Manga: Muteki Kanban Musume
aka: Ramen Fighter Miki
''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 Sadohara 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.
Tropes in Muteki Kanban Musume include:
- Abusive Parents: Played for Laughs. Makiko would frequently give Miki, her Woman Child of a daughter, outright violent Curb Stomp Battles. The fact that her daughter is a lazy bully also gives her a plausible reason. It's also deconstructed when you realize that Miki being a bully is partly because the Abusive Parents.
- Angry Guard Dog: Toshiyuki, the Endou family dog.
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Miki, Megumi and Kankuro, themselves Man Children in their own right.
- Attack Hello: Invoked by Megumi after Miki blocks Megumiís attack with her container:
Megumi: As youíd expect, this is simply my daily greeting.
Akihiko: Thatís your Ďgreetingí?
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Miki literally cannot focus in making deliveries without being distracted by helping stray dogs, beating Bit Part Badguys or chasing insects.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Deconstructed when Kankuro becomes a Stalker Without a Crush to analyze Mikiís weakness. Being the resident Idiot Hero, Kankuro uses Insane Troll Logic ruining this trope:
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!
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening of the show looks several times more serious than the actual content it precedes, complete with a Hot Blooded theme song from Masami Okui (future member of JAM Project).
- Becoming the Mask: Just after his Tomato in the Mirror moment, Akihiko decides that even if he is not a Star Ranger, he will be a hero.
- Best Served Cold: Kankuro's entire purpose for returning to Hanami is to finally take revenge against Miki for all the abuse she heaped on him since way back to their childhood.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Megumi, whose dark side Miki frequently tries to expose.
- Bit Part Badguys / Very Punchable Man: Miki encounters an unfortunate thief, Lowly Criminal Yakuza, and Japanese Delinquents, all of them only there to Mugging the Monster Miki and give her an excuse to Curb-Stomp Battle them, and then be forgotten.
- The Blind Leading The Blind: Miki always want to help the Victim of the Week. Unfortunately, the two teens from episode 1 A and Suzuki, the would-be delinquent from episode 4 A, immediately recognize Miki as a Woman Child Comedic Sociopath that is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All:
Suzuki: What exactly can I learn from someone like her?
- Blondes are Evil: Megumi, a comical variant.
- The Bully/School Yard Bully All Grown Up: Deconstructed by Miki and Megumiís relationship.
- 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.
- Megumi is a realistic take on bullies: a Hypocrite and a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who sabotages Mikiís work and destroys her property, loves using Malicious Slander, stages Wounded Gazelle Gambits, and is adept in verbal beatdowns and making "friends" so she can sic them against Miki. But as only Toshiyuki and Makiko could beat Miki, so logically Megumi believes she has no friends. Oh, and she always refers to Miki as "Onimaru".
- Kankuro deconstructs the "standing up for oneself" attitude in dealing with Miki. After four years in college, he returns to Hanami to defeat Miki and thus purge all memories his Hilariously Abusive Childhood — by winning her respect. Yet Miki, unable to empathize with anyone weaker than her, doesn't acknowledge the rivalry, let alone remember his name. Thus Kankuro is trapped in a Cycle of Revenge, unable to leave Hanami and start anew because he simply Can't Catch Up.
- 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.
- Kankuro was bullied by Miki in the past, and he has come back to his old town trying to stand up for himself. Unfortunately, he is trapped in a Cycle of Revenge that doesnít let him get his desired Character Development.
- Kayahara Sensei is a teacher who is actively seeking to stop any bullying and the Cycle of Revenge... only because she wants to avoid her own self esteem issues. She is easily distracted from her quest by her Trademark Favorite Food.
- Burger Fool: Miki and Megumi, poster girls of their stalls, subvert this trope and its monotonous nature by being Women Children and Arrogant Kung Fu Girls who constantly fight each other, slack on their job, and blow any issue/matter out of proportion.
