closed.
    • At one point, Sakaki declares he'll "capture [Kushinada] and present her to the Elder as a trophy". Ironic that Sakaki and the Elder are good guys and Kushinada is the evil one. Kenichi even points out how that's something a villain would say.
  • Big Ol' Eyebrows: Ryōzanpaku in particular.
  • Bishounen: Ma Kensei in his youth is a prime example. It's even lampshaded by Kenichi.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Natsu Tanimoto is one of the few male examples.
  • Blade Reflection: Turned to practical use for Shigure.
  • Blood Knight: Too many to name. Most of them are villains, but a few heroes (e.g., Sakaki) tilt strongly this way.
    • Within the context of the story, it actually makes quite a bit of sense why most if not all Blook Knight characters in this series are as such. It's because they have "Dou" Ki, which fuels their strength by channeling their ki by having it "explode" throughout their body, encouraging Blood Knight/Berserker tendencies. The biggest difference between the Heroic and Villainous versions of this trope is that characters like Miu and Sakaki (hero-type characters) possess tremendous kindness and a desire to help/protect others, qualities that tether them from going completely over to the dark side.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Sakaki. What free time he doesn't spend training is spent getting drunk, or riding his motorcycle, and he loves fighting to borderline-Blood Knight levels.
  • Boring but Practical: Kenichi doesn't have the kind of advanced moves or styles that many of his opponents have, and though he has his awesome moments, strictly speaking he's just using the basics of martial arts. However, this is precisely the kind of martial artist Bruce Lee stated was the most fearsome...
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Miu is taken control of by Jenezad for a little while.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: She can be extremely amusing as well, but sometimes Honoka can be so annoying that you start to hope Kenichi will throw her over the Ryōzanpaku walls out into the street.
    • Or, if you're feeling really cruel, you could throw her into Ryozanpaku with a sign around her neck that says "Train Me."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: It gets broken by the Laughing Fist in chapter 323.
  • Breather Episode: Episode 10 of Season 2 is fairly lighthearted compared to the previous episode arc where Kenichi is fighting to protect his sister.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer:
  • Butt Monkey: Koga. You'd feel bad for him if he weren't such a little prick.
  • Brick Joke: In the mini arc where Miu befriends Kisara, Apachai mentions that he once owned a cat. Nearly 300 chapters later, in a flashback to Apachai's past, we see the cat. It's a tiger.
  • Call Back: Used hilariously by Kenichi. When showing Miu his knowledge of plants, he even states he's reading a book about different kinds of edible grasses. That way, the next time the Elder decides to leave him starving on a mountain, he'll be okay.
  • Can't Catch Up: Many of Kenichi's friends and allies in the Shinpaku Alliance begin training much harder to catch up to Kenichi. Ukita Kouzou, however, has it the worst because he failed to consider the merits of Training from Hell and just trained normally.
    • Often averted, however, in that many people like Siegfried, Kisara, Natsu (who may have already caught up), and Takeda do catch up, and in a relatively short period of time.
      • It's also because, as Kenichi's own teachers point out, they all have more talent for martial arts than he does. Unlike him they're all talented individuals who also put in a fair bit of hard work. Except Ukita.
    • At times used on Kenichi, as he can't catch up to Miu or Renka.
  • Cain and Abel: Ma Kensei and his brother Ma Sougetsu (Hermit's master, and apparently one of the members of Yami).
  • Calling Your Attacks: Most of the fighters do it, yelling out loud (or thinking) the names of their martial arts moves. This takes reasonably predictable forms in combat, although in certain situations it's played for laughs or otherwise taken a little bit further than usual.
  • Call to Agriculture: Kenichi swears off martial arts in favour of gardening early in the series. This goes as well as you might expect. Later, a defeated enemy is shown to have taken up agriculture as well.
  • The Cavalry: Done in episode 21 by Niijima, of all people, and the newly formed Shinpaku Alliance. Though they don't actually do anything aside from showing up, they do force the Ragnarok gangsters to withdraw.
  • Calvinball: Whatever Apachai and Shigure are playing here with Touchumaru. Check the middle panel.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Poor Izumi.
  • Catch Phrase: Apachai's is "APA!" Kenichi's is "It's a strategic withdrawal!"
  • Cat Girl: Renka acts as one to throw Miu off in episode 10 of Season 2. It works briefly.
  • Cat Smile: A few characters display one from time to time, such as Honoka and Renka. Miu does them around the presence of cats.
  • Character Development: More than one is lead to believe at first glance. This is one of the few popular shounen manga where the character development of the main character is still the most important thing, whereas in others it's treated as secondary to the the action or plot. It's most notable with Kenichi, being the titular character, but several other characters get to shine and grow as well, even the side characters.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Taken to extremes by just about every single character.
    • To put it in perspective, even disciples are low level superhuman. Masters on the other hand, oh boy...
  • Chainmail Bikini: Justified against the Kyouken no Izayo in chapter 388. Though not completely striperrific, it lets bare her stomach and part of her thighs in contrast with her male counterpart in full body armor. But then it shows that she relies on extremely fast movements, acrobatics and SuperReflexes, which a full body armor would have seriously restricted to the point of being suicidal against a Master-level opponent. She still loses, but it's because Ma is far faster and an expert in armor destruction.
    • Shigure will see your "Chainmail Bikini" and raise you one "allegedly-armored nigh-nudity." Her standard attire is an extremely tiny kimono worn over "chainmail" that basically resembles a fishnet shirt. She doesn't wear anything under the armor.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Radin Tidat Jihan's maid, Sham. Introduced in chapters 181 + 182 with an Omake in 188, she reappears in chapter 452 following Kenichi and Sakaki, and in 453 supports them.
    • By Chapter 477, Radin HIMSELF is Back.
  • Chick Magnet: Ukita is a non-Bishounen version of this. Not only is Kisara Tsundere for him, but Freya is quite obviously crushing on him. Chikage also likes to cling on him, and eventually Shiratori starts to show some interest in him!
    • Kenichi, himself, has Renka Ma vying for his attention with Miu, who at that point has only started to realise her feelings for him.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Ma Kensei uses his peaceful Ero will (and panty thievery) to cause a hardened assassin to regret the choices that led her down the path of a killer.
  • Cleavage Window: Miu's outfits sometimes include this. Renka's Chinese dresses have one, and one of them actually has two.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Miu tends to react badly whenever she thinks another girl is showing Kenichi affection, or vice versa. This even includes his sisterly Sexy Mentor Shigure. Of course, she and Kenichi are Just Friends. Ma Renka is a more straightforward example.
    • Shigure may somewhat justify Miu's reactions. Miu's eventual serious suspicions about Shigure's feelings for Kenichi after Shigure and Kenichi's training outing together do have some weight: The Stoic seems to smile only around Kenichi, and seems to like flirting with him. Doesn't really seem like the two are just friends.
    • Honoka acts this way about Kenichi against Miu in their first encounter, and believes Miu is tricking him into staying at the dojo.
    • Izumi and Miu more or less get into a Cat Fight (albeit verbally, complete with cat noises) in episode 23 when Izumi visits the dojo where Kenichi is training. Both girls end up trying to insult each other while trying not to appear like they are. Miu later comments that Kenichi seemed a little too eager to have Izumi join the dojo.
    • Miu is not happy seeing Renka in episode 10 of Season 2, especially after the latter delays bringing her father home to spend a few days with Kenichi. Cue the masters giggling at his situation between the two girls.
  • Close-Call Haircut: Happens in a fight between Shigure and Kii Kagerou.
  • Clothing Damage: Happens to Miu on more than one occasion.
    • Also a large part of the battle between Renka and Castor.
      • More like a large part of any battle involving Castor.
      • And if it doesn't happen by accident, she'll make it happen.
      • And it doesn't have to happen in a battle.
      • And around Chapter 360, the fighter with the machete faces clothing devastation by Shigure.
    • Shigure loses her chain vest in Chapter 387.
    • The weapons user that Kensei fights in chapter 390.
    • Pretty much everyone from Chapter 509.
  • Color Failure: Happens to Kenichi a lot.
  • Combat Commentator: On many occasions, but the two best examples are Kenichi's final battle with Odin and the fights on the D of D Tournament. Also worth mentioning are the two occasions where a challenger fights Kenichi inside the Ryōzanpaku dojo, in front of all Kenichi's masters who heartily commentate the fight.
  • Continuity Nod: In chapter 325, Miu mentions that she hasn't infiltrated an enemy ship since she was a kid — an event depicted in a flashback over a hundred chapters previously.
  • Continuity Reboot: Kenichi the Mightiest Disciple is actually a reboot of a previous work by the same author, Tatakae! Ryouzanpaku Shijou Saikyou no Deshi. It tells the same story, more or less, but isn't as deep. A number of character designs are different as well, notably Takeda and Tanimoto.
  • Cosmopolitan Council: Yami's "One Shadow Nine Fists". Although a little Japan-centric (four of them being Japanese, which includes the only female member), it includes: a Chinese, an Indian, an Indonesian, a Mexican, a Russian and a Thai. Unlike the typical Cosmopolitan Council, here it's not so much about different national costumes or accents as much about individual dressing styles of the members, which partially reflect their nationalities, partially their martial arts preferences and partially their personalities.
    • This Cosmopolitan Council structure is also reflected through their disciples in YOMI, although two (and later three) of them are not the same nationalities as their respective mentors.
  • Covers Always Lie: Happens occasionally. For example, chapter 290's cover shows Siegfried and Tanimoto holding swords. Neither of them is so much as mentioned during the chapter.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Niijima. He has traps hidden all around town in the event he has to make an escape. Brought to nearly a Magnificent Bastard Level in the Data Transport Arc: That CD they are protecting? It's an hour of Niijima laughing. The data is really on a USB drive. That gets chopped up by the weapons users? No problem, the data was already leaked to the Internet. Also, the disk they're protecting is actually a back-up of the original disk that Niijima made in case the original was destroyed. Basically, the Internet was the fourth layer of protection.
    • Nijima even points it out to Berserker that the reason that he's number one in Shinpaku is because he's so prepared. The crazy thing? He's actually right.
  • Creator Cameo: In a Brand X restaurant named Matsuenald's.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: There's a young pencil-pusher taking part in the D of D Tournament. He asks to wait a bit before the fight, he has a call from his wife on his cellphone. Then he takes out the body builder in front of him with one hit. He re-appears later, too. Also, Freya's Badass Grandpa.
    • Kenichi himself is an excellent example of this trope. He has undergone over a year of Training from Hell on steroids, has taken on numerous badass martial artists and yet still cowers when bullied by freshmen. Nijima even calls him out on this at one point, pointing out that Kenichi's gentle personality only seems to cause more people to pick fights with him. Oh and let's not forget that he is a devoted member of the gardening club.
  • Creepy Child: Chikage Kushinada. Subverted when exposed to flowers and sweets.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: A few characters display these from time to time.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Kenichi is sometimes on the receiving end of one, but sometimes dishes them out.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Kisara and Miu, wherever cats are involved. Kisara even evolves a "Cat Fu" version of her Tae Kwan Do through it.
    • Miu does this with Renka because she resembles a cat so much.
    • Shigure as well, except with a tank...
    • Averted with Freya's gang, who just use it to their advantage to catch their opponents off guard.
    • Miu does it with Honoka during their first meeting as well. She's awestruck by how both siblings have the same eyes. Honoka, on the other hand, thinks Miu is using her sex appeal to keep her brother stuck at the dojo.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: The memory of his sister is one of the primary motivators for Natsu Tanimoto (a.k.a. Hermit) to become stronger however he can. Then Kenichi's sister Honoka becomes his Morality Pet.

