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"At the end of this dreamless, hopeless, inhospitable century, there was a boy who possessed a serenely honest and simple heart. But his outward appearance—from his tiny black irises, to his year-round ghost-pale skin and black marks under his eyes, which made him look like a heroin addict...to his nearly non-existent eyebrows, and vicious bed-head that required liberal application of hair gel to keep under control..."
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Angel Densetsu (エンジェル伝説 , "Legend of Angel") is a Shōnen manga created by Norihiro Yagi (who subsequently created Claymore). Serialized in Shonen Jump from 1992 to 2000, the story spanned 15 volumes. In 1996 it was adapted into a 45-minute Original Video Animation.

It has more Trope Tropes than Tropes.

Angel Densetsu is a story about Seiichirou Kitano, a kind and naive boy with the heart of an angel, but the sinister looks of a devil. This leads people to assume that he is a villain or heroin addict when he starts at his new school, thus creating hilarious misunderstandings, including him accidentally and unknowingly wresting the title of head thug, or "guardian" of the school from its previous owner, the boastful and cowardly Kuroda. He wins the respect of another delinquent, Takahisa, and soon has all the delinquents in the school treating him as their boss without even realizing it. Kitano's growing legend prompts many other thugs to challenge him, and he somehow manages to defeat them all with the help of his henchmen, as well as his uncanny talent for avoiding blows and unintentionally bamboozling opponents into defeating themselves.

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Kitano remains blissfully unaware of his reputation for practically the entire series, and is frequently confused by the odd behavior of his classmates and teachers around him. Yet even as he remains the same as ever, he ends up changing everyone around him by teaching them to leave behind their prejudices and assumptions. Koiso Ryoko, a martial artist and heir to her father's dojo, is the first to discover that he is nothing like everybody assumes. Over time, Kitano gathers a group of loyal friends who accept him for who he really is.


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This series has examples of:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • Ikuno's father has subjected her to Training from Hell to make her a perfect fighter and views her more as a project than as a daughter. He never praises her or acknowledges her effort, and pretty much gives up on her after her initial loss to Kitano.
    • Ryoko's father sometimes goes way too far with his Overprotective Dad tendencies, particularly when he knocks his daughter unconscious using a technique that could have seriously harmed her so that he can fight Kitano without her interfering.
  • Affectionate Parody: The whole manga is a hilarious send up/subversion of high-school fighting and delinquent manga.
  • An Aesop:
    • Don't judge a book by its cover, or jump to conclusions about a situation you don't understand; people who act on prejudice always end up making fools of themselves. You might meet your best friend or the love of your life by talking to someone who is shunned by others for nothing but appearance and rumors.
    • There's more to life than just being able to beat other people up for your own selfish reasons. A true warrior never resorts to violence except to protect the people he or she cares about.
  • Art Evolution: Done in a very big way as Norihiro develops his style.
    • One of the most significant changes is that by the end of the series, Kitano looks nowhere near as horrifying as he did at the beginning. Possibly intentional — as more people grow to know and accept Kitano, he looks less and less like a devil to the cast and the readers.
  • Art Shift:
    • Used at a point in Ikuno's rampage through the school to... disturbing effect.
    • The Days of Our Youth arc has a completely different art style. It looks far more like Claymore.
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: "Triangle Formation Alpha", which basically means "Everybody surround that guy and then jump him."
  • Ax-Crazy: Ikuno, but only in the beginning. When she first loses to Kitano, she goes on a rampage to try to regain her self-confidence.
    • Everyone who meets Kitano pretty much assumes that he's Ax-Crazy, much to his chagrin.
  • Back for the Finale: Just about every thug and main character shows up in the last volume of the series.
  • Badass Crew: Kitano's closest friends also happen to be the three strongest fighters in the story (Ryoko, Ikuno and Takehisa). In the very last chapter, the Badass Crew status of his friend circle is made clear with the following statement: "This is Kitano-san's Hekikuu Army. You don't mess with us unless you want a serious ass-whupping."