Miki: Oh, the children seem to understand the heated excitement of my job as a poster girl!
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Miki doesn't remember Kankuro, the guy she bullied as a kid. Deconstructed because Miki is not a villain, she is a Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up and Fridge Brilliance dictates that The Bully cannot care for those weaker that him.
Miki: So, who is this guy?
Akihiko: You really donít remember? You used to pick on him all the time.
Miki: I donít know this guy at all.
Akihiko: Itís only been four years!
- Butt Monkey: Deconstructed because in a Fighting Series, the NiceGuys Akihiko and Kankuro become this.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall
"It's the first episode and the heroine is puking."
- Break Them By Talking: Megumi can easily talk down on Miki and shatter her confidence with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, but it only works because Miki is flawed and Megumi is just another Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up.
- Calling Your Attacks: Spoofed in Episode 1. Miki calls the name of an attack she isn't using to defeat a criminal.
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Akihiko Ohta watchs the last episode of the Star Rangers show, where a crying girl asks for help to the Red Ranger, and he manages to make her smile at the end of the episode. When a crying Wakana asks for help to find Toshiyuki, Akihiko Jumped at the Call envisioning himself as the Red Ranger, her bicycle as a Ranger Motorcycle, and assigning Rangerís code names to the rest of the core cast, recruiting them into the searchÖ and acting like a true Lord Error-Prone.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Megumi averts this trope — she is willing to do anything, no matter how low, to beat Miki, but she has a Guilt Complex about this so big she sees herself as evil due to her self-hatred.
- Carrying a Cake: Miki is a bicycle ramen delivery girl... who gets into fights during every delivery, with predictable results.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Miki is easily distracted by wanting to help someone, beat someone, or even both. Also deconstructed because this is the perfect excuse to slack at her job.
- City With No Name: Averted, as a deconstruction, The City is named Hanami, a very normal town with a very anormal Shopping district, and in no way a City of Adventure.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: When Akihiko assigns the color to each of the core cast, he exploits the Good Colours Evil Colours trope to a subtle Take That to Miki: Akihiko (The Hero) assigns himself Red (Red Is Heroic), Idiot Hero Kankuro is assigned Blue (The Lancer) Token Mini Moe Wakana is assigned Yellow (Kid Appeal Character) Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Megumi is assigned Pink (The Chick) and Designated Hero Miki is assigned Black (Bad Ass Anti-Hero).
- 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.
- Comedic Sociopathy
- 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.
- Credits Running Sequence
- 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.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Parodied when Kankuro tries to decide what thing he would imitate to beat Miki.
Akihiko: Shouldnít you have already decided on that?
Flashback of Miki being CurbStompBattled
by her mother, a fat restaurant hostess.
Kankuro: Thatís impossible, nya.
- Dangerously Genre Savvy: Megumi kicks the container with the ramen Miki is trying to deliver, only to find it empty.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Akihiko was bullied at his High School, but he managed to grow up a Nice Guy. That explains why he is such a Loony Fan to the Red Ranger
Akihiko: Are you being bullied? My high school life was rather dark too. My shoes got hidden... I was bossed around...
- 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.
- Dating Catwoman: Kankuro and Miki. Sort of. See "One Dialogue, Two Conversations" below.
- 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.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: Averted in the first short — after seeing two teens fighting, Makiko asked them to stop...with violence. Miki prefers to challenge them to an Eating Contest. Things degenerate in a violent fight between Miki and her mother... and after seeing two Man Children fighting, the boys feel ashamed of themselves and leave as friends.
- The Dreaded: Parodied: To hear Kayahara senseiís name is enough for the students of her school to scream and run in panic.
- Dumb Muscle: Miki — has the strength of a Navy SEAL, but the intelligence of a preschooler.
- The Eeyore: Kayahara-sensei, who exudes a regular aura of depression with very few exceptions.
