Follow TV Tropes


Manga / M×0

Go To
M×0 (Emu Times Zero) is a manga by Yasuhiro Kano, which was serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump from 2006 to 2008. Its 99 chapters were compiled into 10 volumes.

A hot-tempered boy named Taiga Kuzumi has failed the entrance exam to Seinagi Private High School. With little memory of what had actually happened, he sets out to confront the girl who had burst out laughing at him during his interview, sure that she is to blame, only to be mistaken by a teacher for trying to sneak out instead of in. Turns out that Seinagi is actually a Wizarding School, and due to a complicated chain of events ending in said teacher being blown up, now everyone believes him to be an elite magic user—when he can't use magic at all!

Now Taiga has to put his wits to the test in order to keep up that cover, or both he and the teacher will be in very big trouble.

This manga provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert:
    • Taiga many times, but the one that stand out the most is him trying to protect the girls from the other boys using magic to peep. Unsurprisingly he was caught trying to help and punished by the females.
    • A little bit later after the student body knows him a bit better he expects to be punished for somehow ending up in the girls only swim time, but they just laugh and say it's OK because they know he didn't mean anything bad. It probably didn't hurt that he just saved around half a dozen girls from drowning, though.
  • Action Girl:
    • Kuzumi Kokuha; every appearance has her kicking somebody's ass—usually Taiga's, and someone else's, too
    • Mikuni, Hiragi's friend, unlike most other girls, uses direct physical fighting methods.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Mizuki likes Taiga, but he is blind to her affections. Koishikawa likes Mizuki, but she disliked him even before she started to crush on Taiga. Lucy has a thing for Taiga, but he can't even fathom loving her or Mizuki because he is crazy for Hiragi. Who also has a thing for him. And then the series ends without settling any of the romantic subplots.
  • Anti-Magic: Taiga eventually trades in his fake magic card for one whose sole ability is to use up the points stored on it to create an anti-magic field. After sufficient training, Taiga is able to control the field's size, shape, and location around him.
  • Awesomeness by Analysis: Taiga manages to defeat several powerful mages by seeing their power and using their own limitations against them. During the Class matches he defeats two people, defeated one forced the other to retreat, only taking one injury because he knew exactly how to work around their power after seeing it once before, and he only used some twigs and two rocks.
  • Badass Boast: Taiga uses this to avoid fights, and get out of performing magic in class. It has a decent success rate.
    Taiga: "What is this? Your level isn't high enough for me to use magic. Since this is nothing, how about you go away and we can do this some other time?"
    (Taiga's thoughts): Please do so!
  • Batman Gambit:
    • Taiga uses a few of these along with his bluffs to get by. He would pretty much be Batman, except he uses leaves, sticks and rocks instead of state of the art gadgets.
    • The school principal is hinted to have some sort of gambit going on by making Taiga keep his MO instead of normal magic, but that is never resolved.
  • Beta Couple: Tsugawa and Megane: their classmates cannot forgive their happiness.
  • The Berserker: Koishikawa keeps running straight at a problem with more magic bullets. He knows it's a bad strategy but it's the one he likes.
  • Big Eater: Karusone Natsuko as seen in the Cultural Festival arc. Taiga only beats her at eating magically enlarged food by shrinking it in his mouth with M0.
  • Big Little Brother: Kokuha's Berserk Button is being mistaken for being younger then Taiga because of her shorter stature. This is a dangerous mistake to make since she is a champion martial artist and very much a Cute Bruiser.
  • Blatant Lies: Taiga's modus operandi for why he does not use magic. His most common excuse is that he believes should only be used in an emergency.
  • Blood Knight: Koishikawa and Ise. Ise gets better after having a fight with Taiga.
  • Butt-Monkey: Because his whole class thinks that Taiga is invincible because of his magic skill, they use him to test out new spells and anything dangerous. It prompts him to hide from them a few times.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Taiga to Hiragi and vice versa. Mizuki to Taiga.
    • Actually, Hiragi was about to at one point, but then her dad showed up.
      • And then subverted when it turns out that she actually just wanted to join Taiga in the Magic Executive Committee.
  • Caught the Heart on His Sleeve: Hiragi to Taiga early on during a Locked in a Room moment.
  • Character Shilling: Hiragi (daughter) is constantly shilled by Taiga, despite be not very dynamic or interesting. In fact, when you put both her and Mizuki side by side, you could question why Mizuki isn't the main love interest...
  • Chekhov's Gun: The student's entry cards allow for them to see through the illusions mandrakes emit to make people think they are cute girl. Taiga doesn't have that and cries at the thought of "murdering" the "girl." As it turns out the mandrakes are telepathically connected to each other, so they all saw and remembered this action. It's a key reason Lucy agrees to help Taiga before falling for him.
  • Cool Chair: Taiga has one when he first in chapter 2 after he transfers in. It just adds to his persona as the biggest badass magic user in the school.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Taiga as he is really lacking in magic or has to hide the fact he has M0. He must use other, less than honorable means to win.
  • Creepy Crosses: The man behind the incident at the Culture Festival made his accomplices wear crosses in one way or another to be recognizable.
  • Dark Horse Victory: Downplayed. Ultimetely, there's no romantic resolution to Taiga, but it's Lucy who goes with him to his one-year-training to get a gold plate, while Hiragi and Mizuki stay at Seinagi.
  • Determinator: Taiga in general. Exemplified when he was in a spirit form he tried so hard to climb a vertical wall that he caused his real body to start bleeding. All so that he could gain a little more power, and make Hiragi's dream come true.
  • Deus Exit Machina: Lucy is continently absent during the Cultural festival when they were dealing with the bomb threat. Her Mandrake Network and her ability to inform the teachers in a completely anonymous way would have made things a lot easier for Taiga and team. Taiga lampshades this.
  • Distant Finale: Quite abruptly.
  • Does Not Like Men: Mizuki says this but she really only seems to dislike her Stalker with a Crush. Also there is no way that she at all in any way likes Taiga!
  • Dude, She's Like in a Coma: When the girls with the largest bust size use magic to make their boobs lighter and then pass out, Ise Kaoru, gets this trope thrown in his face when he starts to ogle. The boys get over their initial trepidation though...
  • Everyone Can See It: Everyone knows that Taiga and Hiragi love each other except them...
  • The Faceless:
    • Tokita Mako's face is either always hidden, or only her mouth and chin is seen. This is part of a joke that her chest is so big that one can tell who she is with just her chest alone.
    • Most of the Third-Year Magic Executive Committee members faces are not shown.
  • Fake Ultimate Hero: Taiga. Everybody thinks he has a Gold Plate and is capable of destroying the Home Ec room with one spell and defeating a teacher. Of course, he can't use magic period and has to bullshit everything.
  • Fan of Underdog: Principal Otome is always helping Taiga whenever she can.
  • Goal in Life: Both Hiragi and Taiga have the same goal: to obtain a gold-level plate before graduation so they can revive Hiragi's mother. Though Hiragi has no idea Taiga plans on using his wish at graduation for this in the event she fails.
  • Good with Numbers:
    • Hiragi shows this talent during the cultural festival. When solving a rather large logic and math puzzle game.
    • Then Daimon does the puzzle even faster with a bored look on his face.
    • Taiga on the other hand could not even grasp the concept.
  • Hard Work Hardly Works: Averted. Taiga has to bust his ass and wits to keep up the illusion of being a genius wizard, as he has no magical skill at all.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: When Kuzumi defeats Daimon, despite the latter's powerful offensive magic, Kuzumi points out when Daimon faced against Higari-looking-like-Kuzumi, she marked his King's crown with the last of her magic and that is what allowed Kuzumi to track him even in the dense forest.
  • Hot for Teacher: While it wasn't her teacher in particular, Kokuha does develop a crush on Hiiragi-sensei
  • Human Shield: Taiga uses a couple in the first chapter while fighting Ise.
  • It's Personal: Koishikawa finds out his crush likes Taiga.
  • Inertia Is a Cruel Mistress: A magic student in the magic game specialized in warp magic. However, the process took a very long time and in the meantime, the two halves were in separate locations. Hilarity Ensued.
  • Inspector Javert: Vice-Principal Kagami despises any rule-breaker regardless of mitigating reasons. He starts an investigation of Taiga due to inconsistencies that could expose not just Taiga's unorthodox and rules-violating entry into school but also ruin Hiragi-sensei and the Principal.
  • Instant Runes: Izumo when using her Calligrapher's Soul ability
  • Irony: Lucy finds heartwarming and cozy comments disgusting. On the other hand, by the moment she falls for Taiga, she can act all lovey-dovey and say the cheesiest comments. She even considers herself Taiga's wife.
  • Lap Pillow: Taiga gets one from Lucy during an exam and she is ecstatic about it.
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Taiga's memory of the entrance exam, the Lotus-Eater Machine challenge, and what happens to students when the graduate, among other things.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Tsugawa is the fastest man in class F! No, really he uses a skateboard and is a fast a tough fighter. Although his magic messes up more often than not.
  • Little Miss Badass: Kuzumi Kokuha, a champion martial artist, she can kick Taiga's ass, in fact, the fact she used Taiga as a 'punching bag' for so long is the reason he is so tough now.
  • Locked in a Room: Taiga and Hiragi early on to make them work past Taiga holding the idiot ball a few chapter before.
  • Loophole Abuse: In the Lotus-Eater Machine test mentioned below after Taiga and the other two that passed pull Ise Kaoru and Hiragi out of theirs stating that there is no rule that says they cannot.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Part of the magic exams requires you to leave a Lotus-Eater Machine room within 10 minutes. If you do, you pass that portion but lose your memories of inside the room. If you don't, you keep your memories but fail.
  • Lovable Coward: Taiga in many aspects, he does everything he can to get out of an actual fight so that he can stay in one piece and keep his reputation. He can and will fight when he has too, but bluffing, running, and letting his classmates fight for him are his favorite tactics. This only applies to magic fights, any other threat he is the first person running in the most dangerous direction.
  • Love Potion: Proving that he was under the influence of one is how Taiga and Mizuki become acquainted.
  • Made of Iron: Taiga goes though the meat grinder pretty much every magical competition because he is sent though the most dangerous and difficult parts, and he has no magic, but he always manages to keep right on going no matter how damaged he gets.
  • Magnetism Manipulation: Ise uses a form of magic based on magnetism, he can make anything magnetic and attracted to something else, allowing him to stick people to walls and so on.
  • Rendou Niigaki who retired from teaching at the school but helps Taiga level up his M0.
  • Otoya Hanasaki, the previous principal, Otome's father, and the only one who can create Black Plates.
  • One-Liner: Hilariously parodied with Taiga, who's forced to come up with increasingly sappy repartees to cover up for his lack of magical talent. Of course, the excuses never fail to impress his audience.
  • Our Ghosts Are Different: Otoya Hanasaki possesses Taiga's body while the later is working on an upgrade of his plate. While Taiga cannot use magic, the ghost possessing him still has access to his magic he had in life. Hilarity Ensues
  • Parental Abandonment: The only person we ever see in Taiga's family is his abusive older sister Kokuha. Do they never question why he come home beaten up from school just about every day?
    • While the family is put far in the background, we do know they exist. When Taiga is sent back in time to fix his entrance interview his mother asks his sister to bring his entrance folder to him.
  • Pixellation: Parodied in that a special juice was splashed around which causes the object splashed to appear pixelated, often leading to many counts of its Not What It Looks Like.