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: Kitano's father is a common Salaryman, but ends up falling into this trope because people mistake him for a Yakuza member. The shades actually help him a little — turns out he's even scarier without them.
  • Battle Couple: Kitano has a reputation as being the most powerful badass fighter in all the schools, and Ryoko might actually be the most powerful badass fighter in all the schools. When they start going out together, people start referring to them as "the most powerful violence couple in history".
  • Battlecry: Everyone interprets Kitano's "KIIIEEEEE!!" as being this. Same with his father's "GOOOOOOOOHHH!" Subverted because in reality they just can't speak properly when they're flustered, and always mean something entirely innocent by it.
  • Beauty Equals Goodness: Everybody in the story starts out assuming that you can judge people by appearances, and that someone who looks as scary as Kitano can only be the devil incarnate. This is especially exploited by the pretty boy Student Council President who knows that people are more likely to trust him than Kitano. The fact that Beauty does NOT equal goodness and that appearances can be deceptive is the main theme of the manga.
  • Betty and Veronica: Ryoko (as Betty) and Ikuno (as Veronica). Though funnily enough, even though Ryoko is the Betty, she's still more violent than the Betties usually found in other series. What makes it funnier is that Ikuno at times lampshades it later on, much to Ryoko's dismay when she fails to prove otherwise.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Hurting someone else is the only way to get Kitano or his father to actually use their "Double Palm Press" or "Super Slap" on anyone. Even then, in Kitano's case, the effect is less Unstoppable Rage (or his father's Tranquil Fury) and more "I'm sorry, but I need to stop you before you hurt anyone else."
  • Book-Ends: The "At the end of this dreamless, hopeless, inhospitable century..." narration is the first thing that is read in the series and it reappears in the last chapter, however there is an addition after the part where it describes Kitano's thuggish appearance which describes how, even though he looks like that, his heart helped him make friends.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: How Kitano's father got his reputation, just by tanking punches, kicks and even wooden swords, letting arms, legs and swords break on him. He says he just tries not to feel the pain.
  • Brutal Honesty:
    • Kitano's father. His reaction when his future wife asks if he saw down her blouse? "Yes, sorry. I am very tall so I had a good view." She points out that this would have been a good time for a polite lie but he didn't even think of it.
    • Ikuno. When Ryoko gets suspicious that everybody is showing up at once in the last chapter, Ikuno's response is to explain that they were all spying on her.
  • But Not Too Foreign: The Halford siblings seem to play Race Tropes straight look-wise, they are half-Japanese, half-American, speak perfect Japanese and even claim that they are not proficient in English. However the trope ends up justified by deconstruction: they were born and raised in Japan and, looks aside, they're not foreign at all. Their classmates (and assorted Japanese Delinquents) try to invoke it straight, but it gets defied mercilessly.
  • Calling Your Attacks:
    • Ryoko's father starts doing this when attacking Kitano, meshing martial arts terms with hammy language about vanquishing demons. Ikuno comments on how ridiculous this is.
    • Leo Halford yells Halford Kick!
  • Camera Fiend: Kiyomi Kaburagi is the president of the photography club, and is obsessed with photographing acts of violence. She stalks Kitano and takes elaborate measures to capture him on film, such as crawling prone through the grass and following him on his morning jog.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • Ryoko will tell anyone who will listen that Kitano is really a harmless, normal guy, but nobody believes her because they have already been convinced by the rumors of his delinquency. This is especially true of Kitano's delinquent friends who are certain that their "guardian" is a dangerous badass, until towards the end of the story when her statements finally provoke Takehisa to recognize the truth for himself. The principal also ignores his subordinate who suggests to him that Kitano is not necessarily bad just because he looks that way.
    • Kitano cannot get anyone to believe him when he protests that he's not a hoodlum or explains that he's only trying to help, even though it's the honest truth.
  • Central Theme: The foolishness of jumping to conclusions about someone based only on their outward appearance.
