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Manga / Armed Girl's Machiavellism

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The Private Aiichi Symbiosis Academy was originally a high school for high-class girls. When it became co-ed, the girls, out of fear, asked to be permitted to bring weapons to school. When that was enforced, a five-member vigilante corps-like organization called the "Tenka Goken" (Supreme Five Swords) was also formed.

After many generations, the Five Swords eventually became a group which corrected problematic students, and the academy started proactively accepting such students in order to correct them.

Fudo Nomura was sent to this school after being part of a huge brawl. What will he do when the only options he has after enrolling are being expelled from that school, or being corrected the way the rest of the male students there being forced to dress and act like a girl!

Armed Girl's Machiavellism (武装少女マキャヴェリズム, Busō Shōjo Makyaverizumu) is a Japanese manga series illustrated by Karuna Kanzaki and written by Yūya Kurokami. The manga was serialized in Kadokawa's Monthly Shōnen Ace magazine from March 2014 to June 2022, and compiled into 13 volumes. An anime television series adaptation by SILVER LINK. premiered on April 2017.

Armed Girl's Machiavellism contains examples of:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council:
    • The Five Swords are supposed to be the disciplinary committee but have effectively become this, handling the enforcement of rules among the students (their original function) and student passes and carrying actual (blunted) swords. In a variation, they're this only because the administration allows it (the headmistress and the school's owner have complete authority over them). As for the actual student council, they are either completely irrelevant or have been disbanded after the Five Swords took over their job.
    • Hokkai has the Six King Swords, serving the same function as the Five Swords, likely due the administration allowing it (they have the same ownership). Differently from Aiichi they aren't the only ones to carry swords or other actual weapons, they're just the best fighters in the school and use that to enforce their authority and could lose the place in case of defeat (three of Souta's followers are explicitely former members, thrown out by Nonomura when he took over).
  • Accidental Kiss: Nono accidentally pushes Nomura onto Rin's mouth, causing the two to liplock.
  • Action Girl: All the female students in Aiichi are armed to defend themselves, but special mention goes to the Supreme Five Swords and the Empress.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The anime moved some scenes from the manga and sometimes combines two or more chapters for one episode. Some details were omitted or changed from the manga as well for example...
    • One of the reasons Nomura didn't feel up Mary was because he was suffering from blood loss and wasn't thinking straight.
    • When Nomura and Rin defeat Warabi in the manga he's allowed to follow through with his threat to make her and her entourage wear mawashi with the cameras rolling while Rin and Mary look on in satisfaction, though he intentionally didn't turn the cameras on to save Warabi's reputation. In the anime however Rin and Mary refuse to let him because of their own experiences with Nomura putting theirs on for them.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Stated as the reason why girls in Aiichi are armed. They think all men are like this and want to protect themselves
  • Arc Villain: So far, each arcs has it's own main villain. In order:
    • Aiichi Arc: "Empress" Amou Kirukiru.
    • Hokkai Arc: "Drunken King" Nonomura Kigisu.
  • Artistic License Martial Arts:
    • The anime falls into this sometimes, thanks to lackluster animation causing some unrealistic movements.
    • Mary's "Flick" move is one that exists in real life, but it's in foil fencing. She's using a combat rapier, which has a much stiffer blade than a sports foil, so it's as hard to flick with it as with any other real sword.
  • Asskicking Leads to Leadership:
    • At Aiichi the Five Swords are chosen specifically among the school's best fighters (and with the highest grades to boot). Inaba being a member in spite of being a middle schooler makes her the most feared even before she demonstrates she's indeed the strongest.
    • At Hokkai the Six Kings are not only chosen for their fighting abilities, one can earn a spot by defeating a member in single combat - or lose it by challenging the current head and losing. In fact the Hokkai arc shows three former members who have lost their place when they tried to oppose Nonomura's takeover, two of which takes part in Soda's attempted counter-coup.
  • Axes at School: It started when Aiichi Symbiosis Academy went from an all-girls school to a co-ed school. It allowed the girls to carry weapons to defend themselves from the male student and they have so ever since. Members of the Supreme Five Swords are allowed to wield real swords.
    • At Hokkai, all students of both genders are allowed to carry weapons, with the only one unarmed being Amou after transferring there, who happens to be more than strong enough to not need weapons.
  • Breather Episode: After Satori's defeat, the story focuses the aftermath of Satori's plan, apologies, and a bit of secret swapping. After that is an incident in with Choka's wig and Kyo-bo's cub going missing and most of cast banding together to find them both. The latter example though ends up distracting everyone from the instant Amou finally makes her move and the shit really starts to hit the fan.
  • Broken Faceplate: Nomura breaks Rin's mask at the end of their fight as a direct result of Nono smacking him in the back of the head.
  • Can't Bathe Without a Weapon: Satori Tamaba carries her sword into the bath with her and has zero qualms about dueling Nomura in the bathhouse even while she's stark naked and still dripping from the bath, as she finds him being distracted by her nudity to simply be advantageous.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Amou dishes these out in rapid and merciless succession to Satori, her sister, Warabi, and Kyo-bo while Nomura is busy trying to get his last stamp.
  • Custom Uniform: Both Aiichi and Hokkai allow the students to customize the uniforms in function of their weapons, though a few take it further:
    • Rin wears a sailor uniform. It's implied to be the badge of the leader of the Five Swords.
    • Inaba wears a full Japanese outfit, with only the tie of the uniform.
    • Choka U. Barazaki normally wears a dress in place of the uniform. She's only seen in the regular uniform once, when one of Kyo-Bo's pups had stolen her wig and she didn't want to be recognized.
    • Inverted with Amou, who is the only female student to wear the full uniform (everyone else ditches the jacket).
  • Defeat by Genre Savvy: Before his attempted coup against Nonomura, Souta left behind one of the three former King's Swords among his followers in Hokkai in case someone attacked the school... And so doomed both efforts, as he lacked enough fighting force on the main effort to deal with the unexpected involvement of the Five Supreme Swords and the guy left behind had to face Amou.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: By defeating Rin and Mary, Nomura has unwittingly left them infatuated with him. Warabi's feelings are more on the friendship side, more than happy to pal around with him and even join him on his escapades when she believes that one of the other Five Swords have crossed a line. Satori strides the line between wanting to kill him and developing feelings for him. She'll be malevolent one moment and the next repeating his name in a sugar-coated voice obsessing over the picture of the two of them she had taken as part of her scheme.
    • While Nomura doesn't subscribe to the idea that this is completely true, when it actually manages to work, he sees it as one of the ways that people, even those who initially start off hating one another, can bond and become friends without even realizing it at first.
  • Double Standard: The reason girls are armed to begin with is to keep boys from taking advantage of them, but they decide that it still isn't enough so they force any boy who transfers into the school to look and act like a girl, pretty much taking away whatever makes the boys act like boys. In a sense, the girls are the ones taking advantage of the boys.
  • Foreshadowing: The fact Masuko works for Satori is anticipated when she tells Nomura she doesn't like him due him having compared her to Morgan Freeman, something Nomura had said to Masuko about his "black market" contact while nobody else was around (something Nomura notes immediately, though he doesn't realize what it actually means until after Satori has already made her move).
  • Genius Bruiser: The Five Swords are not only formidable swordswomen, they also have perfect grades.
  • Moral Myopia: The girls of Aiichi were armed to prevent the boys taking advantage of them, but the girls seem to attack the boys with little to no justification, which is rather ironic.
  • One-Gender School: Aiichi was originally an all-girl school and even after becoming co-ed, the female students still dominates the male student. The other symbiosis school, Hokkai, was originally an all-boy school and like Aiichi, it's also recently become co-ed. It seems though, unlike Aiichi, Hokkai allows the female students to occupy important positions. This is shown when one of the members of the "Roku Ou-Ken" (Six King Sword), Hokkai's counterpart to the Supreme Five Sword, is revealed to be a girl.
  • Outside-Context Problem: Some of the characters have skills that nobody has any idea how to deal with:
    • Nomura, the protagonist, is initially likened by Rin as a "bare-handed swordsman", as he has all the tells of a swordsfighter yet he fights with no blade, and that's before his "Magic Bullet". It's only when he meets Inaba that is revealed he was trained in the Jigen-ryu but gained a hatred of swords, and his "Magic Bullet" is a bare-handed application of one of their techniques.
    • Amou is incredibly tough and can pierce and cut flesh with her bare hands and does the latter by reflex whenever hit, leaving the Five Swords and their assistants unable to figure out how to deal with her as anything they try just results in people getting wounded. Only when Mary and Rin try and attack her in the same spot her parry reveals she not only can be hurt but that she's a Karateka from Uechi-ryu with a rare skillset.
    • Mary's use of a rapier, a Western stabbing sword, in a place filled with Japanese kenjutsu users means that nobody has any idea how to counter her beyond overwhelming strength and speed or lucky shots, and her opponents consistently take the wrong counters. Or have any idea she's not in fact a fencer but a HEMA practitioner, as the only times she would have used non-fencing skills would have been the duels with Amou, who neutralized her too fast.
    • Subverted with the HEMA practitioners from Hokkai due their bad luck, as two have their duels against fellow HEMA practitioner Mary (making them fight a rare opponent who knows what they're dealing with) and the third is a poleax user who faces Rin, who knows how to deal with staff weapons (he also carries a basket-hilted backsword as a backup weapon, but he's far less skilled with it and is defeated).
  • Potty Emergency: While Nomura and Rin are disclosing very personal parts of their lives together privately in episode 8 they're unaware that Warabi has awoken and desperately needs to go to the bathroom, but can't bring herself to get up and interrupt them lest they stop opening up to one another. Kyo-bo passes her a bucket. She's not amused. ...She swallows her pride and uses it.
  • Shown Their Work: Most of the martial arts used by the characters are actual school of Japanese martial arts. The techniques shown are generally very accurate to how it's performed in real-life. This is because author is a martial arts practitioner with extensive knowledge of many martial arts form.
  • Significant Double Casting: In the anime Satori and Misogi share the same voice actress. They're in fact twins.
  • Stealth Parody: To shounen about martial arts. Although this show features realistic martial art battles, thanks to the author being a martial arts practitioner with extensive knowledge of many martial arts form, between Nomura and the girls, the author clearly does not forget about self-irony. Once Koharu appears and the Hokkai arc starts though, the tone becomes more serious, similar to Shinakoi, without ever abandoning the comedic elements.
  • Stealth Sequel: While Tsukuyo being one of the main characters is the first hint that the series is set in the same universe as the author's and illustrator's previous work Shinakoi, it wasn't until Koharu Narukami, Tsukuyo's older half-sister and the main antagonist of Shinakoi, appears that it's made clear that this series is set one year after Shinakoi's ending.
  • This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman: On a number of occasions, someone just happens to have a skill that counters a specific ability of an opponent:
    • After encountering Amou and being stabbed by her Razor-Sharp Hands, Nomura took the habit of carrying a thick book over his belly to feel himself safer. Sure enough, Mary happens to be a rapier-using fencer specialized in stabbing attacks.
    • During the battle against Warabi, her three assistants came to help her, only to find Mary standing on top of a flight of steps with a handrail. As they were inside the school and in three they thought they had the advantage against an opponent with a long sword... Something that would have actually been true against any other of the Five Swords, as Mary's rapier was perfectly suited for that situation, as she gloats after the first exchange.
    • Amou's Takemikazuchi makes her Nigh-Invulnerable unless she finds an opponent so fast to hit her in a single spot multiple times in less than a second. Of course, Inaba is just that fast.
    • Going both way during the fight between Mary and Seira:
      • As she doesn't want to kill her opponents, Mary relies on stabbing them in their nerve clusters to make them fall in pain. Except Seira actually likes it.
      • Seira has a zweihänder, giving her a power that is nearly impossible to counter with a sword, and is a trained wrestler in case she finds someone who can actually outfight her. Mary happens to know exactly how to counter her zweihänder, and once Seira realizes she's losing and tackles her finds out the hard way she's an even better wrestler.
    • Satori relies heavily on distracting her opponents through the movements of her eyes hinting at attacks at a different spot than the one she plans to hit. So of course in the OVA she finds herself facing Mary, who was trained to read the movements of her opponent's blade and limbs because she's trained in Western fencing, in which you just cannot read an opponent's eye due the mask (or, in the past, the face-covering helm), and the only reason Satori is not at the end of a brutal Curb-Stomp Battle (and actually manages to turn tables on her) is that they're both wearing yukata that hamper Mary's movements far more than Satori's.
      • Later in the manga, Satori finds herself facing Nakasone Kousetsu, who also can read an opponent's movements from their blade and throws her off. On the other hand, Kousetsu too relies on Confusion Fu through the use of multiple styles, something in which Satori, being trained into Keisha-Ryu Kidachi Kata (a school that was formed from ten different ones), is much better than her, and on reading an opponent's intentions, something that is completely impossible with Satori.
    • During Soda's coup, two of his lieutenants are HEMA practitioners, meaning they would normally benefit from the locals having no idea how to counter them... Except they pick the wrong opponents among the Five Swords:
      • One, a sword-and-shield fighter, goes and faces Mary, a fellow HEMA practitioner who knows his tricks and can counter them. This was likely planned, as he's also one of two in Soda's vast crew who knows her tricks (and in fact manages to give her a hard fight).
      • The other is a poleax user, and picks a fight with Rin... And his poleax is close enough to a naginata that she knows how to counter it, allowing her to break it. He also has a basket-hilted backsword as a backup weapon, but his skills with that have been neglected and he can't counter Onigawara's superior abilities.

Alternative Title(s): Armed Girls Machiavellism, Armed Girls Machiavellism, Busou Shoujo Machiavellianism