  • Power Levels: The strength of a mage can be judged fairly well by the color of their plate. The strongest levels are Gold, Ruthenium, and likely Platinum. A full list can be found on the other wiki.
  • Pungeon Master: Michiyo Inui does this because Hiragi finds puns uncontrollably hilarious.
  • The Quiet One: Kagenuma a student in Taiga's class. Even when he does speak no one listens to him.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: The Principal who is open to finding unique solutions to problems, even if they aren't exactly within the rules.
  • The Resenter: Matsuda hates the Student Committee for not accepting his membership.
  • The Reveal: Tokita Mako's face is shown in the final chapter.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Taiga had one between the first and second chapter. A student at his old school was being bullied, so he attacked 12 upper classmen in retaliation. It's also why he was even able to switch into Seinagi.
    • He also had one after Daimon insulted and attacked Hiragi in the Class Matches. He used MO for the first and only time that match because of it.
  • Secret-Keeper:
    • Eventually Mizuki and Hiragi learn of Lucy. They had been wondering why he said that name so much when he was alone...
    • Also Taiga, Hiiragi-sensei ,and the Principal all keep the secret of how Taiga became a student.
    • Lucy is a Secret-Keeper of many of Taiga's secrets.
  • Secret Test of Character: Near the end of the series Taiga is going through a challenge to get a special enhancement to his plate that would allow him to use magic in the outside world, but cannot complete it alone. Lucy uses the last of her energy to give him a boost and he makes it. When he comes to, he sees just the mandrake root, not Lucy, and is told she could be saved but the magic to do so would cost Taiga this victory and he would have to do it all over again. Without hesitation he accepts the deal. The monitor is pleased and tells him Lucy is just tired and sleeping, and if Taiga hadn't agreed to sacrifice his win, the monitor would have failed him.
  • Shout-Out: Niigaki-sensei's smoke magic refers to Super Mario Bros.
  • Smart People Play Chess:
    • In the Principal's office, we have seen Principal Hanasaki playing against Hiragi-sensei. Hiragi-sensie almost always won.
    • In the Cultural Festival Arc, bombs have been planted around the campus and the bomber says the Magic Executive Committee must win against his people to get hints to where the bombs are located. One of the challenges is playing shogi. Hiragi, as she is Kuzumi's assistant, plays this challenge. She not only beats Daimon but thinks he' the bomber's ally, he doesn't even realize her next opponent is the one she has to look for and so plays him without any hesitation.
  • Tap on the Head: Happens a few times and a one shot villain has a KO hammer that has this ability.
  • Training from Hell: Kokuha using Taiga as her punching bag as he was growing up may have actually been this.
  • Tsundere: Mizuki plays this as straight as she possibly can. When her dere-dere side occasionally pops up, though, she REALLY let it goes, going ecstatic everytime Taiga makes a sweet comment about her. An omake have her basically ascending to heavens when she and Taiga are eating okonomiyake and he comments she'd be a good wife.
  • Warrior Therapist: Taiga pulls this in his fight with Ise and in the process saved his friendship with Nagai. Taiga was happy to get out of that fight with as few injuries as he did, and surprised it worked.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Hiragi can turn herself invisible with her powers, but when Taiga had to face her once he kept yelling bad puns to make her laugh and give away her position.
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Played with. Daimon openly insults Hiragi's illusion magic as it has no offensive powers. However, her magic is key in his defeat. She makes herself Taiga's double to lure Daimon out and then casts a spell on his balloon helmet, making it reflective. This allows Taiga to easily spot Daimon as they chase each other through a wooded area. After realizing these facts, Daimon respects her abilities.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Students and teachers alike see no problem with grinding up fully sentient Mandrakes, after all even if they are mentally the same as humans and feel love and pain just as we do they are just ugly plants if you take away their illusion magic.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: Taiga only has his anti magic supernatural ability wise.
    • Ise Kaoru in class F can only makes things magnetic, but after Taiga gave him some ideas on how to use it he became quite good with it.