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Manga: Mad Bull 34

Mad Bull 34 is a manga published between 1986 and 1990 in the "Young Jump" magazine in Japan, then picked up again in 1999-2001 with a retcon plot. It revolved around fresh young rookie Daizaburo "Eddie" Ban being sent to New York's toughest precinct, the 34th. Here he meets the man who's been assigned as his partner, John "Sleepy" Estes (a/k/a "Mad Bull"). At first the two couldn't be more different if they tried. Eddie is the more by-the-book type of cop, while the only book John probably uses would be promptly bludgeoned into the skull of some random perp, then followed up by half a mag of bullets. Yet despite this, they eventually come to an understanding/mutual respect (much to the chagrin of their superiors) as they tackle a revolving door of increasingly over-the-top villains.

A series of OAVs by Magic Bus were released in 1991, and as you can imagine they're pretty violent. The anime unfortunately only represents four of the many stories of the manga. By the way, this series is by Kazuo Koike.

A DVD release of the series has been announced for 2013, by Discotek Media.


Provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Perrine Valley. Later Marie and Wakiko.
  • Adapted Out: Nickel in the OVA.
  • Adaptation Name Change: The black assassin "Curtis" in the first episode of the OVA was originally named Black Rose in the manga.
  • Anti-Hero: Sleepy, ridiculously so. He'd probably be locked away for a loooong time if he tried anything in real life.
  • Arson Murder And Life Saving: Seems to only happen once, in the first installment, at the end, when Sleepy's questionable actions are brought into question by the higher-ups, and the only reason they don't strip the big guy of his badge (and presumably set it on fire) is an impassioned speech by Daizaburo.
  • Assassin Outclassin': A running gag in the manga is every single hitman in eastern America has their eyes on taking out the famous "Mad Bull" Estes. These guys are usually black men with various degrees of heavy automatic weaponry; though every now and then Ninja Hookers or Diabetic Tinkers get involved. Nickel is the only one who's survived to try more than once.
    • Nickel is actually informing Mad Bull who's coming to get him, and they get along well.
  • Attempted Rape: A common occurrence in the world of Mad Bull. The rapists tend to end up on the wrong side of Sleepy's wrath, though.
    • Except, of course, the time that Sleepy decides the best way to let a girl down easy is to try to rape her to convince her to back off.
    • During his review of the anime, Bennett The Sage keeps a running counter of "Blond Women in Peril". It's up to six by the end of the second episode.
    • In the first episode, Sleepy figures out Eddie is a virgin, and hires about a dozen prostitutes. Or he would've, if they hadn't all decided to do it for free once they learned Eddie was a virgin, despite his vehement protests. They literally pile on top of him, and only relent—from disgust—when they learn he's saving himself for marriage. They already had his pants open.
  • Batman Gambit: When Sleepy is forced to relinquish his right to use firearms and Daizaburo is transferred to Perrine as her partner, he eventually makes a bet with Da Chief. If Daizaburo claims that a Dirty Cop shot someone in self-defense, Sleepy leaves the force. Otherwise, Sleepy gets to join Daizaburo and Perrine as their partner, the right to use firearms again, and to use the precinct's helicopter anytime he wanted. Da Chief accepted, thinking that Daizaburo was in the dirty cop's pockets. He wasn't.
  • Big Guy, Little Guy: Sleepy's a pretty big guy and the obvious muscle, while Daizaburo's much smaller and a bit smarter.
  • The Big Rotten Apple/Gangsterland: New York is portrayed as a crime-ridden hellhole, where the only difference between the criminals and the police are uniforms.
  • Boom, Headshot: People get their brains blown out quite a bit, usually by Sleepy. Sometimes he does something different, like shoot a guy in the neck so many times his head falls off.
  • Bowdlerise: The way Black Rose/Curtis kills his hooker friend is changed in the OVA; originally it was even gorier, since instead of a Molotov mixture, the soda bottle contained various acids.
  • Brooklyn Rage: Daizaburo's got a thick accent in the dub, and definitely has a hot temper once Sleepy rubs off on him.
  • Buddy Cop Show: Almost a parody of such aspects. Though, as mentioned before, it's hard to tell. Then Daizaburo gets killed.
  • By-the-Book Cop: Daizaburo at first. Eventually, though, he finds some weird respect for Sleepy's sociopathic approach to police work.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: Pretty much everyone from the original manga is gone in 2000.
  • Clothing Damage: Sleepy, Daizaburo, and a couple of women get most of their clothes blown off by an explosion in the OVA but are otherwise unharmed.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Perhaps in some weird attempt to make it sound more... "American", the English dub is absolutely full of this trope. Again, like many things on this list, this is especially so when done by Sleepy.
  • Cowboy Cop: Sleepy takes this trope and breaks it over his knee. It's hard to tell if he's meant to be a parody of such characters or is meant to be taken serious by the writers.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Sleepy prepares many traps for criminals to fall into if they catch him unawares.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Nickel, in the manga, proves eerily competent at killing people who aren't Sleepy Estes. This is surprising since his first appearance is as a bumbling weakling that pisses on things to let people know he is around, yet the guy has nearly killed Sleepy at least five times.
  • Da Chief: Subverted. The guy Sleepy and Daizaburo work under constantly calls Sleepy out on his actions but is far from being by-the-book, knowing about drugs hidden in his office left by the guys who held his position last, and he is willing to overlook corrupt cops and assassins as long as they get Sleepy out of his hair.
  • Dark Action Girl: There are a number of female assassins.
  • Dirty Cop: Demeyer.
