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Webcomic: Mob Ties

"There is nothing... NOTHING... more important than lesbians."
Sidney Burns, dispensing some true wisdom.

"QUESTION NOT THE PUPPETS!!!"

Mob Ties is a webcomic by Author Ninja that chronicles the life of Sidney Burns, an American English teacher in Japan, who accidentally becomes engaged to the daughter of a powerful yakuza boss. Takes place in the Japan seen in Shonen anime. Hilarity Ensues as Sid has to handle jealous suitors for the daughter (and for himself!), as well as overprotective brothers and evil yakuza clans, and still have the test papers graded on time. Expect bizarre enemies, epic battles, heavy drinking, and some extremely heartwarming moments.

Mob ties is currently on Extended Hiatus with no definite end date.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Abusive Parents: Sid's Father and Bengal
  • Accidental Marriage: Mika and Sidney's marriage made more complicated the fact it's also an...
  • Arranged Marriage: Mika wasn't happy at her fathers choice of groom.
  • Animal Motifs: Sid is equated with a bear, Mika a sugar glider, and then there's the extended clan/animal pairings...
    • Possibly subverted with Jimbo. His tusks aren't because he's from the Boar Clan, but because he has tengu blood.
  • Animeland.
  • Affectionate Parody: It helps to understand the comic better if you remember that the author is intentionally parodying shonen anime in just about every facet of his comic.
  • Art Evolution: Comparing chapter 1 to the most recent chapter very rapidly demonstrates just how much the author's art has changed.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Taro/Tara.
  • Backstory: Everybody has one, and some are darker than others.
  • Badass Boast: Sober Sid: "If any of you mob assholes even think of hurting Mika... Just remember one thing..." * crushes a steel chair with one hand* "First... You'll have to go... Through Me." * delivers a One-Hit Kill*
    • Sid (again): "For Mika, I will KILL A GOD."
  • Badass Normal: In a World filled with cyborg scientists, werecats, dragons, and even more bizarre things, Sidney Burns only needs his fists and a bottle of scotch.
    • Empowered Badass Normal: Recently there have been hints (such as the firebreathing and the foreign element in Sid's mindscape) that Nariko did something to Sid to keep him alive. Mika questions her about it and Nariko angrily confirms it without getting into the specifics.
  • Badass Santa: Sidney Burns
  • Badass Teacher: Sidney Burns
  • Bears Are Bad News: Sid's Battle Aura shows him as one.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sid is usually the nicest guy you could ever know, but get him mad or get him sober and he will educate you the way only a teacher can.
  • Bi the Way: Ace Diamonds
  • Big Bad: Bengal
  • Bishōnen
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Sidney Burns
  • Breath Weapon: Sidney Burns can breathe fire. No, really.
  • Brother-Sister Incest: Ryujin. Thankfully he got better.
  • Butt Monkey / Chew Toy: Thy name is Ryujin. He gets better later.
  • Care Bear Stare: Little Kyoko-chan has one so powerful that it can obliterate all hate in it's presence.
    • This quickly goes Up to Eleven, when a demon refuses payment for helping to rescue her, `cause she's just that adorable.
  • Child by Rape: Kyoko-chan
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What Sid endured in Iraq.
  • Combat by Champion: Pretty much the point of the Underground Boxing Match.
  • Cool Old Guy: Papa-san
  • Crazy Enough to Work: To convince the heads of the other yakuza gangs to attend his wedding to Mika, Sidney Burns visits (or, in most cases, punches his way into) the bases of every one of the yakuza clans in Tokyo, including a clan of assassins, a clan of magic using werecats, a clan of professional bodyguards, a clan of sky pirates, a clan of magic using thieves, and last but not least, a clan of time traveling monkeys. All on the same day. And was still in time for his wedding that night.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Played with: Jimbo's permanent case—implied to stem from his crippling auto accident—turned out to be an actual piece of the steering wheel embedded in his forehead.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sidney Burns, big time.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Issue 10, in a rare twenty against one example. The twenty lose. Oh, and let's not forget Sid versus the Yeti. That one lasted 6.4 horrible, horrible seconds.
    • A very LITERAL curb stomping was handed out here.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Kyoko
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Sidney Burns may very well be the biological father of Nanoha.
  • Delinquents: Jimbo and his two underlings before Sid beats Jimbo up, as well as Mo, Curry, and Rarry.
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jack Daniels: Inverted. It is suggested that Sidney should be kept somewhat sloshed or bad things will happen.
  • Does Not Like Men: Mika's early androphobia.
  • Don't Make Me Take My Belt Off: Sid's dad.
  • Don't Fear The Reaper: He may be a scary, dessicated rabbit, but he's no murderer. Conversely, the shinigami Rancid is a complete asshole who has no issues with dragging a soul to its final resting place against its will - but he's completely incompetent.
  • Drama Bomb: Issue 2, where Mika's scarred left eye is revealed, as well as her tendency to attempt suicide if left alone for more than a few minutes. The first instant of serious drama in the comic. Until that point, things had been comedy with only a little bit of drama.
  • Drunk Duck
  • Drunken Master: Sidney Burns
  • Dumb Blonde: Kyoko
  • Dumb Is Good: Kyoko
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Sid's tattoo is embarrassing for Mika, since it has her naked riding a beer bomb. It's especially embarrassing, since it has her head on Coach Nariko's body. Which explains why there were so many people taking pictures behind Sid when he first unveiled it during an underground boxing match.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: When the Underground Boxing Match ends, and Boss Chairobuta appeals for help from the other clans to prevent him from losing everything he owned, Bengal himself pronounces that the Zodiac has no place for the weak or cowardly, and proclaims that not only will the boss lose everything to Sid and the Purple Pandas, but that anyone who helps Chairobuta will be expelled as well. Bengal is many things, a rapist, a murderer, a monster, but weak and/or cowardly, he is not.
    • In a more recent example, when Kyoko-chan was kidnapped, a certain demoness was summoned to help rescue her. Despite Taro being completely willing to pay for her services, the instant she heard that "the adorable kitty-girl" was the kidnap-ee, she decided to work pro-bono for once.
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: An entire clan of time traveling monkeys, no less.
  • Faceless Goons: The "Alphabet Goons" of the Black Sheep Clan are comprised of goons with stitches in the shape of letters from the English alphabet instead of faces.
  • Fan Nickname: Ace Diamond, due to events that occurred shortly after his initial appearance, has been blessed with the nickname "Brown Trouser Snake". Sidney Burns is mostly just called Sid.
  • Fat Idiot: Sidney Burns often gives this impression, up until you actually start paying attention to what he's trying to tell you.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Weasel
  • Genki Girl: Kyoko
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Martial arts? Sidney Burns has no need of them, when his fists are bigger than the average man's head.
    • Sid: Plan? PLAN?!? THE ONLY PLAN I NEED IS MY TWO FISTS!
  • Goth/ Perky Goth: Mika on occasions.
  • Handicapped Bad Ass: Jimbo
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kyoko
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Given that Sidney Burns is significantly taller than Mika, and is incredibly stout, he likely has, at a minimum, ten times Mika's mass.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sidney, but more heart of gold than jerk.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Sid's brain is a whole lot more complicated that some people would think. And more than a little disturbing in places. Momo tries to break into Sid's brain in order to steal vital information. Sid's brain fights back. Hard.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Subverted, given that Sidney Burns apparently has a "sword ball" made up of katanas that other people have tried to use on him. According to Sid, the cheap katanas used by a group of yakuza bodyguards "wouldn't even stop a Jehovah's Witness back home".
  • Kinky Spanking: Sid delivers one to Mika. This was Fetish Fuel to everyone present, even the one female observer.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Starts in Issue 1, and never really stops.
    Coach Nariko: "It's... it's just like... like a bad manga plot."
