Onimaru Style... Burial Technique!Hanami Town Shopping District is a small but busy marketplace with three not-so-ordinary establishments: the Onimaru Chinese Restaurant, next-door Yaoguro Grocery Store, and Huet Bakery across the street. Having a day in this little shopping district that could be described as "normal" is unlikely.Miki Onimaru, twenty-year-old poster girl of Onimaru, is an easily distracted, overly violent girl with only her mother Makiko to rein her in (usually with a beatdown). Megumi Kannazuki, also aged twenty, owner and poster girl of Huet, puts on a sweet face while hiding a cruel personality. Kankuro Nishiyama, aged 24, comes home after finishing college to finally get back at Miki for bullying him in their younger years. A few blocks down lives Wakana Endou, a sweet kid with a rough dog named "Toshiyuki". And last but not least is Akihiko Ohta, owner of Yaoguro, the only paragon of sanity in the block (and even then he has his wild side). These are their stories.Muteki Kanban Musume ("Invincible Poster Girl") is a 17-volume manga series written by Jun Sadogawa between 2002 and 2006, and published by Akita Shoten, with a North American release under ADV Manga as Ramen Fighter Miki. A 2006 12-episode anime adaptation also aired as part of the Summer 2006 Anime lineup. Following the end of the manga, a 5-volume sequel was released between 2006 and 2008, called Muteki Kanban Musume Napalm, in which the cast is extended by the employees of the Tekkotsudo Megastore, which threatens the shopping district.
Kankuro:That Onimaru Miki didnít knock that train out of her way, she dodged it, nya! I understand at last! That body of Onimaru Miki thatís as strong as a rock still canít beat a train! I finally got it nya!
Miki fits the traditional bully archetype: powerful but not too bright, making her a Dumb Muscle. She also has a lithe body, which forces her to fight using Waif-Fu, but is certainly not a Dirty Coward.
Bully Hunter: Deconstructed, our protagonists are all Bully Hunters, but for the wrong reasons, or making thing worse for everyone.
Miki always hunts delinquents and Yakuza underlingsÖ but not For Great Justice, just because she loves violence and to slack at her job.
Makiko stops Mikiís bullying, only because she needs Miki to work for her, or when Miki is being a true Jerk Ass.
Megumi has been bullied practically all her life by Miki, and as the Hypocrite, she cannot recognize that she has a case of She Who Fights BulliesÖ and that Miki is the only bully she seeks revenge on.
Combat Pragmatist: Deconstructed by Megumi, who since childhood realized that she could never beat Miki in a fair fight, so sheís willing to do anything to defeat her that doesnít involve direct combat, no matter how cowardly or wrong. Even so, she hates herself for this, so much so she believes herself naturally evil to cope with this, and has developed a Guilt Complex so enormous she is convinced Kayahara-sensei is an avenging ghost out to punish her.
Complexity Addiction: Miki as The Bully and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, displays this when at episode 3A when she insists on fighting the Worthy Opponent when she could easily avoid it. And at episode 5 B, she insists of beating Ohta to use him as a stepping stone to escape a well, when Ohta had a rope and Miki couldíve just let him rescue her, she simply handwaves it.
It's to late to worry about that right now
Kankuro's plans to defeat Miki always had to involve some kind of duel.
Cooking Duel: Frequently, usually between Miki and Megumi, though sometimes it can escalate to MÍlťe ŗ Trois when Kankuro joins in, and then a four-way with Toshiyuki.
Cute and Psycho: Invoked by Miki when her mother advances towards her wearing a big smile, with the intention to punish her for slacking in her job:
Miki: (Talking about The Rival): Man, that fake smile really pissses me off!
Makiko:So, you skipped work all day. What exactly you were doing?
Miki:Mom, there is a good reason for this
Miki:That smile... is fake! Stay away from me!
Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Happens on a smaller scale with Kankuro. After spending several episodes putting all his energy into trying to beat Miki, the one day he worked honestly yielded him a better salary.
Dark Horse Victory: Miki and Megumi are having a life-and-death battle over a stuffed pig, and Kayahara-sensei wins it (plus a big screen TV) over both of them. In another instance, Wakana ends up snatching a win from Miki, Megumi and Kayahara.
Debut Queue: Akihiko, Miki, and Makiko are all introduced in Episode 1. The cast slowly builds with each succeeding half-episode until Megumi, Wakana, Toshiyuki, Kankurou, and Kayahara-sensei have all been introduced.
