Nabari no Ou
The ninja world is at war... whatever.
Miharu Rokujou has been living a life of indifference for as long as he can remember. The life of a normal boy living a normal life planning to own a normal restaurant doesn't offer much, but he'd rather have it that way.
After being pestered by his classmate Aizawa and his English teacher Kumohira to join the ninja club time and again, Miharu is attacked by a group of real ninjas... and he still couldn't care less. But when he discovers that the ninjas are after a special hijutsu called the Shinrabanshou sealed within him, he gets sucked into a conspiracy involving underground clans of ninja and samurai, all with their own agendas for the hijutsu. With betrayal and honor at stake, staying apathetic proves challenging, especially when one young ninja from an enemy camp comes forward with a very unusual request.
Now has its own Ho Yay page.
- Absurdly Powerful Student Council: Present at Alya Academy although it turns out they're all being manipulated, first by an adult, then by one of their own.
- Abusive Parents: Yoite and Yukimi's parents.
- Action Girl: Raimei, as well as other various ninja girls and women.
- All There in the Manual: The guidebooks include some information that never made it into the manga, such as the reason Kouichi and Shijima's human forms resemble Akatsuki and Shinra, how Tobari and Hanabusa met, and the origin of Tobari's fear of vehicles.
- Ambiguous Gender: Subverted. the reader (and even most characters, apparently) start out believing that Yoite is male. Later it turns out that he's actually... intersex, although it's strongly implied that, by the end of the series, he personally identifies as male. It doesn't really matter in the long run, though, and isn't gone into in much detail, only the readers now know another reason for his angst and identity issues.
- An Arm and a Leg: Yukimi
- Angsty Surviving Twin: Makoto, after Yukimi kills Itsuwari.
- Art Evolution: The art in the manga became more sophisticated and pretty with time, though recently the characters' bodies look more and more like stick figures.
- Asshole Victim: Most of the people Raikou murders.
- Back from the Dead: Miharu is revived by his mother after getting his face blown off.
- Battle Discretion Shot: Most of the fight between Kouichi and Raimei and Shijima and Raikou is off-panel.
- Better to Die Than Be Killed: Tasuku commits suicide rather than let himself be killed by Kouichi.
- Big Damn Heroes: Raimei and Raikou at the end of chapter 69.
- Bilingual Bonus: When Raimei and Raikou fight for the first time, Gau is listening to Strauss’s “Unter Donner und Blitz", which is German for “Under Thunder and Lightning”. Incidentally, Raimei's name means "thunder", while Raikou's name means "lightning". And what happens "under" thunder and lightning is a rain shower...in other words, Gau.
- Bishie Sparkle: While Raikou is away from the house, Gau fantasizes about him; picturing him surrounded by sparkles and roses while Gau blushes and wishes for his swift return.
- Bittersweet Ending: The manga. Miharu finally remembers Yoite again...but Yoite is still dead. After their brief reunion, Yoite leaves, presumably to go to heaven.
- Blade Reflection: Raikou in the anime opening.
- Bland-Name Product: According to the anime, Yukimi uses software like Odobe Photograph, Mouton AntiVirus 2015, Saikrosoft Sentence/EXL/Autolock/Postman, and Ninja Seiden.
- In the manga, Kotarou is seen playing with a Somy handheld game resembling a PSP.
- Blessed with Suck: Both Miharu and Yoite, of course. Also Kouichi and Shijima.
- Blood From the Mouth: Yoite does this a few good times, generally after overexerting himself with Kira.
- Boring but Practical: Yukimi doesn't do very many fancy ninja techniques or amazing physical feats. He does, however, have a gun.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: The characters occasionally seem to be aware that they're in a manga.
Raikou: Lately, doesn't it feel like I've been the comic relief character...? I'm kind of reluctant about it...
- Brick Joke: On the cover flap of volume 5, the doodle accompanying the author's notes shows Kouichi wondering if he'll get to be on a cover soon. (The cover of volume 5 shows Raikou and Gau, who were introduced much later than him.) The cover of volume 6 shows new character Shijima; on the cover flap, Kouichi is depressed and a random bird is telling him "Maybe next time". He finally gets to be on the volume 7 cover.
