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Manga / The Legend of Koizumi

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"That's right. Mahjong is man's attempt at recreating the Genesis."

"Ragnarok... The Mahjong of the Gods!"

The Legend Of Koizumi or Mudazumo Naki Kaikaku (Reform With No Wasted Draws), a manga by Hideki Oowada, is the story about how top country leaders battle it out with Mahjong to decide THE FATE OF ENTIRE NATIONS.

Got a three-episode OVA adaptation which premiered in February 2010.

Currently you can only find the series in English through a fan-translation currently translated through Chapter 100, approximately halfway through Volume 10. However, the series continues past this, with the Lion's Bloodline saga concluding in November 2015 with Volume 16. In August 2017 the series resumed with the Princess of Zipang saga. While the Princess of Zipang saw a renumbering of the volumes, the current number of volumes in the series is 20 as of the end of 2018.


This series contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: The Bushes are given blond hair in the anime.
  • Ain't No Rule: Ain't No Rule that prevents you from clobbering your opponent senseless with the Mah Jong table. All you get is 15000 penalty points.
    • The majority of the games are dedicated to elaborate cheating that could only pass by invoking Ain't No Rule. Bribery, mind control, assaulting the opponent, boobytrapping the tiles, recreating The Philadelphia Experiment to obscure the opponent's tiles... Hitler's Heisenberg Strike uses quantum superpositioning to win multiple games simultaneously, which would be a ludicrous concept - in our world, at least.
  • And Now for Someone Completely Different: Chapter 49 begins with a new protagonist: Understandable as most of the old guard died during the Twilight of the Gods arc. Princess of Zipang also has a new protagonist.
    • However, while this is currently the case, in the Lion's Bloodline arc, Instant Expert Action Girl Ayano Yojō says that JAXA is working on retrieving and possibly even reviving Koizumi, so it might go from a completely different character to an Action Duo.
  • Arc Villain: While Adolf Hitler is indisputably the most powerful antagonist in the series so far, the continuation of the series after the Twilight of the Gods arc means that the series is now made up of a number of Arc Villains.
    • Pre-Twilight of the Gods: Vladmir Putin. While both Papa Bush and George W. Bush act as among the most recurring antagonists before Twilight of the Gods, and while Kim Jong Il is technically the last opponent before Twilight of the Gods, Putin had the longest sub-arc and was arguably the most skilled of the villains.
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    • Twilight of the Gods: Adolf Hitler. Legendary Super Aryan.
    • The Lion's Bloodline: Yukio Hatoyama.
    • Senkaku Islands Bloody Battle: Mao Zedong and Lenin, with Leon Trotsky as The Starscream.
  • Art Shift: Most of the major characters get at least one. Tymoshenko gets two within the space of three pages.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Apparently being a current or former Head of State means you're awesome at mahjong.
    • Head of State is probably elected based on their mahjong power.
    • The Pope is elected solely based on who wins the mahjong conclave.
  • Badass Longcoat: Bush Jr. used to wear one in his college years, and decides to put it back on during the battle against the Nazis. Also, after his death, Papa Bush's headstone gets its own badass longcoat.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Rudolf Hess and Hermann Goring appear to be the foes that the Pope was going to face but Hitler decides to step in himself frying the two.
  • Battle Aura: EVERYBODY gets a battle aura when they play a special hand. Papa Bush is able to do one that causes his shirt to spontaneously disintegrate.
  • Berserk Button: Do NOT diss the Pope in front of Hitler. You will regret it. Speidel found this out the hard way.
  • Big Bad: Adolf Hitler. Yup, he's been alive all these years. And he has the ability to go Super Aryan.
    • Incidentally, the name he goes under while escaping from Germany is the surname he would have had if his grandfather hadn't acknowledged his illegitimate son: Schicklgruber.
  • Big Good: The Pope for Twilight of the Gods, and the Dalai Lama for Senkaku Islands/Lion's Kindred.
