Gakuen Kino is the story of Kino, an energetic high school student with a big appetite, whose life is changed forever (maybe) after meeting a talking cell phone strap. The cell phone strap, Hermes, tells Kino that the Earth is under attack from enemies that take over humans, turning them into monsters—and it's up to Kino to defend the Earth from this demonic peril.
Kino is joined by a mysterious masked pervert who calls himself the Samoyed Mask, who has absolutely nothing to do with Kino's handsome and chivalrous upperclassman, Shizu. A third character, the vengeance-obsessed Detective Wanwannote , rounds out the trio—and he's most definitely not Kino's Stalker with a Crush classmate Rikutarou Wanwan Inuyama.
The series incarnation of Kino made an appearance in Memoria Freese as a unit that can be summoned during a rerun of the Travelers and the Labyrinth Country crossover campaign.
Gakuen Kino provides examples of the following tropes:
- Accidental Pervert: Shizu's transformation sequence has him branded as this.
- Big Eater: It's gotten to the point that local restaurants with speed-eating competitions are issued warnings about Kino.
- Clark Kenting: Kino, Shizu, and Rikutarou.
- Covert Pervert: Samoyed Mask intentionally allowed part of the school to be destroyed so that when the time came to rebuild he modified the plans a little bit so that hidden compartments complete with peeping holes could be used to spy in the gymnasium. Toyed with Detective Wanwan who would run to the peep holes every time Samoyed Mask commented upon seeing Kino do something.
- Averted with Hermes at the pool, who jumped someplace dark when Kino changed into her swimsuit. Kino completely misunderstood until he said he jumped up to where she parts her hair.
- Dogged Nice Guy or Stalker with a Crush: Rikutarou, who latches onto Kino almost immediately after transferring into the class.
- Foreign Exchange Student: Inid
- Girliness Upgrade: Kino while still pretty masculine, is pretty feminine compared to her canon counterpart complete with a girl's uniform.
- Gun Porn: Up to Eleven. Looks like every time Kino or Detective Wanwan fight, they get new firearms described in loving detail by the narration.
- Hyperspace Arsenal: Kino has pulled an M80 out of a pouch no bigger than your fist.
- Ignored Confession: Samoyed Mask flat out admits to Kino that he is Shizu. Kino responds with gun fire and declares his joke 'NOT FUNNY!'
- And a pair of Uzis, a P90, an assault rifle, and much much more.
- Interactive Narrator: Riku and Shizu become annoyed with the fact that Sigsawa can't keep up with their fight. They quickly turn on him. What follows is a battle of epic proportions! Or it would be if the pen was mightier than the sword. Don't worry, one of Sigsawa's colleagues writes the rest of the chapter.
- Magical Girl AU: Kino turns into a magical girl at one point.
- Meaningful Name: Rikutarou (Tarou=stereotypical boys' name in Japan) Wanwan (onomatopoeia for dog barks) Inuyama (Inu=Dog), who is the Gakuen Kino version of Riku the talking Samoyed from Kino's Journey.
- Mysterious Protector: Samoyed Mask is a parody of the trope. His attempts to protect Kino almost always end up messing things up for her.
- Never Mess with Granny: Kino's grandma kicks serious ass!
- New Transfer Student: Rikutarou, who transfers just a week before summer vacation starts.
- Otaku: Parodied with Inid, a Foreign Exchange Student from America who can only speak English, except for several hilariously inappropriate catchphrases she has learned from anime.
- Parrying Bullets: Samoyed Mask can deflect bullets with his katana. Not that it matters. See Why Won't You Die? below
- Revenge: Detective Wanwan's main motivation for wanting to kill Shizu. Exactly what he wants to avenge is not yet clear.
- Sleep-Mode Size: Inverted by Chako-sensei, who is normally a teacher in her 20s and becomes the twelve-year old grenade girl Ti when monsters appear.
- Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: The three heroes don't really get along, despite being on the same side.
- Transformation Sequence: Parodied for all it's worth. The narration lampshades Kino's disappearing clothes and the ensuing lightshow. Meanwhile, Shizu parodies the trope by having to manually take off all of his clothing and put on his Samoyed Mask outfit piece by piece.
- Transformation Trinket: Kino's model gun.
- Unexplained Recovery: Sigsawa killed himself during an incident of breaking the fourth wall. Somehow, he was still able to write the rest of the series.
- Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Shizu never goes anywhere without his katana, but no one, not even police officers who stop him for a spot check, ever comments on it.
- Same can be said for Kino, who's model gun is of little interest to anyone. That pouch she always keeps on her belt though.)
- Why Won't You Die?: Shizu, who was shot at point blank range by both Riku and Kino on various occasions. Sometimes, at the same time.
- In his defense, he keeps a lot of tomatoes on him.