Ina: Look samurai boy, I have no need for bushido! Now put me down, go back there, and die with honor!
Yori: Sorry, too busy rescuing you.
A webcomic set in feudal Japan that starts out with an Arranged Marriage, moves to Rebellious Princess and Rescue Romance, then Character Magnetic Team. By the time they've gotten to the major showdowns, the team consists of:Yorikiro Wataro (Yori), our Hero, son of the most hated man in Japan. A bit of a ditz sometimes, but his heart is in the right place.Ina Senshin, our Heroine, a strong-willed and loud-mouthed girl. When she gets her way, it's often because she bullied her teammates into obeying her.Cho Teko, a blind Taoist priest. Comes off as a Cloud Cuckoo Lander by spouting Ice Cream Koans. Has a bit of a running gag about misreading the gender of any new character who comes near the team.Kenta Daisuke or Ken, the guy with the huge sword. Enjoys sake and Kabuki plays. The Big Guy who's motivated by revenge for his clan, which got massacred by people apparently working for Yori's father.Of the above, only Ina can't hold her own in combat, although lately she's proved to be an amazing strategist. But while Cho and Kenta are competent whenever they fight, Yori's plans often get derailed through his own idiocy or forgetfulness (as in "Oh, I totally forgot that I broke my sword last fight"), though he has recently taken out the second member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad.The strip can be found here. The comic updates every Monday. The comic went on a long hiatus in July 2012.
An example is in order: while the other characters are fighting a major battle, Ken, after kicking metric tons of mook ass, runs out of sake. Solution? He goes and slaughters an enemy camp, and takes all of their sake. Then, when that runs out, he repeats the process. Multiple times. Until he finally passes out. And upon waking up back in camp, he wants more.
Ken is here to kick ass and drink sake, and god help you if he runs out of sake.
Art Evolution - When the comic started, it was... Not bad, but not great. Probably about as good as the first bits of Sluggy Freelance. These days every panel could be lifted from a high quality cel-animated movie.
Not to mention Font Design Evolution, because it was a badly used Comic Sans MS, and now it's an exclusive font.
Badass - Ken, very much so, and Yori to a lesser extent. Maru parodies this. He's...somewhat badass, but undercuts it by overusing the word, and insisting his underlings refer to him as badass.
Chekhov's Gun - The trick blade. Subverted twice. It's only a trick blade when it comes to stabbing; for slashing attacks it's entirely functional. And when slamming it hard into somebody's chest...it won't impale them, but it'll still be something akin to getting slugged with brass knuckles.
Played straight in the dispatching of Uso.
Color Wash - Pastel colors and green tint indicate that you see things through the poisonned Yori's eyes, and you should not believe anything you see.
Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass, Yori comes across at first glance as an incompetent fighter and a coward but is actually a very competent fighter. Cho is all Icecream Koans and "The Tao is guiding us", but in a recent comic (this one he puts his foot down and causes a mini-earthquake.
From Bad to Worse - As of now, Fujio's dead, the villagers are being massacred, Purple Samurai is mortally wounded, Ina's breaking down, and Cho's been beaten by the two Demons of Sorrow who only just appeared.
As it turns out, most, if not all of this was seen by Yori, who at that point was under the influence of a hallucinogenic drug. Later comics confirmed that Ina, Cho and Murasaki at least, are all fine and kicking ass. Fujio's also fine, but not kicking any ass. Of the three Demons of Sorrow, only one was actually there, and Yori killed him.
Genre Savvy - Yori. Right from the outset he seems to instinctively know he's in an Affectionate Parody of shonen manga, but it's highlighted very much during Ina's planned defense of the strategic choke point, where he demonstrates genuine fear at Ina's ability to destroy an army. By this point, he's Genre Savvy enough to fear that running in terror like he should will shift her from a Tsundere to a Yandere.
Handicapped Badass - Cho is an extremely skilled martial artist, able to defeat (most) of his adversaries without breaking a sweat. Badass enough on its own; more badass when you consider his handicap.
Ken: Wait a sec, so you're, like, as blind as a...uh...blind...guy.
Cho: Indeed, I lack that particular sense.
Ryoku is also blind, and just as badass.
Hello, Nurse! - Matrix, the mysterious watcher who actually dresses like a nurse at one point
Improvised Weapon - Yori has to do this often. Broken sword, sheath, trick sword... Now that Matrix has given him one of her swords, he's back to being properly armed, but he still uses the trick sword.
Mook Chivalry - Played straight and subverted by the Demons of Sorrow. Ryoku attacks first, in a (mostly) fair duel. Then Uso announces that he's going to try next, so you expect another one-on-one. But when they finally confront Yori, all three of them attack at once.
Subverted(?) again when it turns out that the other two Demons are just hallucinations, and Uso is the only real one.
Now or Never Kiss - A variation here, because death isn't entirely imminent for the two, but the situation is seems nonetheless rather dire.
Obfuscating Stupidity - Yukizane, at the beginning of his negotiations with Ayane. Lampshaded with Ayane's realization: "And another thing! You're—... you're... not nearly as dumb as you look".
Ken: Here's Ken's rules to fightin: First, in battle, yer either killin' or dyin'. So whatever you do, don't ever stop not dyin'. Second, we don't have time for stupid rules, so stop standing around there like a bunch of idiots, and start beating the crap out of each other!
The Worf Barrage: Ken's ludicrously big sword rarely hits anyone important. Not only that, but the taoist monks and Nataku managed to block it outright. Nataku later ups the ante from that, and just overpowers Ken while clashing with his BFS head-on.
Yandere - Yori fears Ina is moving this way. Or maybe she's just a fantastic strategist?