    • Though he clearly has no problem playing mahjong as cut-throat as the rest of the characters.
  • Bishounen: Pietro, complete with Bishie Sparkle
    • It is very disturbing that Hitler gets a little Bishie Sparkle of his own, when we first see him at the end of manga volume 3. This turns out to be some sort of glamor that Hitler's magic gives him. Yes, Hitler is magical.
  • Brain in a Jar: Josef Mengele hopes to cheat death with one. Yulia puts an end to that.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: In the Sengaku Islands arc, the Red Guards of the Neo Soviet Republic are said to be this, and played more straight with Lenin's secret weapon, the "Mask of Mahjong", who is a revived and brainwashed Koizumi.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: Happens to Taizo quite a lot of times.
  • Brown Note: It's noted by Nazi scientists that just looking at a person with a significantly higher mahjong power level can cause serious negative effects to your health.
  • Butt-Monkey: Taizo. George Jr. qualifies as well.
    • George Jr. is leaving this territory rapidly, as he seems to be taking around eighty-two levels in badass.
      • According to Colin Powell, George Jr. is the real Papa Bush, and the scoreboard even labeled him "Real Papa Bush".
    • Yukio Hatoyama, Japanese prime minister September 2008-June 2009, gets picked on consistently in both the manga's omake scenes and the OVA.
      • And then he ends up being killed by Kim Jong-il of all people. After being possessed by a squid.
      • Only in the OVA, though. In the Lion's Bloodline arc of the manga, he's an Adaptational Wimp, and although his playing style is still haphazard and clumsy, mirroring the prime minister's political faults, it is still an effective playing style.
    • Nicolas Sarkozy's two appearances are made of this.
  • Calling Your Attacks: Everyone adds specialized names to their mahjong hands like "PATRIOT TSUMO" or "PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC RIICHI".
  • Came Back Wrong: Koizumi's corpse is stolen from the Moon by a UFO and he's fought as the "Mask of Mahjong" by the JSDF's members. He appears to have lost his memories and his DNA doesn't match with his original identity. Sanada eventually uncovers an individual controlling MoM's body: Leon Trotsky as a head grafted onto his host's chest.
  • The Chew Toy: Taizo wavers between this and Butt Monkeydom.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Hitler as SUPER ARYAN sure seems to be off... At least until he gets serious, at which point his Mahjong Power is so high it can kill people that aren't strong enough by simply looking at him.
  • Cold Sniper: Former Japanese prime minister Taro Aso, shown to be a crack shot with a high-powered rifle. Again, a hint of Truth in Television, since the real-life Taro Aso was on Japan's shooting team during the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.
  • Combat by Champion: The Fourth Reich asks for five of them to decide the fate of the Earth. They are:
    • Junichiro Koizumi
    • Papa Bush (partnered with his son)
    • Vladimir Putin (partnered with Dmitri Medvedev)
    • Yulia Tymoshenko (partnered with Eleonora Pavlichenko)
    • Pope Benedict XVI (partnered with Pietro)
  • Combat Clairvoyance: Hitler is able to predict the outcome of his matches against Pope Benedict and declare victory as soon as the dice is rolled.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A fair few antagonists have crafty tricks up their sleeves, like signaling snipers if they use the advantage, or tiles that extend neurotoxin-tipped needles.
  • Confusion Fu/You Cannot Grasp the True Form: The line is used verbatim to describe Hatoyama's Mah Jong playstyle, complete with a Shout-Out to Trope Namer Gigyas.
  • Death Glare: Mao Zedong's gaze in the OVA reduces Hu Jintao to a gibbering madman, causes Taizo to urinate uncontrollably, and transforms Pol Pot into grass. Koizumi is (relatively) unaffected.
  • Deranged Animation: The manga's artwork is crazy enough, but the anime takes it up a notch.
