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Manga: Ratman
Yeah, those are the villains
The Smallest Hero!?

A manga series by Sekihiko Inui, brought to North America by Tokyopop (until they folded).

Twenty Minutes into the Future, advances in technology have made low-level superpowers available to anyone who can afford the treatments and gadgets necessary. As a result, corporate-sponsored superheroes have become ubiquitous in Japanese society. Young Shuto Katsuragi has been a superhero otaku since he was rescued by one as a child, and plans to become a hero himself at the earliest opportunity. Unfortunately, Shuto is just short of five feet tall, skinny, and generally way too wimpy to be considered hero material.

Opportunity knocks when the evil organization Jackal kidnaps Shuto and a classmate, and the hero who comes to save them fails. But not before he passes a transformation device to Shuto, who promptly uses it to "henshin." But it was all a trick! Shuto finds that he is now actually a hideous supervillain named Ratman, who is contractually required to do whatever Jackal wants. And what they want is for him to infiltrate the headquarters of the Hero Association and steal their files — a job that incidentally makes him Hero Association Enemy #1.

But there's hints that everything is not as it seems — don't Jackal's minions seem just a bit too relaxed to be evil? And some of the heroes hardly seem heroic...

Not to be confused with Italian superhero parody comic Rat-Man, the one-time character from The Justice Friends, the horror novel Ratman's Notebooks, or the strange benefactor from Portal.

Tropes seen in this series include:

  • Accidental Aiming Skills: In Episode 01 while imagining himself as a hero, Shuto made a kick but his shoe flew out and slipped onto a delinquent's ducktail hairdo.
  • Accidental Pervert: While trying to find his way through the Kizaki manor he infiltrated, Shuto as Ratman saw Rio Kizaki naked when she left the bath to see the disturbance.
  • Acrofatic: Fatman's pretty agile for his size.
  • Action Girl: Rio Kizaki, who later get a superpower upgrade when she becomes an official hero.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: Crea and Gengo, despite trying to tell Shuto that the Jacky 5 in the virtual training are "heroes", they can't help but laugh at their appearance as well.
  • Almighty Janitor: After ANK goes bankrupt, Ankaiser loses his position as its A-Rank commercial hero. Shortly after, he becomes the commercial hero of Kaiser Gym, but has to start over as a D-Rank hero. He is shown to still have his equipment from back when he was an A-Rank.
  • Always in Class One: Mirea and Shuto are in class 1-C, but Rio is in 2-A.
    • Post-Unchain Arc, everyone moves up a grade: Mirea, Shuto, and Shiki are in class 2-C; Anzu is in class 1-A; Mikoto is in class 1-B.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Shiki hasn't really stated anything directly, but how he constantly touches Shuto and refers to him as cute heavily suggest so.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Ratman, Mr. Big Horn, and Cat Girl Rio.
  • Annoying Younger Sibling: Ana Katsuragi, one of Shuto's little twin sisters.
  • Anti-Hero: Shuto sees himself as a dark hero while as Ratman. The funny thing is: Ratman is an Anti-Villain Type II (Woobie Anti-Villain) and IV (In Name Only)) together, the only thing that separates him from true hero-dom is the card carrying. And even that is forced on him.
  • Apron Matron: Big Mother.
  • Arm Cannon: Two D-rank heroes, who were chasing a Jackey out shopping in Episode 04, were equipped with them.
  • Art Shift: Usually done for comical effects in single panels (like this awesome one).
  • Ascended Fan Boy: Shuto, but on the "wrong" side.
  • Badass Creed: Ratman tries to use one with mixed results.
  • Barehanded Blade Block: A Jacky attempted this against a pipe to protect Ratman from a sneak attack, but he still got smacked on the head.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Crea in her normal outfit and Chihaya when she doesn't wear her jacket.
  • Barrier Warrior: Van Guardner
  • Batman Gambit: Jackal's plan for creating Ratman relied on Shuto acting like a superhero fan. One, "hey wait a minute", and the whole scheme would have collapsed.
