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Manga / Until Death Do Us Part

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Left to right: Mamoru, Haruka, Igawa

Until Death Do Us Part (Shi ga Futari o Wakatsu Made) is a seinen science fiction manga by Hiroshi Takashige which ran in Young Gangan from 2005 to 2015. It follows the story of a young prognosticator who is being pursued and the blind swordsman she asks to protect her.

The twelve-year-old clairvoyant, Haruka Tooyama, has been made a target for less-than-scrupulous corporations, gangs, and orgnaizations, thanks to the sheer accuracy of her powers. When one such group murders her parents and kidnaps her, despite her best efforts, she uses her sight to seek out the one person who has the capability to help her: a blind man walking through the crowded streets of Tokyo.

Said blind man, Mamoru Hijikata, had just been taking a walk whilst running a test on echolocation shades when Haruka suddenly asks him to help her, without saying how, and pulls him to an empty lot. Knowing what her powers are attracting, she gets across just how serious she is, and seeing that she’s being pursued by Yakuza, Mamoru accepts. The eye-opener is what she says next: "The contract will last 'Until Death Do Us Part.'"

Odd as it would appear, Haruka’s powers have not failed her: the blind Mamoru Hijikata is a master of Kenjitsu, which becomes apparent when he draws a sword from his white cane and expertly takes out her pursuers. Since the situation won’t be resolved that easily, Mamoru continues to protect her, along with Igawa, a Gadgeteer Genius, and other affiliates of their employer, the mysterious vigilante organization known only as the Element Network.

Not to be confused with the '60s British sitcom 'Til Death Us Do Part, which spawned the US adaptation All in the Family.

This series provides examples of:

  • Anguished Declaration of Love: This happens in chapter 202: Haruka confesses to Mamoru before being taken away by the Big Bad in exchange for the life of Mamoru. Additionally, Mamoru's shouts after her can be interpreted this way.
  • An Offer You Can't Refuse: This happens quite a few times, usually with either death or worse as the alternative, and is most frequently pulled by the heroes. The villains usually don’t bother to "offer."
  • Anti-Hero: Mamoru. People wonder if he were hired to fight criminals so that, even if he died, there would be one less criminal in the world. However, Mamoru is disgusted by evildoers and their nefarious activities, plus he goes out of his way to make sure Haruka is safe. For many other people in the Element Network their issue with Mamoru is him being a cynical example of Good is Not Nice, which goes a bit further than the organization is willing to accept.
  • Anti-Villain:
    • Wiseman, a criminal mastermind who sports an Affably Evil personality with everyone, friend or foe, and doesn’t do evil things for evil’s sake — rather he likes the challenge. He’s also willing to cooperate with the heroes on occasion, such as helping Mamoru take down Zashid to try and put an end to the countless criminals targeting Haruka.
    • The Black Unit of Duhana, whose homes and relations are being held hostage, thereby forcing them to act in accordance with the Big Bad's will, not that they do so without looking for alternatives. There is also the Trumps, a more specialized elite force who works closely with the Black Unit and fight for the same reasons.
  • Armor Is Useless:
    • Zig-zagged with Mamoru’s specialized katanas. Made as monomolecular blades, they cut through pretty much anything in-universe, although it does wear out the blade’s edge over time and forces him to use a new one once they lose their cutting edge.
    • The motorcycle Bucephalus can coat its wheels with a highly conductive fluid that, when spun fast enough, can cut through most metal with ease. Its main rider, Ibuki, puts this to great use in order to avoid having to kill someone.
  • Artificial Limbs: Kirito Tate's metal arm is his primary weapon and defence. Later in the series, Edge Turus steals an upgraded version of Tate's arm, which he uses with two other prosthetic limbs.
  • Attack Drone: Fang uses special unmanned drones with sound dampeners so Mamoru's eyes can't detect them. Later, Edge uses another set of even more advanced ones against Tate and Genda.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • Zig-zagged with Mamoru's monomolecular swords. On one hand, they can cut through anything when in good condition. On the other hand, they need to be extraordinarily straight and thin, which makes them brittle; the blades wear down fast if he doesn't hit his target with a clean and straight-sweeping motion. As a consequence, he breaks several swords over the course of the series, requiring backups that Igawa provides, but the swords still end up being game-changers at crucial moments during Mamoru’s fights.
    • Anna discusses the matter with Zelm, the instructor and second-in-command of the Trumps from Duhana. She points out that while many of the Trumps’s “invisible weapons” like the nigh invisible boomerangs and the high-kinetic/resiliency ball are deadly, they require expensive cutting edge technology to produce and take a long time to master, making them rather inefficient to use for such expensive tech, making her question why the Trumps don’t use more simple and practical weapons. Zelm refutes her with two points:
      • First, no matter how expensive and efficient the technology is, ultimately it’s human hands and human will that ends a person’s life; the weapon used is just a tool. Zelm points out that while Mamoru’s special blades and Tate’s prosthetic arm being capable of blocking bullets are potent, Zelm notes the former two don’t rely exclusively on them to win fights nor depend solely on them as well. And as for Jesus, the world’s deadliest assassin, he uses a humble .357 revolver and combat knife much of the time rather than more potent weapons. Zelm concludes that ultimately it’s the wielder who matters more than the tech, that even if the tech is inefficient or impractical a skilled fighter will still find ways to win with them regardless.
