Yaiba (Ken'yu Densetsu Yaiba/Legend of the Swordsman Yaiba) is a Shonen manga written by Gosho Aoyama, known for Detective Conan and Magic Kaito. It starts out as a light, funny manga very similar to Dragon Ball but slowly becomes more serious towards the end.The main character, Yaiba Kurogane is a Kid Samurai, trained by his father Kenjuuro in a unspecified jungle. They both return to Japan where they're "hosted" by Raizo Mine, an old rival of Kenjuuro. Here Yaiba meets Sayaka, Raizo's daughter and Onimaru, a highly skilled kendo master. To sum up, they become bitter rivals and Onimaru gets really obsessed with beating Yaiba. In order to do so, he tries to use the legendary Fujin Katana (Wind Devil Sword in some translations), which grants power over Wind Gusts and Typhoons, but the sword turns him into a evil Oni (demon) bent on conquering the World. In order to stop him, Yaiba, with the help of Sayaka and his pets Kagetora (a cowardly Tiger) and Shonosuke (a nice Vulture), goes on a quest to find and master the Raijin Katana (or Thunder God Sword), guarded by a 400 years old Miyamoto Musashi. After this, several arcs follow.
The Hakki Arc: Yaiba must learn how to master the Raijin Sword and fight the Eight Great Oni sent by Onimaru.
Kojiro's Revival Arc: Onimaru resurrects Musashi's rival Kojiro and Yaiba must face him. During this arc he finally masters the power of Raijin and learns a new attack.
Onimaru's Fortress Arc: Our heroes storm Onimaru's fortress in order to stop him, but that won't be easy. Onimaru is eventually forced to withdraw, but he steals Raijin's Orb and hires Professor Kanabo, a Mad Scientist capable of repairing the Fujin Sword (which was broken by Yaiba).
Kaguya's Arc: The return of Ryujin's power awakens the legendary Moon Princess Kaguya from her slumber, and Yaiba must protect the Earth (and Sayaka) from this alien menace, fighting back various enemies gifted with weird powers. Eventually Kaguya is sealed inside the Planet and Ryujin's powers disappear.
(a whole volume of Filler arc): including the funny "Chiki Chiki Grand Prix" Omake.
The Pyramid Arc: A mysterious Pyramid appears in Tokyo and starts causing earthquakes. Yaiba must venture inside it, defeats its powerful guardians and stop it before it's too late.
The Underworld Arc: Right after the Pyramid Arc: Yaiba must face the menace coming from the depths of the earth and find out why these mysterious enemies hate humans so much...
The Yamata-No-Orochi arc: Onimaru is trying to gain an "Otherwordly Power" by unleashing a legendary monster who was sealed away long ago, and our Heroes must stop him once and for all. Probably the darkest saga, it also features the return of Kaguya and Ryujin. After a terrible struggle, Yaiba manages to defeat Onimaru once and for all, but in order to seal the Orochi away he must give up the Supreme King Sword forever.
The Oda Nobunaga Tournament: the last arc: Yaiba and friends meet a young girl, who reveals herself as Yaiba's little sister. Soon he finds out that his mother is still alive and very rich, and his father Kenjuuro might be an impostor. In order to find out the truth, he faces the legendary and dangerous Oda Nobunaga Tournament, armed with his father's wooden sword. Yet, a mysterious organization, the Platina, is after him.... After reaching the end, Yaiba must fight Onimaru, who was trained by Kenjuro himself and now is extremely powerful, and eventually manages to beat him, becoming the Greatest Samurai in Japan.... and yet he starts a new journey with Musashi, Kagetora and Shonosuke in order to become even more powerful.
Air Jousting: Whenever Yaiba have to face a flying opponent. Usually with a little help from Shonosuke and later with the Ryujin Katana.
All Your Powers Combined: The Ryujin (Dragon-God) Orb can use the powers of the other seven Legendary Orbs and some other tricks. during the last battle against Kaguya, he must use this very trope in order to awaken the true power of the Dragon God.
Alluring Anglerfish: Yakitori, one of Onimaru's Shitenno in the Onimaru's Fortress arc. It actually has a Japanese paper lantern attached to it, and he's very proud of it. Oh, and don't call him "Toadstool"....
An Axe to Grind: Gerozaemon's weapon of choice. Also the Rock Soldier and Ruby in the Pyramid Arc.
Ancestral Weapon: Both Raijin and Fujin Swords are really old weapons from the past. Also many other swords.