Delinquent: One episode features Suzuki, a schoolboy trying to be one, only to be scared by Kayahara-sensei into skipping school. Until he sees her smiling and falls in love, causing him to ultimately change his ways. She seems mostly unaware. In other episodes, they are merely Bit Part Badguys / Very Punchable Man to Miki.
Determinator: Deconstructed with Kankuro, whose hope of defeating Miki in a fair fight is only in his head, and his refusal to give up is fairly foolish.
Disproportionate Retribution: Miki will beat you if you are a delinquent and are there, Makiko will Megaton Punch Miki if she is late, Megumi tries to curse Miki for bullying her, Kankuro would do anything to defeat Miki, and Toshiyuki would beat you if you invade his house.
Disproportionate Reward: Miki is willing to be a substitute pitcher for a junior baseball league after a player helped her find an address. Kankuro does the same for the opposing team, and he's willing to help Megumi beat Miki up as a show of gratitude for sheltering him in Huet after another beatdown from Miki. Ultimately deconstructed, because they have ulterior motives — Miki wants to slack (again), while Kankuro still persists in beating up Miki.
Entitled Bastard: Miki and Megumi never doubt asking for help to the very people they constantly bully and abuse.
Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Deconstructed with Megumi: Given her self hatred, she considers herself as a Card Carrying Villaan, but she is only a School Yard Bully All Grown Up who cannot understand why she has to help anyone or why anyone would want to be her friendÖ because her definition of friend is Someone who I can manipulate to defeat The Rival Miki. She cannot understand why Kayahara Sensei would want to be her friend, nor that Idiot Hero Kankuro would want to help her in her quest.
Face of a Thug: Kayahara-sensei is a female version — unless she's eating a good meal, her normal face frightens children, small animals and Megumi. She gets mistaken for a certainStringy-Haired Ghost Girlonryo when Miki (and later Megumi) first meets her.
Family Business: Onimaru Chinese Restaurant is owned by Makiko and her only employee is her daughter Miki.
Fandumb:In-Universe: Yakihikoís moral dilemma at Episode 8A, "That guy sure looks like he is the strongest", shows him as a Star RangersLoony Fan who has doubts about his fandom when the evil ďHellís BunnyĒ appears and he becomes a Mad Groom for an Evil Character. When some little kids want to roleplay with him and forget the name of a character, he exploits:
Fanservice: Surprisingly averted — even when the two main characters are poster girls and are at least in their twenties, they dress very conservatively. Megumi has a Furo Scene and she also invokes Fan Service With A Smile, but those scenes are integral to the plot.
Fanservice with a Smile: Played with — Miki is the poster girl for mother's ramen restaurant but wears a little red Magic Skirt; Megumi is the poster girl for a bakery, but wears a long blue skirt.
In Episode 1, both girls challenge each other on a "best poster girl" duel: Megumi wears a sexy mini-dress, while Miki wears a Non-Ironic Clown costume. While Megumi shows some leg to attract young adults to her bakery, Miki attracts a lot of children. After some children realize that Megumi looked like Hell Bunny, antagonist of the Show Within a Show "Star Rangers", the latter changed into a Hell Bunny costume to attract children. And when some of Miki's clients threatened to leave unless she drinks with them, Miki complied when she was called "beautiful".
Funny Background Event: At episode 2B, while Ohta is cleaning the street, Kankuro, disguised as a trashcan, is beaten by a car. Later, while Kankuro is spying Miki, some aliens refuse to take refenge on Miki who before destroyed their spaceship.
In-Universe example: Wakana and Chiemi are chatting while Toshiyuki and Kankuro fight on the background and only Chiemi realizes it. They stop when Wakana check them. After Kankuro menaces Chiemi with his looks, she flees.
Hot-Blooded: Miki and Kankurou, especially the latter, considering his voice actor. Unfortunately, it usually involves him becoming more involved into trying to defeat Miki (only to end up having his ass served to him) than doing something productive.
Hot for Student: Averted. One of Kayahara-sensei's students falls for her, but seems unaware of this, other than being happy that he's going to back to school, if only because he finds her so adorable When She Smiles.
Hypocritical Humor: All the core cast is guilty — someone criticizes another for some fault that is an established part of their own characterization, or just before or after exhibiting that particular fault themselves. Lampshade Hanging almost always follows immediately.
