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Manga / Kotaro Makaritoru!

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Kotaro Makaritoru! ("Kotaro Forces His Way Through!") is a Shounen manga series by Tatsuya Hiruta, which was serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine from 1982 to 2004; its original run was from 1982 to 1995, followed by two sequels, Shin Kotaro Makiritoru! and Kotaro Makiritoru! L.

The story focuses on Kotaro Shindo, a karate prodigy in high school who comes from a long line of Ninja. Unfortunately, despite his talent, he has no common sense or inhibitions, frequently getting in trouble for clashing with school officials and trying to steal girls' panties. The only person who can keep him under control is his childhood friend and love interest Mayumi Watase. The series follows Kotaro's antics as he butts heads with Mayumi and his rival, the bald samurai wannabe Teruhiko Tenkouji, and also faces increasingly stronger opponents.


Tropes in Kotaro Makaritoru:

  • Absurdly Powerful Student Council: For starts, the president has the authority to issue a one million yen bounty on Kotaro (or rather, his hair).
    • Student Council President: Inexplicably having thick lips, for some reason. Actually, they're siblings. At least one wears a prosthetic lip as a gesture of admiration to the eldest, who does have natural thick lips.
  • The Ace: Several, but Kotaro is the most glaring example. By the time of the judo arc, he is proficient in at least karate (and over the course of the arc, judo), a good drummer, and one of the strongest person at a school with twenty thousand members.
  • Alliterative Name: Teruhiko Tenkoji, among others.
  • Alternate Character Reading: Kumi Mifune from the Judo arc. Her name can be read as Kyuzo. Much to her chagrin, Kumi's grandmother Fune insists that it is the civil records that is wrong and her granddaughter's name is indeed Kyuzo.
  • Bare-Handed Blade Block: Kotaro does this when stopping Tenkoji's attack regularly, as Tenkoji carries a sharp (though sheathed when he's not attacking) katana almost everywhere he goes. He doesn't necessarily use his hands, either — at least once he does it with his toes.
  • Berserk Button:
    • For Tenkoji, it's his shaved head. To add to the fire, after he shaved it one time the hair never grew back.
    • For Kotaro, it's Mayumi being in harm's way (much more so if Mayumi herself is actually harmed).
  • Best Her to Bed Her: Jason, after losing to Kotaro in a challenge that results in getting herself exposed as a muscular girl, vows to herself that she would belong to Kotaro. Considering Kotaro prefers Mayumi over her, however, it doesn't go anywhere.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Steve Pie himself can't speak Japanese, but he can communicate with the cast with the fluency of a native Japanese speaker when strumming his guitar. In his initial introduction with the cast, Kotaro and Mayumi are left feeling baffled for a moment, wondering how he does it.
  • Big Eater:
    • Primarily Kotaro. One occasion, for example, has him holding a tray with four bowls of noodles as lunch — for himself alone.
    • Jason is a female example. During her first day into Kotaro's household, having met Mayumi shortly prior, she devours nearly all of the rice in the cooker by herself.
      Kotaro: I want some too...
      Mayumi: Sorry, that's the last of it.
  • Boss Subtitles: Used sparingly, generally in tournaments and such.
  • Brawn Hilda: Jason is a very muscular girl.
  • Butt-Monkey: The role gets passed around quite a bit, and even the titular character is no exception.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Much of the Unresolved Sexual Tension between Kotaro and Mayumi hinges on this.
  • Cerebus Retcon: Mayumi's Supreme Chef status, which has been cemented early on, has a less-pleasant origin that was revealed later in the series: When she and Kotaro were playing house at the age of 4, she handed Kotaro a plate of mud-balls. Kotaro ate them all and nearly died from it, prompting a tearful Mayumi to vow to improve her cooking so that the same tragedy wouldn't repeat itself. And she made good of her promise by starting to learn how to cook while still at the age of 4.
  • Club Stub: Kotaro's Kyokutanryu Karate club has only so many members. Kotaro and Mayumi are pretty much the only "permanent" members.
  • Connected All Along: Yurie, granddaughter of Shikato Denzen, is romantically involved with Kyoshiro, housemate of Kotaro.
  • Cool Loser: Kotaro is pretty much one. Heir to the Dojo, check. One of the most powerful fighter around, check. A highly-coveted girlfriend, check. Hunted by said girlfriend for infraction of school codes, check. Rumored to be able of impregnation by touch, oh hell yea check.
  • Creator Cameo: Hiruta's avatar (a manga author with white headband and glasses) shows up from time to time, in-story or not.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • On the surface Kotaro might look like a moronic pervert, but once stoked to his full potential he can unleash an ungodly amount of whoop-ass on pretty much anyone.
    • From the Judo arc, we have Sanshiro Saigo. He has a good amount of self-esteem issue, but once in the groove he can throw anyone down to the mat.
  • Dance Battler: Brock, who's introduced during the band arc, specializes in Capoeira fighting style.
  • Dirty Old Man: Shikato Denzen is every bit as perverted as Kotaro.
