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Let the Beast Sports Begin!

"The one with the sharpest fangs wins. That's what Killing Bites is."
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In the not too distant future, Japan is ruled behind the scenes by four economic conglomerates who fight to maintain their control over the country using Therianthropes, humans who have been genetically enhanced with animal DNA, granting them superhuman strength, speed and durability. These relentless killing machines take part in a series of underworld fights called Killing Bites, where the winner brings fortune and honor to the company they represent.

College student Nomoto Yuuya's life is changed forever when his casual acquaintances ask him to drive them around to pick up girls one day, which he soon finds out means by force. The girl they kidnap is an animal-human hybrid named Hitomi, who slaughters all of them except Yuuya. Hitomi is a honey badger, which has been called the most fearless of all animals. Now Hitomi is assigned to stay with Yuuya, for his protection. So begins his involvement in the Killing Bites, whether he likes it or not.

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From the creator of Arachnid and Caterpillar.

An anime version started January 12, 2018. Outside of Asia, Amazon Prime has the simulcast.


General Tropes

  • Accidental Pervert: Yuya ends up touching Hitomi's breasts once each within the first 2 chapters. The anime makes twice in the first episode.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • In the manga Ui Inaba is already part of the Ishida team, while in the anime we see how she was recruited by Hitomi, Yuuya and Ichinosuke.
    • When a group of chameleons attempt to assassinate all the surviving brutes when the Destroyale ends, the anime adds a scene where Hitomi attempts to fight them despite her grievous injuries.
    • The anime has a couple of exclusive "Guide Them, Oshie!" skits.
  • Amazon Brigade: During the Deathtival, Team Z is composed of Pure, Tasuku and Haiji.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: After the Killing Bites is made public, the story's perspective changes to a dog girl named Pure Inui.
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  • Animorphism: The entire show revolves around this.
  • Artistic License – Biology: Goes without saying. The idea that messing with human genes with nanotechnology would not only give people the strengths and abilities of animals, but also allow them to transform their bodies at will, is utterly laughable.
  • Attempted Rape: This seems to happen quite a bit.
    • A group of thugs try to rape Hitomi on the first chapter/episode. She doesn't let them get away.
    • Cobra is characterized as a serial rapist. He tries to pull it off on Eruza and Hitomi, and like in the previous instance Hitomi doesn't let him get away.
    • A frog-type Brute drugs Pure, and attempts to rape her. She's rescued when Tasuku arrives and beats the creep up.
    • Brute Hyena tries to rape Pure, but she manages to get away. The situation is presented in the same way as if she was a male rapist, especially since she has a pseudo-penis just like a real Spotted Hyena.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: Hitomi and Eruza do this when they briefly team up against Cobra and Gecko during the Destroyale.
  • Beef Gate: For the Deathtival's premilinaries, several teams of newcomers are made to fight the surviving veterans from the Destroyale. Team A, made up of Taiga, Eruza and Kaede, are the only ones who really matter and they make a point of slaughtering as many newbies as they can in minutes just out of spite. Tasuku struggles against Eruza and Pure is no match for Taiga at all, but both are saved when Haiji manages to defeat Kaede and disqualifies the other two.
  • Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism: Female Brutes look a Little Bit Beastly in battle form, while the males are basically bipedal beasts.
  • Black and Gray Morality: Japan is ruled from the shadows by four Zaibatsu, and the majority of the members of these groups and most brutes that work for them are self-centered, sadistic, power hungry, arrogant or rapist. Or any combination of the above. Opposing the status quo kept by them is an Ambiguously Evil doctor with many dark spots in his past, a Sociopathic Hero that is utterly loyal to him, and a perfectly normal college student that was forced into this mess by those two under death threats. You are not going to find much “white” in this series.
  • Bland-Name Product: JTK 48, their version of real life idol group AKB48.
  • Bloody Hilarious: Any scene involving Moe the salamander getting beaten up, as she has high regeneration abilities and a self-injury kink that results in her having poisonous jetpack orgasms when injured badly. Even when clawed in half and unsure if she can walk even that off, she looks like she's having the time of her life.
  • Bookends: The first arc ends with Yuuya being nearly killed by Hitomi in the junkyard where they first met and right after he waxes philosophical about the real meaning of her catchphrase.
  • Boss Subtitles: Every Therianthrope is introduced this way.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Every Brute has at least one move they call out as their ultimate trump-card, Hitomi's ("Slash") being the bluntest of them all.
  • Cat Girl: There's several cat-type hybrids that are cute girls. This includes Cheetah and the members of JTK 48.
  • Critical Research Failure: In-Universe. Youko claims that the Zaibatsu have been researching the fighting techniques of a honey badger to counter Hitomi, which is proved true by Kaede knowing exactly what to do to beat her. However, Kaede’s teammate Den was surprised to discover honey badgers are resistant to poison, which implies they were researching only Hitomi’s fighting techniques, rather than the natural characteristics of the honey badger. Given it is no secret to anybody that a Brute can have all sorts of different abilities based on what animal they have DNA of, this is a rather big oversight.
  • Defeating the Undefeatable: Hitomi defeating the nigh-unstopable Kido and Eruza finishing him off is seen as this.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The soundtrack for the anime has a song named "Ratel The RATEL" and three others in the same format where the first word is in japanese.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: Brute Pangolin, who is The Dragon of the first arc's true antagonist. He's extremely powerful, but also a Wild Card with zero respect or concern for human life, coming after Hitomi during the Destroyale on the behalf of his "benefactor" who deceived him into doing so beforehand.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune: Seira Son's voice actress, Yoshino Nanjo sings the opening theme as the vocalist of fripSide.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Female:
    • Zig-Zagged a bit when Brute Civet uses her aphrodisiac to make Eruza and Hitomi have sex in an attempt to leave the latter vulnerable, which falls under Rape by Proxy. The scene itself is played for Fanservice, but the series doesn’t try to use the fact that all participants were female as justification, portraying Civet (and the man that ordered her to do it it) as a very despicable person for doing it. The reactions of the victims were also mixed. One of them was pissed, the other seemed to forget it happened as soon as it was over.
    • Averted several volumes later with the introduction of Brute Hyena. The reveal that she is a rapist portrays her in the same light as any of the male rapists that appeared in the manga before her.
  • Enemy Mine: During the climax of the Destroyale, the Ishida and Yatsubishi Brutes end up cooperating to take down Kido.
  • Excuse Plot: It's pretty obvious from the get-go that the entire conflict between the four zaibatsu simply exists to provide an excuse to create human-animal hybrids and have them fight each other.
  • Explosive Leash: Every Brute participating in the Destroyale wears an explosive collar to prevent them from disobeying their players' instructions.
  • Fan Disservice: All the Attempted Rape scenes count, but Cobra needs a double mention. When he tries to rape Hitomi, we discover that his genitals change like the rest of his body when he enters his full hybrid form. And so the readers are given a wonderful shot of human sized hemi-penises.
  • Fanservice: This series is very high on eroticism, using as much Male Gaze and Les Yay as possible with the female cast.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • The anime's opening sequence has several examples; a closeup on Hitomi's eye during which she has darker skin than usual (the skin of her true form); a scene showing her lying on top of a water tower (the place where she usually hung out as a child) holding a ratel; and her and Nomoto trying but failing to join hands.
    • When Ui suddenly kicks Kaori with a somersault kick, Eruza witnesses it in the background. Ui later defeats her too with this same move.
    • The ending sequence has various sexualized shots of the female characters, of whom only Yuuko seems uncomfortable. It's not hard to imagine why.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • One scene in the anime is framed as a visual novel. Shinya Murata's Author Avatar doodle can be seen in the corner of the text box.
    • Shinozaki is revealed to be a brute when we see her obscured transformed arm, but in the anime this is made harder to notice since it's on the corner of the screen as it pans up.
    • The final episode has a scene with a Monthly Comic Magazine HERO'S issue laying in the floor. If you look closely, you'll see it has Himeno from Himenospia in the cover.
  • Full-Boar Action: There's the Brute Boar of chapter 42. He's killed by Gecko quite easily.
  • Genetic Engineering Is the New Nuke: Therianthropes are created by infusing humans with animal DNA, granting them abilities that far outclass those of regular humans.
  • Girl-on-Girl Is Hot: The reactions of everybody who got to watch Hitomi and Eruza Kissing Under the Influence scream this. Most members of the four Zaibatsu made no attempt at hiding how much they loved it, Nomoto desperately tried to think of a way to stop it but was too distracted by it, and even Youko, who was absolutely livid because of Killing Bites' "desecration", was blushing madly at the sight.
  • Going Commando: In Chapter 5/Episode 2, Eruza catches Hitomi in the restroom and steals her panties, forcing the latter to give chase without wearing underwear.
  • Gratuitous Rape: Attempted Rape is extremely common in the series (as well as the creator's other works), though several of these rapists are Easily Forgiven for their actions. Brute Cobra, a brutal serial rapist, undergoes a Heel–Face Turn during the Time Skip while Hyena goes from trying to rape Pure to saving her life on several occasions.
  • Hand Signals: During the Destroyale, Hitomi communicates with Yuuya this way so he can move her to exactly where she wants to be.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: The horned lizard sisters can be differentiated by the eye which they shoot blood.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Brute Civet uses her very strong aphrodisiac to turn Hitomi’s and Eruza’s lust for fighting into sexual lust. This results in two girls who were about to have a death match randomly start kissing and fondling each other.
  • Lucky Translation: One scene hinges on the double meaning of "come" ("to go", and as slang for "to orgasm"). "Iku" in Japanese is used the same way as in English.
  • Mêlée à Trois: The Killing Bites matches are fought between the four zaibatsu factions.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: While there are several powerful Brutes, most, if not all the Brutes that have been permanently killed are male. Women may be beaten up and almost raped, but as of Chapter 50, no female Brute has been seen dying.
    • Apparently finally subverted at the end of chapter 60 when Nodoka slices Tasuku in half.
  • Mood Whiplash: Taking cues from The Severing Crime Edge and Taboo-Tattoo, the series often swings between happy-go-lucky sex comedy and bloody carnage in the span of a single episode.
  • Mystical White Hair: Hitomi has white hair, like the fur of a ratel.
  • Nipple and Dimed:
    • Despite the series being very high in the Fanservice department, it still holds itself back when it comes to showing the nipples of the girls. Notably, one instance of uncensored nudity early in the series (the only time it dared to show nipples) got censored on the volume release. Some countries and the anime, however, did publish/show said scene uncensored.
    • Uncensored nudity does begin to appear after the tenth volume, but mostly in gory situations.
  • Not What I Signed on For: Yuuya had no idea his friends were gonna pick-up a girl and rape her. He freaks out when he realizes what they're doing. Good thing Hitomi kills them, and spares him instead.
  • Odd Friendship: Hitomi and Yuuya in part one. Pure and Tasuku in part two.
  • One-Winged Angel: Every Brute has access to a Battle form to use at the Killing Bites.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: They're genetically modified hybrids who voluntarily go through a surgery. While there are mostly mammalian Therianthropes, reptiles and amphibians have also appeared, and recently birds have made an appearance as well.
  • Personality Powers: Therianthropes don't get to choose which power they get from the operation, what they get is what fits best with their personality and the option to either "Take it or leave it".
  • Production Throwback:
    • The manga is named after chapter 52 of Shinya's first published work, Jackals. "Killing Bite" was a Counter Attack one character used against another who favored Flash Step skills. When Hitomi fights Taiga, she nearly reenacts that very scene but is interrupted and blown away by Kido.
    • Eruza and Pure are designed after Gokiburi and Alice from Arachnid, respectively. Eruza's introduction scene evokes Gokiburi's and Pure occasionally goes through some oddly familiar scenes as well.
  • Prolonged Prologue: The afterword on volume six states the first arc is supposed to be just an introduction to the series' setting.
  • R-Rated Opening: Similar to Arachnid, the story opens with attempted rape and the following gruesome murder of the sex offenders by their would-be victim. The following events are more lighthearted and campy.
  • Rape by Proxy: Brute Civet uses her aphrodisiac on Hitomi and Eruza to make them have sex so the former would be left vulnerable (and to provide a nice show for her bosses). Hitomi snaps out of it midway through and almost made her pay for it like all the other guys who attempted to rape her before, but Civet was saved by Taiga.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: There are very few good people in this series, but the worst scum are rapists that (usually) get their comeuppance very quickly.
  • Reality Ensues: The manga's side chapters feature a girl named Oshie who uncannily acts like a honeyguide bird. However, this setting isn't like Arachnid where everything runs on Nonsensoleum and Oshie ends up suffering from various mishaps as the narrator reminds us she's not actually a hybrid.
  • Recycled In Space:
    • If you read Arachnid beforehand you already know what to expect. Yakuza organizations fight between themselves with the animal-themed warriors at their disposal while some unlucky person gets caught in the middle of it. Also, Wikipedia fun facts. The difference is that the characters are beastmen based only on vertebrates.
    • The premise of rich people watching over the battles from a cruise ship was also used in the spinoff Caterpillar, which was actually being published concurrently with Killing Bites. Both stories have a minor character who's a professional fighter who became addicted to killing after a Casualty in the Ring or a self-defense incident.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When Hitomi (and most of the other Therianthropes) transforms, her eyes glow red.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Reptilian-themed Brutes are depicted by people one would expect to find at the bottom of humanity's moral barrel. May they be sadists, rapists, backstabbers and scumbags alike.
  • Reused Character Design:
    • Eruza looks a lot like Gokiburi from Arachnid. Twintails aside, she's got a speedster skillset, is introduced with the same school uniform roach girl was wearing in that series and acts similar to her, but with the Psycho Lesbian traits turned down.
    • Pure likewise resembles Alice from that same story — who herself was a lookalike of Turis from Jackals. While a lot more friendly and idealistic, Pure still retains Alice's penchant for going unhinged and leaping at her enemies to chomp their necks off.
  • Shown Their Work: The series incorporates the behaviors and characteristics of real-life animals into the Therianthropes and they're pretty accurate too. In fact, there are sections where the narrator explains these to the audience and it wouldn't be out of place in a National Geographic Channel documentary.
  • Statuesque Stunner: As a very tall girl, Brute Sloth Nodoka is an example of this.
  • Stockholm Syndrome: Yuuya, who essentially is Hitomi's hostage under the guise of her "benefactor" for the Killing Bites tournament, actually does start caring about her more and more as time passes on in her company. Despite being painfully aware of the looming death-threat on his shoulders should he ever make a decision behind her back without consulting her first.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence:
    • Every single Brute coming face to face with Hitomi. Those who survive the encounter tend to wise up pretty fast afterwards.
    • Hitomi herself is another example as she is, true to form and in Yuuya's words, "way too stuck-up" for her own good, thinking she can take on everyone by herself.
  • Super Toughness: Characters regularly get beaten up very badly to the point of impalement or dismemberment and collapse with dead open eyes, but as long as they haven't been chopped to pieces they turn up completely ok a few chapters later.
  • Title Drop:
    • Frequently, as Killing Bites is the name of the underground tournament the brutes fight and Hitomi regularly mentions it as part of her aforementioned catch phrase.
    • Subverted when the Crocodile brute calls out a special move and it is Death Bites. However, Kido kills him with a punch through the mouth — thus literally killing a bite.
    • In the anime, each episode title is a line spoken by one of the characters in the same episode.
  • Title Theme Tune: Not only is the anime's opening theme also titled "killing bites", but it's also the very first words in the lyrics.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Like a honey badger, Hitomi loves sweet things. Her favorite seems to be stacks of pancakes, drenched in syrup with lots of whipped cream and fruit. It even makes her drop her usual nastiness and act totally adorable.
  • Underestimating Badassery:
    • Leo and Porcupine thought they could easily defeat Hitomi thanks to her inexperience. She quickly proves a ratel won't go down without a fight and then some.
    • Gorilla and Crocodile believed they could gang up on Taiga/Tiger and quickly beat him, only to realize too late tigers are the true kings of the jungle.
    • But the biggest offenders have to be the Mitsukado, Youko for believing there was no way "second rate" Brutes would defeat her piece Kido, and surprise surprise, Hitomi defeats the nearly invincible pangolin against all odds.
      • And on the other hand Youzan thought there was no way for the other Zaibatsu to surpass him and his faction in power even if they won the Destroyale, only for Ishida and Yatsubishi to conspire against him with Shidoh's help to kill him and split up the profits without his interference.
    • When Pure is set to fight Tasuku, the "second coming of Ratel", the investors think the beagle's so pitiful they won't get to measure Tasuku's abilities. One guy in the crowd, however, knows even Hitomi was a nobody at first and is so impressed to see Pure holding her own for a while that he breaks the rules to assist her.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: Male Brutes usually don't wear shirts since their transformed state becomes too big for clothes on the upper body.
  • Wham Episode:
    • Chapter 30: Hitomi kills Yuuya under Shidoh's orders (or so she thinks), and Japan changes drastically as a consequence of the Destroyale.
    • Chapter 59-60: Tasuku nearly defeats Hitomi, only for Nodoka to claw her to pieces. Nodoka then powers further into an Origin form similar to Hitomi's.
  • Wham Shot: Volume 10 ends with Yuuta starting to transform into his brute form. And it seems like he intends to fight Hitomi.
  • World of Badass: After the Killing Bites become public knowledge, powerful hybrids of all sorts of species come out of the woodwork.
  • World of Jerkass: Most characters are violent, selfish, power-hungry, greedy, sadistic, sexually deviant or some combination of the above, and they are put in a fight where they can indulge in their bloodlust. There are very few genuinenly benevolent characters in the setting, and most of the time they live under the thumb of the evil characters.
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