Hanami Town Shopping District is a small, but busy marketplace with three not-so-ordinary establishments: the Onimaru Chinese Restaurant,the next-door Yaoguro Grocery Store, & Huet Bakery across the street. Having a day in this little shopping district that could be described as "normal" is unlikely.
Miki Onimaru, twenty-year-old poster girl of Onimaru, is an easily distracted, overly violent girl with only her mother Makiko to rein her in (usually with a beatdown). Megumi Kannazuki, also age twenty, owner & poster girl of Huet, puts on a sweet face while hiding a cruel personality. Kankuro Nishiyama, age 24, comes home after finishing college to finally get back at Miki for bullying him in their younger years. A few blocks down lives Wakana Endou, a sweet kid with a rough dog named "Toshiyuki". And last but not least is Akihiko Ohta, owner of Yaoguro, the only paragon of sanity in the block (and even then he has his wild side). These are their stories.
Being a Deconstructive Parody of the Fighting Series, Ramen Fighter Miki (Muteki Kanban Musume note ) is a 17-volume manga series by Jun Sadogawa which was serialized in Weekly Shonen Champion from 2002 to 2006, with a North American release under ADV Manga. A 2006 12-episode anime adaptation also aired as part of the Summer 2006 Anime lineup. Following the end of the manga, a 5-volume sequel was released between 2006 and 2008, called Muteki Kanban Musume Napalm, in which the cast is extended by the employees of the Tekkotsudo Megastore, which threatens the shopping district.
Tropes in Ramen Fighter Miki include:
- Abusive Parents: Played for Laughs. Makiko would frequently give Miki, her Woman Child of a daughter, outright violent curb-stompings. The fact that her daughter is a lazy bully also gives her a plausible reason. It's also deconstructed when you realize that Miki being a bully is partly because of the Abusive Parents.
- Actor/Role Confusion: Happens when a little girl confuses Megumi with Hell Bunny, the villain from Star Rangers. Unusually for this trope, to fool a little girl with that lie is treated In-Universe as a Moral Event Horizon.
- Amusing Injuries: Played straight with everyone except Megumi: When Miki hits her, she is draw realistically and the audience is not amused.
- Angry Guard Dog: Toshiyuki, the Endou family dog.
- Animation Bump: The closest this series got to one is Miki's hissyfit at 5 minutes & 25 seconds into episode one.
- Armor-Piercing Question: This works to sustain the misunderstanding at the One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Wakana talks about how 10 years is too much a time for Belligerent Sexual Tension. Kankuro believes Wakana chastises him because he Can't Catch Up with Miki:Wakana: You're just frustrated because of Onimaru-san, aren't you?... Have you felt that way for a long time?
Kankuro: Ever since I met her at elementary school... so I guess it has been 10 years now...
Wakana: Huh?! It's been ten years and you still haven't made any progress?! I can't believe it! And you call yourself a man?
Kankuro: [Thinking] On some levels that hurt more than any of Miki's punches, nya...
- Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy: Miki, Megumi and Kankuro, themselves Man Children in their own right.
- Attack Hello: Invoked by Megumi after Miki blocks Megumiís attack with her container:
- Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!:
- Miki literally cannot focus in making deliveries without being distracted by helping stray dogs, beating Bit-Part Bad Guys or chasing insects.
- Kayahara-sensei seems to take her responsibilities as a teacher and a Bully Hunter seriously, until she gets her Trademark Favorite Food and then forgets everything else.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Deconstructed when Kankuro becomes a Stalker Without A Crush to analyze Mikiís weakness. Being the resident Idiot Hero, Kankuro uses Insane Troll Logic to ruin this trope:
- Bait-and-Switch Credits: The opening of the show looks several times more serious than the actual content it precedes, complete with a Hot-Blooded theme song from Masami Okui (future member of JAM Project).
- Battle in the Center of the Mind: Akihiko gets one between his justice loving Star Rangers Side and his Enemy Within Hell's Bunny Minion, lampshaded by Miki:Miki: I think this is what they call an internal struggle. The only difference is that this guy is saying everything out loud.
- Becoming the Mask: Just after his Tomato in the Mirror moment, Akihiko decides that even if he is not a Star Ranger, he will be a hero.Kankuro: Hey Akihiko, your body can'tÖ
Akihiko: [Signals Kankuro to shut up] Wakana-chan is waiting for Toshiyuki Ė Kun's safe return. [Theme Music Power-Up begins] Iíve still got willpower. Since I was asked, I have to help her! A manÖ is forged from willpower and perserverance! [Cue Imagine Spotting]
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Episode 6B, The Rift That Looked Like Red String, deconstructs the Fighting Series, showing us this trope is averted when the protagonist of this series obviously lacks the maturity to fall in love with someone else
- Best Served Cold: Kankuro's entire purpose for returning to Hanami is to finally take revenge against Miki for all the abuse she heaped on him since way back to their childhood.
- Bit-Part Bad Guys / Very Punchable Man:
- Miki encounters an unfortunate thief, Lowly Criminal Yakuza, and Japanese Delinquents, all of them only there to Mug The Monster Miki and give her an excuse to Curb-Stomp Battle them, and then be forgotten."Hey Missy, are you going to pretend that you didnít bump into me? You shouldn't distress us ordinary citizens. Maybe you should pay me as an apology."
- This trope also explains why Miki treats Kankuro as the Unknown Rival. Miki has forgotten why Kankuro wants to defeat her, but she considers him a Bit-Part Badguy / Very Punchable Man that keeps meeting her.
- Miki encounters an unfortunate thief, Lowly Criminal Yakuza, and Japanese Delinquents, all of them only there to Mug The Monster Miki and give her an excuse to Curb-Stomp Battle them, and then be forgotten.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Megumi, whose dark side Miki frequently tries to expose.
- The Blind Leading the Blind:
- Miki always wants to help the Victim of the Week. Unfortunately, the two teens from episode 1 A and Suzuki, the would-be delinquent from episode 4 A, immediately recognize Miki as a Womanchild Comedic Sociopath that is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All:Suzuki: What exactly can I learn from someone like her?
- This is the Central Theme of episode 4's Two Shorts: As a teacher, Kayahara-sensei feels it's her obligation to be a Bully Hunter and help her students to reach success. However, her constant depression makes her look like a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, and that prevents her helping anyone.
- Miki always wants to help the Victim of the Week. Unfortunately, the two teens from episode 1 A and Suzuki, the would-be delinquent from episode 4 A, immediately recognize Miki as a Womanchild Comedic Sociopath that is a Know-Nothing Know-It-All:
- Break Them by Talking: Megumi can easily talk down at Miki and shatter her confidence with a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, but it only works because Miki is flawed and Megumi is just another Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up.
- Brick Joke: While the causes of it aren't the same, Miki ends up vomiting in the first and last episodes.
- The Bully/Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Deconstructed by Miki and Megumiís relationship.
- Miki fits the traditional bully archetype: powerful but not too bright, making her a Dumb Muscle. She also has a lithe body, which forces her to fight using Waif-Fu, but is certainly not a Dirty Coward.
- Megumi is a realistic take on bullies: a Hypocrite and a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who sabotages Mikiís work and destroys her property, loves using Malicious Slander, stages Wounded Gazelle Gambits, and is adept in verbal beatdowns and making "friends" so she can sic them against Miki. But as only Toshiyuki and Makiko could beat Miki, so logically Megumi believes she has no friends. Oh, and she always refers to Miki as "Onimaru".
- Kankuro deconstructs the "standing up for oneself" attitude in dealing with Miki. After four years in college, he returns to Hanami to defeat Miki and thus purge all memories of his Hilariously Abusive Childhood — by winning her respect. Yet Miki, unable to empathize with anyone weaker than her, doesn't acknowledge the rivalry, let alone remember his name. Thus Kankuro is trapped in a Cycle of Revenge, unable to leave Hanami and start anew because he simply Can't Catch Up.
- Bully Hunter: Deconstructed; our protagonists are all Bully Hunters, but for the wrong reasons, or making thing worse for everyone.
- Miki always hunts delinquents and Yakuza underlingsÖ but not For Great Justice, just because she loves violence and to slack at her job.
- Makiko stops Mikiís bullying only because she needs Miki to work for her, or when Miki is being a true Jerkass.
- Megumi has been bullied practically all her life by Miki, and as a result becomes a bully right back, evolving into the Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up.
- Kankuro was bullied by Miki in the past, and he has come back to his old town trying to stand up for himself. Unfortunately, he is trapped in a Cycle of Revenge that doesnít let him get his desired Character Development.
- Kayahara-sensei is a teacher who is actively seeking to stop any bullying and the Cycle of Revenge... only because she wants to avoid her own self esteem issues. She is easily distracted from her quest by her Trademark Favorite Food.
- Burger Fool: Miki and Megumi, poster girls of their stalls, subvert this trope and its monotonous nature by being Women Children and Arrogant Kung Fu Girls who constantly fight each other, slack on their job, and blow any issue/matter out of proportion.Miki: Oh, the children seem to understand the heated excitement of my job as a poster girl!
- But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Miki doesn't remember Kankuro, the guy she bullied as a kid. Deconstructed because Miki is not a villain, she is a Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up and The Bully cannot care for those weaker that him.Miki: So, who is this guy?
Akihiko: You really donít remember? You used to pick on him all the time.
Miki: I donít know this guy at all.
Akihiko: Itís only been four years!
Kankuro: How awful, Nya!
- Butt-Monkey: Deconstructed, because in a Fighting Series, the Nice Guys Akihiko and Kankuro become this.
- Calling Your Attacks: Spoofed in Episode 1. Miki calls the name of an attack she isn't using to defeat a criminal.
- Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality: Akihiko Ohta watchs the last episode of the Star Rangers show, where a crying girl asks the Red Ranger for help, and he manages to make her smile at the end of the episode. When a crying Wakana asks for help to find Toshiyuki, Akihiko jumps at the call, envisioning himself as the Red Ranger, her bicycle as a Ranger Motorcycle, and assigning Rangers code names to the rest of the core cast, recruiting them into the searchÖ and acting like a true Lord Error-Prone.
- Card-Carrying Villain: Megumi averts this trope — she is willing to do anything, no matter how low, to beat Miki, but she has a Guilt Complex about this so big she sees herself as evil due to her self-hatred.
- Carrying a Cake: Miki is a bicycle ramen delivery girl... who gets into fights during every delivery, with predictable results.
- Catchphrase: Once an episode, expect to hear the following.Miki: Onimaru ryuu... choi jitsu!
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Miki is easily distracted by wanting to help someone, beat someone, or even both. Also deconstructed because this is the perfect excuse to slack at her job.
- Chucking Chalk: The page image.
- City with No Name: Averted, as a deconstruction. The city is named Hanami, a very normal town with a very abnormal shopping district, and in no way a City of Adventure.
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: When Akihiko assigns the color to each of the core cast, he exploits the Good Colours, Evil Colours trope in a subtle Take That! to Miki: Akihiko (The Hero) assigns himself Red (Red Is Heroic), Idiot Hero Kankuro is assigned Blue (The Lancer), Token Mini-Moe Wakana is assigned Yellow (Kid-Appeal Character), Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Megumi is assigned Pink (The Heart), and Designated Hero Miki is assigned Black (badass Anti-Hero).
- Combat Pragmatist: Deconstructed by Megumi, who since childhood realized that she could never beat Miki in a fair fight, so sheís willing to do anything to defeat her that doesnít involve direct combat, no matter how cowardly or wrong. Even so, she hates herself for this, so much so she believes herself naturally evil to cope with this, and has developed a Guilt Complex so enormous she is convinced Kayahara-sensei is an avenging ghost out to punish her.
- Comedic Sociopathy
- Complexity Addiction: Miki, as The Bully and a Jerk with a Heart of Gold, displays this in episode 3A when she insists on fighting the Worthy Opponent when she could easily avoid it. And in episode 5B, she insists on beating Ohta to use him as a stepping stone to escape a well, when Ohta had a rope and Miki couldíve just let him rescue her, which she simply handwaves.Miki: It's too late to worry about that right now.
- Kankuro's plans to defeat Miki always have to involve some kind of duel.
- Cooking Duel: Averted; Miki and Megumi fight while the former's mother is cooking.
- Crocodile Tears: Megumi fakes tears when Miki accuses her of changing the sugar of her coffee for salt on purpose.
- Cute and Psycho: Invoked by Miki when her mother advances towards her wearing a big smile, with the intention to punish her for slacking in her job:Miki: [Talking about The Rival] Man, that fake smile really pisses me off!
Makiko: So, you skipped work all day. What exactly you were doing?
Miki: Mom, there is a good reason for this
Makiko: No excuses!
Miki: That smile... is fake! Stay away from me!
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Happens on a smaller scale with Kankuro. After spending several episodes putting all his energy into trying to beat Miki, the one day he worked honestly yielded him a better salary.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Parodied when Kankuro tries to decide what thing he would imitate to beat Miki.Kankuro: As long as I imagine myself as something before training, Iíll gain both confidence and strength, nya. What should I imagine myself as next, nya?
Akihiko: Shouldnít you have already decided on that?
[Flashback of Miki being curb-stomped by her mother, a fat restaurant hostess]
Kankuro: Thatís impossible, nya.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Akihiko was bullied at his High School, but he managed to grow up a Nice Guy. That explains why he is such a Loony Fan in regards to the Red RangerAkihiko: Are you being bullied? My high school life was rather dark too. My shoes got hidden... I was bossed around...
Miki: And being forced to confess to a girl you didn't like.
Akihiko: Ahh! That really was the worst! Wait, how did you know about that?
