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Manga / Strongest Legend Kurosawa

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On that day, I realized it...! As if a bolt of lightning struck me, I suddenly realized it. There is no such thing as being emotionally moved!
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Strongest Legend Kurosawa (Saikyou Densetsu Kurosawa) is a 2003 manga by Nobuyuki Fukumoto, the man behind Akagi, Kaiji and several others. No, it's not about gambling. Despite that, it's generally seen as one of his best works because of how powerful and philosophical it is. Recently, the main character appeared briefly in the opening video to the second season of Kaiji.

The story is about Kurosawa, a man in his forties who works for a construction company. He is single and experiencing a midlife crisis. All he wants is respect from his co-workers, but things never seem to go the way he wants them to... And one day he has to worry about violent teenagers following him.

Not to be confused with Onani Master Kurosawa or Akira Kurosawa, although the former is a loose parody of this, and the title of this might be a reference to the latter.

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This manga provides examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: At one point, Kurosawa gets asked if he is a virgin. Cue awkward silence and Fukumoto's iconic Unsound Effect "zawa, zawa" appearing in the background.
  • Author Avatar: Possibly the main character, to some extent anyway. It's not hard to imagine that Fukumoto has dealt with loneliness himself after reading this manga. And they have the same birthday!
  • Batter Up!: Shizuka encourages the other delinquents to hit poor Kurosawa on the head with a baseball bat. They hesitate at first (since this could very well kill him), but attack him anyway once she offers a one-night stand to whoever does it.
  • Beergasm: Asai has one during worktime.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Kurosawa finally does a genuinely good deed and manages to make people thankful... but it cost him his life. Although, Fukumoto has confirmed that Kurosawa is alive, making the ending less bitter. The sequel manga reveals that he spent eight years in a coma, cared for from his former tormentor (now a doctor wishing to use Kurosawa as a tool to gain a career advance) and, weakened in his body and resolve, lost his job becoming a neglected homeless. However, as he did in the past, he's now forging new friendships among the homeless community, fighting his hardships and improving his new, meager lifestyle.
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  • Butt-Monkey: Poor, poor Kurosawa...
  • Funny Afro: Used as part of a disguise for Kurosawa when he starts being harassed by teenagers.
  • Gag Nose: Just look at the image. Even by Fukumoto standards, it's strange.
  • Happy Ending Override: In the sequel manga, The New Kurosawa, Kurosawa is shown to be alive. However, after seven long years of coma he's left weaker in his body and resolve, jobless and penniless and living himself among the homeless. He's slowly reganining his skills and will to improve his life.
  • Jerkass: Most teenagers, but especially Shizuka.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Kurosawa. He's a good person, just very awkward; he often comes across as rude if not downright frightening because of it.
  • Manchild: Asai is old enough to work and drink alcohol, but also collects toys from WcDonald's and likes video games.
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