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Manga / Stop!! Hibari-kun!

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Ordinary High-School Student Sakamoto Kousaku's mother has recently died, leaving him without close relatives. In her will, she requested that an old family friend, Oozora Ibari, should be his guardian. Kousaku is more than a little concerned when he realizes that the Oozoras are in fact a prominent yakuza crime family, but opts to stay with them when he meets Oozora's daughter Hibari, a somewhat mysterious girl close to his own age. Thus, he is inescapably swept up in the family's exotic entanglements, through which he will run into every sort of peril from Japanese Delinquents to The Mafia. And all while trying heroically to adjust to his new school.

Then there is also the matter that Hibari, although funny and beautiful, is really a very different kind of girl than any that Kousaku has dated before....

Stop!! Hibari-kun! is originally a shounen manga, written and drawn by one Hisashi Eguchi, that was published in the Shonen Jump magazine from 1981 to 1983. The series often topped the magazine's weekly ratings for most of its brief run, and alongside Cat's Eye was one of the first series in Shonen Jump to feature a mostly female cast. This attracted one of the publication's first examples of a Periphery Demographic in young girls that were interested in the contemporary fashions featured across all four Oozora Sisters, and the series has been cited by 1990s Japanese entertainers as an influence on their own style.

Combining gangster comedy and lighthearted high school romance, with a unique leading lady who belonged firmly to both worlds and neither, it has since become a cult classic, and has been translated into Chinese, French and Italian (though not English, presumably because of its often risqué themes). The comic was also adapted into an anime series by Toei Animation, which ran for 35 episodes on Fuji TV and ended in 1984. It has no American release either (and also no European dubs), although partial or complete fansubs are available in various languages. This page accepts tropes from either version.

This manga provides examples of:

  • The Ace: Hibari is this in spades, excelling not only in studies but is also a natural athlete, having the strength to throw megaton punches.
  • Action Girl: A rare trans example with Hibari. While it's not an action series, her family are still yakuza and get involved in various battles, and Hibari does her part. This sometimes shows at school as well, such as when she knocks out an experienced boxer.
  • Adoptive Name Change: Oozora Ibari (Hibari's father) wasn't originally part of the Oozora family proper, but a lower-ranking yakuza soldier who worked his way Up Through the Ranks. When he married the daughter of the old boss (who had no suitable male heir), he was adopted as his son and took up the family name along with the family business. What his own original name was is never revealed.
  • Alcoholic Parent: Kousaku's father drank daily. He died when he got drunk and drowned in a rice paddy. Kousaku's teacher spins a tale where his father was an abusive drunk, but in reality he wasn't.
  • All Gays are Promiscuous: Hibari is a subversion. While she certainly loves flirting with boys, and can be rather daring in this regard, the only guy she is ever serious about is Kousaku.
  • Alpha Bitch: Downplayed with Kaori, the good-looking but mean redhead in Hibari's class. She has the attitude and the Girl Posse, and wants to be this ... but Hibari is actually way more popular than she is. So she becomes sort of a guerrilla version of the trope, lording it over her own small clique of sycophants and trying to bring down Hibari in various petty ways.
  • Ambiguous Gender Identity: Japanese language around gender issues, especially in the 1980s, is complex and often ambiguous in Anglophone eyes, leading to much confusion. Most of the manga's content portray Hibari as transfeminine, however Hisashi Eguchi often referred to her with terms typically used for male-assigned people who are very feminine but male-identifying (most notably otokonoko). However, for a French interview in 2020, he did allow his description of Hibari to be translated as calling her "transgenre (transgender)".
  • Ambiguously Human: Yukkun, the Psychopathic Manchild son of a rival yakuza boss, is presumably meant to be human, but behaves strangely and is drawn in a different style from most other characters. His grotesque appearance is in many ways oddly reminiscent of a Deep One hybrid out of H. P. Lovecraft's fiction.