  • Determinator: Reiji Inue. His backstory reveals that after his little sister became gravely ill and the weather prevented a rescue helicopter from evacuating her to a hospital, he first approached the governor of Kagoshima for help. He made the call strapped with dynamite in case his request was refused. The governor then put him through to Noboru Takeshita (then-prime minister of Japan), who promised him a black hawk chopper if he won a game of Pickup with Mahjong tiles; if he lost the game, he would have to kill himself. Fortunately, Inue won the game and saved his sister's life. And did all this when he was a young boy, this however was done over a phone, so Inue never actually sees the tile his opponent got, and it is implied that the Prime Minister actually won and was only testing Inue's resolve.
    • Koizumi himself in his battle against Hitler, his opponent was clearly stronger, but despite getting blasted again and again, he held on (this is even lampshaded by a nazi soldier, and in the end he won by countering his opponents finishing move with his new found 'Godmoupai' (it consists on taking away a piece of a tile and adding it to another), which not even Hitler with his nigh omnipotence could prepare for.
  • Dies Wide Open: Koizumi dies with open eyes, admiring Earth from the Moon after defeating Hitler.
  • Disappeared Dad: Captain Sanada's father died before he was born, or so he thinks.
  • Eagleland: The story kind of goes back and forth on this. At first the Bush family (and thus America) is portrayed as Type 2 straight up, almost to ridiculous degrees. Both Bush Sr. and Bush Jr. get more sympathetic as time goes on, however, to the point that Chapter 19 is absolute, pure Type 1 (straight down to a baseball metaphor).
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: How do you know that George W. Bush is in America (as if you didn't already know)? You can see the Statue of Liberty from his bedroom window. His bedroom... in the White House. In Washington DC. 200 miles from Liberty Island.
  • Eye Scream: When he realizes his ability to predict hands is being used against him, Tristan gouges out his own eyes.
  • Fan Disservice: Taizo, no one wants to see you naked.
  • A Fate Worse Than Death: After he is defeated, Hitler's soul is banished from his body and he is forced to play mahjong against the Big Three again, possibly for all eternity.
  • The Final Temptation: Hitler tries to pull this on the Pope, only to get blasted by SAINTE TRINITE!!! and an incredibly lame pon.
    • And then the Pope turns around and does some sort of reverse-temptation to him. Wait, huh?
  • Fingore: A tile modified by Mengele extends needles and pierces Tymoshenko through her index and middle fingers and thumb.
  • Finishing Move: RISING SUN!!!
    • Everyone has one of these. Everything from "SIBERIAN EXPRESS!" to "THE BEGINNING OF THE COSMOS!"
  • The Flatwoods Monster: Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and his wife are depicted as very alien-like in appearance and behavior. The Prime Minister, when dressed up for a round of mahjong, takes the appearance of the Flatwoods Monster.
  • Fling a Light into the Future: Even though Pope Benedict is defeated and killed by Hitler, he leaves behind a clue that proves critical in figuring out his weakness.
  • Flipping the Table: Hatoyama does this intentionally as a way of increasing his Mah Jong power. Sanada turns this around on him by flipping the table himself before Hatoyama can do it... And then beating Hatoyama over the head with the table.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: Taizo's mahjong power increases when he strips.
  • Green Thumb: Mao Zedong, of all people. He causes Pol Pot to explode into grass by looking at him.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: there are many.
    • Medvedev sacrifices himself to give Putin the tiles he needs to win. Putin himself declares that no country knows the meaning of Heroic Sacrifice better than Russia.
    • Bush Sr. sacrifices himself to protect Bush Jr., rather than win the game by letting him die.
    • The three blind seers channel the spirits of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin in order to train Koizumi to defeat Hitler. However, channeling such powerful spirits drains all of their life energy, killing them in the process.
  • Historical In-Joke: Kim Jong-nam in the first episode wears Mickey Mouse ears as to reference being caught sneaking into Tokyo Disneyland using a fake passport in 2001.
