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Manga / All Rounder Meguru

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An ongoing series by Endo Hiroki, author of Eden: It's an Endless World!. All Rounder Meguru is the story of a young Shooto fighter in the amateur circuit, his relationships with his gym and school friends, and his ambitions to reach pro level.

It's also the story of a young man trying to avenge the death of his father and keep himself out of the family business while trying to make a place for himself in the world of professional martial arts.

Much lighter than the author's previous work, the story is highly realistic, both with regards to the mixed martial arts and the character relationships.


This work provides examples of:

  • A-Cup Angst: After Kaoru Nobeoka enters the picture, Maki's insecurity over her own "mosquito bites" slowly starts driving her nuts. It doesn't help that her crush Meguru seems to be pretty smitten with the latter...
  • Accidental Pervert: Not so much accidental as deliberately engineered by a third party, but Meguru's first ever interaction with Maki involves running into her while she's changing in the girls' locker room. Predictable results ensue.
  • Action Girl: Chock-full of them here, naturally. There's Maki the Muay Thai fighter, head female coach Maria, petite grappler Momoko, and so on.
  • Amazonian Beauty: Maki, pictured above, has a slender but muscular build. And since this is a fighting sports manga, plenty of the other girls count, such as coach Maria, Kaoru or even Momoko.
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  • Awesomeness by Analysis: While many fighters display this, particularly the more experienced veterans, this is shown to be Meguru's real specialty late in the manga.
  • Badass Adorable: Momoko is short for her age, a little bit weird, and cute as a pebble. Doesn't stop her from grappling other fighters almost twice her size, and sometimes win.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Maria, the Fighters Brew trainer, is an incredibly sweet and caring woman. She's also a champion-level kickboxer from Holland. Later on she even brutally chews out Maki for using an illegal elbow strike that got her disqualified in an amateur match.
    • Aya, Maki's rival from Osaka, is a nice and ditzy girl. She's also Maki's rival in MMA and the only one who defeated her in a kick-boxing match, and during the All Japan Amateur Shooto Championship she blocks Maki from behind and repeatedly punches her from behind, the single most brutal technique allowed in amateur rules-and when Maki comes back, she does it again. Even her trainer was slightly disturbed...
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: "But I'm the star of this manga!" Also, see Say It with Hearts below.
  • Cheaters Never Prosper: The referees are very observant, and whenever someone executes a foul they're promptly punished by them... With the single exception of the one who pulled a thumbing on Mitsuya and got punched out faster than the referee could stop the match.
  • Chekhov's Gun: "Yudai, you'll hurt yourself getting out of a holdnote  like that."
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: They're not in a relationship (yet), but Maki tends to get really irritated whenever other females show an interest in Meguru.
  • Combat Commentator: For all the shooto matches; unsurprising since it's a spectator sport.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Skilled fighters will take shamelessly advantage of any weakness of their opponents, be it fixation on a certain technique, being too muscular for the sport, or not having the adequate physical conditioning just to mention three. Downplayed due the presence of rules and very strict referees, but if it's not forbidden the athletes will do it.
  • Cowardly Lion: Ayako, the MMA practicing competitor in an amateur women's kickboxing event.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Maki, full stop. Gets called out on it at one point, but it's Played for Laughs.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Takashi. The establishing prologue mostly shows his story, and his plots are much heavier and more dramatic, but Meguru's the one with his name in the title.
  • Deuteragonist: Takashi at first, though he begins to get less and less focus, with Maki fitting the role better.
  • Expy: Maki is a red haired, skilled kickboxing high school-aged girl of unusual size. Does that name sound familiar from somewhere?
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Maki is straight, but since she goes to an all-girls school, it's only inevitable that she receives this kind of attention from certain types, much to her chagrin.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Maria, which further highlights her sweet attitude—until she gets serious or dangerous.
  • Foe Romance Subtext: Between Meguru and Takashi, explicitly pointed out by Maki. It's rather one-sided though.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: In the prologue, and again with Takashi against Samyong Cho, the ex-boxer bodyguard. Averted when Takashi takes down multiple armed opponents with his traditional karate techniques.
  • Honor Before Reason: When Takashi confronts a gang of thugs alone, he enters their den by walking directly through the front door instead of ambushing or sneaking. His reasonimg? "I'm a Karateka."
  • Huge Schoolgirl: Maki at 179 cm and growing qualifies-enough that when she's first seen in school uniform at the gym she's asked why she's wearing a disguise. She's actually quite taller than her Love Interest, Meguru.
  • Instant Sedation: Used on Takashi's father.
  • Insufferable Genius: Mitsuya is a former candidate for the Olympic Games, and has the awesome strength and skills one would expect from such an athlete. He also has a horrible attitude that got him kicked out of the Olympic Games training.
  • Jack-of-All-Stats: Meguru. It's pointed out by many characters that he does not seem to possess any specialized techniques like dynamite punches or unique holds, instead being average in all categories. This fact is even lampshaded by the title and Meguru himself. Subverted later on when an experienced opponent realizes that his true strength lies in being able to take advantage of transitions between move phases and using them to create openings in his opponent's guard.
  • Lady of War: Maria. Spectacularly displayed when she hands Yudai's ass to him in a sparring match.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Takashi, most prominently. Though there's plenty more, which isn't surprising seeing as this is a series about MMA.
  • Martial Pacifist: What Takashi's grandfather tries to teach his students to be, ever since his son fell in with the yakuza.