     Tropes D-G 
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique:
    • Seidou Gouitsu, that utilizes two Ki types and can be fatal if used for over thirty seconds.
    • Kensei also utilizes one.... to win at Rock-Paper-Scissors
    • Kajima Satomi's Shinogidachi allows him to disrupt the ki flow of his opponents with a touch, but it also ruins his own ki flow and using it too often is fatal.
  • Dangerous Phlebotinum Interaction: Roar-As-one. It's a technique that combines Sei and Dou Ki. Though it does give the character immense power for a while, the end result will normally cripple or outright kill the user.
  • Dangerously Genre Savvy: Nijima. Dear Lord... to sum up, his basic strategy is thus: 1) Make your minions think you actually care for them and 2) don't let them know you're actually a Dirty Coward.
    • There are signs that he is Becoming the Mask though. Even Nijima notes that he's been acting uncharacteristically brave and chivalrous of late.
  • Dark Is Not Evil: Dou-Type martial artists, who fuel their abilities with rage and aggression, are more prone to be evil, but people who are gentle by nature, such as Apachai, Miu or Kisara, can avoid this.
    • Sakaki is pretty much the most menacing and scary of the Masters but is also the most caring and protective when it comes to Kenichi: Shigure even calls him "Mother Hen" because of that.
  • Deadly Upgrade: Odin and Shō Kanō's Dou/Sei Combination: "Seidou Goui" or also called "Roar as One": I think Kensei described it best.
  • Death by Genre Savviness: A hilarious variation. While eating his first meal at the dojo, Kenichi is leaning heavily over his food in an attempt to avoid having it stolen as part of an "eating is training exercise." One master derides this as cliche, so Kenichi stops. Unfortunately, all the other masters have decided that they like the idea...
  • Death Is Cheap: Played with. Kenichi never kills his opponents, but briefly dies many times over due to his Masters' training (including right before his father visits the dojo). Fortunately, Ma Kensei is always ready with powerful mystical medicine.
    • Actually, once a brief death happens to him not while training, but in a real fight. Tirawit Koukin gave him a devastating blow to the chest, and not even his masters would arrive in time to save him if it weren't for Niijima giving him his special reanimation technique.
    • Death also almost claims Apachai, but he comes back from the dead just to protect Kenichi from a Master-Class opponent. By which time Kensei and Akisame get to them with their techniques.
  • Defeat by Modesty: Almost never works. Too many women just don't care. Rachel Castor openly subverts the trope.
    • Subverted with Miu who, in spite of being the very embodiment of girlish modesty (and traditional Japanese politeness) in this manga, never gets upset about Clothing Damage until after the fight is over.
      • Does work on occasion though. Miu nearly loses a poolside fight when she almost loses her top (Kenichi ends up stepping in for her), and Renka unintentionally ends up turning it against Rachel (of all people) in their fight, getting away from her at a few points by accidentally removing her top and shorts.
    • Defied by one of the combatants, Dou Koukyouku from the Nanken team, whose shirt is torn to shreds by Rachel, leaving her absolutely topless. Her response is to shout at her, "Hmph! I gave up my identity as a woman long ago!" and holds her stance.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Pick a non-adult villain who was defeated by Kenichi or his adolescent allies. There is a greater than 75% chance that this will come into play.
    • Played with a bit in that Kenichi and Miu often befriend their enemies before any sort of final fight or in some cases long after the final fight, as well as playing the trope straight.
  • Defusing the Tyke Bomb: The characters attempt this with Chikage Kushinada.
  • Denied Food as Punishment: Miu does a variation of this to Kenichi in episode 10 of Season 2, when Renka shows up at the dojo. She technically does feed him, but she gives him a very tiny fish compared to the large fish the other characters receive, and when he asks her for a second helping of rice, she gives him exactly one grain. Renka offering to feed him her share only increases Miu's frustrations with Kenichi.
  • Designated Girl Fight: Since Kenichi doesn't like hitting girls, Miu often ends up fighting female opponents.
  • Determinator:
    • The only talent the Masters credit Kenichi with is his stubbornness and never giving up.
    • Siegfried. The man went without sleep for three days straight after being summoned by Niijima, refused to stop looking for him and his comrades, flew a plane SOLO through a practical Macross Missile Massacre, survived it getting blown up, POWERDOVE through the missiles, coming to an epic, if less-than-graceful landing, and proceeding to destroy two members of the Capoeria team. Earlier than that, he kept reviving himself from Ma Kensei's sleep acupuncture out of sheer force of will. NOTHING will stop him from coming to the aid of his friends and his master.
    • And then there's Tanimoto, Mizunuma, and Takeda.
      • Tanimoto has a damn good reason why he never gives up. He promised he wouldn't. Whenever it looks like he will lose a fight, the memory of his sister keeps him fighting. The only fight he lost was against Kenichi, and that was because of blood loss. He fainted while standing up, preparing to attack Kenichi again.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Played with. Though Kenichi's masters are almost never actually indisposed whenever he happens to get into a big fight (in fact, there's usually at least two or more watching his fight, and usually wagering on it), they almost never intervene in the battle, even if Kenichi's life is in danger. Justified by their stance that a good master should not get involved in the affairs of his/her disciple. However, they step in when Master-class combatants show up.
    • Chapter 409 sees the Masters of Ryozanpaku taking an indefinite leave-of-abscence from the Dojo, leaving Kenichi and Miu to their own devices, leaving nothing but an explanatory note. And plans for Kenichi's continued training, of course.
  • Dirty Coward: Nijima, but he's just so good at it that it loops back around to Lovable Coward.
  • Dirty Old Man: Ma Kensei is frequently trying to take upskirt photos of Shigure or is taking photos of Miu's butt.
  • Does Not Like Men: Kisara tries to pull this in chapter 383, not that anyone's going to believe her. She repeats it in chapter 423, then promptly averts it by trying to pry details of her relationship with Kenichi out of Miu.
  • Don't Sneak Up On Me Like That: This is a reflex conditioned into Miu through years of martial arts training: she always throws anyone who touches her (or, God forbid, grabs her) from behind.
  • Double Standard: Kensei and Renka do not let each other get any "fanservice". Kensei's case is being able to look at naked or nearly naked women. For Renka, it's being able to spend time with Kenichi alone. Renka's presence can make her dad cling to the nearest large object to stop her from dragging him back to China. Kensei hides listening devices in Renka's bells so he can spy on her.
  • Dull Eyes of Unhappiness:
    • Kenichi displays these in episode 6 of Season 1 as he tells his family he's going to spend the weekends at the dojo. His father immediately suspects the dojo is actually a cult, and immediately tries to head out there with his gun "Sebastian". But his mother conks him on the head and knocks him out before he can leave the house.
    • Hermit displays them after his fight with Kenichi in episode 9 of Season 2, but in his case it's because he passes out from a combination of blood loss from a stab wound, and Kenichi's attacks.
  • Dumb Muscle: Apachai is the Death God of Underground Muay Thai and can crush rocks into dust with his bare hands. He also appears to be mildly retarded. But he's more of a Savant, he just can only fight, learn facts about animals, and break things.
    • Partially subverted. Due to Honoka's extreme skills with Othello (better-known as Reversi), Apachai becomes so skilled that he nearly beats Akisame, a highly-skilled Othello played.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Kagero takes an extreme amount of punishment before dying. First he takes a direct attack from Mikumo, but gets up in order to clear most of the battlefield of Mildred's arrows. After getting shot in the back multiple times, he finishes his duty and passes out again. Only to wake up later to save Akisame before getting obliterated by Mikumo for the last time.
  • Dysfunction Junction: YOMI (the disciples of YAMI), are all pretty messed up teenagers. Among them are a guy who was bought from a child slavery ring and put through Training from Hell that rivals Kenichi's, a prince who was Lonely at the Top his whole life and developed into a royal Smug Snake Jerkass as a result, a military nut obsessed with following orders to the point of suicide (possibly a Child Soldier as well), and Odin, whose sole motivation for becoming a vicious fighter was losing a childhood squabble with Kenichi over a badge. This is all before YAMI molded them into killing machines. Half the reason Kenichi is able to eventually triumph against all of them is because unlike them, Kenichi is not ''batshit insane''. Due to their issues, the YOMI members tend to have a Villainous Breakdown in the middle of the fight when confronted with Kenichi's conviction and/or his unexpected strength, allowing Kenichi to beat the crap out of his otherwise superior opponents.
  • Eating the Eye Candy: Seriously, doesn't matter what you're doing or where you are, the cast will either lose their shirt or show their attributes one way or another. Taken to eleven with Hayato who can make Kimonos form fitting and uses a Fuindoshi in any of the Beach Episodes.
  • Elite Mooks: For the Good guys you have The Valkyries, who are a team of highly skilled action girls that are far stronger than the average fighter but not as strong as the main fighters.
  • Enemy Civil War: Yami and Yomi eventually degenerate into this, with the "rebel" faction aiding Ryōzanpaku and Shinpaku.
  • Enemy Mine: Kenichi teams up with Boris—against some of his own men!to save Ono-sensei.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: This appears to hold true throughout the various arcs. Some Ragnarok members are True Companions, such as Thor and Siegfried. YOMI has Rachael and Ethan, who are loyal siblings. This is, however ironically, most apparent in YAMI. There are various masters sharing an almost paternal bond with their disciples, such as Alexandar and Boris or Agaard and Koukin. Some of them are even an out-and-out Parental Substitute, like Akira and Shou or Mikumo and Chikage. The last part cuts both ways, some YOMI disciples faithfully search for their missing mentors when their defeated masters are thrown in a secret jail.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Most of the Master-class opponents follow a particular code of conduct. They generally do not attack someone of the Disciple class, they do not interfere in a bout between Disciples, they do not team up with each other to fight another Master, and above all they protect their Disciples. Even most of the One Shadow Nine Fists follow these rules and those Masters who break them tend to be of the Card-Carrying Villain variety.
    • After Kisara breaks Freya's staff into short, pointy sticks, she worries that the weapons are now even deadlier. However, Freya decides not to fight any longer, since she feels fighting with those things would be a bad code of conduct for her as a martial artist. She didn't want to kill Kisara, just beat her up a lot. Of course, the fact that Kisara landed a pretty powerful blow to her head probably helps Freya to cut the fight short as well.
    • This is what led to the Enemy Civil War. Some of the masters and disciples—mostly the weaponless fighters—believed in the honor of martial arts, while most of the organization simply intended to Take Over the World and weren't terribly fussed about how they achieved this. When they infiltrated the world's militaries and pointed missiles at a Japan that could no longer fight back, they took it too far for the rest of the organization.
  • Everything's Better with Penguins: According to YOMI member Boris Ivanov's perception, Kenichi's animal motif is a penguin. That later evolves into a hawk... penguin. Yeah.
  • Evil Mentor: Yami is an entire organization of these.
    • Each member of Yami has/had a single disciple who is/was a YOMI member. Kensei-sama in particular seems to relish Evil Mentoring. He inspired Hermit to be a ruthless martial artist, molded Odin into a killing machine, and has twice attempted to make Kenichi his disciple, and shows no signs of giving up.
  • Evolving Credits: Changes around episode 16 in Season 1.
  • Expy:
    • Kenichi's father looks remarkably like Manga/Golgo13. And he loves guns.
    • Renka seems to be one for the anime version of Shampoo, what with having purple hair, a job as a waitress at a restaurant owned by a relative, and a romantic interest in the main character. Her Cat-like mannerisms may be a nod to Shampoo's curse as well.
    • Many fighters in this series seem drawn as if they were Capcom rejects and wound up here.