  • Cloud Cuckoolander:
    • Kitano often jumps to strange conclusions when faced with a situation he doesn't understand, and acts using an innocent internal logic that doesn't account for how people would interpret his actions without being able to read his mind.
    • Papa Halford is even weirder. He constantly comes up with mangled proverbs, likes to talk about his bowel movements, and doesn't understand anything about Japanese culture despite having lived there for decades. Notably, he's the only person in the entire manga who doesn't assume Kitano's a dangerous person based on his appearance, and is quite friendly when he first sees him.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Katayama may not be the guardian of Hirin, but the fact that he is this trope is what makes him really dangerous.
    • Ryoko's got this going on too. When her father challenges her to a serious fight she can't win, she gets help from local thugs by claiming he's a Stalker, runs away and hides, and waits for him to get weaker from skipping breakfast.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Sana Halford accidentally gives her father and brother a look up her skirt after she collapses in shock from seeing Kitano through their home's window.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • Kitano asks Takehisa to stop getting into fights because he's afraid that he'll get hurt. Takehisa says he understands, he'll just get stronger so he can fight without getting hit once.
    • Also, people completely miss the point of nearly everything Kitano does or says. They always assume he is a junkie, so anything that seems strange or is a non-sequitur is put down as the ramblings of a guy high on drugs.
  • Confusion Fu:
    • Trained fighters have a hard time fighting Kitano because he often reacts to their attacks in a completely unexpected manner — usually because he doesn't actually realize what's going on, and is trying to do something completely unrelated to the fight.
    • Ikuno's father explains that he hates fighting such people because his strength is in predicting people's actions and countering them, which he cannot do if that person is erratic. The new guidance counselor is a non-violent example who he simply doesn't know how to deal with, chiefly because she has only good intentions and just happens to have an uncanny tendency to ruin people's lives by her mere involvement.
  • Covers Always Lie:
    • Kitano does not have actual angel wings; it's just a visual metaphor for the cover art.
    • Then there's this which seems to depict the student council president and his flunkie as the heroes.
    • The anime goes one step further, the opening credits feature Kitano flying around, and people staring at him like he's Superman. Also averted, again, the whole thing is clearly metaphorical of what happens to him in the story, Character Development wise.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Most noticeably with Yuji and Kuroda, though Kitano didn't even know that he "defeated" them.
  • Empathic Environment: Most people feel cold and death hanging in the air before they see Kitano.
    • Kitano's house is even worse, as its dark and creepy aura forces its neighbours to move away. Sure, the manga gives a perfect explanation for the house's darkness (because of their small irises, Kitano and his dad are uncomfortable in bright light) but still...
  • Every One Calls Him Barkeep: Ikuko is called friend #A, until her name's revealed. Some still call her so even then.
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone and even Kitano and Ryuko themselves are convinced, correctly, that they are in love with each other and practically going out. The student body is only wrong in believing they have already taken that step, since they are actually still going through the She Is Not My Girlfriend phase.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Hishida-sensei believes this about Kitano. When he selflessly expresses concern for her well-being (and catches her when she's about to faint), she doesn't understand what he's trying to do. Many others likewise assume that any seemingly kind act from Kitano's side must have some ulterior purpose.
  • Expy: Several.
    • Ikuno gets an expy of herself in Norihiro Yagi's later manga Claymore. She looks amazingly like that series' protagonist, Clare.
    • Leo, the boy that gets Ikuno to beat up Kitano once, looks a lot like Raki.
    • Chujin Asai got also one. The bandit leader with the snake sword who was killed by Teresa. Both are Asshole Victims.
  • Finishing Move: Whenever Kitano uses what Ikuno dubs as his "double palm strike", that usually means the fight is over and he wins. This is basically hitting someone in the solar plexus hard enough to send them soaring 10 to 20 feet away from him and additionally concuss them on hitting the ground.
    • Quote from a mook: I didn't know humans could fly.
    • His dad has a different one: a simple, muhfugginly strong slap.
    • In both cases, it's their first, last, and only aggressive move.
