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Manga: Zero Matsumoto Taiyou
"Flowers are good."

Zero, by Matsumoto Taiyou, is a short, brutal fighting manga about strength, greatness, and the alienation that they bring.

Goshima is a boxer. It's all that he knows how to do. His punches are so powerful, and his style so reckless, that for nearly 10 years not a single person has been able to beat him, or even knock him down. This has earned him the title Zero, as well as millions of dollars and a firm place in boxing history. But Goshima seeks more. Recalling a childhood promise with his trainer that one day he would bring an unbreakable toy, Goshima hears of a terrifying boxer from Mexico, who is said to have killed his sparring partner even while wearing thick gloves and helmets.

Filled with excitement, Goshima trains and prepares for the climactic fight as the people around him wonder hether age has finally caught up with him, or whether he will ever stop.

Examples:

  • The Ace: Goshima is unquestionably one of the greatest boxers ever, and has made a habit of beating boxers into retirement right when they hit their prime.
    • Broken Ace: This, of course, has the added side effect of completely alienating Goshima from nearly everyone, leaving him with an almost childlike mentality.
  • The Berserker: Goshima's trademark style.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Goshima beats Toravis in a stunning knockout, but in doing so, he is finally completely alone, as there is no one who can even come close to his power now.
  • Blood Knight: Goshima. Boxing is his entire existence, and he is very, very good at it.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Goshima's manager admits that he knows little about boxing, but tries to rig matches to last longer so that they will draw a bigger crowd.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Some men "float like a butterfly and sting like a bee". Goshima flies like jet and hits like a train.
  • The Mentor: Araki trained Goshima from a very young age, and is as much a coach as a father to him. Eventually, Goshima becomes one for Takama.
  • The Rival: Takama thinks he's this to Goshiro, but is resoundingly proven wrong. Goshima and Toravis on the other hand have never met, but are well aware of each other's reputations, and their confrontation forms the backbone of the entire plot.
  • Slasher Smile: Goshima's habit of smiling and laughing during fights rightly creeps everyone else out.

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