  • Animated Adaptation: The 4 volume manga was adapted into a 35 episode series, running from 1983 to 1984.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: The anime adaptation is a faithful adaptation of the manga, but also adapts stories from Hisashi Eguchi's other works and adds in some anime original content due to the manga's short length.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Boss Oozora, and also Kousaku, frequently refer to Hibari as a "pervert" when they're upset with her. In the early storylines, Hibari seems sad about it at least sometimes when Kousaku does. However, later on she embraces it instead, and jokingly applies it to herself — perhaps to take the edge off it as an insult for Kousaku to use.
    Kousaku: If I stay, I'll turn into a pervert!
    Hibari: So what? We can be a pervert couple!
  • Art Evolution:
    • Compare a shot from episode 1 to one from episode 35 of the anime. The manga itself also improved.
    • A meta example occurred when Eguchi redrew Hibari for the 2009 tankobon release of the manga. He showed just how much his style had changed since the early 80s, though Hibari isn't drawn in quite as realistic a style as he usually does.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender:
    • Hibari is totally convincing as a pretty girl (she even has a good female singing voice), and also knows how to dress stylishly. Combined with Hibari's bold and fun-loving attitude, this makes her very attractive to most of the boys at school
    • There is also Fumiko in the anime, who is a more traditional Yamato Nadeshiko, and just passes just as well. Arguably more so in fact, since she spotted Hibari, while Hibari was oblivious to her.
  • Beauty Contest: Hibari is in one at school, and does well in it, but there are complications...
    Hibari: They're having a Miss Wakaba contest at school! However, I'm worried that they'll find out that I'm a boy!
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Complicated by (Kousaku's perception of) Incompatible Orientation. Kousaku and Hibari fell in love at first sight — but the fact that Hibari is AMAB added a big portion of confusion and resentment to Kousaku's side of it, leading frequently to this kind of interaction. Despite this, though, both still care about each other, and gradually and awkwardly become friends of sorts. (Word of God states that Kousaku was going to eventually come to his senses.)
  • Beneath the Mask: Hibari. She is The Ace, successful and popular at school, and generally confident and casual, laughing of most insults that she gets from others (mainly her father and Kousaku) for being a "pervert" ... but occasionally, when something Kousaku says hits a little too Close to Home, she can be visibly sad (and dysphoric) about it.
  • Betty and Veronica: Rie and Hibari play this role as rival Love Interests for Kousaku: respectively, a sweet Girl Next Door and a sexy and talented Yakuza princess — who is also intimidating for certain reasons.
  • Bowdlerization: The fan translation of the manga sometimes censors the language the author uses in the behind-the-scenes comments a little. For example, Eguchi describes Hibari as a kagirinaku onnamitaina okama (which if one translates it literally works out as something like "homosexual who looks very much like a woman"). The scanlation suppresses the okama ("homosexual") part, making it simply "a very feminine guy" in their version.
  • The Boxing Episode: Early on, Kousaku joins the boxing club at school to avoid Hibari and get something more masculine into his life (which mostly fails however, since Hibari also joins it). The club and its other members thus become a recurring background element, and a few storylines focus enough on Kousaku's boxing to play this trope straight — for example, episode 33 in the anime.
  • The Casanova: Honda, the Pretty Boy ladykiller at school, who boasts of having dated 999.5 girls. Naturally, he wants to make the pretty Hibari Number 1,000.5, initiating yet another Love Triangle.
  • Cultural Cross-Reference:
  • Cure Your Gays: Oyabun Oozora remains displeased with his girly ‘son’, and launches various attempts to make Hibari more masculine — for example, by hiring a martial arts master to give her Training from Hell. These all fail because Hibari being feminine doesn't stop her from being an unstoppable badass.
  • Cut Short: The mangaka ended the series prematurely because he couldn't keep up with the weekly schedule.