  • Extremity Extremist: Ikki Takeda (Boxing); Kisara Nanjo (Tae Kwon Do); Koga the Kicker.
    • Takeda takes this even further than the common type of example at first; because his left arm was paralyzed, he can only use his right.
    • Kisara needs a little more explanation. "Tae kwon do" ("kicking & punching arts") does emphasize kicks more than most hard martial arts, but it doesn't completely neglect punches and neither does Kisara entirely.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: Most challengers' response to meeting Kenichi.
  • Eye Catch: Becomes more blatant with Miu Fanservice in Season 2.
  • Eyepatch of Power:
    • Kajima Satomi. The eyepatch (as well as the scars all over his body) is a symbol of his high level of combat experience, particularly learning to cope with defeat. Yet to be revealed whether he's really missing the eye.
    • James Shiba. Confirmed: he did in fact lose his eye in a fight with none other than the Kajima's master himself (who is the leader of Yami).
    • Shigure's foster father, master Kosaka, who polished her weapon fighting skills and whose surname she inherited.
    • One of the members of the Chinese kung-fu team on the D of D Tournament
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Some members of Yami are initially shown like this. The most notable example of this is, of course, their leader, whose face is not shown until Chapter 466. See also In the Hood below.
  • Family-Friendly Firearms: No. 20, the girl with the goggles that follows Loki around, uses a gun sometimes. However, she points out that it's just an airsoft gun, so although it won't kill whoever she shoots at, it'll hurt like heck.
  • Fanservice: Relentless and in many forms, for both male and female fans.
  • Fan Service Pack: Miu's breasts grow from 'just about plausible' to 'how can you move without black eyes?' between chapters 267 and 305. It's handwaved/justified in an omake.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: Kisara's one-legged jeans and Jenny's weird one-legged dress.
  • Fight Magnet: Everybody wants to fight Kenichi, and he sometimes stumbles into fights by accident.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: The Stanley siblings, Rachel and Ethan (Americans), Boris (a Russian). Tirawit (a Thai) also technically counts, but in his case there is little or no racial gap, and the cultural gap is not so prominent.
  • Foreign Fanservice: Rachel, an American exchange student.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Remember when Apachai said that he was going to throw away his life to protect Kenichi? He did. Well, almost.
    • In the D of D tournament Akisame says there is a Jujitsu technique that lets you throw your enemy without using your hands but he hasn't taught it to Kenichi. Cue around 100 chapters later Akisame throwing Alexander Gaidar without touching him.
    • Remember when Shigure took out seven weapons users at once with Clothing Damage? Awesome, right? She later gets put in a similar situation... against seven weapons masters. She doesn't end up so lucky this time.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Miu was a little girl that Kenichi met who first sparked a desire to get stronger... Something Kenichi completely forgot by the time he first takes Miu's offer to train at the dojo. Of course, Miu apparently knew right away and didn't feel the need to bring it up when they meet again.
  • Forgotten Friend, New Foe: Odin to Kenichi.
  • Form-Fitting Wardrobe: Many characters, women and men alike; women like Miu and Renka have their attires skintight (no matter if it's pratical or not) to point out their beauty and crank up the Fanservice, not surprising since the series is targeted at men, but the big muscular men are also like this; Hayato, Sakaki, Apachai and many others wear impossibily tight clothes to show off their statuesque bodies.
  • Fragile Speedster: Rimi, so much so that when she fights Thor (a perfect example of a Mighty Glacier) she can't hurt him because of his toughened body and huge muscles. Conversely, he can't land a shot on her because she is so fast his attacks can't hit her.
    • This may have been fixed with Rimi's newest training session in the mountains with Kensei from YAMI.
  • Friendly Enemy:
    • Kenichi to all his opponents—at first, at least. He tries to avoid fighting like the plague and just makes friends with YOMI's members. This strategy starts to work on Chikage, the first person he gets a genuine shot at trying it on. Niijima even acknowledges it as a valid strategy to be friendly on the outside.
    • Chikage has gone from thinking, "God I wish I could kill these idiots," to, "They're amusing, and I don't want Band-aid dead." She literally hates everyone else in the world minus her mistress. She tags along on anything they do and even fights against Yami's armed division alongside the Shinpaku Alliance.
    • Ethan Stanley: Is extremely polite to everyone, earning him a lot of friends. He even takes Kenichi out for tea.
    • Rachel Stanley: Is flamboyant as all can get and flirts with anyone for attention. She doesn't even mind being groped by Kenichi once, replying, "Ohh, be gentle~"
    • Boris: He is also fairly passive when at school, especially when Ohno Sensei is involved.
    • Koukin: At the end of his battle with Kenichi, admits he can't bring himself to hate Kenichi, who admits the same about Koukin.
    • Hermit: Is still technically an Anti-Hero, but he will work with Kenichi and the Shinpaku alliance when given next to no other choice. Especially when Honoka is involved. He has a The Only One Allowed to Defeat You complex with Kenichi and doesn't appreciate when people lay claim to his targets.
    • Takeda: When he's a villain, he's pretty laid back and is the least likely to start a fight of the Trio.
    • Kisara: When a villain, she talks to Miu about cats once they figure out she has an affinity for them, without need for restraint, because they mutually love them to bits.
    • The Pancration Team Leader: He's very friendly to Kenichi despite being his possible opponent.
    • Agaard: Is extremely friendly for an enemy, outright helping Kenichi against the barbarian sword user after his fight with Apachai.
    • Renka Ma considers Miu her enemy for Kenichi's heart, but doesn't mind working with Miu if the occasion calls for it.
      • Kensei Ma, despite being a self-proclaimed hentai, pervert, ero lover, dirty old man, etc., prevents Renka from having any alone time with Kenichi. He can't stop their "training accidents" where Kenichi gropes Renka (it's her fault), but he uses his skills so he can peek on Shigure and give her and Miu a good slap on the ass whenever possible. Renka in turn does the same thing and tries to stop him.
  • Friend to All Children: Apachai. Exploited by the other masters as a way to help him train Kenichi without killing him.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Apachai, who can apparently talk to them as well, such as asking a seagull where Niijima may have landed after the boat he was on was stranded, or talking to horses at a track to fix a horse race.
  • Gag Boobs: Most of the girls are very *ahem* 'blessed', but Miu's the one who gets most of the fun poked at her for it.
    • Kushinada Mikumo's breasts are each bigger than her head. Which is probably why she can never close her top...
    • This definitely gets worse as the series progresses. In the beginning Miu is called a "Dairy Cow" by Kisara, "Boobhead" by Koga, and "Big Boob Girl" by Honoka; yet, after several hundred chapters, Miu isn't even in the top 3 named characters in chest size, lagging behind Shigure, Mikumo, and Rachel.
    • Around ch. 292 Miu gets a Fan Service Pack (hinted as puberty) and grows almost to the size of Shigure. Then Shigure starts accumulating clothing damage...
  • Gainaxing: Miu in the Anime.
  • Gambit Pileup: The entire Yami Data Transport Arc is one of these.
    • To elaborate: The CD Ryozanpaku obtained in Okinawa got stolen mid-transport, allowing Yami to frame them and causing them to disperse. However, Nijima had a back up of the CD and, after the Shinpaku Alliance saved Honmaki, they headed for the mountain villa of a government official on their side to turn the situation around. Unknown to them, a bug had been planted in Honmaki's cellphone which allowed Yami to send a group of weapon users and Rimi to chase after them. The Shinpaku split up so that one group stalled while the other went to the congressman. Rimi was able to run past the stalling group, forcing Miu to chase after her. Despite that, Rimi managed to steal the CD and began to run away, but is caught by Miu. Thor appeared in the middle of their fight and accidentally broke the CD. The good news there is that the CD was actually a dummy, and Nijima had the real backup in a USB. Only it turned out the congressman was actually a master weapon user from Yami and destroyed the USB. At that point, it turns out Sakaki had been guarding Kenichi and Miu since the very beginning and took out the master. The master taunted them by saying Yami still won because the data was not exposed. In the end, no matter what Yami did, they had lost since before the arc started because Koetsuji had Nijima had uploaded the information to the internet.
  • Genius Ditz: Apachai can remember and recite in full information about animals, and can also (after much practice) beat everyone except Honoka at Othello.
  • Gilligan Cut: Ukita invites Chikage to a Shinpaku meeting, she refuses. He then says they're going to a pastry buffet and this happens:
    Chikage: I won't be soiled. [Gilligan Cut to her stuffing a piece of cake in her mouth] I won't be soiled!! Starting tomorrow.
  • Get a Hold of Yourself Man: In Chapter 448, Nijima gives one of these to Kenichi when the latter actually starts punching himself over not protecting Miu. Nijima reminds him that that's why he started training in the first place, and that he's got friends who care about Miu too... all whilst beating Kenichi with a folding chair.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: Whenever Renka and Rachel fight, one may end up with a nosebleed due to their habit of stripping each other as they fight.
  • Giver of Lame Names: Siegfried and his "Canon" (round in the english dub) attack. Kenichi points this out immediately to him.
  • Giving Up the Ghost: Happens to Kenichi on a regular basis.
    • When Kensei pursuades Kenichi to join him to peek in on the hot springs expecting to see Miu and Shigure, they eventually find out it was Hayato Furinji in the hot spring, who saw through the whole plan. He scares Kenichi so badly that his ghost's ghost gives up the ghost.
    • At one point Apachai grabs Kenichi's ghost to prevent it from leaving his body and flying off.
  • The Glasses Gotta Go: Miu is a subversion of Meganekko because she inverts this trope.
  • Gonk/Human Aliens: Most characters agree that there's no possible way that Niijima can be human. One omake suggests that his insides are just as bizarre as his external appearance (his heart is hairy).
    • Also noteworthy that Niijima does nothing to disabuse this notion. In the English dub of the anime he frequently refers to his "alien powers" (his ability to hide, escape from fights, and read people's moods and expressions), and in one of the closing episodes when he reveals his over-arching plan to Kenichi he uses the phrase "your species" when talking about people in general. Well, what does that make you?
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Takeda "The Puncher," as a former and re-aspiring pro boxer, specializes in using his hands to fight.
  • Grade School CEO: Hermit was one when he was younger, due to his adopted father dying and leaving him with control of the company. In a rather cruel but realistic twist, the company's managers and lawyers immediately conspired together to trick the young Tanimoto into signing over control of the company and its assets to them. It's implied that this stopped soon after Tanimoto was taken in by "The Great Sage Fist", as he's still fairly wealthy at the time of the series.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body:
    • Ukita does this followed by a Human Hammer Throw using Koga as part of his Heel-Face Turn to support Takeda.
    • The Elder uses a move called "Human Shuriken" in a flashback chapter.
  • Gun Fu:
    • Jenny uses this.
    • Kenichi's father Genji might be considered a case as well, as he's shown to be able to shoot and even reload a bigass shotgun with ONE HAND. While running and carrying Kenichi!

     Tropes H-O 
  • Hammy Herald: Kenichi's father for his guns.
    Genji: ARISE, SEBASTIAN!
  • Handicapped Badass: Odin, wheelchair-bound after fighting Kenichi. Also, Takeda before fighting Kenichi.
  • Handwraps of Awesome: All Muay Thai fighters wear these. Since Kenichi's custom-made training uniform (introduced in Chapter 145) is patched up from pieces of outfits for various martial arts (which reflects various fighting styles of his mentors), it also includes a pair of such bandages.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Played with. During the fight between Hermit and Berserker, Hermit even acknowledges that one part talent may overcome 100 parts hard work. He then goes on to show his hard work by beating the everloving crap out of the talented Berserker, defying him to overcome a hundred thousand parts hard work.
