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Manga / Project ARMS

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Ryo Takatsuki is an Ordinary High-School Student who, when he was young, was in a serious car accident. The doctors were unable to save Ryo's arm, and were forced to replace it with a strange new prosthetic. While his new arm does appear to possess some odd abilities, Ryo thought nothing of it for years until he was attacked by Hayato Shingu, a recent transfer student to his school. After fending off Hayato with some self-defense techniques his dad taught him, Ryo discovers that Hayato's left arm is a cybernetic entity known as ARMS. Even more world-shattering, is that Ryo's right arm is also an ARMS. After some initial misunderstandings, Ryo and Hayato realize that they were tricked into fighting each other by an organization known as the Egrigori, who hopes to destroy those who are implanted with ARMS.

Ryo, Hayato, and Ryo's girlfriend Katsumi are able to track down the other ARMS teens, Takeshi Tomoe and Kei Kurama, all the while pursued by the Egrigori. Things take a turn for the worst when Katsumi is apparently killed, and Ryo discovers firsthand the ARMS true power: each contains an AI entity capable of mass destruction. Ryo and the other ARMS teens must find Katsumi and stop the Egrigori before they can kill the ARMS teens and the last hope the world has!

Ryo and friends appear in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, Sunday VS Magazine: Shuuketsu! Choujou Daikessen.

Unrelated to the Wild ARMs series or the Nintendo Switch game ARMS.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Adaptive Ability: What makes Jabberwock so deadly. It can adapt to whatever attacks it encounters and overcome any defenses with enough time to analyze the threat. This ability allows him to even nullify the healing factor of other ARMs users that usually makes them nigh-unkillable.
  • Alice Allusion: All of the ARMS are named after characters from the Alice books. Later, it is revealed that one of the Egrigori team members and experimental child is a blonde girl named Alice (she even reads Alice in Wonderland to the other children at one point). After she is absorbed by an alien life form, she refers to the world she creates as Wonderland.
  • Alice in Wonderland: Almost everything in this series is named after Alice in wonderland, from the names of the four character's ARMS (Jabberwock, White Knight, White Rabbit, Queen of Hearts) to an appearance by Alice herself.
  • Ancient Conspiracy: The Egrigori are implied to have their hands in everything. You know that nation that recently had a revolution? Egrigori. The reason why many countries are still around. Egrigori. The Man Behind the Man in virtually every conspiracy theory? Egrigori!
  • Arm Cannon: The first weapon the Jabberwock produced.
  • Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Kou Carnegie. It was never stated what he was trained in, but he was able to defeat any enemy sans fully-evolved ARMS users with his bare hands.
  • The Atoner: Dr Tillinghast, though he's a pretty big Jerkass about it.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Kou Carnegie again. Hayato also briefly becomes this when the group's ARMS went to sleep. His grandpa is also one.
  • Badass Normal: Ryo's dad, Iwao Takatsuki a.k.a. "Wind". Fights ARMS, Cyborgs, Mutants, and Enhanced soldiers, without any superpowers of his own.
    • And Ryo's mom and Hayato's grandpa. And the parents of the Chapel children. And Koichi Kabuto. And all of the Blue Men (besides Keith Blue himself). Really, a character has to be this if they aren't a mutant or Egrigori experiment, or else they usually die.
    • The 4 ARMS children also becomes this when they were briefly depowered, easily taking out a bunch of ARMS-enhanced Egrigori soldiers.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Kei and Hayato. Possibly best summed up when the group is crawling through a tunnel. Hayato comments on the lovely view (of Kei's rear) and Kei gives him a good kick in the face. Ryo and Kastumi could be considered a mild version of this, earlier in the series.
  • Body Horror: Anyone who undergoes cybernetic augmentation by the Egrigori or happens to have an ARM prosthetic. Just look at what happens when Ryo turns into the Jabberwock. His face is absorbed into Jabberwock's chest.
