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Manga: Samurai Deeper Kyo

That's just the main cast.

Samurai Deeper Kyo is a thirty-eight volume manga about the exploits of Shiina Yuya, a sixteen year old bounty hunter seeking revenge for her older brother's death, who meets Mibu Kyoshiro, a medicine peddler, and Demon Eyes Kyo, who is trapped in Kyoshiro's body.

And then it gets complicated.

Cue an Anachronism Stew, Loads and Loads of Characters, loads and loads of Character Development, lots of Badassery, several Quirky Miniboss Squads, several BFSes, and what is probably the biggest Bodyguard Crush in history.

The manga ran from 1999-2006.

Kyo and friends appear in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, Sunday VS Magazine Shuuketsu Choujou Daikessen.


  • All Your Powers Combined: The Former Crimson King
  • An Aesop: Played poker-face straight countless times
  • Anachronism Stew: Shameless and blatant
  • And That's Terrible
  • Animal Eye Spy: Lord Fubuki and his cat.
  • Anti-Hero: If Kyo, who got his nickname for perpetrating mass-murder on a ridiculous scale doesn't count, then there is no such thing
  • Art Evolution
  • Artificial Humans: The entire Mibu tribe in the manga, who are revealed to actually be the Battle Dolls of the True Mibu. Except Kyo, the last of The True Mibu. Flipped in the anime, where only Kyo is a Battle Doll.
  • Ax-Crazy: Ninety percent of the main cast is this, including the title character
  • Back-to-Back Badasses:
    • The Shiseiten's special attack.
    • Hotaru and Shinrei also do one of these, and it's awesome.
    • And we get another one from Hishigi and Fubuki while they are fighting Kyo.
  • Backstory
  • Badass: A massive majority of the cast fills this trope, though Kyo, Kyoshiro, the Shiseiten, The Former Crimson King, Hishigi and Shinrei are candidates for the top spot.
  • Badass Gay: Hishigi (implied). His only emotional attachments are to Fubuki (male) and Akari (physically male), and his relationship with Fubuki does not seem platonic.
  • Badass Normal: Yukimura and the Ten, minus Sasuke. Bontenmaru fills this role in the Shiseiten.
  • BFS: Kyo's Tenro
    • Sasuke starts out with a sword the same size, despite having the body of a twelve year old.
    • Shihoudou's sword is also really damn big.
    • Hishigi's Hakuya is even more impressive.
  • Big Damn Heroes
  • Bishounen
  • Black and Gray Morality
  • Blade Run: Sasuke has one of these early on.
  • Blood from the Mouth
  • Blood Knight: It would be easier to name the characters who aren't.
  • Body Double
  • Bodyguard Crush: Go ahead, try to name a single time when a Kyo Killing Rampage isn't triggered by Yuya being directly threatened.
    • When he believes that Shinrei has killed Hotaru.
    • In the anime, it's strongly implied Saizō has a crush on Yukimura. It's not helped by Yukimura teasing him ( "What are you, my wife?" followed by "If it pleases you, my lord". Then there's Saizō blushing and his comment when Yukimura disguises himself as a woman. The kimono "really suits you" indeed.)
    • While not exactly a bodyguard, Hishigi seems to be this for Fubuki. He throws himself in front of Kyo's most powerful attacks for him, and his only concern seems to be for Fubuki's survival.
  • Bounty Hunter
  • Brother-Sister Incest - anime only, betweeen Nobunaga Oda and Shatora.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Julian and Shihoudou: even Kyo admits to the latter's Badassitude.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Toward the end of the manga, Yukimura uses the kodachi that Muramasa gave Yuya to kill Chinmei.
  • Cherry Blossoms
  • The Chick: Yuya
  • Children Are Innocent: Subverted with every character shown as a child except Yuya and flashback Tokito.
    • Akira, for example, is cheerfully slaughtering away on the battlefield by the time he's ten.
      • And the Mibu have no problem with using child soldiers.
  • Clean Cut
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Hotaru. It may just be Obfuscating Stupidity, as he proves many times that he's smarter than he seems.
  • Combat Commentator: Akira and Bon serve as this at turns for Yuya. Averted in the Akira-Tokito fight, as Yuya isn't around for that one.
  • Commedia Dell Arte Troupe
  • Conservation of Ninjutsu: Both played straight and inverted
  • Contractual Immortality: Can anyone name a non-villain who died at the end of the series? Sure, everyone gets badly beaten up, but...
  • Cooldown Hug: Played straight during Kyo's Super Power Meltdown: Yuya runs through the mess he's making to bring him back.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Kyoshiro, though it's really hidden. The Former Crimson King is more overt about it all being just Obfuscating Stupidity.
  • Cute Bruiser: Antera