    • And of course, the entire series is basically one gigantic aversion, as everyone is in agreement that Kenichi has zero natural affinity for martial arts, but still turns out to be an incredibly good fighter because he's trained so hard.
  • Heel-Face Return: Loki was once a leader of Ragnarok, and an all-around unrepentant jerkass. In a later arc, he is shown spying on Yomi for Nijima.
  • Heel-Face Revolving Door: Natsu Tanimoto, apparently.
  • Heel-Face Turn: At least seven or eight members of Ragnarok (including six out of Eight Fists) and several of the D of D competitors. Some of the members of YOMI turn as well, but the Yami arc isn't so forgiving to its AntiVillains in some cases. All the barehanded members of Yomi make a Heel-Face Turn and defend the Shinpaku alliance from the weapon-wielding members of Yomi in the Eternal Sunset Arc. This makes sense with Tanimoto and Chikage but not the rest of them. Even their masters are confused by the switch.
  • He Is Not My Boyfriend: Miu tends to deflect any questions about her and Kenichi in this manner. Nobody buys it.
  • Hellish Pupils: Kisara has cat-like slitted pupils. Initially this depicts her as vicious, but a new light gets thrown on this with the discovery that she is actually a closet Kindhearted Cat Lover. Tanimoto has the same eyes sometimes when he's serious.
  • Helping Would Be Killstealing: This is one of the basic principles of teaching martial arts in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple: it's repeatedly said that a martial arts mentor must not interfere in his/her disciple's fight with a non-master fighter, even when the disciple's life is in danger. However, mentors sometimes break a sparring (i.e., friendly) match when a disciple is in a serious danger. (It happens once to Takeda and once to Kenichi.)
    • The only time they'll help appears to be fighting against master-level combatants. Kenichi's masters find it incredibly distasteful when one of his rivals' masters attack Kenichi, and they take it very personally.
    • The masters will also avert this trope occasionally if the situation truly warrants their intervention, such as helping Takeda to escape with a wounded Kenichi from some pursuing thugs bent on killing or at least seriously injuring him, saving Kenichi after he falls off the top of a moving bus (where he also likely could've been killed by oncoming traffic or sustained significant injuries), or attacking some sharks that are threatening both Kenichi and Honoka and are too much for him to handle alone.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: There is an example with two groups of evil martial artists: it has been implied several times that the members of the weapon division of Yami are inferior both in fighting skills and fighting ethics to the weaponless Yami fighters. Many weaponless Yami masters tend to be more Anti-Villains, whereas the weaponed Yami masters are usually presented as ruthless hoodlums.
    • The notion of the Yami weapons-users being weaker is proven wrong by the Hachou Executioners Blade, who are the Yami armed division equivalent of the One Shadow Nine Fists, and utterly destroy by their leader, Ganosuke Yokiou, the only one to land any decisive blows on the previously untouchable god Hayato Furinji.
  • Heroic Second Wind: Kenichi gets this fairly regularly, after he remembers some training he received earlier in the episode, or from a previous one. It doesn't always help him, however, such as in his first fight against Shinnosuke Tsuji in episode 13 of Season 1. Only the timely intervention of Takeda and later Master Kensai prevents Kenichi from getting seriously hurt by a real opponent (as opposed to his training with the masters, where his injuries are always Played for Laughs}.
  • Heroism Incentive: Kenichi has lost all self-confidence and just wants to run away after watching a bit of the D of D tournament. The Elder offers him the thing he always wanted: he can ask Miu out if he wins the tournament. Courage ensues. Then it all but completely vanishes when, in the next match, it's revealed that the Elder has entered the tournament under the disguise of the 20-year old Garyu-X.
  • Holding Hands: Miu and Kenichi, for a full minute. Kenichi was excited.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Kenichi feels this way a lot of times towards Miu; played straight with Izumi towards Kenichi.
  • Hot-Blooded: Every one of Kenichi's masters. Even Shigure is easy to fire up in her own strange, subdued way.
  • Hot for Student:
    • Though nothing explicit comes of it, there's definitely inklings of this between Ono-sensei and Boris Ivanov. Just read Chapter 300.
    • Some readers see hints of it with Shigure and Kenichi. It's been said several times that Kenichi has caused Shigure to be more social, is the only one to make her smile or joke, and the only one Shigure has given her life's story to outside of her housemates. She's also rather uncaring if Kenichi sees her naked, even teasing him a bit. Since she was essentially raised by the most absent-minded dad ever, then moved into a house of martial artists and has presumably not had romantic contact with anyone before, that's saying a lot.
  • Hotter and Sexier: After the Ragnarok arc, the series begins to ramp up the Fanservice little by little, reaching the point in which only Barbie Doll Anatomy keeps one from immediately realizing that Miu is Going Commando when she is controlled by Junazard.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: A non-romantic example would be Miu traveling with her grandfather as a child.
    • Ukita and Chikage seem to develop into this.
      • Ukita and Kisara, in a romantic example. Of all the (teenage) members of Shinpaku, he's the second largest, and she's the most petite.
    • Also Tanimoto and Haruka.
    • Honoka and Apachai, in another non-romantic example.
  • Human Outside, Alien Inside: Parodied with Nijima.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Kei Retsumin balances a bird-cage on top of his head to keep himself from over-exerting himself, and is still even with Apachai. When the cage comes off, he can cut loose with full force. Unfortunately for him, so can Apachai.
  • I Am Spartacus: A variation in chapter 161. To protect Sigfried from the YOMI assassin demanding Kenichi (who isn't yet there), many members of the Shinpaku Alliance claim to be Kenichi.
  • I Call It "Vera":
    • Kenichi's father Genji calls his shotgun "Sebastian." His double barreled over-and-under shotgun, that is. He has a pump shotgun he calls "Maximillian." And a hunting rifle he calls "Rotowski."
    • Kagerou, the Ax-Crazy swordsman from the Yami's weapon division, calls his sword "Setsunmaru" and talks about it as if it were a person.
    • Shigure calls a tank she wanted to adopt Catleya.
  • If You're So Evil, Eat This Kitten: Kanō Shō gets tested/educated this way by his Evil Mentors from Yami when he is still a child.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: Jenezad manages to kidnap Miu during Hongo and Sakaki's Duel, and is taking her to an undisclosed location to teach her his martial art.
  • I Have Your Wife: The head of a pirate gang once tried to use Miu as a hostage to stop her grandfather when she was little, though it didn't work too well.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight:
    • Kenichi attempts this with Ryuto at one point. He fails.
    • Kenichi is later locked in another one with Miu, brainwashed by Jenezad to teach her Silat. He attempts using the first moves Miu taught him on her, and the... unorthodox method by which he broke her out of her Unstoppable Rage before. Both fail. He finally manages to snap her out of it.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Shigure has the Extreme Precision type.
    • When Kenichi laments his lack of experience against armed opponents and wonders whom to ask for help, Shigure overhears him and begins giving a dramatic display of her prowess with various weapons in the background in an attempt to get him to ask her. She finally gets fed up with him not noticing her and cuts apart a bead of sweat on his forehead. A few pages later, she cuts up his and Miu's clothes with a spoon. She repeats the wooden spoon incident against the Valkyries, and destroys their weapons as well.
    • When the masters all show Kenichi their finishing moves, Shigure cuts a leaf in half depth-wise.
  • Impossible Shadow Puppets: An early chapter-opening image in the manga shows Shigure doing a shadow puppet of Apachai (who will be starting his tutoring of Kenichi in said chapter) against a spotlight to scare Kenichi... And her hands look like she's just doing a dog or something.
  • Impossible Task: Takeda is so determined to become James Shiba's disciple that Shiba gives him two of these just to get rid of him. But Takeda, surprisingly, fulfills them all. To Shiba, this is the first sign that it's actually his destiny to take Takeda as a disciple.
  • Improbable Weapon User:
    • Shigure successfully manages to defeat several armed (female) mooks by breaking their weapons and causing clothing damage with a wooden spoon.
    • Later topped by Hayato Fūrinji when he uses armed soldiers as giant shuriken.
    • Koetsuji fights a sculpting master by resculpting an angel sculpture into a jizo in mid-air and throwing it back at him.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: When Nijima dubs Kisara's cat-styled Tae Kwon Do "Nya Kwon Do" in the middle of the D & D tournament, the entire coliseum is stunned into silence.
  • Indy Ploy: Every "plan" Kenichi's masters concoct.
  • Informed Flaw: A lot of mention is made of Kenichi's utter lack of talent. Yet, he surpasses people who also train and are supposedly more talented in incredibly short periods of time. Also invents and mixes his own styles and can copy his Masters' styles.
    • As noted above in Hard Work Hardly Works, it may also be that Kenichi is talentless but puts so much work and effort into his training (whether he likes it or not) that it is the primary reason he can excel as he does.
    • You have 6 absolute masters of their arts, all of whom co-operate so that their training feeds off each other's, schooling a Determinator in Training from Hell cranked Up to Eleven. They also state that the fact it takes Kenichi as long as he does to get as good as he does under such circumstances is proof of his lack of Talent.
      • This is backed up by other martial artists as well. Takeda started out at roughly Kenichi's strength without his good fist, started his own personal Training from Hell much, much later than Kenichi, and only had one Master. Nonetheless, he's still sitting on even ground with Kenichi, and even managed to learn Ryuusui Seikuken on his own, which is one of a hundred and eight abilities created by the Elder, who has only ever trained Kenichi. That's right, Takeda was able to learn something created by the Invincible Superman, completely on his own, even if it's unreliable for him.
      • The masters themselves have said that Kenichi isn't entirely talentless, he's just completely untalented in physical matters; instead his talent IS that he's the ultimate Determinator, pushing himself farther and harder against the odds than anyone else would (though it helps that they keep forcing him to go through it). As stated before, too, his Determinator qualities may also extend to his Constitution, since he can seemingly take more damage than anyone in the series, going so far as to actually survive a few attacks from a Master level weapons-user.
  • Insult of Endearment: Takeda "The Puncher" and Kozo "The Thrower" manage to use their monikers very touchingly in the dub after both complete their Heel-Face Turn(s) (managing to save Kenichi (for both), save Takeda and Kenichi (for Kozo)), and both outright quitting Ragnarok, reaffirming their friendship and promising to help each other out. Prior to this, their monikers were being used rather beratingly by their superiors.
  • In the Hood: Hermit in his first appearances as a member of Ragnarok. Also, some members of YOMI are initially shown like this, including Moon, who is a character that is later replaced by Hermit after a position challenge.
  • Irritation Is the Sincerest Form of Flattery: In the second-last episode of the anime, Kenichi starts imitating the fighting styles and personas of his masters to break through the "Gungnir" of Ragnarok's First Deadly Fist, Odin. Sakaki is furious at Kenichi's portrayal of him, and though Kensei Ma isn't angry, he still gets upset at Kenichi's portrayal of him.
    • Subverted with the other three masters, though. Kōetsuji takes his portrayal philosophically (and with a hint of pride), Apachai finds it funny, and Shigure is excited when she sees Kenichi imitating her.
  • I Uh You Too: Sort of. In Chapter 423, Kenichi clearly indicates how he feels about Miu, but says he won't say it aloud until he's strong enough to protect her. Miu, for her part, says that she's aware, and reciprocates his feelings with a light kiss on the cheek.
  • Jerkass: Haruo Niijima, a.k.a. Mr. Plot Device for making sure Everyone Who Knows How To Fight is pissed off with Kenichi.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Shio Sakaki, who plays this trope as straight as can be.
    • Tanimoto might count, too, though the jerkiness is extreme and the gold is a tiny nugget he'd really like to get rid of.