  • Determinator: Much of the time, Hibari's chasing of Kousaku is Played for Laughs as playful teasing (or even rather mean-spirited trolling, sometimes) — but when she gets a serious romantic rival, Hibari reveals that her feelings are serious, too, and that she won't give up on Kousaku no matter what.
    Hibari: Kousaku! There's no way you're getting away from me! The Earth is round, after all!
  • Dogged Nice Guy: Rie is a female example. She is secretly in love with Shiina, and tries to make him notice her in subtle and modest ways, but he only has eyes for Hibari.
  • Double Standard Rape: Female on Male: Most of Hibari's advances to Kousaku are little more then teasing, but one chapter ends with her aggressively crawling over him despite his protests while they're both undressed in bed. It's not really clear how far she took things, nor brought up in future chapters. (There's some overlap with Double Standard: Rape, Male on Male, in the sense that Kousaku at this point definitely considers Hibari male.)
  • The Don: Hibari's father, Oozora Ibari, is the oyabun (Japanese equivalent to a mafia don) of the Oozora yakuza family. He is an at least mostly heroic version of the trope: while he is a criminal and has killed people and such, he cares about his town, and protects it from exploitation by other gangsters and Corrupt Politicians. Also, he is nice to women and children and loves his family.
  • Dude Magnet: Hibari is very popular with men. At the Wakaba high school where her stealthing skills are successful, she receives heaps of love letters from boys in all grades, and is elected "Miss Wakaba" at the school festival with what seems to be a large margin.
  • The '80s: The manga was made in the early 80s and it shows in the fashion, especially Hibari's. The anime is cited as having an influence on J-pop culture.
  • Enemy Mine: Although Kousaku and Shiina are regular rivals in the ring and outside it, they briefly team up to take on Honda and his flunkies when they move on Hibari.
  • Erotic Dream: Kousaku has one about Hibari at the beginning of Episode 2.
  • Fake Boobs: Hibari's flat chest becomes a plot point in one story, when some mean girls at school start suspecting the truth about her assigned sex at birth after hearing her wishing she had breasts and Kousaku’s clumsy retort. After this, she feels an extra incentive to wear breast forms in order to improve passing.
    Kousaku: Don't wear such things!
    Hibari: But I have to, because I got groped when we were changing for gym...
  • Fake First Kiss: Teased, but then averted. In one story, Kousaku has asked Hibari to pretend to be his girlfriend in order to win a bet. Hibari doesn't mind playing along at first, but then surprisingly ends up upset when Kousaku wants to fake a kiss.
    Hibari: I'm sorry, I can't. I mean, I am a boy... but even so, I don't want a kiss that's fake. I want to kiss for real...
  • Family-Values Villain: Boss Oozora, insofar as he is a villain. Although he is a gangster, and can be brutal occasionally, he respects the sanctity of marriage and family, as is shown on various occasions.
    • When one of his subordinates wanted to resign (which the yakuza usually doesn't like) in order to marry a respectable woman and have a family, he threatened him with severe consequences at first... but only to make sure he would have the courage to stand up for his wife. After being satisfied of this, he let him leave the family with his blessing and a gift of money to help the couple along.
    • In the case of Hibari, two aspects of this clash: his unconditional love for his child, versus his wish for his ‘firstborn son’ to grow up to be a real man and worthy heir to the family's traditions.
  • Farm Boy: Kousaku is an Ordinary High-School Student in the present day, but his background fits the trope: the son of a small farmer in Kyushu, intelligent enough but with a temperament of simple honesty and loyalty. Sometimes, he still slips back into his old, rustic dialect when under great stress.
  • Funetik Aksent: In chapter 33 of the manga, an old friend of Kousaku's from Kumamoto comes to visit, and he has a very thick accent. In a flashback, Kousaku himself was just as bad.
  • Gendered Insult: In addition to the most common derogatory word used for Hibari, "pervert" (hentai in Japanese), more specifically gendered insults also turn up. For example, Sayuri calls her an otokoonna (literally "man-woman"), a nowadays somewhat old-fashioned derogatory term for effeminate men.