  • Dragged by the Collar: Or, in Kotaro's case, his hair. After Kotaro exhausts himself running 49 laps out of 50 (with the last 24 being done in handstand), Mayumi takes him home this way. She only has to do this for one night, however, as Kotaro is fully energized in the very next morning.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Samejima, the instructor of the 13th Judo Club.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: One of the jokes regarding Otsukoshi's appearance.
  • Elaborate University High: Tsurugamine High School, which has a student population of twenty thousand.
  • Embarrassing First Name: Momotaro Ushiro prefers to be called not by his first name, which is easily truncated into Momo-chan. Ditto for Kenji or rather, Yoshimi Kisaragi.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Mayumi and the Ikebana club in chapter one.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Many of the China Rose gang members, sans Hiromi, towards Kotaro.
  • Expy: There are quite a few.
    • Steve Pie from the band arc.
    • Shikato Denzen is quite similar in looks with Happosai.
    • Jason from the tournament arc, but made much more family-friendly.
  • Fiction 500: Shikato Denzen is stated to be among Japan's 3 wealthiest. He lives in a Big Fancy House, commutes with a helicopter, has thousands of young, pretty girls (all hired by him) in Playboy bunny suits, and owns a television company...
  • Flechette Storm:
    • Beni Bara's best-known combat specialty.
    • Kotaro also keeps some kunais in his hair to be utilized in this fashion should the need arise.
  • Generation Xerox:
    • Kotaro's mother Kurumi is essentially Kotaro with boobs, down to the perversion.
    • From the Judo arc, we have Kumi and Fune Mifune. They can take each other's place with the aid of hair-dye. Moreover, Kumi's father is essentially Kumi with mustache. Kumi's mother, by comparison, has a rather Brawn Hilda look and at least one-half again as tall as her husband (Kumi, Fune, and Kumi's father are all about the same height).
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: All over the place. Mayumi's father, a policeman, has quite a few on his face and he's firmly on the side of good.
  • Groin Attack: This trope gets used to painfully common degree. Kotaro himself has been on the giving and receiving end of this.
    • One particularly jarring example involves being on the giving and receiving end of this trope withal. During the band arc, Otsukoshi pops into the bathroom when Kotaro is bathing (for the grand total of 3 times). Kotaro, not happy with the idea of a guy taking a bath with him, reacts by "whipping" him back. During the third time Otsukoshi and Kotaro bath together, Otsukoshi decides to give Kotaro "a taste of his own medicine" while Kotaro, in return, decides to "show him how it's done". Their "weapons" collide... and the next panel goes black. The panel right after that shows Kotaro stating, feebly, that he should think up a better move in the future, whereas Otsukoshi has his face in the bath water, apparently in too much pain to speak.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Kotaro, among others. Kyoshiro Inemori is the current Kyokutan-ryu dojo teacher, however.
  • Honor Before Reason: Kotaro, Tenkoji, and many others regularly does this.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Jason. Kotaro, who's her target of affection, avoids her when the "danger" of her kissing him arises, as he prefers Mayumi over her.
  • Hormone-Addled Teenager: If you don't see Kotaro as this, you've obviously never read the manga. The series even start with Kotaro causing a Seesaw Catapult on Mayumi just for a Panty Shot.
  • Japanese Delinquents: A rather common occurrence in Tsurugamine, twenty thousand members and all. The Cheering Club is pretty much a multi-story building full of them. Sector D is a whole town block filled to the brim of them.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Tenkoji's weapon of choice. He carries one (albeit sheathed) with him everywhere he goes.
  • Kendo Team Captain: Tenkoji.
  • Lady Looks Like a Dude: Jason, due to her burly physique and her mask. When Mayumi meets her for the first time, she thinks to herself that the face is the only part of Jason that looks feminine.
  • Lethal Chef: Kyoshiro. Kotaro stays with Mayumi A LOT in part because of this, even though he and Kyoshiro live together.
  • Miniature Senior Citizen:
    • Shikato Denzen is a prime example since he's about a third Kotaro's height at best... not that it hinders his ability to unleash ass-kicking in the slightest. He has moments where his old body hindered him, of course.
    • Fune Mifune from the Judo arc also counts. Pushing sixty, about the size of her petite granddaughter Kumi, yet able to keep up with youths twice to thrice her size without breaking a sweat.
  • Missing Mom: Mayumi's mother had been deceased for years prior to the series' start (Mayumi was in the fifth grade when it happened).
  • Mistaken for Gay: Kotaro and Otsukoshi are mistaken for a gay couple for a brief moment during the band arc. Neither of them is happy about it.
  • Moment Killer: When Kotaro and Mayumi are alone together and one of them is about to break the Cannot Spit It Out mold and confess his/her love toward the other, expect someone else to show up and inadvertently ruin the moment.
  • Mundane Utility:
    • Kotaro has put his long hair to good use. He uses it to strangle his opponent or whip his opponent in the eye (each for at least once) when fighting, and a non-violent example of this involves him stuffing tennis balls into his hair, which he uses to strike a gong, at the beginning of an on-stage concert performance.
    • Tenkoji has used his bald head as a light source many times, allowing him (and those around him, if any) to see in an otherwise pitch-black environment. It's for this reason that he carries a battery with him at all times.