  • Kick the Dog: Tirawit Kōkin's "tactics" during his fight with Kenichi. See Made of Iron below for more details.
  • Killed Off for Real: Shō Kanō and Tanaka.
  • Killing Intent: All over the place, up to the point where sheer killing intent will knock a Muggle out.
  • The Kid with the Remote Control: Niijima has an almost Final Fantasy-style summoning of Siegfried whenever he is in a pinch. Probably the best example is this
  • Knowledge Broker: Niijima has elements of this, appearing to be omniscient with all the information he possesses, though he gathers all this info for his own selfish ends rather than turning a profit.
  • Kung-Shui: An epic example of this happens during the fights in the Yami base on Okinawa: a destruction of not only walls, but also floors of a luxury hotel.
  • Leitmotif: In the anime, Siegfried is associated with A Night on Bald Mountain, and his constant "la-la-las" are actually sung to go along with the background music as it plays.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The Elder leans on it so hard at the end of Chapter 201 that it almost breaks.
  • Le Parkour: Kenichi's second week of training with the Elder uses this to teach him something else.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: The most triumphant example would be Freya's grandpa handing everyone their asses.
  • Light Is Not Good: Sei-type martial artists, who fuel their abilities with calm and clarity, can still be pretty sadistic. Koukin is a Sei-type, for example.
  • Lightning Glare: Sparks fly briefly between Miu and Izumi in episode 23.
  • Like Brother and Sister: Particularly hilarious is Miu's legendary response after Kisara insinuates that Miu is lonely because Kenichi is absent. Yeah, right, "like a little brother".
  • Lima Syndrome: The YAMI researchers who are trying to learn the secrets of blacksmithing from their captive Shigure end up becoming her apprentices. The scientist in charge realizes what's going on and is even more afraid of his "prisoner" as a result.
  • Limited Animation: It's mediocre when compared to other studios' (especially TMS's, as they animated the series) work. Characters' chins do not move when they talk, it is very inconsistent, and their facial features do not align where they should on their faces at some points. Hayato, who is probably 8 feet tall, is suddenly drawn as a literal giant, whose head is twice as large as another character's, simply when the gag calls for it. Sometimes, this is averted, as there are also scenes that feature almost Disney-like squash and stretch.
  • Love Bubbles: When Kenichi first meets Natsu Tanimoto, Hermit, he sees roses.
  • Love Letter: Kenichi receives one in episode 2 of Season 2. Miu isn't too happy about it, and Kenichi's initial excitement towards getting one doesn't help either. Turns out that the letter was actually written by Niijima while disguised as a girl, and the letter was to all 3 of his "generals" in order to ensure they arrived at the restaurant where Ragnarok and the Shinpaku Alliance would meet. The three guys are understandably pissed off, but Niijima is much too fast for them to catch.
  • Love Triangle:
    • Kenichi, Miu, and various characters. Most obviously, when Renka tricks Kenichi into taking her out to a pool, the chapter is called Triangle Relationship.
    • This seems to be going on with Ukita, Freya and Kisara: Ukita has a crush on Kisara (which she knows about), Freya likes Ukita (which he doesn't know about yet), and Kisara's actions around Ukita are somewhat suspect.
    • Kano and Takeda also end up in love triangles with Miu and Kenichi.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Miu may be set up for this trope, seeing as how her father is the leader of Yami.
    • There is another similarity with the Trope Namer (Star Wars) in the fact that Hayato gives Kenichi the arm guards that belonged to Miu's father without telling him the bitter truth about the former owner, which resembles Obi-Wan's giving Anakin's lightsaber to Luke.
    • Chapter 459 reveals that Kenichi's aware of the arm guards' history.
  • Luminescent Blush: An odd twist in that it's Sakaki who does this when Kenichi calls him "Sensei" the first time after he moves in.
  • MacGuffin Melee: Miu engages Elegant Gothic Lolita Rimi in a running battle over a disk with vital information about Yami. It turns out to be a fake.
  • Mad Scientist: Oogata Ishinsei has no qualms using his students to test the Deadly Upgrade mentioned above, and to keep that student around as an "unusual test case". There is also a hint that he experimented on colleagues just to gain greater understanding of martial arts. He even has an Evil Laugh.
    • Then there's Akisame...
      Akisame: Then let's cheat God! Let's cut up the cycle of rebirth; let's distort nature!! The human technique that challenges the Second Law of Thermodynamics head-on!!! That is known as medicine!!!!!
    • As Kensei put it:
      Kensei: This man's spouting some crazy logic.
  • Made of Iron: Justified in that almost all characters have a lot of training in how to take hits. Subverted when Tirawit tricks Kenichi into fighting the school Karate club. Since none of them had any real defense training, his usual efforts leave them all hospitalized.
    • Kenichi gets a special mention: his method of fighting seems to be based on wearing the opponent out by letting them beat him bloody. Most other fighters use this strange concept of dodging, but Kenichi just takes the abuse. Hey, it worked for Muhammad Ali.
    • May also be somewhat literal, in Kenichi's case: several of his opponents have commented that hitting him is like hitting a lead block.
    • Kensei of YAMI once offers to train Kenichi because of this trait. Kenichi might not have as much talent as other disciples, but he's ideal raw material.
  • Magic Skirt: When Shigure hangs upside down from a ceiling or the top of a wall, her very short kimono top doesn't fall the three inches that would be necessary to reveal fanservice.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The role of Big Bad seems to go from Kisara to Ryuuto to Ogata to Saiga.
  • Male Gaze: Frequently, for all the female characters. An example: in chapter 559, Takeda complains about not being able to see anything happening in front of him because Freya and Kisara are lying in the boat in front of him.
  • Man Child: Apachai Hopachai. Also, Kenichi's father.
  • Marshmallow Hell: Miu's a big girl, so when she hugs him in relief... Though, Kenichi clearly enjoys it. Miu does it to Honoka, as well, when the latter first visits the dojo.
  • Martial Arts Do Not Work That Way: Averted. Syun Matsuena did very extensive and thorough research (at one point traveling to Thailand for this very reason) and it shows. The only possible gripe is the fact that the levels of ability (moving faster than a bullet, breaking cement with a fist, cutting steel with a game controller in the form of a sword and so on) can't be done in real life.
  • Martial Medic: Koetsuji and Kensei. They even make a profession out of it, running osteopathy and acupuncture clinics, respectively.
  • Martial Pacifist: Kenichi. Ryōzanpaku supports this stance overall but stresses he needs to learn to be really good in order to keep it.
  • Medium Awareness: In Chapter 162 Apachai grabs and peeks out from behind a speech bubble like someone peering around a doorframe, acting confused about its presence.
  • Mega Manning: Kenichi utilizes the techiniques of his masters to break Odin's guard.
    • It's also what the masters of the dojo are teaching to Kenichi. He is being taught Kempo, Aikido, Muay Thai, weapons usage... just remember that he's just the apprentice.
  • Meganekko:
    • Inverted with Miu, who wears glasses to tone down her appearance. When she's called out on this "dishonesty," she stops wearing them.
    • Played straight with Yūka Izumi, Kenichi's fellow member of the gardening club.
    • Another straight example: Ono Kyōko, the cheerful Shrinking Violet English language teacher.
  • Meaningful Name: Miu's name actually means "beautiful wings" or "beautiful feathers", which is in accord with her bird-like fighting movements.
  • Mega Ton Punch: Kenichi is on the receiving end of these when he's training, usually with Apachai. Averted when he's in an actual fight with someone who's really looking to seriously hurt or even kill him. Some attacks do send him flying, but unlike the training sequences where it's Played for Laughs, he often ends up getting bloodied and bruised pretty badly from those hits.
  • Memento MacGuffin: Kenichi's Yin-yang pin, which he got in a trade with a six-year-old Miu.
  • Missing Mom: Miu's, through death, implied to be at the hands of her father. It's later revealed that it actually wasn't her father, rather a former ally of her mother disguised as Saiga in order to tarnish his image.
  • Motorcycle Jousting: Shigure once does a motorcycle joust against an armored horseman.
  • Mr. Fanservice: All the fighters in Kenichi Verse and in all the Flavors: Normal (Kenichi), Bishonen (Tanimoto, Shō Kanō), exotic (Kokin, Takeda). Then you get to the Masters and one chapter characters... there is at least one example for every taste.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Nearly every female character above the age of 14 in this series becomes this, with most female characters sporting massive breasts and either skin-tight or extremely brief outfits. (The only exceptions are background or side characters like Izumi, and Kisara who has normal female proportions.) Even Shiratori, who dresses like a man and has an apparently masculine voice... right up until she's seen in a bikini. Try not to imagine how hard it is to fire a bow with breasts the size of your head and a skin-tight bikini top.
    • Meta-example in Rachel Stanley, as she does this to get the attention of male characters within the story.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • Most masters of Ryouzanpaku get mugged at one point or another.
    • Boris's dojo destroyer team gets confused by Ryouzanpaku's sign and mistake it for a run-of-the-mill dojo.
    • Some delinquents attempt this on Tirawit Kokin, who amazingly enough doesn't kill them.
      • No, instead he just takes over all the school gangs—save for Shinpaku—and teaches them Muay Thai... which doesn't sound so bad until you read Made of Iron...
  • Muggles: Although all superpowers are nominally of the Charles Atlas variety, there is a vast chasm between martial artists and ordinary people, including street thugs.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
  • My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Used a lot against mooks and elite mooks but disciple and master fights tend to be decided by a mistake rather than strength.
    • The biggest reason Miu doesn't fight much in the beginning is that she is a lot stronger than everyone else.
  • Mysterious Parent: Miu's father.
  • Nebulous Evil Organization: Yami. As explained over various chapters (including here), they have their hands in everything from weapon sales to the military to governmental influence, and enough funds to potentially be a self-sustaining nation. Their intention is to preserve and promote the "Satsu-jinken" (killing fist) style of martial arts, a goal they've pursued since their initial formation after World War II because several martial arts masters died during that war. Additionally, the group is known by several names worldwide, including "L'Obscurite" in France, with "Yami" name being its Japanese name (both words mean "darkness" in their respective languages).
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: If Miu hadn't taught Kenichi his first dodge and fighting moves so early then Kenichi wouldn't have won his fight with Daimonji and Ragnarok would probably have just left him alone.
  • No Doubt The Years Have Changed Me: It takes quite a while for Kenichi to recognize Odin as his Forgotten Childhood Friend.
  • Noodle Incident: When Honoka asks what happened to the first boat they built in episode 18, none of the masters try to answer it (except Apachai, whose mouth is kept shut by Kensei). Considering the extensive damage they do to the dojo when training Kenichi, viewers can probably figure that one out pretty easily, however.
    • Comes up when discussing Siegfried's "Immortality."
      Sakaki: This could be just the thing I need to test my skills! I've never fought a zombie before.
      Elder: I have.
  • Nose Bleed: Strangely enough Kenichi suffers from this at first from Shigure, rather than Miu.
  • No Social Skills
    • Shigure is a borderline example. She spent her formative years in the wilderness with her swordsmith father; though he did love her he was so absent-minded that he never even bothered to give her a name. This (lack of) upbringing probably contributed to her present-day lack of social graces.
    • Chikage falls under this as well; having endured a strict upbringing for most of her life under her master, she is revealed to have difficulty adapting to normal life. Hence her transformation into child mode whenever she encounters sweets or toys. This comes to a head when she forfeits the challenge to Kenichi because she's distracted as a result of being invited to a birthday party.
    • Apachai too, to a degree. In fact, in the earlier chapters he's the only one that's regularly seen hanging around Shigure (the only one without a camera, anyhow).
