Follow TV Tropes


Manga / AIKI

Go To

AIKI is a Seinen action manga, written and drawn by Isutoshi, which was serialized in Young King from 2004 to 2012. Isutoshi is an artist mostly known for doing H-manga; however, as the series progresses, the manga tilts more towards martial arts and comedy and less towards the ecchi side (though a good amount of Fanservice still remains).

The story features Kunitoshi Joukyuu, a young martial artist who is so strong that his father/teacher actually dislocated (and then relocated) all of his joints within one night just so he would only be able to access half of his power, in an attempt to teach him either humility or creativity. Even so, he constantly wipes the floor with the competition, to the point where a couple of muscular female teachers beg him to train their "mistress": a small, raven-haired girl named Kizuki . While Kizuki knows a decent amount of Aikido on her own, she's the granddaughter of the chairman of the school board and a high-value target because of the school's politics.


Of course, it doesn't help that most of Juzenji High School is out to defeat Kizuki, or that Joukyuu's scantily-clad, female cousin Miu Takatori (who's the principal's daughter and Kizuki's main opponent for control of the school) is trying to recruit him by any means necessary. Not to mention that Joukyuu himself is a Jerkass pervert who constantly arranges for his students to be thrown into dangerous situations and may be the worst role model ever. Despite all this, Joukyuu grudgingly trains a growing group of women into skilled martial artists while battling a Sorting Algorithm of Evil as he looks for a way to regain his previous strength.

In short, think of AIKI as a much more lewd and evil version of Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple.

Isutoshi drew a sequel called AIKI-S, which sees Joukyuu go to the United States with his "first disciple" Akemi Kageyasu and his former enemy Veronica Yuminowa to compete in a mysterious tournament. It ran from 2013 to 2018.


This series features examples of:

  • Absolute Cleavage: In pretty much every chapter.
  • Action Girl: Any girl with a name in the story, and even some without them.
  • Always Someone Better: Joukyuu is clearly among the best fighters of all the characters in the story and arrogantly holds back against some of his opponents from time to time. However, his first serious defeat came at the hands of Veronica, and he has to get serious for the rematch. In Aiki-S, he gradually gets more serious when he realizes that that several of the top contenders he may have to face are no pushovers. Ultimately, it's Cassandra from Team Orleans that manages to beat him, with a much wider margin of victory over him to boot.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Hou Mei is extremely muscular at the start of the manga, such that it actually slows her down in fights and she has to slim down a little bit to be effective. Kageyasu's no slouch in this department either, with a nice set of washboard abs and biceps. Cassandra from AIKI-S is an extreme example of this, as she's around 2 meters tall and built like a brick house.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Joukyuu.
  • Author Tract: The sheer weary one-sided contempt and amoral cynicism pouring out of Isutoshi these days is pretty staggering. Before that TendeFreeze and even Slut Girl were comparatively lighthearted and optimistic, with the only real author tracts being the Fanservice, the uncommonly beautiful female designs, some tongue-in-cheek sarcasm, and strong influence from assorted 1990s fighting video games.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: A trait of many of the best fighters in the setting; most of them have this to such a degree that it's practically a secondary skill by default.
  • Battle Harem: It features only Action Girls that Joukyuu is training.
  • Bizarre Taste in Food: Veronica eats seafood with mayonnaise.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Seriously. We're not talking about implicating or alluding to it either. Joukyuu is a dick.
    • Joukyuu defeated Chamoni, brought her unconscious form home and had sex with her several times. While Chamoni did mention that Joukyuu can have anything from her if she loses, she clearly did not expect Joukyuu to have sex and subsequently ejaculate inside her without wearing a condom.
    • While Joukyuu and Houjo did not rape an unconscious Gouda, they did molest and subsequently abandoned her in the wild.
  • Blatant Lies: This is how Soutetsu got Joukyuu and the others to go to America with him.
  • Blood Knight: Veronica really enjoys fighting and is bored in daily life.
    Veronica: Doesn’t this country have a rebellion or a civil war or something?
  • Boobs of Steel: Many of the femme characters in the manga fall under this category, fitting for a World of Buxom. Rin and Inoguchi are notable exceptions, whereas Cassandra is the strongest member of Team Orleans and fittingly has the biggest chest in either AIKI or AIKI-S.
  • Brought Down to Badass: Despite the weakness induced from his father's treatment, Joukyuu still manages to beat most people that fight him without a sweat; the only people capable of giving him a challenge are either prodigies or masters in their own right.
  • Butt-Monkey: Bull, starting from his first appearance in AIKI and continuing into AIKI-S.
  • Cassandra Truth: Averted; in AIKI, Bull realized that no one would ever believe that he was kidnapped and just dropped into the middle of a battlefield, so he just left the matter alone.
    • Played straight later when his boss wouldn’t listen when he tried to explain just how dangerous Joukyuu is.
  • Charlie Brown from Outta Town: Kageyasu's boyfriend Daiki is becoming too power-obsessed and single-minded; and Joukyuu's the only one who might be able to stop him—if he can get back into condition. He needs a sparring partner at his level, but Kageyasu doesn't think she can actively oppose Daiki. In the nick of time, the mysterious masked wrestler "Joan the Shadow" appears. (See Paper-Thin Disguise).
  • Chef of Iron: Soutetsu in AIKI-S is both a master of karate and a supreme Japanese chef.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Joukyuu will use every dirty trick he can to his advantage, and the only real consistent theme of his "teachings" is that martial artists should be ready to do the same and look out for the same.
  • Comedic Sociopath: Joukyuu thinks nothing of mocking, beating up, or generally causing havoc for most people around him, especially if it gets a laugh for him.
  • Cool Shades: Daiki wears these all the time. This helps hide how he can barely see.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Joukyuu sometimes does this just to demonstrate his strength against anyone trying to buck the Sorting Algorithm of Evil.
    • Veronica spends a lot of time in AIKI-S handing these out to people, with and without her sword. When matched up against Cassandra, though, she is quickly overwhelmed and defeated when she attempts to block Cassandra's hand-held buckler shield; it was rigged to explode, damaging her severely.
  • Dark-Skinned Blonde: Miu has tanned skin and white hair.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: After spending most of the manga (save his fight with Daiki) winning in the first encounter, Joukyuu loses his first serious fight against Veronica in AIKI, then gets decisively defeated in AIKI-S by Cassandra. While he got the runback against Veronica and beat her soundly, he wasn't able to do the same with Cassandra, leaving her as the only person that's defeated him on panel that he wasn't able to defeat in turn.
  • Disability Superpower: Daiki is damn close to being legally blind; his field of view is, in his words, a lot like a pinhole camera's, meaning he can see clearly within a very small range but can't react well to fast moving objects. To compensate for this, he's developed his 'reading' ability to such an extent that he can compensate for things outside his field of vision.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Joukyuu gets diarrhea from eating American food in AIKI-S after Team Orleans eats all the Japanese food prepared for him, keeping him from the next set of matches. After he loses to Cassandra, his left arm is in a cast for a while due to the damage she did to his left arm, and he has to resort to using his right foot and his right hand in tandem to pull off a Time Stop in his final fight of the series.
  • Evil Matriarch: Ayaka Shinonome, Joukyuu's mother and the one person in the world who can scare the crap out of him with her presence alone.