- Bridal Carry: Raikou carries Gau like this once.
- Cast From Lifespan: The Kira technique uses Yoite's Life Energy. As a result, by the beginning of the series, he only has 1 or 2 months left to live.
- Cast Full of Pretty Boys: Every major and minor male character under 30 is attractive. No exceptions.
- Casual Kink: Gau's masochistic tendencies are Played for Laughs in an omake strip, and Raikou is later implied to be a sadist during the Alya Arc.
- Cessation of Existence:Yoite.
- Chekhov's Gun: The scar that Miharu gets when stopping Yoite from killing Yae Oda.
- Clothing Switch: At one point in the manga, Gau is shown wearing the jacket Raikou had been wearing earlier in the chapter.
- Conflicting Loyalty: Yukimi, Kazuho, Raikou, and Gau all have to deal with this when Hattori decides that Yoite has outlived his usefulness.
- Creepy Twins: Makoto and Itsuwari of Kasa.
- Cross-Dressing Voices: In the Japanese version, Miharu and Yoite are voiced by female voice actresses. In the English, just Miharu.
- Cute Kitten: Yoite/Yoi.
- Dangerous Forbidden Technique: Yoite's Kira, Miharu's Shinrabanshou, a number of others.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Almost everyone.
- Died in Your Arms Tonight
- Really, there are a lot of death tropes that could apply just to that scene.
- Death by Adaptation: Raikou.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Kouichi, Shijima, and Fuuma.
- Death by Origin Story: The deaths of Raikou and Raimei's parents. The deaths of Tobari's uncle, Miharu's parents, and Miharu himself also qualify for Tobari.
- Deus Angst Machina: Arguably, Yoite.
- Did Mom Just Have Tea with Cthulhu?:
Hanabusa: Miharu-kun, Yoite-kun, I brought you tea!
- Didn't See That Coming: Raikou was definitely not expecting Gau to throw himself in front of the finishing blow meant for Raimei.
- Doomed by Canon: Miharu's parents are mentioned to be dead from the start of the series - some 12 volumes before their backstories.
- Saved by Canon: Miharu...sort of.
- Downer Ending: The anime, not just in Yoite dying, but in that Miharu NEVER ACTUALLY USES THE SHINRABANSHOU - whether to erase Yoite as he did in the manga or for another purpose -, rendering the entire series and its plot pointless.
- Drives Like Crazy: Raikou takes the wheel on one occasion, telling Yukimi to take a "nice break". He manages to drive the car into a river.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Raikou. At first glance, partly due to his immaculately styled shoulder-length pink hair, Raikou does appear to be quite outwardly feminine. However, his character breaks away from the usual feminine-male stereotype and is actually played as very strong and commanding. The first criminal that Raikou dispatches underestimates him because of his pain hair and unusual fashion sense, but quickly finds that Raikou is not to be taken lightly. Also, in the anime, both Japanese and English versions, his voice is fairly deep and decidedly masculine.
- Dysfunction Junction: Most main characters have either a horrible traumatic past, or a horrible traumatic present. Or both.
- Elaborate University High: Alya Academy
- Enemy Mine: The Banten and Kairoushuu groups when Alya Academy students start attacking them.
- Expecting Someone Taller: Raimei was definitely not expecting tiny, scrawny, undeniably weak Miharu to be the keeper of the Shinrabanshou.
- Fantastic Aesop: Type I for Resurrection.
Tobari: You died that day, but you crossed that line and came back to life. That is Asahi Rokujou's sin.
- Flashback Nightmare
- Foe Yay: Miharu and Yoite start out like this, but are really, really bad at acting like foes, and it quickly blossoms into full-fledged Ho Yay, especially after Miharu's Hazy Feel Turn. There's some minor Foe Yay between Kumohira and Yukimi too. Not to mention the rather creepy scene where Hattori is practically hitting on Yoite - "You really are diligent and smart... as well as beautiful."
- Foil / Red Oni, Blue Oni: Gau and Raikou, respectively.
- Full Name Ultimatum: Raikou normally just calls Yukimi "sempai", but when Yukimi points his gun at Gau...
Raikou: Kairoushuu executive branch group leader Yukimi Kazuhiko--! I swear on my sword that I will destroy you!
- Gecko Ending: The anime is pretty infamous for this. See Downer Ending
- Giving Someone the Pointer Finger: Pretty much any time Kira is used.
- Good Scars, Evil Scars:
- Go Out with a Smile Yoite, in both versions. It's... yeah.
- Gory Discretion Shot "His face... Miharu's face is gone."
- Go Through Me: Gau throws himself in front of Raikou to prevent Yukimi from killing him. Yukimi actually stops, and it's pretty much a time-out until Raikou gets back up and pushes Gau out of the way.
- Gratuitous English: Asahi, when introducing herself to Tobari.
- Grey and Gray Morality: Although it initially appears that the Fuuma ninja are the good guys and the Kairoushuu ninja are the bad guys, it turns out that both sides' goals are well-justified. After Miharu's Hazy Feel Turn, he even notes how people from Kairoushuu aren't that different from the ones from Fuuma.
- Hairstyle Inertia: Subaru, Tasuku, Yoite, Kouichi, and Gau.
- Hands-Off Parenting:
Miharu's Grandmother: He's injured every time he comes back...At first I was even considering whether I ought to have a talk with the police! Ha ha ha!
- Hazy Feel Turn: Miharu joining Kairoushuu. Also, Ichiki betraying Hattori for Fuuma.
- Heel Face Turn: Yukimi and his sister leave Kairoushuu after the leader orders Yoite's death. Raikou and Gau also desert later on.
- "Everyone... kind of left, huh?"
- Heroic Sacrifice: Gau throws himself in front of Raikou's attack to simultaneously save Raimei and atone for telling her the truth about the Shimizu clan's annihilation.
- Highly-Visible Ninja: Played straight and lampshaded in the early chapters. It's averted later on, though, and most ninja actually sneak around and kill people in very good disguises.
Miharu: ...Hey, mister...Isn't that embarrassing? That ninja look.
- Holding Hands: Miharu and Yoite do this when running away from Kairoushuu. Yoite later thanks Miharu for "never letting go" of his hand right before he dies.
- Honor Before Reason: Raimei, Raikou, and Gau could have run away from Kouichi and Shijima but instead stay and fight. Against literal immortals. That can only end badly...
- Hot-Blooded: Raimei and Gau. Predictably, their first conversation quickly escalates into a shouting match.
- Human Resources: Daya's ingredients include the brains of children.
- Hypocritical Heartwarming: Raikou physically abuses Gau on a regular basis. But when an unnamed mook hurts Gau, Raikou kills him and mutilates his dead body in a crazed rage. This is repeated throughout the series, with Raikou regularly slapping Gau and throwing objects at his head for comedic effect, but is insanely protective of him when he is in serious danger, often shielding Gau from harm with his own body. Other characters even become aware that, to anger or throw Raikou off balance, they need only threaten Gau.
- Iconic Item: Yoite's hat.
- I Just Want to Be Normal: Miharu. Kouichi and Shijima, where 'normal' means 'able to die.' Yoite in that he'd like to have a gender, heavily implied to be male.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Miharu gets impaled by Kouichi in the very first chapter. Also, Raikou later gets impaled with his own sword by Shijima. He gets better.
- Ineffectual Death Threats: Raikou, yelling at the top of his lungs, swears on his sword that he's going to kill Yukimi. He doesn't.
- Insane Troll Logic: Gau's adoring blind trust in Raikou occasionally leads him to make questionable leaps in logic, including his conviction that Kouichi likes glasses so much that he draws them onto his face with magic markers.
- In-Series Nickname: Yukimi calls Gau "Tenpa" , which refers to his natural perm-hair. Gau, in return, calls Yukimi "chicken", referring to his spiky hair.
- Also, Shijima refers to Kouichi as "bird" and Raikou as "pink guy".
- Juuji is sometimes called "Shruiken-chan" because of her hairclip.
- Tobari's grandpa calls him "Toby".
- Kourin calls Asahi "Asa", and Asahi calls Kourin "Rin-chan".
- Fuuma calls the Shinrabanchou "my lovely Shinra", while Miharu calls her "Yousei-san" ("yousei" meaning "fairy").
- Intergenerational Friendship: Yukimi with Yoite and Miharu.
- Ki Attacks: Yoite inflicts damage by forcing some of his life force into the opponent, and can do anything from slicing people in half to bringing people out of comas.
- Killed Off for Real: In the anime: Yoite, Raikou, and Hattori. In the manga: Yoite, Hattori, Fuuma, Kouichi, and Shijima.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia: Seems to occur a lot whenever the Shinrabanshou is used - see "ten years ago". And after Miharu used the Shinrabanshou in chapter 51, everyone apparently has this regarding everything pertaining to Yoite.
- Last Request: Okonomiyaki.
- Laying On a Hillside: Yoite and Miharu in the anime's second ending theme.
- Left Hanging: Thanks to the anime's Gecko Ending, Koichi and Shijima's quest to free themselves from immortality is completely unresolved, apparently dooming them to live forever...
- The matter of freeing Miharu of the Shinrabanshou is also left unresolved, with it left supressed but still present inside him.
- Let Them Die Happy: The last thing Miharu says to Yoite is "I'll make okonomiyaki for you again sometime," implying that they'll have a long and peaceful future together, before Yoite dissolves into dust and Miharu erases his existence (which isn't technically death, but it serves the same function - Yoite went out with a smile on his face).
- Yoite wasn't erased in the anime. Use of Kira turns the body to dust on expiry, in both versions.
- Loners Are Freaks: Yoite, until he and Miharu grow attached.
- Lost in Translation: It'll be interesting to see how the English manga handles Sora's confusion over whether to use ore or watashi.
- Luminescent Blush: The author seems to love this trope, with almost every character blushing like this at some point.
- Magic Skirt: Worn by Raimei and Shijima.
- Man Bites Man: Shijima occasionally bites people in combat.
- Marked Change: Miharu and Asahi whenever the Shinrabanshou is "activated".
- Masochist's Meal: In an omake strip, Gau eats a piece of sushi with a huge blob of wasabi on it. The title says it all.
- May-December Romance: Tobari is 25, Hanabusa is 40.
- Mood Whiplash: Goes rather quickly from an action-comedy series to a dark, depressing Tearjerker. Also, each volume ends on a dramatic cliffhanger, but if you just turn the page, there are happy 4komas showing the Villains Out Shopping.
- Morality Pet: If it weren't for Gau, Raikou would basically be a villain.
- My Friends and Zoidberg: Kouichi is often the victim of this.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Raikou has a rather extended period of this after Gau throws himself in front of Raimei as Raikou lunges at her with his sword. Gau is slashed across the chest and ends up in hospital in a coma, giving Raikou a lot of time to wallow in guilt. Yoite experiences this guilt, although to a lesser degree, after accidentally cutting open Miharu's hand with the Kira technique after he purposely stepped in front of Yae Oda to protect her from Yoite's attack.
- Neat Freak: Gau. He is extremely organised and hates mess, clutter and dirt. He is horrified by Yukimi's cluttered apartment and makes an effort to tidy it himself. He also lectures Yoite on how eating food with gloves hands is completely unhygienic.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer makes the series appear far more action-packed than it actually is.
Baka-raptor: You just saw half of the action in the entire show.
- New Transfer Student: Raimei's case is a little strange in that she just sort of...invades. The other students seem to love her, though.
- At least in the anime, the students question where she came from. In the manga, they all immediately begin to adore her - while continuing to ignore poor Kouichi, who has presumably gone to school in Banten his whole human life.
- Nice Hat: Yoite's giant cap. Some fans have called this series "The Hat Anime". He loses it surprisingly often for something so iconic, though.
- Ninja: Almost everybody.
- No Loves Intersect
- Noodle People: Especially with the Art Evolution.
- Not So Different: Miharu, with Yoite.
- Oblivious to Love: Raikou seems not to notice, or to purposefully ignore, Gau's intense affection for him, especially near the beginning of their introduction to the series. Gau is often shown to verbally leap to Raikou's defense as well as blow all kinds of smoke up his ass, which Raikou never seems to react to beyond a sarcastic quip or well aimed book thrown at Gau's head.
- Odd Friendship: Raikou and Gau.
- Official Couple: Thobari and Hanabusa. Kouichi and Raimei are basically canon towards the end as well.
- One Head Taller: Yoite and Miharu may be the most obvious example - could even be a case of Huge Teenager Tiny Teenager.
- The Only One I Trust: Yoite and Miharu have no one else to turn to but each other after betraying Kairoushuu.
Yoite: I can only rely on Miharu-
- Same with Raikou and Gau, to the point that the two camp out in total isolation for two months after running away before accidentally being discovered by Raimei. If she hadn't found them, there's no telling how long they would have stayed there.
- Our Ninjas Are Different: Anyone unfamiliar with Japanese drama and historical cinema will be perplexed as to why there are ordinary people dressed in modern street attire who also have actual ninja powers that seems out of place!
- Overtook the Manga
- Parental Abandonment: Miharu, and indeed many of the cast, have dead parents; Kazuhiko and Kazuho Yukimi had a runaway mom and an abusive dad. Yoite's mother died when he was an infant and his father was horribly cruel, even before the attempted murder.
- Paper-Thin Disguise: In a small extra in one of the volumes, Raikou pretends to be Yoite by putting on his coat and hat. Gau comments that Raikou's pretty pink hair makes the disguise totally ineffective. Yoite then enters the room and freaks out, thinking that there's a Doppelganger before him. Perhaps Yoite's just dumb, or it's Rule of Funny at work.
- Platonic Life Partners: Miharu and Raimei. Probably helps that they're cousins.
- Posthumous Character: Miharu's parents, Raikou and Raimei's parents and uncle, and Tobari's grandfather.
- The Promise : Miharu to Yoite, Kumohira to Miharu, Gau to Raikou and later Raikou to Gau.
- More recently, Yukimi to Yoite.
- And even MORE recently, Kumohira to Yukimi.
- Real Men Wear Pink: Despite making the conscious choice to dye his own hair from blond to candyfloss pink, Raikou remains a highly talented samurai and capable of kicking all kinds of ass.
- Reality Warper: The Shinrabanshou makes this possible.
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old: Kouichi and Shijima.
- Red String of Fate: Possible variant - it's never stated to be red, and it's drawn as being tied to the index finger, but after erasing Yoite, for some time Miharu feels as though there's a thread connecting him to something - or someone - elsewhere. He seems to get over it after a while.
- Refusal of the Call: When Yoite comes into the picture, though...
- Ret-Gone: Yoite wants Miharu to use the Shinrabanshou to make it so that he never existed. It doesn't work.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Raikou. Raikou Shimizu to the highest degree.
- Samurai: Raimei and Raikou.
- Say My Name: Gau: "RAIKOU-SAN RAIKOU-SAN RAIKOU-SAN!!"
- Scars Are Forever: By the end of the manga, Miharu, Yoite, Yukimi, and Gau all have scars.
- Security Cling: Gau has a rather cute tendency to cling onto Raikou's arms when he's nervous
- Self-Sacrifice Scheme: Raikou tells Gau that he may have to kill him if Raimei was told the truth about their clan's annihilation. Gau decides that it's worth it.
- Sealed Evil in a Can: The Shinrabansho.
- Secret Identity: Many ninja/samurai in Nabari have various everyday jobs/occupations in the "surface world".
- Shapeshifter Guilt Trip: In an omake, Tobari is unable to attack Fuuma when he takes Raimei and Miharu's forms.Tobari is able to punch Fuuma when he takes Kouichi's form, though.
- Ship Tease: Miharu and Yoite. Raikou and Gau. Raimei and Kouichi.
- Shooting Superman: Knowing full well that Kouichi and Shijima are immortal, Raikou and Raimei keep attacking them anyways. For an entire night.
- Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Played completely straight in Miharu and Raimei's cases - Miharu in particular misses at least two months of school after using the Shinrabanshou...and when he comes back home, his grandmother is just happy he's making friends. It's averted by Yoite, who never attended school to begin with, and later by Gau when it's mentioned that he ended up having to drop out. It's justified in Kouichi and Shijima's cases because they're not actually kids.
- Sleep Cute: Miharu and Yoite in the anime ending.
- Snow Means Love: Yoite's death/erasure in the manga. Whether it be platonic or otherwise, a very deep love is shown between the two.
- But it's also Snow Means Death.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Professor Flosetti's name is sometimes translated as "Professor Frosty".
- Strong Family Resemblance: Miharu and his mother, Asahi. To the point that most non-fans simply assume that the two on this volume cover are Miharu and his own reflection.
- Taking the Bullet: Miharu gets a scar on his hand from stopping Yoite from killing Yae Oda. Also, Raikou's mother takes the bullet (or sword slash) for him. Gau does the same for Raimei to help Raikou.
- Tempting Fate:
Asahi: I'll definitely come back alive. No one's going to hurt Akatsuki. No one's going to hurt anyone. It'll definitely go well.
- The Power of Friendship
- Theme Naming: The names of the Shimizu siblings, Raikou and Raimei, mean "lightning" and "thunder", respectively. Though unrelated to the Shimizu family, Gau's name means "rain shower."
- Most of the characters are named after some sort of weather. Yoite means "evening breeze", Kumohira means "calm cloud", and Fuuma means "wind demon". Yukimi has the characters for "snow" (and "eye", go figure), Kouichi has the character for "rainbow", and Miharu's name has the character for "clear weather".
- Akatsuki means "dawn", and Asahi means "rising sun".
- Likely Kazuhiko and Kazuho.
- Makoto and Itsuwari ("truth" and "lie" respectively), Kasa's Creepy Twins.
- Throw the Book At Them: Gau actually saves Raikou once by throwing a book at Yukimi. This is later repeated in a comedic attack when Raikou throws a book at Gau's face to shut him up.
- Tickle Torture: Kouichi and Raikou do this to some random Alya Academy student for fun.
- To Make a Long Story Short:
Shijima: Long story short, we're bound together by destiny.
- Tragic Bromance
- The Stoic: Both Miharu and Yoite.
- Unorthodox Reload: Yukimi's forced to reload his gun with his teeth after he lost his arm.
- Wall Glower: Yoite does this in volume 6 of the manga.
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Everyone from Kairoushuu.
- We Named the Monkey "Jack": Yoite has the same name as a cat Yukimi used to have. Strangely, this is later inverted when Yukimi gets another cat after Yoite dies and, unconsciously influenced by the traces of his memories of Yoite(the person, not the first cat), names it Yoite. And in the end it's subverted when everyone regains their memories of Yoite and Yukimi renames the cat "Yoi".
- When It All Began: The "incident ten years ago", when the Shinrabanshou was used.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: Kouichi and Shijima are pretty desperate to escape from this.
- You Are Not Alone: There are many moments of this throughout the series, between many different characters.
- You Gotta Have Blue Hair: Justified in Raikou's case because he dyes his hair from blond to pink. Also, Shijima and Kouichi have white hair since they're actually a white cat and snowy owl, respectively.
- It's played completely straight with Juuji, though, who for some reason has green-blue hair. Strangely, while characters often point out how unusual Raikou's hair color is, they never comment on Juuji's.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Hattori decides to have Yoite and Raikou killed when they start straying off Kairoushuu's mission. Ichiki, in turn, decides to kill Hattori after he outlives his usefulness.
- You Killed My Father: Both Raimei and Gau took great pains to try and avenge their parents' murders, putting their own safety on the line to do so.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Miharu manages this with shorts.