    • Similar to Tenkoji, Steve Pie has his guitar with him everywhere he goes. His being a musician aside, the guitar is what allows him to communicate with the Japanese-speaking cast members (see Beyond the Impossible above).
  • Neat Freak: Souji Mitarai. Case in point: When Tenkoji visits him once after Mitarai is hospitalized, Tenkoji finds him wiping window glass — from the outside (think window washers but without protective harness in his case). Mitarai claims that knowing his windows are filthy prevents him from sleeping.
  • Ninja: Kotaro descended from a long line of ninjas, although his primary martial arts is karate. Also, the final arc before the suspension of the manga has ninjas and Mc Ninjas of all shapes and sizes.
  • Nobody Touches the Hair: Kotaro is very protective of his long hair, which tends to get him in trouble at school since it's much longer than the rules allow for boys' hairstyles. The story arc at the beginning plays with this; when the president places the bounty on Kotaro's hair, Kotaro, once he finds himself cornered, cuts off his own hair to stop the pursuers. Then it turns out he does it only to fake them out — he was wearing a wig with the hairstyle identical to his own at the time when he "cut it off".
  • Out of Focus: Tenkoji is absent during the band arc. He appears in the next story arc, briefly talking with Mitarai before demanding a match with Kotaro, only to team up with him again after finding out that Kotaro had broken a rib a moment ago and is therefore not in a fit state to fight him.
  • Parents as People:
    • Mayumi's father is not as by-the-book as he could be, despite being in the police force — for starters, he has no qualms with letting Kotaro consume alcohol despite Kotaro being a minor.
    • Kotaro's mother is a shameless pervert, much to Tenkoji's annoyance, especially since she has stolen loincloth from him.
  • Print Long-Runners: It ran for twenty-two years, and only suspended in 2004 due to the author's poor health.
  • Protagonist Title: Kotaro Makaritoru. Yes, this manga is named after a Hormone-Addled Teenager, albeit partly and with his surname rather than his first namenote .
  • Raging Stiffie: Kyoshiro is an absolute master of penis-based party tricks. The trope is just a beginning.
  • Repetitive Name: Daigo Daigo from the Judo arc.
  • Running Gag: Tenkoji has several, ranging from his lemon facial treatment to his bald that will light up if he holds a battery.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Jason's true gender identity is revealed only after she challenges Kotaro and loses to him, much to the shock of everyone present in-universe.
  • Seesaw Catapult: The entire series starts out with this: Mayumi chases Kotaro due to his hair being much longer than the rules would allow for boys, and the chase sequence culminates in getting them in a school lake, with them jumping from one boat to another, until the two of them end up literally in the same boat. Mayumi tries to catch Kotaro, but Kotaro jumps out of her arms' range before landing back into the boat with a stomp, the force of which sends Mayumi flying upwards, all for the sake of copping a Panty Shot, with Mayumi landing back into the boat with a knee-drop in Kotaro's face, resulting in both of them in water swimming their way back ashore.
  • "Shaggy Dog" Story: After a member of the Cheering Club demolishes Kotaro's dojo, Kotaro demands that Shikato Denzen, as captain of the Cheering Club, compensate for it with a new dojo (and a thousand panties). Denzen agrees, but on the condition that Kotaro must first enter the karate section of the national high school martial arts tournament — and win the championship. At the end of the tournament, Kotaro does win the championship, and, as promised, Denzen awards Kotaro a new dojo — a steel-wired concrete building, which Denzen proposes to Kotaro during the negotiation — with a thousand panties to boot. Mayumi meets Kotaro at the new dojo and, mesmerized, is about to confess her love to him... but Jason shows up at that precise moment to break them up, taking apart a steel pillar in the process with the express intent of scaring Mayumi away, resulting in the new dojo collapsing, which sets Kotaro back to square one. At least he still has his one thousand panties...
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: The president is this to Kotaro.
  • Supreme Chef: Mayumi is well-known for this among those who know her. There's a reason for that, though...
  • Technical Pacifist: Toshihiro Iga. He absolutely detests the misuse of judo for street brawls, but on the mat he is every bit worthy of his captaincy of the First Judo Club.
  • Toilet Humour: There's no shortage for it in this series, especially when a prominent source involves a pressure point that, when pressed, has the effect of laxatives being consumed.
  • Token Minority: Brock is the only black person throughout the whole series.
  • Tournament Arc: There are several along the run of the manga.
  • Tomboyish Name: Jason, who's actually a muscular girl.
  • Use Your Head: Kotaro has had his share of headbutting his opponent in a fight, with powerful result, as he's quite headstrong. That said, the impact can hurt him if the target is at least as sturdy as his head.
  • Waif-Fu:
    • Shikato Denzen is the prime example. Kotaro has quite an amount of muscle, but he tends to be dwarfed by opponents he faced.
    • The Judo arc is arguably built around this trope. Kumi and Saigo (both small and wiry) are perfectly capable on throwing down opponents two to three times their weight. Some dynamics of judo is also covered in-depth.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser:
    • Beni Bara, who is also an Agent Peacock.
    • The whole China Rose gang, which was introduced during the Section D arc, with Hiromi Kisaragi as the leader.