  • Expy: Miu bears a strong resemblance (physically, if not in personality) to Sayoko Bizen from Isutoshi's previous series Slut Girl.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Bull is portrayed as one of these whenever Joukyuu uses him to fight tough opponents; since they never see Joukyuu fighting, they assume Bull's a badass because of how easily his opponents lose.
  • Figure It Out Yourself: Joukyuu never properly teaches his students, even when he's a college lecturer; he'll show them techniques or physically demonstrate them on them without explaining much, if at all. However, he does give legitimate praise and guidance when his students do seem to grow a bit.
  • Finger Poke of Doom: With 90% of his strength in his left arm, Joukyuu is able to take out two members of an elite military martial arts squad by poking their foreheads.
  • Flash Step: Joukyuu and those that he's taught have two variants of this, the Wind Step and the Thunder Step, though something similar to the Wind Step's speed is a common skill for many of the stronger martial artists in the setting. When Rin later watches a recording of Joukyuu doing his Wind Step, it looks like a silly dance that he uses to evade blows; however, Rin learned to pull it off by mimicking the dance, earning some respect from Joukyuu.
  • Gorgeous Gaijin: Many of the women who aren't Japanese count, but of note:
    • Metara, Kizuki's blond gunslinger guard.
    • Chamoni, the French girl who is part of Daiki's Road of Talent.
  • Guns Are Useless: Most of the gun users in the series tend to be fairly useless, as most martial artists tend to either make the range advantage useless or the gun users themselves haven't trained enough to compensate for the people they're fighting against. This is averted somewhat in AIKI-S, as some of the teams invited to fight at the competition are dedicated gun users and have figured out ways to use the weapons effectively, either on their own or in tandem with other tools.
  • The Gunslinger: Metara uses a pair of pistols to fight with.
  • Handicapped Badass: Joukyuu can only usually tap into half of his full strength ever since his father dislocated and relocated half of the bones in his body in a vain effort to humble him. He slowly regains his lost strength as the series progresses, starting at about 70% full power in AIKI-S, but Joukyuu himself believes he will never fully recover.
    • Kaneoto Houju is considered the world's best swordsman, period, but by the time he's met in-story, he has rheumatism and cataracts in addition to reduced physical speed and stamina from old age. He's still one of the strongest characters in the cast despite all of these limitations.
    • Karasumaru temporarily became this as a result of injuries inflicted during his fight with Joukyuu, dropping under 50% of his former ability. He himself notes the irony that his condition is so similar to Joukyuu's. Both he and Joukyuu note he will recover in a few years.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Miu and Akemi eventually go from antagonizing Joukyuu to working alongside him. During Part 2 of AIKI, Dornier also defects to his side, and in AIKI-S, so do Veronica, Shikae and Inoguchi.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Rin is treated as the next successor to her family's style of fighting.
  • Hollywood Healing: Whether they've taken a whip to the face, a large punch to the stomach, had a hand penetrated by a sharp object or breathed in poisonous gas, bandages heal everything.
    Rei Hou: "Geez, has my place become a field hospital?"
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: Karasumaru's battle with Joukyuu is pretty much entirely going his way... until Joukyuu reveals that just because he's recovered 70% of his old strength, it doesn't mean he's limited to 70%. Cue the revelation of Raijin and his 80% arms, which ultimately leaves Karasumaru's body broken and shattered.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty: One of Joukyuu's worse habits. As most of his opponents are gorgeous, well-built young women, he occasionally wrangles it so he gets to have his way with them if he wins. And he always does.
    • Though in fairness the person did offer it up if he won the fight. Naturally he didn't waste any time beating her.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Eventually this becomes more of a rule than an exception, from bizarrely shaped multi-bladed swords to circular three barreled guns and even more indescribable weapons. It seems that for many modern martial artists, getting an edge means developing a signature style too weird to be predictable.
    • In both AIKI and AIKI-S, Joukyuu sometimes fights using Bull as a puppet, mostly to throw off whoever his opponent was fighting against.
  • Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Rin Kizuki. Particularly impressive, considering basically everyone else in town is a foul-mouthed brute.
  • Instant Sedation: Sometimes averted, sometimes not with Habu's poisons.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Joukyuu's a jerk, but his advice is usually pretty good, from reminders that serious fighting doesn't always operate by rules of fairness to understanding that just being frustrated about being weak isn't enough to change it.
  • Kid Samurai: Akifumi Wado, one of Miu's Quirky Miniboss Squad.
    • Katanas Are Just Better: Joukyuu makes fun of him for using a custom titanium blade instead of a real katana or bokken.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After arriving in the US during AIKI-S, Joukyuu yells at Soutetsu, explicitly mentioning that the airplane scene was skipped over.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Andrew, a product of an old Soviet science experiment to create someone super-fast, ultra-strong that feels no pain. Cassandra in AIKI-S winds up fitting the bill even more than him; she's a giant just like him, with extreme strength, speed, and agility but comes by all of her abilities through natural advantages and 20 years of training around the world.
  • Mighty Glacier: Hou Mei's bulk makes her physically strong and extremely tough. The disadvantage to this build is lampshaded when it turns out that she bulked up too much to keep up with higher-end opponents and sabotaged her own ability to use kenpo to boot. She actually has to slim down to be competitive again.
  • Mistaken for Badass: In ''AIKI-S',' Bull is mistaken for an expert martial artist by the tournament committee because he's hanging around Joukyuu and his group. It doesn’t help that Joukyuu intentionally invokes Mistaken for Servant so that Bull's fear-induced freakouts are perceived as threats by the other competitors.
