Manga: Maken-ki!

aka: Maken-ki

Cute high-school girls, boobs, duelling, tits, conspiracy, breasts, evil taking over the world... What's not to love?

Drawn by famed hentai artist Takeda Hiromitsu, the story takes place at Tenbi Academy, a school for the gifted as it were, where the student are taught how to use "Element". Which is loosely akin to their version of ki manipulation and functional magic. Those who can harness its power are commonly referred to as, "ability users". However, only the strongest and most proficient among them are granted the use of Maken, and only the elite become members of Maken-ki.

"Roll credits!"

As the school's student council, they're charged with maintaining discipline. Since fighting isn't allowed, the faculty enforces a duelling system which enables its students to hone their skills and blow off steam. Matches are conducted formally, complete with an official to ensure that they're fought fairly, within the academy's guidelines. Oh, and for any guy hoping to date any of the female students, they'd better be prepared to fight for it.

But that isn't what our pervy protagonist, Takeru Oyama, is interested in. You see, until a year ago, the academy was girls only. So now that it's gone Co-Ed, the student body is predominantly female and he wants to see as much of the "student body" as possible. At least, he would, if his childhood friend Haruko, who happens to be part of the school's disciplinary committee, weren't there to keep his wandering eye in check. Especially since she doesn't like him getting close to other girls, besides her.

This being a harem series, our hero's inexplicable girl attracting powers start to kick in. The prerequisite Shana Clone (Himegami) literally drops into his lap and, later at the introduction ceremony, he meets a strange girl named Inaho, who says she's his fiancee. About a week later, Celia joins his harem of would-be girlfriends and... you can imagine the shades of green the other guys start seeing; including Usui, a fellow pervert who quickly becomes Takeru's bromantic foil. All of whom, form our main cast.

Romantic entanglements, misunderstandings, and beatings, provide humor to balance out the underlying narrative. As the Kamigari group has their sights set on one student in particular, who's the key to releasing the seal atop Amanohara. And it's up to the members of Maken-ki to keep it from happening.

With detailed art and character designs that lives up to the artist's pedigree, plentiful fanservice, awesome fight scenes, and an intricate story, Maken-ki offers something for everyone. Even if you're typically not a fan of the genre, it may still be worth a look.

Maken-ki provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Absolute Cleavage: The outfits some of the girls wear is sometimes rather revealing. Particularly their principal.
  • A-Cup Angst: Kodama, justified when she sees that Haruko wore pads in her bikini.
    • Hilariously invoked again in episode 9 during the pool battle. Her two spirits inadvertently insult her bust size as well, causing her to chuck them away along with Kengo later.
    • And in episode 1 of season 2, she and Kimi go into a corner of woe after hearing the bust sizes of Haruko and Chacha, their principal and the school nurse.
  • Accidental Kiss: It only happens twice in the manga, but the anime loves using it, mainly for comedy:
    • The first one happened between Himegami and Takeru, in chapter 1note . And during the fight in chapter 5, he attempts to pull a diving save, but ends up on top of her in another liplock.
    • In the 2nd OVA, Haruko shoves him away from Inaho in a fit of jealousy, which causes him accidentally plant one on Takaki's cheek. Resulting in Takeru being decked by her and Yuuka at the same time.
    • And in episode 9 (season 2), Azuki gets stuck on a date with Takaki and ends up posing for mock wedding photos. Azuki trips on the train of Takaki's wedding dress, tries to regain her balance, and accidentally lays one on her right as the photographer snaps the shot. Takaki swoons, since it was her first kiss and passes out.
  • Accidental Pervert: Takeru and Usui... sometimes.
  • Action Girl:
  • A Day in the Limelight: Aki-sensei gets put on an island with Takeru in episode 5 of season 2, after her mom deliberately captured them and locked them together with handcuffs when the former claimed the latter as her boyfriend.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime only adapted parts of the manga in its first season (covered on the analysis page). Season 2 is all filler and dials up the fanservice.
  • All Anime Is Naughty Tentacles: In the OVA. Celia shows up just in time attack it, only to purposely get captured by the same octopus when she sees the other girls calling for him to help them just so she could do it as well. The girls immediately point it out.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Takeru and Usui are the main offenders, with chapter 33 in particular showing the lengths they'll go to for a chance to see the girls naked. But they're not the only ones, as the series' main antagonist is a Dirty Old Man.
  • All Women Are Lustful: At least Uruchinote , Celia, and Love Espada are.
  • Almost Kiss: Inaho and Takeru nearly have one in the 2nd OVA. A jealous Haruko breaks it up before they manage to do it however. And by doing so, she inadvertently stopped Takeru from changing back to a guy, as Celia turned him into a girl earlier, and a kiss from a girl was required to change him back. He then accidentally gets kissed by several other girls after Haruko's forceful breaking up the two threw him into Himegami.
  • Amazon Chaser: Applies to anyone brave (or foolish) enough to try hooking up with any of the girls at Tenbi Academy (see the Best Her to Bed Her entry).
  • Amazonian Beauty: Azuki is the main example, being that she's one of the tallest girls at the school and has a naturally toned physique. Likewise, Demitra is the tallest among the Venus students and also shown to have toned thighs and calves. And both have the racks to show for it.
