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Manga / Muhyo and Roji

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Magical Law will be Enforced

Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation is a manga by Yoshiyuki Nishi, which was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2004 to 2008. Don't be fooled by the cutesy art style—this manga isn't for the faint of heart.

As the title says, this manga follows the adventures of Muhyo and Roji and their bureau of supernatural investigation as they confront spirits, traitors, and, quite often, each other. But they don't just banish ghosts. They sentence them with magic law, which is pretty much what the entire manga revolves around. Magic Law was established as a way to prevent the rising rates of crimes committed by ghosts, through sentencing them to various punishments for their crimes, and through those sentences, sending them to heaven, hell, or anywhere in between. While it starts out as your basic episodic manga, albeit a very engaging one, the plot develops quickly enough not to leave the reader too bored.


After 10 years since the manga ended, in 2018 it was announced the series was finally getting an anime in the summer season of that year. A second season followed in July 2020, with the series being picked up by Funimation by this point. A dub of both seasons was released in June 2021.

A sequel series titled Muhyo to Roji no Mahōritsu Sōdan Jimusho: Mazoku Magushi-hen (lit: Muhyo & Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation: Magical Genus Magic Tool Master Chapter) started in March 2018, though hasn't been translated as of yet.

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This manga provides examples of:

  • Adapted Out:
    • Due to the 12 episode count. Several of the stand alone chapters at the beginning of the series weren't adapted in the anime. Instead about four of them were before the introductions of the MLA.
    • The Mad Planter doesn't appear in the anime. Instead, Muhyo performs his first sentencing on the Red-Eye, and his second on the rain dog, the latter of which poisons Biko.
  • Adaptation Expansion:
    • In the first few episodes of the anime, we get snippets of Yoichi and Paige trying to find any whereabouts of Enchu in between the unrelated Monster of the Week episodes.
    • The anime adds a scene of Enchu and Panza traveling to New York City to search for the forbidden book.
  • Adaptation Explanation Extrication:
    • After defeating Face-Ripper Sophie, Muhyo collapses due to lack of tempering and requires medical attention. Anime watchers may wonder why Biko didn't use another portable magical circle to teleport Muhyo back to the Magical Law Society, since the anime didn't adapt a few panels that show Biko rummaging around her bag and realizing that she used up her last magical circle. Since Rio uses a circle to summon Enchu to help her, it's possible that Rio stole the circle from Biko.
    • In Episode 17 of the anime, after Muhyo offers to do chores for Imai while on leave from being Muhyo's assistant, Imai snaps and gets angry with Roji for not understanding anything. In the manga, Imai then says that Fujiwara was incompetent and a coward, but nevertheless worked hard. Since Roji is braver and more talented than Fujiwara, it's natural that he has greater potential, and it's shown that Imai is angry with Roji for not trying harder to make the most of his potential.
  • Adaptational Badass:
    • The rain dog in the Arcanum. In the manga, it's a relatively weak haunt, and Muhyo says that Fujiwara (an assistant judge) must have been incompetent if a haunt like that killed him, but insists on using his magical law to sentence it. In the anime, it achieves this by virtue of being a Composite Character with the Mad Planter, and ends up being the one that poisons Biko.
    • A double case happens in the last episode of the first season. In the manga, Teeki unleashes multiple ghosts from the Arcanum, which fuse together, but Muhyo dispatches them relatively easily despite being exhausted. In the anime, the fusion of ghosts is strong enough to swallow and almost kill Muhyo and Roji, before the latter manages to activate a magical circle, enabling the former to sentence it. As a result, one line in a later arc in which Roji mentions being unable to use circles is changed to reflect the one time he did use a circle.
  • Almighty Janitor:
    • Roji eventually becomes one, having skills beyond those of a lowly second clerk. It's also pointed out that his job as Muhyo's assistant is something that ordinarily, only a Judge (one rank below Executor, three ranks above him) could have.
    • The twins, Maril and Lili, are respected researchers despite being second clerks. They're rather sensitive about their rank, and get annoyed when Ebisu points it out.
  • Always Second Best: Enchu was a talented magical law student, but couldn't compare to Muhyo.
  • A Million is a Statistic: 500 people die when Vector attacks Magical Law Headquarters in the north, and it gets less follow-up than other character deaths, with only a few panels of memorial services going on.
  • Analogy Backfire: Page mentions that a “golden thread” is binding Muhyo and Roji together, and Lil and Maril mock him for saying that it’s golden, noting how soft gold is and how easily it breaks.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Nana's father hits her when she photographs a bank robbery for money, leading to an argument over who will support the two and how, which turns out to be their last.
  • Anti-Climax: The trump card of "Ghost Master" Ivy Cortlaw is an incredibly rare, incredibly powerful ghost (actually a fused collection of ghosts) her mother spent her whole life searching for. Goryo's envoy eats it moments after she releases it.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Type II: Enchu. Roji ultimately realizes that rather than hating Enchu, he was burdened with sorrow. Enchu's accomplice Rio, who turned to Ark under similar circumstances, also fits.
    • Type IV: Panza. Muhyo notices that she's not evil like the rest of Ark, and sends her to Heaven.