    • His not stopping to think is brought up by none other than... himself. He outright thinks that he doesn't have time to be suspicious of the situation.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: Invoked the second time Ratman and ANKaiser meet each other when he disables the sprinkler system, as Ankaiser believes he will get more prestige defeating Ratman in this situation despite the fact it puts innocent people in danger. Obviously Shuto is not pleased.
  • Beach Episode: Episode 36.
  • Berserk Button: Short jokes for Shuto. Well, that's what he says. "Heroes" not acting heroic are a much, much bigger one.
  • Betty and Veronica: Mirea Mizushima and Rio Kizaki, although which is which depends on your perspective.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Parodied.
  • Big Eater: Shuto, by necessity, as using his Ratman abilities uses up his caloric energy at superhuman rates.
  • Big Fancy House: The Kizaki manor.
  • Bland-Name Product: Pizza Fat.
    • Watchaman film, even has Rorschach on the ticket.
  • Blatant Lies: ANKaiser seems to be fond of this trope, even claiming he "accidentally turned off the sprinkler system".
  • Blog: The Jackies have a website (not in the real world, unfortunately). Luckily for them, everyone thinks it's a parody.
  • Body Horror: The way Ratman's body morphs new weapons.
  • Bound and Gagged: Shuto falls victim to this in Episodes 01 & 02. In the first time he also suffers a Bag of Kidnapping.
  • Boxing Lessons For Ratman: Shuto, after realizing that all of his strength is from being Ratman and relies solely on being Unskilled, but Strong, deduces that he needs to actually learn how to fight to deal with his opponents that are equally strong or stronger. So he now jogs four days of the week and went to a Boxing Gym to improve himself.
  • Breath Weapon: One of Ratman's abilities.
  • Bridal Carry: In Episode 01, how Shuto as Ratman saved Mirea from Jackal who "captured" her.
    • In Episode 14 with some Roof Hopping, how Shuto as Ratman brought Rio to the car crash emergency.
    • In Episode 20 with some more roof hopping, how Shuto as Ratman brought Anzu to where her brother and Mr. Big Horn crashed and how he helped her to deliver both Pizza Fat and Bison Burger deliveries to the Pen Pen building.
    • In Episode 24, how Shiki saved Shuto.
  • Broken Pedestal: Many to Shuto, when many of the "heroes" just seem to be in it for the glory and prestige rather than genuinely wanting to help people.
  • Brought to You by the Letter "S": Some heroes have this in costume.
    • Shiningman has a "S" on his helmet.
      • In Shuto's Imagine Spot in Episode 01 as the hero he wants to be, "Super Nova", he has a "S" on his belt buckle.
    • Randolman has a "R" on his chest.
    • The Jackies have "J" shaped belt buckles.
    • Mr. Big Horn has two "B"s on his chestnote .
    • "Watchaman" has the katakana "wa" symbol on his mask.
    • YAVAIS has "Y"s on his belt and boots.
  • Bullet Catch: A Jacky does this after an Offscreen Teleportation to grab a piece of concrete just as it was about to hit an unflinching Mirea seen here. Yes that scene was a Crowning Moment Of Awesome.
  • Cannibalism Superpower: It is heavily suggested Unchain gains the strength of whatever he eats.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: A female version, Mirea is shown to pass out after just a few cups of sake.
  • Captain Superhero: One of the heroes has this naming convention.
  • Card-Carrying Villain: The entire Jackal Organization.
    • A fake hero version. The guy that comes to save Shuto and Mirea in Episode 1 wears a shirt that says "I'm a Hero!".
  • Cassandra Truth: Ratman when he tries to explain he isn't the bad guy and stopped the bad guys. More often then not the one he is trying to explain this to still believes he was involved.
    • Also the Jackey Blog. Where it states that it is a communication for the Combatants of an Secret Evil Organization, no one outside of the Combatants takes it seriously as no one believes a Secret Evil Organization would post their activities so publicly.
    • Averted somewhat with Ankaiser, who later states he doesn't care if Ratman caused the fire or not as he just wanted to defeat him.
  • Cat Girl: Rio's costume and codename are based on this.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Shuto accidentally walks in on one of the Jackies taking care of business.
  • Chronic Hero Syndrome: Basically, what helps you to make differences between hero who was Only in It for the Money and "true" heroes.