  • Amusing Injuries: In episode 2, Himegami catches Takeru and Usui in the act of trying to peek at the girls during their physical examinations. So she leaps down from an overhead branch and stomps both their faces into the ground. In the next scene, they're shown taking their examinations, each with a matching shoeprint on their faces.
  • Asskicking Equals Authority: Minori and Takaki at Tenbi Academy, as school principal and student council president respectively.
  • Badass Creed: Recited by the students at Tenbi, before every duel:
    "To follow your path, you must first expose your soul to the blazing sun."
    "The Children of the Sun's path is carved into The Heavens!"
  • Battle Aura: The girls often form one when fighting, or when they're mad at the guys.
  • Battle Harem: Takeru has Haruko, Inaho, and Celia vying for his affections, though Haruko adamantly denies having feelings for him. All three are high-level ability users, two of whom, each wield one of the original 8 Maken.
  • Beach Episode: Minori arranges for a group vacation to Okino Island for herself, Ms. Aki, and the student council, between chapters 28 and 30, which partly includes chapter 37. The anime loosely follows the same story in episode 13 and the OVA.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The girls of Venus Academy are introduced in episode 7 ("The Goddesses who Came Down to Tenbi") and portrayed as stunningly beautiful; particularly Demitra and Yan-Min.
  • Berserk Button: Everyone has one but most notable are:
    • Haruko gets jealous if it looks like Takeru's getting too close to any girl besides her, which usually results in her taking it out on him. Yet, she'll vehemently deny having feelings for him if anyone asks.
    • Himegami tends to be indifferent to most things, but she can't stand perverts, which Takeru and Kengo learned the hard way when she caught them trying to peep into the girls' locker-room. And if you value your life at all, do not call her flat-chested. Even her own shikagami spirits aren't exempt if they make THAT mistake.
    • If Takeru thinks someone's picking on a girl, he's likely to go into rage mode; especially if the girl is either Haruko, or Himegami. Which is why he keeps butting into duels, when more than half the time, his help isn't needed.
    • Miyabi has two and ticking either one can literally get the offender killed: 1.) don't call her old 2.) DO NOT intefer with Takeru Yamato's ambitions. The latter nearly got Takeru and Leo decapitated, if Himegami hadn't saved them.
  • Best Her to Bed Her: It's the rule at Tenbi Academy, mainly enforced as a way of trying to discourage the guys from harassing the girls - the majority of whom have vastly superior strength and combat capability. Still, despite the overwhelming odds, it hasn't stopped a brave few, like Kai, from trying.
  • Big Bad: Ouken Yamato.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • Haruko got an assist from Kimi, who used her "Comic Star" ability to enhance her speed. Which enabled her to get across campus in time to save Takeru and Uruchi from Kumi, just as she'd been about to finish them off.
    • Near the end of chapter 24, Minori shattered Kagezuchi's fireball with her fist, only moments before Usui and Akaya would've been incinerated.
    • In chapter 56, Takeru Yamato's plan to bait Takeru backfired, since he survived the attack and still prevented him from raping Himegami.
    • The Venus unit pulls one of their own during episode 12, by rescuing Haruko from Otohime and her twin brother, Gouken. Then provided her with a portal leading directly back to Tenbi, so she could save it from Takeru, who's "Blood Pointer" had taken him over.
    • Downplayed near the end of episode 7 (season 2), since Rudolf lampshades the fact that Himegami's would-be assailant failed to realize he was outmatched. She only needed help because she had exhausted her power trying to fry Rudolf for annoying her, earlier.
  • Bleached Underpants: The artist has done Hentai mangas, some of the Netorare; ever since Takeda has appeared less frequently in the erotic manga scene, and for Doujinshi works he will always use a pen name now.
  • Boring but Practical: Takeru's "Overblow" ability overloads his opponent's Maken, to the point that it effectively shorts outnote . But Gen warned him that it can potentially backfire, depending on the enemy's capacity and whether their Maken is able to sustain the excess power.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • Done by Yuuka, while providing commentary during the pool battle in episode 9, when Aki-sensei takes out one the nameless extras on the boys' team:
    Yuuka: (over the mic) "Ms. Aki just too out some random guy. But he's not a main character, so who cares?"
    • Rudolf does it twice back-to-back, in episode 7 of season 2. The first is when he confronts the thief, in order to save Himegami. Then delivers the second after defeating him:
    Rudolf: (at thief) "I got a quick look at you. You don't even know your limits, and you want to be in the standard cast?"
    Rudolf: (afterward) "You wanted to be a regular, despite not having your character name in the end credits? Don't make laugh."
  • Brainwashed: Ouken can do this to anyone he pleases, including rewriting memories and entire personalities. Therefore, everyone is terrified of him.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Haruko plays this one straight to the Nth degree. The only one she's fooling, is herself.
  • Can't Act Perverted Toward a Love Interest: Takeru towards Haruko in episode 2 of season 2, while the latter has Easy Amnesia. She even goes so far as to start stripping their clothes off, but he's very uneasy about it, and when her memories finally return, he mentions that he was waiting for this reaction to happen as she punishes him yet again.
  • Cassandra Truth: Himegami and Haruko come to the island where Takeru and Aki-sensei are at during the end of episode 5 in season 2. Despite Takeru's attempts to explain it, such as being strapped to Aki-sensei with magical handcuffs, they don't believe him. Largely because said handcuffs disappeared by that point, and for whatever reason, Aki-sensei doesn't say anything, leading the girls to believe he deliberately ran off with her.
  • Cat Girl: Several of the main girls become one in episode 3 of season 2, thanks to Monji, Inaho's cat.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • In chapter 12, Minerva has a conversation with Himegami, in which, Himegami's irises briefly become slitted like a dragon's. There's a reason for that: it's because she's Yamato no Orochi's daughter.
    • Minerva mentioned she can see Element itself, which is how Himegami realized Minerva could see her 'true form'. And in chapter 53, it was how Ouken knew that the real Himegami had died long ago. Because he could also see that her Element had simply taken metaphysical form in her likeness.
    • And in chapter 28, Minori made Takeru train with wrist and ankle bands weighted with Kugatama stones. Then explained that Kugatama absorbs Element from its surrounding environment until it becomes Magatama. Which happened thirty chapters later, after the stones had absored enough of Takeru's Element; making it possible for Yuuka to bring Himegami back to life.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Subverted, since Inaho eventually admits that she never actually said she'd marry him. It was an idea she simply latched onto, since Takeru promised her they'd always be together. The anime version plays it straight.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Applies to both Takeru and Usui, albeit moreso in the latter's case.
    • The anime casts Takeru in a somewhat better light than the manga does. In episode 5 (season 2), he gets stranded alone on an island with Ms. Aki, yet never tried to take advantage of the situation, while fighting his hormones half the time.
    • In Usui's case, the manga has him comically go out of his way to try to prove his love for Himegami. At one point, he was perfectly willing to be incinerated by her and said he preferred to think of it as her love for him. And in chapter 56, he willingly walked into a punch from Takeru Yamato just so he could cover her with his shirt.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Haruko. She often beats up Takeru even if he's innocent, and even goes so far as to move into the 3-bed dorm room that Takeru is staying in with 2 other girls, of course to ensure that nothing indecent is being done.
    • Surprisingly subverted with Inaho. She gets jealous, but not clingy the way Haruko does, nor does she beat him up over other girls trying to take him. However, she does get a little upset at him when Himegami and Haruko tell her about him being all alone on an island with Aki-sensei.
  • Clothing Damage: happens all the time for the female characters. Why? Why not?
  • Coitus Ensues:
    • The preface page for chapter 45 shows Yuuka and Takaki engaged in foreplay, while spooning together in lingerie.
    page caption: This has nothing to do with the story. But fanservice once in a while is always good!
    • And the flashback in chapter 69 shows what happened the last time Haruko, Takaki, and Minori, tried to stop Love Espada from stripping her opponent, afer defeating her. She defeated all three of them at once, then stripped them just as she'd done to the other girl, and had her way with them.
  • Color Failure: Happens to Azuki in episode 4 after Takeru and Himegami see her working in a maid cafe.
  • Crash-Into Hello: Which is how Himegami first met Takeru, by landing on top of him after she fell from a tree branch.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: A few characters display these. Haruko seems to develop them anytime a girl is too close to Takeru.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Happens to both Azuki and Himegami whenever they lay eyes on a stuffed animal, or Inaho's pet cat, Monji.
  • Damsel in Distress: Happens to several of the girls in the first OVA when a giant octopus grabs them. Celia then arrives in an apparent Big Damn Heroes moment, only to then subvert it and invoke this trope and purposely get herself captured as well when she sees several of the girls calling for Takeru to help rescue them.
  • Dangerously Short Skirt: Especially if a gentle breeze just happens to be blowing at the time...
  • Date Peepers: In episode 4, Himegami drags Takeru along with her to go shopping for lingerienote . Haruko's jealousy kicks in, prompting her to follow them, aided by Inaho and Kengo.
  • Declaration of Protection: Takeru is wholly committed to the idea that girls shouldn't fight and are to be protected instead. But in many cases, they end up saving him.
  • Defeat by Modesty: The thief in episode 2 of season 2 uses this against several of the girls. Although Takeru is hit by this attack as well, he says that this trope doesn't bother him, and charges her. However, the thief then mentions "an elephant", causing him to freeze in his tracks. She uses this opportunity to steal Haruko's power, and her memories.
    • It fails to work on Azuki a second time, which allows her to catch said thief.
  • Denser and Wackier: The Yonkoma Spin-Off: Maken-Ki - Inaho and Friends, aside from original jokes it contains some events from the main series retold, with humor undertones.
  • Deserted Island: In episode 5 of season 2, Takeru and Aki-sensei are put on the island where they were at during the OVA in the first season. However, they're entirely alone this time, and Aki-sensei's mother says they'll be picked up after two days, so they are to "make memories together", and pop some kids out while they're on the island.
  • Deus Sex Machina: Takeru Yamato is said to have ravished his concubines in order to further his bloodline and had his soul placed in a jar, which only those of his lineage could open. Thereby ensuring he'd have new host bodies to take over, in order to sustain his own existence.
  • Distant Finale: At the end of episode 8 in season 2, Kengo's final moment is shown after he loses to Himegami in a strip game of rock-paper-scissors during the present day. He is an old man in a hospital, when an angel resembling Himegami descends on him, then proceeds to put her foot on his face, with him smiling as she does so. The narrator states that it was impossible to know what he was feeling in his final moment, but appears to have passed away happy.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Since the series is done by a former hentai artist, there are scenes that're either made to resemble sexual acts, or skirt the line as close as possible without actually going over it.
    • Haruko, in a maid outfit, covered in cream from head to toe, a puddle of the stuff on the ground.
    • In the second OVA, there's a scene where Takeru pounces Aki on the couchnote . Just before Celia walks in and catches him, you can see he was dry humping Aki.
    • Or the body-painting scene which was animated to make it seem Uruchi was doing Haruko doggy-style. While the next one used an overhead camera angle to make it appear that Yuuka was going down on Takaki.
    • And episode 8 of season 2 had the girls eating different foods in sexually suggestive fashion.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Par for the course, Haruko never gets called out for any of the times she beats up on Takeru, regardless whether he's actually at fault. Like the time Minerva swiped Haruko and Inaho's panties and forgot to give 'em back. Haruko took it out on him, instead of her.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female: There's two instances of attempted rape, which are treated as heinous since it was guys doing it. Yet, the incident where Love Espada did the same thing to Takaki, Haruko, Minori, and Aki, is brushed off as fanservice. Takeru and Usui were only upset that they weren't there to see it.
  • Drop the Hammer: The random thug that attacks Himegami in episode 7 of season 2 uses a giant mallet to attack her.
  • Drunk with Power: In episode 8 of season 2, Kengo is made the principal after the real principal quits due to overhearing some girls claim how easy she must have it. He immediately takes advantage of it, by forcing the girls to do various sexually comprimising things such as limbo under a bar at the entrance, and anyone who knocked the bar over would be considered late. Measure their breats for math, jump rope in gym so their breasts would bounce or wrestle in bikini's and read sexual lines in english.
  • Easy Amnesia: Haruko's powers and memories are stolen during episode 2 of season 2, although both are recovered by the end of the episode.
  • Ecchi: You'll be seeing frequent close-ups of boobs, camel toe, and half-naked chicks, especially in the anime which nearly doubles the amount of T&A. Season 2 deviates from the manga altogether and goes full-on hotter and sexier.
  • Erotic Eating: Several of the girls do this in episode 8 of season 2, after the cafeteria menu changes.
  • Explaining Your Power to the Enemy
  • Expy: Judging from some of his character designs, Takeda seems to be a fan of BlazBlue and The King of Fighters.
    • Inaho is the spitting image of Makoto Nanaya (minus the tail), right down to her perpetual cat smile.
    • Himegami shares a lot in common with Rachel Alucard. They're both pigtailed blondes, both are childlike in appearance yet centuries old, each dresses in gothic lolita fashion, and have familiars who travel with them.
    • Demitra could pass for Leona Heidern's twin sister. She looks just like her minus the ponytail, both have been emotionally repressed since childhood, and eventually became mercenaries.
    • Otohime and her twin brother, Gouken, are much like Rose and Adelheid Bernstein. Otohime has the same hairstyle as Rose. Plus, they're both short-tempered, yet smug and manipulative. And each think the world of their brothers. Whereas Gouken and Adelheid are both calm and reserved, exceptional hand-to-hand combatants who favor kicks, and both are white-haired bishonens.
  • Fanservice: All over the place. It might be easier to keep track of the moments when this trope isn't being used. The OVA's takes this Up to Eleven.
  • Fighting Series: Everything, and we mean everything, at Tenbi is decided through battle, or some sort of contest that includes use of their powers. That includes a friggin' quiz game. We're not kidding.
  • Foreign Exchange Student: Chacha and the members of the Venus unit all come from different countries, but the only ones whose nationalities are known are: Yan-Min (China) and Celia (America).
  • Forgotten First Meeting: In the anime version, Inaho and Takeru made a childhood promise, except he's forgotten about it and it's never explained why. The details of their promise differs in the manga and it's eventually revealed why Takeru's doesn't remember itnote .
  • Full-Contact Magic: Combat at their school involves use of Element in both hand-to-hand and with their Maken. So the school tends to suffer damage on a somewhat regular basis.
  • Gainaxing
  • Gender Bender: Celia Ootsuka. Through using his/her maken's ability to reverse the nature of anything.
    • In the 2nd beach OVA, Takeru is turned into a girl after pissing Celia off. Takeko fits in with the girls perfectly.
  • Genki Girl: Inaho and Celia. Especially when the topic of Takeru is involved.
  • Genre Savvy: Minerva mentions how Takeru is living in a Harem series when she visits his room with 3 of the main girls.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Now has its own page.
  • Girls Love Stuffed Animals: Azuki and Himegami both have a weakness for teddy bears:
    • When Azuki gets ratted out by Kinua in front of the school, she's briefly shown drooling happily in her sleep, while snuggling in bed with hers.
    • Himegami spent a portion of the school's budget on stuffed animal catalogs and, in season 2, she buys a teddy bear that's alive and obsessed with groping girls' boobs.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Himegami always keeps her hair fashioned in a long pair of wavy looking pigtails. Whereas Demitra's are braided and extend down her back.
  • Girly Bruiser: The majority of the female cast, while feminine, wield immense amounts of Elemental power. Most notably, Haruko and Inaho who each possesses one of the original 8 Maken, which are said to be the strongest of them all.