  • As You Know: In the anime, Rio tells Elena that magical tool makers can't use their tools, something that Elena, as an Executor, should know already. To make matters worse, this fact had already been established in story.
  • Asshole Victim:
    • Face-Ripper Sophie's older sister pretended to care about her, but considered her an embarrassment to the family merely because she was ugly. Overhearing the truth caused Sophie to kill her sister and take her face.
    • (Two Magic Law practitioners whom Enchu killed. One of them made Rio wear revealing clothes to class, the other mocked her for doing so, and both refused to save her mother).
    • Also, Ziglo, Ivy's first victim at M.L.S.
    • Jude and Iris Cortlaw turn out to have died resisting arrest by the MLS after turning down a fairly lenient deal
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Isabi can change his size to five meters tall.
  • Back for the Finale:Rie, the first client shown in the series, also makes a brief cameo at the start of the last chapter.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Panza's infatuation with Roju was due to him showing her some kindness when she arrived in MLS. Though she took it the wrong way.
  • Berserk Button: Julio and his lollypops low blood sugar triggers his curse; Miss Q-La and anyone touching her tail.
  • Big Eater: Muhyo when he wakes up after a fight; Vector "always feels hungry" to the point where he keeps eating his friends. He discovers his spirit thread powers when he wakes up and doesn't feel hungry anymore
  • BFS: Mick's sword. It can change length and even bend while attacking.
  • Big Bad: Teeki
  • "Blind Idiot" Translation: The Funimation sub keep referring to Goryo as a woman, when it's clear that he's a man.note 
  • Bloodier and Gorier: In the anime, after two of Goryo's employees remove the recently fired Ebisu from the office they seized from Muhyo, some small puddles of blood are seen on the steps.
  • Book Dumb: Yoichi and Biko had terrible grades at school, despite their skills in other areas of magical law.
  • Book Ends: The original series begins and ends when a female client walked into Muhyo And Roji’s office to ask for their help.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy / More than Mind Control : Despite everything that's happened, Page hopes that this is really what happened to Enchu (that or replaced by a puppet), but it is not the case.
  • Break the Haughty:
    • Goryo antagonizes Ark, thus resulting in the collapse of his organization and Muhyo having to save him.
    • Ebisu starts out as Goryo's arrogant right-hand man, looking down on Roji for being much lower-ranked than him. After failing to execute Maneuver #108, Ebisu gets fired and tossed down the stairs, and heads to the magical law retreat with several bruises and bandages on his face. During the retreat, he's forced to work with Roji and the twins, proving to be the least useful member of the group despite being the highest ranked, and his greatest contribution is giving his tempering to Roji.
  • Brilliant, but Lazy: Muhyo. When asked what would be the first thing he'd do as an Executor, he responds that he'd "quit and give the job to Enchu."
  • Broken Pedestal: Rio, for Biko.
  • Cat Girl: Miss Q-La, demon chauffeur. The one of the final villains is described as the child of a cloud god and a wild cat woman.
  • Call-Back: The duo’s first client is shown boarding a train near Roji in the last chapter.
  • Cast From HP: Forbidden Magical Law often requires part of the soul when the user does not have much tempering. People can make blood pacts instead of tempering pacts to turn summoned people into inanimate material.
  • Child Prodigy: Muhyo, at MLS.
  • Clean Cut: Executor Shooter's specialty.
  • The Collector: Tomas is obsessed with collecting all the beautiful things of the world, to the point where he was already a criminal before joining MLS. His best friend Page didn't realize he was insane until it was too late. He's thrilled when he learns his demon contract allows him to suck things into a Pocket Dimension.
  • Conspicuous Trenchcoat: Roji's disguise in the first chapter.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Goryo, for the Magical Law business.
  • Create Your Own Villain: Teeki to MLS when, back in the less then formal days of the organization, he was thrown out and vowed revenge against them.
  • Creepy Child: Face-Ripper Sophie.
  • Creepy Twins: Lili and Maril.
  • Crossover: One of the omakes has characters from Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro (a fellow Jump series) visiting Muhyo and Roji at their office.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Roji, and Umekichi, to an extent.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Several magical techniques shorten the users' lives or result in them being injured.
  • Death World: Elysium (think the world of Nausicaa meets Pandora with the occasional sand dune).
  • Defeat Means Friendship: By defeating an envoy, an Executor can form a contract and enlist its help in carrying out sentences.
  • Deus Exit Machina: During Page's Training from Hell. Page could have easily taken Bellocent down by himself, but Bellocent cut the power and locked him out of the building. By the time he got in, Roji had already handled it.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Mick and Ivy's beef with M.L.S, granted it understandable they would want revenge for the death of their parents whom M.L.S seemingly slaughtered mercilessly for using forbidden magic but then we find out from Goryo that they actually tried to reason with their father first. His answer however was to proceed to kill the agents left and right before eventually being taken down.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Many of the evil ghosts if they have no empathy in the series. Becomes the ultimate fate of Teeki as well.
  • The Dragon: Enchu to Teeki until his Heel–Face Turn.
  • Driven to Suicide: Some of the ghosts, including "Mr. Overtime" and Yuki Otada.
  • Dub Induced Plothole:
  • Dub Name Change: Unlike the other localizations, the dub calls Executors "Enforcers" and Clerks "Secretaries."
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Enchu, Yoichi, Paige and Teeki are introduced fairly early in the anime in the 1st and 2nd episodes. When they don't really show up until the action moves to the MLA later in the manga.
  • Energy Absorption: Vector can do this on a wide area with his spirit roots.
  • Establishing Character Moment
    • Muhyo's first exorcism showcases that he doesn't shy away from inflicting punishment where necessary, but always seeks the best outcome.
    • Yoichi is introduced performing a Skinship Grope on Nana.
    • When Goryo's introduced, he effortlessly takes out a spirit with clever tactics, then gives the rescuee an extremely expensive bill. In the middle of the conversation, he gets a call about a woman who didn't pay, and casually mentions that he let a haunt possess her, before leaving her relatives to pick up the tab. All this shows that he's an incredibly efficient and ruthless magical law practtioner.
    • Tomas talking about killing an MLS agent and contemptuously describes his letter to his wife.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: The Courtlaws. The siblings loved each other to the point of Kid essentially sacrificing himself to Buhpu so they could join Ark after his siblings refused to put their little brother at risk and joined Ark in the hope of resurrecting their parents. Enchu and Rio loved their mothers and joined Ark for the same reason not knowing Teeki had killed both of them
  • Everything's Sparkly with Jewelry: Ginko Hag is obsessed with jewelry and even calls the large gem she carries "my boy!" The gem is actually the Writ of Passage to hell and her obsession started with her boyfriend (what she really means by "boy") gave her a tiara then died in a war. When she got his death notice she snapped and started piling on jewelry so she would be beautiful when he returned.
  • Evil All Along: In the Arcanum arc, Biko's teacher Rio turns out the be the traitor responsible for sabotaging the wards, having joined Enchu some time before the start o he story.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Goryo finds it hilarious that the ghost haunting the Akagawa apartments was driven insane by the loss of her daughter, since he believes she could have simply found another man and had another child.
  • Eviler than Thou: Tomas compared to Goryo, as he thwarts Goryo's attempt to defeat Ark, destroys the group's headquarters and kidnaps Goryo.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Faking the Dead: Muhyo pulls one during the Panza fight in order to set up for an attack. As he tells Roji later "I don't die that easy!".
  • Fanservice:
    • Quite unfortunate example in-universe. Rio's boss makes her wear revealing clothes to class in order for her to be able to sell her tools.
    • There's also some involving Imai—there's a part towards the end of the series where she literally shoves her hand up Busujima's shirt.
  • Fan Disservice: The second episode of the second season shows Rio naked in a bathtub, covered with spectralization marks from forbidden magical law use and screaming in pain as Tiki administers a purifying salt treatment.
  • Fat Bastard: Ebisu is a short, portly and unpleasant individul who looks a bit like a daruma doll.
  • Females Are More Innocent:
    • Downplayed with the female members of Ark. Rio has a tragic backstory and does a Heel–Face Turn, Panza gets Redemption Equals Death and Ivy has an Alas, Poor Villain demise. The male members range from sympathetic (Enchu, Kid) to monstrous (Tomas, Buhpu, Teeki) to somewhere in between (Mick, Julio)
    • Female ghosts are somewhat more likely to be redeemed and sent to the Styx, as opposed to hell.
  • Fictionary: Underspeak, the language spoken by the residents of Hades. All Executors are required to know this in order to communicate with their envoys, although every speaker has a distinct accent (ie. Muhyo's Underspeak consists of a lot of ro's while Page's Underspeak contains quite a few more j sounds).
  • Foil:
    • Muhyo and Enchu during their MLS days. Muhyo was (and still is) a Brilliant, but Lazy Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Enchu was nicer than Muhyo, and was working hard to help his sick mother.
    • Enchu and Yoichi. While the former was obsessed with surpassing Muhyo, the latter realized that he couldn't win, and even offered to serve as Muhyo's assistant.
    • Enchu and Tomas. The former was a genuinely Nice Guy who snapped and turned evil due to his mother's death, and later does a Heel–Face Turn and becomes The Atoner, continuing his studies as he serves his sentence. The latter, however, was a criminal prior to coming to the MLS, seeks immortality to continue his twisted pursuits, and is ultimately killed at the end of his fight with Muhyo.
  • Foreshadowing: In the Hot Springs Episode, it turns out that Zanestsu Hirata's ghost has been impersonating other writers in order to finish his book. Muhyo says that ghosts who do that could potentially move on to "becoming someone else"- the modus operandi of Face Ripper Sophie, who debuts in the next arc.
  • Forgotten Fallen Friend: Fujiwara ends up becoming this in the anime, which cuts out a line in which his immediate superior Imai tells Roji that despite Fujiwara's incompetence and cowardice, he worked hard.
  • Freak Out:
    • Enchu, after the collective stress of incredible amounts of studying, his mother's death, and his failure to become an Executor.
    • Ginko Hag (before she became a ghost), when she learned her boyfriend died
  • Funetik Aksent: The Seven-Faced Dog.
  • Gag Boobs: Busujima, who uses them to hide vials.
  • Godiva Hair: Isabi, although he's male. We think.
  • Golden Thread of Fate: Binds Muhyo and Roji together, according to Page, although he could have used a better adjective to describe it.
  • Gonk: Ebisu is a short and portly young man who has odd-looking eyes and a round blue nose that looks like a clown. Muhyo and Nana sometimes compare him to a daruma doll.
  • Good Cop/Bad Cop: Muhyo suspects Jyo's politeness toward the two regarding the kidnapping case is the "good cop" act rather than sincere belief in Magical Law. It turns out that he's desperate enough to solve the case to turn to them.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Muhyo, in spades. He's not above snarking at or insulting his companions, especially Roji, and is even willing to send Fujiwara's spirit to Purgatory for getting himself.
  • Gory Discretion Shot:
    • Iwamoto's death at the hands of Sophie happens off-panel, with Biko and Rio arriving in the aftermath.
    • When Ai gets hit by a car in a flashback, the anime cuts to her dolls flying into the air.
  • Grand Theft Me: Buhpu to Kid; Teeki to Enchu and possibly Enchu's mother, plus many others in his long life.
  • Handsome Lech: Yoichi.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works:
    • In his school days with Muhyo, Yoichi, and Biko, Enchu was shown to be an incredibly hard worker, going to insane lengths to become an Executor and support his sick mother. However, although Muhyo spent all his time slacking off, he ended up getting picked to be an Executor over Enchu. Partly justified in that Page notes that the people responsible for the decision were concerned about Enchu's preoccupation with his mother, and saw that he, unlike Muhyo (who immediately suggested giving the position to Enchu should he be chosen), did not think of others.
    • Magical law in general is largely about innate talent and tempering, and while hard work is necessary to succeed, some have more potential than others.
  • Hate Sink: Executors Zoucheng and Elena. The former was a Dirty Old Man who forced Rio to wear revealing clothing for his pleasure, while the latter bullied Rio. It turns out that both of them were willing to let Rio's mother die when they could have saved her, just because they didn't like Rio. This action led to Rio's Start of Darkness and caused the two to retroactively come off as Asshole Victims. Yoichi remarks that he'd always wanted to get rid of Magic Law enforcers like those two, and Biko likewise blames them for how her teacher turned out.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Rio joins the heroes after realizing that Arc had manipulated her.
    • Goryo goes from being a rival of Muhyo's group to assisting them in the battle with Ark.
    • Enchu turns against Teeki and helps finally defeat him after realizing that Enchu killed his mother.
  • Hell Hound: The Raindog and some literal Hell-hounds.
  • Heroic RRoD: Muhyo, after sentencing Face-Ripper Sophie.
  • Hetero Sexual Life Partners: The titular pair, as well as Goryo and Ebisu.
  • High-Heel–Face Turn: Panza gets Redemption Equals Death. Rio, partly the result of realizing that Teeki killed her mother.
  • Hot Springs Episode: The group goes to one on a case and has to help a writer deal with the spirit of another writer.
  • Huge Schoolboy: Yuki Otada, who is Driven to Suicide and comes back as a haunt as a result of his classmates cruelly falsely apologizing to him and giving him fake addresses.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: "Article" instead of "Chapter," which is a reference to the many articles of magic law.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Ebisu tries this on Goryo in Article 62, since the latter is possessed and being transformed into a half-ghast. It doesn't work
  • Immortality Immorality: Ark's goal is to achieve immortality.
  • Instant Runes: Played with in the Curse Wheels, which serve to lay down the "Hundred Curses" as they pass.
  • Insufferable Genius: Muhyo, in spades. He's the youngest Executor in history, and tends to look down on the untalented.
  • Jerkass: Goryo is a ruthless and arrogant Corrupt Corporate Executive who treats his assistant Ebisu like dirt. Likewise, Ebisu is a rather insufferable and perverted assistant to Goryo.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Ebisu manages to give Roji some useful advice about how best to support Muhyo when talking about his criminal past and service to Goryo.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Muhyo appears very cold and pitiless, but often talks the envoys he summons into giving ghosts a lighter sentence, and he really does care about people, to the point of being determined to bring back Enchu or give his life in the process. He just has a funny way of showing it.
  • Kick the Dog:
    • Shortly after his introduction, Goryo is shown telling one of his employees to have an old lady possessed by a ghost because she couldn't pay his exorbitant fee. Another instance has him laughing at a mother who lost her child in a tragic accident.
      "It was only one child. Why, she could have found a new man, made another one."
    • Goryo casually shoves Nana out of the protective circle Muhyo ordered her to stay in (knowing that she's in danger as a medium, but she wouldn't leave even if he told her to) and taking the circle for himself. This ends up endangering Nana's life, but also allowing them to realize how to communicate with the ghost.
    • During Goryo's competition with Muhyo, Ebisu tries to siphon tempering off of Nana, then off of Roji. Not only is this an illegal technique, but the latter is technically cheating.
    • Tomas relating, with boredom and disdain, his killing a MLS agent while he was writing the first letter to his wife in years. It's also his Establishing Character Moment.
    • In a flashback, Tomas steals his students' flower journal, reducing them to tears. It pales in comparison to his later crimes, but it's an exceptionally petty and cruel act that gives Page his first clue that something is wrong with Tomas.
  • Kids Are Cruel: Yuki Otada commits suicide after being bullied for his size, and after they falsely appear to make amends.
  • Kill and Replace: Face-Ripper Sophie kills her targets and takes their faces, thereby "becoming someone else."
  • Kirk Summation: Roji declares that he refuses to believe that people's fates cannot be changed, and that Enchu merely couldn't deal with his grief, and dispels the curse technique, allowing the heroes to move again. Likewise in the final battle he chews out Enchu stating all the pain and suffering Muyho went through in trying to save him and, though he understand Enchu's reasons, he's being stupid in his vendetta and it's not helping anyone, least of all Enchu himself..
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Goryo's attempt to take down Ark results in him being attacked and the collapse of his organization.
  • Last-Name Basis: More than half the cast. A sign of Roji's familiarity with Muhyo is just calling him "Muhyo" rather than "Executor Muhyo".
  • Loners Are Freaks: Executor Shooter is a jerkass lone wolf and one of the most feared executors at MLS with the nickname "Shinigami". Roji realizes he's actually incredibly lonely and acts like a jerkass so others won't get hurt and Shooter admits he misses having friends (his old friends were killed by ghosts or couldn't withstand the stresses of MLS; he got the shinigami nickname because he's the only survivor) and despite throwing himself into learning his skills he feels adrift.
  • Lost in Translation: Tomas asks if Muhyo would sentence a half-ghast like him, noting that there's no precedent for it. The two words are homophones in Japanese, and the anime shows the kanji for each one, but the pun is lost in English.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Muhyo does this to Yuki Otada, both as a way of tricking him into releasing the people he's kidnapped and making his descent into Hell easier.
  • Loveable Sex Maniac: Yoichi
  • Love Makes You Evil: Most of the members of Ark are largely doing what their doing because they lost a loved one and think they can get them back using forbidden magic. Doesn't help their being used as pawns by Teeki
  • Manipulative Bastard:
    • invoked Goryo, who's willing to let an innocent person get re-possessed and go insane after she couldn't pay the fee. The family as a whole uses any means necessary to combat ghosts, which Muhyo admits is actually quite clever considering there's no one as powerful as he in the whole company.
    • Possibly Vector's spiky friend, seeing as Roji described Vector as "an infant" and he really only wants friends.
  • Love Redeems: The ghost of Ai's mother comes to her senses after seeing her daughter's spirit. Muhyo manages to make a compromise with the envoy; rather than send Ai to heaven and her mother to hell, he'll send both to the Styx, meaning that they'll eventually go to heaven together.
  • Manly Tears: Nearly every male character in the series gets at least one of these moments.
  • Marionette Master: Panza and Buhpu.
  • Mark of the Beast: High-ranking envoys have a 666 motif.
  • Mask of Sanity: A variant. Some ghosts can actually hold conversations with people, but they tend to be the more psychotic and murderous ones. The more benign ones have trouble communicating with others.
  • Meaningless Villain Victory: Back when Goryo was still a jerkass, he managed to beat Muyho in their contest by killing the last ghost. However Muyho was the one ultimately appeased the bigger threat controlling said ghosts and even reunited it with her daughter. Goryo may have won Muhyo's office, but can't relish the victory because he knows, in the large scheme of thing, Muyho is still the better executor and he only won on a technicality.
  • Missing Mom: Rio and Enchu both lose their mothers in rather traumatic ways. This isn't a coincidence; Teeki killed both their mothers to bring them over to his side.
  • Mobile Shrubbery: Part of Roji's "Super-Fab Tech."
  • The Mole: Rio.
  • Mood Whiplash: After Muhyo bluntly tells Aya that it's entirely likely that people are jealous of her for being wealthy, beautiful and talented, thereby foreshadowing Enchu's rivalry with Muhyo, Muhyo is then shown complaining about how talentless Roji is at disguises as they try to sneak into Aya's home with papier-mache pot disguises.
  • Mystical 108: Goryo's maneuver of the same name involves planting needles in a perimeter to trap spirits. Ebisu is unable to muster the tempering to place all the needles, resulting in the maneuver failing and Goryo firing him.
  • Necromantic: Ark's other major motivation, especially for the Cortlaw siblings.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Nana to her father, who died of a heart attack just after she stormed out of an argument with him. Subverted when he comes back as a ghost and she finally does get to say goodbye to him as he's dragged down to the river Styx.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain:
    • Rio Kurotori, while serving as The Mole, tells Roji a story about herself shielding Biko from an exploding potion, and comparing it to the way Muhyo is exerting himself for Roji's sake, causes him to come to an epiphany and be able to use his wards effectively against Face-Ripper Sophie. She lampshades this to a degree when she points out that she had to seem cooperative.
    • Goryo shoves Nana outside of her protective circle, endangering her life. However, Nana is able to hear the ghost's voice, and realizes the best way to get through to her; use Kokkuri to communicate with the ghost's daughter (an otherwise invisible thought-entity) and bring the daughter out to calm the ghost down.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Muhyo and Shooter: Roji realizes they're both kind people that put on a jerkass act so others don't get hurt.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Julio is typically quite lazy and notes that Teeki never had to work on him as a result, but once his curse activates, the heroes are unable to move, and thus in dire straits.
  • Not-So-Omniscient Council of Bickering: The MLS Council of Elders is rather skeptical about reports that Teeki has returned, and refuses to let the news about the theft of the forbidden book of magical law become public, lest they lose their jobs.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Tomas came off as a Manchild during his time as an M.L.S. teacher, but in reality, he was a wanted criminal who'd forged his identity. He even managed to fool Page, who's also smarter than he looks, for a while. Even when Muhyo and the other heroes confront Tomas knowing full well that he's evil, Tomas manages to get Muhyo to briefly lower his guard and sentence him to Beelzebub's Jewel Box (which doesn't work on Tomas, who has a pact with Beelzebub himself).
  • Odd Friendship: Imai and Busujima. Imai is a rather serious Tsundere, while Busujima's more laid-back and eccentric.
  • One-Winged Angel: Some of the Ark members and Isabi.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname:
    • Roji, aka Jiro Kusano.
    • Also, Yuu Abiko, more commonly known as Biko.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Muhyo's anger is mostly comical, but there are times when he's truly angry, such as when Roji, eager to test his pen, goes off to help Nana deal with a haunt. When Roji makes a basic mistake (trying to write out the talismans in advance), Muhyo then enters a Tranquil Fury and tells Roji that he'll be fired if he makes another mistake like that.
    • During the fight with Tomas, Muhyo is noticeably furious with Tomas. Instead of snarking at Tomas, Muhyo makes it clear how much he'll enjoy sending Tomas to Hell to pay for his crimes.
  • Parental Abandonment:
    • Nana's father is dead and her mother left after divorcing him.
    • Literal version with Panza whose family literally pushed her out the door once they found out about MLS and made it very clear they didn't want to see her again. All because she could see ghosts.
  • Perpetual Poverty: Muhyo and Roji, as a result of not having many cases and being a small and not very well-known Magical Law office. Muhyo wants to keep the office small, as he notes "Go public and you'll end up like Goryo."
  • Pet the Dog: Goryo, after firing Ebisu for failing Maneuver 108, chastises his driver for going the wrong way, and then says that Ebisu would never make that mistake, a remark made without thinking about it. Realizing what he just said, he insists that the driver forget about it.
  • Playing with Fire: Rio's favored method of attacking with forbidden magical law. Easily can end up in Kill It with Fire.
  • A Pupil of Mine Until He Turned to Evil: Enchu to Page.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Chief Inquisitor Page.
  • Polite Villains, Rude Heroes: Enchu, the Big Bad, was a Nice Guy back when he was in school, and is Affably Evil after his Face–Heel Turn. Muhyo, however, is consistently a short-tempered, snarky Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A lot of the problems in this series could've been solved before they even begin if the characters bothered to listen to one another. For example, Enchu went down his path because he though Muyho was honestly trying to steal the Executior spot from him If anything, Muyho was trying to help him as he knew how badly he wanted to help his mother. And it isn't till he's nearly too far gone and has killed people that he finally listens.
  • Post-Script Season: After Teeki's defeat, the following stories really feel like this.
  • Pseudo-Romantic Friendship: Rie and Taeko were practically inseparable, as each other's Only Friend, and didn't even care what others thought as long as they had each other. Sadly, when Rie joined the volleyball team, Taeko didn't take it well.
  • Rage Against the Mentor: Roji lashes out at Muhyo at one point, angrily asking him why he doesn't teach him anything despite his efforts to be a good assistant, and asks if it's because he doesn't trust him. Muhyo coldly tells him that his actions during the competition were to force Roji to show him what he could do, but now that he didn't deliver, he intends to put him on leave so that he can realize what he must do.
  • Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs: Yuuri tries this against the Hades Lord, only for it to do basically nothing.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Muhyo frequently gives these. Page gives a brief one to Enchu after he coldly reacts to seeing an unconscious Yoichi, and tells him that Yoichi has been putting all his effort into investigating him and bringing him back despite his evil deeds.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Panza, Bobby, Kid
  • Retirony: Two guards who are engaged and planning to move away from the Arcanum get killed by Face-Ripper Sophie, who assumes the female guard’s identity.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Enchu competed with Muhyo for an Executor job, but snapped and turned evil when Muhyo was chosen over him.
  • Samus Is a Girl: Yu "Biko" Abiko has short and unkempt hair, wears a wizard hat and loose robes, and uses the personal pronou boku (used by boys and some tomboyish girls). Roji's rather surprised when Biko turns out to be the girl.
  • Save the Villain: Muhyo not only finds a way to save Enchu from Demonic Possession by Teeki, but also saves him from falling to his death.
  • Saying Too Much: Yoichi visits Bico's cottage only to find her apprentices refusing to let her see him. One of them tells him that Bico ordered them to keep the matter with Muhyo a secret, inadvertently telling them what Bico wanted to keep secret.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Muhyo summons his own envoy to prevent Goryo's envoy from taking the ghost of Ai's mother to hell, and eventually arranges for both mother and daughter to go to the Styx instead. Despite this, Muhyo does acknowledge that he did lose the competition, and surrenders his office to Goryo.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • Page, with Roji. He offers to take Roji on as his assistant, but Roji insists firmly that he'll stay with Muhyo. He passes, of course.
    • The Hades Lord challenging would-be contractors ends up being this. He's too powerful for any of Muhyo's envoys to defeat, but when Muhyo refuses to give up, and convinces Yoichi and Biko to do the same, the Hades Lord agrees to make a contract with Muhyo. If Muhyo had fled, Hades would have killed him and his friends.
  • Secretly Selfish: During the retreat, Roji realizes that he'd been seeking Muhyo's approval instead of honestly thinking about what he should do for him. That epiphany, as well as the tempering he receives from Ebisu, helps him to defeat Bellocent.
  • Sempai/Kōhai: Goryo was Muhyo's sempai in the MLS academy.
  • Seven Deadly Sins:
    • One of the envoys uses this theme, attacking with seven barrels that each possess a certain animal on them and correspond to one of the sins.
    • Julio's contracted demon is the Red Witch, said to be the laziest demon in hell. When his curse triggers he becomes both versions of "sloth", extremely lazy and filled with despair: "We're doomed, we're going to die, so let's all die together".
  • He is Not My Boyfriend: Imai gets angry and chases Busujima down when she refers to Roji as her boyfriend.
  • Ship Tease: Roji and Imai, at various points, such as when Busujima suggests he's Imai's boyfriend.
  • Shout-Out: Roji's first visit to MLS is a lot like Harry's first visit to Diagon Alley.
  • Slasher Smile: Muhyo and Ebisu.
  • Smug Snake: Goryo, to the core. He's Weak, but Skilled and competent enough to hold his own against Muhyo, but bites off more than he can chew when he challenges Ark.
  • Soul Jar: Teeki has a mark on Enchu in the event his body is destroyed. His spirit transfers to Enchu's body and slowly takes it over.
  • Spectacular Spinning: Umekichi rolls down a spiral staircase, spinning all the way to increase his speed by a factor of several hundred, killing Mick when he hits him with his Dragon Wheel
  • Spell Book: The magic law books owned by Executors. They also come packaged with a convenient Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Averted in a one-shot chapter, where a ghost of a boy had been said to be "stalking" a girl in life, but he merely wants to be friends with her. Played straight with Panza, for Roji.
  • Standard Evil Organization Squad: Ark.
  • Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl
  • The Stoic: Muhyo rarely shows any emotion besides calm detachment, slight annoyance or amused disdain, even when he's fighting against former friends or particularly evil ghosts.
  • Suck Out the Poison: Rio does this for Biko, but subverted in that it doesn't work.
  • Sugar-and-Ice Personality: Goryo to a T, at least pre-8.
  • Summon Magic: The series is built with Summon Magic.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • Since only Executors can sentence spirits, and they're in short supply, the Magic Law Association has to imprison many of the ghosts they catch in various prisons. They're not proud of that fact, so they keep the existence of those prisons secret.
    • During the magical law retreat, Page locks the examinees in the dorm and releases haunts inside to test their abilities. Unfortunately, this test becomes much more dangerous than he expected when a notorious haunt smuggles himself in, and the participants nearly die. As punishment for a blunder this severe, Page gets fired, and the Council of Elders says even that punishment was lenient considering what happened.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Enchu desperately wanted to become an Executor, while Muhyo was apathetic about it, to the point of saying he'd give it to Enchu if he was chosen. Muhyo is chosen for "thinking of others", and because of Enchu's preoccupation with his sick mother being a point against him (which becomes true given that Teeki killed his mother to drive him over the edge).
  • Synchronization: Referred to as "syntony". A side effect of forming a flesh and blood contract.
  • Taken for Granite: The Gingko Hag's ability.
  • Taking the Bullet: Yuuri for Muhyo. Later on, Panza for Roji.
  • Talk to the Fist: As Tomas starts gloating about having a contract with Beelzebub, making him invulnerable to Muhyo's attempt to sentence him, Muhyo has Roji throw a Ward of Dissipation at Tomas' head, then quips, "Less talk, more fight, scumwad."
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: During the magical law retreat, Roji and the twins end up together with Ebisu. Ebisu is as much of a Jerkass as before, deriding the twins for being Second Clerks while lording his status as Judge over them, while the twins mock Ebisu for being rather useless despite his rank.
  • They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!: “That’s Miss Q-La to you.”
  • Think Nothing of It: Goryo, when he gives Muhyo and Roji back their bureau.
  • This Loser Is You: Roji, although he improves.
  • Together in Death: Kid thinks this about his family in his dying moments.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Roji starts out as a lowly Second Clerk without much knowledge of his job, but ends up becoming a lot better at magical law and performing feats well above his rank.
  • Tsundere: Imai typically is fairly stern and often gets irritated by her best friend Busujima’s antics, but often shows a softer side, like when she cries after Roji fails the advancement test that would let him stay as Muhyo’s assistant.
  • The Un-Favorite: "Face Ripper" Sophie in life, was left out of many social events for how she looked, and responded by killing her sister and tearing off and wearing her face. Then again said sister did have it coming.
  • Unskilled, but Strong: Roji has a high amount of spiritual energy (he can make five seals to Yoichi's three) but almost no training or even knowledge of his own strengths thanks to Muhyo's laziness. He's actually even more powerful than that — Page slipped him a bow tie as a child to keep him safe from ghosts, but didn't say what it was: an energy suppressor.
  • Unspoken Plan Guarantee: During the battle with Tomas, Muhyo, noticing that his envoys can't move through the wind caused by Tomas's vacuum, asks for Roji's attention. Roji is next seen writing some Wards of Dissipation, asking Muhyo if the plan will work, only to be told, "You got a better idea? Just do it!" Muhyo's Strike envoys then ride Roji's wards over to Tomas(an outcome that surprises Muhyo) and slice him up. The plan works, but Tomas then goes One-Winged Angel, at which point Muhyo realizes that he'll need another strategy to defeat Tomas for good.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom:
    • In the first chapter, some girls recruited Rie for the volleyball team. Rie starting to hang out with them drives a wedge between her and Taeko, resulting in the latter's accidental death.
    • Face-Ripper Sophie's older sister, by bad-mouthing her behind her back resulted in Sophie killing her and taking her face, then becoming a haunt that killed at least 2,000 people.
  • Vague Age: The main cast's ages are never specified, although Muhyo is said to be the youngest Executor in history, and his promotion happened within a few years of the start of the story.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Busujima hides tempering medicine between her breasts to prevent Imai from finding out how reckless her magic use is.
  • Villainous Breakdown: Both Teeki and Enchu in the final battle The former when he realizes that the heroes have him cornered and he's on his last legs trying desperately to keep himself bound to Enchu to avoid being killed. The latter when Muhyo and Roji slowly whittle away his evil resolve by revealing Teeki's true scheme and help him come to terms with his mother's death.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Seven-Faced Dog.
  • Weak, but Skilled:
    • Yoichi is unable to use magical law, but as a Judge, is skilled with seals, circles and other magical tools.
    • Muhyo describe the Goryo group as "not too good with the big magical laws," but adept at strategy and teamwork.
  • Welcome Back, Traitor: Played straight with Rio.
  • Wham Episode:
    • The Arcanum arc results in Rio being exposed as a traitor, the introduction of ancient haunt Teeki as a major antagonist, and the revelation that the three of them have an entire organization of forbidden magical law users with them.
    • The end of the contest between Muhyo and Goryo. Despite having exorcised the ghost, Muhyo loses, since Goryo had technically executed his plan first, so Muhyo has to give up his agency. Muhyo, having realized that Roji still doesn't understand what he needs to, puts Roji on leave to study and improve himself.
  • Wham Line: Rio revealing that she's in league with Enchu.
    • Also Muhyo's response to the outcome of the contest between him and Goryo.
      Muhyo: Who said we won?
    • Muhyo's decision after losing to Goryo
      Muhyo: (to Roji) I suppose now's as good a time as any. I'm putting you on leave until further notice.
    • During the final battle with Enchu, who's fused with Teeki, Muhyo points to a skull and asks if Enchu recognizes it, only to hear that he does not. He then suggests that Teeki not only took advantage of Muhyo and Enchu's rivalry, but killed Enchu's mother, resulting in him turning evil.
      Muhyo: He paired us up, let us fight, and waited for his chance to grab one of us. That about right? Hm, Teeki?
      Roji: Muhyo, you don't mean- Enchu's mom?
      Muhyo: I do mean. She was the trigger that set the whole thing off.
    • Near the end of the manga, a long-forgotten wrinkle in Roji's provisional rank comes up.
      Muhyo: So you're happy with getting fired?
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Vector wants ghosts to have rights unfortunately the manga ended before that could be fully explored.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: How Muhyo and Roji first met.
  • Wizarding School: The Magic Law School, more commonly referred to as MLS.
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds:
    • Vector, a cursed half-ghast child whose curse activates if he fulfills basic needs like food or companionship, and who, merely by sitting still, sets up spirit roots that drain many people's souls.
    • Also Yuki Otada, who is sympathetic enough that Muhyo gives him a Lotus-Eater Machine while sending him to Hell.
  • Wrong Assumption: In Nana's introductory arc, Muhyo believes that her father's ghost is guilty of unlawful entry to a residence and inflicting bodily harm, but he's wrong on both counts, resulting in the envoy attacking him, rather than the ghost. Muhyo then realizes that her father was just giving her an Affectionate Gesture to the Head, and that he's only guilty of unauthorized posterial floating.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: A particularly cruel version happens to Yuki Otada, when the kids who had bullied him falsely apologize offer him their contact information to stay in touch. After trying to contact them and discovering the information was false, he is Driven to Suicide.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Teeki makes a Breaking Speech to this effect when his victory seems certain, noting that Enchu is a prime example.
  • You Have Failed Me: Ark isn't afraid to kill one of their own if they fail in a fight against the heroes. So much for unity.
  • You Killed My Father: The Cortlaw kids and Rio's main grudge against the MLS.
  • Your Princess Is in Another Castle!: After Face Ripper Sophie is defeated, Rio reveals that she deliberately released ghosts from the Arcanum and is a member of Ark.


Video Example(s):


Bedroom Ghost

Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation - Ep 21 (Under the Sod): Muhyo and Roji return back to their old building (having lost it to Goryo in a wager) where they run into their friends, Nana and Kenj. After finding it abandoned for some odd reason, they settle in to rest for a bit. While talking Kenji mentions feeling an odd presence while playing his recorder earlier. Roji, Nana and he investigate the room he felt it and it seems normal... at first.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / StringyHairedGhostGirl

Media sources: