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Kendo Team Captain

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No, Takeda isn't just happy to see you.

Any Japanese school worth its salt has a Kendo team, and any school at which the Kendo team gets significant on-screen time will have a rather good one. At such a school, the Club President of the kendo team will usually be an important character of some sort. He or she (usually he, but women are showing up more often in this role, and are usually Shorttank or Defrosting Ice Queen types) is generally sempai to the Kid Samurai, a True Companion to the Student Council President, and possibly The Rival to the Heir to the Dojo.

One aspect of this trope that may not be immediately apparent to Western audiences is the social ranking of after-school activities. A rough equivalent would be the status hierarchy that exists in American high school sports. Kendo, as a traditional martial art and one that requires a good deal of strength and dexterity, is a club with high social status, thus the usual prominence of its club president.

Most likely the Big Man on Campus. If he serves as The Ace or another character's Always Someone Better, see School Idol. If he's a Jerkass, see Jerk Jock. If there's one in the club, the Cute Sports Club Manager is his most likely Love Interest.

Sometimes, the Kendo Captain will be replaced with Judo or Karate captain, depending on the school and other factors.

The closest Western counterpart would probably be The Quarterback in American High School series or a soccer team captain in an European or Latin American series.

Compare Heir to the Dojo.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Kyouichi Saionji from Revolutionary Girl Utena is the captain of Ohtori Academy's kendo team. Played with in that while he does have plenty of admirers, he's not the Big Man on Campus, as that role is filled by his best friend, Student Council President Touga Kiryuu- someone who Saionji is frustratingly unable to surpass in any way.
  • Tatewaki Kunō from Ranma ½ is the captain of the team, but he is a grade-A, class one moron and buffoon that almost no one takes seriously. In spite of that, he's an absolute monster capable of breaking stone with his sword. He only appears weak because the main characters and many recurring ones are much stronger.
  • Accel World: Takumu "Taku" Mayuzumi was this both at the prestigious school he formerly attended and later at Umisato Academy when he transferred. Notably, even though he is talented enough to take the position on his own, he was so driven to perfection that he resorted to using Burst points and Physical Burst to enhance his already formidable skills.
  • Masashi Takeda (pictured above) from My-HiME. He's actually the series' Butt-Monkey, as his skills afford him no victories over the monsters on campus. A Hopeless Suitor to Natsuki Kuga, she once beat him unconscious with his own shinai after he saw her changing into her bikini on the beach, then fell on top of her, causing Mai to think they were making out. And he's framed as a Panty Thief by one of the series' monsters when he tries to confront it (In fact, Natsuki's panties, but at least there she knew he was innocent). He and his kendo team also find the victim of an Orphan attack while jogging at night for exercise.
  • Subversion: Genichirou Sanada from The Prince of Tennis has the looks, the behavior, the ethics code and the kendo skills... but he's the sub-captain of the tennis team.
    • To a degree, all of the tennis captains count as moral equivalents, considering how the story revolves around tennis.
  • Hinagiku Katsura in Hayate the Combat Butler — in this case she's also the Student Council President and adored by guys and girls alike as the School Idol. Despite this, and the wealth and prestige of their school, the Kendo team itself is rather unpopular with few new members and no known competent members besides Hinagiku herself. When Hayate tried to join to get Nagi interested in sports the club members seethed with jealousy at how close the two of them were as apparently none of them refer to Hinagiku by her given name. They did express a desire to, but the fact that Hinagiku is beautiful, aloof, and so much better than them keeps any of them from trying.
  • Heiji Hattori in Case Closed. His kendo abilities become sometimes in handy when he is in the middle of a dangerous investigation.
  • Takemitsu Shinzou in Sket Dance. Bonus points for also constantly cosplaying as a samurai.
  • Buso Renkin: The Ace Shusui Hayasaka is the captain of the Ginsei Private Academy Kendo Club, the Student Council Vice-Presidentnote  and the most popular male student in school. When first introduced he becomes a friendly rival for Stock Shōnen Hero Kazuki as he is the only person willing to train with the exceptionally skilled Shusui before it is revealed that he is working for the man-eating monsters of the L.X.E.
  • Uzu Sanageyama from Kill la Kill is one, as well as being a member of the Elite Four, the second-in-command of the series' Absurdly Powerful Student Council. Uzu has a unique skill to dodge any attack he can see. After losing a battle with the main character, who manages to blind him, he sews his own eyes shut. Rather than slow him down, it makes him even more powerful.
  • Hisashi Miyamoto from Jewelpet (2009), the human partner of Chite and love interest to the heroine's best friend.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War has Kojima, who is the son of the superintendent general of the metropolitan police. Very little is known about him other than that he apparently has a rivalry with the Astronomy Club President, Momo Ryuju.
  • Kishika of The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You is the kendo team captain of Rentarou's school, and extremely popular with her teammates.

    Fan Works 

  • Rei Hasekura (Rosa Foetida en Bouton) from Maria Watches Over Us is the captain of St. Lillian's kendo team. This is also referenced in the Tag Team Fighting Game Maribato!, where Rei appears as a playable character, wielding a wooden sword. Curiously enough, her petit soeur Yoshino Shimazu also wields a wooden sword of her own.

    Video Games 
  • Persona 3 has a Kendo Team Social Link, indeed mainly focused on the captain. However, the script's mostly the same even if you're on the Track or Swim teams, and on the whole, the team doesn't really have as massive a pull as the other examples on this page.
    • Persona 3 Portable adds new scenes with the Kendo Team Link seeing the captain from a different direction and adds the girls' Tennis team captain who starts failing at her job to inspire her teammates which you help her out on.

    Visual Novels 
  • Osanai Syouko, the protagonist of Yuri VN Aoi Shiro. She has everything you can expect to find in a Kendo team captain.
  • Kengo of Little Busters! is such a devoted captain that he always wears his hakama instead of a school uniform, and is generally the stoic, realistic sane man to the antics of the other Little Busters. He's also very popular with girls, particularly softball captain Sasami. However, it's eventually revealed that he only plays kendo to please his father, due to being Heir to the Dojo, and would actually prefer to spend his time playing around with his friends instead.

Moral equivalents:

  • In The Fault in Our Stars, Augustus was a star of the freshman basketball team (in Indiana, where basketball is king) prior to losing a leg to cancer.

    Web Original 
  • Since Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe is a Superhero School, there's a big emphasis on self-defense. So there are two martial arts groups, each with their own fearsome leader: N'Dizi of the Tigers and Zhong Lau of the Dragons.

    Western Animation 
  • Eric Bennett from Bionic Six is the captain and star of his school's baseball team. In fact, his fighting style as Sport-1 involved him using a baseball bat as his main weapon.