  • Girly Run: Both Haruko and Inaho run daintily whenever they're late for school. Yet, they're still faster than Takeru and Kengo, who can barely keep up with them.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Haruko, as noted in the Clingy Jealous Girl entry. The same can be said of Usui and the other male students, in regard to Takeru's luck with the girls. One of them even shouts from off-screen:
    male student: (in frustration) "WHY DOES THAT JACKASS GET ALL THE GIRLS?!"
  • Head Pet: Monji, the cat Inaho finds in episode 6, does this to her a lot. She doesn't seem to mind it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • The flashback in chapter 48 revealed Takaki would've been raped as punishment for declining to join Kamigari, if Yuuka hadn't saved her by taking her place as Ouken's mistress.
    • Near the end of chapter 56, Himegami sacrifices her life to shield Takeru from what would've been a fatal attack from Takeru Yamato. She has time enough for a farewell kiss and a few parting words. It's subverted two chapters later.
    • Also subverted with Rudolf (a living teddy bear), who reverts to normal after expending his power to save Himegami from a random thug. Afterward, he's still "alive", but no longer able to move.
  • Hopeless Suitor:
    • Kai nurses an unrequited crush on Azuki, going so far as to challenge her just for a date. She only accepted, because she thought he didn't have a chance against her.
    • In the manga, Usui soon falls for Himegami, who ranges from being indifferent, to sociable towards him at best. Which finally changes at the end of chapter 65, when she tells him he just might have a chance with her after all.
    • Also applies to the majority of the male students because they have almost no chance of getting with any of the girls - between several of them flocking to Takeru, and the rest being too strong for them to defeat.
  • Hospital Hottie:
    • Aki is the school nurse at Tenbi Academy and is a such a babe, that the guys can't stop staring.
    • Usui dreamt of Himegami as his secretary, during the 66.5 omake chapter; complete with a fetish style nurse's uniform.
  • Hot Springs Episode: Done in chapters 4 and 33 respectively:
    • Yuuka arranges for a group trip to Tenbi's private hot spring, to welcome Takeru and Usui as Maken-ki's newest members. Which also gave them the chance to become acquainted with the girls.
    • And during their stay on Okino Island, the girls decided to bathe an outdoor hot spring... without the guys. Takeru and Usui escape, moments later, and try to make it there in time to see some skin, but Yuuka stalls them by rigging the area with traps. By the time they reach the spring, the girls had already finished and were nowhere to be seen. Still, Takeru didn't consider it a total loss, since the water was still warm from the girls' naked bodies.
  • Hot Teacher: Aki-sensei for the guys, Akaya for the girls, who often Squee when he's around.
  • Hotter and Sexier: The manga is almost tame compared to the anime, which is so borderline, that it had to be censored for its broadcast run.
  • The Immodest Orgasm:
    • Takeru fingers herself to one in the second OVA episode (noted in the Sexy Discretion Shot entry).
    • Rudolf the teddy bear subjects many girls to this in episode 7 of season 2 by fondling their breasts. He also saves Himegami this way, but utilizing this against the thug as he knocks him out.
  • Innocent Cohabitation: Takeru is put in the same dorm room as Inaho and Himegami purely on a whim. Haruko joins in with the excuse of keeping things in check (of course she most likely has a deeper reason).
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl:
    • In the anime, Inaho doesn't mind if Takeru sees her naked, such as episode 2 (season 2). She saw Haruko enter the bath with Takeru to wash his backnote , so Inaho stripped down and joined them.
    • The same is true of Aki, as the anime makes her naively oblivious of the stares she draws from the male students. Which contradicts the manga's portrayal of her character, where she's perfectly aware of it and is self-conscious because of it.
  • Invincible Villain: Love Espada. To date, she's defeated everyone who's tried to face her with minimal effort (noted in the God-Mode Sue entry on the YMMV page).
  • I Thought It Meant: In episode 8, after Haruko and Inaho discover that Celia took Takeru on a date, they find a letter on one of Celia's friends that mentions S&M. Both girls immediately have perverted thoughts, until they find out what those letters really meant. It was Song & Music, since Celia was a pop idol, and was going to sing all of her songs to Takeru, who seems bored of it.
  • I Want Grandkids: After being told by her daughter that she was dating Takeru, Aki's mother has him abducted, cuffs him to Aki, and strands him on an island with her. Then leaves a note saying she wanted them to, "make memories together".
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Inaho seems okay if Takeru doesn't choose her, so long as the other girl he chooses is Haruko. She still gets jealous if any other girl shows interest in him however.
  • Lens Flare Censor: Used, in the television edition, to cover the girls' naughty bits during upskirt scenes, or when they're getting changed, and when they're in the shower. If you want to see it uncensored, you'll have to buy the DVD/Blu-Ray boxset.
  • Let's Fight Like Gentlemen: At Tenbi, fighting outside of duels is strictly prohibited and punished by members of Maken-ki. Challenges are issued and conducted formally, including an official to see that the match is fought fairly, and begins once the duelists have agreed upon the termsnote . However, challenges can be declined.
  • Lingerie Scene: There's several scenes of the girls in lingerie, with Himegami being the main one. She's often seen trying on new lingerie sets and posing in front of the mirror, or slipping into and out of her clothes, back at the dorm. So you'll get to see plenty of leg as she's pulling on her stockings, and close-ups of her hips and buttocks when trying on her new panties.
  • Love Confession: Haruko delivers one to Takeru during episode 2 of season 2. However, she was suffering from Easy Amnesia at the time, and claims to not have remembered anything she did during that episode after her memories return. Takeru takes it a sign that things are back to normal. Shortly after, however, Haruko seems mad at her amnesia self for having declared her feelings for him, indicating she fully remembers everything she did during that time, such as telling Takeru that losing her memories allowed her to fall in love with him twice.
  • Lust Object:
    • Despite being semi-flatchested, Himegami is considered one of the hottest girls at the academy. Her fanclub repeatedly goes on about how much they love her body, including her "itty-bitty titties". Takeru paused during a battle with Ouken Yamato, just to stare at her ass, when he noticed the back of her skirt was torn. And between omake chapters 61.5 and 66.5, Usui has two separate wet dreams about her that each end with him dry humping his mattress, afterward.
    • Aki is the school nurse, who's popular with the vast majority of the male students, because of her K-Cup breasts. They'll even fake sickness and injury just for the chance to ogle her. Cue nosebleeds and hard ons.
    • Both Takeru and Uruchi have the hots for Haruko. The latter openly fangasms over her, to the point that Uruchi is canonically gay for her.
  • Male Gaze: You'll be seeing so much camel toe (especially from Himegami), along with lots, and LOTS of zoomed in shots of boobs, that it actually outdoes Highschool of the Dead.
  • Man, I Feel Like a Woman: The premise of the chapter 37 bonus story, which was made in celebration of the upcoming (at that time) anime adaptation. Celia uses her Inversion ability to change Takeru and Usui into girls, for fun, after they drunkenly barge in on the girls' private get-together at the beach house. The same story was later loosely adapted into the OVAnote .
  • Megaton Punch: The male characters are often on the receiving end of these, for both justified, as well as unjustified reasons.
  • Meido:
    • Azuki secretly works at the Macaroon maid cafe, after school hours. She didn't tell any of her friends, because she assumed they'd be too embarrassed to set foot there. She was wrong.
    • Haruko and the other girls join up during chapters 26 and 27, to try to help Azuki raise money so she could come with them to Okino Island. For anime viewers, that's episode 11.
  • Moe Couplet: Kimi and Chacha are so close, that they have a 'cute kid sis'/cool big sis dynamic and are virtually inseparable. It was thanks to Chacha that Kimi broke out of her shell, due to their mutual interest in manga and cosplay. Which is best seen during the Manga Convention in chapter 60 where they cosplay as Alena and Manya from Dragon Quest IV.
  • Mood Whiplash: A particularly horrifying case of it during chapter 58: seeing Takeru joke around with Himegami and Yuuka only moments after he had beaten Gouken Yamamto to death.
  • Ms. Fanservice:
    • For all the jokes about how small Himegami's breasts are, she's the series' front-runner for fanservice. Want camel toe? You'll be seeing more of it from her, than anyone else. She's also got a hot pair of legs, a nice ass, constantly wears thigh-high stockings, and, if you're a foot fetishist, there's official art of her barefeet and multiple scenes of her grinding her foot in Takeru's face.
    • Aki-sensei is the school nurse, who's popular around campus for being a K-Cup. Plus, she typically wears a revealing blouse with a skin-tight skirt, and gainaxes in nearly all of her scenes.
    • Celia's introduction in episode 8 includes several scenes of her in various outfits. She even weaponizes her sex appeal during the pool battle in episode 9, to divert Takeru's attention from Ms. Aki. And when Kengo pulls off the top of her swimsuit, he finds she has a bikini underneath, complete with a close-up of her bouncing breasts. In slow motion.
  • Mundane Utility: Celia's maken allows her to invert anything. She first uses it to reverse velocities (throwing someone running towards her backwards), but she soon proves capable of using it on more abstract things. At one point she reverses Takeru's determination, causing him to just stop fighting. She mostly uses this awesome power to be a girl.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Invoked by Himegami in chapter 7, where she and Haruko greet Takeru in their underwear to make him laugh.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: In episode 3, a bear wanders into the pool area where the Kenkeibu are meeting up. They're forced to deal with it, and they use their various abilities to launch the bear away via a giant wooden plank, but then make a magical cushion appear to avoid making the bear go splat against the mountain. A few scenes later the bear, a bit dizzy but no worse for the wear, wanders off after recovering.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Takeru Yamato ends up on the receiving end of a brutal one, from Takeru, after Himegami sacrifices herself to save him.
  • Nosebleed: Takeru and Kengo suffer these from time to time. Uruchi has one when Haruko's breasts get groped in the OVA.
  • "Not If They Enjoyed It" Rationalization: Inverted between Haruko and Takaki, in episode 13. The other girls were shyly mortified by Haruko molesting them in her sleep, and so was Harukao when she realized what she'd done. Takaki was perfectly fine with it and smiles naughtily, when she mentions that Haruko went further than that with her (seen from 8:50-9:10).
    Takaki: (at Aki-sensei) "She's not the only girl who was feeling energetic, this morning."
    Haruko: ('oh shit' expression) "Oh, please don't..."
    Takaki: (naughty face) "I woke up to an interesting surprise, myself. She did WAY more than just grope."
  • Oblivious to Love:
  • One of the Boys: Azuki is the token tomboy character of the series, from her short hair and straightforward attitude. Their principal, Minori, is just like her except hot blooded and far stronger.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Pretty much all the guys in the series. Goes so far as to put them in the background in their own Corner of Woe at the opening title, while the girls are prominently displayed up front.
    • The entire Maken-Ki feels this way after witnessing Minori's power punch in the OVA.
    • Minori compared to Ms. Aki, who all the male students have boners for, because her gargantuan rack. So Minori can't help wondering why no one has the hots for her, when she and Aki are only a cup size apart.
  • Panty Fighter: As noted in the summary, you'll be seeing plenty of the girls' undies during fight scenes.
  • Panty Shot: Not an episode goes by without at least several of 'em, with nearly half coming from Himegami (noted in the Male Gaze and Ms. Fanservice entries).
  • Plot Hole: A minor one occurs in chapter 26: Haruko says she never knew Azuki had a part-time job, despite having seen her at work in chapter 5.
  • Power Levels: Subverted. In Maken-ki!, the characters' fighting ability is separated into two categories: their Maken's rank and their ability usage (i.e. the user's ability to properly utilize Element and to what extent). However, Minori explained that an ability user's rank is not an absolute measure of their fighting ability. Meaning, it's entirely possible for someone at a lower rank to defeat an opponent ranked above themselves. Such as when Azukinote  was able to fight evenly with Yan-Minnote .
  • Positive Discrimination: The female cast are shown to be vastly superior in using their Maken and in overall strength, while the male cast are relegated to a few instances where they do win against the girls at some particular event, but even so it's mostly exclusive to Takeru due his protagonist privileges and male antagonists, with the latter being a blatant obstacle for the girls to overcome.
  • Reality Ensues: A hormone addled teenaged boy wakes up to find he's been turned into a girl and finds themselves alone in the bathroom. So the first thing Takeru decided to do with her new body was... (see the Sexy Discretion Shot entry).
  • Red-Headed Hero: Takeru
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning:
  • The Rival: It didn't take long for sparks to fly between Azuki and Yan-Min, when they first met, due to the latter's insulting the Maken-ki by calling them weak. Yuuka proposed that they settle it with a game of volleyball, to prevent them from fighting. The match ended in a draw, with both girls gaining respect for each other.
  • School Idol: Celia is an idol from America. Turns out she's a wrestling idol. Should have done a little more research before you tried to tackle her, Inaho.
  • Schoolgirl Lesbians: Uruchi and Takaki are both canonically lesbian, with implications that Yuuka might be as well:
  • Sexy Discretion Shot:
    • Chapter 32 opens with a veiled set of panels of Ouken Yamato banging one of his concubines, causing the guardian statue outside the bedchamber to shake from the force of his thrusts. It topples over right as she achieves orgasm.
    • Seen about halfway into OVA episode 2. After Takeru shoves her hands down her pants and props her leg up on the bathroom counter, the scene shifts so her back is turned toward the viewer. You get to see a bit of hip motion, before the scene cuts to the hallway, allowing the audience to hear the rest 'til she finally hits the big "O".
    • In episode 7 of season 2, Himegami makes the mistake of leaving Nozuchi alone with Rudulf, while she took a shower. By the time she returns, minutes later, she finds Nozuchi passed out next to Rudolf, with hearts in her eyes, while he's smugly having a cigar.
  • Sex God: Ouken and Rudolf are near equally matched in that regard (refer to the related entry in their respective sections of the character sheet).
  • Shout-Out: Maken-ki! has plenty:
    • Kai's Maken ability is called "Fullmetal," which allows him to cast any part of his body in steel, though he mainly uses it on his right arm. Sound familiar?
    • When a bear shows up at the Maken-Ki's meet and great, Chacha jokes that if they get it wet, it will turn human. It is then speculated that there is likely a little black pig and wet pretty girl nearby.
    • When Haruko and Kimi go to visit the Anime Club at the school, you can see figures and boxes that look suspiciously like Kamina, Madoka, and FLCL.
    • The title of episode 5 of season 2 is a shout out to Onegai Teacher.
    • Episode 8 of Season 2 has a shout out to Downfall where Kengo flips out much like Adolph did.
    • The Manga convention in Season 2 has Cosplayers dressed as, among others, Mio Sakamoto and Perrine Cloistermann from Strike Witches
  • Skinship Grope:
    • Other people sleepwalk. Haruko sleep-gropes (episode 13). As in, going from one girl's bed to the next and spooning with them, while fondling them from behind. Though she may have gone all the way with Takaki.
    • Ironically, Takeru did the same thing to her in OVA episode 2, while he was in girl form. Haruko wakes up to the feeling of something rubbing against her and finds it's Takeru sleeping facedown between her thighs. But when Takeru awakes and sees where she is, she figures 'why not?' and licks her way up Haruko's body; including her breasts.
  • The Spartan Way: At Tenbi Academy, everything is decided through battle. You want a date? Be prepared to fight for it. Literally. Grudges get settled with superpowered volleyball matches and the guys even had to challenge the girls to a water polo free-for-all, just for the sake of Co-Ed swimming classes.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Is it Syria or Celia? The subs can't seem to agree on the spelling of Kimi/Kimmy's name either.
  • Status Quo Is God: Takeru mentions this in episode 2 of season 2 after Haruko claims she doesn't remember anything she did while suffering from Easy Amnesia that episode. However, Haruko's rant to herself at the end suggests she does in fact remember it, such as telling him she fell in love with him again after losing her memories, and being unable to tell him how she really felt about him.
  • Suggestive Collision: In episode 1 (chapter 1). Takeru noticed Himegami hanging upside-down from a tree branch, at school, giving him a full view of her panties. Which startled her, causing her to fall directly on top of him. The anime shows it from top-down perspective, but the manga uses an upskirt angle at ground level — showing his erection was pressed against her camel toe.
  • Super-Deformed: Inaho in the 4Koma, she's perpetually chibified.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    • Seen during the flashback in episode 13, when Yuuka mentions how 'certain people' have been dipping into the club's treasury, including two expense claims for bear-related books and stuffed animals:
    Azuki: (with blank white eyes) "I-I've never even heard of Ma-chan the Koala!"
    Himegami: (same as Azuki) "Me, neither.. I don't know her little brother, Pu-chan, either!"
    • Haruko usually denies having any romantic interest in Takeru, but the other characters, especially Himegami, see right through her. Mainly because she keeps giving herself away.
  • Thanks for the Mammary:
    • Haruko must have magnets in her boobs, 'cuz Takeru can't seem to keep his hands, or his face, of them and it isn't always "accidental".
    • Ironically, Haruko is guilty of it herself, as the flashback in episode 13 shows she has a habit of groping other girls in her sleep!
    Ms. Aki: (amused) "I've heard of a sleepwalker, but never a sleep molester."
    Yuuka: (matter-of-factly) "She paid me a visit too. It was a surprise, to say the least."
    Kimi: (shyly) "You got a handful of my girls too."
  • Title Drop: Done during chapter 4 (episode 3 in the anime).
  • Took a Level in Badass:
    • Takeru got a major bump up, after training with Minori so he could withstand his Blood Pointer ability, along with a boost from Tesshin. Which enabled him to go head-to-head against Ouken Yamato in a brawl.
    • After his loss to Yan-Min, Kai went to the Oyama dojo during his summer break to ask Takeshi to train him. By the start of the following semester, he had become one of the few that're capable of casting without a Maken!
  • Too Hot for TV: So much so that, at times, it borders on being softcore porn. So the television release makes frequent use of lense flare effects to obscure all naughty bits. But the DVDs are completely uncensored, allowing you to see everything.
  • Too Kinky to Torture: The thief in episode 2 of season 2. She seems to be enjoying the punishment being dealt towards her by Yuuka to force her to release Haruko's memories back.
  • Tsundere: Haruko is a Type B (default dere-dere). Himegami is a Type A (default tsun-tsun).
  • Unprovoked Pervert Payback: Takeru and Usui are often justifiably punished for perving on the girls, but there are occasion where Takeru is innocent. Such as at the end of the first episode in season 1, when Haruko caught Inaho sleeping next to him. Despite the fact that it was his bunk and Inaho had climbed in after he'd fallen asleep, Haruko slapped Takeru out of jealousy, rather than chastise Inaho.
  • Unwanted Rescue: Takeru means well, but the girls hate it when he keeps insisting on interferring, where his help isn't wanted and often not even needed. They'll usually give him an earful afterward, and he'll offer an apology. Except he continues to do it again, whenever any of them seems to be in danger.
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: Justified twice, in chapters 4 and 10 respectively.
  • War Is Hell: In episode 7 of season 2, Rudolf the teddy bear relates a story to Himegami about how one of his previous owners was caught up in the midsts of World War II, and her hometown suffered a bombing raid by Allied planes. He was distraught over not being able to save her, and watched helplessly as she died, and vows to save his new owner. He then immediately claims he was lying, but in the end really does save Himegami after she's unable to save herself from a thug due to exhausting her magic from trying to punish him earlier.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Noted in the Unwanted Rescue entry.
  • Wham Line: Delivered by Ouken Yamato near the end of chapter 49, in an attempt to demoralize Takeru:
    Ouken: (at Takeru) "I don't understand -- Why are you helping that girl? She isn't even a human. She's nothing but a doll. That body is made of what's left of the real Kodama Himegami."
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: Played for laughs in episode 9. The boys want coed swimming classes, while the girls want segregated ones. They decide on it by having a boys vs girls water calvary battle. In the end Takeru is the last person with his headband still on, and the boys win. But the girls asked Usuya to use his Chameleon Maken ability to turn them all invisible, to deny the boys their spoils.
  • World of Buxom: Most of the females in the show are huge. Somehow Takeru always seems to find his hand or face in them as well.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Takeru. Justified by the fact that he developed this complex because of the tragic death of his mother. Other characters, however, repeatedly warn him that he has to get over this.
    • Arguably full-out deconstructed when someone asks him what he would do if he saw a girl beating up another girl (a very real possibility in this school), and he can't come up with an answer. "Unless you're saying it's all right for girls to beat up girls?"
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Himegami hits all the makers and skyrockets to Class S status, while Kimi is a Class A.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Played for Laughs. All of the male students in Takeru's class essentially have that "look" when Celia arrives in their class in episode 8 and proclaims him to be her boyfriend. They even parody bringing him down as if to eat him, only to beat him up. When Inaho gets upset at Celia's declaration, Kengo immediately points out that Takeru doesn't have long to live anyway, right before they take him down.