    • Or Keith Green, whose head is growing out of the Cheshire Cat's head.
  • Brought Down to Badass: After the ARMS group destroyed Egrigori's headquarters, their ARMS went to sleep and they became seemingly normal students. Their combat experience, however, means that they can take on Egrigori's ARMS users when they attack with little difficulty.
    • Earlier on, Hayato temporarily lost his ability to summon Knight, but it was exactly this and a bit of Training from Hell which allows him to realize that he has sealed his true potential by being too reliant on his ARMS.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Ryo's mom doesn't fight fair, allowing someone to take her hostage and lower their guard so she can cap them in the head. When outnumbered she quickly reveals a hidden heavy machine gun and unloads it into everyone trying to charge in the front door.
  • Conducting the Carnage: In Project ARMS Second, Keith Green conducts the slaughter of Ryo, his friends, and their new child with a series of helicopter fire and missiles as he listens to music on his headphones. He aptly refers to it as his symphony "Hell Come Destiny".
  • Cynicism Catalyst: Ryo Takatsuki goes on a brief downward spiral after believing he caused the death of his childhood friend (and girl he loved) Katsumi. When it turns out she was really alive, he spends most of the series traveling from Japan to America with his friends to rescue her, only to watch her be killed again by his own hands by accident (the bad guy threw her in front of himself as Ryo attacked), which causes Ryo to nearly bring about the end of the world out of his guilt and sadness. Then, when it turns out she's not dead again but is implanted with ARMS of her own and kidnapped by the evil organization Ryo's been fighting he must again battle his sadness while setting off to rescue her.
  • Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Because the scientists at Egrigori screwed up when implanting ARMS in Keith Blue, he can only use his ARMS once in his lifetime. Unfortunately when he does he is subjected to The Worf Effect. He does get a very satisfying Taking You with Me Heroic Sacrifice against White which, while not enough to kill the latter, allows the others to take him down much more easily.
  • Death of a Child: Absolutely. Children being abused, killed, and experimented on in a variety of unimaginable horrible ways is one of the hallmarks of the series. A group of children is gunned down, for the crime of wanting to see the outside world. And the order was given by the guy who was the closest they had to a father.
  • Defector from Decadence: Yugo, Dr. Tillinghast, Al Bowen, Keith Violet.
  • Designer Babies: The Chapel children. They were all the result of a group of women being given, without their knowledge, drugs that enhanced the intelligence of their unborn children. Not only that, but the parents are unable to properly care for their children because they're all afraid of them. Worse, though the children take on adult roles in the town they run, it becomes evident that the kids still need the love and support of their parents.
  • Enemy Within: Jabberwock
  • Evolving Weapon: The Jabberwock
  • Eye Scream: Kei's ARMS are for her eyes. This means that when she was a child, she went through a horrible accident that involved having her eyes put out, made slightly less traumatic probably because the ARMS completely mimicked her old set of eyes (in the manga her eyes were stabbed out by a psychotic murderer and in the anime they were burned out while she and some kids tried to escape a burning building).
  • Four-Temperament Ensemble: Ryo is Phlegmatic, Hayato is Choleric, Takeshi is Sanguine, and Kei is Melancholic.
  • Godhood Seeker: Keith White's true intention is to use ARMS to merge with the earth itself to turn into a god.
  • Good Parents: All of the ARMs users adoptive families are like this, especially Ryo's with the exception of the Blue Men, who were initially somewhat abusive and deriding of Kei.
  • Guns Akimbo: Ryo's mom is infamous for her mastery of this, allowing her to snipe targets with dual pistols while falling four stories and landing without a scratch in an apron!
  • Healing Factor: All persons with ARMS have this. The dangerous thing about the Jabberwock is that it can counter this.
    • So can Knight. Just ask Keith Red. In fact, he's actually supposed to kill Jabberwock.
  • Heroic Host: Cyborg bits with artificial intelligences.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: When Ryo confronted Takeshi for the first time, it was only the second time his ARMS was activated, and Takeshi was pretty much throwing a tantrum at the time, which left a bemused Hayato looking at Ryo flailing his ARMS around while begging it to stop and Takeshi's ARMS legs pounding the ground like a kid throwing a hissy fit.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: The last remark made by Ryo at the close of the second episode of the anime is, literally, "I think we just became brothers in ARMS".
  • I Will Find You: Ryo and his allies spend most of the series trying to find and rescue Katsumi.
  • Knight in Shining Armor: White Knight's motif. He's even referred to as such in Takeshi's dream.
  • Large Ham: Al Bowen is really turning into one.
  • Lima Syndrome: Keith Green falls in love with Katsumi, who is kind to him. He eventually tries to save her from the Egrigori.
  • Muggle Foster Parents:
    • Subverted. While Ryo's parents aren't his biological mother and father, they are two of the most hardcore, badass mercenaries the world has ever known. And they still love him like a real son with all their heart, despite his heritage.
    • Apparently subverted with Hayato's foster dad. In the little bit of him that is seen in a memory, he has no problem trying to kill one of the Keiths with a sword to save Hayato.
  • Nano Machines: How the ARMS work.
  • Nice Guy: Takeshi after joining the team.
  • Nice Mean And In Between: Ryo, Hayato, and Takeshi
  • Official Couple: Ryo and Katsumi, Kei and Hayato, and Kabuto and Lee.
  • One-Winged Angel: Anyone who has ARMS in their system has one of these.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Played with. Three of the four ARMS teens seem this way, but it turns out all of the ARMS were ''grown'' for the sole purpose of implanting ARMS in them. And then the three "normal" teens families turn out to not be so normal, Hayato's dad is a ninja, Takeshi Wangsts about how he has had his ARMS since he was little, and they've been nothing but trouble, and Ryo's parents are a badass Spy Couple.
  • Papa Wolf: his codename actually is wolf. Mama Bear's however is panther.
  • Phlebotinum Rebel
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: Pretty much literally. Almost every Egrigori experiment uses a child as the test subject. Most prominent are the Keith clones which were implanted with the first ARMS, many of which turned into monsters as a result, the Chapel children who were given drugs while in the womb to make them super smart and work as scientists for the group, various mutant and psychic children taken to be soldiers, and Alice who was on the research team and whose dying body was bonded to an alien lifeform and became a computer controlling the Egrigori. There's also the other ARMS teens, who were specially genetically engineered to be soldiers to take down the Egrigori.
  • Power Fist: Ryo's and Hayato's ARMS manifests from one arm, leading them to use it like this, at least at first.
  • Red Baron: Ryo's parents have a very fearsome reputation in the criminal and military underworld as an invincible husband-wife mercenary duo. Ryo's mom was known as the "Laughing Panther" and the "Cackling Hell-Witch" for being all smiles and laughter while brutally killing her enemies.
  • Red Right Hand: Ryo has a literal one of these. Hayato has a Silver Left Hand.
  • Retired Badass: Ryo's parents were two of the deadliest mercenaries alive prior to retiring as a businessman and housewife respectively. Their skills haven't dulled one bit and each of them is a One-Man Army feared as a "monster" in the underworld.
  • Secret Project Refugee Family: All of the main characters.
  • Shipper on Deck: Yugo ships Ryo and Katsumi after realizing how much they love each other. Keith Green does too, though it's very brief since he dies not long after he decides this.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Hayato in spades. The number of swears he gives throughout the series outnumbers any other character.
  • Split Personality: All of the ARMS teens have AI running inside their prosthetic limbs.
    • In a subversion, the Keiths don't. It was by design since having that AI means there is a very high chance that the original ARMS will reject its host.
    • Don't forget Alice who literally splits into a good half and an evil half after her "death" and Keith Black, who is a sweet child but grows up to be extremely sadistic. Of course, he's actually being controlled by his father Keith White, who later takes over his body.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Ryo's ARMS, the Jabberwock, is a hulking demonic humanoid capable of massive amounts of destruction. It takes all of Ryo's normal abilities up to eleven, and in addition can blast fire. Not to mention it's said at its peak it can generate antimatter. Simply put, don't tick Ryo off.
  • Takes One to Kill One: Among ARMS, the Jabberwock has the unique ability to negate other ARMS healing factor, which makes it one of the few things that can destroy another ARMS.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Hayato, after Takeshi went into a coma, went off and met Wind, Ryo's father and a Badass Normal ninja and received some Training from Hell which awakened his latent martial arts abilities which had been hammered into him since he was a child by his grandfather.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: The Egrigori are shown to have no problem offing large groups of witnesses and using their many government and police connections to hush it up. When two agents attempt to blow up a high school (simply because they themselves had been picked on in school), one points out that they could do whatever they liked and get it all passed off as a gas leak. One of the ARMS teens tells how, to get to him, the Egrigori blew up, burned down, and gunned his entire town (the same town was blown up, burned down, and gunned again when the protagonists return for answers). Later, the Red Caps basically cut off all possible escape routes from a town so the ARMS can't escape and holds the entire large town hostage with a nuke (thankfully it more or less turns out well). A flashback shows that Keith White had no problem having his soldiers machine gun a group of children. Oh, and the big climactic battle involved Black Alice seizing control of nuclear missiles and lobbing them at America while the Jabberwock goes on rampage, blowing everything up. Baked Apple indeed...
  • Title Drop: The title refers to an experiment in which ARMS are installed in four children. Double meaning in ARMS also (while two of the children received their implants in their arms, ARMS is used in the sense of "weapon").
  • Transformation Trauma: Ryo gets this after activating his ARMS for the first time. The anime implies that Hayato went through something similar his first time.
  • Too Good for This Sinful Earth: Katsumi, Alice, and Yugo are all innocent, good-natured girls who are killed off in rather dramatic ways. Katsumi and Alice come back. Yugo doesn't.
    • Further emphasized by Yugo's codename, "Angel".
  • True Companions: The protagonists of course. At one point, they are described by an enemy as parts of a whole body (Yugo as the "ears", Kei as the "eyes", Takashi as the "legs", and Ryo and Hayato as the "arms"). In the anime, they jokingly refer to each other as "comrades in ARMS".
  • Tsundere: Kei, but she gets milder as her relationship with Hayato develops.
  • Vibration Manipulation: One of Ryo's abilities is generating powerful vibrations that can destroy objects on a molecular level.
  • Wham Episode: The episode where Katsumi is apparently "killed" and Ryo goes into an Unstoppable Rage and turns into the Jabberwock for the first time certainly counts.
    • Or the penultimate fight in America when Katsumi apparently dies again (seeing a pattern here?) and Ryo once more is taken over by the Jabberwock. This time Dark Alice joins in, hijacking several nuclear missiles and lobbing them at New York while Keith White tries to toss Violet off of a building as she shoots down said missiles and all of the ARMS teens and Yugo fight inside of Wonderland to save Ryo. Yeah...
  • What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Takeshi, Hayato, and Ryo's ARMS are all excellent for unleashing massive cans of whup-ass on Egrigori cyborgs. Kei's, not so much. Lampshaded by Kei herself. This lasts until Kei's Queen of Hearts gets the Shield of Aegis ability, capable of nullifying nigh any attack
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Blue Men. They're an undercover organization dedicated to bringing down the Egrigori. When the ARMS teens show up, they're greeted with a party. Better group, right? Until you realize that they were the ones who performed the ARMS experiments which meant that they were responsible for the vast number of deformed people found in the lab in Abumisawa village, not to mention the fact that they treated Kei horribly when she was raised there which caused her quite a lot of psychological damage. Ryo and the others quickly call them out on that and refuse to align themselves with them.