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Narm / Manga

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Miura: It's definitely a serious scene, where he's really angry, and it would otherwise be cool... but with an otter...
Hattori: Do you think Hiramaru-kun was going for laughs?
Miura: I can't tell...
Mashiro: Hiramaru-san was serious, but we laughed anyway.

Just like their anime cousins, Narm may occasionally creep into the pages of your favorite (or not-so-favorite) manga series.

Manga with their own Narm pages.

Other examples

  • Although, to some, all manga can be construed as narmy, what can really kill it for fans and otaku alike, is when the magazine editors for which the manga is originally released take it upon themselves to add more to the suspense of the already Cliffhanger-ish ending. By adding stupid tag-lines. The most EPIC, MIND-BLOWING THING could happen, and snap, the coolness evaporates into narm for the reader. Just by adding a few simple words such as: "Rejection!" or they just plain point out the obvious or ask stupid questions like "What will X do next!?" As you can imagine, it becomes quite tiresome when your favorite manga gets sorta ruined every single chapter.
    • Although it helps that the compiled volumes usually get rid of the tag lines.
  • In the "Queen Sayoko" mini arc of Ah! My Goddess, Belldandy willingly sacrifices her free will for Keiichi's. She is also commanded to "go home" (everyone thinks that means Heaven) because he was too busy laughing about Sayoko's utterly ridiculous "queen" outfit.
  • "Scanlations" (which is to say, translated manga scans - the comic equivalent of Fansubs) suffer from this when the translators do not originally speak English (or whatever language the scanlation is in), are overly literal, or just don't care. One particular instance comes from a scanlation of an early issue of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga in which the otherwise touching and poignant segment of Ed and Al Elric being forced to be midwives for a delivering mother is ruined by the line "THE BABY'S BEEN BRONED!" (sic). That same page also has "time to the wash the baby" and "becasue".
    • From a Negima! Magister Negi Magi scanlation: the climax of a dramatic conversation is flattened by the main character saying, "Stop trying to pull the WOLL over my eyes!" ARGH. Come on guys, check your spelling.
    • A Touhou Project hentai doujinshi had Reisen and Youmu — erm — taking care of business, as it were. The whole thing suddenly spiraled into hilarity when Reisen discovered Youmu's ghost half and asked "how did it formed?" Whoops.
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    • Any scanlation where the scanlator uses internet slang to save space. How can you take a fight with a giant-dwarfing zombie seriously when half the crew reacts with "OMG!"?
      • Same goes for unfitting swear words. Cursing makes a character sound vulgar and unintelligent. When a character who's supposed to be classy and educated uses them (especially every other sentence), the result is Narm.
    • One D.Gray-Man scanlation translated "The Musician" as "The Player." Way to break the drama, guys. Arguably even funnier because that particular character could probably score with anyone in the series, male or female, if he tried.
    • It's astounding how often translators will misspell "strength" as either "strentgh" or "strenght."
      • It's also amazing how often translators confuse "lose" and "loose", or the sheer amount of How Do I Used Tense?.
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    • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure fans can sum this up with two words: "Duwang scans". note 
    • Poor or strange choices of font can also kill the drama. Nothing ruins a touching or heartwarming moment like the scanlator(s) deciding to use Comic Sans. Of course for certain genres, "Blind Idiot" Translations go beyond just plain old narm.
  • There's a scene in the Get Backers manga where Action Girl Himiko just finished an emotional fight, defeating the guys who killed her new friend Miyama, who had just asked her to use her perfumes and witchcraft to save the Kiryuudo. As soon as she sees Ban next, she jumps into his arms and hugs him in distress. Even if we ignore the lingering Clothing Damage, the gratuitous Panty Shot while she's flying in mid-air kills any emotional effect the scene might have had. Except immature giggling.
  • The Tower of Conviction arc in the Berserk manga had a group of inquisitors who were turned into "angels" via demonic magic. They were interesting characters with angelic wings, a threat to Guts and his group, an interesting study on the nature of religious dogma and true miracles... wait, did that guy just shout GOD CANNON as he attacked? Seriously? GOD CANNON? Way to make a torturous inquisitor who had previously been shown torturing people laughable, guys.
    • That particular character has a head shaped like a cube, which in itself can be amusing. The "GOD CANNON" wouldn't have been too bad if all of his attacks were formatted "GOD (SOMETHING)," but there is some slight variation. "GOD'S BREATH" and "GOD'S HAND" weren't bad, but "GOD'S PRESSURE" was a bit ridiculous.
  • Samus repeatedly screaming "Kill Me!" at the end of the Metroid manga's 9th chapter and at the beginning of the tenth. Her white eyes, occasionally elongated "Me"s, and being Out of Character make this scene hard to take seriously.
  • Your milage may really, really vary, knowing what the subject matter is about but Keiji Nakazawa's art in Barefoot Gen can cause narm for some, due to how weird the characters expressions can be, but also how characters vocally say WAAAAAAH when ever they cry can really ruin scenes for some and ends up coming off forced.
  • Golgo 13: "Flagburner." It makes sense that someone angry with the Clinton administration would hire Golgo 13 to tip the scales of the 2000 Florida recount. It made a convincing, well-written thriller... up until the panel that showed the stylized Clinton having smiley anal sex in the Oval Office.
  • The Enigma of Amigara Fault has one of these that ruins the horror, partially because you can take the last page out of context and partially because of Memetic Mutation. Someone shines a light in one of the fissure-like holes on a side of the vault in the last few pages. Inside, he sees a former human, twisted beyond recognition into a blackened, leathery And I Must Scream Body Horror (teriyaki-flavored, probably), slowly worming his way through the cracks with the infamous cry of DRR... DRR... DRR... The researcher's response?
    • If you don't know the rest of the story, then this is hilariously camp.
    • 4chan, in typical 4chan fashion, had to render the manga completely unterrifying by changing "DRR DRR DRR" into "DDR DDR DDR"...
      "It's slowly dancing this way!"
    • Exemplified within.
    • Even in the original, the "DRR" loses its scariness when you realise that it could be pronounced as "durrr". As in, the stereotypical idiot grunt.
  • The "Cleaning Out the Storage" strip in Hetalia: Axis Powers had a genuinely powerful and emotional plot. But when England went into a Twisted-Knee Collapse in front of America after being defeated, the panel shot gives the impression that he was about to give America head. Waaaaaaay to ruin the until-then very well-done drama, Himaruya.
  • One particular scene in the Neon Genesis Evangelion manga is hard to take seriously. During the "End of Eva" scene where Shinji is trying to snap Asuka out of her coma, instead of the scene ending in Shinji jerking off to Asuka's comatose body, Asuka snaps out of it just long enough to go crazy and violently strangle Shinji. Perhaps this was Asuka's revenge for all the things Shinji does to her in End of Eva: "Now how do YOU like it!?"
    • The scene in which Yui straddles Shinji inside Unit 01 can be taken this way. It's supposed to be creepy, but it comes off like a scene from a weird incest hentai manga.
  • The creator of Shoujo Sect chose insane romanizations for the characters' names. Chizuru becomes Chizzle, Handa is Hunter, Enjyoji is Engeorge, Naitou is Knight-O... Any time one of these spellings appears, it removes drama from the scene.
  • Here's an example from the first seven volumes of Yu-Gi-Oh!: so Yami Bakura has trapped everyone in that tabletop RPG game. Towards the end, the good Bakura manages to regain control over one of his hands, so Yami Bakura decides to deal with it by impaling his hand on one of the towers of the boardgame's castle, uttering the priceless but silly line "How do you like the taste of durable polyester, Hand?!" in the process. Even better (or worse, depending on how you view Narm) if you imagine the line being said with Ted Lewis's typical delivery for the character.
  • The most poignant scenes in the manga Translucent are ruined by the frequent Narmtastic Off-Model shots. Even when on model, some of the characters look incredibly bizarre for a supposedly realistic manga. In particular, there's Shizuka's teacher, whose first appearance makes his head three faces tall and tilted 45 degrees. Even in later volumes, he has a head easily twice the height it should be.
  • The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service has one during a chapter in which the group discovers that a parasite normally found in snails that bulges out their eyestalks and hijacks their mind to make them go up to high places and get eaten by birdsnote  has adapted to use humans in the same way. While the final discovery of a victim with his eyeballs turned into humongous eyestalks is supposed to be horrific, it's also somewhat ridiculous, especially with the victim's vacant Slasher Smile and his line afterwards.
  • The first volume of Kurokami included a segment where, due to some fancy magic, the main character and a random magician girl couldn't be too far apart because she had saved his life by exchanging his mangled arm for her OK one. The manga decided to show this by having the main character's donated arm fall off and following this with his getting told off like a naughty schoolboy for letting it happen.
  • In Waq Waq, during Shio's fight with Leo, there are two major bits of Narm while Shio is considering what he can do compared to what Leo can do.
    1. Shio notes that Leo has quite a few abilities for his Gozinzou, then recalls that he can eat, whereupon a Super-Deformed version of himself fused with Armati with a face on his eating arm.
    2. Shio finally recalls one of his father's techniques to harden and uses that technique to defend, but still gets blown away by Leo's attack. Instead of an Oh, Crap! expresion, he has a dazed expression with Blank White Eyes as he flies into the air spinning countless times. He notes somewhat anticlimactically, "it didn't help any."
  • Inuyasha:
    • Chapter 387 (which is in volume 39), in the translation by Viz, includes this dialogue:
      Ryujin: You're harboring Toshu, aren't you?! Then I'll slice you all to ribbons!
      Inuyasha: Oh yeah? I like ribbons. So try it!
    • The Norwegian translation falls into this by first showcasing the Japanese names of the attacks and having the translation between the panels, only to have them translated for the rest of the volume for some reason. As with Fullmetal Alchemist, the Norwegian versions of the words don't sound nearly as threatening. It was cancelled at the 22nd volume.
  • Future Diary is full of this because the art isn't well-drawn in the early chapters. This is a particularly lovely example of Narm in the series.
  • Fourteen. Even the description of the plot puts this manga in narmtopia. The manga takes place in the future in a chicken meat growing factory, where a lump of chicken flesh transforms into a supermutant chicken man named "Chicken George". (Yes, really.) He goes on a mission to take revenge on humanity for ruining the planet. This was written by the author of the creepy horror manga "Drifting Classroom".
  • In the AKIRA manga, Lady Miyako succumbs to her wounds while fighting Tetsuo. All in all, it's an appropriate and dramatic scene... except that she happens to collapse on a slanted piece of rubble, and a whole panel shows her body slowly sliding down.
  • Reborn! (2004):
    • At the end of the Future Arc, Kikyo was talking about how the Funeral Wreaths were not just "normal humans," and how Byakuran had brought them up to greatness in this parallel world, and then Xanxus tells him to shut up and does this. It really shouldn't have been funny.
    • The character Shitt. P. of the Simon Family. More specifically, her name.
    • After Tsuna epicly punches Daemon Spade several yards underground, the next panel is simply "YOU BASTARD!" coming from the hole created.
    • The entire concept of the great power that pacifiers can give.
  • Quoted above is a part of a scene in Bakuman。, where Hattori and Miura advise Takagi and Mashiro to incorporate "serious humor" into scenes, that kids won't notice as funny, and adults will laugh at, so they can be funny without trying to be. The expressions on Mashiro and Takagi's faces after Mashiro suggests that Azuki broke up with him over keeping Takagi's meetings with Aoki and his uncle loving her secrets mother from her don't exactly convey the sense of shock that they feel.
  • As a result of "Blind Idiot" Translation, the "Switch Off" arc of Sket Dance turns Kazuyoshi Usui (Switch) and Sawa Yamauchi's mutual Love Confession into one. In the Japanese version when Kazuyoshi tells her that he loved her, she breaks down and reveals that she loved him too, thus clearing the Imaginary Love Triangle Kazuyoshi had in his mind, but due to the death of Kazuyoshi's litle brother Masafumi, she is so traumatized that she has to move to a different town (because he was killed right in front of her eyes, by a psychotic girl who originally wanted to kill Sawa herself, leading to Survivor's Guilt and It's All My Fault). Due to the Scanlation translating this conversation rather literally (ditto for the English subbed anime version), this moment is ruined as it becomes:
    Kazuyoshi: I loved you.
    Sawa: Me too!.
    [Runs away crying]
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi:
  • Jadeite's death in the Sailor Moon manga because of the sound effect, written as "FLAAAAAAA!".
    • In volume 3 of the newest release, Luna shouts "BECOME ONE WITH THE MOON STICK!" And in the middle of a climatic battle to add insult to injury...
  • The art in Hellsing's early chapters is a bit... weird. Fortunately the manga underwent some drastic Art Evolution, but this makes rereading Volume 1 really jarring. Take a look at Seras. It also doesn't help that Hirano apparently hadn't finalized Alucard's characterization... "I still have too many human reasons"? He's a completely different character than the sadistic psycho we know him as today.
  • The entire fourth round of the Liar Game tournament gives the different players nicknames, usually based on their appearance. Thing is, these nicknames can sound condescending when they're spoken out loud, which they are. So we get the eternally cheerful Nao calling people "Four-Eyes", "Baldy" and "Fatso", among other names, in the middle of otherwise serious discussions.
    • Liar Game has a lot of this due to the characters' mouths opening way too wide when they're feeling particularly happy or surprised.
  • Super Mario Bros. Manga Mania:
    • Whenever someone swears (it happens a lot).
    • There's also the panel with the Shadow Queen. It looked like they weren't sure if they wanted to make her a chibi-type manga cute, or a terrifying Eldritch Abomination like in the games and decided to just do both. Also the face Mario's making in the corner of the same panel completely destroys what little threat she still had at that point.
  • Gyo can be pretty horrifying (being written by Junji Ito and all), but many things from the second chapter onward can also be construed as unintentionally hilarious.
    • The Death Stench's effects on humans are meant to be presented as them being rotted alive and becoming bloated and full of gas like a days-old corpse, but the way it comes off is just them growing obese and flatulent (and in the anime adaptation, their skin turning green à la Hulk).
    • Special mention goes to Kaori's suicide in the manga. What would have otherwise been a sad and horrifying scene of her becoming unable to deal with her infection anymore due to smelling herself rotting and hanging herself is absolutely ruined by the fact that she hangs herself from the ceiling fan and her corpse starts farting so violently that her body starts flying around the room like a chair swing ride at the carnival. This was definitely either this, or some serious Black Comedy.
  • Mad Bull 34:
    • It usually gets a pass because of Narm Charm, but the second chapter of the manga is... special. A junkie going through withdrawal takes a neighbor hostage in his apartment. Aside from his being fat for a long-term heroin junkie, what he does with the girl is ridiculous. Facing out the window with shotgun in hand, he forces her to grab his testicles and squeeze as if she wanted to crush them - reasoning that such intense pain will take his mind off the whole "my desire for smack is driving me mad" thing. Whatever you're imagining, it's more absurd than that. Subsequent chapters feature their fair share of bizarre and hilarious content, but this is the, ahem, high point.
    • Later, we get to know Nickel the Electrician, a hitman who kills people by using his electrical and mechanical expertise in creative ways. There's nothing silly about that, but his other big thing is his bizarre compulsion to piss on his target's car. Nickel happens to be diabetic, by the way, which is how Sleepy knew he was gunning for him - because he could smell the sugar from Nickel's insulin in the urine. After Nickel's "exploding light bulb" trick doesn't work, his next plan involves strapping a firearm of his own design to a stray cat.
  • The manga version of Puella Magi Madoka Magica is not known for its subtlety. It shows the very graphic consequences of the Witch hunts (like its version of Mami Tomoe's death)... and then it completely ruins the scenes that show off Kyubey's inability to understand human concerns/standards and his very crafty and effective manipulations. Considering that Kyuubey's "key" for this is his Perpetual Smiler, Dissonant Serenity and Frozen Face traits, his "Nightmare Face" from the manga (which he pulls when Homura calls him "Incubator") comes off more as ridiculously overblown than truly scary... if not downright stupid. Guess some things are just better done in animated form...
    • Made even better/worse/whatever by how from then on, Kyuubey has Black Eyes of Evil. It's so stupidly and ridiculously Anvilicious that it seems he's constantly tripping balls, or that the manga author thinks the readers are complete idiots who need to be constantly told how eeeeeeevil he's supposed to be.
  • "Papa's breakfast taste so delicious...... WHEN YOU'RE ALIVE TO ENJOY IT."
  • In Manga Messiah, a manga adaptation of the Gospels, a very serious accusation is ruined with Jesus calling the Pharisees "phonies". As in, "You phonies!" Facepalm.
  • In The Prince of Tennis, specifically New Prince of Tennis, when Atobe evolves to get his X-ray vision, it's really not a Moment of Awesome.
    • Wait, only that? Beforehand, Inui's "transformation" in a mummy after his doubles match with Kaidoh is just as narmtastic as in the anime.
  • In the Soul Eater manga, Medusa's possession of Rachel Boyd's body loses a lot of its dramatic impact when it looks like this.
  • The official English translation of the Trinity Blood manga often uses some very... questionable translations for dialogue and sound effects. It kind of ruins the drama when the vampires insist on using Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe every time they speak, especially with Ion Fortuna. The fact that he keeps insisting on addressing himself as "we" really lessens whatever drama they were going for. The sound effects are just as bad; in the Gunmetal Hound chapters, a dude getting shot in the head apparently warrants the sound effects "Bonk" and "Splat". BONK AND SPLAT, GUYS. There's also an entire panel, right in the middle of a tense, fast-paced fight scene, used to translate the large japanese sound effect as "a cold wind blows". What.
  • During a rape scene in the Zeorymer manga the attacker walks outside, breaks off an icicle from the roof, files off the pointy end with his teeth (very considerate of him), and uses it to continue raping the victim. This would be disturbing, except it happens right after a cheesy exposition monologue (also made while raping), so instead it just pushes the whole scene over the top and into funny territory, and it just gets funnier when you realize that the rape is never mentioned again.
  • PandoraHearts: See Elliot in Chapter 26 here where he holds a sword at crotch level. Oz does it too.
  • Viz's English translation for the Dragon Ball manga can be narmful in a different way from Funimation's dub of the anime with its borderline Purple Prose and abuse... of... Dramatic Ellipsis.
  • In Black Butler chapter 68 Ciel goes to a school where prefects have personal referred to as "fags". Yes, fags. While this is likely meant to be a potrayal of the British practice of fagging in boarding schools, the arc is impossible to take seriously due to being full of lines such as ""Everybody wants to be his fag..." or "It's fag time!"
  • Very late in the Fruits Basket manga, Bishie Sparkle is used as a Vomit Discretion Shot after Kyo's stomach gets the better of him.
  • The Record of ATX manga gives us this enemy operator. He looks like a weird cross between an Ethnic Scrappy and a Monster Clown, and the strange appearance of the other operator and the captain just makes the scene even weirder.
  • From Deadman Wonderland we get "Hey you fucking guys", courtesy of Genkaku.
  • From Tamayo Akiyama's So Bad, It's Good Zyword, we get lots of hilarious dialogue (i.e, people screaming and no one representing them on the page, lots of cheesy nooos, and the classic one-liner: "But, what are the goddesses, really? What are the goddesses, and what is Zyword?")
    • There are lots of "Blind Idiot" Translation moments such as these gems:
      "You kept it and didn't KILL (should be tell) anyone that she murdered our queen."
    • Also, the fact that the girl falls in love with someone at the age of FIVE, not to mention he's much older than she is.
  • In the second half of Private Actress, Kana=/=Satoka 's villainy can be seen as this easily. The idea of a girl no older than 15 being SO omniscient, dominant and powerful over the series's adults that she easily drives a woman who's almost 10 years older to an overblown and melodramatic suicide, tries to make everyone believe that she slept with a man old enough to be her grandfather to get all kinds of publicity, AND gets a girl doused with acid to get her out of acting competition, among several other things, stretches your Willing Suspension of Disbelief quiiiiite a bit. Specially since this series is supposed to be Slice of Life and thus almost completely devoid of magic or supernatural elements to use as plot devices, which makes Kana/Satoka even more ridiculous and not to mention petty as fuck. What kind of adults are these?!
  • Misu Misou is about bullying, but after a certain point, the bullying becomes so insanely exaggerated that it becomes difficult to take the story seriously. The bullies in this story are so over-the-top evil that even the orphanage bullies from Elfen Lied would probably call them out on how savage and insane most of them are. The most prominent of them go above and beyond typical bullying and into Ax-Crazy Card-Carrying Villain territory, made worse by the fact that these kids couldn't possibly be older than 13 or 14, and the art style makes them look about 10 or 11. The worst of it is when they burn down the main character's house, which kills her parents and leaves her younger sister severely burned and comatose. And that's not even mentioning the fact that the main character is subjected to these things for literally no reason other than the fact that she's from out of town.
    • In general, the manga taking Dysfunction Junction a bit too far can make things a little hard to take seriously. Almost every single character with any importance in the manga whatsoever is either a psychotic, mustache-twirling bully, or was bullied to the point of becoming one. The worst of this would be the random scenes with the class' teacher toward the end, which ends with the revelation that she pukes whenever she gets stressed and got bullied as "Puke Girl" in middle school. That's not the part that falls into this territory. What does is the part where having this brought up to her causes her to inexplicably snap and gouge a guy's eyes out and bite another guy's lips off, then jump out the window and get run over by a snow plow. This entire scene and everything in it came completely out of nowhere and ultimately doesn't effect anything else in the story at all.
  • The official Batman manga from the 60s is filled with this. It's impossible to take it serious with moment like this one.
  • Tokyo Ghoul:
    • In the sequel manga the character Urie is frequently drawn without his mouth so it looks awkward when they have him talking.
    • Ishida Sui's very expressive art sometimes gets overexpressive. Kaneki's reactions tend to be the most affected by this, although Tsukiyama isn't that far behind him (and in fact overtakes him in the anime). However, the Narm mostly sticks around just in the beginning of the series; the reactions get less narmy the later in the series, both because of the story itself and Ishida's art improving.
    • Kaneki twisting his leg around in order to kick Jason properly, and then the way it spins back into place, is awesome, Squick, and kinda hilarious all at the same time.
    • So is the true one-eyed owl ripping off Shinohara's leg and taunting Juuzou about it.
    • The end of Chapter 61 where Arima talks to Furuta about "talking" to V is probably meant to be serious...only the angle of the panel makes Furuta appear to be shoving his ass out. This made it hard for fans to take seriously.
      • Another narmy but also scary sequence is Furuta's over-the-top murder of Eto's editor, involving cooking him and bringing the resulting pate to Cochlea in a tupperware container for Eto.
      • In the manga chapter 70 there's the scene where Kaneki attacks Furuta in self defense and knocks a tooth out. Furuta responds by saying "Owie!" in an original translation.
  • The (for some controversial) manga Kodomo No Jikan is an odd example of this trope, as it's not any particular scenes that are narmy, but the greater elements in the series as a whole. The series is mostly a drama about elementary schoolgirls growing up, but with Lolicon and Shotacon fanservice mixed in. Those who read it to the end generally confirm that it focuses more on the drama and issues later on (and becomes a lot better in the process), but the initial chapters make it difficult to take seriously when it comes across as melo-dramatic, thus many readers drop it before it even really starts.
  • Junji Ito has a bad habit of making his longer series rather goofy as he runs out of fresh scares. For instance, Remina is terrifying, until the part where the Earth starts spinning at cartoonish speeds, which our heroes take advantage of by jumping across continents using the torque. And an army follows suit after them.