      • Zelm’s second point is that it’s precisely because the “invisible weapons” many of the Trumps wield are exotic that it makes them useful for garnering attention. In the mercenary field it helps to have a well-known and feared, yet respected reputation; that makes it easier to get higher-paying clientele. In other words, if a person was wielding “awesome but impractical” weapons, yet still gets the job done with favorable results on a reliable basis, then that adds to their legend of how good at their job they are, making the “awesome” part of the weapons help with their image. Altogether, Zelm summed his two points up with the following:
    "The best fighters all rely on the basics to survive and make a name for themselves. That’s my battle creed."
  • Baby Factory: One of Zashid Turus' plans for Haruka is to use her to add her capabilities to his blood-line, which horrifies most of the other characters, partially because the girl in question is only thirteen.
  • Back-to-Back Badasses: This happens many times over the course of the series. Members of the Wall will use this strategy not infrequently, and other characters also sometimes use it. For example, two of the best fighters in the series, Genda and Tate, team up and use this strategy several times. Jesus and Mamoru, arguably the series' two strongest characters, do this twice: once briefly in Chechnya, when going after TPC, which they quickly take down despite it being the first time they met; later, in Duhana, they use this strategy against anything which pisses them off on route to their destination (what makes this pairing even better is the combination of a katana and a pistol, which also accounts for the infrequency of it). There's also a hostage situation which has three of the series' most powerful fighters (Jesus, Tate, and Mamoru) do this in a sort of triangular formation against multiple strong opponents, with one hostage in the centre of the formation and the other still in the enemies' grasp. Unless a sneak attack is involved, and sometimes even then, their opponents are done for.
  • Badass and Child Duo: Mamoru Hijikata and Haruka Tooyama. Also, Kirito Tate and Anna Riddle.
  • Badass Army: The Wall is this, and together they're possibly even stronger than Mamoru.
  • Badass Biker: Dai Ibuki, however, he's only badass when he's on his bike.
  • Badass Boast:
    "If you turn your inept killing intent towards me now, no matter who you are, I'll cut you to pieces. Whether you've got a weapon or not... even if I'd be fighting an old man or a woman or a child... I can't go easy on them, either. Seeing as I can't check with my eyes, that is."
    • Jesus’s boasts are situational and occur after he's gained the upper hand. Aside from responding to something along the lines of "Aw, Jesus!" with something akin to "That's my name!" which he does more than once, he has quite a few ones which comment on the situation he has inflicted on his targets. For example, after single-handedly taking out a whole caravan, he says the following:
    "That was one of the TPC's child-snatching squads. And this was the price of doing business."
    • Tate has a particular catch phrase he uses whenever he manages to No-Sell an enemy’s attack:
    "Your fangs will never reach me!"
    • After the Trumps of Duhana’s Black Unit successfully infiltrated a school to capture Tooyama and assassinate Mamoru, Ashe of 24 confronted their second-in-command, Zelm; he wasn’t impressed with her warning to him:
    Ashe: “Underestimate them or Jesus... and you’ll very soon regret it."
    Zelm: “That makes no sense. Even if we underestimate them, we are too well trained to let that kill us.”
  • Badass in Distress:
  • Badass Teacher: Jesus, the world's deadliest assassin is also a school teacher, 'nough said.
    • Mamoru is an inversion: he's a Blind Weaponmaster who routinely tutors people about combat as a "habit."
  • Bad Guy Bar: The "Nest of Geese" that Jesus and Wiseman hang out in is one of these.
  • Bank Robbery: They come across one being done by the infamous "Five Minute Gang," named so because it only takes them that long to rob a bank.
  • Bears Are Bad News: And thus, Mamoru decided to make Haruka fight one as part of her training.
  • Berserk Button: You do not want to look Mamoru in the eye when he's dealing with the man who got Haruka's parents killed, and ruined her chances of a happy life — or anyone else who caused her (or other innocents) harm, for that matter.
    • Jesus carries over his Berserk Button from the series he's originally from. Threaten his students and you'll pay for it.
    • Mentioning Mamoru around Edge Turus will result in this; it isn't always to his benefit.
    • Genda and Tate both get pissed when a raging Edge Turus declares Haruka, the girl whose life he's helped to ruin, is his property and he will not let anyone take her. They share the same look of rage and charge right at Edge to deliver a brutal Curb Stomp on him.
  • BFS: If the situation calls for it, Mamoru will switch to a heavy-duty nodachi sword, with which he pulls off his own version of Sasaki Kojiro's Tsubame Gaeshi.
  • Big Brother Instinct: Igawa has this for Haruka and with good reason. There's also Luna, from the Chechnya arc, who's willing to ultimately end up dying to save her younger sister from TPC's clutches.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Many characters get to do this; Mamoru does this in almost every fight he's involved in, with a Badass Boast for good measure.
    • Genda, Jesus, Serena, Juliet, and Dai all pull this off more than once. Haruka also does this (mostly without fighting) after she Took a Level in Badass.
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Between Haruka and Mamoru in chapter 202, after the former's Anguished Declaration of Love. It's unusually subtle for this trope, but no less touching for that.
  • The Blacksmith: He only appears in something akin to a Flashback Cut, however, he is a member of the Element Network who makes Mamoru's molecule thin swords. We do see a note from him though.
  • Blessed with Suck: Haruka; sure she can read the future, but it caused her parents' death and she cannot even go to school without people guarding her at all times to ensure that she does not get kidnapped (and then used for various ends). Even worse, thanks to this power she is Forced to Watch the deaths of many people around her, including everyone she cares about, repeatedly.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: Mamoru.
  • Blood Knight: Several characters show shades of this at times, however, these are usually villains. Mamoru considers fighting his reason for living (which he says out right more than once) and, in chapter 35, even describes himself as an "antisocial asshole who spends every waking minute thinking about how to use this thing," (meaning his sword). In fact, his general conduct makes his love of fighting rather obvious.
  • Bodyguard Crush: Not yet, but it is implied that it will happen eventually. It actually does occur during the course of manga, with Haruka's feelings eventually stated outright and Mamoru's feelings implied (mainly through his actions).
    • Wife Husbandry: Inverted. Haruka says that she and Mamoru will be married one day, and she's doing everything she can to make it happen. Mamoru knows nothing about this and Igawa and Serena were asked to keep quiet about it. Apparently Mamoru figured it out a while ago and agreed to marriage if they survived the battle. They do end up getting married, though not until Haruka is older.
  • Boring, but Practical: How Mamoru ultimately defeats Zashid. He repeats a sequence of the same attack over and over again too quickly for Zashid to do anything but defend. However, due to the repetitive nature (which the series ties to quantum probabilities) Zashid's brain slips during the sequence and his defense falters, allowing Mamoru to finally cut him down. It doesn't affect Mamoru because he'd practiced the attack so much his body was able to carry it out through pure muscle memory.
  • Brick Joke: When he turns himself in, Eiichi Komura has to correct the policeman who's writing his name down (the policeman wrote the character "Don," meaning dull, instead of "Ei," meaning sharp). When thanking Mamoru for getting him out of jail, Eiichi says that if he had stayed there any longer he really would have become a Don-ichi.
    • Foxtrot's reaction to Mamoru having a sweet tooth.
  • Broken Bird: Juliet lost her uterus when she was raped some time back, so she can't have babies. This explains why she's usually such a Jerkass to Serena, who laments her dead daughter quite a bit.
  • Bullet Catch: Done by guy known as "The Shield of Aegis". Later Edge Turus pulls the same with a prosthetic arm designed to automatically do this using Kirito Tate's battle data.
  • The Butcher: Fang, Edge Turus's brother and hitman. He got his name for his crime scenes looking like his victims had been ripped apart by wild animals.
  • Byronic Hero: Mamoru manages to be this, because he's an unexpectedly Magnetic Hero despite his Jerkass behavior (he fits the rest to a T).
  • Can't Kill You, Still Need You: This a frequent element of Wiseman's plots. The clearest example is Edge Turus (see Humiliation Conga).
  • Car Fu: With a motorcycle; for added fun, it's Dai's only weapon. Igawa's no slouch either.
  • Carnival of Killers: After a one hundred million dollar bounty is placed on Mamoru's head, he decides to take care of most of these at once by luring most of them out at once.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Even with so many named and unnamed characters, they all look distinct and are easily distinguishable from each other.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: Mamoru's sword skills are from practicing 15 hours per day as a kid, and willingly putting himself through Training from Hell. The other characters comment on the obsession that must have been involved.
  • Chekhov's Gun: This series loves this one; it's useful to pay attention to details of analysis of fighting style, weaponry, character thoughts, and Haruka's ability as the series makes a lot more sense that way.
  • The Chessmaster: Wiseman, Tatsumi Daiba, Zelm, and Haruka.
    • Mamoru and Alpha sometimes show shades of this, it's usually perceived as being in a Manipulative Bastard sort of fashion.
  • Child Soldiers: TPC does this to any children whose organs aren't completely harvested and then has them Forced into Evil. Case and point: the Canes Venatici.
  • Clean Cut: So clean that the intermolecular forces can hold the object together afterwards.
  • Code Name: Aside from The Wall, there's also "Blade" (Mamoru), and "Needle," among others.
  • Cool Bike: Dai's custom motorcycle, Bucephalus.
  • Cool Old Guy: Wiseman and Zelm. Inaba-sensei tries to be this (his success is dubious).
  • Cool Shades: Mamoru nearly always wears these, even when they aren't the high-tech ones that allow him to see.
  • Cool Sword: Both of Mamoru's katanas qualify, as does the nodachi.