  • Girly Girl with a Tomboy Streak: The manga often plays on the stereotype that a trans girl like Hibari would act unconsciously masculine, but she is very feminine overall. She takes care of her appearance and is quite good at most "womanly" things when they come up. She can also often show a tougher side by making crude jokes, using rude, masculine-sounding language, outdrinking her dates and physically beating people up.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Hibari for the most part, Innocent Blue Eyes and all. At least in the anime. In the manga there’s lots of variation, with red hair being the most common by a slim margin.
  • Has a Type: Kousaku seems to fall in love easily with smart blonde girls. Hibari is pretty much his perfect match, except that she's AMAB — when Kousaku finally found someone who had similar looks and personality, but was a girl, he really hurried to get engaged to her. It then turned out that she was really AMAB as well — just one who used coconuts. Hibari was very amused by this episode, seeing it as confirmation that whether he denies it or not, Kousaku's real "type" is cute trans girls.
    Hibari: Oh, Kousaku! It seems like it's your destiny to fall in love with boys!
  • Hero of Another Story: Mr. Oozora is the Anti-Hero, or possibly Anti-Villain version of this. He is a gangster, but an honorable one who cares about his local community, and at various times demonstrates genuine heroism when he struggles with competitors or uses his position to help people out. Flashbacks also show that he was a much more physically active yakuza soldier as a younger man. Since the main story focuses on Kousaku and Hibari, however, most of Oozora's activities (past and present) remain off screen.
  • Hot-Blooded: Taiga is a hot-blooded boy obsessed with equally tough and hot-blooded characters.
  • Incompatible Orientation:
    • Very often Played for Laughs, with Kousaku repeatedly falling for Hibari, then remembering that she's "really a boy" and getting creeped out.
    • Occasionally, it was also not played for laughs. In one storyline, Kousaku was getting serious with a girl, and Hibari (whose flirting with him usually has a strong element of teasing, and/or trolling) was uncharacteristically somber when she realized that she might be losing him for real.
      Kousaku: I told you already! I happen to be normal, so I like girls!
      Hibari: Why? Why does it have to be a girl?
  • Inconsistent Coloring: A common issue with manga, which are usually published in black and white. Hibari has blue eyes in most of the color artwork (and in the anime), but is also occasionally depicted with black or dark brown eyes in other pieces of art (including the new cover for the 2009 special edition of the manga).
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: This is revealed to be the background for how Mr. Oozora and Kousaku's mother knew each other. He and the man who would become Kousaku's father were rival suitors, but Oozora decided to stand down because he thought Harue would be happier with a poor but honest man than a yakuza gangster.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kousaku, especially in the anime, can come across as rude to Hibari at times but it’s clear he genuinely cares for her.
  • The Lancer: Shiina, a somewhat older, cooler boy in the boxing club who is a sometime mentor, sometime rival to Kousaku, and also has a persistent crush on Hibari.
  • Lost in Translation: The unusual way Hibari switches between using masculine and feminine expressions (which are more distinct in Japanese than in English) tends to be largely lost in fan translations. In fairness, this is hard to translate one for one, but ignoring it obscures some conversations where it is directly relevant.
    • For example, when Kousaku is annoyed with the girlish way Hibari talks early on, and Hibari responds by doubling down on the feminity, this is completely passed over in the English fan translation. With notes explaining the joke, the same lines would go something like:
      Kousaku: What do you mean, "wa yo"? [A Japanese expression used by girls]
      Hibari: Is there a problem?
      Kousaku: Yes! Why are you pretending to be a girl?
      Hibari: [With theatrical femininity] Because I love you!
    • Contrariwise, in a later story, an unwanted admirer is very surprised to hear Hibari use some very rough, masculine-sounding language as she tells him off. Again, the fan translation passes over this aspect of their exchange.
