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, but returned in August 2013.
This webcomic contains examples of:
The Alcoholic: Ken, very much so. At one point, 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.
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.
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.
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 ( he puts his foot down and causes a mini-earthquake.
From Bad to Worse: The village battle. Fujio died, the villagers were massacred, Purple Samurai was mortally wounded, Ina was breaking down, and Cho was 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, were all fine and kicking ass. Fujio was 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.
Cho loves these, though they do occasionally seem to actually mean something. Occasionally.
Lampshaded in the post-hiatus recap, where Ina asks whether he's just making them all up on the spot. Cho claims they're words of wisdom that he picked up from reading his deceased master's ancient scrolls. When Ina points out that he's blind, Cho says that was "A minor setback."
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".
Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Twisted all over. Ina was supposed to marry the eldest Wataro son, Yori, but he abandoned his clan due to his father's warlike policies, and his brother took his place. Ina, hearing she was being set up for an arranged marriage, ran away. Yori and Ina met, neither of them aware of who the other was, and fell in love. Unfortunately, by the time anyone realizes all this, the Wataro clan isn't interested in peace—if they ever were.
Also, Ina has pushed over Yori a lot, though one of creators said he never even realized that and it wasn't intentional.
Ina's father is constantly distracted by Boobs of Steel and captured with knock-out drugs. Lampshaded in a flashback.
Cho is a part of prophecy about a blind Taoist, a Hindu and a cleric entering a bar and ending the world. And he keeps trying to walk into bars. As of page 490, the Hindu and the cleric appeared in the comic.
Ken regularly threatens merchants that whatever they're selling better be the best he's ever had, or he'll kick their ass. He has yet to kick a merchant's ass yet.
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?