- Economy Cast: The anime excludes three other recurring characters in the manga ó a police offer, the poster guy for a fish store and a Token Mini Moe sushi cook who fights like a kunoichi. Hand Waved in the Episode 1's "On The Next" dialogue: Ohta needs someone to look after his shop whenever he hangs around with Miki, and Megumi needs someone to sell bread while she is attracting customers, but showing more people will alter the Limited Social Circle.
Miki: "Hey, Ohta-san, do you manage your shop alone?"
Ohta: "Eh? What about Megumi-chan?"
Megumi: "That is a profesional secret, of course!"
Miki: "You are alone, isn't it?"
- 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.
- Evil Laugh: Megumiís Noblewoman's Laugh, if not evil, is very annoying!
- Exactly What I Aimed At:
Miki: An attack of that level? Did you think I couldnít dodge that?
Megumi: Thatís not itÖ his target isnít Onimaru san. Itís the ramen.
Toshiyuki eats the ramen Miki is trying to delivery while a surprised Miki falls ignominously.
Miki: You bastard!
- Face Fault
- 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 certain Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl onryo 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.
- 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".
- Freudian Excuse
- When she was a small child, Miki read this report for her class:
Suzuki: All right, Iíll tell you. What I said before about school being boringÖ It was all lies. To tell the truth, after that time, I lost my way in the cemetery, Iíve always been scared of ghost stories, scary pictures, haunted staircases and the likesÖ I worked had to overcome my fears, and could finally bear listening to ghost stories, But this springÖ every time I went to School, Iíd get scared even by just looking at my teacherís face, so I became a delinquent
Miki: In other words, youíre scared of ghosts.
Suzuki: Itís really lame, I know.
- 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.
- Gag Series: It's the closest anime equivalent to Tom And Jerry yet.
- Genre Savvy: Akihiko displays some degree of savviness about the series, but it doesn't do much for his survival.
Wakana: (Crying) "What I am going to do? I lost Toshiyuki while we were shopping. I donít know what I should do."
- Guilt Complex: Megumi claims she is content being a Combat Pragmatist. She lies. Being an Hypocrite is so hard for her and pervades every aspect of her life she believes that Kayahara-sensei is an ''onryo'' avenging spirit trying to torment her.
- Ghost in the Machine: Akihiko endures a "Good Angel, Bad Angel" fight so intense only plastic figures of Star Ranger's two predecessors can snap him out of it.
- Gratuitous English: How Naive! Emo Girl! Smile! Thank you!
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Literally speaking, any combat you see is between two or more hams.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: And it's a marketplace full of them!
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Deconstructed with Kankuro, who has become a Bully Hunter, literally stopping his life until he stands up for himself against Miki. Here he explains what happened while we see a Photo Montage of those scenes:
She tied me up and forced me to eat crayfish, She threw a beehive into my back. She rolled me up in a carpet and tossed me into a river.
- 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.
- Hot Shonen Mom: Subverted — Makiko was quite beautiful back during her early motherhood; the monumental stress of raising so wayward a daughter as Miki no doubt bloated her into the way she is today.
- 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.
Junior baseball players: "Didnít you just do that too?"
Kankuro: ''No more sneaky, underheaded attacks. Iíll just find her weakness and exploit it, nya!
Akihiko ''Thatís even more underhanded, isnít it?
. Anyway, I donít have time for chit-chat,
- I Have the High Ground: Miki, in the opening.
- Idiot Hero: Kankuro, through and through. Miki is also a lesser example, being a Dumb Muscle and all.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Parodied with Miki — as a child, she used to take home kittens, an old person who fainted, and some bullied kids. As an woman (child), she takes home a criminal she defeated.
- Informed Loner: Deconstructed with Megumi, who sincerely believes herself a victim of bullying that has no friends even when she hangs out with her Limited Social Circle. Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Megumi is The Bully/School Yard Bully All Grown Up, and her definition of friend is: someone who Megumi can manipulate into beating Miki. Since nobody wants to do that, Megumi feels she has no friends.
