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Webcomic / Mob Ties

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"There is nothing...NOTHING...more important than lesbians."
Sidney Burns, dispensing some true wisdom


Mob Ties is a webcomic by Author Ninja that chronicles the life of Sidney Burns, an American English teacher in Japan, who accidentally becomes engaged to the daughter of a powerful yakuza boss. Takes place in the Japan seen in Shonen anime. Hilarity Ensues as Sid has to handle jealous suitors for the daughter (and for himself!), as well as overprotective brothers and evil yakuza clans, and still have the test papers graded on time. Expect bizarre enemies, epic battles, heavy drinking, and some extremely heartwarming moments.

Mob Ties was, unfortunately, ended mid arc in 2012, with the author stating that he couldn't keep up the story, and didn't want to shell-out a halfhearted finale.

It returned for a bit in 2018 (in reboot form), but wasn't updated too much since.

Provides Examples Of:

  • Abusive Parents: Sid's Father and Bengal.
  • Accidental Marriage: Mika and Sidney's marriage made more complicated the fact it's also an...
  • Arranged Marriage: Mika wasn't happy at her fathers choice of groom.
  • Animal Motifs: Sid is equated with a bear, Mika a sugar glider, and then there's the extended clan/animal pairings...
    • Possibly subverted with Jimbo. His tusks aren't because he's from the Boar Clan, but because he has tengu blood.
  • Affectionate Parody: It helps to understand the comic better if you remember that the author is intentionally parodying shonen anime in just about every facet of his comic.
  • All the Other Reindeer: Previous incarnations of Life and Death were personified by the same dragon. But in one generation, the dragon split into two sisters, each an Anthropomorphic Personification of only one of these forces. Since some of the previous dual incarnations used their power over death to annihilate the current version of humanity, Noriko's caretakers feared and shunned her, focusing their attention on the Dragon of Life.
  • Art Evolution: Comparing chapter 1 to the most recent chapter very rapidly demonstrates just how much the author's art has changed.
  • The Atoner: Nariko. Kept a prisoner by Bengal and used in experiments to harness her powers over death, Bengal used her as a last ditch weapon against The Warrior, Sid in a previous life. However, Nariko fell in love with the Warrior, and when she learned that he was in love with The Dragon Of Life (her sister), Bengal tricked her into using a love potion to make him fall in love with Nariko for one night. However, the potion was poisoned (since Bengal provided it, it's only to be expected) and the Warrior died shortly after it's effects wore off. The Dragon Of Life, seeing her love dead, killed herself. The gods cursed Nariko for her actions, despite her being the Unwitting Pawn, to walk the earth until she could reunite The Warrior and The Dragon Of Life when they reincarnated.
  • Badass Boast: Sober Sid: "If any of you mob assholes even think of hurting Mika... Just remember one thing..." * crushes a steel chair with one hand* "First... You'll have to go... Through Me." * delivers a One-Hit Kill*
    • Sid (again): "For Mika, I will KILL A GOD."
  • Badass Normal: In a World… filled with cyborg scientists, werecats, dragons, and even more bizarre things, Sidney Burns only needs his fists and a bottle of scotch.
    • Empowered Badass Normal: Recently there have been hints (such as the firebreathing and the foreign element in Sid's mindscape) that Nariko did something to Sid to keep him alive. Mika questions her about it and Nariko angrily confirms it without getting into the specifics.
  • Badass Santa: Sidney Burns
  • Badass Teacher: Sidney Burns
  • Bears Are Bad News: Sid's Battle Aura shows him as one.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Sid is usually the nicest guy you could ever know, but get him mad or get him sober and he will educate you the way only a teacher can.
  • Big Bad: Bengal, Dragon of Earth. He was originally motivated by a one-sided crush on the Dragon of Life, but nowadays, his motive is to break free of the seal the other gods placed upon him by sacrificing the Child by Rape he fathered with the Dragon of Life.
  • The Big Guy: Sidney Burns, although sometimes the other characters forget just HOW big.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Sidney Burns
  • Breath Weapon: Sidney Burns can breathe fire. No, really.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Ryujin. Thankfully he got better, even if they were technically Not Blood Siblings. It's implied that he only had it due to an unintended side-effect of his wife's Mind Manipulation.
  • Butt-Monkey: Thy name is Ryujin. He gets better later.
  • Care-Bear Stare: Little Kyoko-chan has one so powerful that it can obliterate all hate in it's presence.
    • This quickly goes up to eleven, when a demon refuses payment for helping to rescue her, `cause she's just that adorable.
  • Child by Rape: Kyoko-chan.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: What Sid endured in Iraq.
  • Combat by Champion: Pretty much the point of the Underground Boxing Match.
  • Cool Old Guy: Papa-san.
