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Manga / Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru

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The Reinan University Second Karate Club

Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata MinoruTrans.  is the story of Kohinata Minoru, a freshman at Reinan University, a school renowned for its numerous and formidable sports teams, who is the official Persona Non Grata of the gymnastics club. Holding him responsible for their lost spot in the latest competition selection, his seniors have kicked him out of the club, and continue to bully him over his friendship with Misaki Nana, the club belle.

Enter Mutou Ryuuji, a karate club member who happens upon the latest altercation and beats up not only the offending club members, but Minoru as well for failing to stand up for Nana and himself. Having lost his spot in the gymnastics club, Minoru accedes to Mutou’s demands, and the club captain Minami Hiroki’s more gracious requests, and joins the school’s Second Karate Club, a small club practicing the brutal full contact style of Kaburagi Ryu. With his gymnastic abilities, Minoru discovers not only talent, but a growing passion for karate. And It’s a good thing too, since he has to take on not only the club’s grueling training, but also its numerous feuds and rivalries, in his journey to work his way to the top of the sport.


The series lasted for 50 Volumes, ending in 2010.

In 2012 a sequel started, called Karate Shoukoushi Monogatari.

Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Kevin Norton was abused by his mother when she remarried, favoring her stepchildren over her own son.
  • Achilles' Heel: Minami's weakpoint is his hemorrhoids
  • Action Girl: Kou Haruka, Mutou's maybe-girlfriend and the captain of the taekwondo team, and Akamine Rika, the daughter of one of their school's old karate team captains. Akiko Takakura is a less typical example, but is still highly formidable with a naginata. There's also Nozomi, the captain of the naginata club, who's good enough with her naginata that she can easily handle Minoru after he becomes a pro fighter, and Minami chose to train with her when he had to face Andre.
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  • All Amazons Want Hercules: Haruka seems to play this the straightest, as she's considered the strongest female on campus and paired with Mutou, widely regarded as the most dangerous male on campus...and other places. Her ex-boyfriend is no less of a badass. Nozomi, who can be considered to be as strong as Haruka (kicks about as much ass with her naginata) being paired with Minami is a hint that he's actually not as weak as he usually appears to be.
  • All for Nothing: Played for Laughs in the final chapter of the original manga. The ongoing subplot concerning the karate club being without a building is finally resolved when through a bizarre tournament, the Kaburagi Karate club wins their dojo back. The last panel then has Akiko saying the land the dojo is on has been sold for condos, while adding Reinan University itself is in serious financial straits due to Japan’s low birth rates. She’s advised to not tell the guys just yet.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Mutou has no shortage of female fans, and Chris Young's ex-girlfriend actually wants him to go back to being a reckless and violent thug.
  • Almighty Janitor:
    • Pedro Barbossa is a lowly first dan in the school judo team, and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu, but is far more formidable than either the judo team captain or the black belt captain of the Brazilian Jiujitsu club.
    • Minoru also qualifies, being a white belt and later progressing to a green belt before the timeskip, yet he's able to beat the head of Reinan's kendo team, and becomes capable of fighting and defeating black belts.
  • Always Someone Better: Foreign fighters to Japanese martial artists, due to the greater size, strength, reach and wildness of the foreigners. There are exceptions to this rule who can go toe to toe with foreigners, namely Mutou, Satomi and Minami.
  • Animal Motifs: Mutou is frequently referred to as a gorilla by Minami and Hayama.
  • Art Evolution: After 30 Volumes or so, Yasushi Baba begins to evolve his way of drawing muscles. It becomes more defined, shaded and solid; it coincides with the MMA Genre Shift as the characters now are mostly shirtless, and no less important, he begins to draw the women more curvy as well. Characters in particular got a beauty upgrade, Hayama and Seiji are glaring examples, their designs are completely renewed; it might be for matching looks with their beautiful girls, as they got Rika and Akiko as their Love Interests.