  • Clark Kent Outfit: Shouichirou is commonly seen in a business suit and looks to be about an average middle aged man. That is until he takes off his suit. It is later revealed that Ankaiser considers his only lost to him and he was almost picked to be Shiningman.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: When Rio is trying to figure out Ratman's motives, the teacher is explaining the use of rats in lab experiments.
  • Color Character: Prisms Blue, Red and Yellow of the Prism Crystal Rangers.
  • Comes Great Responsibility: Cited by Mirea, although she may not mean it in the usual sense.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: "Article 8 - Failure to honor the contract will result in the destruction of Shuto's entire action figure collection."
  • Cooldown Hug: Mirea tries this on Shuto when he enters a berserk state, but gets injured in the process. However it was causing her injuring that made Shuto come back from the shock of what he did.
  • Corporate-Sponsored Superhero: Almost every hero who is part of the Hero Association.
  • Covert Pervert: Of all people Mirea, in the extra Chapter 19.5, after Shuto (who due to a drug has reverted to the age of five) suggests Mirea and himself take a bath after dinner. She is later seen in the kitchen repeating the idea in her head.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-Universe Fatman doesn't know the difference between a bison and a longhorn.
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Shiki props up an unconscious Rio on a cross made of stuff.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Ratman vs Jacky Five, 1st simulation battle. Having power isn't the same as having the skills to use it, right, Shuto?
  • Cute Bruiser: Rio, who kicked the butt of three upperclassmen without breaking a sweat.
  • Dark Is Not Evil=/=Light Is Not Good: Lampshaded by the reporter when she witnesses the fight between Ratman and the Unknown Hero, since she can't tell which one is supposed to be the hero or the villain.
  • Date Peepers: Crea and the Jackies do this when Shuto and Mirea go to the movies, but later lose them.
  • Description Cut: Crea states the Jackies got in by using "kickass disguise equipment", cut the shot of a Jackey hiding in a cardboard box.
  • Diabolical Mastermind: Crea Mizushima, though she tends to overplay the part.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Crea wanted to blow up a restaurant because the waitress was rude to her.
  • Distressed Damsel: Mirea Mizushima appears to be one, but is really a Decoy Damsel.
    • Rio plays it straight later.
  • Dramatic Drop: Mirea has a habit of dropping things when something happens to Shuto or when he is with another girl.
  • Drunk on the Dark Side: All the lower ranked heroes that used the Hero Amplifier App as chapter 44.
  • Eagleland: Bison Burger's theme is based on Type One, Mr. Big Horn is secretly Type Two.
  • Empire with a Dark Secret: Heavily hinted about the Hero Society, especially when Mr. Kizaki made sure Ratman didn't find a certain room after breaking in.
  • Epic Fail: Ratman falls off a building where Fatman is able to spot it. He suddenly changes into his super hero persona, makes a mad dash to catch Ratman, all leading up to this scene.
  • Everything Is an iPod in the Future: The Hero Tracker greatly resembles an iPod.
  • Evil Is One Big Happy Family: At least the Jackal Organization is.
  • Expressive Mask: The Jackies' masks show them crying or drooling.
  • Faceless Goons: The Jackies. Played with, in that their masks and bodies show highly expressive emotions, and in that they're the most tenderhearted people in the series.
  • Fake Memories: Shuto's memories of how Shiningman rescued him years ago don't match the video evidence.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: ANKaiser
  • Fangs Are Evil: Whenever Ratman gets angry or excited his mask morphs into a fanged maw. Bonus points for it actually giving Rio nightmares.
  • Fanservice with a Smile: The female employees of Bison Burger dress as cowgirls with exposed navels and wearing short short jeans.
    • In Episode 36, the Bison Burger cowgirls wear cow-spotted bikinis to serve customers on the beach.
      • Anzu, Rio, and Mirea wear aprons over their bikinis when the served Pizza Fat pizzas as well.
  • Feet-First Introduction: Rio gets one when she meets up with Shuto at the Hero Awards after party.
  • Fighting the Lancer: The Crystal Fighter PRISMMAN team during the Hero Awards, Ruby Red fights with his teammates Sapphire Blue and Topaz Yellow when they are fed-up with his glory hogging.
  • Five-Man Band: Parodied with the Skull Ranger Jacky Five.
  • Formerly Fat: Fatman's teenaged sister Anzu.
  • For the Evulz: Crea states that an Evil Organization shouldn't need a reason to do evil things.
  • Fountain of Youth: Shuto spends an EX-chapter chemically regressed to a much younger physical and mental age.
  • Funny Background Event: The Jackies LIVE AND BREATHE this trope. From trying on Rio's underwear and posing (until she notices them) to their anticlimactic (and totally deadpan) antics, these masked goons are an endless source of fun.
  • Furo Scene: Rio was soaking in the hot tub after working out when the alarm reported intruders.
  • Gemstone Assault: The Gem Unit of PRISMMAN uses gems when they fight. It is lampshaded that they are quite an expensive bunch of heroes.
  • Genre Savvy: Rio, who was able to correctly assume that Ratman was an experiment for an evil organization.
    • Shuto had some when he realized in the first chapter that the set up he was in was highly suspicious, but he ignored it because he thought Mirea was endangered.
    • Shuto finally gets some of this in chapter 18. He realizes that Jackal isn't particularly evil, so they must have a better reason to fight the Hero Association, and "because you're short" is a ridiculous reason to make him Ratman. He confronts Crea about it, but she doesn't tell him the truth—he didn't really expect her to.
  • Gilligan Cut: The leader of Jackal assures her sister that Ratman won't be caught. The next page has Ratman on his knees in front of a hero apologizing for getting caught.
  • Girlish Pigtails: Rio's hairstyle.
  • Girls Are Really Scared of Horror Movies: Rio, she admits that she can't handle scary things, especially when Ratman shows off his teeth.
  • Glory Hound: Prism Red, at first. But especially ANKaiser, who goes so far as to disable the sprinkler system of a burning hotel so he can be the one to arrest the "villain" while other heroes are busy saving civilians.
  • Gratuitous English: here and there in the story, and every chapter name is "subtitled" in English too. At least it's usually grammatically correct, if not always stylish.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Clear as day in this page.
    • And again here. Shiki even lampshades how dense Shuto is to not feel her anger.
  • Grey and Gray Morality: It's rather explicitly shown that the members of Jackal are not nearly as evil as they claim they are. Shuto also discovers that some heroes aren't as nice as people believe they are, such as ANKaiser. However, there's plenty of evidence that there are heroes who genuinely want to help people, such as Fatman and the Akiba Holy Girls, or heroes who wants glory but still a decent human being like YAVIS. And in later chapters, even ANKaiser gets some development that depicts him as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Happily Married: Fatman's parents. Mr. Big Horn and Linda.
  • Headbutting Heroes: Fatman and Mr. Big Horn.
  • Henshin Hero: The entire series seems to be an Affectionate Parody of this trope.
  • Heroes Fight Barehanded: Some heroes don't use weapons even if their budget could let them. On the other-hand, some have powers to supplement them.
  • Heroic BSOD: Prism Red, after he realizes how badly he screwed up.
  • Heroic Wannabe: Shuto. Taken to extreme with YAVIS.
  • Hot Scientist: Crea Mizushima.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each chapter is called an "Episode".
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Subverted during the Unchain fight as both Ratman and Unchain wind up needing assistance to overcome their own dark sides before the end of the battle.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Unchain wants nothing more than to eat Ratman.
  • Implausible Deniability: Once Shuto has discovered enough to suspect that something's going on, he confronts Crea and demands to know why he was chosen as Ratman and what her real goals are. Instead of telling him, she repeats her implausible reasons from the start of the story, but in monosyllabic half-sentences and without even bothering to look at him.
  • Instant Cosplay Surprise: In Episode 23, in helping Mirea choosing clothes for her date with Shuto, Crea and the Jackies changed Mirea's clothes to Crea's Qipao.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Chihaya Sugimura.
  • Jaw Drop: Shuto as Ratman does this, showing his teeth.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: In Episode 29, Shuto gets glimpses of Shiki's memories when Unchain plunges his arm into Ratman's torso looking for the S-gene.
  • Jumped at the Call: Shuto—should have used Caller ID, man.
  • Kevlard: Fat Man's super power.
  • Kick the Dog: ANKaiser deliberately sabotages an inhabited skyscraper's sprinkler system, so that the fire won't go out before he has a chance to defeat Ratman.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Whenever Shiningman or the S-Gene comes up, shit gets real.
  • The Knights Who Say Squee: Shuto as Ratman has one of these towards ANKaiser, to where he forgets he was currently breaking into Kizaki Mansion and asks for his autograph. It's soon afterwards that he receives a Broken Pedestal moment.
  • Large Ham: And a very rare female villainous version at that, Crea. She smashes the scenery.
  • Lawful Stupid: Shuto signed a contract that legally requires him to work for Jackal as Ratman. So naturally it does not occur to him to simply ignore a promise made under false pretenses. It does help that his lifelong dream was being a supersomething, and there's a cute girl attending him at Jackal base as added bonus.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Mirea might not be dangerous by herself, but she has the Jackies on her side. To the point that when an enemy throws a rock at her face, she doesn't even bother to blink when a Jacky appears out of nowhere and catches it.
  • Light 'em Up: Shiningman and Ratman
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Rio
  • Loves My Alter Ego: Inverted, Rio likes Shuto (and considers him heroic), but has nightmares about Ratman.
    • She warms up around Ratman recently, though.
  • Loves the Sound of Screaming: ANKaiser, at least towards Ratman.
  • Mad Scientist: Grandfather Mizushima, but at least he had restraint. Dr. Teramishi, in the other hand....
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The Jackies are a parody of this.
  • Man Hug: Shuto and Fatman have one, only for Fatman's little sister Anzu to walk in on this and mistake it for something else.
  • Manly Tears: A Jackey seems to be fond of this.
  • Meaningful Name: Ratman. Both a reference to Shuto's small size, and his role as Jackal's lab rat.
  • Medium Awareness: In Episode Five, Crea mentions that if she released Shuto from being Ratman, the manga would be over, and that she's sure some readers like things in "small packages."
  • Meganekko: Chihaya Sugimura.
  • Meido: The defenders of Akihibara work at a Maid Cafe, and don't always get the chance to change out of their uniforms when called to action.
  • Miniature Senior Citizens: Grandfather Mizushima.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: The Jackal minions. The first chapter they forget they are supposed to kidnap Shuto, so they play with and feed stray kittens. Seen in the picture above.
    • Their most common contribution to fights is also usually to evacuate innocents. Unlike most examples, their bosses generally don't want them to be evil anyway, although Crea sometimes gets (affectionately) frustrated when they act so softhearted that it interferes with operations.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Anzu suspects this between her brother and Shuto when she walks into them hugging. After being set straight she is noticeably glad that Shuto isn't.
  • Ms. Exposition: Crea, in Episode 05.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: At one point a Jacky sneaks into a hospital under a cardboard box labelled MGS4
  • Moment Killer: Mirea and Shuto in the hospital, with Mirea just about to feed him. Cue Crea and the Jackies bursting into the room.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Ratman looks like a Super Sentai version of Venom.
  • Motifs: Many of the heroes have their hero code names from who they work for.
  • Naked Apron: A variant. When everyone is helping Pizza Fat at the beach, they forget the girls' uniforms at home, so they just wear aprons over their swimsuits.
  • No Export for You: At first averted, then played straight, as lampshaded in this image by the scanlation group that picked it up after Tokyopop dropped it.
  • No Kill Like Overkill: A D-rank hero uses his strongest attack on a single Jackey who was simply grocery shopping.
    • For bonus points, it doesn't even really do anything to him.
  • Non-Idle Rich: Rio. Despite being quite wealthy, she is completely determined to be a hero to help others and will Jumped at the Call to help anyone in need.
  • Nonverbal Miscommunication: A Jackey tries to communicate with Shuto with hand gestures, which only leaves Shuto baffled as to how he is supposed to know what the Jackey is trying to say.
  • No Plans, No Prototype, No Backup: Roiko, where her creator has no idea how she gained AI.
  • Not a Date: What Shuto states to his friends when he and Mirea meet them at a restaurant, much to Mirea's frustration.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught: Ankaiser seems to believe this. As he comments that if you are going to commit a crime make sure you don't get caught.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Rio hears the description of a purse snatcher as a tall man in black, then comes across Ratman, who is a tall man in black holding a purse (which he just took away from the real thief).