  • Crazy Enough to Work: To convince the heads of the other yakuza gangs to attend his wedding to Mika, Sidney Burns visits (or, in most cases, punches his way into) the bases of every one of the yakuza clans in Tokyo, including a clan of assassins, a clan of magic using werecats, a clan of professional bodyguards, a clan of sky pirates, a clan of magic using thieves, and last but not least, a clan of time traveling monkeys. All on the same day. And was still in time for his wedding that night.
  • Cross-Popping Veins: Played with: Jimbo's permanent case—implied to stem from his crippling auto accident—turned out to be an actual piece of the steering wheel embedded in his forehead.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Sidney Burns, big time.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Issue 10, in a rare twenty against one example. The twenty lose. Oh, and let's not forget Sid versus the Yeti. That one lasted 6.4 horrible, horrible seconds.
    • A very LITERAL curb stomping was handed out here.
  • Don't Fear The Reaper: He may be a scary, dessicated rabbit, but he's no murderer. Conversely, the shinigami Rancid is a complete asshole who has no issues with dragging a soul to its final resting place against its will - but he's completely incompetent.
  • Drama Bomb: Issue 2, where Mika's scarred left eye is revealed, as well as her tendency to attempt suicide if left alone for more than a few minutes. The first instant of serious drama in the comic. Until that point, things had been comedy with only a little bit of drama.
  • Embarrassing Tattoo: Sid's tattoo is embarrassing for Mika, since it has her naked riding a beer bomb. It's especially embarrassing, since it has her head on Coach Nariko's body. Which explains why there were so many people taking pictures behind Sid when he first unveiled it during an underground boxing match.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • When the Underground Boxing Match ends, and Boss Chairobuta appeals for help from the other clans to prevent him from losing everything he owned, Bengal himself pronounces that the Zodiac has no place for the weak or cowardly, and proclaims that not only will the boss lose everything to Sid and the Purple Pandas, but that anyone who helps Chairobuta will be expelled as well. Bengal is many things, a rapist, a murderer, a monster, but weak and/or cowardly, he is not.
    • In another example, when Kyoko-chan was kidnapped, a certain demoness was summoned to help rescue her. Despite Taro being completely willing to pay for her services, the instant she heard that "the adorable kitty-girl" was the kidnap-ee, she decided to work pro-bono for once.
  • Faceless Goons: The "Alphabet Goons" of the Black Sheep Clan are comprised of goons with stitches in the shape of letters from the English alphabet instead of faces.
  • God's Hands Are Tied: Aside from the dragons of Earth, Life, and Death, all of the gods in current times have sworn not to interfere with mortals, which is why their assistance against Bengal is limited to what they can get away with via Loophole Abuse.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Martial arts? Sidney Burns has no need of them, when his fists are bigger than the average man's head.
  • Grand Theft Me: The seal the gods placed on Bengal restricts him to the bodies of those with Tiger Clan blood. By siring Kyoko-chan, creating a child inheriting Tiger Clan blood, as well as power from the dragons of Earth and Life, he can use the blood connection to briefly steal her body, and then sacrifice her to break the seal completely..
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Given that Sidney Burns is significantly taller than Mika, and is incredibly stout, he likely has, at a minimum, ten times Mika's mass.
  • Journey to the Center of the Mind: Sid's brain is a whole lot more complicated that some people would think. And more than a little disturbing in places. Momo tries to break into Sid's brain in order to steal vital information. Sid's brain fights back. Hard.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Subverted, given that Sidney Burns apparently has a "sword ball" made up of katanas that other people have tried to use on him. According to Sid, the cheap katanas used by a group of yakuza bodyguards "wouldn't even stop a Jehovah's Witness back home".
  • Kinky Spanking: Sid delivers one to Mika. This was appeal to everyone present, even the one female observer.
  • Lampshade Hanging: Starts in Issue 1, and never really stops.
    Coach Nariko: "It's... it's just like... like a bad manga plot."
  • Legend Fades to Myth: The accurate story of the Warrior and the Dragon of Life, as told by Noriko, is very different from previous tellings, due to the story mutating over time. Word of God explains this as an In-Universe way to Retcon earlier versions of the plot.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!: Up until Chapter 10, Sidney Burns just seemed like a large goofball, often using the most bizarre methods to solve problems (which include, but are not limited to wedgies, farting, and puppets). Sure, he can take a punch, but he almost never used serious violence to solve a problem. It isn't until he and Mika are confronted by more than twenty goons intent on doing harm to Sid that we see what Sid does when someone seriously threatens him or the people he cares for. A can is opened. It's contents? 100% all natural fresh squeezed whoopass.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Sid looks like a ball of fat wedged into a tacky suit; he's almost all muscle, and frighteningly quick.
  • Mister Exposition: Papa-san even carries a photo album around with him because he never knows when he'll need to dish out some exposition.
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: Ryujin tells Sid in the first chapter that if he marries Mika when she turns 16 (the legal age of consent for females in Japan), he'll kill Sid. This puts Sid in a bind, since if he doesn't marry Mika when she turns 16, Papa-san will kill him.
  • Powers via Possession:
    • Sid gradually shifting from a relatively normal build to an enormous hulking brute isn't just Art Evolution or a gag. Mariko used her authority as the Dragon of Death to seal the Anthropomorphic Personification of war inside of him, which has been causing a slow Transformation of the Possessed. All of Sid's mental defenses and drinking aren't to keep enemies out, it's to keep War sealed. As unpleasant as the side effects are, War is the only reason Sid was actually strong enough to survive all of his misadventures. When the seal breaks, War takes over with a full fledged Demonic Possession.
    • This was the benefit the gods advertised to the Tiger Clan for keeping Bengal sealed within the body of their patriarchs. In practice however, the hosts suffered from Possession Burnout, and Bengal figured out ways to weaken the seal and occasionally takeover their bodies.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Sidney Burns lives for this. There isn't anything too crazy for him to do. Best example: Sid is blackmailed into robbing a bank by Ryujin. Not only does Sid pull this off in an incredibly ridiculous fashion (while dressed like the Hamburgler) when he and Ryujin are cornered by the police during the escape Sid proceeds to give them all "atomic wedgies" since the cops aren't allowed to use their guns unless the perpetrators are using guns as well. The only exception is Kyoko's mother, who then has to admit (on national TV) that she escaped because she isn't wearing underwear.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Papa-san's wife and original, biological daughter were murdered by an assassination. He went on a rampage through the clans to find out who was responsible. When he did though, he ended up losing almost everything due to going up against a god, Bengal.
  • Rule of Cool: Time-traveling yakuza monkeys. 'Nuff said.
  • Running Gag: Sid's seemingly endless collection of expository ties
  • The Stoic: Jimbo usually communicates with expressive grunts, though he does talk sometimes.
  • Superpowered Evil Side: Sober Sid has a radically different personality that drunk Sid, and unlike drunk Sid, uses his full strength in a fight without any regard for his opponent's well being, making the first fight that Sober Sid appears in a One-Hit Kill.
  • Troperiffic: Mob Ties in general, but special attention goes to Sidney Burns, who is an Irish drunkard big guy boisterous bruiser who uses obfuscating stupidity, good old fashioned fisticuffs, is a crouching moron, hidden badass, and has a breath weapon. Oh, and he's the goddamn Santa Claus.
  • Tsundere: Mika and Coach Nariko.
  • Unwanted Harem: Mika started out with one, though with Taro coming to terms with his sexuality and dating Ace and Weasel dating Mookie, it's pretty much gone by now. Sid on the other hand still has to deal with his Tsundere androphobic Broken Bird underage spirit medium reincarnated Dragon of Life wife Mika, Tsundere ex-girlfriend fellow Iraq veteran Atoner Dragon of Death Nariko (who still harbors feelings for him even after entering a physical relationship with Jimbo), secretary/bodyguard Yin who has absolutely no problem being "the other woman" (according to her, Mika approves since she still has issues with men), and most recently Bengal's right-hand woman and daughter Momo who is a telepathic Cat Girl with large breasts. Death hasn't diminished Kyoko's crush on Sid either. Given that the original Warrior met his end because of a woman, this doesn't bode well for Sid.
  • When All You Have Is a Hammer…: "Like I tell you every day, Weez, you name one thing punching can't solve and I'll stop it."
  • Wham Episode: There are many.
    • The best example might be Issue 7, appropriately named Revelations, where it is revealed that Mika was the victim of a violent rape, the perpetrator of which remains unknown, but was so brutally traumatic that Mika has no memory of it, and passes out whenever it is mentioned. The revelation that Weasel is a cyborg made earlier in the chapter pales in comparison.
    • The first wham of many to come, after Issue 14, there is a minimum of one wham every chapter. Part of this comes from the fact that in Issue 14 the Big Bad, Bengal, finally appears. From then on, you can expect something unexpected to occur at least once every chapter that will leave your jaw hanging.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: One character has only suggested this, but another actually attempted it. Surprisingly, it doesn't work (no one thought to aim for the head), primarily due to an unintended Bulletproof Vest made out of an absurd number of training weights.
  • Yandere: Earlier chapters of the story imply that Noriko killed her sister and the Warrior out of murderous jealousy, though it's later Retconned to an accident due to Bengal's trickery.