  • Mega Manning: Meguru's specialty, although in a more low key fashion than usual. Justified in that he wanted to be able to master the techniques that were used to defeat him before.
  • Modesty Shorts: Kamiya explains that all girls wear gym shorts under their skirts these days. Cue Big "NO!" from Tamiya and Ura.
  • Naked First Impression: Done twice, with two sets of characters. The first time (Meguru and Maki) ends exactly how you'd expect it to. The second one (Yudai and Momoko), on the other hand...
  • Not What It Looks Like: Meguru practicing his ground grappling techniques on a cloth doll in his bedroom.
  • Oblivious to Love: Poor Maki just can't seem to get through that dense skull of Meguru's...
  • Operation: Jealousy: Meguru becomes the Other Guy in one of these.
  • Panty Shot: Subverted when Kazumasa and Tadashi discover, to their horror, that most schoolgirls wear gym shorts under their skirts.
    Meguru: That's the sound of their lecherous dreams being shattered.
  • Parental Abandonment: Takashi.
  • Perpetual Smiler: Maria.
  • Punny Name: "Meguru" is a Japanese verb that means "to go around."
  • Reality Ensues: This being a very realistic manga, it happens quite often:
    • Before the timeskip, Meguru and Takashi as kids get in a fight with three older kids and find out that some basic knowledge of karate just isn't enough against untrained opponents that are more numerous, more experienced in fights, and larger to boot.
      • After the timeskip Takashi discovers that being a good karate-based teen amateur MMA fighter just isn't enough against an experienced bodyguard with a past as a professional boxer, especially if one can't defend against hooks at the torso (and Takashi trainining specifically for those gets him through a number of fights), and later the flashback of Takashi's time in an orphanage shows what happened when a teen with some basic knowledge of karate and no body conditioning gets in a fight against a larger opponent.
    • Takashi's father used to get in many fights as a teen, and later left his family to have a career as a karateka in Tokyo expecting a cakewalk. His arrogance crumbled when he discovered that Tokyo had karatekas from all around Japan with many stronger than him, and his attitude eventually pushed him to join the Yakuza.
    • During the timeskip, Takashi trained hard so to be able to kill the man responsible for his father's death, counting on his yakuza uncle, who wants him as his heir, to be able to confront him as soon as he gets out of jail. Takashi finds out that his father's killer has been murdered in jail, and it's implied the order came from his uncle, who didn't want his chosen heir to get in jail for murder.
      • Later Takashi beats up a thug that had got on his uncle's "punishment list" because his attitude risked to get them in trouble with the law, and lets the friend hired to capture him take him to his uncle. He later finds out that the yakuza wanted the thug dead for resisting the initial attempt at punishing him (why Takashi went to take him down: his friend had been beaten up and captured and was risking to get killed) and had Takashi's friend take the fall so he wouldn't risk jail for the No-Holds-Barred Beatdown he gave him, with the friend gladly accepting because while he had little choice but becoming a yakuza Takashi had a brighter future ahead.
    • After being convinced to enter a MMA match, Maki neglects to train in grappling beyond some basic defensive technique, expecting to carry the day anyway thanks to the reach given her by her height and her powerful kicks. Her opponent, Kaoru, takes quite some damage but eventually forces her to submit in grappling.
    • Proper dieting to get in a weight class is quite hard. Urasawa's defeat in a match is blamed partly on him failing to lose weight properly, and Meguru gets in the Kanto Tournament because one of the contestants in his weight class couldn't pass the weigh-in due getting too muscular.
    • Four untrained and arrogant thugs with knives are no match for a good MMA fighter that isn't pulling any punch, especially if he's smart enough to attack first with no warning. To the thugs' credit, one of them went immediately for the drawer they were keeping a gun in, but Takashi saw him and broke his hand with a kick first-because he knew perfectly he would have been no match for a gun.
    • Getting in an openweight tournament can have someone forced to fight an opponent two or three times their size-and that can close the gap even against a master of technique.
    • Proper physical conditioning is extremely important. Momoko, being a genius at Judo and Ju-Jitsu, would often neglect it, and, as Yudai points out before it happens again, she often lost tournaments because she got too tired.
      • On the same, proper physical conditioning takes time. Momoko's defeat for tiredness at the openweight tournament happens after she starts training properly, but only a few weeks of training didn't give her enough stamina to properly fight five matches in one day (two in a bantamweight tournament, and three in the openweight. The semi-finals opponent being a 1.80 meters giantess who was informed of her poor conditioning and took advantage of it didn't help arriving fresh at the finals).
    • While having a favored technique or combo is normal, someone getting fixated with a specific one ends up being prevedible and easily countered by a more rounded opponent, no matter how good they are at said technique. It gets to the point that, while watching the match between Meguru and known "ankles maniac" Masuoka, Kagaya can anticipate that Masuoka will launch his final attack by jumping at Meguru's ankle-and that Meguru will knock him out with a knee strike.
  • Say It with Hearts: In a fourth wall breaking moment, this actually gets noticed by other characters.
  • Strong and Skilled: All professional MMA fighters and those who plan to go pro, as they need much greater strength than the average amateur and the skills to properly apply it. In fact, Furuya (who actually challenged the Pacific Rim Champion) cannot say if strength or technique is more important, and states that lacking one means certain defeat.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: Meguru's grandmother.
  • Sore Loser: Kiyoshi Ogasawara can really hold a grudge to the point where he wont let go of it till he beats you in a rematch.
  • Tsundere: Maki's attitude towards Meguru slowly develops into this. Her (ineffectual) attempts to get closer to him become something of a Running Gag later on, such as responding to his kindness with an embarrassed swift kick in the ass, or attacking him for being all "chummy-chummy" with another girl.
  • We Used to Be Friends: Meguru and Takashi.
  • You Killed My Father: Averted. Takashi finds out the man responsible for his father's death was already killed in prison.


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