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Up until Chapter 10, Sidney Burns just seemed like a large goofball, often using the most bizarre methods to solve problems (which include, but are not limited to wedgies, farting, and puppets). Sure, he can take a punch, but he almost never used serious violence to solve a problem. It isn't until he and Mika are confronted by more than twenty goons intent on doing harm to Sid that we see what Sid does when someone seriously threatens him or the people he cares for. A can is opened. It's contents? 100% all natural fresh squeezed whoopass.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Sid looks like a ball of fat wedged into a tacky suit; he's almost all muscle, and frighteningly quick.
  • Mister Exposition: Papa-san even carries a photo album around with him because he never knows when he'll need to dish out some exposition.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits!: Ryujin tells Sid in the first chapter that if he marries Mika when she turns 16 (the legal age of consent for females in Japan), he'll kill Sid. This puts Sid in a bind, since if he doesn't marry Mika when she turns 16, Papa-san will kill him.
    • actually 13 is the legal age of consent in japan.
  • Nerds Are Sexy: Weasel ( At least in Taro's imagination), and Mookie.
  • Nice Hat: Mika's grave visiting hat. Words cannot describe the wonder. http://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Mob_Ties/index.php?p=657021
  • Night of the Living Mooks: Big Bad Bengal has the power to raise the dead to fight as his minions.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Sidney Burns
    Sidney "Nobody expects an idiot to be anything more than an idiot."
  • Our Dragons Are Different
  • Our Elves Are Different: And some are Stripperiffic!
  • Our Werewolves Are Different: Make that werecats, but yeah, same idea.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Sidney Burns quickly gathers some together.
  • Rape as Backstory: But that isn't anywhere near all of the story.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Sidney Burns lives for this. There isn't anything too crazy for him to do.
    • Best example: Sid is blackmailed into robbing a bank by Ryujin. Not only does Sid pull this off in an incredibly ridiculous fashion (while dressed like the Hamburgler) when he and Ryujin are cornered by the police during the escape Sid proceeds to give them all "atomic wedgies" since the cops aren't allowed to use their guns unless the perpetrators are using guns as well. The only exception is Kyoko's mother, who then has to admit (on national TV) that she escaped because she isn't wearing underwear.
  • Reincarnation: You'd be surprised how many people are the reincarnations of people from the past.
  • Rule of Cool: Time-traveling yakuza monkeys. 'Nuff said.
  • Rule of Funny: Half the stuff Sidney Burns does fits into this, while the other half is Rule of Cool.
  • Running Gag: Sid's seemingly endless collection of expository ties
    • Also: "Question not the puppets!"
  • Scars Are Forever: Well, unless you have major reconstructive surgery.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Money!: Mika occasionally.
  • Sealed Inside a Person-Shaped Can:
    • Bengal is sealed within the body of the patriarch of the Tiger Clan, and is released upon that person's death.
    • Mika contains within herself the Dragon of Life.]] She also has a Shinigami and three dead people inside her. It's getting kind of crowded in there.
  • Shout-Out: Oh so many, it's hard to know where to start. Among others, there's Scooby-Doo, Masters of the Universe, The Blair Witch Project, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, Calvin and Hobbes, and many, many more.
  • Sky Pirate: A story arc revolving around them.
  • The Stoic: Jimbo usually communicates with expressive grunts, though he does talk sometimes.
  • Stout Strength: Sidney Burns. Don't believe it? Wait until he flexes his muscles.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Sober Sid has a radically different personality that drunk Sid, and unlike drunk Sid, uses his full strength in a fight without any regard for his opponent's well being, making the first fight that Sober Sid appears in a One-Hit Kill.
  • Team Dad: Sidney Burns, especially in Jimbo's case, when Sid becomes his foster father.
  • Team Mom: Mika
  • The Atoner: Nariko. Kept a prisoner by Bengal and used in experiments to harness her powers over death, Bengal used her as a last ditch weapon against The Warrior, Sid in a previous life. However, Nariko fell in love with the Warrior, and when she learned that he was in love with The Dragon Of Life (her sister), Bengal tricked her into using a love potion to make him fall in love with Nariko for one night. However, the potion was poisoned (since Bengal provided it, it's only to be expected) and the Warrior died shortly after it's effects wore off. The Dragon Of Life, seeing her love dead, killed herself. The gods cursed Nariko for her actions, despite her being the Unwitting Pawn, to walk the earth until she could reunite The Warrior and The Dragon Of Life when they reincarnated.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Turns out Ryujin's a better cop than he was a gangster.
  • The Big Guy: Sidney Burns, although sometimes the other characters forget just HOW big.
  • The Quiet One: Jimbo.
  • The Mole: Momo.
  • They Fight Crime: Shepard and the Crook.
  • Title Drop: as part of the Running Gag Combined with Incredibly Lame Pun. When Sidney first learns his fiancée's father is a mob boss (so he now has ties to the mob), he goes out and buys a bunch of ties with "mob" on them. And after Papa-san hands over the reins to the family Sidney summons his students/minions and announces "Put on your mob ties, boys, we're taking over."
  • Transparent Closet: Taro. Needless to say, his "revelation" comes to the surprise of no-one.
  • Troperiffic: Mob Ties in general, but special attention goes to Sidney Burns, who is an Irish drunkard big guy boisterous bruiser who uses obfuscating stupidity, good old fashioned fisticuffs, is a crouching moron, hidden badass, and has a breath weapon. Oh, and he's the goddamn Santa Claus.
  • True Companions: Sidney Burns has a gift for turning even potential enemies into these.
  • Tsundere: Mika and Coach Nariko.
  • Unwanted Harem: Mika started out with one, though with Taro coming to terms with his sexuality and dating Ace and Weasel dating Mookie, it's pretty much gone by now. Sid on the other hand still has to deal with his Tsundere androphobic Broken Bird underage spirit medium reincarnated Dragon of Life wife Mika, Tsundere ex-girlfriend fellow Iraq veteran Atoner Dragon of Death Nariko (who still harbors feelings for him even after entering a physical relationship with Jimbo), secretary/bodyguard Yin who has absolutely no problem being "the other woman" (according to her, Mika approves since she still has issues with men), and most recently Bengal's right-hand woman and daughter Momo who is a telepathic Cat Girl with large breasts. Death hasn't diminished Kyoko's crush on Sid either. Given that the original Warrior met his end because of a woman, this doesn't bode well for Sid.
  • Unsound Effect - Author Ninja loves these far too many examples to list.
  • Wake Up, Go to School, Save the World: In a rare example, both the teacher and his students do this.
  • Webcomic Time
  • Weirdness Magnet: The city of Tokyo.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer: "Like I tell you every day, Weez, you name one thing punching can't solve and I'll stop it."
  • "World of Cardboard" Speech/ Does Not Know His Own Strength : "Damn cheap Japanese paper walls!"
  • Wham Episode: There are many. The best example might be Issue 7, appropriately named Revelations, where it is revealed that Mika was the victim of a violent rape, the perpetrator of which remains unknown, but was so brutally traumatic that Mika has no memory of it, and passes out whenever it is mentioned. The revelation that Weasel is a cyborg made earlier in the chapter pales in comparison.
    • The first wham of many to come, after Issue 14, there is a minimum of one wham every chapter. Part of this comes from the fact that in Issue 14 the Big Bad, Bengal, finally appears. From then on, you can expect something unexpected to occur at least once every chapter that will leave your jaw hanging.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser/ Villainous Crossdresser: Taro at different times.
  • Word of God: If Author Ninja says it, then it is true.
  • Why Don't Ya Just Shoot Him?: One character has only suggested this, but another actually attempted it. Surprisingly, it doesn't work (no one thought to aim for the head), primarily due to an unintended Bullet Proof Vest made out of an absurd number of training weights.
  • Yakuza
  • You Never Asked: Countered: Sober Sid: "What the hell? You never told us you were some kinda cyborg Doggie Houser!" Weasel: "You never told us you were an ex-military former policeman." Sid: "Touche."
  • You Should Have Died Instead: Sid's father apparently felt this way about Sid's brother Jim dying in Iraq while Sid returned alive and (more or less) in one piece.


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alternative title(s): Mob Ties
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