    • Episode (Chapter) 42 has one of these at the end with Mirea and Shuto in the nurses office. Where Mirea is hugging a shirtless Shuto from behind, and the Nurse assumes something else.
    • Nine years before the story starts, Crea saw Shouichiro Kizaki holding a gun over her parents' bodies and assumed he killed them. He was actually making a vow to avenge their deaths while holding the real killer's weapon. This misunderstanding isn't cleared up until chapter 53.
  • Oblivious to Love: Shuto seems to be oblivious to Mirea's feelings for him.
    • Proven true as he did not realize she liked him until after Mira sister flat out told him 55 chapters since he became Ratman.
  • Oddly Small Organization: Jackal, we have the three Mizushimas, a handful of mooks and the titular Ratman himself. And that's it.
  • Offscreen Teleportation: The Jackies are able to do it to the point it creeps Shuto out.
  • Oh Crap: This image
  • The Only One: They state that only Shuto can be Ratman. It has yet to be revealed why this is the case.
    • It was a lie.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Ankaiser seems to see himself as this to Ratman, as he is angry at the fact he believes the S Security will defeat him before he can.
  • Otaku: Shuto is a self proclaimed Hero Otaku.
  • Overprotective Dad: Mr. Kizaki.
  • Papa Wolf: Rio's father might never give her a Heroes License, however when he couldn't find her for a day he summons the Hero Association to find her.
  • Panty Shot: Rio gives a lot of these.
    • Roiko also does this.
    • Anzu gives one in Episode 33 when her friend Hyuuga pushed her into the classroom.
    • Mikoto's Hero outfit is accused of this.
  • Parental Abandonment: Crea and Mirea's parents died when Mirea was little. Rio's mother also died when she was little, partially fueling her desire to become a superhero so that she could save others from a similar fate. Shuto's father is also nowhere to be found, but his situation is less clear.
  • Parking Garage: Where Ratman and ANKaiser had their rematch.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Crea's hair style. In Chapter 51, we learn it's to conceal her blind right eye, injured by an explosion.
  • Pet the Dog: ANKaiser in his civilian identity gives an impromptu boxing lesson to Shuto because he sees the boy struggling with a punching bag.
  • Piggyback Cute: Rio carries Shuto back to school after the latter twisted his ankle saving a kitten.
  • Psycho Serum: The Unofficial Hero Amplifier app, which appears to be related to the S genes that can drive Ratman berserk.
  • Punch Clock Hero: Many of the members of the Hero Association.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Ratman's first fight against the S Rank hero.
  • Random Power Ranking: Heroes are ranked from F to S.
    • S Ranks: Kreios, and Unchain.
    • A Ranks: ANKaiser, Vanguardner, and Hevenly Maiden.
    • B Ranks: The Gem Unit of PRISMMAN.
    • C Ranks: The Akiba Holy Girls.
    • D Ranks: The two heroes with arm cannons who were chasing a Jackey in Episode 04.
    • E Ranks: Fatman
    • F Ranks: YAVAIS
  • Rank Inflation: After A-rank hero ANKaiser gets badly beaten by Ratman, the Hero Association calls in the S-rank heroes. Somewhat justified though, in that the A-ranks are the most powerful publicly known heroes, and S-ranked heroes operate in a completely different capacity as the Association's secret enforcers.
    • Big Horn thanks to the Hero Amplifier app.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Shuto as Ratman gives a good one to ANKaiser for purposely putting people in harm's way just to make himself look good.
  • Rebellious Princess: Rio Kizaki.
  • Rescue Romance: Taishi asked Shuuto and the Jackals to arrange this to impress her customer and Love Interest, Haruka. Hilarity Ensues. In the end, it didn't matter; Haruka already knows his worth as a man.
  • Revenge: Cited to be real reason of Mizushima's opposing Hero Association.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: Shuto always uses Ratman to save people and do the right thing. However because of his status as a "villain", he is often blamed for the very crime he stopped.
  • Robot Girl: Roiko.
  • Roof Hopping: How Ratman usually gets around. Also best because he is able to stay out of sight.
  • Rooftop Confrontation: Ratman's fight with the unknown heronote  on top of the Kadoyama Press.
  • Samaritan Relationship Starter: Rio's opinion of Shuto goes up considerably when she sees him risk his life to save a kitten...without the benefit of superpowers.
    • Haruka, one of Taishi's customer, also begin to appreciate the man after she sees him calming down a crying child using his Transformation Sequence and free pizza, on his own account.
  • Satchel Switcheroo: At the start of Episode 21 Ana mistakenly grabs the wrong Mr. Boxers plushie. That plushie is actually a drug drop for the dealers.
  • Scapegoat: The Bio-Department puts all the blame for the creation of the Hero Killers on Jackal.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Shuto as Ratman has one.
  • Scary Black Man: Big Billy.
    • Ratman could count as well.
  • Screw Destiny: Shuto's outlook at being a super hero. He knows his height would most likely prevent him from ever truly being one, but still focuses on trying.
    • Rio as well, her father explicitly stated he will never give her a Hero's License, but that doesn't stop her dream of one day becoming one. So she trains for it when he isn't around and tries to stop crime.
  • Secret Identity: All hero license holders under the Hero Association. Ratman's first mission is to steal the information of who they are.
    • Crea's explanation of why Jackal chose Shuto as Ratman is that no one could make a connection between a "shorty" like Shuto and the "big" bad Ratman.
  • Secret Police: "S Security" is a group made up of the S-ranked heroes. Unlike other heroes, however, S Security are the Hero Association's secret enforcers, who go to brutal lengths to covertly eliminate threats that can't be handled by heroes who have to maintain a good public image.
  • Secret Public Identity: Many of the heroes don't wear masks or can be recognized without their masks.
  • Senpai Kohai: Rio is senpai to both Shuto and Mirea.
    • Post-Unchain arc, Anzu enters Shuto's school and became the latter's kohai.
  • Shipper on Deck: The entire organization of Jackal appear to enjoy watching the "teen drama" between Shuto and Mirea.
  • Shout-Out: Some of the poses on this page of this page look AWFULLY familiar...
    • This looks like the move Seras did to Zorin.
    • Chapter 11 is titled: "The Melancholy of Mirea Mizushima" and Chapter 19 is called Shooto Katsuragi Raising Project
      • The way Ratman's faceplate shatters when his mouth forms is evocative of when the Evangelion Units go berserk.
    • In Akihibara Shuto channels the spirit of Hiro Nakamura. Must be the shared hero fever.
    • A Jackey hides under a cardboard box, the box is even labeled MGS4.
    • Both chapters with Fatman have titles I Am Fatman!! and Fatman Returns.
      • To really nail it in, Fatman's vehicle is the Tumbler, and his father who made it tells Fatman not to tell anyone as be doesn't want be sued for trademark infringement.
    • Fatman's family photo had him wearing a shirt with Keroro on it.
    • G9's little speech matches the members of the Code:Breaker.
    • In chapter 23, Mirea and Shuto go see a movie together. It's about a hero named Watchaman, who's overall appearance is eerily similar to Rorschach from the western Super Hero comic, Watchmen.
    • In Episode 33, Shuto mentions Ironman 2 coming out soon.
    • Ratman in his look and origin seems very similar to Kamen Rider.
      • The Jackies' outfit seems designed after the Shocker soldiers.
  • Show Within a Show: Panchura/Mr. Boxers a kids' anime starring cute mice that wear little pants.
  • Skunk Stripe: Shouichiro Kizaki.
  • Smoke Out: How a Jacky got himself and Ratman out of the Kizaki Mansion.
  • Something Completely Different: A side story about an inventor and his AI Android.
  • Something Person: Some hero code names are this.
  • Spell My Name with an S: The original author's romanizations for Shuto and Jackal are "Shooto" and "Jackall" respectively.
  • Spit Take: Usually Shuto when the Jackies sneak up on him.
    • Crea has one when she sees how the Append Gear malfunctions.
    • Rio did this in Episode 02, when the alarms went off while she was soaking in the tub while sipping a drink.
    • The entire Jackal Organization does this when a 5 year old Shuto suggest he and Mirea take a bath.
    • Dr. Andou did one when Roiko lifted her skirt showing her missiles and panties.
    • Vanguardner did this when ANKaiser revealed the existence of Ratman at a press conference.
  • Stalker Without A Crush: The Jackies are pretty much never that far away from Shuto.
  • Stout Strength: Fatman
  • Sugar and Ice Personality: Mirea Mizushima, type 1 Kuudere and, for once not with an overused character design.
  • Superheroes Wear Capes: Not all of them do.
  • Superhuman Transfusion: It is revealed that the incident 10 years ago caused Shuto to be severely wounded which led to Shiningman to give Shuto his blood for the transfusion. This also gave him access to the S Factor.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: You won't like Ratman when he's angry. Triggering his animal fighting instincts activates his S-Genes and gives him enough of a boost to make 2 A-list heroes run for the hills.
  • Super Prototype: Ratman is an experimental bio-weapon. He's literally a lab rat.
  • Super Window Jump / No Escape but Down:
    • Ratman did this in Episode 02 to escape Big Mama and Billy.
    • Van Guardner did this with ANKaiser to escape from Ratman's Breath Weapon.
  • Team Mom: Mirea.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Shuto when he stops being Ratman after his fight with the Unknown Hero. He returns by the end of the same chapter.
  • There Is Another: In Episode 41, Hijiri reveals to Crea that there is someone else other than Ratman who has the S-gene.
  • Through His Stomach: It appears to be Mirea's main course of action to get Shuto's attention, such as making him delicious lunches or giving him extra to eat.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Shuto and Mirea. To where Mirea even says point blank to Shuto's face she prefers how he is now and his height would not bother her if she was with him. And he still doesn't get the hint.
    • Actually he does fluster to her statement, but was more concerned by the fact that Crea was eavesdropping on their conversation.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Anna and Yuna, the Katsuragi twins.
  • Too Dumb to Live: The Jackeys on many occasions. One notable example; they know they are targeted by the Hero Association, but don't seem to think it's a bad idea to go grocery shopping while still in costume.
    • Another is where their best idea to take on the heavily defended Hero Society HQ, was by simply climbing over the wall to the front door. Shuto even lampshades this. They also do this again when they break into the Hero Society HQ for the second time, again lampshaded.
  • Transformation Trinket: Shuto's trinket that allows him to transform into Ratman is a watch called APPEND GEAR!!
    • The Gem Unit of PRISMMAN uses gems to transform: rubies for Ruby Red, sapphires for Sapphire Blue, and topaz for Topaz Yellow.
    • Fatman uses a Transforming Pepperoni.
    • Unchain uses a Reverse Cross.
    • ISKA uses a smartphone.
    • YAVAIS uses a belt.
  • Trouser Space: Where one of the Jackies kept a smoke bomb.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: The other characters' reaction to discovering Mr. Big Horn is married to Linda. He's not that ugly by square-jawed muscleman standards.
  • Villains Out Shopping: One of the Jackies is spotted while grocery shopping and was attacked by two D Ranks from the Hero Association.
    • It happens again in Episode 22 but this time it was from a Robot Girl.
    • Reality Ensues when a photo of Mira and the Jackies shopping is taken and Ratman nearly goes berserk trying to stop it from being published in a popular magazine.
  • Virtual Training Simulation: The Jackal Organization has one, it excels in reproducing the environment and Ratman but didn't have enough effort for making virtual heroes and instead have the Skull Ranger Jacky Five.
  • The Voiceless: The Jackies, normally. One does speak when in disguise.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: One of the themes of the series so far. Shuto tends to give these to some heroes, especially Ankaiser.
  • When She Smiles: Mirea Mizushima, she looks so cute.
  • Whip It Good: Crea Mizushima.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Rio does a Frankensteiner to a delinquent, saving Shuto from the latter's wrath in Episode 01.
  • You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry: Shuto, he is a kind and carefree superhero fan, but hit his berserk button and he will take you on.
    • Taken up another level when he is Ratman, gaining Super Strength and becoming so frightening even a veteran Hero was scared stiff.
  • Zettai Ryouki: Rio in her school uniform.
    • Ratman has a boot version.

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alternative title(s): Ratman
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