Imagine Spotting: When Akihiko imagines himself as the Red Star Ranger while fighting an Angry Guard Dog to protect a child, Kankuro briefly sees Akihiko as he thinks of himself, and acts very surprised:
Kankuro: "Eh, what happened? For just a moment, I saw Akihiko as Star Ranger, nya!"
Loony Fan: Deconstructed by Akihiko, who despite being abused at his childhood , he is a Nice Guy who is everyoneís Butt Monkey. He deeply desires to be the Red Ranger because he is always recognized for his efforts with a 100% Heroism Rating. Akihiko is so found of the Red Ranger that he copies his Catch PhraseIíll pay them back several times over and uses it in situations that doesnít even make sense:
Kankuro Ė Talking while a Photo Montage of him being CurbStompBattled by a smiling Miki: But everytime, my attacks have failed just barely. Everytime, Iíve lost just by a hairís breadth, nya!
Mean Character, Nice Actor: In-Universe — the actress who plays "Hell's Bunny", the antagonist of Star Rangers, is a sweet, kind lady outside the camera, and is even best friends with the actress who plays "Star Pink".
Not Distracted by the Sexy: At least by the people of the district. In one episode, Megumi tries to attract male customers to her bakery with a sexy dress. It fails when Miki dresses up as a clown, attracting children, and their families by consequence.
Not so Above It All: Akihiko is the voice of reason most of the time, but when it involves Star Ranger even he can snap.
Not So Different: How Kankuro eventually sees his relationship to Megumi, being both young adults itching to defeat Miki.
Parental Substitute: Akihiko goes out of his way to help Miki: He wants to know if Kankuro plans to hurt her, he follows her to deliver ramen when he suspects something is wrong, and spies Miki and Kankuroís ďdateĒ. Miki has her mother and she cares about her, but she is very busy working because Miki is The Slacker.
Pass the Popcorn: Megumi discovers that Onimaru Restaurant exploits this trope when she does The Infiltration to find why the restaurant thrives when the kanban musume is not as cute as Megumi, the dťcor is not as beautiful as Megumiís bakery and the local is rather dirty. There has to be another reason besides the food for their success: Megumi finds out that the clients are there to see Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up Miki battle people.
Megumi:I understand now! The reason so many customers are here is because they want to watch Onimaru battle people, one by one. To the customers, this is some kind of spectacular event.
Perpetual Poverty: Deconstructed with Miki who has little money, no TV or video games... because she is The Slacker sponging out his mother. Kayahara Sensei tries to be a Save Our Students teacher who is so depressed that only manages to be The Dreaded among her students... her room is completely empty except for a calendar and a TV she won at a contest. Maybe she has a Limited Wardrobe because her jumpsuit is her only clothes.
Akihiko:So you call yourself a delinquent with doodles like that? Your delinquency is still lacking. These days, the popular thing would be, a drawing like this, and a curve hereÖ Basically, something like this. (A screaming skull shouts: ďWelcome!! To Hell)
Save Our Students: Deconstructed by Kayahara Sensei: This is the kind of teacher that she strikes to be, she is a Bully Hunter, always trying to stop any abuse. Unfortunately, the only thing she accomplishes is being a Sadist Teacher.
Sentai: Akihiko goes crazy whenever Star Ranger is involved. So much as mentioning the show makes him think he's Red Star.
In Napalm it is revealed that he is a fanboy of the entire genre in general, even noting that his fanboyism peaks every last episode before moving on the next series.
Also from Napalm, Searanger is a strange parody of sentais — all five members are different tones of blue.
Kankuro:How are you Akihiko, are you okay? Can you walk on your own?
Akihiko:No. I donít think so.
- At Akihikoís house, he is watching Star Rangers, with his arm and head bandaged: - Star Rangerís narrator:After destroying the Evil Base, the Star Rangers put hope back on the young boyís heart. Today, they fought for justice yet again.
Akihiko: Dramatically standing up adopting an Ass Kicking PoseDonít forget to watch next week!
In Episode 1B, "Another Poster Girl", Miki challenged Megumi to a boxing fight, quoting lines from Ashita no Joe while Akihiko suddenly adopts Danpei Tange's outfit and trademark eyepatch.
In Episode 2A, "Challenger: Nishiyama Kankuro", at a baseball game, Miki signals a home run with her metal bat, just like Babe Ruth did at the 1932 World Series.
Hell's Bunny appears in Episode 8A, "That Guy Sure Looks Like He's the Strongest", and is a parody of Usagi Tsukino (whose name literally means "moon rabbit"), right down to her pre-fight boast.
Miki's opening dance in the boxing ring in Episode 10B, "Sudden Fight! Nishiyama Kankuro VS Kannazuki Megumi", is a parody of a ritual performed by Muay Thai kickboxers before every round, Thai flutes playing in the background and all.
In Episode 11A, "The Guy Lets His Back Do the Talking", Wakana's worry of being swallowed by a whale and living on a raft inside is a direct reference to the story of Pinocchio.
Makiko's poses after her destructive drunken rampage in a flashback during Episode 12A, "When You Were Smashed", is a reference to the Jackie Chan film Drunken Master.
The Slacker: Miki only took her current job because she could slack all she wants there. Come day-offs, she doesnít know what to do... because she never delivers the ramen on time, has little money, no TV or video games. Megumi, on the other hand, takes her job seriously, and thus is rewarded with a better lifestyle.
Spelling Song: Kankuro's Image Song, which consists entirely of him spelling his name in various ways so Miki can remember who he is.
Spirited Competitor: Miki fought Toshiyuki for hours just to make a delivery, despite the owners telling her that she could yell their names and they would go out, just because she has the chance to flex some muscle.
"Yes, I did take a long time... but thatís because I had the determination not to lose. To trade work hours for my victory, it was worth it."
Megumi as the Combat Pragmatist, asks Miki at episode 3A why is she fighting an Angry Guard Dog when she could easily avoid it. At episode 5 B, after she and Miki beat someone to use him as a stepping stone to escape a well, she recognized that the guy had a rope and shouldíve just let him rescue them.
Suicide as Comedy: At the beginning of episode 4A, Kayahara sensei mentions to eat her last ramen and To continue this pitiful life of a teacherÖ Iím already tired of it. Later we discover that Kayahara Sensei is not talking about suicide, but to quit her job as a teacher. However, Miki invokes it to solve her problem with a student that wants to quit Kayaharaís class:
Imagine, if she committed suicide because of you, sheíll haunt you for sure!
Megumi gives another to Miki when she does The Infiltration at Miki's restaurant:
Megumi: Compared to our store, the employee here isn't nearly as cute.
There Can Be Only One: Central theme of episode 5 A, "Be my stepping stone" Miki and The Rival are trapped in a Dead End and invoke this trope: To go out, they need to defeat the other and use her as a stepping stone. Even when the rest of the cast show up to help, they involve them in the game. Deconstructed when everyone is knocked out and the last one is too tired to escape.
The Thing That Would Not Leave: Miki invokes this trope at episode 7 A, Peel Off the Fake Smile, when she becomes a client of Megumiís bakery and acts as annoying as possible for hours to make Megumi drop his faÁadeof The Fake Cutie in front of her clients.
Parodied with Kankuro, who goes into training... not to be a better fighter, but just to be less of a Combat Pragmatist.
Deconstructed with Miki, Megumi and Kankuro: because they're not professional fighters, they only use their skills against each other. But they're so good at it two true martial artists (best friends and actresses behind Star Pink and Hell Bunny), come to Hanami only to see them fight and help them with Pink Starís confidence. In other words, the protagonists are The Quest.
Pink Ranger's Actress: "Amazing! I never thought I would see such skills outside such a small neighborhood store."
Hellís Bunny's Actress: "What do you think? Arenīt you glad we came?"
Timmy in a Well: When Wakana ends up flung into a garbage truck, Toshiyuki goes to inform Miki.
To Be a Master: Deconstructed: No one of our protagonist wants to be the best at their jobs, but all they want to be the biggest The Bully in all town.
Training from Hell / In Harm's Way: Justified by Miki and deconstructed by Megumi: Mikiís explanation about why she didnít call people out to make the delivery avoiding the Angry Guard Dog justifies those tropes, while Megumiís reflection deconstructs it:
Voodoo Doll: At episode 4B, Megumi is trying to curse Miki by nailing a wara ningyo (a straw doll that represents people) to a sacred tree in the temple at the top of the hill.
Waif-Fu: Miki looks like she wouldn't pose a threat, but she's undoubtedly the strongest person in the district... Except for her mother, and (possibly) Toshiyuki.
We Want Our Jerk Back: When Makiko starts acting nice to Miki following the advice of a Coincidental Broadcast, the latter wants her old, abusive mother back immediately. The sentiment is equal when the drunken, nicer Miki appears.