  • Flash Step: Starts appearing midway through the storyline.
    • Kitano starts pulling this stunt during and after the Date.
    • Goes Up to Eleven in the photography arc as Kitano and Kiyomi Kaburagi have an encounter—her trying to photograph him, him trying to avoid it—that's too fast for the normals around them to see.
    • Kitano's father takes this even further in the Days of Our Youth arc, as he trips up a couple of thugs without anyone even noticing that he moved at all.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Kitano saved Ryoko from a bee, without her knowledge. He let it go rather than squish it, and he's not stung.
  • Funny Foreigner: The American father of the Halford twins, who has not really managed to assimilate into local culture (or even speak semi-fluent Japanese) even after 20 years of living there.
  • Generation Xerox: A later chapter has a flashback depicting Kitano's father, who was similarly feared as a demon, despite being a kind and gentle person, and was the protector of his school.
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: Both played straight and subverted. Ikuno has much narrower eyes than Ryoko and is correspondingly much more cynical and a dirtier fighter, and Ryoko's friend notes that Ryoko's own eyes were much narrower previously before she mellowed out. Subverted though with Kitano of course, who has the narrowest eyes of any character and is an All-Loving Hero.
    • Especially in the anime, almost everybody but Kitano has soulful puppy eyes (particularly when confronted with/by him), perhaps as an intentional contrast.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Kitano has one on his face, but it only comes up twice. Kitano's father has a scar on his left hand. He got it from catching and holding a knife blade.
  • Half-Identical Twins: The Halford siblings look the same despite being opposite-gender non-identical twins, to the point that Sana is basically Leo with Girlish Pigtails.
  • Happily Married: Kitano's parents have a loving marriage comparable to Gomez and Morticia Adams. Papa Halford and his Japanese wife are also a happy couple.
  • Haunted House: In one of the later chapters, Kitano and Ryoko must brave a ghost-infested haunted house to help a little girl find her lost cat. Subverted when it turns out that there aren't actually any ghosts in the house — just Ikuno and her dad, who moved into the house because it was cheap. Double-subverted in that there was a ghost in the house at one point (the little girl looking for her lost cat, in fact), but because Ikuno and her dad kept ignoring it, it eventually wandered outside to bother passers-by instead.
  • Hilarity Ensues: Anything that is not a combat sequence and/or a crowning moment.
  • Horrible Judge of Character: The story is full of people who consider themselves expert judges of character that can tell people at a glance through years of experience; pretty much every time, they turn out to be completely the opposite, jumping to conclusions about people, especially Kitano.
    • The principal of the school is convinced that Kitano is a killer delinquent and refuses to question his assumption even when his subordinate points out there's no proof of Kitano doing anything wrong. He goes on a rant about how his decades in the school system have allowed him to make such a judgement with one look, which just proves how misguided he is.
    • Ryoko's father, Heizo, is convinced that Kitano is the devil in the flesh, and refuses to reconsider despite his daughter trying to tell him that Kitano is a good boy. He also immediately accuses Kitano's father of being a yakuza, despite being annoyed at the onlookers making the same judgement about him.
    • Kitano is a bad judge of character himself, as he often thinks that school thugs are nice people, and mistakes normal people for hoodlums. Somehow justified: he doesn't notice that the thugs are friendly to him because they are afraid of/respect him, and those same normal people are actually attacking him because they assume that *he* is a hoodlum.
    • Student Saeki Yumi subverts this by seeing a hint of the real Kitano, then exemplifies the trope when something hilarious and terrifying happens to reset her opinion of him. Twice.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl
    • Kitano's dad is ludicriously buff and gigantic, while his mom is normal-sized, about one head shorter. In their youth, she doesn't even reach his shoulders.
    • In an odd Pair the Spares moment in the final chapter, Kuroda finds momentary courage and protects Ikuko from a couple of thugs. As you can see in this page's illustration, she barely reaches his sternum.