- Dark Horse Victory: Miki and Megumi are having a life-and-death battle over a stuffed pig, and Kayahara-sensei wins it (plus a big screen TV) over both of them. In another instance, Wakana ends up snatching a win from Miki, Megumi and Kayahara.
- Dating Catwoman: Kankuro and Miki. Sort of. See "One Dialogue, Two Conversations" below.
- Debut Queue: Akihiko, Miki, and Makiko are all introduced in Episode 1. The cast slowly builds with each succeeding half-episode until Megumi, Wakana, Toshiyuki, Kankurou, and Kayahara-sensei have all been introduced.
- Deconstruction: Very much so for the Fighting Series genre.
- Determinator: Deconstructed with Kankuro, whose hope of defeating Miki in a fair fight is only in his head, and his refusal to give up is fairly foolish.
- Disproportionate Retribution: Miki will beat you if you are a delinquent and are there, Makiko will Megaton Punch Miki if she is late, Megumi tries to curse Miki for bullying her, Kankuro would do anything to defeat Miki, and Toshiyuki will beat you if you invade his house.
- Disproportionate Reward: Miki is willing to be a substitute pitcher for a junior baseball league after a player helped her find an address. Kankuro does the same for the opposing team, and he's willing to help Megumi beat Miki up as a show of gratitude for sheltering him in Huet after another beatdown from Miki. Ultimately deconstructed, because they have ulterior motives — Miki wants to slack (again), while Kankuro still persists in trying to beat up Miki.
- Do Not Do This Cool Thing: In-Universe: Averted in the first short — after seeing two teens fighting, Makiko asks them to stop...with violence. Miki prefers to challenge them to an Eating Contest. Things degenerate in a violent fight between Miki and her mother... and after seeing two Man Children fighting, the boys feel ashamed of themselves and leave as friends.
- Cute Clumsy Girl: Miki stages a Engineered Public Confession denouncing that Megumi served Miki her coffe with salt instead of sugar, so Megumiís clients can realize she is really a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing. Megumi apologizes and invokes being a Dojikko. Megumiís clients forgive her and think she is even more adorable.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Females Miki and Megumi routinely beat males Kankuro and Akihiko. Akihiko, as an adult, Wouldn't Hit a Girl, but Kankuro as an Adult Child definitely Would Hit a GirlÖ if only he could, but he Can't Catch Up with Miki.
- The Dreaded: Parodied: To hear Kayahara senseiís name is enough for the students, and fellow teachers, of her school to scream and run in panic.
- Dumb Muscle: Miki — has the strength of a Navy SEAL, but the intelligence of a preschooler.
- Economy Cast: The anime excludes three other recurring characters in the manga ó a police officer, the poster guy for a fish store and a Token Mini-Moe sushi cook who fights like a kunoichi. Hand Waved in the Episode 1's "On the Next" dialogue: Ohta needs someone to look after his shop whenever he hangs around with Miki, and Megumi needs someone to sell bread while she is attracting customers, but showing more people will alter the Limited Social Circle.Miki: Hey, Mr. Ohta, are you running your stand all by yourself?
Ohta: Huh? What about your bakery, Megumi?
Megumi: Well, of course, that's a corporate secret!
Miki: But that's not gonna clear up a darned thing!
- The Eeyore: Kayahara-sensei, who exudes a regular aura of depression with very few exceptions.
- Engineered Public Confession: Miki tries this in episode 7 A, Peel Off the Fake Smile, when she becomes a client of Megumiís bakery and acts like The Thing That Would Not Leave to make Megumi drop his façade of The Fake Cutie in front of her clients denouncing her as the Bitch in Sheep's Clothing.
- Entitled Bastard: Miki and Megumi never doubt asking for help from the very people they constantly bully and abuse.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Deconstructed with Megumi: Given her self hatred, she considers herself as a Card-Carrying Villain, but she is only a Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up who cannot understand why she has to help anyone or why anyone would want to be her friendÖ because her definition of friend is Someone who I can manipulate to defeat The Rival Miki. She cannot understand why Kayahara-sensei would want to be her friend, nor that Idiot Hero Kankuro would want to help her in her quest.
- Evil Laugh: Megumiís Noblewoman's Laugh, if not evil, is very annoying! Hell's Bunny achieves the same effect!
- Evil Versus Evil: Miki vs. Megumi.
- Exactly What I Aimed At:Miki: An attack of that level? Did you think I couldnít dodge that?
Megumi: Thatís not itÖ his target isnít Onimaru-san. Itís the ramen.
[Toshiyuki eats the ramen Miki is trying to delivery while a surprised Miki falls ignominously]
Miki: You bastard!
- Face of a Thug: Kayahara-sensei is a female version — unless she's eating a good meal, her normal face frightens children, small animals and Megumi. She gets mistaken for a certain Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl onryo when Miki, and later Megumi, first meet her.
- The Fake Cutie: Megumi is a full-grown woman that insists on dressing, speaking and acting like a cute child, sometimes to a sickening degree, as a ploy to get clients into her bakery.
- Family Business: Onimaru Chinese Restaurant is owned by Makiko and her only employee is her daughter Miki.
- Fandumb: In-Universe. Yakihikoís moral dilemma in Episode 8A, "That guy sure looks like he is the strongest", shows him as a Star Rangers Loony Fan who has doubts about his fandom when the evil "Hell's Bunny" appears and he becomes a Mad Groom for an Evil Character. When some little kids want to roleplay with him and forget the name of a character, he exploits it:Little Kid: What was it?
Miki: Oh yeah, it's Dark Star!
Akihiko: [Yelling furiously] Wrong! It's Pink Star! If you don't even know such basic information, you shouldn't be role-playing Star Rangers!
- Fanservice: Surprisingly averted — even when the two main characters are poster girls and are at least in their twenties, they dress very conservatively. Megumi has a Furo Scene and she also invokes Fan Service With A Smile, but those scenes are integral to the plot.
- Fanservice with a Smile: Played with — Miki is the poster girl for her mother's ramen restaurant but wears a little red Magic Skirt; Megumi is the poster girl for a bakery, but wears a long blue skirt.
- In Episode 1, both girls challenge each other on a "best poster girl" duel: Megumi wears a sexy mini-dress, while Miki wears a Non-Ironic Clown costume. While Megumi shows some leg to attract young adults to her bakery, Miki attracts a lot of children. After some children realize that Megumi looks like Hell Bunny, antagonist of the Show Within a Show "Star Rangers", the latter changea into a Hell Bunny costume to attract children. And when some of Miki's clients threaten to leave unless she drinks with them, Miki complies when she's called "beautiful".
- Fighting Series: Very deconstructed. And parodied.
- For the Evulz: Miki wanted to buy the store's last plushie for the Nostalgia Filter, but when she knows The Rival also wants it...Miki: Well, there is a reason, but before that... Now that I know you want it, I definitely have to take it.
- Freudian Excuse:
- When she was a small child, Miki read this report for her class:Miki: My family has a ramen restaurant. While I was growing up, I used to see my motherís back while she was working all day. To think one day I will grow up to be like my mom gives me the shivers. To have to work since morning to night will be terrible. [Smiles]
- Back when she was a kid, Megumi decieved her teacher into teaching her how to throw a chalk.
- Kankuro used to be bullied by Miki, four years his junior. To truly move on, he has to defeat Miki. But for Miki, he was but a nobody.
- Victim of the Week Suzuki:Suzuki: All right, I'll tell you. What I said before about school being boringÖ It was all lies. To tell the truth, after that time, I lost my way in the cemetery, Iíve always been scared of ghost stories, scary pictures, haunted staircases and the likesÖ I worked had to overcome my fears, and could finally bear listening to ghost stories, But this springÖ every time I went to school, I'd get scared even by just looking at my teacher's face, so I became a delinquent.
Miki: In other words, you're scared of ghosts.
Suzuki: It's really lame, I know.
- When she was a small child, Miki read this report for her class:
- Funny Background Event: In episode 2B, while Ohta is cleaning the street, Kankuro, disguised as a trashcan, is beaten by a car. Later, while Kankuro is spying on Miki, some aliens refuse to take revenge on Miki, who previously destroyed their spaceship.
- In-Universe example: Wakana and Chiemi are chatting while Toshiyuki and Kankuro fight in the background and only Chiemi realizes it. They stop when Wakana checks them. After Kankuro menaces Chiemi with his looks, she flees.
- Gag Series: It's the closest anime equivalent to Tom and Jerry yet.
- Ghost in the Machine: Akihiko endures a "Good Angel, Bad Angel" fight so intense only plastic figures of Star Ranger's two predecessors can snap him out of it.
- Gratuitous English: How Naive! Emo Girl! Smile! Thank you!
- Green-Eyed Monster: Miki hates all the male attention Megumi gets when she does Fan Service With A Smile. Fridge Brilliance: This is a clue about Miki and Megumi's relationship as each other's Shadow Archetype.
- Guilt Complex: Megumi claims she is content being a Combat Pragmatist. She lies. She is painfully aware that she's a Hypocrite and it's so hard for her and pervades every aspect of her life she believes that Kayahara-sensei is an onryo avenging spirit trying to torment her.
- Ham-to-Ham Combat: Literally speaking, any combat you see is between two or more hams.
- Heroic Comedic Sociopath: And it's a marketplace full of them!
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Deconstructed with Kankuro, who has become a Bully Hunter, literally stopping his life until he stands up for himself against Miki. Here he explains what happened while we see a Photo Montage of those scenes:Kankuro: She tied me up and forced me to eat crayfish, She threw a beehive into my back. She rolled me up in a carpet and tossed me into a river.
- Hope Spot: Just when Miki believes she's exposed Megumi as a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing to her bakery clients, Megumi invokes being a Dojikko, frustrating Miki's plan.
- Hot-Blooded: Miki and Kankurou, especially the latter, considering his voice actor. Unfortunately, it usually involves him becoming more involved in trying to defeat Miki (only to end up having his ass served to him) than doing something productive.
- Hot for Student: Averted. One of Kayahara-sensei's students falls for her, but seems unaware of this, other than being happy that he's going to back to school, if only because he finds her so adorable When She Smiles.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- All the core cast is guilty — someone criticizes another for some fault that is an established part of their own characterization, or just before or after exhibiting that particular fault themselves. Lampshade Hanging almost always follows immediately.Miki: Joining in the middle of the game, trying to influence the outcome... This Is Unforgivable!
Junior baseball players: Didnít you just do that too?
- Kankuro:Kankuro: No more sneaky, underheaded attacks. Iíll just find her weakness and exploit it, nya!
Akihiko Thatís even more underhanded, isnít it?
Kankuro [Beat] Anyway, I donít have time for chit-chat, nya.
- All the core cast is guilty — someone criticizes another for some fault that is an established part of their own characterization, or just before or after exhibiting that particular fault themselves. Lampshade Hanging almost always follows immediately.
- I Was Quite a Looker: Makiko used to be quite the stunner when Miki was a toddler.
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Parodied with Miki — as a child, she used to take home kittens, an old person who fainted, and some bullied kids. As a woman (child), she takes home a criminal she defeated.
- Idiot Hero: Kankuro, through and through. Miki is also a lesser example, being Dumb Muscle and all.
- Imagine Spotting: When Akihiko imagines himself as the Red Star Ranger while fighting an Angry Guard Dog to protect a child, Kankuro briefly sees Akihiko as he thinks of himself, and acts very surprised:Kankuro: Eh, what happened? For just a moment, I saw Akihiko as Star Ranger, nya!
- Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Despite all the training she went through, Megumi rarely hits Miki with her skewers.
- Improbable Weapon User: Megumi uses hot dog skewers, after first learning how to throw blackboard chalk with high precision.
- Improvised Training: Kankuro uses some old tires and school furniture to train to becomeÖ a train. It Makes Sense in Context. Sort of.
- In Vino Veritas/Mirror Morality Machine: Alcohol turns the normally violent Miki into a Nice Girl who despises violence and can fight only by instinct. Inversely, a drunken Megumi shows the "bitch" in "Bitch in Sheep's Clothing".
- Inaction Sequence / Talking Is a Free Action: Played so straight it could be a parody at episode 2B, Kankuro and Miki are less than ten meters apart before their fight. Then Kankuro begins to run towards Miki to attack her, and he manages to imitate the voiceover of a local train before fighting. Miki stays immobile while she begins to imitate the voiceover of a bullet train and adopts an Ass Kicking Pose. Then she begins to run towards Kankuro. Akihiko desperately cries to Kankuro to stop. Kankuro manages to answer that he will increase the power. Miki and Kankuro take one minute and ten seconds running into each other at a distance of less than ten meters. And itís epic.
- Informed Loner: Deconstructed with Megumi, who sincerely believes herself a victim of bullying who has no friends even when she hangs out with her Limited Social Circle. Fridge Brilliance when you realize that Megumi is The Bully/Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up, and her definition of friend is: someone who Megumi can manipulate into beating Miki. Since nobody wants to do that, Megumi feels she has no friends.
- Insane Troll Logic: Seeing Miki save a toddler from a train fuels one of Kankuro's plans to beat her.
- Japanese Delinquent: One episode features Suzuki, a schoolboy trying to be one, only to be scared by Kayahara-sensei into skipping school. Until he sees her smiling and falls in love, causing him to ultimately change his ways, although he only shows up in one episode. In other episodes, they are merely Bit-Part Bad Guys / Very Punchable Men to Miki.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Miki, Heroic Comedic Sociopath and all, battles delinquents and/or saves hapless kids one minute, then bullies them the next. Similarly, Megumi does genuine good on occasion, and has a massive Guilt Complex about having to do bad.
- Killer Rabbit: Toshiyuki, the Endou family's guard dog, looks harmless. But he has More Teeth than the Osmond Family and has fighting skills to match even Miki.
- Kung-Fu Kid: Miki and Megumi were this as kids, and they still are even as Women Children.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Parodied when Megumi, just seconds after trying to curse Miki with The Power of Hate nailing a wara ningyo to a sacred tree, sees Kayahara-sensei falling from that same tree and takes her for a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl that is going to curse Megumi.
- Law of Disproportionate Response: Justified because the core cast is a bunch of Manchild Schoolyard Bullies All Grown Up.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Just after Megumi hears Miki describing a powerful enemy at the Endou house, while Makiko is punishing Miki for constantly Carrying a Cake:"This is surprising! Thereís someone who can land OnimaruĖsan in this much trouble. He must definitely be an amazing fighter. First I should become friends with this person, then teaming up would be the best course of action."
- Limited Social Circle: Once the primary cast is introduced, the only people they seem to encounter besides each other are random customers. Maybe it's justified, the core cast being a bunch of Heroic Comedic Sociopaths.
- Limited Wardrobe: Everyone wears civil clothes whenever they are not working, but when they are, they use their Burger Fools uniforms.
- Loony Fan: Deconstructed by Akihiko, who despite being abused during his childhood, is a Nice Guy who is everyoneís Butt-Monkey. He deeply desires to be the Red Ranger because he is always recognized for his efforts with a 100% Heroism Rating. Akihiko is so fond of the Red Ranger that he copies his Catchphrase Iíll pay them back several times over and uses it in situations where it doesnít even make sense:Akihiko: Just leave it to Star Ranger!
Wakana: [Very confused] Star Ranger?
Akihiko: That Toshiyuki, I'll bring him back several times over.
Wakana: No, just once is enough.
- Lord Error-Prone: Akihiko Jumped at the Call to find Toshiyuki believing himself the Red Ranger, but he fails to ask Toshiyuki's description, gets lost many time asking other children for him, and when he believes he's found him, he attacks an Angry Guard Dog that seems to menace the child (that dog never wanted to attack the child and curb-stomps Akihiko). Also, the dog is really Toshiyuki.
- Magic Skirt: No matter what wacky gravity defying antics Miki is performing, her skirt is always in an adequate place.
- Miki and Megumi are both twenty and in a job, but both look in their mid-teens and act less than half their age... and very violent ones, at that, too, bordering into Psychopathic Manchildren.
- Kankuro is twenty-four and already with a college degree, but came back to Hanami to get back at Miki for the many years she bullied him (not that he will have a chance, but still...). He also acts like a true Idiot Hero and his reasoning is pure Insane Troll Logic.
- Makiko was very depressed when she found out that the Ramen contest has an age limit (and she's beyond it).
- Yakihikoís obsession for Star Rangers made him a Lord Error-Prone who Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality.
- Major Injury Underreaction: Kankuro hits the ball Miki was pitching him... with his arm. It breaks.
- Master of Delusion: A variation: Kankuro fervently believes that he is Mikiís Worthy Opponent, but to Miki (and everyone else) he is only the Unknown Rival:
- Mean Character, Nice Actor: In-Universe — the actress who plays "Hell's Bunny", the antagonist of Star Rangers, is a sweet, kind lady outside the camera, and is even best friends with the actress who plays "Star Pink".
- Mistaken Identity: Given her constant depression, her Face of a Thug and her physical appeareance, everyone takes Kayahara-sensei for an Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl onryo bent on revenge on the living. Given her enormous Guilt Complex, Megumi will always take her for one.
- Certainly not helped by one episode showing her climb up a building with no special equipment.
- Mundane Made Awesome: All the core cast every single episode! Let's just say that the picture at the anime page shows Kankuro changing a bulb. Epic!
- My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Deconstructed — because Hard Work Hardly Works, the only one who trains to be strong is Kankuro, Miki's Unknown Rival. Toshiyuki and Megumi know they canít beat Miki with brute force, so they use their intelligence. And not even all of them combined can match up to Makiko.
- Nice Guy: Akihiko deconstructs this trope, because being surrounded by Arrogant Kung Fu Guys, he becomes their Butt-Monkey. Kankuro also qualifies.
- Noble Demon: Endou Toshiyuki only wants to fight and bite people, but he would Never Hurt an Innocent and recognizes Kankuro as a Worthy Opponent. It says a lot of this series that the most ethical fighter is an Angry Guard Dog.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: Megumi uses these a lot.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: At least by the people of the district. In one episode, Megumi tries to attract male customers to her bakery with a sexy dress. It fails when Miki dresses up as a clown, attracting children, and their families by consequence.
- Not So Above It All: Akihiko is the voice of reason most of the time, but when it involves Star Ranger even he can snap.
- One Dialogue, Two Conversations: Wakana misinterprets Kankuro's constant challenges to Miki as a sign that he's Tsundere for her, and gives him dating advice. Likewise, Kankuro further misinterprets Wakana's advice as tips to find and exploit Miki's weakness(es). Kankuro still follows Wakana's advice to the (love) letter, and Hilarity Ensues.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Almost invoked word by word:
- Opposing Combat Philosophies: Parodied to hilarity in Episode 10B, "Nishiyama Kankuro vs Kannazuki Megumi". Kankuro, the Idiot Hero, believes in going all out without thinking twice, and is the Unknown Rival to Miki. Megumi, the Smug Snake, prefers luring Miki into her traps. When Megumi offers Kankuro an alliance against Miki, the latter quickly agrees, but their combat philosophies are so diametrically opposed they go through an epic switcheroo between infighting and compromise. Itís very easy for Miki to incite Enemy Civil War between them, but Megumi finds Kankuro a Worthy Opponent with his idealism, while Kankuro realizes that he and Megumi aren't so different.
- Parental Substitute: Akihiko goes out of his way to help Miki: He wants to know if Kankuro plans to hurt her, he follows her to deliver ramen when he suspects something is wrong, and spies on Miki and Kankuroís ďdateĒ. Miki has her mother, and she does care about her, but she is very busy working because Miki is The Slacker.
- Passive-Aggressive Kombat: Deconstucted by Miki and Megumi: This is the weapon of the people who cannot win a physical confrontation, but also takes a psychological toll on those who use it:
- Megumi knews she cannot defeat Miki in a physical confrontation, so she excels at verbally humiliating MikiÖ at the price of developing a terrible Guilt Complex about being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing and being trapped in a Cycle of Revenge.
- Miki can beat physically any person in the worldÖ except her own mother, Makiko. As a consequence, Miki never uses Passive-Aggressive Kombat on anyone (there is no need) except her mother: Miki always finds a way to call her mother "ugly", "old" or "fat", or by being The Slacker in the family business Ö at the price of being a Manchild, sponging off her own mother.
- Pass the Popcorn: Megumi discovers that Onimaru Restaurant exploits this trope when she does The Infiltration to find why the restaurant thrives when the kanban musume is not as cute as Megumi, the décor is not as beautiful as Megumiís bakery and the locale is rather dirty. There has to be another reason besides the food for their success: Megumi finds out that the clients are there to see Miki battle people.Megumi: I understand now! The reason so many customers are here is because they want to watch Onimaru battle people, one by one. To the customers, this is some kind of spectacular event.
- Perpetual Poverty: Deconstructed with Miki, who has little money, and no TV or video games... because she is The Slacker sponging off her mother. Kayahara-sensei tries to be a Save Our Students teacher, but is so depressed that only manages to be The Dreaded among her students... her room is completely empty except for a calendar and a TV she won at a contest. Maybe she has a Limited Wardrobe because her jumpsuit is her only clothes.
- Pet the Dog: Miki tries to do it, but being The Bully, it ends up being an Epic Fail:Kankuro: [After being defeated again] Hold it, Onimaru Miki, No matter what, at the very least I'll have you remember my name, nya.Miki: [Smiling] I remember it. It's Hatashi Jou note , right? [She closes her door.]
- Power Copying: Deconstructed when Kankuro, an Idiot Hero, uses Insane Troll Logic to conclude that by imitating a local train that Miki avoided she could beat her:Kankuro: Itís similar to animal styled martial arts, They imagine themselves as the animals theyíre imitating, nya. In other words: The train is pulling into station four, please step behind the yellow lineÖ KATAN KATAN, KATAN KATAN. Yes, this is the result of my special training. My goal isÖ a train!
- Later, Miki does the same, only she imitates a bullet train.
- The Power of Hate: Invoked by Megumi when she tries to curse Miki nailing a wara ningyo to a sacred tree. Every time she drops the hammer, she screams ďhate!Ē and we see a Photo Montage of Miki bullying her. Also deconstructed: Miki really isn't cursed, it's Megumi who ruins her own life hating Miki.
- Pretender Diss: Parodied when Kankuro melodramatically informs Akihiko that he is not a Star Ranger.
- Miki and Akihiko discover a high school student out of school drawing pathetic graffiti and ask him what he's doing:Victim of the Week: Isnít that obvious? Being a Delinquent.
Akihiko: So you call yourself a delinquent with doodles like that? Your delinquency is still lacking. These days, the popular thing would be, a drawing like this, and a curve hereÖ Basically, something like this. [A screaming skull shouts: ďWelcome!! To Hell"]
Victim of the Week: Senpai, youíre amazing!
- Miki and Akihiko discover a high school student out of school drawing pathetic graffiti and ask him what he's doing:
- Real Men Wear Pink: Kankuro has once worn the exact same outfit as Miki — skirt and all — and once worn a frilly Victorian dress, both times to match Miki. Neither was very successful.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Megumi constantly makes Malicious Slander and sends Cut and Paste Notes to Miki, exposing... the truth about Mikiís various character flaws. Miki retorts by revealing that Megumi is no different from her own image of Miki.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: Miki is the red Jerk with a Heart of Gold; Megumi is the blue Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Both are each other's Shadow Archetypes.
- Redemption Quest: Deconstructed with Kankuro. He claims he has come to get back at Miki so he can finally get over his Freudian Excuse and move on. Defeating Miki seems the way to go, but it's an Impossible Task, thus trapping him into a Cycle of Revenge. Here he explains why while we see a Photo Montage in a computer... complete with a delete trash can image.Kankuro: Being made a fool by a girl younger than me, and the tormenting memory of being treated as a slave... If I donít erase those images Iíll never be able to leave this town and put it behind me, Nya.
- Regal Ringlets: Megumi sports a variation that also falls under Anime Hair. She has a very large curl on the back of her head.
- The Rival: Megumi and Toshiyuki for Miki (or at least the latter was in Miki's head).
- Rule of Cool: Deconstructed into Mundane Made Awesome.
- Sadist Teacher: Kayahara-sensei tries to be a Save Our Students teacher. Unfortunately, she is always depressed (maybe because she cannot admit to herself that she doesnít enjoy teaching), and for that, is always being taken as a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, and all her students are very afraid of her.
- Save Our Students: Deconstructed by Kayahara-sensei: This is the kind of teacher that she strives to be, as she is a Bully Hunter, always trying to stop any abuse. Unfortunately, the only thing she accomplishes is being a Sadist Teacher.
- Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up:
- Sentai: Akihiko goes crazy whenever Star Ranger is involved. So much as mentioning the show makes him think he's Red Star.
- In Napalm it is revealed that he is a fanboy of the entire genre in general, even noting that his fanboyism peaks every last episode before moving on to the next series.
- Also from Napalm, Searanger is a strange parody of sentais — all five members are different tones of blue.
- The genre is also deconstructed: The Red Ranger is The Hero, he acts heroic, gets things done, and always gets a 100% Heroism Rating... because he's in a TV show. Akihiko is the Loony Fan who does exactly the same things the Red Ranger does, but is a Lord Error-Prone and Butt-Monkey in a Slice of Life show.Akihiko: Today certainly did seem to be a waste of time. But so what? That little girlís sad face now carries a smile. [Begins Theme Music Power-Up] Do your best, Ohta Akihiko. Never lose, Ohta Akihiko. For the sakes of everyoneís smiles, fight for tomorrow, Ohta Akihiko.
Kankuro: How are you Akihiko, are you okay? Can you walk on your own?
Akihiko: No. I donít think so.
[At Akihikoís house, he is watching Star Rangers, with his arm and head bandaged]
Star Rangerís narrator: After destroying the Evil Base, the Star Rangers put hope back on the young boyís heart. Today, they fought for justice yet again.
Akihiko: [Dramatically standing up adopting an Ass Kicking Pose] Donít forget to watch next week!
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: Toshiyukiís rescue by Akihiko.
- At the end of episode 7 A, Peel Off the Fake Smile, Miki tells how his Engineered Public Confession worked:
- She Who Fights Monsters: When Megumi accuses Miki of bullying her, Megumi is truly surprised when Miki retorts that Megumi is the true bully -Ė by committing Malicious Slander, sabotaging Mikiís work and setting traps against her -Ė a realistic depiction of The Bully in Real Life.
- Shipper on Deck: Wakana tries to hook up Kankuro and Miki after mistaking his challenges to Miki for love confessions.
- Every episode begins with a spoof of the MGM Studios lion roar, with Miki in place of the lion.
- Kayahara-sensei constantly (albeit unintentionally) spoofs Sadako Yamamura's Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl look.
- In Episode 1B, "Another Poster Girl", Miki challenges Megumi to a boxing fight, quoting lines from Tomorrow's Joe while Akihiko suddenly adopts Danpei Tange's outfit and trademark eyepatch.
- In Episode 2A, "Challenger: Nishiyama Kankuro", at a baseball game, Miki signals a home run with her metal bat, just like Babe Ruth did at the 1932 World Series.
- Hell's Bunny appears in Episode 8A, "That Guy Sure Looks Like He's the Strongest", and is a parody of Usagi Tsukino (whose name literally means "moon rabbit"), right down to her pre-fight boast.
- Miki's opening dance in the boxing ring in Episode 10B, "Sudden Fight! Nishiyama Kankuro VS Kannazuki Megumi", is a parody of a ritual performed by Muay Thai kickboxers before every round, Thai flutes playing in the background and all.
- In Episode 11A, "The Guy Lets His Back Do the Talking", Wakana's worry of being swallowed by a whale and living on a raft inside is a direct reference to the story of Pinocchio.
- Makiko's poses after her destructive drunken rampage in a flashback during Episode 12A, "When You Were Smashed", are a reference to the Jackie Chan film Drunken Master.
- Onimaru is the name of a nasty bully in Mazinger Z, who after being helped by his victim in a mortal peril apologized and become a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
- Akihiko's Enemy Within teases his Star Rangers Justice love side:
- Sideways Smile: Miki, Megumi, and Toshiyuki all get toothy, menacing smiles when planning something sneaky or during the peak moments of a fight. The only one in whom this is not anatomically impossible is Toshiyuki because he's a dog and the elongated shape of dog muzzles lets them show all of their teeth even from the side profile.
- The Slacker: Miki only took her current job because she could slack all she wants there. Come day-offs, she doesnít know what to do... because she never delivers the ramen on time, has little money, and no TV or video games. Megumi, on the other hand, takes her job seriously, and thus is rewarded with a better lifestyle.
- Slasher Smile/More Teeth than the Osmond Family — Miki, Megumi and Toshiyuki. Justified in the latter because itís a dog.
- Slice of Life: Yes, Hanami Town Shopping District is a World of Ham, but The City is not a City of Adventure: Everyone else is pretty normal, and this series talks about the daily life of a group of Burger Fools that practice Mundane Made Awesome.
- Smug Snake: Megumi — crafty, pragmatic but also highly prone to a beatdown from Miki.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Inverted and subverted because they aren't presented in order of menace to Miki, but in alignment relative to her — Makiko, her mother who deals a lot of Tough Love; Megumi, The Rival and Bitch in Sheep's Clothing; Kankuro, the Unknown Rival/Idiot Hero; and finally Toshiyuki, her Worthy Opponent.
- Spelling Song: Kankuro's Image Song, which consists entirely of him spelling his name in various ways so Miki can remember who he is.
- Spirited Competitor: Miki fought Toshiyuki for hours just to make a delivery, despite the owners telling her that she could yell their names and they would go out, just because she had the chance to flex some muscle.Miki: Yes, I did take a long time... but thatís because I had the determination not to lose. To trade work hours for my victory, it was worth it."
- Spoof Aesop:"Having a pure heart and being able to ride a dog have nothing in common."
- Stalker Without A Crush: In Episode 2A, "Challenger: Nishiyama Kankuro", when Miki feels she is Being Watched, Akihiko invokes a Stalker with a Crush on her. Miki denies it, sensing the aggression Kankuro is projecting.
- Start of Darkness: Megumiís flashback in Episode 1B, "Another Kanban Musume", is a Deconstructive Parody, where she recalls how, when she was a child, she tricked her her teacher into teaching her to throw projectiles with high accuracy. The truth is that Megumi is not a Classic Villain, but just The Rival, and even then Miki always manages to dodge anything Megumi hurls at her. Megumi's true Start of Darkness is only her Freudian Excuse of how she eschewed a direct approach to fighting Miki in favor of subtler means.
- Stating the Simple Solution:
- Megumi, as the Combat Pragmatist, asks Miki in episode 3A why she is fighting an Angry Guard Dog when she could easily avoid it. In episode 5B, after she and Miki beat someone to use him as a stepping stone to escape a well, she recognizes that the guy had a rope and they shouldíve just let him rescue them.
- This is one of Ohtaís duties as the Meta Guy.
- Stat-O-Vision: Parodied when Megumi uses it on all her clients to find the right time to attack Miki unnoticed by them.
- Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Exaggerated by Megumi, who now is a Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: Instead of hiding Mikiís shoes, she blows up her bicycle tires, instead of posting embarrassing photos, she publishes the true facts about Miki (that she is The Slacker, The Bully and spreads Malicious Slander) in public places, and she sends menacing letters to Miki and leaves Mikiís card at the scene of a crime. Oh, and she leaves hot dog skewers instead of tacks in Mikiís shoes.
- Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl: Everyone takes Kayahara-sensei for an onryo, a ghost trying to get revenge on the living.
- Suicide as Comedy: At the beginning of episode 4A, Kayahara-sensei mentions eating her last ramen and To continue this pitiful life of a teacherÖ Iím already tired of it. Later we discover that Kayahara-sensei is not talking about suicide, but quitting her job as a teacher. However, Miki invokes it to solve her problem with a student that wants to quit Kayaharaís class:Miki: Imagine, if she committed suicide because of you, sheíll haunt you for sure!
- Superstition Episode: Episode 4B is about Megumi mistaking Kayahara-sensei for an onryo, a ghost trying to get revenge on Megumi for being a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing, and Megumi's efforts to avoid her and her curse.
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: Megumi invokes it while Miki fights Toshiyuki, talking about the yet intact ramen Miki tries to deliver.Oh my! How I could I have accidentally kicked over the ramen?
- Take That!: So subtle, maybe it was not intentional:Miki: Oh, so you remember my face. Toshiyuki eh? I will remember that name. I never forget the names of strong people.
Kankuro: What the heck is that supposed to mean?!!
Megumi: Compared to our store, the employee here isn't nearly as cute.
- Megumi gives another to Miki when she does The Infiltration at Miki's restaurant:
- There Can Be Only One: Central theme of episode 5 A, "Be my stepping stone". Miki and The Rival are trapped in a dead end and invoke this trope: To go out, they need to defeat the other and use her as a stepping stone. Even when the rest of the cast show up to help, they involve them in the game. Deconstructed when everyone is knocked out and the last one is too tired to escape.
- The Thing That Would Not Leave: Miki invokes this trope in episode 7 A, Peel Off the Fake Smile, when she becomes a client of Megumiís bakery and acts as annoying as possible for hours to make Megumi drop his façade of The Fake Cutie in front of her clients.
- Threw My Bike on the Roof: Miki accuses Megumi of blowing up her bicycle tires. Megumi denies it in public, but confesses only to Miki.
- Time to Unlock More True Potential: Deconstructed and parodied.
- Parodied with Kankuro, who goes into training... not to be a better fighter, but just to be less of a Combat Pragmatist.
- Deconstructed with Miki, Megumi and Kankuro: because they're not professional fighters, they only use their skills against each other. But they're so good at it two true martial artists (the best friends and actresses behind Star Pink and Hell Bunny), come to Hanami only to see them fight and help them with Pink Starís confidence. In other words, the protagonists are The Quest.Pink Ranger's Actress: Amazing! I never thought I would see such skills outside such a small neighborhood store.
Hellís Bunny's Actress: What do you think? Aren´t you glad we came?
- Timmy in a Well: When Wakana ends up flung into a garbage truck, Toshiyuki goes to inform Miki.
- To Be a Master: Deconstructed: None of our protagonists wants to be the best at their jobs, but they all want to be the biggest bully in all town.
- Token Mini-Moe: Wakana
- Tomato in the Mirror: Parodied after Kankuro reveals to Akihiko that he is not a Star Ranger, merely a guy who Cannot Tell Fiction from Reality:Akihiko: [The Background Goes Deliberately Monochrome While He Is Looking Dramatically At His Hands] Iím not a real Star Ranger? [He Adopts A Pose of Supplication] Is that so, is this how it is? No, it's true. Somewhere in the depths of my heart, I already knewÖ However, however, I canít just give up now! Even if I am not Red StarÖ
- Tough Love: Makiko definitely loves her daughter, but hits Miki not so much to make her stronger, but to make her less of a Jerkass.
- Tournament Arc: Deconstructed: At last year's District Sumo Contest, Miki won, leaving fifty people wounded, one still missing and wounding a Professional Wrestler. This year they simply change it to a nonviolent competition.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Kayahara-sensei loves Onimaru's ramen. It's the only thing that makes her smile in a non-creepy way. Deconstructed as an eating disorder: Kayahara-sensei is a Save Our Students teacher that really wants to help... except when she is eating ramen... then she cares about nothing.
- Training from Hell / In Harm's Way: Justified by Miki and deconstructed by Megumi: Mikiís explanation about why she didnít call people out to make the delivery avoiding the Angry Guard Dog justifies those tropes, while Megumiís reflection deconstructs it:Megumi: If the dog is restricted by the leash like you said, would it be better to just call the people out and make your delivery?
Miki: Thatís different! Itís true if I stay outside of that the dogís range of movement and call the customer loudly, it would be safe to make the delivery. However, to expect me to turn away from this challenge in front of meÖ Do you think I can do that? No. Thereís no way I can do that! If Iím to call the customers to come out, Iíll do it after beating this guy.
Megumi: [Wearing a serious face] I see, Onimaru-san deliberately takes the more difficult path. Itís true, compared to an uneventful day to day life, this stressful lifestyle would make you grow a lot more. Onimaru-san, youÖ [Megumi wears a Slasher Smile] are such an idiot.
- Kankuro tries to fight Toshiyuki to best Miki.
- Twinkle Smile: Kankuro and Megumi, complete with Audible Gleam.
- The Un-Smile: Tomoka Kayahara is so depressed, that when she wants to smile, this is the result... except when she is eating her Trademark Favorite Food, or trying to become friends with The Bully.
- Unexplained Recovery: Kankuro, mostly.Akihiko: Have all the wounds Miki left you with yesterday healed already?Kankuro: I only had eight broken ribs, nya.
- Unknown Rival: Kankuro repeatedly challenges Miki to a fight, but never wins. She can never remember his name either. Justified because Miki is The Bully/Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up who suffers Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny! and But for Me, It Was Tuesday. Also deconstructed because as a Fighting Series protagonist, she always encounters Bit Part Bad Guys / Very Punchable Men that are mean to her, which she defeats and immediately forgets; why should Kankuro be different than them?
- Vandalism Backfire: Subverted — even when Megumi kicks the ramen box while Mikiís busy, the latter is so used to Megumi's antics she put the ramen in a safer place beforehand.
- Verbal Tic: Kankuro adds "~nya" to the end of his sentences. Odd in that he's a male character that does this.
- Victim of the Week: Subverted, because the various non fatal victims of the week that we meet in the series are regulars in her Debut Queue (they will not solve their problems) or people who will solve their problems themselves, despite the help the protagonist gives.
- Violence is the Only Option: Averted in Episode 1. In the first half, two teens enter a Eating Contest. In the second, Megumi and Miki duel to be the best poster girl. They never resort to violence... because Makiko interrupted (with violence) both contests. And the teens realize that resorting to violence only fits Man Children like the Onimarus.
- Zigzagged in episode 2A: Kankuro and Miki compete in different baseball teams... and Miki manages to break both Kankuro's arms.
- Violence Really Is the Answer: In a genre that frequently portrays fighting as a regrettable necessity, this series is one of the few that averts this trope: every problem could've been solved without violence had it not been for the many Heroic Comedic Sociopaths in the series.
- Voodoo Doll: In episode 4B, Megumi is trying to curse Miki by nailing a wara ningyo (a straw doll that represents people) to a sacred tree in the temple at the top of the hill.
- Waif-Fu: Miki looks like she wouldn't pose a threat, but she's undoubtedly the strongest person in the district... Except for her mother, and (possibly) Toshiyuki.
- We Want Our Jerk Back!: In one episode, Miki gets drunk and turns into a sweet, obedient Yamato Nadeshiko-esque girl. Unfortunately her rivals Kankuro and Toshiyuki are disappointed in this improvement of her character, and surprisingly so are the customers who enjoyed the old Miki's entertaining antics. When she gets back to normal the next day, everyone is pleased (well, everyone except Maki).
- When Makiko starts acting nice to Miki following the advice of a Coincidental Broadcast, the latter wants her old, abusive mother back immediately.
- When She Smiles: Kayahara-sensei's perpetual depression makes her look like a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, and attempts to cheer up result in The Un-SmileÖ except when she eats her Trademark Favorite Food, which makes her so happy that When She Smiles, everyone thinks she is beautiful and Love Bubbles appear. When she tried to become Megumi's friend, she smiled maybe her first true smile, and she looked beautiful in a very normal way.
- Why Are You Not My Son?: Makiko said this about hard working Kankuro.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Makiko fears nothing. Except spiders.
- World of Ham: The core cast is this in a Slice of Life anime.
- Worthy Opponent: According to the conventions of the Fighting Series genre:
- Kankuro tries with all his might to invoke this trope with Miki. Sadly, one is the Idiot Hero and the other is The Bully, so he will never pass the Unknown Rival ceiling.
- Episode 6a, Fight! Bark Bark vs. Nya Nya, chronicles how Idiot Hero Kankuro was recognized as one by Noble Demon Toshiyuky.
- And Miki recognizes Toshiyuky as one, but fitting the Noble Demon, Toshiyuky doesn't respect The Bully Miki.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Exaggerated with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing Megumi, who accuses Miki of bullying herÖ sincerely forgetting that Megumi also bullies Miki.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: In Episode 6B, ďThe Rift That Looked Like Red StringĒ, Wakana is seeing the Unknown Rival Kankuro in yet another Curb-Stomp Battle with Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up Miki. Wakana Thinks Like a Romance Novel: Is Kankuro a sweet but quickly angered guy looking for Mikiís Attention? note . Is Miki a secretly kind jerk? note . Are they always fighting? note So? The only logical conclusion for the Token Mini-Moe? Belligerent Sexual Tension! Wakana sets herself to be their Shipper on Deck as Kankuroís Love Cupid. Hilarity Ensues!