    • As for the Oozora family generally, the fan translations typically make no attempts to carry across the dialect, and/or yakuza argot that Boss Oozora and his henchmen often speak in. This rarely if ever changes the meaning of anything important, but it does affect their characterization and make them a bit less colorful.
  • Love at First Sight: Goes both ways with Hibari and Kousaku, though Kousaku tries his hardest to stop the feelings.
  • Love Triangle: The main one in the series involves four people: Hibari loves Kousaku, who loves Rie, who loves Shiina, who loves Hibari. Since they all know each other well, there is a fair amount of people (but especially Hibari) both aiding and sabotaging the tangential relationships they like or don't like, in addition to pursuing their own. Both Hibari and Kousaku also experience other, more minor love triangles involving other people over the course of the story.
  • Ms. Fanservice: A rare transgender example. Hibari is The Fashionista and always dresses well, and has an impish, often somewhat indecorous sense of humor. In particular, whenever she and Kousaku are alone together, she likes wearing sexy clothes (or not wearing them), striking poses and doing other provocative things to troll/entice Kousaku.
  • Mugging the Monster: In one story, Hibari and Kousaku are attacked by a group of Japanese Delinquents. Naturally, they focus on Kousaku rather than his cute "girlfriend" as the more dangerous target — until Hibari kayoes their huge boss, which sends the rest running.
  • Mukokuseki: Relatively downplayed; many characters have more or less realistic Japanese skin and hair types, and some even have slanted East Asian eyes. Red and brown hair is still fairly common, though, and almost all of the main characters could easily pass as white to European eyes — particularly the blond Hibari. The manga gives characters more consistently East Asian characteristics, though. And the actually white characters are quite distinct looking compared to the main cast.
  • No Ending: The anime ends with Hibari simply announcing that her and Kousaku's adventures in the "frightful pervert world" will continue, and thanking the audience for watching. As for the manga, it just sort of peters out, with not even that much in the way of "resolution".
  • One-Man Army: Kotatsu, the son of Tatsu the Spartan, who is even tougher than his father. When Boss Oozora wants to test his skills, he has him fight a small army of his yakuza henchmen unarmed — and Kotatsu comes out ahead.
  • Otokonoko Genre: The series was a major inspiration for the genre and pioneered many of the common tropes it would be built on. It's also very much an Unbuilt Trope, because most works within the genre specify the protagonist as male-identifying, while from a modern perspective Hibari is a trans girl who's just treated as a crossdresser by some characters.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: In real life, Kousaku would probably be considered a pretty cool guy: an Academic Athlete who is good in school, a talented boxer, and able to hold his own in a serious fight at least some of the time. The fact that he is usually associated with the even more talented Hibari tends to draw away most people's attention from Kousaku's own rather respectable achievements and qualities, however.
  • Parental Abandonment: Kousaku is sent to live with old friends of his mother after she dies because he has no relatives. His father drowned a few years prior.
  • Plot-Triggering Death: Kousaku's mother recently died, which causes him to move in with the Oozoras.
  • Promotion to Parent: The eldest daughter, Tsugumi, acted as a maternal figure after their mother died.
  • Retired Badass: Boss Oozora, in the sense that his leadership position means he doesn't do much fighting anymore. Various backstory references and flashbacks establish his toughness as a younger gangster, however, and he occasionally gets to do cool things in the present day as well.
  • The Rival: Shiina, a rival boxer at school. Although mostly hostile at first, he and Kousaku gradually develop a grudging respect for each other. He is also a sometime romantic rival to Kousaku, although again in a relatively more friendly way as time goes by.
  • Running Gag: Characters hallucinating white crocodiles whenever they are in a state of mental shock.
  • Ruthless Foreign Gangsters: The Mafia plays this role when they appear, as a strange, foreign and heavily armed presence close to the Oozora turf. Oozora has a complicated relationship with their leader, Don Corleone; it isn't always hostile, but usually at least a little tense.
  • School Newspaper Newshound: A villainous version. After Honda was rejected by Hibari, he uses the school newspaper to spread rumors about her and Kousaku, and sends out his reporters to dig up dirt on them.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Sinister Shades: Sabu is almost never seen without his. When they are removed, it's revealed that he wears them to cover a gruesome scar over his right eye.
  • Stalker Shrine: Kaji has one of these for Tsubame, with all the pictures he’s secretly taken of her.
  • Theme Naming: The Oozora sisters' names all come from types of bird in Japanese: Hibari (lark), Suzume (sparrow), Tsubame (swallow) and Tsugumi (thrush).
  • Toxic Friend Influence:
    • Boss Oozora sometimes worries that Hibari will turn Kousaku into a "pervert" too.
    • In her public identity as a cheeky popular girl, Hibari gives Kousaku's female friends questionable love advice, at various times encouraging the girls to do such things as dressing provocatively or inviting boys into their bedrooms at night.
  • Trans Equals Gay: Hibari can most accurately be described as a transgender girl who only shows romantic interest in guys (or just one guy, depending on how honest she's being when she flirts with others), but the author's comments will still refer to her as a gay crossdressing boy. Considering Hibari changes clothes and even bathes with girls who think she's a cisgender girl, her lack of attraction to them does sidestep any suspicion of predatory behavior (as Kousaku accuses her).
  • Trans Relationship Troubles: The romantic tension between Hibari and Kousaku is very fraught by the former being transgender. Most of this is Kousaku's comedically overblown sexual confusion. More seriously, Hibari's confidence that she has Kousaku's attention starts to falter when he shows interests in other girls, and at least once she was openly angry at his reasoning to reject her. Despite himself, Kousaku has instances where he can't help but think of Hibari as a girl.
  • Troll: One of Hibari's favorite sources of amusement is to annoy her father (who doesn't approve of her femininity) by striking flamboyant poses and talking using very feminine expressions — which can make the elder Oozora literally apoplectic with rage. She also does a similar thing with Kousaku, and sometimes her sisters as well (especially Tsubame).
  • Undying Loyalty: Seiji. Boss Oozora took him in when he was a struggling orphan, looked after him and became a sort of father figure to him, and in return, Seiji is fiercely loyal to the Oozora family in general and the boss in particular.
  • The Unfavorite: Hibari's father is a traditionalist, masculine man (as well as a yakuza oyabun) who deeply resents his “only son's” “crossdressing and homosexuality”, repeatedly calling her a pervert (hentai in Japanese) and sometimes trying various schemes to make her a more normal boy. Of course, everything he tries inevitably fails in the end.
  • Unsettling Gender-Reveal:
    • Kousaku learns the “truth” about Hibari when Mr. Oozora tells him, and freaks out. But he still doesn't completely believe it until he walks in on Hibari coming out of the shower the day after.
    • In the extended ending to the 2010 "Complete Edition" of the manga, the minor manga-only character Taiga is revealed to be a trans man, and revealed as such when seen partially undressed by Kousaku.
  • Violently Protective Girlfriend: Hibari does not take kindly to Kousaku being hurt, once knocking out Shiina in a little boxing match for being too rough with him , and later goes on a shootout against the leader of another mob group after she learns that he threatened Kousaku.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: By the standards of when the story was written, Hibari would be considered a crossdresser. She's a sympathetic character overall, though she’s not exactly wholesome by most standards.
  • Worthy Opponent: Tatsu the Spartan eventually acknowledges that Hibari is this: despite her feminine style, she is both tough, smart and determined, and likely to become a great oyabun of the Oozora yakuza one day.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Fumiko, who is classy, modest and wears traditional Japanese clothes. As for Hibari, her personality doesn't really fit this type at all, but she is a good enough actress to be able to pretend to be one for brief periods (as well as good enough with clothes to look great when she styles herself as a geisha).