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Manga / Those Who Hunt Elves

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Left to right: Celcia's old-self, Celcia's current-self, Airi, Junpei, and Ritsuko. (Mihke is missing)

"Ready, set... strip!"
— American cover for the first DVD

It's a show about three random people who strip elves naked. It's not a porno, honestly.

The three characters in question are Junpei (a thick-headed martial artist), Ritsuko (a tomboy and gun enthusiast) and Airi (an award-winning actress). They've been accidentally teleported from Japan to a High Fantasy parallel world, and when the spell to send them back home is interrupted, the magic goes berserk and manifests itself as five arcane sigils tattooed onto five elves across the land.

Of course, there is no way of knowing which elves have the sigils. So with no lack of misplaced determination and the help of an elven sorceress called Celcia (who is technically responsible for the mess in the first place), the trio vow to hunt down every female elf they can and strip them bare to inspect their bodies and retrieve all five fragments. Hilarity Ensues.

That's basically it. It's a comedy, and it also includes a tank animated by the ghost of a cat. There's not as much senseless Fanservice as the synopsis implies, as the story focuses more on Character Development, Rule of Funny and the sheer ridiculousness of their situation.

Those Who Hunt Elves began as a manga by Yu Yagami, which originally ran in Dengeki Comic Gao! from 1994 to 2003. An anime adaptation aired in 1996 for twelve episodes, followed by a second season in 1997. The original manga was followed by a short sequel in 2007, Those Who Hunt Elves Returns, and another sequel manga titled Those Who Hunt Elves 2 which was serialized in Comic Meteor from 2013 to 2018.

This series has examples of:

  • Adaptational Species Change: Bruno is a human girl in the manga, but was an elf in the anime.
  • Anachronism Stew: Justified in that Celcia's spell summons objects from our world to hers (so having a tank makes perfect sense and is awesome), but also played straight in the pop culture references and the many religious profanities used. And Elf Mc Burger. You cannot escape Mc Donalds. (This eventually becomes a plot point, by the way.)
  • Anti-Hero Team: The Elf Hunters, especially Junpei. In some episodes, this could be almost considered as a Villain Protagonist series, due the group tendecy to violently strip many terrified elves.
  • Art Evolution: Yu Yagami's artwork is pretty loose and sketchy nowadays compared to the earlier chapters of the manga
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Creative use of an enlargement potion in an absence of Magic Pants makes for instant nudity. It also makes for an angry giantess who punches out a dragon that is threatening her town.
  • Badass Crew: For better or for worse, Junpei, Airi, and Ritsuko and later Celcia are a team. Junpei can kick people across a town, literally, Ritsuko has a Neko Tank and an arsenal of military-grade weapons and equipment, and Airi is a master strategist.
  • Badass Longcoat: Judge.
  • Badass Normal: Junpei, Airi, and Ritsuko all qualify, since many of their opponents are supernatural or magical in nature.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Present in the anime, averted in the manga.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Junpei.
  • The Big Guy: Junpei, played completely straight.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Only just averted, invoked as well.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Sometimes it happens during episodes. A good example is the first 5 minutes in episode 8:
    • This:
      Junpei: Wait a minute. Something's not right. It's only been thirty seconds since the episode title and we've already found an elf.
    • Later during the explanation:
      Junpei: Weren't you afraid of ghosts in the last episode?
      Ritsuko: Then was then. Now is now.
      Junpei: Boy, I hate fantasy stories!
    • Junpei's catch phrase:
      Junpei: "This is why I hate fantasy stories!"
    • Episode 9:
      Junpei: Man this series sure uses a lot of screwball comedies.
      Celicia: Fantasy series Junpei, fantasy series.
  • Butt-Monkey: If there is anyone who has earned this title for the sheer amount of Epic Fails alone, it is Celcia, who is considered to be, ironically, the best magician in the land. In the manga she even gets stuck as a literal monkey for a time.
  • But Now I Must Go: Ultimately the fate of the Elf Hunters sans Celcia at the end of the sequel manga
  • Canon Immigrant: The elf Annette who showed up in the anime first and was later added to the manga.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Seriously, people. "Hey, my friends and I are looking for the fragments of a very powerful and important spell that has imprinted on five random elf women. You don't happen to have any odd marks that popped up recently, do you?" IS THAT REALLY SO HARD?!
    • They've tried. It didn't work. Elves can be such snobs.
  • Catchphrase: At least in the dub, Junpei says, "This is why I hate fantasy stories!"
    • In the original manga, and it's "Freaking fantasy world!".
    • "Forgive me for stripping you!"
  • Censor Steam: Even during the initial fantastic tearing of clothes, the camera rarely catches inappropriate elf bits. Averted in the manga were they do show nipples.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Junpei has incredible strength and speed from all his training and, as he put is, a natural talent for fighting.
  • Chick Magnet: Several of the elves end up falling for Junpei, they even willingly strip because of it. Celica and Ritsuko also have a clear crush on him. In the manga the Elf Rebecca even stole all the fragments they had gathered because she didn't want Junpei to be sent home.
  • Clingy Costume: Millia from episode 10 ended up with an indestructible armor she cannot remove after trying to save her village from a giant. This ended up ruining her life, seeing how the armor comes with a pair of absurdly sharp blades she can't even stop wielding, making her unable to raise her hands without almost killing people. She got so desperate about it, she actually approached the protagonists and begged them to strip her naked. By the end of the episode, they do succeed in removing the armor, much to her delight, but she ends up putting it back on when she realizes wearing a Nigh-Invulnerable amor and wielding two Cool Swords is kind of awesome.
  • Cool Tank: The Mitsubishi Type 74 tank, practically a character in its own right. Later on, it actually does become a character, when the cat spirit Mike (mee-kay) possesses it.
  • Critical Failure: Celcia, a lot. She screws up the spell to send the trio home not once, but twice. Not only that, but she's the one who cast the spell that summoned Junpei, Ritsuko, and Airi to her world in the first place!Especially true in the manga where she loses the fragments they've collected multiple times whenever they get all five or are close to getting all five.Despite exemplifying this trope for the sake of the plot, she's reasonably competent when the stakes aren't returning the heroes home.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Be very afraid when Junpei finally stops fooling around and fights seriously. Same will Celcia when she reminds you that she's not just a Butt-Monkey and really is one of the most powerful magic users in the Elf world.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: The fighting in this series pitch the residents of a typical high fantasy setting (normally wielding swords) against a second generation main battle tank. It goes about as well as you expect.
  • Cult: At one stage, Airi founds a religious organisation who pray stark naked. Unsurprisingly this is mostly marketed at elves.
  • Curse Cut Short: In the first episode, one of the shark creatures lets out a 'What the fu-' in the English dub before being attacked.
  • Darker and Edgier: The manga Mold arc, with a villain that actually managed to conquer the world and killed 8 million people upon her introduction alone. Compare this to the usual story arcs where pretty much nobody dies.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Ritsuko slips into this briefly during the Mold arc after she realized she gave away the titular Mold, which allows the villain to burn her pretty much at will.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: A dragon makes the mistake of perving over a stripped elf.
    • Played very straight in the Christmas episode. Junpei kicks Satan up a chimney when he offers the group a deal.