  • Hypocritical Humor: During the Soukyuu Park chapter, Takehisa and Kuroda with his two henchmen split up to beat some thugs. Takehisa beats three thugs at once, Kuroda and his fellows only one guy at the same time. They get more injuries than Takehisa. Later, Takehisa beats four thugs at once, but Kuroda's group, who attack a single thug again, run away from him because he's stronger than the last one.
  • Idiot Ball: Kuroda's is permanently glued to him, but Kitano's is pretty sticky too.
    • Hell, everyone, really. No matter how inept Kitano shows himself to be at fighting, everyone keeps believing his more-luck-than-brains dodges of serendipity are some kind of ultra-special secret martial arts technique. It's like everyone poops out half their brains when they see him.
      • It's more that Kitano shows a natural ability to either avoid or minimize damage by retreating at the instant of impact (a skill doubtlessly acquired by years of people attacking him based on his appearance) and mistake it for a honed martial arts technique. His "finishing move" aside, how many of his opponents end up on the ground generally is a total fluke, depending on the circumstances and often, Kitano is the only one around to see it, causing people to make the usual assumptions.
  • I Know Mortal Kombat: Kiyomi Kaburagi is a pretty convincing ninja, considering her training is in photography. She even has Hammer Camera Space.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: Arguably, quite a few characters that admire Kitano because of how badass he appears to be (especially when it looks like he single-handedly took on a whole army of people).
    • Yuji is initially this way with Kitano.
    • Ryoko too has her moments.
    • Ikuno too. She even said it outright more than once.
  • In-Series Nickname: Kitano gets an ever growing list of epithets over time but the one we see used most often is the "Kitano Family" to describe his inner circle of friends. Naturally they are mistaken as his personal army.
  • Inspector Javert: Most of the authority figures in the school system, including the principal, the guidance counselors, and Ikuno's father are misguidedly convinced that Kitano is a heinous delinquent who has to be eliminated for the good of the school.
  • Japanese Delinquents: A lot of them. Of course, the character that everyone thinks is the evilest delinquent of them all turns out to be a wonderful person.
  • The Jinx: Hishida Haruka is part of the "Shadowy Seven" group of counselors, but not because of any combat skills or manipulative abilities. She truly does want to guide erring students onto the right path, but everyone she tries to help always ends up worse-off than when she started. She's the only one of the seven to even get close to getting Kitano expelled.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Ryuichiro Kitano as seen in the Days of Our Youth arc. He is willing to feign being taken down in order to protect the kitten he had been playing with during the whole arc.
  • Kissing Cousins: Midori Asai (AKA the future Mrs. Kitano) and her cousin Chuji in the Days of Our Youth arc. Neither of them is particularly dedicated to the relationship, however: Chuji sees Midori as just another girl in his harem, and Midori is... well, the future Mrs. Kitano.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: The conclusion to 15 volumes of sexual tension.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Lots and lots of it, especially when the Large Ham is around.
    • "You are a very loud person."
    • And to the Shonen genre: "Who do you think you are? An enemy character in a fighting manga?"
  • Large Ham: Kuroda. He usually addresses Ryoko by screaming her full name, gives a passionate monologue about the personal sacrifices that Soviet spies have to make after he saw a girl he didn't recognize, and is prone to maximum volume declarations of his plans to elope with Ryoko. Kikuchi of the photography club doesn't get a lot of page-time, but he seems to have similar tendencies. In the course of two pages he tells Kitano that that he'll give him an ass-whupping with the Power of Friendship and then makes the case for being a Knight Templar. One of the other photography club members hangs a lampshade on it.
  • Lightning Bruiser:
    • Kitano takes hit after hit and keeps getting up, moves faster than most people can follow, and if pushed, hits hard enough to literally send humans flying. If Kitano wasn't an Actual Pacifist, he'd be this.
    • Kitano's father is tougher, stronger, and even faster than his son.
    • Surprisingly, Kuroda of all people becomes this when he's driven by the Power of Love. He can even compete with Kitano's speed.
  • Loners Are Freaks: Kitano, due to his appearance and the rumors. However, he gets better.
    • Inverted, as a side story chapter reveals that Kitano was very popular among the students and teachers from his old school and he had many friends there. They all know his face is scary, but also he's a nice person.
    • Kitano's father was also a loner, but for almost his entire high school life.
  • Loud of War: Kuroda, without any kind of amplification device... and without any clue he's actually doing it. (Not that he usually has any clue whatsoever, mind you.)
    • Ryoko's father does this quite a bit too.
  • Love Triangle: There's one between Kitano, Ryoko, and Kuroda. Later, there's one between Kitano, Ryoko, and Ikuno.
    • Evolves into a (luckily toned down) Love Dodecahedron later on. Kitano is an All-Loving Hero and loves everyone, Ryoko loves him and they're the Official Couple. Kuroda cannot wrap his brain around this and continues to hit on Ryoko despite being routinely kicked in the face. Ikuno has a crush on Kitano and start to be Foe Yay for each other. Ikuno gets a shota admirer (though one year younger than her) and Kitano a loli one (who are brother and sister). Leo appreciates Kitano, but Sana really dislikes/is jealous of Ikuno. Oh, and Kitano gets a Stalker with a Crush too.
    • Ikuno takes the cake; she openly states that she supports Kitano and Ryoko's relationship and thinks they should get married... so that she can move in with them as Kitano's mistress.
  • Made of Iron: Kitano. There are several tricks for how he can withstand so many blows, but even without them, he can take punishment like nobody's business. Goes double for his father: punks that tried to beat up Kitano's dad when he was younger ended up hurting their hands and feet by hitting him.
  • Malicious Slander: Many characters end up spreading more rumors of Kitano's "murderous ways" and "gangster connections".
  • Manipulative Bastard: The Student Council President.
    • He's a bit more like a Smug Snake, seeing how he ended up when his plan backfired on him and was rendered impopular after the student body see his True Colors. He's never heard from again until the last few pages in the final chapter.
    • Ryoko and Ikuno's fathers believe their 3-way fight with Kitano's father was engineered by Kitano.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Between Kitano's, Ryoko's and Ikuno's fathers, pitting a clueless salaryman and two highly-trained martial artists, with the first just wanting them to stop fighting for the safety of the students, and the latter two believing he's an incredibly powerful and dangerously sly and manipulative opponent. In true Kitano fashion, Mr. Kitano wins after unintentionally pitting his "opponents" against each other till they knock themselves out.
  • Meaningful Name: The town of Hekikuu (blue sky). Kitano says he often looks at the sky because it's so blue and beautiful. (Scoring another point with Ryoko in the process.)
    • Deconstructed a bit with Seiichirou Kitano, "Sei" is written as "truth".
  • Missing Mom: Hilariously subverted in the Halford family's first appearance.
  • Moment Killer: During chapter 83 Yuji and Ikuno both have to fight the urge (and Kuroda) to do this. Then a rival gang boss shows up and does it anyway.
  • Mugging the Monster: There are several instances where someone threatens Ryoko and Ikuno thinking they are weak because they are girls, and proceeds to get beaten up by them.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: They weren't together yet, but Ryuichiro was angered enough to use his powerful slap on Chuji when he implied Midori was easy.
  • Neighbourhood-Friendly Gangsters: The delinquent version of this is definitely in play, as the "Chief Bully" is referred to as a "Guardian" of the school, and it's demonstrated that this is usually a put-on, given that Kitano needs to be identified as a good Guardian. After being reformed by Kitano, Yuji takes on a lot of "noble Yakuza" mannerisms and behaves as a neighborhood friendly gangster who just happens to be a high school student.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Ikuno and Ryoko.
  • No Ending: The protagonists were getting totally out of hand for the author by the end of the series, so he tied up what he could and left us with a "the manga stops here, but they're going on with their lives" message. However the very end does feature a great Grand Finale that resolves a couple of character development arcs as well as Kitano and Ryuko's First Kiss.
  • No Name Given: Ryoko's petite, short-haired friend is un-named during the first part of the manga, which the author lampshades in the character bios. We eventually learn her given name is Ikuko about halfway through, but her family name (Hirayama) isn't made explicit until the final volume.
  • Not So Different: On either side of Kitano, there are two broad factions: the delinquent gangs, and the employees of the school system. While ostensibly one represents crime while the other represents justice, the case of Kitano reveals just how much that latter can act like the former. Just like the delinquents who only recognize power and intimidation, the principal, parents, and teachers immediately categorize Kitano as a threat to their school without digging any deeper than his appearance or misinterpreted rumors. Furthermore, they end up harassing and using violence on Kitano by spying on him and sending professional thugs to beat him up, unable to realize the fact that Kitano is exactly the kind of rule-abiding student they're supposed to be protecting. This is really not so different from how the delinquent gangs claim to be ruled by a "guardian" who benevolently protects the school from other gangs, but who is really just a tyrant governing by force.
  • Not What It Looks Like: Kurodo tightly hugging a recently cured Ryoko is seen by an angry looking Kitano, Kitano is just more focused on seeing Ryoko well again, though it really scared all the parties involved.
  • Obviously Evil: Subverted. Most people assume Kitano and his dad are evil because they look devilish, but they're some of the kindest people in the manga.
  • Official Couple: Ryoko and Kitano realize their feelings for each other pretty early in the story, and while there's a lot of wondering how long it will take them to take the step of a Relationship Upgrade, it's only a matter of time, and Everyone Can See It.
  • Oh, Crap!: Asai's expression, during the Days of Our Youth arc of Kitano's parents when they were young.
  • Only Sane Man
    • Ikuko (aka "Ryoko's friend #A"), as the only member of the main cast who isn't either a hoodlum, a martial artist, or a complete idiot, ends up as the much-ignored voice of reason.
    • The Vice-Principal is the only one who knows that Kitano is not evil. He stops trying to tell people because they don't believe him anyway.
    • Kuroda's two henchmen/followers often try to act as his voice of reason, being very sensible in almost every situation. He always ignores them.
  • Overprotective Dad: Heizo, who thinks his daughter Ryoko is being manipulated by the devil incarnate and refuses to bless their relationship. He goes so far as to knock out his own daughter and try to beat Kitano to a pulp under the pretense of martial arts training.
  • Personal Appearance Tropes
  • The Power of Friendship: Invoked and Subverted. Nothing resists the aura of Kitano.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Most fights against Kitano or his father look like this to the outside observer.
  • Sadist Teacher: Well, actually the principal - he's constantly hiring thugs and correctional teachers to try to get Kitano expelled (because Kitano "is a demon!"). In a kind of subversion, most of the teachers in the series are afraid to pick on Kitano.
    • Further subversion in that the one who causes the most trouble for Kitano actually has truly good intentions... but is going about it all wrong and only does further damage.
  • She Is Not My Girlfriend:
    • Subverted when Kitano initially denies that he has special feelings toward Ryoko, but after a moment of thought, tells his classmates while blushing, "Sorry, I think I just lied. I guess I really do like Ryoko-chan after all."
    • Ryoko tries to say she's not going out with Kitano, but she totally undermines herself when she admits that he confessed he likes her and that she actually likes him too.
  • Shipper on Deck: Takehisa, Ikuko and Ikuno ship Kitano and Ryoko together. And everyone else at school (except Kuroda) believes that they are a couple.
  • Shout-Out: There's various references through the story.
    • Ogisu describes Kitano he's like a alien, a Saiyajin. Few chapters later, Kuroda's henchmen call him a "Super Guardian".
    • Inversion: The episode in which Kitano dreams of the film he's watched the night before feels very different too, after reading Claymore, just take a closer look at his sword and the oni's eyes.
    • Several times, mythological figures or video game characters are mentioned.
    • Kuroda's crazy Mario-rescues-Princess Peach-from-Bowser-plan.
  • Signature Move: Many of the fighters have one.
    • Ryoko's powerful roundhouse kick.
    • Ikuno's backhand strike.
    • The Halford kids think they have this going on with the Grand Cross Attack. In reality it does nothing.
    • Not specifically called out, but Takehisa usually settles matters with a left jab.
    • Kitano's double palm press and his father's slap attack would be this, but since nobody ever gets up from either of those they're more Finishing Moves.
  • Slice of Life: All the action and assorted delinquents are ultimately secondary to a story that focuses on interpersonal relationships and personal growth.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Played with. Kiyomi Kaburagi develops a crush on Kitano, after she finishes stalking him without a crush.
  • Superhero Sobriquets: As the series goes on, Kitano starts collecting nicknames. A LOT of nicknames:
    • Hekikuu's guardian, the greatest guardian of them all, the demon of Hekikuu, the first-year guardian of Hekikuu High. The devil himself, manifested into our world. The final boss, the ultimate weapon. Also, the human weapon, the last boss, the god of slaughter and pillage, the guardian of Hell, bloody Saburo, and exploding Goro.
    • Kitano and Ryoko together are known as: The most powerful violence couple in history, and the strongest couple in Hekikuu.
    • As the cast grows, the collected group is known as The Kitano family, or Kitano-san's Hekikuu army.
    • Back in the day, Kitano's father was known as the devil guardian.
  • Sycophantic Servant: Student Vice-President Koide is always fawning towards Student Council President Suda. Suda even bemoans the fact that his only "pawn" is a bumbling moron that can't seem to get things right.
  • Team Rocket: Kuroda and Those Two Guys with him; also, the female photography club president and her nerdy male followers.
  • Tempting Fate: "But hey, what if she fights with Kitano-kun and she falls in love with him too?" Rrrright, never talk about my boyfriend, ever again.
  • Those Two Guys: The guys who are always with Kuroda. Lampshaded hilariously in a discussion between the Student Council President and the vice-president on how there's not much info on those two and that it was a miracle to get their full names at all.
  • Too Much Information: Papa Halford grosses out his kids by blithely describing what kind of bowel movement he's having.
  • Tsundere:
    • Ryoko is a Type B who is always sweet and lovestruck towards her Love Interest Kitano and pretty nice to normal people, but has a fiery temper when provoked by challengers and people who annoy her.
    • Ikuko is a mild version of Type A.
    • Kiyomi Kaburagi is definitely Type A.
    • Sana is more of a Type B.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Or demonic Yakuza-looking guy with a so pretty she's incredibly creepy wife.
  • Unknown Rival: The first time that Suda tried to antagonize Kitano, Kitano genuinely had no idea of who he was or what he was doing here. Being thoroughly ignored was a pretty low blow for someone as full of himself as Suda.
  • Unwanted Assistance: Hishida Haruka is the most feared of the Shadowy Seven, not for her fighting ability (she has none to speak of), but because her well-meaning efforts to help someone inevitably end up making life worse for them somehow.
  • Unwanted Harem: Kitano gets Ryoko, Ikuno, Kiyomi, and Sana
    • Harem Seeker: Kiyomi assumed that Ryoko, Ikuno and Ikuko were the only girls in his harem and she believed they were deceived by Kitano. She also believed that there was a ranking and Ryoko was his girl #1.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: In the Days of Our Youth arc, Midori claims that Chuji used to be one. By the time of the story, however, there is very little evidence of this remaining.
  • Where the Hell Is Springfield?: There's no Hekikuu in Japan.
  • Wouldn't Hit a Girl: Averted with most delinquent characters who have no problem attacking girls and will only use this phrase as an excuse after they've had the crap beaten out of them by a girl; played straight with Kitano, in the sense that he is an Actual Pacifist, but violence against women is the closest thing he has to a Berserk Button.
    • His father seems to be quite similar, in the little we've seen of him.
  • Yakuza: One of the many rumors about Kitano is that he has relations with the Yakuza. His father also looks like one, and so does Heizo.


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