Kayahara Sensei: This isnít bullying, itís just mutual aggression.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Makiko used to be quite the stunner when Miki was a toddler.
- 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!"
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Despite all the training she went through, Megumi rarely hits Miki with her skewers.
- Improbable Weapon User: Megumi uses hot dog skewers, after first learning how to throw blackboard chalk with high precision.
- Improvised Training: Kankuro uses some old tires and school furniture to train to becomeÖ a train. It Makes Sense in Context. Sort of.
- Inaction Sequence / Talking Is a Free Action: Played so straight it could be a parody at episode 2B, Kankuro and Miki are less than ten meters apart before their fight. Then Kankuro begins to run towards Miki to attack her, and he manages to imitate the voice over of a local train before fighting. Miki stays immobile while she begins to imitate the voiceover of a bullet train and adopts an Ass Kicking Pose. Then she begins to run towards Kankuro. Akihiko desperately cries to Kankuro to stop. Kankuro manages to answer that he will increase the power. Miki and Kankuro take one minute and ten seconds running into themselves a distance of less than ten meters. And itís epic.
- Insane Troll Logic: Kankuro's plans to beat Miki are fueled by this.
- In Vino Veritas/Mirror Morality Machine: Alcohol turns the normally violent Miki into a Nic Girl who despises violence and can fight only by instinct. Inversely, a drunken Megumi shows the "bitch" in "Bitch in Sheep's Clothing".
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Miki, Heroic Comedic Sociopath and all, battles delinquents and/or saves hapless kids one minute, then bullies them the next.
- Killer Rabbit: Toshiyuki, the Endou family's guard dog, looks harmless. But he has More Teeth Than The Osmond Family and has fighting skills to match even Miki.
- Kung-Fu Kid: Miki and Megumi were this as kids, and they still are even as Women Children.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Parodied when Megumi, just seconds after tries to curse Miki with The Power of Hate nailing a wara ningyo to a sacred tree, sees Kayahara Sensei falling from that same tree and takes her for a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl that is going to curse Megumi.
- Law of Disproportionate Response: justified because the core cast is a bunch of Man Child SchoolYardBullyAllGrownUps
- Let's You and Him Fight: Just after Megumi hears Miki describing a powerful enemy at the Endou house, while Makiko is punishing Miki for constantly Carrying a Cake:
- Limited Social Circle: Once the primary cast is introduced, the only people they seem to encounter besides each other are random customers. Maybe it's justified, the core cast being a bunch of Heroic Comedic Sociopaths.
- 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 Phrase Iíll pay them back several times over and uses it in situations that doesnít even make sense:
Wakana: (Very confused) Star Ranger?
Akihiko: That Toshiyuki, Iíll bring him back several times over.
Wakana: No, just once is enough.
- Lord Error-Prone: Akihiko Jumped at the Call to find Toshiyuki believing himself the Red Ranger, but he fails for asking the description of Toshiyuki, lost many time asking to other children for him, and when he believes to find him, he attacks an Angry Guard Dog that seems to menace the child (that dog never wanted to attack the child and CurbStompBattles Akihiko). Also, the dog really is Toshiyuki.
- Magic Skirt: No matter how wacky gravity defying antic Miki is commiting, her skirt is always in an adequate place.
- Man Child
- Major Injury Underreaction: Kankuro hits the ball Miki was pitching him... with his arm. It breaks.
- Master of Delusion: a variation: Kankuro fervently believes that he is Mikiís Worthy Opponent, but to Miki (and everyone else) he is only the Unknown Rival:
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".
- Mistaken Identity: Given her constant depression, her Face of a Thug and her physical appeareance, everyone takes Kayahara Sensei for an Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl onryo bent on revenge on the living. Given her enormous Guilt Complex, Megumi will always take her for one.
- Mundane Made Awesome: All the core cast every single episode! Let's just say that the picture at the anime page shows Kankuro changing a bulb. Epic!
- My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Deconstructed — because Hard Work Hardly Works, the only one who trains to be strong is Kankuro, Miki's Unknown Rival. Toshiyuki and Megumi know they canít beat Miki with brute force, so they use their intelligence. And not even all of them combined can match up to Makiko.
- Names to Know in Anime
- Nice Guy: Akihiko deconstructs this trope, because being surrounded by ArrogantKungFuGuys, he becomes their Butt Monkey. Kankuro also qualifies.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Megumi uses these a lot.
- 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.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Wakana misinterprets Kankuro's constant challenges to Miki as a sign that he's Tsundere for her, and gives him dating advice. Likewise, Kankuro further misinterprets Wakana's advice as tips to find and exploit Miki's weakness(es). Kankuro still follows Wakana's advice to the (love) letter, and Hilarity Ensues.
- Opposing Combat Philosophies: Parodied to hilarity in Episode 10B, "Nishiyama Kankuro vs Kannazuki Megumi". Kankuro, the Idiot Hero, believes in going all out without thinking twice, and is the Unknown Rival to Miki. Megumi, the Smug Snake, prefers luring Miki into her traps. When Megumi offers Kankuro an alliance against Miki, the latter quickly agrees, but their combat philosophies are so diametrically opposed they go through an epic switcheroo between infighting and compromise. Itís very easy for Miki to incite Enemy Civil War between them, but Megumi found Kankuro a Worthy Opponent with his idealism, while Kankuro realizes that he and Megumi are Not So Different.
- 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.
- Passive Aggressive Kombat: Deconstucted by Miki and Megumi: This is the weapon of the people who cannot win a physical confrontation, but also takes a psychological toll in those who use it:
- Power Copying: Deconstructed when Kankuro, an Idiot Hero, uses Insane Troll Logic to conclude that by imitating a local train that Miki avoided she could beat her:
- Later, Miki will do the same, only she would imitate a bullet train.
- The Power of Hate: Invoked by Megumi when she tries to curse Miki nailing a wara ningyo to a sacred tree. Every time she drops the hammer, she screams ďhate!Ē and we see a Photo Montage of Miki bullying her. Also deconstructed: Miki really isn't cursed, is Megumi who ruins her own life hating Miki.
- Pretender Diss: Parodied when Kankuro melodramatically informs Akihiko that he is not a Star Ranger
- Miki and Akihiko discover a high school student out of school drawing pathetic graffiti and ask him what is he doing:
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)
- Rapunzel Hair: Miki and Megumi.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Kankuro has once worn the exact same outfit as Miki — skirt and all — and once worn a frilly Victorian dress, both times to match Miki. Neither was very successful.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Megumi constantly makes Malicious Slander and sends Cut and Paste Notes to Miki, exposing... the truth about Mikiís various character flaws. Miki retorts by revealing that Megumi is Not So Different from her own image of Miki.
- Redemption Quest: Deconstructed with Kankuro. He claims he has come to get back on Miki so he can finally get over his Freudian Excuse and move on. Defeating Miki seems the way to go, but it's an Impossible Task, thus trapping him into a Cycle of Revenge. Here he explains why while we see a Photo Montage in a computer... complete with a delete trash can image.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Miki is the red Jerk with a Heart of Gold; Megumi is the blue Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Both are each other's Shadow Archetypes.
- Regal Ringlets: Megumi sports a variation that also falls under Anime Hair. She has a very large curl on the back of her head.
- The Rival: Megumi and Toshiyuki for Miki (or at least the latter was in Miki's head).
- Rule Of Cool: Deconstructed into Mundane Made Awesome.
- Sadist Teacher: Kayahara Sensei tries to be a Save Our Students teacher. Unfortunately, she is always depressed (maybe because she cannot admit to herself that she doesnít enjoy teaching) and for that, is always being taken as a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, all her students are very afraid of her.
- 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.
- The genre is also deconstructed: The Red Ranger is The Hero, he acts heroic, gets things done, and always gets a 100% Heroism Rating... because he is at a TV Show. Akihiko it the Loony Fan does exactly the same things the Red Ranger does, is a Lord Error-Prone in a, and he is the Butt Monkey... because he is at Real Life.
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.
Dramatically standing up adopting an Ass Kicking Pose Donít forget to watch next week!
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up
- She Who Fights Bullies: When Megumi accuses Miki of bullying her, Megumi is truly surprised when Miki retorts that Megumi is the true bully -Ė by committing Malicious Slander, sabotaging Mikiís work and setting traps against her -Ė a realistic depiction of The Bully in Real Life.
- Shaggy Dog Story: Toshiyukiís rescue by Akihiko.
- Shipper on Deck: Wakana tries to hook up Kankuro and Miki after mistaking his challenges to Miki for love confessions.
- Shop Keeper: Makiko owns a ramen restaurant, Megumi a bakery/lunchroom, and Akihiko a greengrocery.
- Shout Out
- Every episode begins with a spoof of the MGM Studios lion roar (that showed before every Tom And Jerry cartoon), with Miki in place of the lion.
- Kayahara-sensei constantly (albeit unintentionally) spoofs Sadako Yamamura, Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl look.
- 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.
- Onimaru is the name of a nasty bully in Mazinger Z, who after being helped by his victim in a mortal peril apologized and become a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- 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.
- Slapstick Knows No Gender
- Slasher Smile/More Teeth Than The Osmond Family — Miki, Megumi and Toshiyuki. Justified in the latter because itís a dog.
- Slice of Life: Yes, Hanami Town Shopping District is a World of Ham, but The City is not a City of Adventure: Everyone else is pretty normal, and this series talks about the daily life of a group of BurgerFools that practice Mundane Made Awesome.
- Smug Snake: Megumi — crafty, pragmatic but also highly prone to a beatdown from Miki.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Inverted and subverted because they aren't presented in order of menace to Miki, but in alignment relative to her — Makiko, her mother who deals a lot of Tough Love; Megumi, The Rival and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing; Kankuro, the Unknown Rival/Idiot Hero; and finally Toshiyuki, her Worthy Opponent.
- 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."
- Spoof Aesop
"Having a pure heart and being able to ride a dog have nothing in common."
- Squeaky Eyes
- Stalker Without a Crush: In Episode 2A, "Challenger: Nishiyama Kankuro", when Miki feels she is Being Watched, Akihiko invokes a Stalker with a Crush on her. Miki denies it, sensing the aggression Kankuro is projecting.
- Start of Darkness: Megumiís flashback in Episode 1B, "Another Kanban Musume", is a Deconstructive Parody, where she recalls how, when she was a child, she tricked her her teacher into teaching her to throw projectiles with high accuracy. The truth is that Megumi is not a Classic Villain, but just The Rival, and even then Miki always manages to dodge anything Megumi hurls at her. Megumi's true Start of Darkness is only her Freudian Excuse of how she eschewed a direct approach to fighting Miki in favor of subtler means.
- Stating the Simple Solution:
- 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.
- This is one of Ohtaís duties as the Meta Guy.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Everyone takes Kayahara-sensei for an onryo, a ghost trying to get revenge on the living.
- 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!
- Superstition Episode: Episode 4B is about Megumi mistaking Kayahara sensei for onryo, a ghost trying to get revenge on Megumi for being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, and Megumi efforts to avoid her and her curse.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Megumi invokes it while Miki fights Toshiyuki, talking about the yet intact ramen Miki tries to deliver.
Oh my! How I could I have accidentally kicked over the ramen?
- Sweat Drop
- Take That: So subtle, maybe it was not intentional:
- Threw My Bike on the Roof: Miki accuses Megumi of blowing up her bicycle tires. Megumi denies it in public, but confesses only to Miki.
- Time to Unlock More True Potential: Deconstructed and parodied.
- 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.
- Token Mini Moe: Wakana
- Tough Love: Makiko definitely loves her daughter, but hits Miki not so much to make her stronger, but to make her less of a Jerkass.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Parodied after Kankuro reveals to Akihiko that he is not a Star Ranger, merely a guy who Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality:
- 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:
- Trademark Favorite Food: Kayahara-sensei loves Onimaru's ramen. It's the only thing that makes her smile in a non-creepy way. Deconstructed into an eating disorder: Kayahara Sensei is a Save Our Students teacher that really wants to help... except when she is eating ramen... then she cares about nothing.
- Twelve Episode Anime
- Twinkle Smile: Kankuro and Megumi, complete with Audible Gleam.
- Two Shorts: Though the shorts always share a similar theme.
- Unexplained Recovery: Kankuro, mostly.
Akihiko: "Have all the wounds Miki left you with yesterday healed already?"
Kankuro: "I only had eight broken ribs, nya."
- Unknown Rival: Kankuro repeatedly challenges Miki to a fight, but never wins. She can never remember his name either. Justified because Miki is The Bully/School Yard Bully All Grown Up who suffers Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! and But for Me, It Was Tuesday. Also deconstructed because as a Fighting Series protagonist, she always encounters Bit Part Bad Guys/ Very Punchable Men that are mean to her, she defeats and immediately forgets; why Kankuro should be different than them?
- The Un Smile: Tomoka Kayahara is so depressed, that when she wants to smile, this is the result... except when she is eating his Trademark Favorite Food, or trying to become friends with The Bully.
- Vandalism Backfire: Subverted — even when Megumi kicks the ramen box while Mikiís busy, the latter is so used to Megumi's antics she put the ramen in a safer place beforehand.
- Verbal Tic: Kankuro adds "~nya" to the end of his sentences. Odd in that he's a male character that does this.
- Victim of the Week: Subverted because the various non fatal victims of the week that we met at the series are regulars in her Debut Queue (they will not solve their problems) or people who will solve their problems themselves, despite the help the protagonist give
- Violence is the Only Option: Averted in Episode 1. In the first half, two teens enter a Eating Contest. In the second, Megumi and Miki duel to be the best poster girl. They never resort to violence... because Makiko interrupted (with violence) both contests. And the teens realize that resorting to violence only fits Man Children like the Onimarus.
- Zigzagged in episode 2A: Kankuro and Miki compete in different baseball teams... and Miki manages to break Kankuro's both arms.
- Violence Really Is the Answer: In a genre where fighting is frequently portrayed as a regrettable necessity, this series is one of the few that averts this trope: every problem could've been solved without violence had it not been for the many Heroic Comedic Sociopaths in the series.
- 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.
- When She Smiles: Kayaharaís sensei perpetual depression made her look as a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, and attempts to cheer up result in The Un SmileÖ except when she eats her Trademark Favorite Food, she is so happy then that When She Smiles, everyone thinks she is beautiful and Love Bubbles appear. When she tried to become Megumi's friend, she smiled maybe her first true smile, and she looked beautiful in a very normal way.
- White-Haired Pretty Boy: Kankuro is a subversion, because his alignment is Stupid Good.
- Why Do You Keep Changing Jobs?: Justified with Kankuro, who has come back to Hanami only to beat Miki — a task he sincerely believes would not take much time — so he is doing part time jobs to support himself in the meantime, such as painting fences, cooking food at a festival, and working in some place with a skirt. Lampshaded and Hand Waved in Episode 2's "On The Next" dialogue:
Miki: "What do you do for a living?"
"I do a lot of different jobs, Nya
. Road construction, farming..."
Miki: "Iíve got to make the deliveries!"
"Listen when I talking! Nya
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Makiko fears nothing. Except spiders.
- World of Ham: The core cast is this in a Slice of Life anime.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Exaggerated with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Megumi, who accuses Miki of bullying herÖ sincerely forgetting that Megumi also bullies Miki.