  • Dismantled MacGuffin: Our heroes have to search for a series of tattoos that were originally on Celcia's body, and thanks to a failed spell, now scattered all around the land.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: While it's understandable that the elves would be upset about our protagonists stripping them in public, some take it too far and try to kill our heroes in revenge or just to prevent them from stripping them.
  • Dirty Old Man: Celcia's advisors are perhaps a little too eager to help the Elf Hunters in their quest to return home. And Millia's grandfather having a potion that makes elves take off their clothes?
  • Does Not Know His Own Strength: Millia, from episode 10.
  • Dracolich: There is one Dracolich in episode 3.
  • Evil Counterpart: Bartz, Kilica, and Teesen in the manga who serves Dawn Baxton. Their roles are similar to Junpei, Ritsuko, and Airi respectively, i.e. Bartz is a Bare-Fisted Monk, Teesen is a Shapeshifter, and Kilica...well, hers is actually slightly different as she's actually a puppet master who specializes with People Puppets and Status Effects instead of being a Friendly Sniper. Oh, she also used a Portal Book to capture people. Add to that that they're also hunting elves to use as magical batteries.
  • Fanservice: Comparatively little, considering the plot.
    • So little in fact that the English dub got away with slapping it with a PG rating because of the violence. Even though the plot involves people stripping Elves down to their birthday suits!
  • Friendly Sniper: Ritsuko.
  • Gag Dub: The English dub for episodes 5-13 certainly falls into this territory, seeing as it was written/directed by Steven Foster. They were filled with excessive profanity, now-dated American pop culture references (such as to Britney Spears and CÚline Dion), and in many cases seems to be making fun of the characters and the show itself. All other episodes have more faithful scripts (though by no means any less comedic).
  • Guile Hero: In addition to being a Master of Disguise, Airi is skilled at reading people and controlling them. She can often do more with a few words than the others can do with magic, bullets or fists.
  • Guns Akimbo: Ritsuko. She is a military otaku.
  • Identical Stranger: Kilica from the manga is pretty much Ritsuko with elf ears and a different hair color. Bartz and Teesen are also similar to Junpei and Airi respectively, but they at least have different hairstyles than their counterparts.
  • Idiot Hero: Junpei. Though how dumb varies between the manga and anime. For example in the manga he finds the portal to the mermaid temple by himself, while in the anime he needed Airi's help. Similarly in the manga Junpei explains Heliocentrism to Celcia on his own, while he asks Airi to give the explanation in the anime.
  • I Gave My Word: Junpei takes his fighter's honour very seriously. It actually wins over some of the elves they meet in their journey.
  • Innocent Plant Children: Mandrakes from are tiny green elves with a rose-like flower and two leaves growing out of their heads. They sleep buried to the base of the flower in dirt and scream like children when disturbed.
  • Inspector Javert: Judge. While he's in the right about Those Who Hunt Elves being criminals and a serious nuisance, he's very much an authoritarian Jerkass. Even on the second season, when the team gets a special dispensation that allows them to do their "job" freely, he continues to insist that he wants them in jail and keeps seeking methods to make them lose the dispensation so he can do it (his favorite being stringing them along with a series of Impossible Mission bets with their freedom on the line—the team accepts because otherwise they would not be able to have access to the elves on those places, period). And when the team finally loses the dispensation, Judge orders their capture as gleefully as he can in his immense haughtiness.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Junpei.
  • Leitmotif: The tank is represented by an electric guitar riff.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Junpei.
  • Magic Misfire: Celcia disguises herself as a doglike creature to try to help them find the spell fragments without being recognized. However, when they find the first fragment and she transfers it to herself, it causes Shapeshifter Mode Lock until they have all the fragments. Her increasingly ridiculous appearance as the spell fragments transfer to her become a Running Gag.
  • Master of Disguise: Airi, justified in that she is an award-winning actress.
  • Mega Neko: Once the tank is inhabited by a cat spirit.
  • Mirror Match: Used by Judge to weaken the heroes to arrest them.
  • Naked Freakout: Often the reaction to the elf of the week.
  • Naked People Are Funny: enough said.
  • The Noun Who Verbed: The title.
  • Not So Above It All: Airi doesn't voice her frustrations over not being able to return to Japan as often as Junpei and Ritsuko, but she does complain internally. Like in episode nine of the anime where she has an inner monologue complaining about having to work a retail job selling dresses and the fact that in the elf world she's a nobody with no money.
  • "Not So Different" Remark: Airi and Ritsuko have mentioned more than once how Junpei and Celcia are more a alike than they care to admit.
  • The Nudifier: The potion which will make any elf naked.
  • The One Guy: Junpei.
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: All elves look good, but otherwise their society seems to have integrated well into that of human's, and several are villains.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: For one, they can remove their tails and walk around looking like elves in bikinis. Averted in the manga where their tails weren't removable.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: In the Elf world you become a werebeast by drinking water from an animal's footprint. Celcia became a werepanda after accidentally drinking water from a Panda's footprint. In the manga because she slipped into the footprint and in the anime because Annette accidentally pushed her into it.
  • Paper Fan of Doom: the women in the main cast, usually directed at Junpei (or any male too obsessed with the Elf Hunters quest), although Junpei himself uses it to prevent an uncomfortable old man homoerotic moment.
  • Pervert Revenge Mode: Junpei in the second season gets subjected to two of these moments in rapid succession after busting into two rooms with undressed girls in them to try to take care of a Potty Emergency.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The Dances and Balls episode.
  • Playboy Bunny: Junpei accidentally bursts into a room where girls are dressing into them while trying to take care of a Potty Emergency, leading to Pervert Revenge Mode.
  • Potty Emergency: Junpei, Season 2 Episode 2, complete with a graph and flashing alarm showing his current state. His dilemma leads to some uncomfortable images. Ends with the discovery of a teddy bear that can excrete toilet paper, in perfect rolls, complete with cardboard tube. Yeah.
  • The Power of Acting: Airi uses this as her main weapon.
  • Pretty in Mink: A few outfits. Most of them worn by elves. You can guess what happens to them.
  • Remember the New Guy?: How Annette's introduction into the manga was handled. With the main cast acting like they've always known her and that she always was one of Celcia's advisers like in the anime, even though in the manga it was originally just the two old elves.
  • Right Behind Me: Dawn broadcasts a giant hologram of herself holding up a wanted poster of Junpei, telling everyone on the planet to watch for him, entirely unaware of Junpei's looming silhouette just behind her. Since she can sense the native's emotions, she briefly wonders why 2 billion people are mocking her at once before Junpei's foot lands.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: All the girls who act as Santa for temp jobs.
  • Sapient Tank: The type 74 "Mike" after being possessed by a cat.
  • Save Both Worlds: Brought up explicitly near the end of the first season is the idea that both Earth and the magical world to which the cast has been sent are fundamentally connected and in danger of some sort of magical cataclysm if the cast are not sent back to Earth. Then averted, or maybe just forgotten by the writers, because it's never mentioned again. This plot was never used in the manga.
  • Schizo Tech: There isn't really much of a difference from the real world other than that everything runs on magic instead of technology. Yet for some reason police and guards still use swords when there should logically be some kind of magical firearms technology.
  • Shameful Strip: Multiple examples. Lots of examples. It's the Running Gag that is central to the Title Drop and the whole damn plot. It was a subverted a few times where the target willingly strips herself.
  • Shapeshifter Mode Lock: Happens to Celcia. More details below, under Voluntary Shapeshifting.
  • Ship Tease: As mentioned somewhere in this page, Celcia and Junpei, and also Ritsuko and Junpei. The latter seemingly even gets jealous when something happened between Junpei and other girls, especially the time he (accidentally) kissed another girl.
  • Shout-Out: "Those damn dirty humans!"
    • The whole point of the series is to poke fun at pop cultures and conventional fantasy tropes.
    • In Episode 1 Airi disguised as an Elf, gives a Cutey Honey Speech and even coins the phrase Lovely Warrior.
    • A certain landmass supported on the back of four elephants and a turtle appears often.
  • Sibling Yin-Yang: Junpei is the polar opposite of his younger sister Mai Shintani in the sequel manga
  • Sixth Ranger: In the sequel manga the team has a new member, Mai Shintani who is Junpei's younger sister.
  • Slap-Slap-Kiss: Junpei and Celcia, believe it or not. Junpei sure doesn't. As in, he's completely oblivious even when Celcia confesses to him. Though Junpei does admit to finding Celecia's true form attractive.
  • The Smart Girl: Airi, lacking muscles, magic, and guns, relies solely on her brain and her acting skills to support the group.
  • Spanner in the Works: The elf hunters become this when an evil sorceress holds the entire world hostage as her magic, which can burn anyone at whim, does not work on those from the outside world.
  • Spiritual Successor: Those Who Hunt The Butterfly, aka Ageha O Ou Monotachi, which is basically Junpei as an ex-prison guard trying to hunt down Airi while she hides in plain sight (IN SPACE!...), by simply stripping everyone naked(Women and men) he can and checking for a tattoo. Unlike Elves, though, Junpei tends to end up arrested/beat up/etc for his trouble.
  • Stable Time Loop: It turns out that the Big Bad whom Celcia casts a protagonists-summoning spell to defeat is amnesiac Celcia from the future.
  • Summon Everyman Hero: The back-plot of the story: to defeat the Big Bad, Celcia casts a spell which summons the protagonists. Less than a minute later, the Big Bad is only mostly dead, thanks to Ritsuko blasting it with the armored tank that the spell also brought along.
  • Tank Goodness: The friendly cat-possessed tank is certainly helpful.
  • Team Pet: Celcia, for most of the series. Though what type of pet changes over the course of series.
  • This Is My Boomstick: As this world does not have any equivalent to firearms and tanks, the average citizen or villain tends to assume that these weapons are magical.
  • Title Drop: The title being the name that the magical society has given the group, and considering the fact that they are The Dreaded and treated like high-class criminals, it's dropped a lot.
  • Unscaled Merfolk: One episode involves some elven mermaids who showcase in the epilogue that they can get rid of their tails as easily as taking off a skirt (they still wear bikini bottoms, by the way). The whole group does this at the same time to show Those Who Hunt Elves if they have any magic marks. Averted in the manga were they couldn't do this and they just took off their tops.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Celcia has this type of relationship with her old Academy Rival the elf Rebecca in the manga and Junpei in both Anime and Manga. Junpei and Rebecca actually hit off because they both care for Celcia and think she's an idiot.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Celcia can transform into whatever she wants with her ring. However, played with in that she always ends up transforming into animals (hence she is considered Team Pet) and cannot transform back once she absorbs any one of the spell fragments. She can only change back once she gains all fragments or lose them all. The fact that the spell fragments, which manifest visibly in her body as she gains them, make her look ridiculous does not help. For those who don't understand the image, the dark lines on the big bird are the spell fragments that manifest on Celcia's body. And that big bird is only one of the forms that she ends up not so willingly taking throughout the whole comic.
  • Wrong Genre Savvy: In one chapter of the manga, Junpei states that "you can't go by in a fantasy world without knowing a spell or two", and thus sets out to train in the arcane arts in his very own way. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: Celcia has been able to return to her original form and can even stay in it for a few chapters, but she'll inevitably get stuck as some sort of creature again.


Those Who Hunt Elves II

Junpei gets a double whammy.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / PervertRevengeMode

Media sources: