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Manga / Busou Renkin

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"A choice isn't something someone gives you, it's something you make for yourself."

Busou Renkin (literally Arms Alchemy, Romanized as Buso Renkin) follows Hero and Ordinary High-School Student Kazuki Muto, who is killed one night trying to protect a mysterious girl from a monster. However, to his surprise, he wakes up the next day, seemingly good as new. Turns out it wasn't a dream either when the girl, Tokiko Tsumura, shows up again, informing him that she felt responsible for his death and resurrected him with the power of Alchemy. From here on Kazuki discovers his own powers and, together with Tokiko, journeys into the world of Alchemists and their individual Renkin as they fight the monsters known as Homunculi. No, not the Fullmetal Alchemist kind, though there is definite overlap between the series theme-wise.

A ten-volume manga by Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin, it was later adapted into an anime and a light novel. The series is in many ways an Affectionate Parody of the shonen demographic and hence often has tongue planted firmly in cheek. The original manga was serialized from June 2003 to April 2005 in Weekly Shonen Jump before being cancelled. Interestingly however, the manga actually managed to have a true ending and somehow actually increased in popularity after completing its run, to the point where it got both said anime and light novel at least a year or 2 after it's completion. The English translation is published under the young adult Shonen Jump Advanced label.


Provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Shusui, at least among the Muggles. Competes in kendo on a national level, is extremely popular with the girls, extremely intelligent, vice president of the student council (behind only his twin sister,) and is...*ahem*...'bigger' than Kazuki and his friends.
    • Kazuki is good at nearly everything he does, no matter how little experience he might have.
  • Adaptational Wimp: The anime adaptation wrote out most of Kazuki's journey to find the White Kakugane in the third arc, including all of Tokiko's fight scenes, so they could use the time to play up the threat Victor represented. Since Tokiko also spent half of the first arc sidelined due to injuries, this made her look much less impressive than she was in the original manga.
  • Affectionate Parody: It's a shonen manga by a well-known shonen mangaka that regularly indulges in Ham and Cheese and often lampshades or otherwise pokes fun at common shonen tropes.
  • After-School Cleaning Duty: A Sadist Teacher does this to the hero in the very first episode/chapter. Turns out the teacher was a homunculus, and only assigned him to cleaning duty so he could eat him and there would be no witnesses.
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  • Alchemy Is Magic: Busou Renkin's version of alchemy has very, very tenuous connections to actual alchemy.
  • All Just a Dream: No. No it wasn't Kazuki. But you figured that out already, didn't you?
  • Anime Hair:
    • Okakura and his ridiculous weapons-grade pompadour.
    • Kazuki would have fairly standard Shonen Hair if it weren't for the inexplicable M shape in there that looks like there's a misshapen pair of Triangle Shades sticking out of his head.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Papillon bursts into tears when Kazuki appears to have stranded himself on the Moon. "And now... there's no one left... who knows my name!"
  • Anti-Villain: Washio and Victor
  • Astral Finale: In order to combat his and Victor's Walking Wasteland powers, Kazuki manages to basically rocket himself and Victor with a particularly strong, rocketpowered thrust. The denouement episode has his friends coming to the moon to rescue them.
  • Back for the Finale: All dead homunculi come back to life and join Victor on the moon.
  • Back from the Dead: Kazuki, in the form of a First Episode Resurrection.
    • Papillon and his homunculi. Infact, all homunculi can be resurrected.
  • Batman Can Breathe in Space: Kazuki uses his energy liberation to push Victor up to the Moon, so that they can battle without destroying anything/anyone.
  • Beach Episode: though it only serves as a backdrop to set the second phase of the anime into motion.
  • Beehive Barrier: Captain Bravo's renkin, Silver Skin, is a beehive longcoat! [1]
  • Belated Backstory: Tokiko's origin is not revealed in the manga until the final issue.
  • BFS: The Renkins; in Kazuki's case, Sunlight Heart's a BFL (Big Frickin Lance).
  • Blatant Lies: Tokiko and Kazuki are not actually siblings. The person who seemed closest to believing this was his ACTUAL sister.
  • Blessed with Suck: Becoming a Victor.
  • Brain Bleach: some of Papillon's antics will have you reaching for some. Quoting Ouka in episode 17:
    "Somehow, I feel unbelievably frightened..." (she is looking through Gozen's eyes and seeing Papillon walking through the beach in just a mankini and a swimming cap, and shaking his booty all the way!)
    • Gozen falls apart on seeing the mankini.
    • On his first appearance, he pulls out his butterfly mask out of his thong.
  • Brain Food: What Victoria's been eating all these years.
  • Brain in a Jar: Alexandria Powered is one of these. She's also cloned herself repeatedly so that she's many brains in jars.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The Hayasaka twins are a little too close to each other. Somewhat justified when you learn about their past - they were kidnapped as children and their kidnapper/surrogate mother would have them play a disturbing game built around wedding vows. When their real parents rejected them, the two legitimately felt like they only had each other, and latched onto the one thing that was happy from their childhood. Furthermore, once they realize that they're not alone, a lot of the creepy stuff gets toned down.
  • Brought Down to Normal: After the events in the final arc Tokiko, along with most of the younger generation of Busou Renkin wielders, surrender their Kakugane to the Alchemist Army for safe keeping (except Papilon who becomes an urban legend loved by everyone, and Kazuki who would die if his Kakugane was taken). Tokiko remarks that she misses hers, as she's being without it after fighting for so long.
  • By the Power of Grayskull!: "Busou Renkin!" In the manga, this is often followed by "Busou Renkin of the XX, YY!" where XX is a description of the weapon and YY is its name.
    • Tokiko's opponent in the first episode does this for her, something along the lines of "So this is the Death Scythe Arms Alchemy; Valkyrie Skirt."
  • Can't Live Without You / Clingy MacGuffin: Kazuki's Kakugane, which replaces his actual heart. If he loses it, he dies.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Kazuki and Captain Bravo both have names for most of their attacks — "Sunlight something" for the former, "Bravo something" for the latter. Tokiko, who takes herself more seriously than either of these two, finds the behavior rather odd. Lampshaded during the fight with Washio: Tokiko asks Kazuki why he keeps yelling "slasher" and "flasher" and whatnot, and Kazuki responds that he feels more powerful that way. (Which Watsuki says in an author's note is his explanation for it, too.)
  • Catchphrase: BRAVO! Also the opening theme song has led to people shouting MAKKA NA CHIKAI! Also, while Tokiko doesn't call her attacks, she does get the battle cry "I'll splatter your guts!" (which doubles as an "On the Next Episode of..." Catchphrase)
    • And how about "Pa...pi...llon!!!"?
  • Central Theme: What will you do with the new life given you?
  • Chewing the Scenery: Due to the show's frenquent switching from satirising anime tropes, to just playing them stright, many in the cast are guilty of this. Most notable offenders are;
  • Credits Running Sequence: Kazuki in the intro.
  • Cut Short: due to having a complete ending with no loose ends, few people know the manga was actually cancelled during it's run and was mean to go on for longer than what was released.
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: Mahiro, during the 5th episode omake, begins talking about what she wants to do with Tokiko, if she becomes her big sister via marrying Kazuki. She gets to sex before she announces that she is SOOOOO excited then stops herself and says she will continue at her dorm later on.
  • Determinator: Kazuki. It's not for the normal reasons, and gets him in quite a bit of trouble later.
  • Die or Fly: Seems to be a common way of learning to summon one's busou renkin. Kazuki learned how during the fight with Mita (in the manga; in the anime it happened against Saruwatari instead). Tokiko gained the Valkyrie Skirt when she was attacked by a captured humanoid homunculus while having injuries treated with a kakugane.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Tokiko is forced to wear a two-piece bathing suit, she spends the whole long beach scene chewing out other people whom she accuses of staring at her bellybutton. She even yells at the readers.
  • The Ditz: Kazuki's sister Mahiro, who like a classic Damsel in Distress has to be rescued in the first episode. When her brother Kazuki and Tokiko invent the lie that they're siblings she believes them. She is confused by the fact that nobody told her she had a sister.
  • The Dragon: Washio to Koushaku Chouno. Washio is an example of the trope's original definition of the Big Bad's second-in-command being a tougher opponent than the Big Bad himself. There are two reasons for this. First off, Tokiko theorizes that rather than trusting blindly in his physical prowess, he trained hard to be able to use his homunculus powers to their fullest extent. Second, the liner notes state that the human Koushaku turned into Washio was a yakuza enforcer who was also former JSDF.
  • Dude, Not Funny!: On one occasion Gouta makes a sarcastic remark about how they'd be able to save on food money if Kazuki stopped eating normal meals and instead just started draining people whenever he gets hungry. Kazuki is not amused. Considering that he'd previously put up with Gouta being an asshole to him and pining over Tokiko with a friendly attitude and cheerful smile, the glare he gives Gouta after he says that speaks volumes.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Considering how generally light-hearted this series is, it's shocking at how bad things get—and every time an alternative solution comes along the universe decides "nah, I'm gonna pick on Kazuki a bit more..." Our heroes just keep on pushing until the universe lets up and allows them their happy ending, dammit.
  • Empty Promise: Kazuki's promise to Tokiko that they'd fight Victor together, even if it would kill them both. In the end, he valued her life more than his own.
  • Enhanced Punch: Captain Bravo's signature technique is the "Bravo Punch," which is augmented by his "Silver Skin" ability that gives him invulnerability.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Kazuki rescuing and taking a fatal blow for Tokiko, and then suddenly waking up later and screaming that he'll avenge his death.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Kazuki's sister is a little too "hands on" toward Tokiko
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Kazuki. Tokiko eventually falls in love with him and decides to stay at his side, and it's very obvious that Papillon is obsessed with him as well.
    • Hayasaka Shuusui seems to be pretty popular too. Even the guys are envious of certain "traits."
  • Everybody Lives: There are a few casualties here and there, but this is - thankfully - the happy ending.
  • Evil Laugh: Gen. Shousei when he beats up people.
  • Evil Tastes Good: "As dark as the devil, as hot as hell, as sweet as a kiss. This is how a human tastes." Papillon after having been transformed into a homunculus.
  • Evolving Weapon: Kazuki's Lance is originally just an over-sized spear meant for strong lunging attacks, but eventually he discovers that he can use it to generate glowing kinetic energy, then that he can detach the main lance-head and use the staff as a Boom Stick, and finally that he can use it as a focus to drain energy. Finally, his lance evolves and takes a smaller, sleeker form that incorporates all of these abilities on top of being able to change size. Comments made by Tokiko in the early parts of the series, and Bravo's reaction to this evolution give the impression that all Buso Renkin go through similar evolutionary phases as their wielders mature.
  • Expressive Hair: Okakura's ducktail, which seems to change sizes according to his mood (as if it wasn't impossibly long in the first place). One dream sequence had his friends manipulate his dream so his hair rolls and unrolls and eventually twist into a drill.
  • Expy: Usually confirmed by manga liner notes. invoked
    • Kazuki is visually similar to Misao Makimachi of Rurouni Kenshin, and the author even calls him "A boy version of Misao" in character notes. He also has similarities to Yahiko.
    • Tokiko is a Gender Flip of Kenshin, or mostly his "Hitokiri Battousai" mode.
    • A lot of the character bio pages note that characters are expy's of Kenshin characters and in a few cases shots look like they're lifted directly from Kenshin. An early rival in the kendo club is an expy of Enishi while his sister is one of Tomoe. Later in the series an Alchemist Warrior looks like Hiko Seijuro just forgot to shave for a few days.
  • Eye Poke/Eye Scream:
    • Tokiko is nothing if not practical. During the fight with Hanabusa in Chapter 6, she jams her fingers into both the homunculus's eyes and rips them clean out, then beheads her with the Valkyrie Skirt.
    • Contrast this with the epilogue, when Tokiko catches Kazuki staring at her scar and pokes him in the eyes. Here it's played for laughs.
      Watsuki: Tokiko loves to go for the eyes. Kazuki loves to bleed.
  • The Faceless: Subverted by Captain Bravo. After first seeing him in his face-concealing trenchcoat, Kazuki and Tokiko wonder how long they will have to wait before they see his face...then he shows up, unmasked, a few pages later, and looks utterly unremarkable.
  • Falling into His Arms: Kazuki tries this, after Tokiko used his lance to pull her into the sky for an attack. He almost ends up catching the falling lance with his face instead (meanwhile, Tokiko safely lands using her Valkyrie Skirt, without any need for assistance).
  • Fanservice: The bulk of the naked body shots are male, with Papillon getting the most of them. His outfit rivals David Bowie's in Labyrinth and the camera shows a zoomed in view a few times.
    • YMMV as some would see Papillon as Fan Disservice.
    • There is also some fanservice on female characters.
  • Fan Disservice: Dr. Butterfly, Papillon's ancestor, who looks to be in in his sixties, wears the exact same outfit as Papillon except in white.
    • Papillon himself also counts.
  • Feathered Fiend: Washio, the eagle homunculus.
  • First Episode Resurrection: Kazuki, by means of Tokiko shoving a Kakugane into the giant freakin' hole in his chest.
  • Flash Step: Parodied. Kazuki and Shuusui spend their first few turns of combat playing "behind you!" to each other so much that they end up running out of the classroom the fight had started it, though Kazuki claims to have done it to minimize damage to the building.
  • Foe Yay: In-Universe, Papillon's obsession with Kazuki. Magnified by the fact that there's already a lot of subtext around Papillon. Just look at his outfit!
    • The scene in which Kazuki and his friends go to a bathhouse. Kazuki and co. compare sizes with Hayasaka Shusui, Kazuki making the comment, "The ultimate in masculine beauty..." Then later Papillon pops up and scares our hapless heroes senseless, and proves to be the biggest of them all.
  • From the Latin "Intro Ducere": Dr. Butterfly once claims that the words "carnival" and "cannibalism" are related. They aren't ("carnival" actually derives to abstention from meat for Lent). Watsuki acknowledges the mistake in the author's notes of the manga and suggests the reader consider it Butterfly's screw-up.
  • Fugitive Arc: After Kazuki discovers that he has a black Kakugane, he, Tokiko, and Gota become wanted by the Alchemist Army.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Ikusabe's Busou Renkin allows him to regenerate quickly even if his entire body is destroyed. While his body regenerates, though, his clothes do not, leading this happening when Papillion blows him up.
  • Gecko Ending: Thanks to impending cancellation, one of the only examples to have a gecko ending in the manga. Technically everything is resolved, but it's all so sudden that you can feel how much Watsuki had to pull out of a particular orifice.
  • Genki Girl: Mahiro, in spades.
  • Gentle Giant: Masashi Daihama.
  • Giving Up the Ghost: This happens to Kazuki when Tokiko hits him, and especially after his disastrous attempt to emulate the 'Bravo Kiss'
  • Going Commando: In the second to last episode they show Tokiko getting dressed for a mission, and apparently under garments are optional even when wearing a skirt...
  • Gonk: Tai and Shi.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Tokiko has a scar across her nose and cheekbones.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • One homunculus, already in pain from wounds inflicted by Tokiko, pleads "please, just stop, already!". Tokiko responds by plunging her blades into him. Jump cut to shot of the sky, and a moment later, scream of agony.
    • Also when she yanks out Hanabusa's eyes. Tokiko's body and a dialog bubble block the view.
  • Gratuitous English: It was Kazuki who came up with the names of his attacks, even before Tokiko baptized his Kakugane as Sunlight Heart. Back then, he used the word "Jousting" where he now uses "Sunlight" (e.g. "Jousting Slasher!!!")
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Some homunculi are normal people transformed into these by alchemy.
  • Hellish Pupils: Kawazui.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Kazuki in the first episode (it wasn't even needed), attempted several more times over the course of the series
    • Captain Bravo uses his impenetrable Silver Skin to shield Kazuki, Tokiko and Gouta from Hiwatari's napalm bomb while he takes the full force of the attack. Fortunately, he gets better.
  • Hidden Depths: Angel Gozen represents Oka's subconscious, so she's not as nice as she seems.
  • High-Tech Hexagons: A recurring motif starting with the kakugane, an alchemic device transformed into a weapon by the human survival instinct, and which is shaped like a hexagon about four inches wide.
  • Humongous Mecha: Buster Baron, General Shousei's Renkin. Yeah. You read it right. A Renkin that generates a FREAKING GIANT ROBOT, which can even use other Renkin powers so long as their users are boarding it too.
  • Idiot Hero: Kazuki has his moments (like trying to shake hands with Gota even though both their hands are injured).
    • His reaction to waking up after coming back to life is to go on a rampage through the dorm screaming about how he'll avenge his death.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Homunculi need to eat humans to survive except Papillon - it's theorized that because he hated being human, he doesn't need to eat them.
  • Incurable Cough of Death: Subverted with Papillon, who despite becoming immortal is still sick with the cough o' death.
  • Ironic Echo Cut
    Tai and Shi: "Our disguises are perfect! We do not look suspicious!"
    Every student who sees them: "Those two look suspicious!"
  • It Runs in the Family: The Chouno family's, eccentric, fashion sense.
  • Just a Flesh Wound: Hiwatari gets cut on the throat and doesn't even flinch! Of course, that had to do with his Busou Renkin, but it still was badass.
    • Oh, and let's not forget how Papillon has been mutilated more than once and never showed any expression of pain.
  • Karma Houdini: Papillon not only doesn't get punished, he serves as inspiration for children's toys at fast food restaurants. Really.
  • Large Ham: Captain Bravo, all the way. Specially in the English dub, where he is overly dramatic even while ordering a burger.
  • Laughably Evil: Papillon. What other villains do you know who will fight you wearing just a butterfly mask and Speedos?
    • Also, Moonface.
  • Light Is Not Good: Dr. Butterfly in stark contrast to his Dark Is Evil grandson Papillon.
  • Literal Change of Heart: Victor's Start of Darkness began when he had his heart replaced by the experimental Black Kakugane.
  • Made of Explodium: Papillon's Kakugane, Near-Death Happiness, allows him to manifest massive amounts of explosive black powder, which he can control at a whim. As per his name, he usually shapes it in the form of butterflies or butterfly wings.
  • My Suit Is Also Super: Subverted, often in the name of Fanservice, as a Renkin will regenerate your body, not your clothes.
    • The biggest example of the subversion is Ikusabe, whose Busou Renkin, Gekisen, literally regenerates his entire body, even from atoms, but not his clothes, finally dueling Papillon in the nude.
    • Apparently, Captain Bravo is the only one in the series that fits this trope, since Silver Skin is his battle uniform.
    • It's a plot point for one of the Re-Extermination squad members when Gouta notes how normally clothes shouldn't follow during his dimensional jaunts. It quickly leads to the enemy's defeat when Gouta figures out the trick of why the clothes were affected.
  • Next Tier Power-Up: An interesting variation in that Kazuki's upgrade is so dangerous that it causes his former allies to turn on him.
  • Nigh-Invulnerability: Captain Bravo's Silver Skin takes it Up to Eleven. According to the liner notes, it's even proof against nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
    • It is not, however, proof against a "Victor" or its Renkin.
  • Noble Demon: Washio, and it made him an Ensemble Dark Horse.
    • So much so that he came back for the finale.
  • No, I Am Behind You: Hilariously parodied.
  • Official Couple: Kazuki and Tokiko, duh.
    • Perhaps one of the most sympathetic, realistic to be seen in anime. Even the most stone-hearted of shonen fans may find themselves shedding a couple Manly Tears at certain moments...
  • Oh, Crap!: Hiwatari in episode 22, when he sees Victor coming back without a scratch from the attack of Sakaguchi's Humongous Mecha Busou Renkin.
    • Tokiko tries to destroy the homunculus core dangling at Mahiro's hair... only for it to come towards her instead, and no way to block it.
  • One Super One Powerset: Justified. If a kakugane wielder uses a different kakugane they just get the same busou renkin with different styling. Likewise homunculi can't gain new abilities, though as evidenced by Washio they're perfectly capable of training to use their existing powers more effectively. Subverted by Victors, which appear to get a new busou renkin from their kakugane being turned black.
  • The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Not only is what Papillon feels towards Kazuki, he also wants him to go this specific way.
  • Organ Dodge:
    • In one of Kazuki's fights, he gets stabbed in the heart. But it doesn't do anything, because he had already been stabbed in the heart and had it replaced with a Kakugane, which is now in his hand as his Busou Renkin.
    • And at another time he is wounded in the chest and survives by de-materializing his buso renkin, returning his kakugane to its place in his chest to stop the blade before it can cut too deeply.
  • Our Homunculi Are Different: They're man-eating creatures that have various powers and can only be killed by alchemic weapons (busou renkins or other homunculi), and then only by damaging the sigil on their bodies.
  • Playing with Fire: Hiwatari.
  • Poison-and-Cure Gambit: Papillon trying to trade a fake cure to Kazuki in exchange for his Kakugane...
  • Post-Final Boss: Kazuki's fight with Papillon after he comes back from the moon is this. Cue in the opening theme song.
  • Power Fist: Kinjo.
  • The Power of Friendship: Subverted - it's commented during the defense of the school that Kazuki is drawing on the strength of others. What isn't realized is exactly how literal that statement is...
  • Redundant Rescue: How Kazuki got pulled into this mess from the beginning. Kazuki spotted Tokiko being followed by a monster and then dives into save her - at the expense of his own life. Even though she staged her helpless to draw out the monster.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Homunculus Kawazui, a Surinam Toad.
  • Rule of Cool: Many of Captain Bravo's mannerisms are done because "they look cooler that way".
    • Hello? How about the entire freaking series? Alchemy had nothing to do with creating human/animal hybrids or summoning weapons from stones, but fans accept it because, hello, Tokiko has a SKIRT MADE OF SWORDS THAT SHE CAN CONTROL WITH HER MIND! Not to mention Kazuki's giant spear/sword, and every thing else that's just so made of win.
      • And then there's Hiwatari's Renkin, which is a freaking AERIAL BOMB... Yea, just like the ones dropped by dive bombers.
  • Running Gag: Alchemist Warriors and Homunculi showing up at the not-McDonald's near Kazuki's school for lunch and freaking out the cashier.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Busujima
  • Say It with Hearts: Papillon repeatedly admonishes other characters to say his name "with love".
  • Scaled Up: Homunculus Mita.
  • Secret History: Tokiko and Kazuki look up "alchemy" in an encyclopedia in chapter two but find nothing about the kakugane or homunculi. Tokiko explains that these were the only two actual successes of the ancient alchemists and were kept secret.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Papillon killed his brother, father and great-great grandfather.
  • Sexy Jester: Papillon.
  • Sissy Villain: Ooh boy. Papillon is the most extreme example ever.
    • And yet... depends on your definition of Sissy. Part of the... entertainment?... he provides is that he can somehow be so Unfunny when his appearance and mannerisms are so ridiculous.
  • Shout-Out:
    • To Rurouni Kenshin's English title, Samurai X, in the form of Shusui Hayasaka's Renkin, Sword Samurai X. Also, a shoutout to the same anime for a single panel in the manga where Tokiko is so bandaged up she looks like Makoto Shishio, for no reason other than an irresistible impulse the author had. Tokiko herself is partly inspired in appearance and personality by Hitokiri Battousai (Kenshin's Superpowered Evil Side).
    • Let's not forget the training room being called the Danger Room or the Big Bad's weapon being named Fatal Attraction as a clear shout out X-Men, Watsuki's favorite American comics.
    • Kazuki is named after Yu-Gi-Oh!'s author and main character, Kazuki Takahashi and Yugi Muto.
    • Also, when Gouta manages to "wound" Hiwatari's throat, it starts spewing fire in such a way he looks just like Chamber, a former member of Generation X and, later, of the X-Men.
    • In the episode "Boy Meets Battle Girl" one of the attractions in the haunted house at the amusement park was a mannequin that bore an uncanny resemblance to Tomoe, mostly because of the whole Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette look she had going.
    • In one episode, the camera makes a panning shot of a TV and onscreen is the main character from Nobuhiro Watsuki's one-shot, "Embalming -Dead Body and Bride-".
    • When Kazuki draws up a composite sketch of Papillon, the art style is that of Hirohiko Araki.
  • Shrinking Violet: Minor character Busujima. Also Beautiful All Along and Samus Is a Girl under her gas mask Renkin.
  • Sinister Scythe: Somewhat subverted by Tokiko. Despite being a buso renkin of the death scythe. It looks nothing like the typical one wielded by Death.
    • Lampshaded by Gozen: "Can you tell me which part of that skirt's supposed to be the scythe?"
  • Shrouded in Myth: Papillon becomes a local urban legend.
  • Something About a Rose: Homunculus Hanabusa.
  • Spam Attack: Captain Bravo's rapid-fire punches.
  • Spirit Bomb: Sort of. Once Kazuki develops a Black Kakugane, he starts draining life force from people around him to make himself more powerful.
  • Spoiler Opening:
    • The opening reveals that Kazuki has the third Black Kakugane in him.
    • It provides a glimpse of the Big Bad Victor Powered.
  • Stock Footage: Ikusabe recomposing his entire body. It is used three times in the same episode.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: What happens when Hiwatari unleashes his Blaze of Glory.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Feared to be one of the side effects of the Black Kakugane. Those who have completed the transformation suck the life out of all living things in the general area. Like Victor does. It's not a question of being willfully destructive, it's just part of staying alive. Victor compares it to BREATHING.
  • Super Power Lottery: Captain Hiwatari and his napalm bomb Busou Renkin.
  • Take a Third Option: What Kazuki tries between using the White Kakugane on himself or on Victor.
  • Take That!: Watsuki mentions disliking the Sword Beam trope, arguing that it defeats the purpose of a sword. This partly inspired him to give Shusui a sword that can absorb and harmlessly re-radiate energy attacks.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Lampshaded. Shusui uses his secret kendo technique on Kazuki during a match, while Koji manages to get in an explanation of the attack in between the attack starting and actually connecting, followed by Masashi pointing out that this is taking way too long.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Kazuki tackles Tokiko to prevent her from a Homunculus core bonding with her, and in the process, tumbled down a hill hitting his head constantly against rocks. He comments that the last rock (a fairly big one) is gonna hurt... but takes it anyway, and hugs Tokiko closer to him, despite the fact that he knocked himself out.
  • Those Two Bad Guys: Tai and Shi.
  • Transfer Student Uniforms: Tokiko keeps her old uniform because it allows her better access to her weapon, the "Valkyrie Skirt", and serves to point out that she's different.
  • Transformation Trauma: Becoming a homunculus drives most people mad - and it looks pretty freaky when they drop their human guises.
  • Trauma-Induced Amnesia: Tokiko stated that due to the trauma she suffered after Homunculi attacked her school leaving her as the sole survivor she has very little recollection of her life before the incident.
  • Trouser Space: Papillon's seemingly bottomless butterfly speedos.
  • Uncanny Valley Girl (and Valley Guy): the Hayasaka twins
  • The Unfavorite: Due to his poor health, Papillon was this compared to his similar-looking brother. So much so, that when Papillon went on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against his household, he decided in advance to spare anyone who called him by his correct name. There were no survivors. Part of the reason Papillon is Affably Evil towards Kazuki seems to be that Kazuki was the first person to ever really care about Papillon, even if it was in an Arch-Enemy sort of way. Owing to that, Kazuki is the only one Papillon allows to refer to him by name.
  • Unexplained Recovery: Papillon was ressurected by his grandfather despite getting vaporised.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After learning about the Hayasaka Twins' tragic past, Tokiko doesn't feel sympathy for them, claiming that becoming homunculi and making other people suffer is unforgivable as she goes to attack them. Kazuki, however, refuses to let Tokiko kill them and puts his life at risk to defend them from her. Shusui's response? He uses the opportunity to stab Kazuki through the abdomen. Luckily, Ouka is grateful for Kazuki's actions, and saves his life.
  • Verbal Tic: Moonface tends to say "Moon?" when confused.
    • Hell with that, he says it at total random from time to time. Mooooooooon~
  • Villain Song: "Itoshiki Sekai", which serves as the second ending of the anime.
  • Walking Wasteland: The latter half of the manga revolves around Kazuki's quest to prevent himself from becoming this, and to cure Victor, who has already completed the transformation.
  • Weak, but Skilled: Gouta.
  • Weirdness Censor: Averted. As part of its affectionate parody nature, the series often goes through examples of countless normal people noticing how just plain weird the entire main cast is, all while said main cast (except for Tokiko) acts as flamboyantly as possible while believing that the Weirdness Censor is in full effect.
  • Wham Episode: Episode 16. The Alchemist Army turns on Kazuki after they find out he'll turn completely into a Victor-like in 6 weeks.
  • What Is Evil?: Papillon invokes this after Tokiko brutally kills a humonculus, but not before telling it that it would feel the pain of hell before she kills it.
    "Oh my, it begs the question, which of us is the truly evil one"
    • To be fair, she warned them repeatedly that she'd splatter their guts.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Victor calls out the Commander for repeating the mistakes of the past when Kazuki becomes Victor-ized and is automatically slated for termination. Turns out that was a launching point for his Unstoppable Rage against alchemists upon reviving.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve
  • Whip It Good: Jinnai.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
    • Everyone who's been resurrected by a Black Kakugane aren't just turned into energy draining monsters; when they come back to life after turning into a Victor, they're so overwhelmed by their dialed-up fighting instincts that they destroy everything in sight. This is why the Alchemist Army thought Victor was a traitor and tried to kill him.

Alternative Title(s): Buso Renkin


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