Anguished Declaration of Love: Yaiba says a "I Like You, seriously." to an aged Sayaka before confronting Kaguya. After the battle however he jokes about it, so we don't know if it was serious or not.
Author Avatar: Gosho's name (or Gosho himself) tends to pop up frequently here and there.
He also appears along with the other characters (who refuse to acknowledge him and mercilessly mock him) in the Omake. He takes part in the race with the others but get zapped by God for cheating.
Bad Ass: Jubei Yagyu and Devil King Onimaru . Also Young Musashi.
Bad Ass Beard: Young Musashi sports one. He shaved himself before facing Kojiro at Ganryujima.
Bad Ass Creed: The magical writings on the Fujin sword, that explain how to master it. Sadly, it' quickly forgotten.
Bad Ass Grandpa: Musashi when he's not suffering from backache or peeping at some pretty lady or pillaging the nearest fridge he's a really skilled swordmaster, capable to fight toe-to-toe with powerful foes.
Never Mess with Granny: despite being frequently offscreen, Sayaka's Granma may count. Surely she's a really competent Kendoka, and had a Mama Bear moment in the first volume when Onimaru threatened Sayaka in order to know Yaiba's whereabouts.
Battle Amongst the Flames:The final battle during the Oda Nobunaga Tournament takes place in a copy of the Temple of Honnoji (where Nobunaga met his doom) and, just to fit the atmosphere, the shrine is set ablaze with fire arrows!
Battle Aura: Many fighters. Also shown as a power with the Toujin (Battle Blades), a flurry of "ghost slices" that attacks the enemy from many directions and can only be "felt".
Bears Are Bad News: Goemon Ishikawa can transform into a huge bear wearing a really hard armor.
Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: The famous poet Matsuo Basho was actually a vicious assassin who wanted to use Ryujin's powers to take over the world, but died of illness while on his quest. And now Onimaru has resurrected him...
BFG: The Carbon-Freeze cannon and Gekko's Moonclub, which doubles as a Bazooka.
BFS: Despite having a lot of swords and weapons, Aoyama rarely uses this trope. Yet, Kojiro's Laundry Pole has the power to grow really really long.
Also the Devil King Sword (Mao Ken) is quite large compared to Gekko. Gold in the Underworld arc wields a gargantuan scimitar, but is quite justified because it fit its size.
Big Bad: Onimaru Takeshi, your typical overlord. Also Kaguya and, during the Pyramid and Underworld arcs, Boss.
Bizarro Universe: There's a small world inside the Darkness Orb: it looks like a black swamp with the kanji for "Darkness" in the sky, a watermill and a small mountain with a waterfall. Also, the ground is composed by the remains of the previous victims whodied of old age without finding a way out. The only way out is hidden behind the waterfall, but is guarded by a giant fire-breathing carnivorous Kappa named Kerosuke.
On the other hand, all your wishes (except leaving the Orb) can become true.
After being defeated by Yaiba, is revealed that Onimaru was always like this since he mastered the Fujin Katana and grew horns, and has no memory of what he have done before.
Breakable Weapons: Happens often with Musashi's and Jubei's katana, and with Laundry Pole (in that case the blade can grow back). Also the so-called Invincible Snake-God Pike and even Fujin Sword ( It got better). During the Yamata no Orochi arc, Yaiba's Supreme King Sword started cracking after blocking Onimaru's strongest attack only to grow even stronger later when the blade shattered and reveald its full power. The same goes for the Devil King Sword.
Came Back Wrong: Kojiro and the Wandering Swordsmen resurrected by Onimaru were once famous japanese warriors.
Can't Catch Up: Musashi-Kojiro-Jubei. They're still top class warriors, but sadly they're no match for many enemies.
Carnival of Killers: the Seven Revenant Swordsmen summoned by Onimaru during the "Ryuujin Orbs" arc, who are all famous warriors from the past, including monks, ninjas, samurai and a Warrior Poet assassin.
Cats Are Mean: During one of the filler stories, a Hamster-sized Yaiba must help some poor mice to protect themselves against a band of evil cats lead by a huge scarred black cat. It Makes Sense in Context.
Frederick Luther III, despite being a Knight, is not above using handshackles and hiding a large Zweihander under his cloak.
Combat Tentacles: Seikai Miyoshi when he turns into a giant red octopus. Also Moon General Shingetsu "Merge" himself with a squid in order to fight Yaiba.
Convection Schmonvection: Partially averted when they try to recover the Fire Orb from inside Mount Aso (a Volcano), where they have some issues with the heat and the smoke. Played straight later in Mount Fuji's dungeons.
Cool Sword: Many, including the Raijin Katana, Fujin Katana and Ryujin Katana. Also, Kojiro's Laundy Pole (Monohoshizao) sword, the Devil King Sword, the Water Demon Longsword and Fire Demon Longsword and the Supreme King Sword.
Dangerous Forbidden Technique: The Devil King Sword's Full Moon Attack is powerful enough to wipe out a planet and turn the Earth into a Dead Star. That's the reason why the moon is a barren wasteland. Onimaru uses it anyway in order to kill Yaiba..
Demonic Possession: What happens to both Onimaru and Yaiba when they awakened Fujin/Raijin's spirit. In Onimru's case, Fujin "agreed" to merge with Onimaru. Later weaponized against the mind-reading Diamond by summoning both spirits into his body.
Devour The Dragon: After getting hit by the Half Moon blast, Kagura merge with all the Moon Bunnies (included Gekko and Tsukikage) in order to become more powerful. Also the Spiderman got assimilated by Yamata no Orochi's flesh.
Hilariously subverted during the fight between Giant Yaiba and Goemon inside the Osaka Castle. When Yaiba calls her "Brat" Sayaka snaps, Stand up breaking the steel table she was tied to, silently walked outside and tossed said steel table to Yaiba. Even Goemon was scared!.
Dual Wielding: Musashi and Jubei. Also Yaiba during the Pyramid Arc with the swords of Fujin and Raijin.
Dumb Muscle: Silver and Gold are awfully strong, but they have the intelligence of a child. Yaiba uses this detail against them.
Also Benkei, who was tricked by Musashi into believe that a Kendama was actually the Legendary Orb he was looking for. (Granted,his plan boils down to sit on a bridge and mugging passerbies, taking away every ball-shaped item, ranging from marbles, to tennis balls to kendamas to CD-Roms to a paper with the word "Dama"(ball)written on it!!)
Everything's Better with Princesses: Sayaka is reveald to be the descendant of Princess Oto and Taro Urashima (see Japanese Folklore for that.) And she's also the descendant of the Dragon God priestess.
Flaming Sword: Yaiba when using the Fire Orb. or the Supreme King Sword for the first time. Also Gold who can heat up his blade. And let's not forget Burner's Fire Demon Longsword, who can set fire to everything it touches. Kojiro learnt that in the worst way possible.
Give Me a Sword: When Kaguya swallows the Sword of Raijin, Onimaru gives Yaiba the Fujin Sword so he can use the Ryujin Orb with it. Also because he intended to acquire the far more powerful Devil King Sword.
God Is Useless: Amakusa tries to summon up to 36 gods to find out the location of the Legendary Orb of Kyushu, but he's hilariously unsuccessful. Also "God" in the Chiki Chiki Grand Prix Omake is shown as fat and lazy, and want to start a Galactic War just to win the boredom. He also really likes sports.
Averted with Ryujin and Susanoo.
Graceful Loser: Jubei, Soshi Okita and, basically, all the millionairs who bet in the Oda Nobunaga Tournament to Yaiba.
Gratuitous English: Many techniques. The Batman in the Japanese/Italian/Spanish/Non-English-speaking countries is a huge offender.
Hammerspace: Many people are guilty of this, including Kotaro Fuuma, Goemon Ishikawa and Benkei, whose weapons seem to materialize out of thin air. Averted somehow with Silver, who keep his huge Ball&Chain inside his stomach.
Handsome Lech: Kojiro Sasaki. He's a living "Pretty Girls Radar".
When Ryujin got caught in Dark's Super Delta Zone attack, he puts a Taking You with Me in order to drag that evil monster with him.
Heroic BSOD: Yaiba has had only two short ones: first when Onimaru kicked his ass with the Fujin sword and later when he's utterly bested by Gekko and Sayaka choose to follow him in order to save Yaiba's life.
Hoist by His Own Petard:Kojiro is defeated by Jubei when he proves the lenght of his sword by standing on it and stretching it to the clouds. Jubei' answer? Kicking the blade and making him fall from Niigata to Tokyo. At least he landed in the women Dojo...
More seriously with Goemon and his Shurikens.
Silver got electrocuted by his own laser beam.
Dark fall victim of his own Super Delta Zone attack, courtesy of Ryujin. see above.
Hollywood Chameleons: Chameleon Bonaparte again, who can basically turn invisible and even shapeshift into another person.
Oda Nobunaga: He doesn't appear himself, but he started the eponymous Tournament, a really hard series of battle in differents arena with participants from all over the world. It's also stated that Musashi won the first one.
The main one is Professor Kanabo ("Mano de Hierro" in the Spanish dub), whose name literally means "Iron Club". Kanabo's were said to be Oni's Weapon of Choice and there are many japanese proverbs about Oni's with Iron Clubs being stronger or even invincible. Lampshade Hanging by Spiderman.
Spiderman:" As they say, a Oni with a Kanabo becomes even stronger!!"
Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Hyakki, then the Shitenno, the Moon Generals, the Soldiers and Onimaru's Demons.
Razor Wind: Onimaru's main form of attack, both with Wind and Thunder. later with the Maoken's Crescent Moon Blast.
Also Kotaro's Fuuma Ninpo Kamaitachi, which uses the vacuum to create slicing wind gusts. Or something like that.
Red Baron: Onimaru eventually call himself "Devil King Onimaru". Also Frederick Luther's, a.k.a the "Black Baron". (Stop staring!)
Rubber Monster: Silver and Gold have super-bouncy (No, not ''that'' kind of bouncy) hides that can repeal even the mightiest swordstrikes. They can also strecth their arms. Yet, they seems to be sensitive to heat. Silver got sliced in half by Gold's superheated sabre and Gold was pierced by Yaiba's super powered Supreme King sword..
Rule of Cool: Seriously, some of the stuff that happens in this manga can be really over-the-top sometimes...
Secret Test of Character: Yaiba is forced to choose between the last of the Legendary Orbs and saving all of his friends that have been falling in each of the trials. Yaiba chooses the latter, and he earns the Legendary Orb because of this.
Taking You with Me: All the Pyramid Soldiers explode after being killed. Later Ryuujin trapped in the Super Delta Zone charges Dark and absorbs him too inside the barrier, which send them both in another dimension.
Tanuki: The guardians of the Golden Orb, who later help Yaiba against Kotaro. They also have Gag Testicles.
Team Pet: the Seacucumberman. yes, he actually exists. And is as lame as it sounds.
That's No Moon!: When Yaiba and Onimaru see that Kaguya's true head on her "body".
Theme Tune Cameo: Yaiba and the gang sing the end theme while in disguise from Kojiro.
Tiger Versus Dragon: During the battle vs Amakusa, Yaiba turns into a little humanoid dragon and Shiro into a huge white tiger.
Villain with Good Publicity: The people of Japan don't seem to upset at the idea of having a fiendsih sword-wielding Oni as leader. Granted, he had brainwashed the ministries into submission, but still.
Wax On, Wax Off: Musashi's main method of training include: building a whole wooden hut, doing houseworks, running away from restaurants after eating without paying the bill and going around selling newspapers. The last one while wearing ''huge iron getas'' which leaves deep tracks in concrete...
Weaksauce Weakness: All the Hakki has at least one: Gerozaemon is scared by snakes, the Snakeman needs his tail to stay balanced. Slugman is shrink by salt, Spiderman is stunned by strong noises, Batman is scorched by sunlight, the Starfishman is withered by fire and the Seacucumberman is.. well.. is just weak.
Kojiro's sword will instantly grow several yards long if wet by salt water.
Also Kaguya, who will eventually turn into a old hag and die if she doesn't feed on a young girl.
Weapon As Familiar: during the Pyramid Arc, he's on the receiving end of a Curb-Stomp Battle from Diamond, who can predict and stop all his attacks. In order to turn the table, he let Fujin and Raijin, the demons living in his swords, possess him, so that they can trash Diamond around with their combined powers.
What Happened to the Mouse?: The whereabouts of many secondary characters is unknown. Including Onimaru's Grandfather and sister in the manga, the Mantisman, Hangestu-(in the anime, it's shown he was fired by Gekko.
When Trees Attack: The Sugen Pollen Soldier. (Sugen is a sort of Japanese Mapple tree]].
Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: When arriving at Yoroi Island for the Oda Nobunaga Tournament, Yaiba has the chance of choose a weapon among very famous swords, including the Muramasa and Samonji swords. He keeps his father's Bokken. Onimaru, who was trained by Kenjuro himself, uses a Bokken too, and can use it to crush whole areas of ground with one blow.
Worf Effect: Many of Yaiba's techniques, including the Kaminarigiri.