  • Not Distracted by the Sexy: Shigure's enemies are only concerned that she apparently didn't have a weapon while taking a bath.
  • Not Just a Tournament: The "D of D Tournament", where both the bad guys (who organized the event) and the good guys are engaged in various activities behind the scenes which are as important as the tournament itself. The climax of these background activities takes place simultaneously with the final tournament battle between Kenichi and Kanou.
  • Not So Weak: Kenichi, who is still afraid of delinquents despite officially being the strongest disciple around.
  • The Obi-Wan: Akisame Koetsuji is a wise older man who is the first to take Kenichi as a disciple.
  • Oblivious to Love: Kenichi has a bad case of this. It mostly stems from his devotion to Miu and the fact that he still cannot wrap his mind around the idea that girls might like him now that he has Taken Several Levels in Badass. The list below are only people that have admitted liking him in one form or another.
    1. Renka: this is in part because she ends up hurting him every time they meet. And because he's a generally nice guy to her.
    2. Izumi Yūka, the girl in the gardening club. She has a crush on Kenichi from the moment he joins the club, but between Miu showing up and other factors, every time she gets the courage to ask him out he does not hear her.
    3. Li Raichi, the skating girl: this one is at least slightly understandable in that they only met, like, twice.
    4. Chikage Kushinada. Though, it's more that he's the only person she has ANY emotional attachment to because he treated her like a normal girl as opposed to a genius he should be admiring. She has a MAJOR internal conflict when the possibility of Kenichi getting killed shows up during his battle with Ethan Stanley.
    5. Rachel Stanley: this one may just be Rachel being her usual spotlight-hogging self, but she doesn't mind when Kenichi gropes her, and she kisses him once. Which is a helluva lot further than Kenichi's gone with anyone else, including Miu, even if it isn't by his own free will. Ethan does tell Kenichi to take care of Rachel when he leaves, so it's likely that Ethan thinks Rachel has feelings as well.
    6. Shigure. She never says it directly, but the other masters note that she really acts more comfortable around Kenichi than she ever has with any of them. This says a lot given that she's lived with them for many years, and has only known Kenichi about 1-2 years in canon. She'll try and castrate Ma for looking up her skirt, but will take a bath ALONE with Kenichi if given the chance.
    • Miu is as oblivious to her own feelings towards Kenichi as he is. Don't they make quite the pair? As of chapter 423, she acknowledges his feelings and returns them.
  • Oh, Crap:
  • Chapter 463: Junazard gets this expression when Hongo breaks a piece off his mask with an attack Junazard assumed had missed.
  • Older Than They Look: Creepy Child Chikage Kushinada's Yami master, Mikumo Kushinada, is apparently a senior citizen. Given that she looks like this, this is somewhat jarring. Justified by her 'Kushinada style' anti-aging methods, making Chikage's actual chronological age somewhat vague...
  • One-Man Army: Ryozanpaku's and Yami's masters. Every single one of them.
  • One Steve Limit: Averted by Kensei Ma and Kensei of Yami. The latter is a title, whereas the former is a given name. The Japanese pronunciations of the Ryouzanpaku master's name and the Yami master's nickname are the same, but they're written with different kanjis. (And then, there is the controversy over which way Chinese names should be written in translations: whether to approximate their Chinese pronunciations or to write them the way they're pronounced in Japanese. Ma's surname is actually pronounced "Ba" in Japanese, and some translations render it as "Ba".)
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Most Ragnarok members didn't have their full names revealed until after the D of D tournament.
    • Lampshaded with Thor. Apparently, the characters are as shocked that he has an actual name as the audience are.
    • Loki and his underlings, the most notable being Number 20.
    • Also, know who Hayato Furinji is? He's the Elder, or Garyu X! Seriously, we only hear his name maybe once.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You:
    • Pretty much the extent of Kenichi's and Tanimoto's "friendship".
    • Also pretty blatantly spelled out with Masters Sakaki Shio and Akira Hongo.
    • Agaard and Apachai apparently have had a mutual understanding of this for a while.
  • Only Six Faces: Sort of averted, but lampshaded in the anime.
    Thug: We're looking for a girl who looks just like you. Except she's taller, and her hair and eyes are different, and she's not so scrawny.
  • Opposed Mentors: Kenichi once finds himself in a situation where he can choose between Hayato's and Evil Mentor Ogata's mentorship. It's very tempting for Kenichi because previously Hayato seemingly abandoned him and Ogata seems like a very friendly person. The catch is that the Trickster Mentor Hayato himself put Kenichi in this situation to test his moral priorities.
  • Opposing Combat Philosophies: Katsujin-ken, Life Giving Fist and Satujin-ken, Killing Fist.
    • Katujin-ken users believe one should only use Martial Arts to defend oneself and/or others and to never take a life.
    • Satujin-ken users believe one should use Martial Arts to prove one's strength and that battles to the death are the only way to know a fighter's true strength.
    • There is also a third option, The Path of the Demon, in which the Martial Artist just wants to fight and destroy without cause or reason until s/he is eventually killed.
  • Opposites Attract: Miu and Kenichi; though their personalities are pretty close, their fighting styles, technique, Ki, and even their abilities to learn are completely opposite.
    • Miu: Uses high flying acrobatics, speed, grace, and advanced-level techniques to fight. She is also a user of Dou Ki, making her an aggresive type of fighter. Miu is an Instant Expert and is able to learn new fighting styles and techniques in a very short amount of time.
    • Kenichi: Uses strength, power, and ground-augmented low-level basic techniques to fight. He is also a user of Sei Ki, making him a passive type of fighter. Kenichi is something of a slow learner and often doesn't grasp the styles and techniques he's taught until the last possible second.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: The manga is always quick to remind the reader how ordinary Kenichi really is. Usually while he's in the middle of something really, really crazy. It's practically a Running Gag.
    I am Shirahama Kenichi, an extremely ordinary first-year high school student who loves reading books and growing flowers. But, for some reason, now I'm locked in a desperate battle on top of a speeding bus!
  • Overprotective Dad: Shirahama Genji's a little worried about what exactly Ryōzanpaku Dojo is doing to his son. The concern is entirely justified. His solution?... Not so much.
  • Out-Gambitted: This keeps happening in the Yami Data Transport Arc, to the point of reaching Gambit Pileup levels. In the end, no matter what Yami did, they had lost since before the arc because Koetsuji had Nijima uploaded the information to the Internet.

     Tropes P-Z 
  • Palm-Fist Tap: Seen every now and then; see the trope page for more details (and an image).
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: The Elder's "Garyu X" persona. Nobody buys it.
  • Papa Wolf: All of the masters at Ryōzanpaku, really; they never really get serious even against other master-classes until someone hurts Kenichi or Miu or the mouse.
  • Perfect-Play A.I.: This certainly looks like it.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • Nanjo Kisara (a.k.a. Valkyrie) when she buys food and milk to feed an abandoned cat in a back alley.
    • A double example shows up in a flashback. Shou Kanou spared the bird the YAMI master told him to kill and faked its death. His master Akira Hongo saw through Shou's deception but let him keep the bird as a pet anyway. This foreshadows a present-day example: Shou also fakes killing Fortuna's team of slave children and helps them escape.
  • Please Wake Up: APACAHAAAAIIII!!!! And he does wake up. EVEN WITH A HOLE IN HIS CHEST.
  • Pointless Band-Aid: Kenichi constantly wears one on his cheek.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: This happens quite regularly, as one might expect from a cast composed largely of Determinators who insist I Can Still Fight even when they're eighty percent dead on their feet.
  • Power Copying: Kisara uses Miu's method of moving like a feather to beat Freya.
  • Power Levels: A very loose form in that there are only three; Disciple, Expert, and Master. Three more levels inside each of these are Low, Middle and High. These lesser three, though, are not as easy to gauge.
  • The Power of Friendship:
    • When the Shinpaku Alliance members are getting beat up by Ragnarok's thugs, Loki tells them that if they give up Niijima, the rest can go. One of the Shinpaku men says that Kenichi would never abandon his friends like this, though Kenichi coincidentally arrived at the same restaurant and was trying to avoid getting involved in the mess. However, despite not liking Niijima much, Kenichi (as well as Takeda and Ukita, who also happened to coincidentally arrive; see the Love Letter trope above) pull a Big Damn Heroes moment shortly afterwards.
    • Takeda does this for Kenichi after his Heel-Face Turn, which resulted from Kenichi saving his life and bringing him to Akisame, who restored the use of his left arm. He does it again near the end of Season 2.
    • Kenichi is told by Hayato that his ability to get people to become friends around him is his true power at the end of Season 2 in the anime.
    • This trope is a major theme of the Tournament Arc, even getting a Shout-Out as the name of chapter 213.
  • Pregnant Badass: Miu's mother Suzuha.
  • Pummel Duel: Kenichi vs Odin, via seikuken vs seikuken.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Eight Fists are one.
  • Rated M for Manly: Not at the start, but later on it definitely is. Hot-Blooded martial arts, ripped males, buxom females, everyone is badass in one way or another? Check to all of these!
  • Razor Floss: Captain K of the Black Force uses this.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: Kenichi is a dedicated bookworm and loves growing flowers. Siegfried composes classical music and sings during battle.
  • Really Dead Montage: Apachai. With the twist that Apachai temporarily comes back from the dead to save Kenichi from the Yami swordmaster. And then straight up subverted when Akisame declares that he will not surrender his friend to a mere god.
  • Red Baron: The Masters of Ryōzanpaku and Yami all have one. Some good examples from Yami are "Fist of Destruction" Alexander Gaidar, "God Hand" (no, not that God Hand) Akira Hongo, "Fierce Fist God" Sougetsu Ma, "Demon Fist God" Silkwat Jenazad, and "Saint Fists" Isshinsai Ogata. Badass Grandpa Hayato Fūrinji might have the best ones: "The Man Without Enemies" and "The Invincible Superman".
  • Recurring Extra: Makoto Himeno, Izumi, the gardening club president's friend. She is often seen by herself or with Izumi while characters run around, actually putting her screen time pretty high.
  • Renaissance Man: Kōetsuji Akisame is a master in many fields. The things he hasn't mastered will be mastered almost instantly.
  • The Rival: Hermit, Odin, and Shō Kanō to Kenichi; Kisara to Miu (at least from Kisara's point of view)...and those are just the unambiguous and (at least initially) hostile instances.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Kenichi does it to a group of Ragnarok thugs in episode 21, after they beat up Takeda and Ukita, both of whom left the gang and were going to get beat up badly for it. He doesn't hold back either, and really dishes out the hurt to them.
  • Rock-Paper-Scissors: How Kenichi's masters decide his training order, and other trivial, nonsensical things, too.
  • Running Gag:
    • Miu's habit of throwing anyone that comes up behind her. Kenichi, other fighters, even total non-combatants. She even does it on the very first page of the manga!
    • Renka instinctively "chasing moving objects."
    • Someone trying to move Kenichi in some way, shape, or form stopping then saying, "What are you, made of iron? You weigh a lot more than you look!" He's also compared to a block of lead from time to time.
    • Apachai answering the phone by saying he kidnapped your child, or some other terrible crime.
    • Shinpaku members always asking if it's okay for Siegfried to be missing from his school (he doesn't attend the same school as the rest of the gang).
  • Sacrificed Basic Skill for Awesome Training:
    • Subtly played by the Masters of the Ryouzanpaku: Six masters of their own martial arts, all of them (except the oldest) are Socially Awkward Heroes: Akisame Koetsuji is a Broken Ace, Shio Sakaki is a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, Apachai Hopachai is a Man Child, Shigure Kosaka has No Social Skills, and Kensei Ma is a Henpecked Husband that ran from his family; all of them depend of Miu Furinji to run the dojo. All of them were reunited at the Dojo because they have no other place to go. Hayato Furinji claims that Kenichi (The Heart) united them in a true family.