    • Also, when Daizaburo is to testify against one who shot an innocent, a group of them threaten to make sure Daizaburo will not get any backup in shootouts (and possibly worse) if he doesn't claim that it was in self-defense.
  • Eagleland: Some weird bizarre mixture of the two types.
  • Expy: The big opponent of the fourth installment ("Cop Killer"), pits Sleepy and Daizaburo against what can best be described as an armored mixture of the "Predator" and the Xenomorph from the "Alien" series.
    • Recurring assassin Nickel is based on Jack Nicholson, if the name wasn't a tip-off.
  • Genius Bruiser: Sleepy is a lot smarter than his attitude and size would suggest.
  • Gonk: The precinct captain, times eleven or so. Once in a while there would be some more.
  • Gorn: The people populating Mad Bull's world seem to possess very little in the way of bones, as they tend to explode like over-ripe ticks into showers of blood and not much else.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: Sleepy somehow has access to all manner of weaponry for a simple beat cop, which he uses to brutally destroy even the most minor of crooks. Not to mention the various caches of guns and traps he leaves in his territory. The piping in his room has been converted to shotguns.
  • Improbable Use of a Weapon: Related to above: if Sleepy has no other way of assaulting the bad guys from a high vantage point while wearing civilian clothes, he'll prepare for the occasion by tying around 20 hand grenades to his pubes.
  • Incredibly Conspicuous Drag: The "Mad Bull" himself, an eight-foot-tall muscular behemoth of a police officer with a full beard and mustache, goes undercover as a nun and as a female prostitute. He somehow expects this disguise to work.*
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sleepy. A lot of his crazy actions have some weird underlying "cause" that's meant to justify them, to the point where even Daizaburo, Mr. By-the-Book, realizes he can't help but respect the maniac he's been paired up with.
  • Karma Houdini: To some extent with Sleepy. He's a vulgar Anti-Hero who murders common crooks and rapists in broad daylight and usually in front of hundreds of witnesses, and still has his badge by the end of the day.
    • In the manga, Sleepy spares Nickel the Electrician several times. This is the only assassin that has come close to killing him more than once, and arguably the only person still standing that is an actual threat to Sleepy. Yet every single time Sleepy has a gun to the guy's head, Sleepy spares him because usually Nickel's sugar piss is easy to smell coming.
  • The Lancer: Daizaburo.
  • Mad Eye: When Sleepy gets mad...
  • Made of Iron: Sleepy, which helps with all the assassins after him. The guy can take shotgun blasts to his limbs and still keep going.
    • Not to mention when the time when Nickel rigged a doorknob to shock Sleepy with a ludicrous amount of voltage, yet Sleepy was still able to follow the assassin to his bosses and kill them all.
  • Manly Tears: Sleepy sheds these when he's especially moved by his friends' support, and when he snipes Lieutenant Demeyer, who he'd wanted to respect, for proving to be a Dirty Cop in cahoots with the criminals who're after Sleepy.
  • Miss Fanservice: Perrine.
  • Moral Dissonance: A minor case. Sleepy murders hundreds of criminals, including arguably petty ones, on a daily basis... yet when Demeyer extracts information from a drug pusher by threatening to tell his son what he's been doing, Sleepy looks at him like he's the worst person alive.
  • New York Subway: The final battle of the first OVA is held there.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: "If they can still stand, then you gotta keep pulling the trigger till they lie down."
  • Odd Couple: Sleepy is a violent, perverted, brute with a "heart of gold", while Daizaburo is the smaller, more traditional by-the-book nice guy who tries to keep Sleepy from engaging in his spontaneous acts of violence. Marie and Wakiko made it even weirder.
  • Police Brutality: A "heroic" case with Sleepy. He could give Punisher a run for his money in terms of extreme violence.
  • Plot Armor: Sleepy survives an explosion despite being right in the center of the blast. He is able to take various wounds and heal within hours, but Perrine and Daizaburo became Killed Off for Real before the reboot.
  • Rabid Cop: Sleepy, due to his callous disregard for due process, wanton murder of criminals, and generally unhinged behavior.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Sleepy is this trope. After getting stabbed close to his heart, he found time to fuck the nurse in the operating room right after his surgery. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Samus is a Girl: The villain of the fourth installment.
  • Shot in the Ass: Happens to Sleepy in the second anime installment while he and Daizaburo attempt to stake out the docks. He's a huge man being shot at by a dozen crooks, so he gets about six bullet holes in his behind. Ow!
  • Shown Their Work: Despite their obvious lack of knowledge/experience with how things in America work, the anime has incredible attention to detail when it comes to cars, backgrounds, guns, etc.
  • Sliding Scale of Gender Inequality: Let's just say it's not a good idea to watch this with a girl.
  • Suicide Attack: A cabal of assassins targets a young reporter being protected by Sleepy and Daizaburo; their motto is that they're the best because they don't care if they throw away their own lives to ensure the death of the target. End result: a whole lot of dead assassins. Maybe there really is something to that whole "self-preservation" thing...
  • Tank Goodness: In the end of the third OVA, the last assassin comes in with an APC to blow away our protagonists. Sleepy's response? Lift it.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Daizaburo becomes almost as good as Sleepy at killing criminals.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Sleepy and Wakiko.
  • Unflinching Walk: Wearing a cocktail dress!
  • Wrench Wench: Perrine shows herself to know a bit about mechanical design.


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alternative title(s): Mad Bull 34
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