  • A Taste of Defeat: Imai Yuuto, a prodigy of MMA karate, experiences this against Minoru in the Kaburagi Ryu nationals.
  • Attempted Rape: Pedro, to Minoru. It's made clear that he's gone beyond "attempted" with many other victims.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Downplayed with Gerard Bertrand. His punches are so powerful, that unless he wears gloves when he fights, he risks permanantly damaging his hands when he throws a punch.
  • Axe-Crazy: Kevin Norton
  • Battle Aura: Used in the figurative sense, but still described as an aura by characters in-universe.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Mutou is none too fond of pacifists, or weaklings. It's the main reason he drags Minoru into the world of karate.
    • Harming one of Minoru's friends will generally incur his wrath.
    • Ibuki does not take kindly to people messing with the kids he teaches. Or being reminded of his deceased older brother.
    • Hitting on Minoru is one for Pedro.
    • Humiliate Gerard Bertrand, and Andre Makinba, his disciple, will do whatever it takes to get the chance to kick your ass.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Yuuya Morisawa, the MMA club captain, a villainous individual who makes a big deal of the advantages his versatile fighting style gives over purebred karateka. However, when he fights Ibuki, he goes down like a punk despite using a weapon, and Ibuki's student is quick to point out that while Ibuki practices his art at an elite level, Morisawa's skills are distinctly half-assed.
  • Big Brother Bully: Mamiya Seiji's older brother, Mamiya Kiichi, who arranges to have him beaten up in order to force him to return to the Kendo Club, and later puts him in hospital. After he is beaten by Minoru, he agrees to let Seiji stay in the Second Karate Club, and ultimately grows out of this trope.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Apparently a common feature of Nak Muays if Samart Sirinto and Maew are any indication.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Pedro starts as a flat out villain, but once he's inducted into the club, his crimes are brushed under the rug, and his intentions towards Minoru are occasionally Played for Laughs.
  • Blood Knight: Mutou, front and center. Kevin Norton is the tyrant of the underground fighting ring at the American military installation in Okinawa, and Aniya Souhachi, like Netero of Hunter × Hunter, finds himself hard up for a real fight since he became revered as an Old Master.
  • Blood Lust: Kevin tastes Kohinata's blood during their match in the underground fighting ring.
    Kevin: Delicious flavor...LET ME DRINK MORE!
  • Blush Sticker: Ibuki's student Shingo, in contrast with her manner of speech.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Gianni Skandalaki. For his fight with Minoru he doesn't really bother to train (to the point he utterly fails the weight control and has to fight with heavier gloves as a handicap) because he doesn't expect much, and when Minoru proves himself a capable opponent he wants to quit the match until his wife threatens to throw him out if he loses. He's also the holder of the welterweight and super welterweight world championships, and once he's properly motivated Minoru is immediately reduced to a Curb Stomp Cushion.
  • Brutal Honesty: When Minoru is worried that his senior Ibuki Kengo hates him...
    Mutou: There's no doubt that he hates you. But before, far from hating you, he didn't think anything about you at all, so this is a step forward.
  • Butt-Monkey: Hayama Kentarou, the weakest and all around lamest member of the Second Karate Club. Later this role is passed to Pedro and Kaoru (although it didn't keep him from being a badass) as Hayama Took a Level in Badass along with Minoru by turning into a great karateka, fighting in tournaments and getting Rika as his Love Interest.
  • The Cameo: One of the guys in this crowd looks like Kabuto Koji. In here we have one who looks like Nagare Ryoma. And here, someone from Mobile Fighter G Gundam. And here we have Amuro Ray and Bright Noa. Baba probably really loves Super Robot Wars... Also, Vegeta can be seen here.
    • There's actually a heck of a lot of cameos in crowd scenes.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Even unnamed bit part characters are always totally distinct in their appearances.
  • Casualty in the Ring: Ibuki Kengo's older brother Satoru died three years ago from his injuries fighting the Muay Thai genius Samart Sirinto in a match.
  • Cheese-Eating Surrender Monkeys: Largely inverted, with French fighters being some of the toughest in the series:
    • Gerard Bertrand is one of a few people who managed to injure Mutou.
    • Bertrand's student, Andre Makinba, is no wimp either, having won two European titles.
    • Gerald Lopman is a nine time world champion who's previously beaten Bertrand, and needs an Olympic weightlifter and shotputter for a mitt holder - his punches are that powerful.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Kaburagi Ryu practitioners are expected to be this, with such things as punching the weakest parts of a face (extremely rare with bare-knuckle sports) to cause pain and bleeding, teaching to use headbutts, and, in sports events, going after the opponent's weaknesses both physical, psychological, and of skills. Their founder, Juzou Kaburagi, used to be quite infamous for his skills at finding said weaknesses.
    • Minami is well known for this, being known as the "Emperor of Dirty Matches". Having Kaburagi Juzou as a coach during the GENESIS tournament only increases this trait.
    • Kasumi Saizou, as the last and proud descendant of a long line of ninja, is by far the dirtiest fighter in the series. As in, he'll coat his hair into a tear-inducing substance to prevent grappling and breath fire in the middle of a match. He's disqualified during his first (and last) pro match.
  • Commuting on a Bus: After Mutou's defeat against Masahiro in Volume 16 he decides to train overseas in America, that marks Mutou's loss of substancial importance to the story when compared to his constant apppearances till then; after that he only gets a few appearances when he returns to Japan, just for reader to know he has dropped off the University, became a pro and has improved a lot since his defeat, but all of this as small one or two pages explanations and showcases; this formula is kept all the way till the 50th and last volume of the first series.
  • Confusion Fu: Oshikawa Shuuichi's speciality. He prefers to fight his opponents while barely looking at them, and by throwing up to three feints before he attacks for real.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: Minoru is rather weak at throwing punches, something his opponents can take advantage of, until he evolves into a more well-rounded fighter later on.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Hiroki, the bumbling Captain. He spends dozens of volumes in the shadows and suffering diarrhea and hemmorhoids, then Genre Shift and Art Evolution kicks in, and boy does he change, or rather, he starts to show exactly why he is the Club's Captain. By the 40th Volume he is considered as much a menace in the ring as Mutou. No wonder he got Nozomi as his Love Interest. The first hints of this is actually when he fought and pretty much defeated Kasumi Saizou, and a conversation between him and Mutou soon after that revealed that they have fought three times in middle school, and won...well, at least once by default, but still, given how Mutou overwhelms everyone else, the fact that he wasn't knocked out or injured should give a clue.
    • Combat abilities aside, he's also actually a pretty good leader and Father to His Men, as Minoru realized when Minami wasn't around to help him train.
    • It's later revealed that his perceived mediocrity was at least partly by choice. He's such a nice guy that he never used his kohais as sparring partners, suppressing his own fighting style whenever he helps them train against a powerful opponent, and, as such, they have no idea what he can actually do when he gets really serious.
  • Counter-Attack: This becomes Minami's definitive weapon other than his impeccable defense.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Lots, particularly when Mutou gets involved.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Ibuki's character has changed since the death of his older brother in the ring three years ago.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Takenaka, the high schooler Minoru defeats in his belt test, goes from condescending to instant fan.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Pedro. Played for Laughs...
  • Determinator: Mutou fought Satomi despite having broken ribs from his fight with Bertrand and would have beaten him if not for a technicality that draws out the match to an extra round. He only stopped once his wounds become too serious and he passed out in the ring vomiting blood. Much later, this is stated to actually be Minami's greatest weapon, as his resolve is leaps and bounds above everyone else.
    • Tabuse Jun had to loose 15kg to fight in the tournament and he also never took leave from pro wrestling. During the fight he was throwing up, had cold sweats, and bouts of delirium.
      • The moment he regained consiousness he went to Osaka for another gig.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: They group has Nozomi accompany Minami in her maid outfit into the ring as his second, in order to distract Daichi, who is easily distracted by beautiful aggressive women.
  • Dual Tonfas: Used by Minami in his fight with Saizou.
  • Expy: Mutou, particularly early on, comes across as one of Takamura Mamuro in fighting skill relative to the other members of the club, seniority, and jerkassery. Even the circumstances under which they meet the protagonist are similar.
    • Both Kaburagi Ryu and Koudan Kaikan are closely based on Kyokushinkai and its derivative Seidokaikan, though with the expies having aspects of both real life styles.
  • Extremity Extremist: Minoru's specialization is kicks. This is due to his gymnastics background, which gives him flexible legs.
  • Eyes Always Shut: Minami Hiroki, the club captain. True to form, when his eyes are seen open, something awesome is about to happen, especially after Art Evolution.
  • Fan Disservice: Minoru's fight scene with Kevin. Minoru, a Bishōnen, being shirtless would normally be a pretty good thing. Except he's getting the crap beat out of him by an equally shirtless, insane and rather Gonkish Kevin.
  • Feel No Pain: Kevin Norton, thanks to his usage of PCP. In the end, his overuse of drugs hurts him even more than the blows he takes in the ring.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Minami and Nozomi started to become a couple after they beat up some AV producers together.
  • Generation Xerox: Minoru and his girlfriend Nanase looks very similar to Ibuki's dead older brother Satoru and his girlfriend Mifuyu. Mutou specifically points out their great talent as their most striking similarity.
  • Genre Shift: In the series' long run, the setting changes a bit, Karate becomes less prominent as fighting leagues and tournaments take over as the focus of the manga. This is because Minoru develops into a well rounded karateka and black belt quite fast, so the plot introduces the MMA aspect to pit him and his friends against other fighters of different upbringings. Also the comedy gets sligthly dialed down.
  • Go Nagai Sideburns: A few tournament spectators sport them.
  • Gonk: Hayama at first, then Character Development and Art Evolution kicks in, and he becomes noticeably average looking, and most of the students at Musashino Budou University, Reinan's rival school.
  • Graceful in Their Element: Daichi Satomi weaponries this as he is an extremely clumsy teen who doesn’t show even a thread of talent. However that clumsiness makes it impossible for fighters to read his rhythm. So even though it takes him far longer to learn a single technique than anyone else. The more of a first class fighter his opponent is. The more his clumsy rhythm ruins their own rhythm.
  • Graceful Loser: One key difference between Minoru and Ryuu, highlighted in the year following their loses to Hamada. Save for certain incidents, like the fight with Chris, the former doesn't tend to hold a grudge when he loses and instead resolves to improve himself so that he can grasp victory in the future. The latter on the other hand is consumed by revenge and focuses on getting physically stronger at the expense of everything else. Director Izumi notes that this mindset contributed greatly to why Ryuu lost to Minoru when the two face off again.
    • Andre has spent a year stoking his anger for when he faces Minami in the ring, chomping at the bit to utterly destroy him after his somewhat humiliating fight with Bertrand. Bertrand, on the other hand, isn't too bothered by it but all his saying so to Andre falls on deaf ears.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: Mamiya Seiji tends to get very jealous of Minoru's success with the ladies. Particularly when one of the ladies in question is a blonde.
  • Groin Attack: Mutou has a propensity for these, both in real fights and in competitions where it's not allowed; he has at least two losses in competition due to disqualification because of this.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Ibuki doesn't want his juniors to know he's good with kids and teaches an elementary school karate class.
  • Highly Visible Ninja: Kasumi Saizou. He often wears a stereotypical ninja costume and for some reason shouts "DIVINE RETRIBUTION!" when starting his attack on Minami.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Imai Yuuto would often use Confusion Fu such as turning his back on opponent all to make them accumulate anger and impatience allowing him to catch them off guard when he really attacks. However once Minoru figured this out he just attacked Yuuto when he turned his back on him again. Imai Ryuuto instantly called foul only for the ref to ignore him.
    Kasumi: it was a big mistake to make enemies of the judges in the matches up till now.
  • Honor Before Reason: Due to his strength and Satoru's cerebral arteriovenous malformation (congenital brain disorder) - which led to his death -, Samart fears his own strength. Because of this, Samart goes to extreme lengths to make sure that he does not endanger his opponent’s life (he holds back to win by decision every time/tries to minimize the damage to the opponents head). He can also be said to have found a new respect for life after the incident. Because of the incident, he also does not care if he has to forfeit a match to protect his opponent as demonstrated in chapter 294, during the Raptors World Championship, when he just left the ring while his adversary stood there with confusion and humiliation.
  • Hope Spot: The first few moments of Minoru's fight with Hamada. At first it looks as though he's on even ground with the Koudan Champion, dodging all his attacks, and throwing some very powerful, and unusually accurate kicks at him. But then Hamada gets serious, and the rest of the fight is not nice at all for Minoru.
  • Instant Expert: Downplayed with Minoru and Ibuki's older brother. They're both very talented fighters who are capable of taking on and even winning against karatekas with years of experience despite having only practiced for a few months themselves.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Ibuki, when he saves Nana from sexual assault by the MMA club captain.
  • Jerkass: Mutou. He can be a good friend to have on your side occasionally, but for the most part your life will be easier not knowing him at all.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ibuki is generally an ass to his juniors when he acknowledges them at all, but is nice to children. he had a more easygoing character before his brother died. Also, Mutou, while usually a reckless Blood Knight, actually does care for his juniors.
  • Karma Houdini: Pedro Barbossa is a sex criminal who's raped countless men and shows no sign of repentance, and his only comeuppance is to end up in the Second Karate Club as the member who none of the others particularly like or care about. Minami didn't know about his history when he let him into the club and allowed him to room with Minoru and Hayama, but he didn't do anything when he found out, and Minoru and Hayama are justifiably terrified of having to live with him.
  • Kick Chick: Haruka, the Tae Kwon Do team captain.
  • Knight Templar Big Brother: Hiroshi Takakura, aka Kasumi Saizou. So far he's attempted to kill a guy he thought was two-timing his sister Akiko, and when he learns that their grandfather has arranged a marriage for her, he ultimately ends up punching the groom so hard in the testicles, that it's implied that the guy ended up sterile as a result. Also, Saizou's unhappy that he wasn't able to actually kill the guy.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Kaoru Hamada. He was dangerous when introduced, but when he joins Minoru volumes later, Kaoru becomes a Butt-Monkey, finding himself in embarrassing situations quite often. Then he gets into the ring and shows why he was the Koudan National light weight champion for three times in a row.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Kaoru, full stop. He's so fast he's able to use the Shadow Clone technique, which works as consecutive feints leaving afterimages, followed by a sudden strike from an unexpected location. In chapter 373, Kaoru recognizes Minoru as a genius, who's able to reverse-engineer this technique after seeing it only once, and use it against his sempai, Minami, in actual combat.
  • Little Miss Badass: Akamine Rika. She's "little" in the sense that she's a senior high school student when first introduced, whereas most of the protagonists are at uni. The "badass" part comes from her being able to take on a US soldier much bigger than her.
  • Loophole Abuse: Imai Yuuto's main tactic when first introduced. Namely, turning his back on opponents when fighting in the Kaburagi Ryu Nationals, preventing them from attacking him. He grows out of it after the timeskip.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: When Kasumi Saizou thinks Minami is two-timing (or three or four timing) his sister Akiko, he writes a false letter to lure him out. Minami has never met his sister, and was talking about a different Akiko, while the member of the karate club that Akiko really likes is Minoru, who Saizou tried to make his accomplice.
  • Made of Iron: Mamiya Seiji during his fight with Imai Yuuto. He considers a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from the guy weak, compared to getting hit with his older brother's shinai.
  • Made Out to Be a Jerkass: This happened to Samart when he forfeit his fight against Hamada. Everyone was furious thinking he was looking down on Karate because it was blatantly obvious that Hamada was no match for him. However he was just afraid that if the fight went any further he would cause another Casualty in the Ring.
  • Magic Skirt: Averted. Haruka's short fight with Mutou is particularly noteworthy: once she starts kicking, pretty much every other panel has a Panty Shot.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: Two examples:
    • Iskandar LLC is a motion picture creative group that specializing in producing martial arts porn films.
    • Done realistically with Minoru and his past as a gymnast: when he joins the Second Karate Club his body is already exceptionally conditioned in a well-balanced way, as needed of a gymnast, and it also gave him great agility and a formidable grip on the mat, allowing him to pull effectively acrobatic moves that would otherwise be utterly ineffective and making him almost impossible to ruin his balance even when he's on the toe of a single foot.
  • Master of None: Subverted about MMA: Mamiya Seiji and Takenaka say that its practitioners haven't refined the single components of their versatile strikes, and while this is true of Morisawa, the captain of Reinan's MMA Club, that's because he's a hobbyst - Douglas Perry, who is a professional, shows he's actually formidable in a striking-only match.
  • Megaton Punch: The Takakura-Ryu Ultimate Mystery Optical-Magnetized Light Vacuum Fist. Downplayed in that it doesn't send the victim flying, it's just ridiculously powerful... And aimed to the crotch.
  • Meganekko: Akiko Takakura, of the naginata club. She's much more dangerous with her glasses off, since she loses the ability to control her strikes.
  • Mighty Glacier: An unusal lightweight example; Kaburagi Ryu lightweight championship contender Teranishi has overwhelming striking power, but lousy footwork and mobility. We later see Satomi's brother, who's even described as very clumsy but possesses punching powers rivaling heavy-class fighters.
  • Mistakenfor Cheating: While on a date with Noizomi when Minami gave his suit jacket (which he hadn’t worn since searching for a job) to the coat checker a bunch of hostess club business cards fell out. It turns out that kasumi had been borrowing his suit for his job.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Mutou posing in just a speedo, in order to serve as bait for Pedro.
  • Mushroom Samba: Minami's "enlightenment" during his training in the mountains is the result of this, coming to him in a poison-addled delusion. However, his performance in the opening rounds of the Kaburagi Ryu Openweight Nationals suggest he might not be so delusional after all.
  • My Greatest Failure: Killing Satoru fundamentally changed the way Samart Sirinto looked at life. Up until that day, he believed that for both himself and his opponent, dying in the ring was a nak muay’s greatest desire only to find out that there’s no way to know what the dead believe.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Specifically, the naginata club's trainer, a little old woman who throws people around like nothing.
  • Never My Fault: The attitude of the gymnastics club members who bully Minoru, blaming him for them being unable to attend the selection meeting, even though as Nana points out, it's because of their bad behaviour that the uni took away their rights to the selection.
  • Nice Guy: Minami. He's so nice that he actually held back his main weapon, the low kicks, when he faced off against Minoru and was worried Minoru could not recover from another loss. It's also one reason why Nozomi hooked up with him.
  • Nightmare Face: Kevin Norton. He's a bit weird looking to begin with, but hopped up on PCP in the underground fighting ring, he looks positively inhuman. Carlos Jiraiya also has one after being knocked down by Saizou.
  • Ninja: Kasumi Saizou, member of an old ninja family and last remaining member of the school's Ninjutsu Club. Carlos Jiraiya also qualifies, having been trained in Ninjutsu by Saizou's grandfather.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: Mutou delivers quite a few of these. Most of the time his opponents deserve it, though sometimes you really can't help but feel sorry for the guys.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Akamine Rika is afraid of this, thanks to an offhand remark Mutou made years ago. Considering that his girlfriend is possibly the most formidable female martial artist on a campus full of martial artists, he probably didn't mean it seriously.
    • It's hinted that Nozomi thinks of herself like this too to a lesser extent, though it's likely more to do with her firebrand personality.
  • No Loves Intersect: In the long run, every single main character gets a Love Interest, the girls are introduced in the very first ten Volumes (some are main characters themselves), none have competition and they were quite obvious even before becoming Official Couple, they only needed some development then and there after in between the fights and tournaments. To point it out, it goes like this: Minoru/Misaki, Ryuuji/Haruka, Hayama/Rika, Hiroki/Nozomi, Seiji/Akiko. All of them are solid and have zero competition to even start a possible Love Triangle or break-up.
  • Not So Different: Akkiko is a lot like her brother then she likes to admit when Minami and Noizomi broke up due to a misunderstanding. Instead of telling Noizomi what actually happened they both instead tried to find dirt on the other party.
  • Older Than They Look: It's a bit hard to believe that Kaoru Hamada's in his late 20's/early 30's when he has no facial hair, is short and sometimes acts quite goofy.
  • One-Hit Kill:
    • Kaoru does this the first time we see him fight.
    • Takenaka's very first fight in a ring pits him against Imai Yuuto, the semifinalist from the Kaburagi Ryu nationals. He's so spaced out from fighting in front of an audience for the first time that he doesn't respond to Yuuto's first kick. Total match time, twelve seconds, including the knockout countdown.
  • Pressure Point: A realistic portrayal of these, when Aniya Souhachi stuns Pedro by applying pressure to the points under his ears at the base of his jaw, before transitioning into an eye gouge.
  • Psycho Serum: Dokuno Konoko Dake Mushrooms cause you to have diarrhea for three days and three nights. Then fever will break out and you’ll be hallucinating for a few more days. However while in this state the fighter gains Super Reflexes as since they are in a hallucinatory trance their body reacts instinctively to the blows coming and because of that they don’t try to fight against the force.
    • However this Awesome, but Impractical as the fighter is still high and fighting only through instinct alone while this does increase the accuracy of power of their attacks it eliminates their ability to perform more complex maneuvers. Furthermore a strong enough jolt can break the victim out of their trance and they will have no memory of what has been happening since they ate the mushroom.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Mutou and Minami. The former overwhelms with extreme power, while the latter is more technical. They often perform like Good Cop/Bad Cop. Later on, Mutou is straight-up overwhelming offense (being compared to wielding a katana), while Minami is the absolute defender (represented with a castle with layers of moats and...well, defenders). Their conceptual portrayal eventually intersect later on, however, with Minami being seen like an Iaijutsu practitioner and using similar tactics as Mutou, i.e. charging into the enemy, though his is actually a dodge into enemy territory instead of straight up tanking blows.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: The Japanese headlines, as the shutdown of Kaburagi Ryu due to tax evasion charges mirror the real life arrest of Kazuyoshi Ishii, founder of the Seidokaikan karate organization (the Real Life founders of K-1).
  • Running Gag: Hayama and diarrhea, Hiroki and his hemmorhoids, Pedro and his...advances. The former two get dropped as the series goes on.
  • Saved for the Sequel: Some plot threads strongly teased in the first series were kept without proper resolution, possibly saved for the still ongoing sequel as they are still teased:
    • Minoru and Misaki pretty much know they love each other, however they didn’t really become official, Misaki leaves Japan to train for the Olympics sad that Minoru didn’t come out clean about his feelings; Minoru runs to the airport promising they will reach the next stage once she comes back and he will become a great fighter by then. Misaki comes back in the sequel, pushing the now super star Minoru to keep his promise.
    • Ibuki’s obsession to fight Samart and avenge his older brother Satoru does not happen, what happens instead is people telling to let it go out of his grudge, Ibuki’s former sister-in-law-to-be finding happiness again and marrying another man is used to drive the point home; Ibuki keeps his desire to fight Samart in a more professional level. The sequel dives more deeply on Samart’s character and background, teasing he will be a future main fight.
  • Scary Black Man: Andre Makinba.
  • Signature Move: The domawashi (full body rolling kick) for Minoru, elbow strikes for Mutou, and counter-punching for Hayama.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Minoru is occasinally referred to as Kohinata Kairyuu, which is a more common way of saying the kanji in his name.
  • Start My Own: Kaburagi Ryu split from Koudan Kaikan after Izumi took over, with Tachibana saying that Izumi forced their namesake Kaburagi Juzou out while Izumi states he did it by himself.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Enough for its own page.
  • Tap on the Head: Kasumi Saizou uses the "neck chop" variety on Nana at one point.
  • Tears of Fear: Minoru in his first run in with Pedro, and later again in the face of Kevin Norton's drug fueled bloodlust. Also happens with a giant Taekwondo athlete when Haruka nearly breaks his head. Hayama also gets this a lot, and it's played for dramatic effect in his first ring fight.
  • Thug Dojo: The Shiryu Kai MMA karate group. Their training style has earned them an unsavory reputation, which the head of their organization fully embraces. In addition to drawing out his students' raw aggression, he encourages his dojo's representatives to fight dirty in competition if they can get away with it, and won't hesitate to protest tournament rules the moment they start to inconvenience his fighters, even if he devised those rules himself.
  • Time Skip: The story moves forward by a year after the end of the Kaburagi Ryu National Tournament arc. 5 years have passed from the the first to the second series.
  • Time to Unlock More True Potential: Mutou leaves the country to train with Aniya Souhachi after the Kaburagi Ryu Nationals.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Akamine Kazutora, the Reinan OB who runs the Okinawan training camp, and his deceased wife, who was much taller than he was and described as having the build of a pro wrestler (the picture of her wearing a championship belt suggests she really was one).
  • Title Drop: The first time the phrase "Karate Shoukoushi" is ever mentioned in the series is in chapter 251, when the media people are trying to come up with a catchphrase for Minoru. It means "The Little Prince of Karate".
  • Training from Hell: The Okinawan training camp is explicitly described as this. This is also what you are most likely to get if you ask Mutou for training. Hamada's training is also considered this by the Kaburagi fighters the first time they tasted it.
  • Transgender: Alyosha Harchenko.
  • Tsundere: Endou Nozomi. She's introduced as a Hot-Blooded, glaring badass, and only gets the dere stuff when she start a relationship with Minami. She's still perfectly willing to kick ass.
  • Unsettling Gender Reveal: Alyosha Harchenko is revealed to have been born a guy thanks to Pedro de-pantsying her.
  • Use Your Head: Kaburagi-Ryu Karatekas actually train in using it defensively: if you can't avoid or block a hit to the face, then take it on the forehead. When Skandalaki tries an elbow strike against Minoru this defense breaks his arm, and when Takenaka is challenged by a delinquent the latter's attempt at headbutting him results instead in the delinquent being headbutted on the nose.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Nana Misaki. Though she's more close friend than girlfriend, she still kicks one of Minoru's bullies in the first chapter. Later on in the series, she nearly gets into a fight with a load of Ryu Oosugi fangirls when they claim that Minoru can't beat him in a match.
  • The Worf Effect: Andre Makinba, the guy who gave Minami such a hard time at Shiryu Kai's tournament, is easily beaten by Skandalaki to show how much of a threat he could be to Minoru.
    • Other fighters get this occasionally to emphasize how dangerous some newly introduced fighter is, but Takasago, the 2nd place fighter of the K.O.S. Japan GP tournament, exists almost entirely to be worfed against other fighters. His most successful showing is providing credible heavyweight for Minoru for practice early in Minoru's pro training. The rest of the time, he usually serves to demonstrate the prowess of some other, usually lighter fighter by getting his ass kicked.
  • You Are Better Than You T Hink You Are: This turns out to be Minami's main issue aside from hemmorhoids. He's been around people who stand out for so long that he feels inferior by comparison, choosing to remain in the shadows and nearly chose to throw the fight against Minoru so he won't hinder the latter's dream until he gets a stern talking-to by his senior.


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