    • Also played straight with Miu. Up until the start of the series, although she does have some good housework skills, and is a fairly excellent fighter herself, she is also a Socially Awkward Heroine, and has no friends (due to her intense training and lack of time to spend with them) until she meets Kenichi. When Miu tells Kenichi about her old, private school life, Kenichi realizes she was being bullied for being The Ace. So, when Miu transferred to Kenichi’s school, she invoked an Inverted Megannekko by wearing glasses in order to get less attention and changed clubs because School Clubs Are Serious Business. When the current gymnastic club star, Takashima Chihiro, asks Miu to show her skills, even with a deliberately toned-down performance Miu only gets Chihiro to be The Rival and The Bully because Chihiro is Always Second Best. Miu doesn't have any idea how to stop being bullied.
  • Samus is a Girl: Shiratori and Marmaduke Brown from YAMI.
  • Save the Villain: Freya's all-female mook squad goes looking for Kisara... and runs into Shigure. They then decide it would be a jolly good idea to attack her. Shigure calmly tells them that they are out of their league. Cue Kenichi begging Shigure not to kill the mooks. He begs her down to using a wooden cooking spoon (she'd been helping prepare supper) with which she destroys all their weapons (and clothes) in a single panel.
  • Say It with Hearts: Miu loves to add hearts to the end of her sentences. Occasionally, Izumi Yūka does when she thinks that she in gaining ground with Kenichi. Shigure does it when Akira dismisses her as an opponent because she was a woman. Probably the only female fighter who takes Wouldn't Hit a Girl as a compliment.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses / Glowing Eyesof Doom: An interesting play on both tropes that combines their characteristics. Many characters, especially the masters, will somehow project bright beams of light from their eyes when they are either REALLY serious about something, or are just being very creepy. Apachai is highly prone to it, for the former reason. It's usually Played for Laughs with Kenichi's masters when they're at Ryozanpaku.
    • It's explained as a sort of indicator of killing intent, or at least, intent to do something drastic, painful, and combat-related. Apachai, who never learned to hold back, is very prone to it because he still doesn't quite understand the idea of not attacking with such intent very well. Which leads to Kenichi's chronic fear of sparring with Apachai. With good reason!
    • Later on it appears that the eyebeams are activated when the person is using a (near-)Master-Class technique. Siegfried (who is still at Disciple-Level) is said to use some moves that are almost Master-Level as well as Niijima's Dodging- and Escape-techniques. And then Kenichi decides to join in on the fun...
  • Scenery Censor: Oftentimes, the mouse covering up Shigure.
  • Sensei for Scoundrels: Kensei Ma and Sakaki Shio certainly qualify, in many ways helping Kenichi overcome his confidence issues in general, be it by dragging him along for some Accidental Pervert antics or by guzzling some beer and giving some advice.
  • Shadow Archetype: Kanō to Kenichi. Kenichi embodies the light aspect of martial arts, and Kanō embodies the dark aspect. They are opposites in pretty much every way, personality- and appearance-wise, yet they are also very similar in that both are students of multiple Master-class fighters and, partly because of this, they are viewed as the best fighters in their individual peer groups.
  • Shaggy Dog Story: Apachai's backstory is told to Kenichi to explain why Miu's grandfather bought an expensive scroll on their limited budget. Kenichi doesn't buy it as a reason and gets his mind wiped at the end by a technique used in the story.
  • Shown Their Work: Many of the fighting techniques that Kenichi learns are accurately described, as well as the styles he encounters.
  • Shout-Out
    • To Detective Conan, in Chapter 357. Akisame lampshades this by saying he's an original character because he has different hair.
    • Doraemon also has one in the same chapter [1]. There are also a few instances in prior chapters when Kenichi runs to Ryōzanpaku yelling "Doraemon!" when he needs Koetsuji's advice. In one of those instances, Koetsuji's eating dorayaki.
    • The Flintstones: Apachai says Yabba Dabba Doo a couple of times.
    • To Fist of the North Star here.
    • To Hajime No Ippo: Takeda's "Double Cat-Eyed Frog Punch" bears more than a passing similarity with Aoki's uppercut version of his "Frog Punch." The only difference is that Takeda puts a spin in his fists where Aoki just does two jabs at the same time from the same crouching position.note 
    • In the first episode when Kenichi wonders where Miu learned to throw people over her shoulder on instinct ("at hitman school?"), he has an image of what looks like Golgo 13 holding a gun.
    • Look at Kenichi's Dad, then at Golgo 13. He's pretty much a good-guy version of Golgo with the goofiness cranked Up to Eleven. He also has extreme skills with a gun that even Shigure says are impressive.
      • To specify, he reloads a double barrel shotgun with one hand by spinning it after managing to chuck the new bullets into the air so they'd land in the gun, while holding an unconscious Kenichi under his other arm, while running from Shigure. This man is dangerous and would probably be considered a master if the series used guns as a weapon and he weren't so goofy. He's even ballsy enough to punch Sakaki in the face; granted, it doesn't even phase Sakaki, but the fact he did it certainly speaks volumes for his bravery if he feels his family is threatened.
    • Sakaki slams a random foe on top of a car with Muku of Hocaloid on it.
    • Niijima is probably related to Himura of Eyeshield 21. They both:
      • have pointy ears.
      • blackmail everyone they can for everything they're worth.
      • can bluff their way out of nearly any situation you throw at them.
      • keep their blackmail info handy at all times. (Niijima has a PDA, Himura has a little black book with a bat on it).
      • scheme more quickly than most people can add 2 and 2.
      • can calculate information about their opponents with a good long stare (sometimes, a short one will do as well).
      • have elongated canines.
      • scare the shit out of their "allies," Niijima because he's downright creepy, pops out of nowhere whenever he feels like it, and just by staring at you knows more about you than most people do, and Himura because he's scary, trigger-happy, and can somehow own a rocket launcher despite being a high school student.
    • To Cowboy Bebop in chapter 119 when Ma Sensei threatens to force the entire dojo to only eat green peppers and beef if Akisame does not reveal what he is thinking.
    • To Ghost in the Shell here.
    • In chapter 199, upon approaching the elaborately carved entrance to the fortress where the tournament's being held, Kenichi notes that it's ominous. The Elder remarks that it's like a "gate to hell". Although the art doesn't show complete detail, it's definitely a nod to Rodin's massive sculpture, The Gates of Hell.
    • To Super Sentai (known outside Japan as Power Rangers): A couple of Shinpaku Alliance members overhear the Elder saying, "It's morphing time!" when he goes off to change into his Paper-Thin Disguise.
  • Single-Stroke Battle: Just about any Master vs. anyone who is not master-level, but Kenichi gets two when he knocks out two people threatening a girl and another one fighting a disciple of Yomi from the weapon division. This is after he was hit by a master with a sword, so it's also a CMoA.
  • Slave to PR: Tanimoto. Only the Shinpaku Alliance knows that he's really a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
  • Smug Snake: Ragnarok's Loki, who considers himself a master strategist for such things as throwing lots of mooks at the protagonists and kidnapping Kenichi's little sister. Also Yomi's Radin Jihan, who spends most of his fight shrieking about how he deserves to win because he is the king of a small nation in Indonesia and sending his own minions at Kenichi.
    • All that screaming about being king undergoes a sort of "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, when it is revealed that his belief in his divine kingship is the only thing that keeps him from falling into a yawning chasm of loneliness.
  • Sneeze Cut: Kouetsuji can even tell who is talking about him by the sneeze.
  • Snipe Hunt: Shiba sends Takeda on several of these before he'll take him on as a student. Takeda somehow manages to pull it off.
  • Something Else Also Rises: In Chapter 55 Niijima meets Shigure and, upon seeing her carrying a real katana, wearing traditional dress, and with a rat on her head, his "weirdness sensor is growing tumescent!"
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Delinquents < Ragnarok < YOMI < YAMI, with a number of assassins/guards and non-Yami masters in there as well. Those have to be taken on an individual basis, though.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Siegfried. It's implied that he's both a wealthy heir and a professional composer. Niijima mentions that Siegfried is personally funding the Shinpaku Alliance with profits from the opera he wrote about them.
  • Stand-In Parents: Miu does this once. When she applied to the high school, she gave false data about her parents (including the lie about them being still alive) because she wanted to present herself as a girl with a normal family. This backfires on her when the representatives of her school come to Ryouzanpaku to check up on her. Hilarity Ensues when she eventually chooses the jerky (although good-hearted) Sakaki and the Lady of War Shigure with No Social Skills to pose as her parents.
  • The Starscream: Loki of Ragnarok tries to pull this off against Odin, and has about as much success as the trope's namesake. (Which is to say: none).
  • Status Quo Is God: Invoked in-universe. The night when Kenichi and Miu have their Kiss interrupted by Grandpa Furinji bursting through the front gate becomes the "Night That Never Happened".
    Miu: Oh, you came back last night? I didn't notice at all...
    Apachai: Apachai never saw anything.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Miu, mostly by Kenichi (even though she is FAR better than him at fighting).
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Happens several times.
    • Kanō enjoys doing pickpocketing tricks with his hands. That's how he exchanges his earring with Miu's hairclip, for instance.
    • Both Stanley siblings pull this off at various moments: Ethan to Niijima once, and Rachel once to her D of D tournament opponent and once to Kenichi.
    • The most surprising example is Ono-sensei (the Shrinking Violet English language teacher) doing this to Boris, which leads Boris to think that she might be a master-class martial artist. (Of course, Boris is attuned to the "killing intent" in those who approach him, and Ono-sensei has none.)
  • Stepford Smiler: The Yami Luchadore master "Laughing Fist" Diego, or rather, the "Angry Iron Fist".
  • Story-Breaker Power: Any Master-class fighter. Even Fortuna, the weakest level of Master and regarded as trash by all other masters, takes the entire cast of secondary characters, a very specific technique, and help from an insanely skilled mouse to take down.
    • The last half of chapter 380 is Kenichi's masters celebrating how incredibly far Kenichi has come and how proud of him they are when Kenichi survived a hit from a low-level Master-class weapon user. And that's with the help of body armor and Training from Hell for his body's core.
  • Stripperific:
    • Miu's spandex. She's drawn nude with Barbie Doll Anatomy and screen tone — the only time you can actually tell she's not wearing Body Paint is when she experiences Clothing Damage. Fortunately, this happens all the time.
    • That's nothing. Compare the first chapter with this one. You can't get more blatant than that.
    • A case must be made for Castor. A bikini top and a tiny skirt with a thong. That's it. Renka likes wearing revealing dresses, as well.
    • Mildred Lawrence of the Hachiou Executioner Blade wears a thong and a bikini top despite the fact that she repeatedly snaps herself across the breasts with the string pretty much every time she uses it.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Natsu Tanimoto is pretty enough to distract straight men with the sexy (yes, even Kenichi)
  • Suicide as Comedy: In episode 5 of Season 1, Kenichi wonders if all the masters are training him because they think he can become a good martial artist like them. They all immediately answer "No" in unison, causing him to immediately try hanging himself with a conveniently hanging noose on a tree, with Miu trying to stop him.
  • Super Power Meltdown: Happens to Odin at the end of the anime series. He has some super strength and speed for a short while, but then his body begins to break down as a result of not being able to withstand all the power flowing through him. The masters comment that this is why it's such a dangerous technique and rarely used when Miu asks about it.
  • Super Speed: Flash Steps are there, but only the Elder has actual run-on-water, outrun-a-car super speed.
    • Well, Kenichi's other masters are shown to outrun vehicles, and they all manage to come to his rescue by beating up a collapsing warehouse together, arriving on the scene together with no lag time between their arrivals.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
  • Take a Third Option: In episode 18, Kenichi quotes this word for word (in the english dub, anyway). He's told that he can either jump off a high cliff into the water to skip his training (bad because he can't swim and probably is afraid of heights), or he can face some grueling training for two days at the beach instead. Since he figures he's going to die either way, he decides to simply run away, and ends up making things worse at the end when Honoka ends up surrounded by sharks because everyone else was looking for him instead of keeping an eye on her.
    • Kenichi does it again in episode 23 when Niijima stokes the fire between Izumi and Miu by telling the poor guy to pick one of the girls. He decides to go training instead.
  • Team Pet: Touchumaru, Shigure's mouse.
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: Ryōzanpaku has one.
  • The Unfought: Shiratori, Kisara's Lieutenant. He has the same rank as Tsuji, and is therefore likely at a similar level of strength, but is never fought onscreen. He continues to appear after the merger with Shinpaku, even attending the D of D. Later, Shiratori is revealed to be a girl, so maybe that's why.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: It's a fighting series, of course this gets used, by Miu, Kenichi, and even some of the masters.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: The key point of contention between Ryōzanpaku and YAMI; Ryōzanpaku believes in this and YAMI doesn't. The main conflict of the series comes to be Ryōzanpaku trying to prevent YAMI from spreading their point of view of the purpose of martial arts.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Generally, every moment Kenichi is not in school. More explicitly, the Black Valley arc and every other time the Elder personally trains Kenichi.
  • Title Drop: Nijima refers to Kenichi as "history's strongest disciple" after he beats up a gang.
  • Token Evil Teammate: Niijima and Natsu (Hermit) are both this.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Kenichi takes hundreds. They just keep coming. Kenichi grows to take on weapon users with zero hesitation. (Or not: Blades are Scary! Blades Are Scary!) Everyone else does this at one point or another, as well.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Kenichi's refusal to fight women is depicted as chivalrous (especially by Miu) but in reality just gets him beat half to death by enraged female characters (e.g., Kisara) that he refuses to defend himself against. This is especially frustrating when coupled with Miu's god-like martial arts skills — every single time he is shown sparring against her or Renka, it always ends the exact same way.
  • Tournament Arc: The Desperate Fight of the Disciple Tournament. "D of D" for short.
  • Tragic Keepsake: Miu's pocket knife hair clip, which belonged to her deceased mother. Also Kanō's birdcage-shaped earring, which Kenichi always carries around tied to his school bag as a reminder of the promise given to Kanō that he'll protect Miu.
  • Training from Hell: For the Masters of Ryozanpaku, there's pretty much no other kind. You wouldn't BELIEVE the training Kenichi goes through; the other characters of the manga don't. And after defeating Ragnarok and getting targeted by YOMI, his masters decide to TRIPLE his training. One could easily call this tale, "Training From Hell: the Series." Kenichi briefly dies multiple times until Kensei's Chinese healing arts revive him.
    • It should be noted that at one point, Kenichi's father believes that Kenichi is using the dojo as a means to slack off, and thus comes to pay the five masters a visit. They all agree to go WAY easy on him for the day... causing his father to come to the conclusion that the training has been altered for his visit. He's under the impression that the masters have been extra hard on him for the visit to prove Kenichi is working hard, when the truth is it's precisely the opposite. The training causes his father to attempt a "rescue" of Kenichi until traps around the dojo allow him to show his father just how strong he's become.
  • Training Montage: About Once an Episode, in keeping with the genre. As expected from the above, some of the training is sadistically creative. For example, the masters mention that the human arm is on average a third as strong as the human leg. In order to make his arms as strong as his legs, they set him running around the block in a handstand.
  • A Truce While We Gawk: Though Kenichi and Berserker don't actually stop fighting, the both of them do look away at the same time to see what's happening with Miu & Rimi's latest battle.
  • True Companions: There are several examples, including the Shinpaku Alliance, Ryouzanpaku, the Ancient Pankration Team and Freya's Valkyrie Squad, among others.
  • Tsundere:
    • Renka tries so hard to be one of these, but always ends up blushing when Kenichi compliments her and ends up coming out looking like a genki girl with a slight attitude. Towards Miu she plays the trope a little straighter.
    • Sakaki and Tanimoto are both rare Male versions. Sakaki is even something of a Mother Hen towards the members of Ryouzanpaku.
  • Twice Shy: Dear Kenichi and Miu, Just go out with each other already! Signed, The Fans.
    • They DO. Kenichi even tells Miu about the Elder allowing them to date (If he won D of D), at which point The Elder lays down some really strict ground rules.
  • Unconscious Objector: Kenichi during his final epic battle against Shou Kanou on the "D of D tournament". When he's fighting unconscious, the lack of moral inhibitions actually makes him noticeably stronger, which amuses his Evil Counterpart opponent.
  • Unusual Eyebrows: Nearly everyone's eyebrows are on the atypical side, ranging from fiery to swooped and even lightning-shaped.
  • Unwanted Harem:
    • Kenichi has a group of 4 girls all in love with him that consists of Miu, Izumi, Renka, and Li.
      • The only one he shows affection for is main-heroine, Miu. Miu, however, says she wants to stay as Best Friends, but that doesn't stop her from falling for Kenichi as well, even if she refuses to acknowledge it.
      • Renka is part of the Shinpaku Alliance and has basically been Miu's main rival for Kenichi.
      • Izumi is a lost cause due to mainly being reduced to a background character.
      • Li is mostly Out of Focus after her introduction arc, only reappearing on YAMI's ship during the Master and Disciple tag-team arc.
    • Ukita of all people has 4 girls who show affection for him, all of them much stronger than him.
      • Kisara, who outright plays the Tsundere for him, only really showing she cares when he's in danger and otherwise just blushing like crazy.
      • Chikage, who takes to sitting on his lap whenever she's around him, and helps him in fights.
      • Shiratori, who is eventually revealed to be a girl, asks Takeda to tell her what kind of food he likes, and admits she is jealous of Kisara for having Ukita's affection. After she just beat the crap out of him.
      • Freya, who says she "doesn't mind" him when alone with Kisara. She seems to be holding back since Ukita has actively expressed his feelings for Kisara, and not her.
    • Thor suprisingly has his own harem developing amongst all of Freya's Valkyrie servants.
  • Verbal Tic: Apachai's "APA!" Preserved in the dub.
  • Villain Forgot to Level Grind: Seems to affect the early bad guys who fight Kenihi and win the first time. In subsequent battles Kenichi seems to deliver a Curb-Stomp Battle to them. To be fair, however, Kenichi often receives unconventional training from his many masters, and most of the people he ends up in fights with are trained for competitions with rules and regulations, rather than street fighting where it's often "anything goes", and unsurprisingly to Kenichi, the fights he's in at those times are street fights.
    • It gets subverted later when facing YOMI.
  • Villain Respect: Kenichi gets this a few times, from members of both YOMI and YAMI, and it often happens to show that the villain in question isn't that much of a douche after all. Noteworthy persons who've shown him respect include Tirawat Koukin of YOMI and Agaard Jum Sai and Akira Hongo of the One Shadow Nine Fists and later Berserker and the One Shadow himself.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Kenichi decides that he's going to be Tanimoto's best friend whether he likes it or not. Tanimoto's solution is to play along when anyone's looking and tear him a new one (verbally or physically) when they're not.
  • Wake-Up Call Boss: In episode 13 of Season 1, Shinnosuke Tsuji is the first fighter that Kenichi truly has trouble fighting against. Tsuji is in the process of attempting to break Kenichi's leg when Takeda shows up unexpectedly. It's also the first time one of his masters, who normally observe Helping Would Be Kill Stealing, (eventually) intervenes to save him since Kenichi is on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle, and Takeda would be unable to outrun Tsuji and his minions while also carrying Kenichi.
  • Was It All a Lie?: A non-romantic (... mostly) version occurs when Natsu reveals himself to be Hermit. Hermit insists that it was a lie, but Kenichi is unconvinced.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • The entire Kushinada-style Jujitsu is built around this concept, being made to employ 0% strength and 100% skill.
    • Koetsuji appears to be this at first. Kenichi even comments that his skinny body doesn't look very strong. Then we find out otherwise.
    • Miu lacks power, but has far more technique than the much stronger (physically) Kenichi.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Double Wham. Chapter 400. Apachai gets a hole punched through his chest. Will he get better? No. And then he did!
    • Kenichi getting stabbed and blasted off of the building by Hongo.
    • Next chapter: Miu gets taken by Jenazad.
    • Chapter 466: Sakaki should be arriving at any moment. It's actually John. But not really... it's Saiga.
  • Wham Line: Chapter 521. "You have now reached the test call service hotline..."
  • When I Was Your Age: Kenichi's masters go this route when they want to tell him how little talent he has. (Example.)
  • Will They or Won't They?: Kenichi and Miu. Even the masters at the Ryōzanpaku constantly eavesdrop on their conversations when the pair are alone in a room to see if a relationship will progress.
  • Wingding Eyes: Number 20 constantly has asterisk-shaped pupils. It might be just excitement being with Loki, but it's hard to tell. Mildred Lawrence, the YAMI bow master, has double pupils. Her disciple has crosshair-shaped pupils.
  • Wizards Live Longer: Rachel mentions that there are techniques to retain/gain youth and that just about any master of Eastern martial arts ends up at that point.
    • Mikumo is the most fitting, having both been mistaken for several decades younger and going by the code name Bewitching Fist.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Kenichi has a bad case of this. Though it initially enrages Kisara, she eventually realizes he's not actually being sexist... he doesn't refuse to hit girls because he thinks they're weaker or less worthy, he just doesn't want to.
    • Slightly averted later on. He won't punch them outright, but will grapple and use submission holds.
    • This attitude is put to the test later, when an attack by a brainwashed Miu forces him to fight back.
  • World of Badass: The Ms. Fanservice Yamato Nadeshiko? She stacks Super Breeding Program and Unstoppable Rage on top of her Waif-Fu. The Dirty Coward Non-Action Guy? His Character Development carries him right through Magnificent Bastard to Guile Hero. The mouse? Turns out he knows how to operate an assault rifle. The Bumbling Dad? He can reload a lever-action rifle one-handed, a la the T-800. So many characters have turned out to be unexpectedly badass that it's probably more sensible to ask when any given character will take a level, rather than if.
  • World of Buxom: Most of the female main characters have huge breasts, which get ridiculously so as the series goes on.
  • World War III: It's implied that this is the ultimate aim of Yami's Eternal Sunset plan, in that, by starting a new world war, they will give birth to an environment where they can use their Satsujin-ken to the fullest without restraint.
  • Wuxia: The series increasingly becomes this as time goes on, with the plots revolving around the schools and styles of martial artists and the personal conflicts of their masters passing onto their students, a common theme in wuxia stories. They even use the phrase "Underworld" once or twice, a loose translation of the word used to describe the private world of martial artists in wuxia stories.
    • Sakaki's "organ lift" secret art.
  • You Shall Not Pass: Kenichi does this to Kisara's group to prevent them from ruining Miu's performance in the school play.
  • Your Approval Fills Me with Shame: Niijima congratulates Kenichi for being so quick to distrust what someone (namely, Niijima) says; Kenichi is stabbed by an arrow from the word balloon.
  • Your Head A Splode: At least in an imagine spot in an early chapter.
    • How Kensei kills Tanaka


Alternative Title(s):

Historys Strongest Disciple Kenichi, Kenichi The Mightiest Disciple