  • Mugging the Monster: In Aiki-S, Bull’s new yakuza boss gets pretty mad about being mocked by Joukyuu's group, and decides to try beating up Joukyuu and selling Veronica and Kageyasu into prostitution. He learns very quickly that this is a bad idea.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: A large part of what creates the power differentials between characters—particularly Joukyuu as compared to everyone else—is the sheer amount of skill he has in comparison to pretty much anyone in the cast. His physical condition being as terrible as it is is the only reason he doesn't completely stomp people all the time.
  • Nepotism: Tenhou is thrown into a martial arts-focused school despite having no strength because his mother has high connections there.
  • Oh, Crap!: The yakuza boss, once he realized that Veronica was a bona-fide Action Girl.
  • Old Master: Kaneoto Houju. He has only about a tenth of Joukyuu's speed, lacks the stamina to fight for more than 30 seconds, and is hindered by reduced vision plus muscle and joint pain. Despite all that, he still manages to fight Joukyuu to a draw.
    • In AIKI-S, Soutetsu fills a similar role: though he himself notes that he's not as young and flexible as he used to be, he still has terrifying amounts of power guided and tempered by skill.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Kageyasu tries one out to pose as "Joan the Shadow," but no one buys it at all.
  • Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Ten Knights of Juuzenji High School fit this, being weird, quirky kids, as do the members of Daiki Karasumaru's Road of Talent.
  • Really Gets Around: Joukyuu. Over the course of AIKI, he sleeps with Metara, Miu's two female underlings, some unknown girl unrelated to the story, Chamoni, and some prostitutes hired by Veronica.
  • Red Baron: Joukyuu is called the "Gravity Magician" due to the ludicrous amount of weight redirection and movement suppression tricks he can pull using most of his throwing techniques, to the degree that he can effectively suspend people in midair when one of his arms is nearly at full power.
  • Restraining Bolt: The entire first arc was spent with Joukyuu slowly but surely adjusting his body, and even coming up with little ways to work around his body's physical limitations.
  • School of Hard Knocks: Juzenji High; admissions at Ryobu University also depend on an applicant's martial arts skills, which drives some of the plot.
  • Show Some Leg: Miu flashes Joukyuu to set him up to be thrown. Unfortunately, he'd positioned himself so he could bounce off a light pole in his flight path back at her.
  • Slasher Smile: Isutoshi appears to have a lot of fun drawing these; many characters sport them, but especially Joukyuu, whether he's fighting or not.
  • Smug Super: The only reason Joukyuu gets away with being such a cocky bastard is that he has the skills to back it up.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: While Joukyuu gradually gets stronger throughout the series, the opponents he faces gets stronger as well.
    • In AIKI, Daiki was the first major antagonist that Joukyuu's 80% arms barely defeated. Later on, Joukyuu had to declare a tie in a sparring match with Houju and lost to Veronica on their first battle (subsequently defeating her with his new 90% strength).
    • In AIKI-S, Veronica, after proving to be one of the strongest members of Joukyuu's group overall and beating out several other opponents, was soundly defeated by Cassandra. Cassandra in turn goes on to fight Joukyuu, and beats him by a wider margin than either Daiki or Veronica managed to force out of him.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Cassandra of Team Orleans is roughly 2 meters (6'5") tall and amazingly muscular to boot.
  • Take That!: During the fight between Hou Mei and Seiji Saruwatari, Seiji breaks out his "Cat Fist". Joukyuu's reaction...
    Joukyuu: I know that the Chinese martial arts have 4000 years of history, but doesn't "Cat Fist" just sound too weird?
  • That Came Out Wrong: Seiji Saruwatari has a tendency for his expressions of bloodlust to come out the wrong way. For instance, when trying to challenge Joukyuu:
    Seiji: I'm here to screw with Joukyuu-san.
    Joukyuu: (Grimaces)
    Seiji: Hold it right there, I'm not a homo...
    Joukyuu: Go kill yourself.
  • The Bus Came Back: Several minor characters from AIKI return for AIKI-S; Veronica is the first, followed by her former subordinate Dornier, then Shikae and Inoguchi from Karasumaru's old Road of Talent group. Miu also rejoins the cast near the climax.
  • The Starscream: Habu became disgruntled with Daiki and planned to take control of the Road of Talent from him. She didn't get the chance to act on it.
  • The Strategist: Tenhou's main talent, considering that his fighting skill is just average.
  • Throwing Off the Disability: Joukyuu spends a good amount of time being injured in later arcs to avoid being a total Invincible Hero, but readily curbstomps his opponent as soon as he recovers.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Bull's new Yakuza boss in AIKI-S decides to try and teach Joukyuu and his friends a lesson. Joukyuu, Veronica, and Akemi don't look the least bit scared of him, they laugh when he brags about how strong he is, and he completely ignores Bull's attempts to warn him about how dangerous they are.
  • Trickster Mentor: Joukyuu will occasionally indulge in this when he's in the mood.
  • Troll: Some of Joukyuu's more outrageous stunts are purely done to piss people off.
  • Tyke Bomb: Andrew, the Super Soldier who was engineered to be a superstrong Lightning Bruiser that feels no pain who is doomed to die young thanks to the side effects of the experiments performed on him. Even Joukyuu feels a little sorry for him.
  • Unsympathetic Comedy Protagonist: Joukyuu, very much. The audience is not expected to empathize with him in the least.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Kizuki's small stature but immense skill with throwing techniques qualifies her as this; she can't take very many hits and isn't that strong, but she moves pretty damn fast. Joukyuu himself espouses the pinnacle of what she should be aiming for:
    Joukyuu: Power should just be the icing on the cake. If you utilize your opponent's power, even a little kid should be able to send a two-meter-tall wrestler flying. It's not easy, but it can be done... It's not power, nor is it speed.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Everyone else in the series calls Joukyuu out on his, well, everything, all the time. He never listens. When Bull tries it in chapter 77 of AIKI, Joukyuu turns it back on him by making him realize that he isn't any different.
  • When You Snatch the Pebble: Joukyuu challenges Kizuki to catch a small fish — with one hand, slowly — to prove that she's worth his time.