  • Crossover: Tate, Jesus, and Daiba all have their own series. Liu Yijian and the Dragon's Gate organization also appeared in Tate's series.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Dai, and it's lampshaded constantly.
  • Cruel Mercy: What Mamoru's approach to being a Technical Pacifist results in. In fact, he deliberately goes for it.
  • Cynicism Catalyst: All members of the Element Network have experienced this. Examples include, the murder of Serena and Kilo's daughter, Juliet's rape, the murder of Igawa's sister by an underage criminal, the deaths of Tate's family, Daiba seeing his father murder his mother, and the death of Mamoru's parents in an accident caused by a drunk driver right before his eyes.
    • Mamoru has another during the Chechnya arc, which leads him to believe that people like Orion, who cause suffering to numerous others need to die.
    • Genda's death for the entire group.
  • Damsel out of Distress: Haruka, since she's usually trying all that she can to escape her captors or assist Mamoru. The only time she becomes a Damsel in Distress instead, she was panicking due to temporarily being unable to see the future.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Several of the characters have this from time to time, the most notable examples being Juliet and Foxtrot. Mamoru and Jesus sometimes do this when doing something badass or when teaching Dai.
  • Death Seeker: The Canes Venatici. Mamoru noticed that they are quick to kill their own and felt that their super soldiers fought like they wanted to lose. This is due to the fact that they're the unsold products from TPC's operations who were raised to be soldiers and were made to be addicted to a certain drug to ensure their loyalty.
  • Declaration of Protection: Mamoru makes many of these for Haruka, which makes sense, considering he's her bodyguard. During the course of the series, Haruka has many people (almost all the heroes and even a few villains) declare that they will protect her after finding out her past.
    • Notably, in chapter 202, Haruka states protecting Mamoru as the reason behind her actions in her Anguished Declaration of Love, and later in the same chapter, badly injured and not fully conscious, Mamoru keeps saying that he will save her.
  • Dehumanization: Galboa is a country maintaining apartheid, with Duhana as a satellite state housing all the "blacks," who are treated like animals and forced into all sorts of unpleasant situations.
  • Determinator: Mamoru has obsessive determination as the source of his skill, his seemingly indestructible body, and his will to defend Haruka. He's had this skill his whole life, it would seem, and after Mamoru has a Post-Victory Collapse, Jesus lampshades this:
    "He runs himself ragged, mostly blind, but never stops chasing down the enemy. ...He's a demon of the blade, all right... A man this driven doesn't ease up in his quest, blind or not..."
    • There's also the self-destructive example of Edge Turus who keeps trying to kill Mamoru despite the Humiliation Conga he's put through as a result.
  • Disability Superpower: Mamoru's shades allow his to see using sound waves (otherwise known as echolocation), like a bat or dolphin. This is useful against bullets and cloaking devices, but less useful when it comes to details, hard to spot objects, glass, and silencers. He also has a bit of an edge thanks to the heightened sensitivity of his other senses, but these are within realistic parameters.
    • Any prosthesis qualifies.
  • Diplomatic Impunity: Edge Turus has this as the Galboan ambassador. It's useless against the Element Network, so it really doesn't help him.
  • The Dreaded: Zashid Turus, a dictator and warlord whose fighting strength even puts some of the most powerful characters in the series in a sweat.
    • Jesus, since he's renowned as the world's deadliest assassin. Mamoru is likewise feared for his battle prowess among those who know of him.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Igawa, although it's more like he needs to rather than he just does. Granted he's blind, Mamoru does this in chapter 207, It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Mamoru marries Haruka seven years after the situation in Galboa has been stabilized due to Turus' surrender.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The Wall and the Black Unit, most prominently.
  • Enemy of My Enemy: This is what has Mamoru team up with Jesus at times. During the final arc, this is part of the Gambit Pile Up: Mamoru teams up with Wiseman and Genie, Haruka with Jesus, and the Wall with the Mamoru-Wiseman group.
  • Everyone Calls Him "Barkeep": Excluding Alpha (Jack Garvey) and Sierra (Serena), the names of the Wall members are unknown and are only referred to by their code names. The same goes for other combatant affiliates of the Element Network, with a few exceptions.
    • Outside of the Element Network, there's "Old Goose," the bartender of the "Nest of Geese." Also, Jesus' real name is unknown by anyone.
  • Enemy Civil War: Galboa and Duhana during the final arc, since Zashid Turus encourages his sons to vie for the position of his heir, so while one son has been carefully plotting such a thing, Wiseman has another son be forced to do this.
  • Everyone Has Standards: This is the part of the Morality Kitchen Sink that results from having so many morally complex characters. Wiseman uses this to his advantage in the last arc, by using the outrage at the Galboan treatment of the Duhanans to motivate the more mercantile of the personnel under his command.
  • Evil Cripple: Edge Turus: when first introduced he was just evil; Mamoru added the "cripple" part.
  • Eye Scream: Ever wonder what happened to Mamoru's eyes? He was right next to somebody when they were hit with an exploding round.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: The series as a whole isn't shy about killing people, but it's taken to a different level when you see people getting blown up.
  • Fate Worse than Death: When punishing villains, Mamoru is using fear to prevent further crimes and make them regret their actions, so this is either threatened or actually happens (depending on how you see it). One character who sees it this way, thanks to the probable consequences of failure from his own side, is Driven to Suicide. This is also Mamoru's "reward" to one of the series' most evil characters, in the form of a Humiliation Conga.
    • Jesus inflicts this on a particularly cruel villain, in the form of Laser-Guided Karma, and lampshades it.
    • Haruka willingly subjected herself to a probable one from the Big Bad in order to save Mamoru's life.
  • Gadgeteer Genius: Igawa, Fang, and Tatsumi Daiba, the manager of the Element Network, who created a search engine when he was a teenager and has developed a quantum computer with a sentient AI.
  • Gambit Pileup: This is what drives the final arc, both in its creation and plot; there are no fewer than five plans becoming tied into each other (possibly seven, depending on how you count). Wiseman has his own plans and is putting Mamoru's in to motion. Haruka has a plan which is assisted by the Element Network, which has its own goals. The Black Unit and Genie have their own, as do Zashid Turus and all of his sons, separately at that. Just about all of them are revolving around Haruka.
  • Genius Ditz: Dai Ibuki acts like a moron at times, but his handling of the Bucephalus is legion, having taken down several criminals while wearing a bullet-proof suit that wears around 125 pounds.
  • The Gift: Mamoru is described as having it by Genda, Makabe and Inaba (his old masters), and many others.
  • Goggles Do Something Unusual: Mamoru's usual shades (see Disability Superpower). Also, both Mamoru's later shades and Haruka's glasses have a "bone connection," which allows the wearer to communicate without being heard.
  • Good is Not Nice: Mamoru embodies this. He may fight crime, but he's openly stated that he took on this job so that he can continue to fight and hone his skills. However, his motives are later revealed to be somewhat more complicated, especially when it comes to stoping killers and the like.
    • Also, the assassin Jesus. Sure, he went to Chechnya to search for his missing students, saved some kids from an organ trafficking ring, and eliminated Orion. This doesn't stop him from being an assassin, nor from warning Haruka that if Mamoru gets in his way, it will be a battle to the death.
  • Good Is Not Soft: Detective Genda as well as the operatives of the Element Network have this policy.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Mamoru has an Anti-Hero scar covering half his face from what blinded him. Alpha has a heroic scar running from his forehead to his left cheek. Orion has an evil scar on the right side of his head. Senji has an evil Yakuza scar on his cheek (he's a subversion, thanks to his Heel–Face Turn).
  • Graceful Loser: This is one of the very few admirable things about Zashid Turus. Now, if only his progeny would learn from him...
  • Handicapped Badass: Mamoru, whenever he doesn't have his glasses or when they're not working is a Blind Weaponmaster; with his glasses, he doesn't really count as handicapped thanks to his Disability Superpower. That said, he goes through one of his toughest battles (and the only one he loses, though he wouldn't have lost had Haruka not made him lose to save his life) without his shades.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Senji Tamagawa, although it's arguable if he were ever a Heel, since he was merely a Yakuza and his gang was used by the Wakagashira. He gets a Redemption Promotion while he's at it.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Played straight by Genda, and subverted in the case of Mamoru, resulting in a variant by Haruka with a probable Fate Worse than Death.
  • Hero of Another Story: The result of the crossovers above.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Or, in this case, Professional Killers. This is what keeps the Space Cold War in the school as is.
  • Honor Before Reason: Genda has this mentality. It ultimately results in his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The difference is already big as Mamoru's an adult and Haruka's just a pre-teen, but the former is around 6 feet tall.
  • Human Resources: How bio chips are made, except not just any humans, fetuses.
  • Humiliation Conga: Since Mamoru is not allowed to kill his targets, he often dishes this out on his unfortunate victims. Whether or not this entails dismemberment depends on how badly you pissed him off.
    • Taken to extreme lengths with Edge Turus, who basically kickstarted the larger part of the plot by sending information about Haruka's abilities back to Galboa (and thus ensuring that she would remain a priority target for the rest of her life). In retribution, Mamoru lops off a leg and one of his arms, and then his other arm later in the series. Then Edge ends up being arrested by Genda and Tate, despite having obtained several "ultimate weapons." To top that off, he's broken out of prison by Mamoru so that he can go back and "lead" a revolution against his father back in Duhana. Then Mamoru does the same thing to his neck that he did to his limbs the first time they fought, so that he'll only survive if he doesn't move. Mamoru did personally vow to make every moment of Edge's life a living hell to ensure that he regreted his decision. You'd probably feel sorry for the guy if he didn't completely deserve every minute of it.
  • Hunk: Pretty much the entirety of the repeating male cast is a cross between this and Pretty Boy, without any character every truly qualifying as Mr. Fanservice. Mamoru is the most notable example, having the "masculinity" elements of the Hunk (including Perma-Stubble and a Sculpted Physique) and a slender build and face. However, the closest thing to a Shirtless Scene he has, his torso is covered in bandages, not to mention the fact that his face is heavily bruised.
  • Hyper-Awareness: Mamoru has an incredible sense for danger and leathtal-intent.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: Dega of "Trump" uses two balls made of special high-tech material during his fight with Jesus. When they hit a solid object dead-on, they rebound at a higher speed. But when they hit a soft target, almost all of the kinetic energy is transferred to the target and so it stops.
  • Implausible Fencing Powers: Mamoru, he can even cut bullets in mid-flight. This is made a little bit more plausible by the fact that his glasses allow him to see where a gun barrel is pointing, therefore all he has to do is make sure his blade is in the way, rather than reacting to the bullet itself. However, he was capable of this feat before he lost his vision.
  • Improbable Aiming Skills: Jesus' best skill allows him to fire two bullets in rapid succession so that the second actually hits exactly the same point at the first one, something even a gun on a fixed mount can't accomplish, meaning that he has to nearly instantaneously aim for the same spot while keeping knock-back in mind. It takes a pretty heavy toll on his right arm, though.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Aside from Mamoru's monomolecular blade, there's a whole host of opponents who use a variety of strange weapons. The Black Unit, AKA the Trumps, all use these.
  • Immune to Fate: The biggest reason that Haruka needs Mamoru. But it's actually somewhat subverted by the nature of Haruka's ability: she can't see possible futures involving things she doesn't comprehend, nor all possible futures involving things she only partially comprehends. However, because her understanding of Mamoru's capabilities improves, her accuracy also does, so over all it is zig-zagged.
  • Indifferent Beauty: Juliet is hinted to be this. Haruka is thought to be developing into this, and in the end, she does.
  • In Harm's Way: Mamoru says more than once that fighting is his reason for living. That said, it isn't as though he can't find battle, even after achieving victory against his present opponents, but he does say that he could die any day, after he defeats Zashid (of course, this can be interpreted many ways).
  • The Jailbait Wait: Invoked by Mamoru and Haruka's relationship and highlighted by Haruka's visions.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Almost any character considered to be a hero in this story definitely plays this trope straight. They might be tough assholes but they're willing to do anything to help Haruka in whatever way they can. Mamoru has this in spades.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Mamoru, even before he lost his eyesight. He has been trained with firearms, however, his drive has always been for the blade. Aside from keeping knives on him (just in case), there is one occasion in which subverts this when he opts to use a Nodachi instead of a katana, due to the exact situation which required higher attack power. When asked why he doesn't always use such blades, he states that uchigatanas (katanas) are what he's suited for. This is justified by the fact that he's a master of Kenjitsu, whose primary weapon is the katana.
  • Kissing Discretion Shot: This happens between Haruka and Mamoru in chapter 169, the former essentially pulls a Forced Kiss on the latter.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: This is what the Element Network believes the world lacks and are trying to increase occurring to criminals, and all of its affiliates do their best to inflict this on any criminal they can. In a more positive sense, there's what happens to Jesus in chapter 195, which he lampshades.
    Jesus: As they say, "Pity is not for the sake of the pitied."
  • Lethal Chef: Igawa purportedly plays this straight, whilst Mamoru is of the looks-terrible-tastes-wonderful variant (justified in that he's blind). There is also a funny moment toward the end of the manga, when Juliet suddenly offers to cook for the first time in the series, which has Serena a bit doubtful.
  • Lethal Joke Item: A bouncy ball? Aw, you can't hurt me with that- *broken bones*
    • Same goes for that mercenary's colleague, who uses tiny invisible boomerangs. Now the boomerang used to be a hunting weapon, but it still doesn't seem very serious a threat.
  • Logging onto the Fourth Wall: One arc had Entering it in your browser in real life once directed the user to a promotional site which had its main page replicate the site's contents in-universe. Going there now, however, redirects the visitor to the publisher's page, and attempts to see it using the Wayback Machine will lead to pages consisting almost entirely of broken images.
  • Made of Iron: Mamoru gets shot a few times, cut up, fights all night, and manages to come off as unscathed within hours. However, the major fights are generally not back to back, so it is a bit less ridiculous than it would otherwise seem. The source of Mamoru's "iron" happens to be his obsessive determination and it does not make him impervious, as seen when he does have to pull multiple harder fights in a row. This particular take on the trope is lampshaded more than once, mostly by Jesus.
  • Magnetic Hero: Haruka is charismatic enough to have whole BATTALIONS willing to assist her. Mamoru has this quality to a lesser degree, especially in the beginning of the story, but he is charismatic enough to have a whole following, not to mention what those who have been taught by him feel (with one exception).
  • Mama Bear: Serena to Haruka.
  • Married in the Future: Part of the point of the story is that the heroine, who is clairvoyant, saw a future where she was married to our main Anti-Hero, and she really wants that to come true. In the last chapter, it does.
  • Married to the Job: Genda, despite a disregard for some of the rules.
  • Master Swordsman: Mamoru and Genda.
  • Meaningful Name: Mamoru means "protect, safeguard" — guess what his job is (other than beating the hell out of bad guys).
    • Also, Dai's bike, "Bucephalus," is named after the favorite horse of Alexander the Great; "Pyro" is Greek for "fire" and is the name for a demolition expert; and Kirito Tate's nickname is "Aegis," Athena's shield.
    • This is Played for Laughs with one character (see Brick Joke).
  • Mercy Kill: The Canes Venatici do this to each other.
  • Mission Control: Igawa, usually in the van, making him a mobile version.
  • Mood Whiplash: Chapter 72 somewhat resembled a sketch from Tom and Jerry, until it gets to the end...
  • Mooks: Very few die, but many are taken down.
  • Morality Kitchen Sink: This series has the full range thanks to a cast full of anti-heroes, anti-villains, and morally ambiguous figures, along side an example of "White" (Haruka) and at least one example of "Black" (Edge Turus, who is possibly more evil than the Big Bad, just a lot less capable).
  • Morality Pet: Haruka to Mamoru in many respects. The first couple chapters Igawa kept reminding Mamoru not to kill guys because it would make Haruka sad. Daiba and other members of the Element Network see her as Mamoru's Morality Chain, though. The whole matter is a bit more complicated.
  • Never Be Hurt Again: This is the stated goal of the Element Network and is implied to be motive for the vast majority of its affiliates.
    • Surprisingly Mamoru of all people has this as part of his motive.
    Mamoru: When you see people dying, nasty stuff like that, too early, you grow up real screwed up, just like me. It ain't a good thing.
  • New Transfer Student: Haruka herself at times; also, Anna.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Zelm looks remarkably similar to Morgan Freeman. The fact he seems to be stoic and authoritative further increases the resemblance.
  • No, Mister Bond, I Expect You To Dine: Orion.
  • Non-Lethal K.O.: Sometimes taking a guy down in a nonlethal manner in this story involves cutting out his lower teeth. Later on Ashe explains how aiming for this can be advantageous.
    "In a battle where killing is the expected outcome, you can catch the enemy off guard by choosing non-fatal methods."
  • Not in This for Your Revolution: Ragi always has this mentality since she's a mercenary. Several other members of the Mamoru-Wiseman group also have different motives other than the alleged one. Mamoru zig-zags this one: he sometimes claims that he's in it for the battles or to settle scores, but his attitude shows that isn't entirely the case.
  • Not Wearing Tights: What we have here is, essentially, a blind Batman with a katana. This couldn't be not awesome if it tried.
  • Old Master: Zelm looks old enough to at least have grandchildren, but he's the one who taught the Trumps all of their techniques. His own technique is nearly impossible to deal with. Inaba and Makabe are also masters.
  • Omniscient Council of Vagueness: The Element Network. Their vagueness is also what prompts Wiseman to deviate from his job of just killing Mamoru to finding out everything he can about them.
  • Oracular Urchin: Anna Riddle.
  • Pay Evil unto Evil: Mamoru and Jesus both have this attitude as part of their Good is Not Nice mentality.
  • Plot-Relevant Age-Up: Anna seems to be at least a couple of years older from her Yami no Aegis appearance.
    • To be fair, in Yami no Aegis' sequel, Akatsuki no Aegis, she is already considerably older.
  • Post-Victory Collapse: Mamoru at the end of the Chechnya arc.
  • Pragmatic Hero: Part of what makes Mamoru an Anti-Hero is that, for him, the ends justify the means. He's willing to be fairly unscrupulous if need be.
  • Precocious Crush: Haruka to Mamoru. He does not know yet, but she really wants to marry him. Except, he guessed that was the case a long time ago.
  • Private Military Contractors: The Element Network.
  • Professional Killer: Jesus, the world's top hitman, and Fang, among others.
  • Prophecies Are Always Right: Zig-zagged; this has to do with the nature of Haruka's foresight (see Immune to Fate).
  • Put on a Bus: Serena and Kilo were injured and put in a hospital to recuperate. Later, Serena returns, fully recovered and having taken a level in badass.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Dai and Mamoru have this dynamic, in that order.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Luna.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Serena treats Haruka like her own daughter, whom she mentions would have been the same age had she not died.
  • Revolvers Are Just Better: Jesus uses a .357 Colt Python.
  • Rugged Scar: Mamoru has a prominent one covering a third of his face. Alpha has a more subtle one. Both characters are excellent fighters and capable of being The Chessmaster.
  • Running Gag: Mamoru can and will sleep anywhere at anytime, usually getting astonished looks because of it. There turns out to be a good reason for it.
    Juliet: Sadly, he is also an idiot.
    Pyro: ...I suppose genius and idiocy can coexist...
  • Sacrificial Lion: In the aftermath of a fight involving a rogue private military group planning to go criminal by murdering people within the Siren — Kirito Tate’s and Anna Riddle’s hideout — Detective Genda gives his life to protect Anna, Haruka, and a woman who had been researching Mamoru which is whom the group was after. Genda’s death pushes Mamoru to speed up the plan involving taking down Zashid Turus and helps harden the resolve of several other characters to defeat evil in the world. Even the police officers and detectives who admired Genda band together to take down the group who murdered him.
  • Scarpia Ultimatum: An unusual inversion: to stop Zashid Turus from killing Mamoru, Haruka threatens to kill herself if he refuses to let Mamoru go; if Zashid accepts, she will surrender to him, knowing that he intends to use her as a Baby Factory.
  • Scare 'Em Straight: This is Mamoru's modus operandi for crime prevention.
  • Screw Destiny: The whole story is Haruka's struggle to do just that... sort of. She doesn't want certain possible futures to occur.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!: Many villains behave this way, believing their connections and power will make all authorities powerless. The Wall was formed to take these villains down among other evildoers, including Edge Turus who abuses his diplomatic immunity to profit off the black market.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: Genda's reason for breaking rules.
  • Sharpened to a Single Atom: Mamoru's katana, of the single molecule wide variety.
  • Shout-Out: Multiple:
    • Mamoru defeats the leader of Canes Venatici with a technique from Suio Ryu.
    • The group 24 is a probable reference to the actual Public Security Intelligence 24.
  • Sink or Swim Mentor: Mamoru during the time skip when he is training Haruka, paraphrase: dodge the bear or get eaten by a bear. To be fair, Mamoru stood by completely supervising the training to ensure Haruka was not harmed at any time.
  • Smoking Is Cool: Genda. Most notably when he fights Mamoru head-on in pitch darkness, all the while puffing away. Jesus is also a heavy smoker.
  • Space Cold War: The situation in the second school Haruka attends during the series is a variant of this type of conflict, with the world’s greatest assassin on one end, the infamous 24’s agents on the other, and several third parties, including the head of the Chinese Mafia.
  • Specs of Awesome: Mamoru, whose glasses are high tech and grant him a form of echolocation while helping him kick villain ass. Though in reality he doesn’t require them either, having learning to fight while blind a while before he joined the Element Network, but it does make him even more capable in a fight.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Invisible does this with great ease. This is also a common ploy of Juliet and Liu Yijian.
  • Stepford Smiler: Haruka becomes one briefly after she is forced to leave school again.
  • Sunglasses at Night: Mamoru is blind, which gives him a convenient alibi to wear his Cool Shades even at night.
  • Sweet Tooth: Mamoru and Dai.
  • Sword Cane: Mamoru's primary weapon is a shikomizue in a white cane. Though due to the blade being thin and easily worn out he has to replace it with identical copies several times.
  • Tank Goodness: Brought out by Wiseman to fight Mamoru.
    Senji: Holy shit.
  • Technical Pacifist: Thanks to the Element Network's policy of Thou Shalt Not Kill, their fighting members all qualify. Mamoru tends to push the envelope on that policy several times, being perfectly willing to maim and inflict severe injuries on criminals he thinks deserves it, something most people in the Element Network doesn’t enjoy.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Mamoru and Haruka left for about a month and came back. When asked what he's been doing since he left, Mamoru just says "I took a stroll."
  • Theme Naming: The Wall uses the Military Alphabet to name their operatives.
  • Title Drop: In the first chapter, no less.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Subverted with Edge. He stole an upgraded version of Aegis' arm and complemented it with Fang's drone controller and he still got pummelled.
    • Serena and Haruka both play this one straight.
  • Training from Hell: Mamoru put himself through this beginning before he was ten years old, thus the Charles Atlas Superpower.
  • Trickster Mentor: Mamoru is accused of this by Haruka with his interactions with Dai.
  • Übermensch: The Turus family believes themselves to be this, with Zashid as the pinnacle of the species.
  • Undercover Model: Juliet is the vigilante version of this and she kicks ass in her costume.
  • Vengeance Feels Empty: Igawa comes to feel this way.
  • Vigilante Man: The entirety of the Element Network are either this or supporting this.
  • Waif-Fu: Justified, female The Wall operatives are trained paramilitary soldiers, and Haruka can take advantage of the fact that she can read the future. The latter Took a Level in Badass after being trained by Mamoru through fighting BEARS.
  • Waif Prophet: Haruka.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: It's because of Mamoru's decidedly criminal-like behaviour with enemies that Serena is so unwilling to leave Haruka with him, and others have a hard time trusting him.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: The Chechnya arc, among others.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: An unusual variant by Mamoru, who had an explosive jammed into a molar, knows it, and keeps it there to keep a person with whom he struck a deal from suspecting him.
  • Yakuza: Mostly as Mooks but a few (Komura, Senji) end up becoming more important characters.
  • You Have Failed Me: Death is the consequence of failure to the Galboans and Duhanans, even if you are parent and child. Upon arrest, Fang is Driven to Suicide as a result.
  • Your Head Asplode: A number of terrorists have explosives implanted in their molars. Guess what happens when they bite down on them. They can also be triggered remotely.