Series / Majisuka Gakuen
(マジすか学園, lit. Serious School
) is a Japanese drama and musical series by the idol group AKB48
and was broadcasted first in 2010 on TV Tokyo. The cast mostly consists of members of AKB48
or their numerous sister groups.
Two transfer students, Atsuko Maeda and Onizuka Daruma arrive at Majisuka Gakuen, an all-girls yankee
school where fights and violence are common. While Daruma is eager to prove her strength to the strongest group in school, Rappapa, Atsuko does not care about fighting. Soon enough, the Majisuka students learn about Atsuko's true power and force her to fight them.
The series was renewed for two other seasons: Majisuka Gakuen 2
, set in the same school but a year after the original, where the new Rappappa has to face both an inner rebellion and the attack of Yabakune, now led by a former ally. Majisuka Gakuen 3 is set in the future on a prison for young girls and features a new cast of characters.
New main character is now Paru, the newest convict in Hope Prison, a girls' prison built 20 Minutes into the Future
after the Juvenile Deliquency Law is passed. Paru will have to survive in a harsh enviroment full of fights and crime.
A fourth season started airing in 2015: the action returns to Majisuka Gakuen where a new group of girls has become the Rapappa, and yet another transfer student (this time Sakura Miyawaki) will confront the Rappapa leader, Salt (played by Shimazaki Haruka, who played Kanburi and Paru in former seasons) while Majisuka's rival Gekioko Nurse School plans an attack.
A fifth season aired on Summer 2015 and follows a new conflict between Majijo, Gekioko, Yabakune and the Yakuza.
A spinoff special episode, Majisuka Gakuen 0
, starred HKT48
going up against a group portrayed by the band Kishidan in the latter's hometown of Kisarazu, Chiba Prefecture, and is a prequel to Season 4, before Sakura transferred to Majijo. HKT48 and Kishidan collaborated on the former's 6th main single "Shekarashika!" ("Shut Up!" in Hakata dialect), and that song is also the ending theme for the special episode.
Another spinoff was a musical adaption titled Kyoto School Trip
made after Season 4, which had Otabe and Gekikara as the leads alongside a cast of new characters. The story tells of the Majijo students going on a trip to Kyoto, where they face the top of Dendeke High, the Shinsengumi. The musical also gives full in-sight to Gekikara's backstory and reveals a tragic past which made her who she was today. There was also another musical sequel set after season 5 titled Lost in the Supermarket
, starring Black and Katabutsu.
The sixth season of the series, titled Kyabasuka Gakuen
or Cabasuka Gakuen
(キャバすか学園), aired in fall 2016. It's set in an Alternate Universe
where the girls get jobs as cabaret hostesses to raise money to prevent Majijo from closing down.
At the end of May 2018, the seventh season of the series, titled Majimuri Gakuen
, was announced to premiere in July. This season will feature an entirely new cast and setting, featuring some of AKB and their sister groups' younger, up-and-coming members. The cast also includes a group of real-life male martial artists and pro wrestlers.
This series seriously contains examples of:
- Aborted Arc: The fourth season really builds up the tension between Gekioko and Majijo, seemingly leading up to a full-fledged conflict between the two schools just as in the second happened between Majijo and Yabakune... only for Antonio to be defeated by Sakura, Gekioko peacefully accepting defeat and Antonio and Kobii quietly graduating. Although with the announcement of a fifth season, this plotline may be picked up again.
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council - The strongest group - the wind instrument club Rappapa - is feared by everyone and de facto considered the top of the school.
- Abusive Parents: Both Nezumi and Center's fathers.
- Action Girl: Any character who is not an action girl is a rare exception.
- Adult Child: Show in 0 is proudly "Forever 16 Years Old".
- Adults Are Useless - Whereas all students possess fighting skills, the school staff seems to be mostly made of average humans not affecting the plot at all. By the time of fourth season, not even the director appears, and the school seems to be in anarchy.
- Gekikara is stabbed in a hospital yet no medical personnel immediately come to help her. Thankfully she is later given treatment.
- In season 5, all the adults are either evil, corrupt, or inept.
- Affably Evil: Yoshimune and Akechi.
- A Friend in Need: Why many of the characters have deep connections, underneath their cool exteriors.
- All There in the Manual: All the yankees have nicknames, including those who only appear for a few seconds. Some are only named in the credits.
- Ambiguously Gay: The first two seasons show quite a bit of subtext, but the third takes it Up to Eleven. Uruseeyo and Tatsuo are really masculine girls who are obsessed with each other, and Peace gets described by the guard as "the girl who loves Paru".
- In the musical, two of the Majijo girls (played by Takahashi Juri and Oshima Ryoka) are in a secret relationship.
- Antagonist in Mourning:
- Season 1: After Yuko's death, everyone mourns her, including those who stood against her. Maeda never gets the chance to fight her and properly take Rappappa's top position.
- Season 2: Shibuya declines to fight Maeda after she realizes that she has no chance of defeating her, and when Maeda is arrested, friends and foes tearfully see her off. She also names Center and Nezumi as the next Rappappa leaders as she is taken away.
- Season 5: Salt is assassinated before Sakura can have a rematch after her defeat in season 4. Center also never gets to fight Salt, as she informs Principal Mori before executing him.
- Anyone Can Die: Season 5.
- Apathetic Teacher: In season 1.
- Attack Pattern Alpha: Team Fondue always fights as a unit, and they have various battle formations.
- Attention Whore: In season 2, Student Council President Minegishi Minami reinvents herself into Shaku ("screentime") and joins Maeda's Rappappa. The first time we see her, she launches into a long rambling monologue about how she wants more screentime and be acknowledged by the other yankees, making an Actress Allusion to the real Minegishi's previous movie Moshidora and Breaking the Fourth Wall along the way, while the other Rappappas watch in confusion.
- Ax-Crazy: Shibuya and Gekikara.
- Yagi in the third season is so mad she needs to be carried around in chains to prevent her from attacking anyone.
- Shirogiku and Kurobara are pretty ruthless, as they live for hearing the pained cries of their opponents.
- Babies Ever After: In her cameo in the fourth season, Daruma is seen with a baby.
- Back-to-Back Badasses - Used several times throughout the series, most notably with Atsuko and Sado (and Atsuko and Minami in a flasback) in the first season, then with Center and Nezumi in the second. Paru and Miyu also do this in the third.
- Yoga and Magic in season 5.
- Backup Twin: Played with and lampshaded as Yuko's actress returns. Not as a twin, but as the two surviving triplets.
- Badass Boast:
- Maeda's "Any time, freshman."
- In season 5, in response to a threat from a yakuza she just defeated, Salt replies, "Majisuka Gakuen. I'm Shimazaki Haruka. Come at me anytime."
- Badass Bookworm:
- Nezumi is more often seen plotting than fighting, is a fan of Hermann Hesse, and her base classroom is full of books. She can also hold her own in a fight.
- Messi from season 3 is a scientist and genius hacker.
- Bad Boss: Akechi has his two most loyal henchmen killed for no good reason.
- Battleaxe Nurse:
- Gekioko is a nursing vocational school. The uniform is a nurse outfit instead of the Sailor Fuku both Majisuka and Yabakune wear. All of them are also yankees and can treat their own injuries after a fight thanks to their training. They also know how to use truth serums to extract information.
- Sado becomes a nurse after graduating. She comes to season 2's Final Battle in an ambulance, wearing her trademark fur coat over her nurse uniform, stating that she's underworked and needs to send more people to the hospital.
- Center cameos as a nurse in season 4. She resigned and returns to Majijo in season 5 to help with their crisis.
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: No matter how brutal they fight and how much they bleed, the yankees retain their beautiful, shiny hair and flawless makeup.
- Berserk Button:
- Unlike most students, Atsuko is reluctant to any kind of fighting... until you ask her whether she is serious.
- Never ask Otabe why she is Held Back in School. She appears in seasons 2, 4, 5, and Cabasuka as the same character, and is part of Maeda, Salt, Sakura, and probably also Center's Rappappa; she keeps wearing her season 2 uniform with dark blue collar in the later seasons where the others wear the updated Majijo uniform with white collar.
- The last person to ask Black about her son's father was reportedly beaten up half to death.
- Best Friend: Magic is the one most devastated when news of Yoga's death arrived, and savagely beats up the two Yabakune students who came to apologize for leaving her behind after she saved them.
- Beware the Quiet Ones: Maeda, Sakura, and Salt.
- Bifauxnen: Gakuran.
- Bizarre Taste in Food: 0's Show puts hot sauce on everything, including soft drinks. He also punishes his subordinates' failure by drenching his fist with hot sauce and punching their wounds.
- Bloodier and Gorier - For a drama based on an idol group, one would think that it'll be something light and happy, right? Definitely wrong.
- And then, there is the Gekikara episode, which is much gorier and more cruel than everything else until this point.
- Season 5 takes this Up to Eleven.
- Bond One-Liner: There are some.
Otabe, after dousing Lee with boiling oil: When cooking Chinese food, maintaining the correct temperature is crucial.
- Book Dumb: Bakamono in the fourth.
- Bottomless Magazines: Mostly averted except in Season 5's final showdown.
- Breakout Character: Gekikara definitely rose to high popularity with the fans, as well as her actress Matsui Rena.
- She was also co-lead (along with Otabe) in the musical adaption of Majisuka Gakuen.
- Calling the Old Man Out: Otabe comes to Yoshimune's office and interrogates her father at gunpoint when she suspects he is behind Salt and Bakamono's murders.
- The Cameo: In the fourth season, Center appears as the nurse treating Salt when she gets injured in episode 8. Nezumi also makes a comeback in episode 10, wearing her trademark hood. Torigoya appears on episode 1 saving a Majisuka student from Gekioko bullies, and Daruma appears on episode 6 giving some cryptic advice and some of her trademark chicken wings to Kamisori and Zombie.
- Many Majijo alumni from Season 1 join their alma mater's Final Battle in Season 2.
- In Season 5, Maeda, Yuko's sister, Yuka, Black, Torigoya, Nezumi, and Center ALL appeared at Salt's funeral in Episode 2. However, Center eventually made more appearances as a key character to the story. As for everyone else... no.
- Atsuko has "I'm serious".
- Gekikara has "Are you mad?"
- The third season is full of these. Uruseeyo has "Shuddup!", Nantene has "Just kidding", Komimi has "I just overheard this but..." and Messi has "Bang!" when releasing Yagi from her chains, and "Perfect", answered by Yagi's "Respect".
- Celebrity Paradox: The girls sometimes make jokes about AKB48 and has mentioned Takahashi Minami by name, even though she plays a character in this series.
- Chekhov's Gag: In 0, Namaiki and Otona are curious about kissing and are often seen discussing about it. In the climax, they watch in awe as their senior Ageman kisses her ex-boyfriend Show after defeating him.
- Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Dance in the first and second seasons and KY in the fourth.
- The Chessmaster: Yoshimune in season 5. See the Analysis page for details.
- Coat Cape: Ageman wears her red jacket this way, somewhat invoking the red Senbatsu Election winner cape her actress has worn many times.
- Cold-Blooded Torture:
- Gekikara loves to inflict pain on others using pencils, umbrellas, and other implements.
- The Gekioko nursing students in season 5 torture a crooked lawyer for information.
- Combat Commentator: Team Hormone. Hilariously lampshaded by Daruma when Kokabuki commentates during Atsuko's fight with Ookabuki.
- Combat Sadomasochist - Gekikara does not care about winning or losing but takes and throws punches alike just for the sake of violence while giggling like a maniac.
- Sado's nickname is a shortening of the word "sadist". Seeing as Yuko gave it to her after seeing her fight it makes a lot of sense.
- In Season 4, Shirogiku and Kurobara are pretty much torturing their opponents, wanting nothing more than to hear their screams of fear and cries of agony.
- Compensated Dating: The Chinese Mafia runs a brothel and lures high school girls to work there, wearing their school uniforms.
- Content Warnings: Season 1 episodes start with a disclaimer stating that the show is an "extension of a school drama" so the acting may be poor at times and asks the viewers to bear with it. The warning in Season 2 states the same thing but additionally claims that there has been some improvements, then in Season 3 it conversely states that the acting is even worse (probably owing to many new members taking main roles).
- Cool Big Sis: Minami acts as one towards Sakura in the fourth season.
- Cool Teacher: Teramoto-sensei in 0 seems like an Apathetic Teacher at first glance. When the Kishidan gang abduct him to lure the girls to a showdown, most of the girls are unwilling to rescue him until the tour agency rep, his Love Interest, scolds them and reveals that he has fought hard for them to be able to go on the school trip and have a memorable time, since their school administration were reluctant to allow yankees that privilege and had even canceled the trip before Teramoto-sensei intervened.
That lame Teramoto. Is this a school drama or something? Trying so hard to be cool.
- Otona acknowledges him as one of their own by referring to him as "our boy" when they come to pick him up.
- He later Took a Level in Badass and beats down a group of yankees harassing his new girlfriend.
: Please stop. She might look conventionally ugly, but she is beautiful to me. (Thugs continue harassing his girlfriend, so he beats them up and embraces her. His students watch in amazement) Sakura
: Teramoto...? Teramoto
: It is true that some problems cannot be resolved by talking (winks)
- Cover Identity Anomaly: Magic goes to infiltrate the brothel where Yoga was last seen and borrows the uniform and student ID of the first high school student who happens to pass by as a disguise. Unfortunately, she is quickly found out because that uniform is of Nogi Girls' High School, a school for rich kids unlikely to be interested in doing underage prostitution.
- Coordinated Clothes: Kabuki Sisters.
- Shokkaku and Sudachi in the third season and Kamisori and Zombie in the fourth.
- Corrupt Politician:
- Nezumi's father is one.
- Nogi-sensei in Season 5 is in league with the Yakuza and seeks to acquire the land Majisuka Gakuen stands on.
- Cowboy Cop: Detective Nirasawa in season 5, assigned to investigate Salt's murder, is insolent, laughs and eats at inappropriate times, wipes his hand after shaking hands with unsavory people in front of them, and employs Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique. He does ask the yankiis to stand down and let the adults handle the case, but at the same time pragmatically admits that their involvement would make his job easier. In the end, he gets reassigned by his corrupt superiors and never gets to the bottom of the case, and sits laughing outside the warehouse where the Final Battle takes place, maybe accepting that although he'll never know who the culprit is, at least they'll most likely die in the battle.
- Crapsack World: Season 5's world, where a bunch of high school girls, who are admittedly violent but never killed anyone or even shown to hurt anyone outside their own kind before, have to wage war against two powerful crime syndicates because the Police Are Useless, is definitely one.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: Black and Jumbo both wear rosaries. Minami wears a small one in Season 5.
- Creepy Child: Miso in the second season.
- Custom Uniform: Atsuko and the other main characters in each season (except Otabe, who still wears a cardigan over the normal uniform) are pretty much the only persons who wear her uniform correctly.
- Dark Action Girl: Several have shaded of this, but Gekikara in Season 1 most of all.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The leads usually have one.
- Season 1 - Atsuko's best friend, Minami, was killed by a rival school and she blames herself for it all.
- Season 2 - Center and Nezumi both have abusive/neglecting fathers whom they hate. They only have each other left.
- Season 3 - Paru had a violent streak until she met Keita. Also, Dasu, betrayed by her friends, Nanashi and Nantene, left alone in the world and only have each other, and most importantly, Miyu, who killed Keita and felt jealousy and hatred towards Paru because he only thought of her as a sister, not as something more.
- Season 4 - Sakura's father left her when she was a child.
- Gekikara's tragic backstory is fully revealed in the musical. In a Troubled Backstory Flashback scene, we find out that Gekikara's mother was an unfamous alcoholic guitarist. She physically and verbally abused Gekikara as a child, and put all the blame and anger from her struggling career out on Gekikara, almost killing her and telling her she's a nuisance. Since then, the trauma stayed with her, as shown when Okita started playing her guitar, Gekikara was triggered from the horrible memories the sound brought and started going crazy. She is, however, able to recover and comes back stronger than ever, even to the point of taking Okita's guitar from her and shredding it like a boss before heading back into battle.
- Darker and Edgier: Season 5 involves the yakuza and lots of gunfights, and much less comedy. The first episode ends with Salt shot dead by an assassin.
- Decoy Leader: Lin, the Chinese interpreter lady, is the real Chinese Mafia boss.
- Decoy Protagonist: In season 5, Salt is the first Majijo student to appear and is featured prominently on promo materials and the opening and closing credits. She is murdered at the end of the first episode, kicking off the season's plot.
- Defeating the Undefeatable: The protagonists' goal in seasons set at the Majisuka Academy is to defeat Rappappa's president. Subverted as none of them manage to do so.
- Defeat Means Friendship - After Atsuko beats Team Hormone, the latter becomes relatively amiable towards her.
- Also the case with the Kabuki Sisters, Gakuran, and Choukoku, out of whom the first two actually fight for her.
- Sado is another case, seeing as she not only became Yuko's second-in-command, but one of her fiercest defenders, after Yuko beat her senseless the first time they fought.
- Happens to Team Habu and Paru in the third season, and Kamisori, Zombie and Sakura in the fourth.
- Defence Mechanism Superpower: Due to her low intelligence, Bakamono's brain can be tricked into triggering the human fight-or-flight response at will, disabling the body's natural Power Limiter and giving her immense strength and endurance. According to Otabe, this is dangerous because such a heightened state takes a toll on the human body and should only be used in life-threatening situations.
- Defrosting Ice Queen:
- In season 2, Nezumi eventually breaks down and accepts Center as her Only Friend after Center proves her unwavering loyalty many times, despite Nezumi's many rejections and Chronic Backstabbing Disorder. They reunite in Cabasuka when Nezumi comes to help out at the Aquarium one evening.
: I really despise this comradeship
thing... But it can't be helped if it's for a true friend.
- In season 4, Sakura is reluctant to make friends due to her Dark and Troubled Past, but eventually warms up to Kamisori and Zombie and Team Hinabe, and accepts the Power-Up Food they made for her (Chinese herb nabe) before facing Otabe.
- Diegetic Switch: In Season 5's final showdown, a gunned down yakuza Mook accidentally increases the volume on a sound system mixer. The scene continues with the same music.
- Disappeared Dad:
- Sakura's most vivid childhood memory is running after his father and helplessly calling out to him as he left their home. This caused her determination to never run away from anything.
- Black's raises her infant son on her own.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: All the opening and ending songs are sung by AKB members.
- Domestic Abuse: Nezumi tried to protect her mother from this.
- The Dragon: Sado to Yuko.
- Also Kobii to Antonio in the fourth, although she has her own agenda.
- Otabe to Salt in season 4. Salt in turn acknowledges her as the embodiment of Rappappa.
- In the Chitoitsu Triad, Lee to Shu. And Shu to Lin, the real boss.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Yuko's Rappappa in season 1 is the only generation which has Queens with actual superpowers, namely Black with her Super Speed or Flash Step and Torigoya with her Mind Rape power (Gekikara is just Ax-Crazy).
- Edible Theme Naming: In every season and musical set in the Majisuka Academy, there is a mid-tier squad named after a food and enjoy cooking it in class and also serve as Ms. Exposition: Teams Hormone, Fondue, and Hinabe in the TV series, and Teams Kebab, Okonomi and Monja in the musicals, the latter two of which later form an alliance called Team Teppanyaki.
- The hostess names in Cabasuka also reminds many customers (and the hostess themselves) of sushi.
- Elegant Gothic Lolita: Myao from the Sanshou Sisters.
- Elite Four: The Rappappa's Four Heavenly Queens.
- Also Shokkaku and Sudachi in the third season.
- Everybody Dies: Unfortunately, this is the Gainax Ending / Downer Ending to Season 5. Center and Kenpou survive, although the latter is implied to leave the school afterwards. It's also revealed in the second musical that Katabutsu survived, as well, because she didn't participate in the Final Battle.trivia
- Everyone Is Related: In Season 5, which means the girls are unknowingly trying to kill each other's relatives. Only Katsuzetsu actually does so in the season finale, though, by putting a bullet through Center's grandfather's head before he shoots her.
- Otabe is the daughter of Yoshimune, acting boss of the Akechi yakuza group. Minami and some Ryuuto soldiers attack him in retaliation for Minami's father's murder, but the Chinese mafia suddenly comes and massacres them all.
- Minami is the adoptive daughter of the Ryuuto yakuza leader. Antonio tries to kill him but is shot first, and his lawyer, who is in the Chinese mafia's pocket, does the deed instead.
- Center is the granddaughter of Majisuka Gakuen's owner and lives in his house. He is killed by Katsuzetsu during the Final Battle.
- Explaining Your Power to the Enemy: Happens with the Kabuki Sisters. Daruma even comments on this: "Are you a commentator?"
- Expy: All the main girls from each season share the same characteristics: extremely silent, bob haircuts (Paru has longer hair but cuts it later), only person in the school to wear their uniform correctly, and having a habit before fighting (Atsuko takes off her glasses, Paru removes her hairband and places it on her knuckles and Sakura takes off her uniform's ribbon)
- Salt has a very similar hairstyle to Yuko. They're also the only two Rappappa heads who have never been defeated, and both are dead by the time their sequels premier (Yuko dies between seasons 1 and 2 and Salt is killed in season's 5 first episode).
- Family Theme Naming: The three Ooshima triplets are called Yuko, Yuki and Yuka.
- The Fake Cutie: The Sanshou Sisters act childish and wear lolita clothes, but they aren't any less violent than her classmates.
- Five-Man Band: Rappappa.
- The Leader: Yuko, top of the school. Replaced by Atsuko in the second and Salt in the fourth.
- The Lancer: Sado. Replaced in the second and fourth by Otabe.
- The Chick: Shibuya and Torigoya. Replaced in the second by the Kabuki Sisters and by Yoga in the fourth.
- The Smart Guy: Black. Replaced in the second by Shaku and by Magic in the fourth.
- The Big Guy: Gekikara. Replaced in the fourth by Bakamono.
- Fire-Forged Friends: Sado and Maeda.
- Flash Step: Black's specialty.
- Flawless Victory: Maeda VS Shibuya, surprisingly.
- Flipping the Bird: Principal Mori does this to Center as he dies, displaying his hatred of yankees to the very end.
- Foil: Daruma to Atsuko, Peace to Paru and Kamisori and Zombie to Sakura.
- Foreign Exchange Student: Michelle, a minor Gekioko character, is a transfer student from Jakarta played by Michelle Christo Kusnadi of JKT48. In a season 4 side story, she transferred to Majisuka Jyogakuen (it is not explained whether this is before or after she becomes a Gekioko student in the main season) and bonds with Team Hinabe over their signature nabe.
- In season 5's first episode, Salt declares that yankees would also throw away their lives if they have to, and that she has lived life on her own terms and doesn't mind dying.
- Center's grandfather tells her when they're playing chess that she is always too fixated on taking the king, possibly giving her the idea that Salt's murderer isn't connected to the Yakuza after all (although he may not actually know that).
- When interrogated by the detectives, Principal Mori expresses his regret in a way that could be both interpreted as putting the blame on the Yakuza and as him hinting to the truth.
- Former Delinquent:
- Friendly Enemy:
- Yuko to Maeda.
- In season 2, Shibuya is affable to her former Rappappa allies, even visiting Gekikara at the hospital after she is stabbed. After all, she cares nothing about the school rivalry and only wants a rematch with Maeda.
- Majijo's Shaku finds a kindred spirit in Yabakune's Janken, since they both strive to be acknowledged by their peers.
- In season 4, Salt often offers advice to Sakura who aims to overthrow her, as she wants Sakura to become a Worthy Opponent strong enough to give her a satisfying fight.
- Gender-Blender Name:
- Sayanee's character in the fourth season is named Antonio, a Spanish boy name (she is nicknamed after Antonio Inoki, who has a prominent chin like hers).
- Abe Maria's character in the third season is called Tetsuo, a name only used by boys.
- Genki Girl: Yuko, despite her terminal illness.
- Good Bad Girl: Majisuka Gakuen 0 opens with Ageman (formerly Wota) half-awake in bed, covered only by a blanket, while her lover prepares to go to work and reminds her about her school trip before leaving. She is later revealed to also have a past relationship with Show. An Actress Allusion to her actress's scandal and suggestive public persona that grew from that, and possibly also a Take That! to the 48 Group's Contractual Purity, which her actress has spoken up against a few times.
- Graduation for Everyone: Despite nobody is ever seen caring about education (except for Maeda), most senior students graduate normally and find normal work, including skilled professions like nursing. Those who don't wish to graduate yet can just deliberately miss enough school days and stay as students (although Otabe is sensitive about this). Graduates can also easily re-enroll as students as the plot requires.
- Gratuitous English: Majijo's headmaster in seasons 1 and 2 loves to mix English into her speech. Messi and Yagi's connecting catchphrases in season 3 also count.
- Growing Up Sucks:
- In season 2, Choukoku asks Center to wear MMA gloves before they fight, because as a professional MMA fighter she cannot risk a Career-Ending Injury, unlike yankees who can fight with everything they have. Center throws the gloves away after the fight, reaffirming her will to fight wholeheartedly.
- In season 5, Minami discusses with Sakura how yankee brawls are always exciting because everybody knows it will all be over when they graduate, and warns her against fighting the Yakuza because fights involving adults will always carry lasting consequences. Of course, Sakura doesn't listen.
- Hand Puppet: Nantene uses one in the third season. It's called Sally.
- Headphones Equal Isolation: Nezumi combines this with In the Hood.
- Held Back in School: Shibuya is a bit of a strange one. She has already graduated, started working, but then voluntarily goes back to third year, of a rival school.
- Gekikara is held back at school in season 2 (due to being kept in a mental institution during most of season 1) and the musical.
- Otabe in seasons 4, 5, and Cabasuka, though it was never explained as to why she was held back, which means she has been a high school senior for more than 4 years, if we include the year in which Center and Nezumi were at the top and consider that in Cabasuka even the youngest students are already 18.
- Wota, now known as Scandal, in season 4.
- In season 5, Salt was held back because she missed too many days of school. The other queens decided to stay back another year with her... except Bakamono, who miscounted her attendance percentage and actually met the number of days required for graduation and therefore had to graduate.
- Hellhole Prison: The girls live in one in the third season.
- Heroic Neutral: The only reason Salt took the top of Majijo is to prevent anyone weak from disturbing her.
- Hidden Agenda Villain: The Chinese Triad in season 5 has a business relationship with the Akechi Group, but they secretly conspire with Akechi to kill Yoshimune and obtain a secret document he possesses. They even invade Majijo and ransack Rappappa's club room looking for it, knowing that Yoshimune might have sent it to his daughter Otabe.
- Hidden Depths: Maeda is studying to become a nurse while climbing the Majijo ranks. Nezumi and Center first bond over their shared interest in the works of Hermann Hesse. A number of other students also show knowledge in literature and other subjects, although they're never seen studying.