  • Hope Spot: His Holiness defeated Hitler! And then suddenly SUPER ARYAN appears and kills the Pope in one round. Ouch.
  • Hot-Blooded: Everybody. Except Putin and even he has his moments.
  • In the Blood: Played straight with the Bushes and with Koizumi and his grandfather. Averted when Koizumi's son Kotaro can't play well enough to be an effective substitute for his supposedly deceased father in the first battle against Putin — Kotaro, like his real-life counterpart, is an actor and not a politician.
    • Played straight with Captain Sanada, who turns out to be a long lost son of Koizumi and is a fast learner at Mahjong.
  • Incendiary Exponent: Four words: depleted uranium mahjong tiles.
    • Three words: PLUTONIUM mahjong tiles.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun: 'Man shall not live by pon alone!!!'note 
  • Killed Off for Real: So far the Ragnarok battles have killed Dmitri Medvedev, Joseph Mengele, Papa Bush, Colin Powell, Otto Skorzeny and now Pope Benedict XVI.
    • Narrowly averted with George W. Bush, who was saved only by the Power Makeover provided by his Skull and Bones uniform jacket.
    • And now Erwin Rommel has died after losing his game against Hitler. Speidel also got himself killed for insulting Pope Benedict. It's also implied that Goring and Hess were killed when Hitler blasted them with lightning.
    • And after the final battle Hitler is killed by Koizumi's Rising Sun, but Koizumi himself eventually succumbs to the wounds he took during the match.
  • Life Energy: During the Ragnarok battles, the players' life energy is directly connected to their mahjong score (which starts at 25,000, just as in real mahjong). When someone loses a round, his or her life energy drains away by the corresponding lost points. Once a player's score hits zero, he or she is dead — and if the dead player's score went negative, his or her partner's life energy is drained to make up the remainder. It is also implied that this happens during regular matches between extremely powerful players, like when the Pope destroys Koizumi and he needs to specify he's still alive.
  • Life Meter: The mahjong scoreboard during the Ragnarok battles displays the remaining life of all four players at the table.
  • Load-Bearing Boss: After Hitler dies, the entire Nazi moon base collapses since it was only being kept up by his sheer power.
  • Manly Tears: Koizumi can be seen shedding these for Papa Bush after his death.
    • Hitler also sheds some, along with Erwin Rommel, as the latter is about to die when he chose to face him in a mahjong duel.
  • Multinational Team: In this case, Earth's defense force against Those Wacky Nazis represents Japan, Russia, Ukraine, the United States, and the Vatican. (The United Kingdom would've been on this list instead of Ukraine, but Baroness Thatcher's ill health prevented it.)
  • Mundane Made Awesome: Everyone seems to play Mahjong in an unnecessarily epic way.
  • My Greatest Failure: When he was younger, the Pope snuck Hitler out of the country. He didn't realize what he was doing at the time, but it has haunted him ever since.
  • My Kung Fu Is Stronger Than Yours: Koizumi needs to train to ensure that he's strong enough to defeat Hitler and save the world. So who does he train against to acquire truly legendary mahjong powers and defeat Those Wacky Nazis? Blind female shamans possessed by the ghosts of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin, of course.
    • Hitler being the strongest player alive that he is, it's still not enough, and Koizumi needs to use a robot designed to cheat in several different ways to counter the Super Aryans, and after said robot is defeated, he invents a new way of cheating by removing a piece from a tile and adding it to another, the 'Godmoupai'.
  • No-Sell: Mask of Mahjong erases his own power level to prevent all the plays of his opponents, which supernaturally forces them to perform illegal moves and get punished for them. At the same time, he can still play normally because of the power held by Trotsky's head on his chest.
  • Not Cheating Unless You Get Caught:
    • Invoked by Colin Powell during the match between Bush Jr. and Skorzeny, telling Skorzeny that he'll be shot by several snipers if he's caught cheating, but otherwise he can get away with it. Skorzeny gets caught.
    • Played straight by Rudel in the same match, his cheating is so inhumanly fast that it's impossible to catch. True Papa Bush tries and fails to grab his hand and catch him red handed (As he had done with Skorzeny, wich was already faster than what a camera can follow). It's so fast it creates a cloud of dust without his hands seeming to move, this is explained by saying that it's the same as when a "wing slices through the atmosphere at high speeds".
    • A good deal of characters engage in various cheating techniques, from quickly drawing four tiles and replacing three to make it seem like one was drawn to rubbing the faces off of tiles.
    • Cheating is also how some players beat vastly stronger opponents, they actually had to create a cheating robot and an entirely new way of cheating to defeat Hitler.
  • Not-So-Harmless Villain: Prime Minister Hatoyama (see Butt-Monkey), upon finally making an appearance in the manga following the Time Skip, is a creepy looking half-alien half-human thing.
  • Nuclear Weapons Taboo: Averted several times, most notably with the depleted uranium tiles and Yulia and Eleonora's final attack on Mengele.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Benedict XVI claimed this to be the case with George Jr. (aka "Real/True" Papa Bush) and that only George H. W. saw through it... on the other hand, everything before that reveal suggests otherwise, or at least that George Jr. never saw through his dad's own act, and regards his father as "Papa" still.
  • Oh, Crap!: Hitler has a series of these during his final match against Koizumi. First, when Koizumi pulls off a winning move (wich he did by cheating harder than anyone had ever cheated before). The second time is when Hitler realizes said winning move ejects his soul from his body. The third and last time is when he is confronted by the spirits of the Big Three, the only other mahjong players capable of beating him.
  • Older and Wiser: Former prime minister Taro Aso following the reboot in chapter 49.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: Hilariously enough, a boy's choir sings in Latin while the Pope plays against Koizumi.
  • One Last Smoke: Skorzeny, just before his "Facing the Bullets" One-Liner.
  • One-Way Trip: With Area 51 and Baikonur destroyed, which both contain the only spacecraft capable of traveling to the Moon, Koizumi instead opts to take one of Japan's rockets there. However, it only has enough life support capacity to get him to the Moon, making a return trip impossible.
  • Original Generation: The manga originally used only public figures, major or minor, as major characters (Taizo Sugimura is an actual Diet member in Japan, even today; "Yukari" isn't actually given a last name but is generally understood to be a generous portrayal of Yukari Sato, another minor Diet member). As the series went on, however, some of the world leaders didn't really have "seconds" most people would recognize (especially in the series' country of origin), so a few were invented expressly for the manga: Pietro for Pope Benedict, Eleonora Pavlichenko for Yulia Tymoshenko, and Mariel for Josef Mengele and later the Nazi side in general. The Nazi side also picks up Tristan and Isolde later on, who are named for the characters in the legend (specifically Wagner's opera version) but are otherwise wholly original; they serve as Hitler's seconds.
  • Power Limiter:
    • You thought that the pope was strong before? Wait 'til you see him without his "Shackles of Golgotha"!
    • This is used in conventional mahjong rules so you don't get retarded scores off of one good hand. Guess what Putin proposes during his match with Koizumi? Over 900,000 doesn't even begin to describe it.
  • Psychic Nosebleed: Looking into one whose Mahjong Power is far greater than you can cause this.
  • Puppeteer Parasite: OVA only: Yukio Hatoyama and his wife are not-so-secretly being controlled by aliens. This unfortunately leads to an unpleasant moment shortly after Hatoyama is shot.... Yet another slight exaggeration of the truth, if the Other Wiki is to be believed.
  • Pure Is Not Good: Mengele's obsession with everything that is pure destroys him. He should have not drawn those tiles that are pure plutonium...
  • Refuge in Audacity: Probably the only reason Putin allowed Koizumi's Birth of the Universe hand, which is all white dragons thanks to goumoupai, despite the fact that he had obviously cheated in plain view. A hand like that is just plain awesome. Also, Koizumi nearly set himself on fire (and destroyed his clothes) doing it, since the tiles were made from depleted uranium and the air was extra-oxygenated specifically to prevent this.
  • Rule of Cool: It's basically Yugioh with Mahjong instead of trading cards. The whole series runs on this.
  • Save the Villain: How can you tell that the Pope is the Big Good? He's trying to save HITLER. Even Hitler himself is shocked.
  • Serial Escalation: How high stakes can the games of mahjong get? How utterly ridiculous can the situation get?
    • In the words of Koizumi himself:
      Taizo. All of mankind's greatest endeavors and achievements started off as impossible from the ground. If you don't do the impossible, you're less likely to succeed!
  • Serious Business: Mahjong is used for everything from negotiation to deciding the next pope to saving the world from NAZIS IN SPACE!
  • Sequel Hook: Even though the Nazis are defeated in the end, some of them manage to escape into deep space.
  • Special Guest: Kobayashi Ritz appears in the second bonus chapter. Eventually this was expanded into a proper spin-off manga Ritz.
  • Shout-Out: Plenty.
  • Standard Snippet: A malevolent, metal version of the Asian Riff plays during the first episode's epilogue, which features President Hu and Premier Wen discussing their next move Omniscient Council Of Vagueness-style while sporting their Scary Shiny Glasses.
  • Strawman Political: Yukio Hatoyama, the insane puppet of Chinese interests. It's a safe bet that Oowada votes LDP.
    • Even more obvious in the manga, where he appears to be the new Big Bad in his first appearance, and he's still controlled by aliens.
  • Super-Speed Reading: Shijou, the young woman from JAXA, knows nothing about mahjong. Then she sits at the mahjong table and speed-reads through three mahjong guide books in seconds, and proceeds to beat the fairly skilled Renho.
  • Sympathy for the Devil: Even though he rebelled against Hitler, after Rommel is killed, Hitler and his followers can clearly be seen crying over his death.
  • Thanatos Gambit: Pope Benedict XVI.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: They have a secret base on the moon, and travel to Earth in classic UFOs.
    • Stupid Jetpack Hitler: Somehow, the top Nazi leadership escaped to the Moon (beating America there, natch) and returns as the Fourth Reich. And Hitler himself is still alive. (Maybe.)
    • They also have Mengele and WAGNER of all people on their side. These are about the wackiest Nazis that you'll find anywhere.
    • To sum it up, the Nazis have perfected human cloning, DNA-based resurrection, functional immortality, orbital bombardment, short-range space travel and anti-gravity. No occult-based powers... YET. (At least, not until Hitler's ability to read the future comes into play...)
  • Token Evil Teammate: Yulia. Putin calls her "a gas witch" FOR A REASON.
    Skorzeny: Even though you made a promise, you didn't hesitate for a've certainly surpassed Mengele in villainy.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Taizo gets one of these when he's trying to re-awaken the nearly comatose Koizumi, and Bush Jr. practically goes Super-Saiyan when Papa Bush is killed.
  • Tournament Arc: Princess of Zipang features a world tournament.
  • Villainous Valour: Despite being a Nazi, Rommel proves to be a very pragmatic and honorable man. He rebels against Hitler because he believes the Fourth Reich cannot afford to fight the entire world.
  • Wave-Motion Gun: The Schwerer Gustav is turned into one by the Fourth Reich.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: George W. Bush sleeps in Confederate flag pajamas under an American flag blanket.
  • We Can Rebuild Him: Kim Jong-Il, although he's rebuilt to North Korean standards... meaning the 'supercomputer' in his head is a Z80.
  • Worf Effect: Pope Benedict XVI, so far the only man who has been able to beat Koizumi, is getting creamed by Hitler, in spite of his new-found power-up.
  • Worthy Opponent: Hitler holds Pope Benedict in such high esteem that he kills Speidel for insulting him.