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Manga / Real Bout High School

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Real Bout High School (titled Samurai Girl: Real Bout High School for the anime) is a martial arts light novel written by Reiji Saiga and illustrated by Sora Inoue, serialized in Kadokawa's Dragon Magazine note  from 1997 to 2010, a manga version by the same duo ran in Gekkan Comic Dragon from 1998 to 2003 note .

The series recieved a 13-episode anime series by GONZO in 2001, and much like the studio's other adaptations, the anime diverges heavily from its source material.

Both the manga and anime were among the many titles licensed by Tokyopop during the company's heyday, with the anime having a dub produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment.

The series centers around a high school where martial arts are part of the standard curriculum; one of its students, Samurai Girl Ryoko Mitsurugi, is the top fighter and most popular girl in school... until a challenger arrives in the form of the uncouth Shizuma Kusanagi, a transfer student from Kansai. While he lacks Ryoko's grace, he soon proves to be a powerful fighter, and may surpass Ryoko as the best fighter at Daimon High. Principal Takao Todo encourages rivalry between the competitors, setting up a dangerous "K-Fighting" tournament where even the teachers can join in and settle once-and-for-all just who is the top dog on campus.

This Manga contains examples of:

  • Combat Commentator: A small camera crew chases down the various K-Fights, led by Tamaki Nakamura. She and Todo provide co-commentary on every fight.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: As punishment for losing the K-Fight, Ryoko plucks Shizuma's unibrow and cuts his hair. He looked fabulous afterwards though.
  • Cutting the Electronic Leash: Kyoichi Kunugi crushes his cell phone in his hand in rage after being informed by his employers that if he doesn't cooperate with them his family will be killed.
  • Darker and Edgier: The first few volumes are pretty silly, what with students settling all their disputes in martial arts matches which are apparetnly televised and MC'd. Things take a decidedly darker slant, however, when G and his men appear and Ryoko joins the Shinsengumi to help stop them.
  • Extremity Extremist: Taiho Hashiba is a boxer... but when the going gets really tough, he abandons the family style for something with a little more kick.
  • Fanservice: The scene in which the Shinsengumi all go to the bathhouse, full stop.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: We see next to nothing of Aoi's actual confrontation with G after they both get ready to go all out. The Shinsengumi's expressions when they see the result implies the battle got very ugly.
  • Happy Birthday to You!: A substitute song is sung in episode 4.
  • Heir to the Dojo: Azumi Kiribayashi, though in a subversion, this is far from her motivation as a fighter.
  • Knight of Cerebus: As noted above, things get a lot more serious (although not completely) after G appears.
  • Lady of War: Three candidates: Aoi is a brutal fighter and able to stand up to G, but is too shy for her own good. Ryoko tries to become one of these over the course of the series. Ryoko's rival Azumi is very formal in every situation, and uses a naginata.
  • Lethal Chef: Ryoko and Azumi, who were involved in the Cooking Duel mentioned above... with nauseating results.
  • Love at First Punch: Several couples are formed this way.
  • Naginatas Are Feminine: Azumi Kiribayishi, an Heir to the Dojo Lady of War with a Noblewoman's Laugh, wields a naginata. Well, okay, most of the time, she uses one with a wooden blade, but isn't averse to busting out a real one for "serious" fights.
  • Ninja: Kyoichi Kunugi. Asuka tries her best to be one.
  • Ninja Log: A member of the all-girls Shinsengumi was a ninja-obsessed otaku who never did any ninja trick before. Her first one was literally the Ninja Log. While she did manage to replace herself with a log, she unwittingly knocked her head somewhere.
  • One-Letter Name: G, who honestly doesn't remember his own name after the years of psychological and physical conditioning he was subjected to since he was a boy in order to become the perfect bodyguard.
  • Panty Fighter: Surprisingly, it's only in the anime. The manga is tame, having only a few, small views of anything under the skirt and even then, only when the angle would be more explanatory or dramatic.
  • Playing with Fire: Shizuma has many battle techniques involving alcohol and a disposable lighter.
  • Samurai: Ryoko aspires to be as such, which is why she’s a Jidaigeki fangirl.
  • School of Hard Knocks: School-sponsored K-Fights are used to solve every possible dispute, including "too many K-Fights."
  • Ship Tease: a lot between Ryoko and Shizuma. Lampshaded frequently by their friends and acquaintances. Damn near confirmed after their last battle when they embrace and she flat out tells Shizuma "I love you" followed by Shizuma letting her win their fight. Hell, her Cool and Unusual Punishment of Shizuma was to pluck his unibrow and trim his hair turning him into Mr. Fanservice. Then when he challenges her again she says she'll wait until they both recover and blows him a kiss.
  • Talking Is a Free Action: Mocked:
    Takasugi: H-How dare you...
    Dragon: Wait, Takasugi. She's good. I'll go...
    (Ryoko smashes his face in with her wooden sword, knocking a few of his teeth out in the process)
    Ryoko: Gotcha!
    Dragon: Awful... I haven't... said...
  • Talk to the Fist: See Talking Is a Free Action, above.
  • Teeth Flying: Ryoko knocks several teeth out of the head of gang leader Takasugi's Dragon. Hey, it's his fault he was talking when the fight had already started.
  • Training from Hell:
    • Megumi puts herself through this before she faced her opponent at Dragon Land, letting a pitching machine buffet her with balls so she would be able to take the blows.
    • Also, this is what made G... what he is.
  • Wheel o' Feet: Used with Ryoko and Azumi, combined with Thundering Herd effect, in a mad race to be the first to give Tatsuya their bento during a Cooking Duel.
  • Wooden Katanas Are Even Better: Ryoko's skill with her Bokken has to be seen to be believed.
  • Would Hit a Girl: None of the male fighters hold back when fighting the girls... except in one case: Kyoichi wouldn't hit a crying girl.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Asuka pulls one of these during her fight with Kyoichi. It works.
  • Wrong Context Magic: Shizuma's more unusual abilities occasionally verge on outright supernatural in nature; it's indicated here and there that the ability isn't completely unheard of (Todo knows about it, for example), but it's still so far outside of the usual context of K-fights that virtually none of the people Shizuma fights know how to react to it.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko:
    • Azumi is very formal in every situation, uses a naginata, and is the heir to a dojo.
    • Aoi is more Silk Hiding Steel in that she is very brutal in battle but too shy for her own good.
  • You No Take Candle: Xiaoxing, a Chinese transfer student whose grasp of the Japanese language is somewhat limited.