- Honor Before Reason: Happens a lot with people not shying away from challenging whole crowds of opponents. The Kabuki Twins come to mind, with one fighting a whole bunch of girls, while the other challenges Shibuya.
- In season 5, the girls go against both the Yakuza and the Chinese mafia, against the warnings of the police, parents, and principal. Otabe herself points out the absurdity of the situation.
- Huge Schoolgirl: Daruma.
- I Am the Noun: In season 4, Salt calls Otabe the embodiment of Rappappa.
Salt: And Otabe... Rappappa is you.
Otabe: Much obliged. Be that as it may, you are our leader.
- I Ate WHAT?!: There's always someone in each season's cooking squad who puts a questionable ingredient or two into the pot.
- Identical Stranger: The only explanation for the same actresses playing different characters, having the same name in most cases, in the same universe without their characters being related. One of the weirdest cases would be Maeda, who doesn't blink an eye when she is arrested by a detective who looks exactly like her late best friend.
- If I Can't Have You...: A subversion in the third season. Miyu was in fact angry at Keita for loving Paru and only seeing her as a sister, but didn't kill him because of hatred, but because she was ordered so by the prison.
- If I Do Not Return: Implied in season 5 in Center's last conversation with her grandfather, since both of them are separately going to face danger.
Center: Are you a good or bad person? ... I hope I have been a good person for you.
- I Have Many Names:
- Wota has also been called Scandal and Ageman throughout the series, and becomes famous by her real name Sashihara Rino after graduating.
- In Cabasuka, the girls are given a hostess name in addition to their yankii name.
- Salt's real name is Shimazaki Haruka but she changes it to Kazahaya Kyoko when she becomes a detective as portrayed in Cabasuka's alternate continuity. Given that many of the yankees are Held Back in School, it's also possible that she and Team Fondue's Kanburi are the same person.
- I Just Want to Have Friends: Center really feels a connection to Nezumi because of their common background (Friendless Background and Abusive Parents) and interests, despite the latter's aversion to friendship.
- Ill Girl - Yuuko.
- Important Haircut: Paru cuts her hair after deciding to become head of Team Habu.
- Improperly Placed Firearms: In the season 5 opening titles, the yankees wield firearms from several eras, including sawed-off shotguns, a World War II-era M3 "Grease Gun", Prohibition-era Tommy gun, an M-4 carbine, and Magnum revolvers. Averted in the show where everybody uses modern handguns.
- In-Name-Only: The third season is set in a prison instead of a school, and features a new set of characters. The prison has the nickname "Majisuka Prison", but it's set in a different place, not related to Majisuka Academy.
- Ironic Nickname:
- Dodobusu is considerably attractive even in comparison to the rest of the all-idol cast, but her nickname means "very, very ugly woman". According to Word of God (i.e, the real Miyawaki Sakura's explanation during season 4's announcement), having two "very"s is somehow a negation and the name actually means "pretty girl".
- Katsuzetsu's nickname means "speaking clearly", while she has a lisp.
- Otona's name in 0 means "adult", while she looks like a child (her actress actually was around 14 at the time) and has a childlike curiosity about adult relationships.
- It's Personal:
- Kansai Regional Accent: Otabe speaks Kyoto dialect (Kyo-kotoba), which makes her sound very polite. Most of the Gekioko student speak Osaka dialect.
- Karma Houdini: The corrupt police superintendent walked out of the Final Battle alive.
- Kick Them While They Are Down: Happens to Daruma a lot.
- The Lad-ette: Uruseeyo.
- Lady of War: Maeda Atsuko
- Laughing Mad: Gekikara.
- Legion of Doom: The Final Battle of season 5 is set at a lunch metting between the Akechi Company, Chinese mafia, and their associates.
- Life Debt: After being saved by Salt, Antonio breaks Gekioko's alliance with Yabakune, which was formed to attack Majijo. After Yoga gave her life to save Yabakune students from the Triad, Head, Yabakune's leader, decides to also ally with them along with Gekioko, forming the Three-School Yankee Alliance for the Final Battle.
- Line in the Sand: Otabe gives everybody one last chance to bail out before the Final Battle against the Yakuza. Kenpou tearfully takes that chance. Since Everybody Dies, this might have been the wiser choice, and nobody judges her on her decision, although they do ask her to reconsider.
Kenpou: You guys are weird. We're only high school students!
Otabe: You're right. Yearning to destroy the Yakuza, we are the weird ones. ... Deciding to quit now also takes courage.
- Loads and Loads of Characters - The first season alone features at least 30 girls from AKB48 or their sister groups. Even more are added on latter seasons.
- Lonely Rich Kid: Nezumi is the daughter of a wealthy Corrupt Politician and has all the money she could ever want or need, but is averse to friendship due to her troubled childhood until Center comes along.
- Lured into a Trap: Center by Nezumi. Subversion in that she knew Nezumi was betraying her and still showed up
- In the fourth season, Sakura by Shirogiku and Kurobara, who kidnap Kamisori and Zombie.
- Mafia Princess: In season 5, Center's grandfather and Otabe's father are connected with the Yakuza. Minami was also one before she became a Ryuutou Clan member, although she has retired since before the events of season 4.
- Meaningful Name - There are several, justified for a few of the characters as they are nicknames.
- Daruma shares her name with a type of good luck charm in Buddhism that is able to always get up when it's knocked down. This is even lampshaded by the Sanshou Sisters who start saying lines of the game "Daruma-san fell down" (akin to "Red light green light") while fighting with her and Atsuko.
- Given to her by Yuko after their fight, "Sado" is a shortform for "Sadist", which is... strangely appropriate once you see her fight.
- Shibuya dresses in kogal fashion and shares her name with a district in Tokyo where kogals are known to hang out.
- "Nezumi" means "mouse." Guess who is The Mole and Manipulative Bastard trying to quietly orchestrate all of the events of the series?
- Even the name of the school, "Majisuka", contains the word "maji" that is a homonym for "serious."
- Yabakune's name comes from "yabai". It means bad.
- The name of Minami's diner, Asobina, is a homonym for "have fun!" which is her actress's famous catchphrase.
- Mismatched Eyes: Nobunaga in the third season.
- Missing Mom: Atsuko's mother is also a yankee who travels a lot. She does come back to visit pretty early in the series.
- Center's mother left her when she was very young.
- Mr. Exposition: Team Hormone are usually the ones that explain (either to each other or to Daruma) other girls' characteristics and fighting styles.
- Their successors, Teams Fondue and Hinabe, also talks about plot points among themselves for the viewers' convenience.
- Morality Pet: Center to Nezumi.
- Motive Decay: In season 2, Maeda is never seen studying to be a nurse as was her goal in season 1, instead spending her days beating up people Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life to fulfill Yuko's last request.
- Mundane Utility:
- Black uses her Super Speed at her job as a supermarket cashier.
- In Season 4 Gaiden, Jisedai asks Kamisori to open a nabe seasoning package with her sharp nails.
- My God, What Have I Done?: After knowing that his murder of Salt has led to Majijo about to be shut down, Principal Mori regrets what he has done and starts talking to the police.
- Mythology Gag: Shibuya's ringtone is "Dear J", Itano Tomomi's (her actress) first solo single.
- The first song Sashihara Rino ever centered in AKB was "Kagami no Naka no Jeanne D'Arc", where in the beginning she carries a flag. At the second season's last episode, there's a scene where her character Wota is carrying Majisuka's flag. The positions of the rest of Team Hormone also make it look like the song's unit.
- Atsuko standing in the school's rooftop with her arms wide open at the end of the second season's opening looks very similar to Yuuko's shot at the beginning of the "Keibetsu Shiteta Aijou" PV.
- Never Bring a Knife to a Fist Fight: In season 5, Salt defeats a yakuza armed with a katana.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: Sakura suddenly speaks Chinese and everybody can expertly use firearms in season 5.
- New Transfer Student - The first episode starts with two transfer students, Atsuko and Daruma, joining Majisuka Gakuen.
- Otabe is this in the second season.
- In the fourth season, the same happens with Sakura.
- Nonindicative Name: Rappappa is officially Majijo's Brass Instrument Club (rappa itself means "trumpet"), but nobody there ever plays an instrument. Sakura does blow a trumpet once to conceal the sound of Bakamono's gun in season 5.
- Non-Uniform Uniform: Atsuko, Otabe and Sakura are the only ones that wear the proper uniform, everyone else wears longer skirts, extra jackets, no ribbons, etc. Gakuran doesn't even wear the girls' uniform, wearing a boys' one instead. Happens the same to most of the Yabakune and Gekioko cast.
- The Notable Numeral: The Four Heavenly Queens.
- Office Golf: Yoshimune has a putting mat in his office and practices his swing while talking to Otabe, his daughter.
- One Steve Limit: Minami the Student Council President is not to be confused with Minami, Atsuko's deceased friend.
- Also in season 4 Sakura frequents a diner owned by a woman named Minami, portrayed by the same actress as Maeda's late friend.
- Overly Long Name: In a season 4 Gaiden episode, Dodobusu is tired of her Ironic Nickname and changes it to Tenjou Tenge Yuiga Dokuson (a phrase attributed to Gautama Buddha) after seeing the phrase graffitied on a wall, until she realizes that it's too long that she herself cannot remember it (although Uonome and Kenpou can) and reverts to her original name.
- Parasol of Pain: Gekikara sometimes fights and tortures people with an umbrella.
- Parental Neglect: Otabe has a strained relationship with her father, who is the boss of a Yakuza clan. She mostly calls him by name and has threatened to kill him one day after she is convinced that he was the mastermind of the yankii-Ryuutou war, despite knowing that she attends Majijo and would inevitably be caught up in the conflict. They still ultimately care for each other, however: he has a picture of them together on his desk and encourages her to give up the yankii life and get married soon, and her last words before dying are that she'll again be able to pull weeds with her father, who has been murdered earlier, as they used to do when she was little.
- Peaceful in Death: For someone murdered by the Chinese mafia and found at sea, Yoga looks like she's just sleeping peacefully with no visible wounds.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: In the Action Prologue to 0, Namaiki* and Otona* , who are tiny even by Japanese high school student standards (their actresses, Yabuki Nako and Tanaka Miku, or NakoMiku, were still in middle school at the time), effortlessly defeat a gang of around nine male yankees on their own. The whole school qualifies as well for holding their own against the physically larger Kishidan gang.
- In season 5, the teenaged female yankees also hold their own against the Yakuza and Triad in both fistfights and gunfights.
- Plague of Good Fortune: Season 2's Janken, played by Janken Tournament winner Uchida Mayumi, is looked down upon by her peers in Yabakune since they believe she's just coasting on her luck, and is desperate for a chance to prove her strength.
- Plucky Girl: Every single student could qualify for this, but especially Atsuko, Daruma, and Yuuko.
- Posthumous Character: Minami, Atsuko's best friend, only appears through flashbacks, as she died before Atsuko came to Majijo.
- In the third season, same happens to Keita, Paru's crush.
- Power Walk: Happens often. The biggest one is in the season 5 finale, where Sakura walks with the spirits of all the fallen yankees away from the final battle and finally commits Suicide by Cop.
- Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: During most of season 1, Maeda only fights when her opponent questions her seriousness, so before every fight she declares, "I'm serious!"
- Protectorate: As the strongest Majijo students, the Rappappa doesn't only command respect from their fellow students, but is also responsible for protecting the school from their rivals.
- Put on a Bus: All the third-years that graduated on the first season (as well as Daruma) only have small scenes explaining where they are now in the second season's first episode. The Sanshou Sisters (once it's revealed they've transferred to Yabakune) state that Manamana stayed at Majijo (a way to cover the fact that her actress, Oku Manami, graduated before the show started airing) Same happens to Erena, who doesn't appear on this season after her actress graduated from the group.
- Reluctant Warrior: Maeda in season 1 tries to stay away from brawls and focus on her studies, yet everybody keeps pushing her Berserk Button. This is no longer the case in season 2 as she becomes a Vigilante.
- Sakura in 0 tries to keep herself and the Hot-Blooded Katsuzetsu out of trouble, as she is aware that they have to behave themselves on the school trip. She finally snaps, to Katsuzetsu's delight, when a member of Kishidan gang tries to manhandle her.
- Replacement Goldfish: Team Fondue on second season take most of the commentary Team Hormone did on the first, after the latter Take a Level in Badass. Same goes to Team Hinabe in the fourth season.
- Actually, most of the protagonists are very similar to each other. Atsuko, Otabe, Paru and Sakura all have bob haircuts, stoic demeanor and really messed up pasts.
- Retcon: The last episodes of season 4 repeatedly mention that the current Rappappa and Gekioko's leaders are going to graduate. In season 5, it turns out that the Rappappa are held back due to Salt missing too many school days and her Queens deliberately doing the same to stay beside her (except Bakamono, who miscalculated and had to graduate and get a job afterwards, although re-enrolling, as Shibuya did in season 2, could have been an option), and Antonio and Coby of Gekioko are also still at school with no explanation given. Meanwhile, in Cabasuka, which follows season 4 as an alternate continuity, only Magic and Otabe are held back.
- Retired Badass: Minami, owner of the Asobina diner in seasons 4-5, is a former Majijo yankii and high-ranking yakuza known as "Long Sword Wielder" Minami. She takes up her sword again in season 5 to avenge her adopted father, a Yakuza boss.
- In season 4, Scandal keeps a relatively low profile after returning to Majijo despite being the top yankii of her previous school in Fukuoka, Shekarashika Joshishogyo, as seen in the Majisuka Gakuen 0 prequel, and acts like she doesn't know Sakura, her junior who transferred from the same school, while around her classmates (since Sakura always says she's from Kagoshima and never mentions her previous school, nobody suspects a thing). Justified since her Team Hormone teammates have all graduated and she probably wants to avoid another scandal and graduate as well. However, she stays in touch with Sakura and Katsuzetsu even after graduating and helps Jisedai out of a predicament.
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: Yoshimune is murdered by the Chinese mafia with the cooperation of Urasawa, his Starscream, in order to put Urasawa first in line for succeeding the dying Akechi and get him to return the incriminating documents Yoshimune had on the Chinese mafia. Akechi, who has groomed Yoshimune as his successor but has no intention of stepping down despite his illness, challenges him afterward to a game of Russian Roulette, but they are interrupted by Otabe. Finally Akechi simply shoots him in the back.
- Russian Roulette: A dying mafia boss challenges his apparent successor to one.
- Sailor Fuku: The school's uniform qualifies. Yabakune also uses one, but grey and white instead of black/dark blue and red.
- Save the Villain: Season 5 starts with Salt rescuing Antonio, who is being held by a Yakuza gang, later revealed as part of the Ryuutou clan.
- School of Hard Knocks: Majisuka Academy and all of its rival schools, which are also School of No Studying.
- Second Year Protagonist
- Sequel Hook: A girl (identified as Center in season 2) walks up to challenge Maeda at the end of Season 1. Her response? "Any time, freshman."
- The fourth season ends with new Yabakune head Gekkou warning Sakura about a counterattack from Yabakune on spring. Later, Sakura is defeated by Paru, but both realized the former will get even stronger and keep fighting for the top position.
- Sex for Services: When Sakura gets shot, Otabe doesn't have money to pay the doctor and starts stripping down to her undergarment, complete with Male Gaze. Averted when the bartender she befriends decides to foot the bill.
- She-Fu: Thankfully averted.
- Shout-Out: Detective Nirasawa is seen reading AKB49 – Renai Kinshi Jourei and carrying Kojima Haruna's real-life photobook.
- Shut Up, Hannibal!: In season 5 finale, Principal Mori goes into a Motive Rant to try to justify his action, framing himself as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who only wishes to help his students and the school by weeding out bad eggs like Salt. Center shuts him up with a bullet to the heart and an Armor-Piercing Response.
Center: Even yankii are still your precious students, Principal.
- Significant Double Casting: Some of the girls that played characters in the two first seasons play new characters in the third. For example, Matsui Jurina (who played Center) plays Nobunaga, Kumi Yagami (who played Dance) plays Komimi, Shimada Haruka (who played Docchi) plays Uruseeyo, and Shimazaki Haruka (who played Kanburi) plays Paru, the main character. Same goes for the fourth season, despite being set in the same place as the first two.
- Silly Walk: Nezumi goes around by hopscotch jumping when she's excited.
- Skirt over Slacks: Team Hinabe's Kusogaki and Kenpou wear their team track pants under their uniform skirts.
- Small Role, Big Impact: In season 5, when Principal Mori assassinates Salt, the motive is because he hates yankiis and seeks to destroy the school's yankii hierarchy. As it turns out, the yankiis suspect the Ryuutou yakuza clan because of an earlier conflict and are brave/crazy/stupid enough to seek vengeance as Yoshimune, The Chessmaster, initially planned, causing a Cycle of Revenge which culminates in an all-out war between a yankii alliance from three schools, the Yakuza, and the Triad where Everybody Dies at the end. Center survives, though, and makes sure the principal gets his comeuppance for starting off the whole thing.
- Something Completely Different: The third season is the only one not to take place on Majisuka High.
- The sixth season starts with the girls temporarily quitting the school to work as hostesses in order to raise funds to prevent the school from being closed, and most of the story takes place at the hostess club. There are very few fight scenes compared to other seasons.
- Speaks in Shout-Outs: Kenpou's nickname refers to the Constitution of Japan and she speaks her mind by quoting a somewhat related article from it for the given situation (and quotes random articles when she's panicking).
- Spear Counterpart:
- The Kishidan gang in 0, portrayed by the real-life rock band of the same name, is the only named male yankee gang in the series. They're based in Kisarazu, Chiba, which is also the band's real hometown.
- The series as a whole is often compared to Takashi Miike's movie series about male high school yankees, Crows Zero. Incidentally, AKBingo!'s former host duo Bad Boys, who are former yankees, are cameos in the first movie.
- Sssssnaketalk: Nezumi.
- Shokkaku hisses a lot too.
- Stalker with a Crush: Gakuran.
- The Starscream: In season 5, Urasawa, Yoshimune's right hand man, secretly conspires with the Triad to assassinate Yoshimune, who possesses incriminating documents regarding the Triad, and become the next head of Akechi Company. Akechi sees through this, though, and kills him for his treachery.
- Stoic Glasses: Atsuko in the first season, Nakamata in the second, Messi in the third.
- Strong Family Resemblance: The musical that follows season 5, Lost in The Supermarket, recasts some of the actresses as the younger sisters of their previous characters.
- Struggling Single Mother: Black is revealed to have a baby son in season 2, and carries him while doing her job as a supermarket cashier. She wants to enroll him in Majijo if he becomes a yankee when he grows up, even though Majijo is a girls' school.
- Suicide by Cop: Being the only yankii to walk out of the Final Battle, Sakura chooses to follow her fallen friends and points her gun at a platoon of armed police officers. There Is No Kill Like Overkill ensues.
- Superpowered Evil Side: In season 2, Gekikara ("spicy") has promised Yuko that she'll finish high school. She represses her violent personality in order to stay sane and goes by Amakuchi ("mildly spicy"). There's also a third personality called Chukara ("medium spicy") which is somewhere in the middle.
- Super Speed: Black's special ability.
- Surprisingly Good Foreign Language: Which leads to Bilingual Dialogue.
- In season 3, Jovijovich, played by the half-Russian Murashige Anna, prefers to speak Russian although she can speak Japanese.
- In a season 4 side story, Michelle, a transfer student from Jakarta, talks to Team Hinabe in Indonesian until they teach her some Japanese tough talk. Uonome tries to communicate in Japanese mixed with Engrish, making it a trilingual dialogue.
Michelle: Hai, nama saya Michelle (Hi, I'm Michelle).
Uonome: I am Uonome. You are tenkousei (exchange student)? Never namenna (don't look down on us - yes, a double negative)! If you iikimatara (full of yourself), you are bokoboko da (beaten up).
Michelle: Ah, nggak ngerti dia ngomong apa! (Argh, I don't understand a word she said!)
Uonome, mistaking her frustration for fear: Bibittenara (If you're scared), okay!
- In season 5, Sakura is revealed to speak Chinese.
- Tank-Top Tomboy: Katsuzetsu wears a white tube top under her uniform and never buttons her blouse.
- Tell Me How You Fight: While most of the yankees employ Good Old Fisticuffs, some have distinct fighting styles.
- Maeda finishes off Gakuran with a one inch punch.
- Black makes good use of her Super Speed.
- Nezumi is more of a Dainty Combatant, although she prefers to let others do the fighting.
- Kamisori ("Razor") cuts her opponents with her very sharp nails.
- Yoga emphasizes the use of soft martial arts and palm strikes, befitting her calm and spiritual demeanor.
- Magic, being an illusionist, relies on flashy moves, agility, and trickery.
- Center uses some wrestling techniques on Choukoku.
- That Woman Is Dead: In Majisuka Gakuen 0, Ageman no longer answers to her old nickname, Wota.
- The Glasses Come Off: When Atsuko gets serious, she always takes off her glasses.
- Lampshaded in episode 11 when before a fight with Sado she removes them dramatically... to clean a lens.
- Her dad does this, too.
- Averted in the second series, as she gets contacts.
- Theme Music Power-Up: Season 2's Final Battle feature the theme songs of both seasons 1 and 2.
- Theme Tune Cameo: "Sakura no Shiori", the ending for the first season, is Majisuka's hymn. It's also Yuuko's favourite song, and she usually sings or hums it.
- There Are No Therapists: Some girls certainly need some treatment.
- Thicker Than Water: Center loves her grandfather despite suspecting his involvement in Salt's murder and subsequent events. Her motivation for going back to school is to protect both her friends and her grandfather's legacy. While Everybody Dies, at least she manages to avenge Salt's death and the destruction of the Akechi-Triad alliance means Majijo won't be shut down.
- Those Two Girls: Yabakune's Candy and Rookie are always seen together, don't receive much characterization, take responsibility together after they left Yoga to be murdered by the Triad, and ultimately perished back-to-back while fighting the Yakuza.
- Trademark Favorite Food:
- Daruma eats fried chicken wings as her victory meal and always have plenty to share, although her friends are usually not looking forward to eating it, since she carries the wings unhygienically in a cloth bag or under her shirt.
- Nezumi chews bubblegums almost all the time.
- Maeda in season 2 eats sakura petals, symbolic of the promise she made to Yuko under the blossoming sakura trees to find a reason to fight.
- Teams Hormone, Fondue, and Hinabe are named after the meal they prepare and eat every day.
- Yoshimune in season 5 likes to eat raw onions. A bar that doubles as one of his safe houses has crates of onions in storage.
- Treacherous Advisor:
- Akechi seems all set to pass on leadership of his syndicate to Yoshimune as he's dying from cancer, until he conspires with the Triad to assassinate him. Then he personally murders the second in line, Urasawa, as well.
- Principal Mori murdered Salt, his own student.
- Troubled Backstory Flashback: Nezumi remembers her father hitting her as she tried to protect her mother from his beatings and then her mother leaving.
- True Companions
- Truth Serum: Gekioko nursing students in season 5 interrogates a crooked lawyer using a truth serum.
- Twist Ending: Season 5. Even after they defeated the Yakuza, everyone has been killed, and Sakura was shot down by the police. Center finds out the person who killed Salt was actually the principal and shoots and kills him in his own home, being the last one standing.
- Two-Teacher School: Somewhat justified since nobody seems to do any learning anyway. Apart from Maeda that is, but she still learns from a book that is not on the curriculum.
- Unable to Cry: In season 5, Antonio is unable to cry upon learning of Coby's death. Sakura, understanding that people like them can only mourn through their fists, offers to mourn with her. They fight, and only after that their tears come out for their fallen friends.
- Unwitting Pawn: By having Salt assassinated, Yoshimune manages to get both Majijo and Gekioko into conflict with Ryuutou clan, distracting the latter and allowing Akechi Clan and their Triad ally to destroy them. Except for Coby's killing of the hospitalized Yakuza, all the murders are still carried out by members of either the Akechi Clan or the Triad, including Yoshimune's own.
- Use Your Head - Daruma's signature move. She explains that it's because when she was in Shibuya's gal circle, she would be headbutted as punishment.
- Because of this, Atsuko uses one to beat Shibuya.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: How Chokoku carries her 100 Poems by 100 Poets cards.
- Victory Is Boring: Salt spends her days sleeping in the Rappappa club room or wandering aimlessly around school and outside, waiting for a strong opponent to challenge her.
- Villainous Friendship: Sado and Yuko.
- "Well Done, Daughter!" Girl: In season 4, Yoga knows that she's the weakest Rappappa and really seeks Salt's approval, and is devastated when Salt forgives her for losing to Sakura because Salt never expected anything from her anyway. Salt eventually expresses her appreciation to Yoga and the other Queens before her duel with Sakura.
- World of Action Girls
- Worthy Opponent:
- Maeda grows into this for Rappapa as they keep hearing about more of her victories.
- Salt encourages Sakura to become one to her.
- Wham Episode: Miso stabbing Gekikara in season 2's episode 5.
- Salt's death at the end of the first episode of season 5.
- While Rome Burns: In season 5, Detective Nirasawa, having been taken off the case and powerless to prevent the chaos, simply sits laughing outside the warehouse where the Final Battle is taking place while eating a snack.
- With My Hands Tied: The agile Magic manages to hold off a Triad member while tied to a chair for some time, until she is knocked out.
- You Called Me "X"; It Must Be Serious: In 0, Katsuzetsu expresses the yankees' newfound appreciation for Teramoto-sensei by calling him Sensei instead of the usual Teramoto, when they come to retrieve him from the Kishidan gang and he tries to stop the two groups from fighting.
Katsuzetsu: Sensei! This is how yankees talk things out.
- Action Girl: Mostly averted since they're now hostesses. Outside the club, though, Sakura, Yoga, and Salt still have some moments.
- Acceptable Breaks from Reality: Many of the darker aspects of hostess clubs, such as alcoholism, drug use, physical and mental health issues, and Yakuza involvement, are not shown or are downplayed. Justified as the Aquarium girls are protected by Center/Kurage and are only doing it temporarily, except for Kurage and Sakura.
- A-Cup Angst: In Cabasuka, a novelist customer talks about women's breasts being his inspiration source, and proceeds to admire each of the hostesses' bosom... but skips over Uonome/Iwashi's. Kusogaki/Ankou makes fun of her by calling her Ghost Boobs after that incident.
- Kusogaki herself is later revealed to have unwittingly bought a bra too large for her.
- Alternate Timeline: Cabasuka happens in one where the events of season 5 never happened (after all, Everybody Dies in that season).
- Animal Theme Naming: When they become hostesses in Cabasuka, the Majisuka students are given hostess names (genji) related to fishes and other marine life, as the club is called the Aquarium. Also Edible Theme Naming since most of the fishes are commonly used for sushi.
- Artistic License – Awards: A novelist customer visits the club with his entourage to celebrate his winning the Johannesburg Prize. The University of Johannesburg Prize is only awarded to South African literary works written in English.
- Ascended Extra: Katabutsu/Karei has a more prominent role this season than in previous ones, having been crowned one of the Four Heavenly Queens and having her own subplot. This is very likely related to her actress's boost in popularity when the season was released in late 2016.
- In the musical "Lost in The Supermarket" set after the events of season 5, she is a main character and becomes the new Rappappa president in her third year as the only strong Majijo student still alive. She also worked with Black at the titular supermarket until Center, whose family owns the school in that continuity, recruits Black as the new principal.
- As Herself:
- Scandal is now publicly known as her actress, HKT48 idol Sashihara Rino.
- Nishino Nanase and Shiraishi Mai are billed as Nogizaka46 members, although they wear the Nogizaka High School uniform first featured in season 5 and portray yankees in their cameo instead of idols.
- Back-to-Back Badasses: Sakura is being harassed by some thugs when Yoga passes by, and they fight off the thugs back-to-back.
- Beat Them at Their Own Game: In Cabasuka, Jisedai/Fugu is seduced by Seiya, a host, into thinking they are in a relationship, which leads to her running a very large tab at the host club where he works. Scandal, now known as HKT48 idol Sashihara Rino, retaliates on her behalf by seducing him and running an even larger tab, forcing Seiya to take a loan to front the bill with the assumption that Sashihara will pay him back, before she moves to Jakarta to transfer to JKT48, leaving Seiya at his shady creditors' mercy.
Sashihara: So, what now? Are you going to start with my nails? "Such pretty nails!" Or my shoes? "Cute shoes!" We both know that women are self-conscious about their nails and shoes. And when I start to feel uncomfortable, you're going to look into my eyes and say that I'm really pretty, and silently devour me with your eyes.
Seiya: It seems like I'm the one being devoured.
- Book Ends: The story starts and ends with a Nogi High student/Nogizaka46 member apparently coming to challenge the Majijo leader, and ends up not fighting her (due to the scene in the first episode being a Fake Action Prologue, and Sakura postponing her re-enrollment and continuing on as a hostess in the season finale).
- Bullying a Dragon: A group of Yakuza visits the club and acts very rudely to the girls. Otabe/Maguro would have none of it and intimidates them back into leaving.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Saionji likes to strike weird poses, drinks a mysterious thick black substance, and is a legendary cabaret club producer.
- The Bus Came Back: Yoga/Iruka and Dodobusu/Namazu weren't part of the Aquarium at the beginning, since the former has graduated and the latter was reluctant to be a hostess, but were separately convinced by their friends to join later.
- The Cameo:
- Torigoya/Konbu, Nezumi/Utsubo, and Salt/Plankton each appear as a guest hostess.
- Scandal also appears, now known as Sashihara Rino of HKT48 as in real life and wishes to keep her yankii past under wraps.
- Okada Ijilly, the host of Nogibingo (Nogizaka46's variety show), appears as a customer. A hostess is also heard inviting "Muramoto-san" by phone.
- Nishino Nanase and Shiraishi Mai of Nogizaka46 also appear wearing the Nogi High School uniform in the first and last episodes, respectively, to challenge Majisuka Gakuen's top yankii.
- Celebrity Paradox: It is established that AKB48 and its sister groups exist in this universe; the Aquarium girls are disappointed when a customer won't tell them who his favorite member is. Only Scandal, who uses her real name Sashihara Rino in the group, is known to be a member after graduating from Majijo. Torigoya/Kojiharu/Konbu is also a member of an unnamed idol group for some time after graduating from the school.
- Con Man: Seiya, a host from the club Dandy Magnum, pretends to be in love with Jisedai/Fugu to get her to be a regular at his club, despite knowing she has limited means and had to put everything on credit.
- Crossover: Detective Asaba Sho from Keishichou Nasi Goreng-ka appears in episode 9. Salt is also heavily implied to be the same person as the division chief from that show, Detective Kazahaya Kyoko, who is also played by Shimazaki Haruka. Kazahaya is a staunch Phone-In Detective and despises legwork in Keishichou, but it's reasonable to assume that she's making an exception for her juniors here; Saionji alludes to this after Salt apprehends his would-be killer, commenting that sometimes cases can be solved outside, implying that he knows her by reputation.
- "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Unlike previous seasons, where the theme songs are about yankee life, specifically written for the show, and released as B-sides, this time the opening song is the AKB48 46th A-side single "High Tension".
- Ironically, the song's center performer in the single, Shimazaki Haruka, was about to graduate from AKB when the season was first aired in late 2016 and her character, Salt, only appears in one episode (presumably to give the other cast members more screentime, but also because she was already working on other TV series). She also never performs the song in-universe with the other Aquarium girls.
- Double Entendre: Otabe is slightly offended when Saionji gives her the name Maguro ("tuna"), as it is also a slang for someone who is passive during sexual intercourse.
- Fair Cop: Salt is a police Detective Chief. Her subordinate Detective Asaba also counts.
- Fake Action Prologue: The first episode opening is similar to previous seasons where a student, revealed to be Nishino Nanase from AKB48's rival group Nogizaka46, demonstrates her strength and appears to seek to challenge Majijo's leaders, setting up a plot involving conflict with Nogi High School briefly featured in season 5... Until she simply walks away and an Opening Scroll appears to inform us that this season will be Something Completely Different.
- Fortune Teller: Dodobusu/Namazu worked as one before joining the Aquarium, and uses her (genuine) power after she becomes a hostess to read both customers and fellow hostesses. Somehow the power gets transferred to Satoshi at one point, which upsets her greatly.
- Friendly Rivalry: Despite their clubs being rivals, Kurage and Antonio have an amicable relationship, not least because they're both Saionji's protégés. In the season finale, Antonio and the Ike Ike Tattoo girls help out at the Aquarium for their final push to pay off Majijo's debt.
- "Friends" Rent Control: It is never explained how a high school student like Sakura could acquire the lot right next to Ike Ike Tattoo, the most popular hostess club in town, for the Aquarium. She also already has the blueprints lying around the Rappappa club room when Principal Mori brings the bad news.
- Genre Shift
- Hostess Club
- Hot-Blooded: Otabe, who is calculating and level-headed in previous seasons, is much more emotional in this one, easily triggered by rude customers and cries the most when they managed to save enough money to save their school. Justified as while everybody is a Fish out of Water, she has always has the strongest sense of duty as a Rappappa member.
- I Know Your True Name: Katabutsu/Karei messes up when she tells an awkward customer her real name, Nana (full name Okada Nana, the same as her actress's), in an attempt to break the ice, as this starts his turn into a Stalker with a Crush.
- Kansai Regional Accent: Otabe still speaks in Kyoto-ben and most of Ike Ike Tattoo are Kansai girls played by NMB48 members (who may or may not be the same people as the Gekioko students).
- Lighter and Softer: In stark contrast to season 5, Cabasuka focuses more on comedy and Fanservice and has very few fight scenes, although there's still a murder and prostitution ring subplot.
- Meaningful Name:
- Same (shark) aims to be the top as usual. The shark is an apex predator.
- Kurage (jellyfish) favors dresses with sheer parts and has fair skin.
- Namazu (catfish) is said to be able to predict earthquakes, which fits Dodobusu's fortune-telling abilities.note
- Plankton, like her namesake, is always drifting around looking for excitement.
- Iruka (dolphin) is named after one of the most intelligent marine lifeforms, and the practice of yoga is also associated with (spiritual) wisdom. In addition, her actress was ranked the smartest girl in AKB48 after acing a test given to the members in a TV show.
- While metaphorically the other hostesses are fishes and the customers are fishermen (hence the marine Animal Theme Naming), Konbu (kelp) turns the customers into fishes, attracting hordes of them to her like fishes hungry for seaweed.
- Fugu (pufferfish) has chubby cheeks. Although not by her doing, the host who tries to swindle her also ends up being at the mercy of loan sharks, which may refer to the pufferfish's deadly toxin (aspiring fugu chefs are required by law to undergo a 3-year certification process before allowed to prepare and serve it).
- Karei (flounder) is a homophone for "beautiful" (which she is) and "good example" (her actress is known for her desire to be a good role model).
- Mythology Gag: A number of events this season mirror those of previous seasons, some with a humorous twist.
- There is a crime organization looking for a MacGuffin in the form of documents they suspect the protagonists are holding on to.
- Otabe and her group stand up against a rude group of Yakuza and promise to retaliate if they try to cause trouble at the Aquarium, driving them away from the club, like they did to the Yakuza threatening Principal Mori in season 5.
- Salt is still constantly bored and wanders around looking for excitement. Or so she said, as now she's an undercover detective investigating the hostess murder.
- Salt saved Sakura from an attacker and offers her his gun, which Sakura refuses (a nod to Sakura assaulting a Triad hideout to obtain a gun in season 5).
- Like in season 5, there's a maverick detective investigating a murder, but once again, the case ends up being solved by Center/Kurage, only this time the culprit turns herself in voluntarily after she's found out.
- Before she leaves the Aquarium, Salt gazes at the Majijo flag in the club's break room as she often did in season 4.
- In season 5, Sakura didn't get a rematch and Center never got to fight Salt before she was murdered. Here, the customers lament Plankton leaving the Aquarium before they can see her smile.
- The Ike Ike Tattoo girls join the Aquarium for the season finale, like in season 5's final battle.
- The murder also turns out to be committed by someone not part of the Yakuza.
- Once again, Sakura couldn't overthrow the top, as the more experienced Kurage keeps being Aquarium's top hostess until the end. This motivates her to postpone her re-enrollment to school and continue being a hostess.
- Never Gets Drunk: Salt/Plankton drinks alcohol like water, presumably in order to maximize the club's revenue since most of the other girls are not yet of drinking age (20 in Japan), but stays completely sober.
Customer: Plankton-chan, this is already your fourth bottle of wine!
Plankton: Didn't you say I can order anything I like?
Tatsunootoshigo: Plankton-san, don't you feel dizzy?
Plankton: Not at all.
- Nice Girl: Katabutsu/Karei, who went so far as to buy her customer a drink when he said he couldn't afford it, which unfortunately causes the awkward customer to become obsessed with her. Magic/Gari's regular also switched to Karei after she was briefly assigned to him as Gari's help, which greatly upsets Gari.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Center/Kurage, Otabe/Maguro, and Sakura/Same are invited by a group of customers to their apartment, but Kurage offers to accompany them by herself and sends the other two home to keep them safe. The next time we see her, she is walking away disheveled from an apartment building, and looks in terror as someone/something approaches her. She doesn't show up at the Aquarium the next evening and asks Nezumi/Utsubo to back up the girls in her place, and suddenly reappears on stage and joins the other girls in a dance number. No explanation is ever given about what happened, aside from Saionji asking on the phone whether she was attacked and telling her to lay low, although it is implied to be related to the murder investigation.
- Odd Name Out: Magic didn't like her first hostess name, Saba ("mackerel", but also a slang for someone faking their age), so Saionji changes it into Gari (pickled ginger usually served with sushi, not a fish but maintains their Edible Theme Naming).
- Offscreen Moment of Awesome: In episode 5's cold open, a pair of thuggish customers are rudely forcing the girls to go out with them, and Sakura/Same requests to "handle the negotiations". The next scene, they're seen limping away with bruises all over, implying the kind of negotiations they went through.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping:
- Kagoshima native Sakura/Same speaks in her dialect by accident to a customer,* which pleasantly surprises him.
- Katsuzetsu/Tai tells someone to shut up by using the Fukuoka word "shekarashika!" (which is also the title of Majisuka Gakuen 0's theme song and the name of her previous school in Hakata as mentioned in that show) instead of the standard "urusai!".
- Overly Long Name: Bouyomi's hostess name is the seven-syllable Tatsunootoshigo (seahorse).
- Perpetual Frowner:
- Salt/Plankton toward the Aquarium's customers; in fact, the reason she doesn't want to continue helping out as a hostess is because she's tired of forcing a smile, although Sakura notes that she never seemed to smile anyway. She does have a soft spot for her juniors, especially her former rival Sakura, and gives a smirk too when Saionji compliments her on her detective work.
- Nezumi is normally one, but can put on a very cheerful act when working as Utsubo.
- Portmantitle: The season title is a portmanteau of kyabakura (cabaret club/Hostess Club) and Majisuka Gakuen.
- Pun: When a customer invites her to go out after hours, Kamisori/Ika declines by saying "kyou wa ikanai!", a play on "kyou wa ikenai" ("Today, I can't"). A fansub translated this as "Today is ink-possible!" (ika means "squid").
- Sabotage to Discredit: Some Ike Ike Tattoo hostesses organize smear campaigns against the Aquarium by planting customers who run without paying and spreading bad rumors online. Antonio and Shirogiku are not happy about this as they want to beat them fair and square.
- Later, a hostess, Wakasagi, was revealed to be underaged and planted by the Corrupt Cop as pretext to arrest Saionji.
- Sacred First Kiss: Dodobusu/Namazu foresaw that Katabutsu/Karei would soon have her "first experience". It turns out to be her first kiss, which she shared with Magic/Gari when they pretended to be lovers. The sheer awkwardness of the realization makes them reconcile after previously quarreling over a customer.
- Saving the Orphanage: They set out to save their school by opening a hostess bar.
- School Uniforms Are the New Black: Although it has been a few years since Salt and Yoga graduated, they still go around wearing their Majijo uniforms.
- She Cleans Up Nicely: A timid young woman named Kashiwagi Yuki (whether she is Black or an Identical Stranger is not made clear, although she denies being a Majijo alumna and has a different personality and background) visits the Aquarium looking for her fiancé, who has been taking loans to afford going to the club, and is heartbroken when she sees him enjoying himself there. The girls argued that her fiancé might be bored with her being too nice and self-controlled (and that deep down she herself is also tired of acting that way), and then they trained her and let her be his hostess under the name Anago ("saltwater eel") in order to win back his heart.*
- All the Majisuka girls count since they are originally high school yankii. Despite their lack of experience, not only do they quickly grow to become pretty decent hostesses, they can also sing and dance as good as AKB48 idols. Bonus points for Nezumi/Utsubo as she transforms completely from her usual unfriendly loner personality, which was initially a cause of concern for Saionji. Salt, on the other hand, sticks to being her salty self, yet the customers find it appealing.
- Shout-Out: When a group of customers left without paying, Katsuzetsu/Tai pursues them declaring that she'll "cwush them" (sounds something like "bu-thu-bu-thu", the thu like in Thursday, which should be "buttsubusu") due to her lisp. This also happened in real life when she declared that HKT48 would surpass AKB48.
- The Social Expert: Nezumi/Utsubo brings her people skills and book smarts with her to the Aquarium, the same skills she used to manipulate entire schools in previous seasons, and shares some tips to her juniors.
- Stalker with a Crush: One of Katabutsu/Karei's regular customers, Fujimoto Tatsuya, is obsessed with her. He has a Stalker Shrine full of her pictures in his home and physically assaults her other customers out of jealousy. When she pretends to be lesbian to get him to stop, he attempts to strike Magic/Gari, her supposed lover, but Karei covers Gari with her body and takes the hit, and almost returns the blow in rage if not stopped by Sakura/Same. He is then arrested, but returns as a customer a few days later, apologizing profusely to Karei who seems to have Easily Forgiven him.
- Theme Tune Cameo: The Aquarium girls perform the theme song, "High Tension", in the club and it goes viral.
- Time Skip: All Majijo students who become hostesses are now 18 or older due to repeating grades. Scandal has become the famous idol Sashihara Rino. Salt is now a police detective and has achieved the rank of Detective Chief, as her subordinate Detective Asaba addresses her.
- Totally 18: Although they're high school students, the girls have repeated grades so often that all of them are 18 or older. The Aquarium later gets in trouble when a new girl turns out to be faking her age and is actually still 17.
Katabutsu: At this point, all of us are just cosplaying as high school students.
- Twist Ending: The Matsumura Kaori murder case turns out to be not related to the Yakuza at all, but committed by another hostess, played by Furuhata Nao, who was jealous of her popularity; after confronted by Center/Kurage, she peacefully turns herself in. The detectives investigating the case are in the Yakuza's pocket and use the murder case as leverage to pressure Saionji to hand over the incriminating documents in his possession related to their prostitution ring.
- Waxing Lyrical: Many 48 Group song lyrics are slipped into conversations.
- What Happened to the Mouse?: Magic/Gari is by no means a minor character, but she disappears without any explanation after Saionji announced that they managed to gather enough cash to pay Majijo's debt. Yoga, who was implied to have graduated, shows up later at the school instead.
- You Are Not Ready: After they successfully earned enough to pay the school's debt, Saionji took Sakura to a hotel suite to fulfill the deal of sleeping with him once the target is reached. Saionji stayed in another room in the suite while Sakura prepared until she finally fell asleep, and she woke up to find a letter from him comparing her to a young bottle of wine not ready to be uncorked, and asks to meet again in about five years.
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Made of the strongest fighters in the school, with the top acting as the Student Council President. They are the main antagonists of this installment.
- Creepy Blue Eyes / Icy Blue Eyes: Bismark has these. Her actress is wearing color eye contacts, since her natural eye color is black.
- Floral Theme Naming: Currently, this appears to be the central theme for the main protagonists, the Hana-gumi (lit. "flower team"). Each of the members' aliases/nicknames relate to flowers (ex: Sayuri = Lily)
- Hot Teacher: General manager Yokoyama Yui's character, Noriko, is described to be this.
- New Transfer Student: Oguri Yui's character, Sayuri, is this.
- Theme Naming: The student council members have German words and names as nicknames: Kaiser, Bismarck, and Muskel. The three student council captains' names, Eins, Zwei, and Drei, also count as Numerical Theme Naming.
- Spark of the Rebellion: The lead character, Sayuri, refuses to obey the will of the student council and accept the social hierarchy of the school, so she and some of her classmates who were inspired by her start a rebellion.