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Manga: Real Bout High School
Real Bout High School
(Alternate title: Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School
) is a martial arts manga written by Reiji Saiga and illustrated by Sora Inoue, serialized in Dragon Magazine
from 1999 to 2003, and adapted into a 13-episode anime series in 2001.
It centers around a high school where martial arts are part of the standard curriculum; one of its students, Samurai Girl Ryoko Mitsurugi, is the top fighter and most popular girl in school... until a challenger arrives in the form of the uncouth Shizuma Kusanagi, a transfer student from Kansai. While he lacks Ryoko's grace, he soon proves to be a powerful fighter, and may surpass Ryoko as the best fighter at Daimon High. Principal Takao Todo encourages rivalry between the competitors, setting up a dangerous "K-Fighting" tournament where even the teachers can join in and settle once-and-for-all just who is the top dog on campus.
This Manga contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Enough in the main cast that it seems more notable when someone isn't.
- Barehanded Blade Block: Used once against Ryoko's wooden sword, making it more plausible than the usual method.
- Blade on a Stick: Azumi Kiribayishi wields a naginata.
- Boobs of Steel: Ryoko and Megumi are the most physically powerful female characters, and both are also quite well-endowed.
- Boss Subtitles: The last volume of the manga uses these as a sendoff for all the characters, thus inverting the usual use.
- Captain Ersatz: Shizuma and G are totally not Kyo and K' from The King of Fighters.
- Childhood Friend Romance: G and Aoi.
- Combat Commentator: A small camera crew chases down the various K-Fights, led by Tamaki Nakamura. She and Todo provide co-commentary on every fight.
- Combat Pragmatist: A few examples, specifically Asuka, Xiaoxing, and Kunugi.
- Cooking Duel
- Cool and Unusual Punishment: As punishment for losing the K-Fight, Ryoko plucks Shizuma's unibrow and cuts his hair. He looked fabulous afterwards though.
- Cutting the Electronic Leash: Kyoichi Kunugi crushes his cell phone in his hand in rage after being informed by his employers that if he doesn't cooperate with them his family will be killed.
- Darker and Edgier: The first few volumes are pretty silly, what with students settling all their disputes in martial arts matches which are apparetnly televised and MC'd. Things take a decidedly darker slant, however, when G and his men appear and Ryoko joins the Shinsengumi to help stop them.
- Extremity Extremist: Taiho Hashiba is a boxer... but when the going gets really tough, he abandons the family style for something with a little more kick.
- Five Bad Band (Anime):
- Five Man Band (Anime):
- Fanservice: The scene in which the Shinsengumi all go to the bathhouse, full stop.
- Gory Discretion Shot: We see next to nothing of Aoi's actual confrontation with G after they both get ready to go all out. The Shinsengumi's expressions when they see the result implies the battle got very ugly.
- Happy Birthday to You: A substitute song is sung in episode 4.
- Heir to the Dojo: Azumi Kiribayashi, though in a subversion, this is far from her motivation as a fighter.
- Hot-Blooded: Shizuma Kusanagi.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Ryoko.
- The Idiot from Osaka: Shizuma Kusanagi.
- Knight of Cerebus: As noted above, things get a lot more serious (although not completely) after G appears.
- Knuckle Cracking: Midori Masato.
- Lady of War: Three candidates: Aoi is a brutal fighter and able to stand up to G, but is too shy for her own good. Ryoko tries to become one of these over the course of the series. Ryoko's rival Azumi is very formal in every situation, and uses a naginata.
- Lethal Chef: Ryoko and Azumi, who were involved in the Cooking Duel mentioned above... with nauseating results.
- Love at First Punch: Several couples are formed this way.
- Motorcycle on the Coast Road
- Naginatas Are Feminine: Azumi Kiribayishi, an Heir to the Dojo Lady of War with a Noblewoman's Laugh, wields a naginata. Well, okay, most of the time, she uses one with a wooden blade, but isn't averse to busting out a real one for "serious" fights.
- Ninja: Kyoichi Kunugi. Asuka tries her best to be one.
- Ninja Log: A member of the all-girls Shinsengumi was a ninja-obsessed otaku who never did any ninja trick before. Her first one was literally the Ninja Log. While she did manage to replace herself with a log, she unwittingly knocked her head somewhere.
- Off Model: Early volumes of the manga had a terrible time with this trope. Dynamic angles often resulted in awkward poses and strange body proportions, and the females in the manga were often drawn with enormous bodies (most notably in the thighs) and comparatively tiny heads. Many of the shading tones used also tended to blend into each other, giving it a muddy, rushed appearance. It improved with time, for sure, but some might be turned away from it by the early volumes' uneven art.
- One-Letter Name: G, who honestly doesn't remember his own name after the years of psychological and physical conditioning he was subjected to since he was a boy in order to become the perfect bodyguard.
- Panty Fighter: Surprisingly, it's only in the anime. The manga is tame, having only a few, small views of anything under the skirt and even then, only when the angle would be more explanatory or dramatic.
- Playing with Fire: Shizuma has many battle techniques involving alcohol and a disposable lighter.
- Red-Headed Heroine: Ryoko, obviously
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Ryoko and Azumi.
- Samurai: Ryoko.
- School Of Hard Knocks: School-sponsored K-Fights are used to solve every possible dispute, including "too many K-Fights."
- She's Got Legs: Ryoko. Boy, does she ever!
- Single-Stroke Battle
- Talking Is a Free Action: Mocked:
Takasugi: H-How dare you...
Dragon: Wait, Takasugi. She's good. I'll go...
(Ryoko smashes his face in with her wooden sword, knocking a few of his teeth out in the process)
Dragon: Awful... I haven't... said...
- Talk to the Fist: See Talking Is a Free Action, above.
- Teeth Flying: Ryoko knocks several teeth out of the head of gang leader Takasugi's Dragon. Hey, it's his fault he was talking when the fight had already started.
- Training from Hell: Megumi puts herself through this before she faced her opponent at Dragon Land, letting a pitching machine buffet her with balls so she would be able to take the blows.
- Also, this is what made G... what he is.
- Wheel o' Feet: Used with Ryoko and Azumi, combined with Thundering Herd effect, in a mad race to be the first to give Tatsuya their bento during a Cooking Duel.
- Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Ryoko's skill with her Bokken has to be seen to be believed.
- Would Hit a Girl: None of the male fighters hold back when fighting the girls... except in one case: Kyoichi wouldn't hit a crying girl.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Asuka pulls one of these during her fight with Kyoichi. It works.
- Wrong Context Magic: Shizuma's more unusual abilities occasionally verge on outright supernatural in nature; it's indicated here and there that the ability isn't completely unheard of (Todo knows about it, for example), but it's still so far outside of the usual context of K-fights that virtually none of the people Shizuma fights know how to react to it.
- Yamato Nadeshiko: Azumi is very formal in every situation, uses a naginata, and is the heir to a dojo.
- Aoi is more Silk Hiding Steel in that she is very brutal in battle but too shy for her own good.
- You No Take Candle: Xiaoxing, a Chinese transfer student whose grasp of the Japanese language is somewhat limited.