  • Defeat Means Friendship
  • Depraved Homosexual
    Bikara: Getting distracted by a woman while a beautiful man like me is standing in front of your eyes.
    Bikara: The suffering face of a good-looking man is dreamy.
  • Despair Event Horizon:
    • Hishigi hits it hard after implanting the Devil Eyes, telling Fubuki that he wishes that someone would just kill him already.
    • Tokito has a rather drama-ridden one after losing to Akira, but gets over it.
  • Diagonal Cut:Taken to its logical extreme, thanks to the Rule of Cool
  • Distant Finale
  • Dojikko: Sakuya
  • Doppelgänger Attack: Benitora, in a rare Non-Ninja example
  • Dramatic Wind
  • Driven to Suicide: Hishigi, until Fubuki tells him that he isn't allowed to die until Fubuki says he can
  • Dual Wielding: Akira and Tokito.
  • Dysfunction Junction
  • Elemental Powers: Subverted. Hotaru, the fire user, is calm, while the ice user, Akira, appears calm on the surface, but push a few buttons and he loses his head. Not to mention that Shinrei, the water guy, loses his cool even more easily.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: Averted; It's demonstrated over the course of the series that the superiority depends on the wielder, rather than the element they are using. Hotaru initially wins out against Shinrei despite severe injuries from fighting Kyo, but only because he's using His Hono Chikewai, which gives him a huge boost of power, but causes damage over time. Shinrei ultimately comes out on top because Hotaru's boost wears off. And of course, both of them get mercilessly curbstomped by Fubuki.
  • Empathic Weapon: The Muramasa demon blades
  • Enfante Terrible: Tokito, in the beginning
  • Mr. Fanservice: Yukimura
  • Eyepatch of Power: Hishigi
  • Fake Memories: Tokito
  • Fan Disservice: Hishigi is quite attractive, but the one time he takes off his shirt, it's this because he's covered in Devil Eyes.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Kyo and Kyoshiro go through this back and forth a few times.
  • The Fog of Ages: Chinmei
  • The Four Gods: Kyo's sword techniques
  • Four Is Death: The Shiseiten are frequently described as being gods of death. Most of the Taishiro are even more lethal.
  • Gentle Giant: Bontenmaru. Sure, he has the whole "god of war" thing going on, complete with a berserker mode and everything, but he has a soft spot—not like that—for little girls, even ones that punch holes in him and torture him; and Akari reveals that he likes shoujo manga. As for Bontenmaru's reason for taking over the entirety of Japan? He wants to take it over so people can live their lives in peace.
  • A God Am I: The vast majority of the Mibu think like this. And in truth, no one really disputes them on that.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Subverted with Yuya, who has a hideous scar on her stomach.
    • It gets de-hideoused later on.
    • Played straight with Hishigi, who is covered in rather disgusting scars after the Devil Eyes that were keeping him alive die.
    • Also played straight with Akira, who is COVERED in scars, but they are not obvious seeing as they are usually covered by clothes (most of them are on his back).
  • Gondor Calls for Aid
  • Graceful Loser
  • Guns Are Worthless: Yuya
    • The manga lampshades this by having Akari take Yuya's gun and attempt to shoot Santera with it. Santera stops the bullets, and Akari throws the gun away.
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: Sakuya spends 32 volumes hidden behind her bangs, and the manga-ka is fond of "lighting" characters whose faces we aren't to see yet from the back, or putting them in elaborate, face-covering costumes
  • High-Pressure Blood
  • High School A.U.: The author wrote one as an extra in the fanbook, and liked it so much that she wrote two "Samurai High School" drama CDs
    • And they're absolutely rampant in the fandom, though it's almost justified, because the cast is one hell of a Commedia Dell Arte Troupe.
  • Historical Hero Upgrade
  • Historical Villain Upgrade
  • Homage Shot: The manga opens with a lay-out and narration content ridiculously reminiscent of the first page of Rurouni Kenshin, which was still running at the time. The series probably originated as an attempt to cash in on Ruro Ken's popularity as historical drama with legendary swordsman incognito, but found its own very weird voice pretty quickly.
    • More precisely: SDK's first page runs, page-width panels going down:

      [First panel: bloody battle scene; whole page has artful blood drips all over it] "During the end of the warring states period... In a time of chaos, a war began to try to divide the country. This fight would later be known as the Battle of Sekigahara. Like thunder the war spread. Under this sound and bloody rain, many were killed."

      [Second panel: 'shadowboxing' image of dramatic duel] "These warriors, without taking care for the issues of the battle, had found the meaning of their lives in sword-handling... They lived only to improve their skill... And died..."

      [Empty white bridge space extending across page] "Among the men who disappeared at this historical time..."

      [Third/final panel: bottom of page occupied by close up of Scary Eyes (Red Eyes, Take Warning in this case, but the manga's in black and white, so you can't tell)] "There was one who was called 'the unbeatable'..."

      [Two-page title spread, then complete tone-shift and Kyoshiro as The Ditz reading off a wanted poster, finishing the sentence] "The legendary wanted man, Demon Eyes Kyo."
    • Meanwhile, Ruro Ken starts with, also page-width panels:

      [First panel: blood spatter flying] "One hundred and forty years ago, during the bloodbath in Kyoto touched off by the coming of Commodore Perry's black ships...there was a man known as the 'Hitokiri Battousai.'"

      [Second panel: similarly composed bloody combat scene, with our hero central] This man was a major player in the Meiji Restoration, for his skill with a sword was unrivaled. Once the war was over, he vanished without a trace. Time passed and legends formed, of how he was the strongest samurai to walk the face of the earth."

      [Third/last panel: Scary Eyes Important Scar closeup] "And so, our story begins... In Tokyo, on the eleventh year of Meiji..."

      [Two-page title spread, next page opens with Kaoru's shout] "HITOKIRI BATTOUSAI!"
    • At the risk of insulting the hard work above: and Check it out.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Non-romantic between Bontenmaru and Tokito. She can ride around on his shoulder
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The real Haira
  • The Idiot from Osaka
  • Important Haircut: Okuni
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: To the nth degree. Apparently, a sword stroke from Kyo or Hishigi has enough power to give truckload of high explosives a run for its money
  • Improbable Weapon User
  • Incurable Cough of Death: The Death Disease
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Izumo no Okuni is this way for Demon Eyes Kyo.
  • Jekyll & Hyde: Kyo and Kyoshiro. Subverted in the manga, played straight in the anime In the Alternate Universe of the anime, Devil Eyes Kyo is actually the Id of Kyoshiro which he split from himself and placed in an Artificial Human body; they later reunite in their original body after Kyoshiro defeats Kyo, but this time as split personalities.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold
  • Kick the Dog: Every minor villain that the heroes have to kill off has one of these moments. Every single one.
  • Lady of War: Saisei
  • Large Ham: Bontenmaru. Also Kyo, at times.
  • Last of His Kind: Kyo, the last True Mibu. Averted in the case of the Former Crimson King, who it turns out, is merely the first Battle Doll.
  • Licking the Blade: Name a character. Odds are good that they've done this at least once.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • Loved Ones Montage
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Kyo, the final direct descendant of the Original Crimson King.
  • The Medic: Akari
  • Medium Awareness: Kyoshiro vs Benitora: "Can we just pretend the last 5 pages didn't happen?"
  • Mobile Menace: The Mibu never seem to be inconvenienced by the size and complexity of their lair, except for when they've pulled a Heel-Face Turn, in which case, they have to slog it out with the other heroes.
  • The Mole: Yukimura
    • Don't forget Chinmei, as Spade, to get his hands on Tokito's demonblade.
    • Akari subverts this trope by virtue of mind control.
  • Mook
  • Mr. Fanservice: Yukimura
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: Every fight in the series goes this way. Every. Single. One.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Hotaru is a good example, but the real winner is the Former Crimson King, who acts like a nearsighted buffoon who's Blind Without 'Em. Tokito, who got taken in by the facade, actually starts plotting to overthrow him until the Former scared the living daylights out of her with murderous intent, showing Tokito and readers the true nature of the Former Crimson King.
  • The Obi-Wan: Muramasa
  • Odd Friendship: Benitora and Akira, who progress from Worthy Opponents to True Companions.
  • Official Couple: Kyo and Yuya, Kyoshiro and Sakuya
    • In the manga at least. In the anime, there's only Yuya's crush on Kyo/Kyoshiro and their growing feelings for her. They are shown to have gotten together in the epilogue in the last episode — where Kyo and Kyoshiro have been reunited into a single individual — which takes place years later. Also Benitora and Mahiro in the ending of the anime as well.
  • One Head Taller: If Kyo wore a Western-style button-down shirt, Yuya would hold conversations with/have infuriated outbursts at his breast pocket.
  • One-Man Army: It would be easier to list the characters who AREN'T one.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Yukimura towards Kyo. Also several other characters towards Kyo. He's very popular.
  • Parental Abandonment: Tokito and Hotaru
  • Person of Mass Destruction: Most of the cast. Especially Kyo, Hishigi, and the Shiseiten when they use their special combination attack.
  • Petal Power
  • Poisonous Person
  • Promotion to Parent: Anna, Yuan's sister. Technically, their father isn't dead, but he's not around often.
  • Punched Across the Room
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: Taken to ridiculous extremes. You know they're overdoing it when even the main character gets one.
  • Race Against the Clock: After Shinrei implants a water dragon in Yuya's heart, the company have a limited amount of time to stop Shinrei before it kills her.
  • Razor Wind
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: Kyo is the literal incarnation of this trope. Subverted in that this becomes a major factor in the story later on.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Kyo and Kyoshiro, Benitora and Akira, Fubuki and Hishigi, Shinrei and Hotaru
  • Redemption Equals Death
  • Really 700 Years Old: All of the Mibu
  • Retired Badass: Shihoudou, Anri, Muramasa
  • Reverse Mole: Kyoshiro
  • Rule of Cool
  • Running Gag: Hotaru trying to move caterpillars out of the way so they don't get crushed during fights
  • Samus is a Girl: Tokito, who stops Bontenmaru's fists with three fingers and actually punches through him, despite the fact that one of his biceps is bigger around than her waist, not to mention that she completely pwns the crap out of Akira for most of their fight.
    • Admittedly, some fans weren't convinced she was a boy in the first place.
  • Say It with Hearts: Or in Chinmei's case, glasses-wearing smiley faces
    • Yukimura is the worst offender with this trope. Also, in Shihoudou's dialogue, everything from baseballs to little umbrellas show up.
  • Say My Name
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: Inverted in that Chinmei looks his most sinister when we can see what's behind those dark lenses
  • Scenery Porn
  • Sharing a Body
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend: Kyo's lack of reaction whenever someone tries to taunt him about Yuya
    • Akira has a few of these moments with Tokito. His reaction tries to be like Kyo's. It fails, hard.
  • Shirtless Scene
  • Shower of Angst: Yuya has a few of these
  • Single-Stroke Battle
  • Sinister Silhouettes: Full of them
  • Slipknot Ponytail: Shinrei, during his fight with Fubuki
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Muramasa.
  • The Stoic: Hishigi
    • Not So Stoic: He loses it very rarely. When he does, you run.
  • Super Hero Speciation
  • Super Power Meltdown: Kyo
  • Tagalong Kid
  • Tears of Blood
  • The Thing That Goes Doink: There is one at the end of chapter 12
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Yukimura tells Kyo not to die, as he is the only one who gets to kill him.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Kyo's training with Muramasa. The Training from Hell is offscreen.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Sooooo many characters... But specially Kyo who starts from being a Memetic Badass that lives up to his legend and ends up being a damn Physical God, taking lots and lots of levels in badass in between.
  • Transsexual: Akari, though she's played more as the Wholesome Crossdresser.
  • Trash Talk/Evil Gloating/"The Reason You Suck" Speech: ALL OVER THE PLACE. In the manga, they easily eat up one third (if not more) of every single duel.
  • True Companions
  • Tsundere: Kyo is heavy on the tsuntsun, regularly calling his Love Interest dog-face and Servant #1, and has a really obnoxious habit of randomly feeling her up, no matter who happens to be watching. But the few moments in which he shows that he cares about her and the way he fights when she's in danger are surprisingly genuine and heartwarming, especially near the end of the manga.
  • Tykebomb: Santera and Tokito
  • Unstoppable Rage: Kyo, after Nobunaga almost fatally wounds Yuya. This troper was a little freaked out.
  • Walk on Water: Shinrei and Fubuki
  • Weapons Kitchen Sink
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Fubuki.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Yukimura during the Tokugawa tournament. Everyone fell for it except Kyo.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: Well, chapters.
  • Worthy Opponent
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Subverted, as the gentlemen of the cast have no problem hitting their female enemies.
  • Wrecked Weapon: Hishigi's and Fubuki's swords when Julian manages to break them. Also, Sasuke's Tenro copy cracks when he fights Kyo.
  • You Killed My Father: Subverted

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alternative title(s): Samurai Deeper Kyo
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