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Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru is the story of Kohinata Minoru, a freshman at Reinan University, a school renowned for its numerous and formidable sports teams, and who is the official persona non grata of the gymnastics club. Holding him responsible for their lost spot in the latest competition selection, his seniors have kicked him out of the club, and continue to bully him over his friendship with Misaki Nana, the club belle.

Enter Mutou Ryuuji, a karate club member who happens upon the latest altercation and beats up not only the offending club members, but Minoru as well for failing to stand up for Nana and himself. Having lost his spot in the gymnastics club, Minoru accedes to Mutou’s demands, and the club captain Minami Hiroki’s more gracious requests, and joins the school’s Second Karate Club, a small club practicing the brutal full contact style of Kaburagi Ryu. With his gymnastic abilities, Minoru discovers not only talent, but a growing passion for karate. And It’s a good thing too, since he has to take on not only the club’s grueling training, but also its numerous feuds and rivalries, in his journey to work his way to the top of the sport.

Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru provides examples of:

  • Abusive Parents: Kevin Norton was abused by his mother when she remarried, favoring her stepchildren over her own son.
  • Action Girl: Kou Haruka, Mutou's maybe-girlfriend and the captain of the taekwondo team, and Akamine Rika, the daughter of one of their school's old karate team captains. Akiko Takakura is a less typical example, but is still highly formidable with a naginata.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Mutou has no shortage of female fans, and Chris Young's ex-girlfriend actually wants him to go back to being a reckless and violent thug.
  • Almighty Janitor: Pedro Barbossa is a lowly first dan in the school judo team, and a purple belt in Brazilian Jiujitsu, but is far more formidable than either the judo team captain or the black belt captain of the Brazilian Jiujitsu club.
  • Art Evolution: After 30 Volumes or so, Yasushi Baba begins to evolve his way of drawing muscles. It becomes more defined, shaded and solid; it coincides with the MMA Genre Shift as the characters now are mostly shirtless, and no less important, he begins to draw the women more curvy as well. Characters in particular got a beauty upgrade, Hayama and Seiji are glaring examples, their designs are completely renewed; it might be for matching looks with their beautiful girls, as they got Rika and Akiko as their Love Interests.
  • Attempted Rape: Pedro, to Minoru. It's made clear that he's gone beyond "attempted" with many other victims.
  • Axe Crazy: Kevin Norton
  • Badass Grandpa: Aniya Souhachi; on top of being an Old Master in traditional Okinawan martial arts, he's also an avid bodybuilder and rides a motorcycle.
  • Battle Aura: Used in the figurative sense, but still described as an aura by characters in-universe.
  • Big Bad Wannabe: Yuuya Morisawa, the MMA club captain, a villainous individual who makes a big deal of the advantages his versatile fighting style gives over purebred karateka. However, when he fights Ibuki, he goes down like a punk, and Ibuki's student is quick to point out that while Ibuki practices his art at an elite level, Morisawa's skills are distinctly half-assed.
  • Black Comedy Rape: Pedro starts as a flat out villain, but once he's inducted into the club, his crimes are brushed under the rug, and his intentions towards Minoru are occasionally Played for Laughs.
  • Blood Knight: Mutou, front and center. Kevin Norton is the tyrant of the underground fighting ring at the American military installation in Okinawa, and Aniya Souhachi, like Netero of Hunter X Hunter, finds himself hard up for a real fight since he became revered as an Old Master.
  • Blood Lust: Kevin tastes Kohinata's blood during their match in the underground fighting ring.

 Kevin: Delicious flavor...LET ME DRINK MORE!

 Mutou: There's no doubt that he hates you. But before, far from hating you, he didn't think anything about you at all, so this is a step forward.

  • Butt Monkey: Hayama Kentarou, the weakest and all around lamest member of the Second Karate Club. Later this role is passed to Pedro and Kaoru (although it didn't keep him from being a badass) as Hayama Took a Level In Badass along with Minoru by turning into a great karateka, fighting in tournaments and getting Rika as his Love Interest.
  • Cast of Snowflakes: Even unnamed bit part characters are always totally distinct in their appearances.
  • Casualty in the Ring: Ibuki Kengo's older brother Satoru died three years ago from his injuries fighting the Muay Thai genius Samart Sirinto in a match.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Hiroki, the bumbling Captain. He spends dozens of volumes in the shadows and suffering Running Gags diarrhea, then Genre Shift and Art Evolution kicks in, and boy does he change, or rather he starts to show why he is the Club's Captain. by the 40th Volume he is considered as much a menace in the ring as Mutou. No wonder he got Nozomi as his Love Interest.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: Lots, particularly when Mutou gets involved.
  • Dead Little Sister: Ibuki's character has changed since the death of his older brother in the ring three years ago.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Takenaka, the high schooler Minoru defeats in his belt test, goes from condescending to instant fan.
  • Depraved Homosexual: Pedro
  • Eyes Always Shut: Minami Hiroki, the club captain.
  • Feel No Pain: Kevin Norton, thanks to his usage of PCP. In the end, his overuse of drugs hurts him even more than the blows he takes in the ring.
  • Genre Shift: In the series' long run, the setting changes a bit, Karate becomes less prominent as fighting leagues and tournaments take over as the focus of the manga. This is because Minoru develops into a well rounded karateka and black belt quite fast, so the plot introduces the MMA aspect to pit him and his friends against other fighters of different upbringings. Also the comedy gets sligthly dialed down.
  • Gonk: Hayama at first, then Character Development and Art Evolution kicks in, and he becomes noticeably average looking, and most of the students at Musashino Budou University, Reinan's rival school.
  • Groin Attack: Mutou has a propensity for these, both in real fights and in competitions where it's not allowed; he has at least two losses in competition due to disqualification because of this.
  • Hidden Heart of Gold: Ibuki doesn't want his juniors to know he's good with kids and teaches an elementary school karate class.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Ibuki, when he saves Nana from sexual assault by the MMA club captain.
  • Jerkass: Mutou. He can be a good friend to have on your side occasionally, but for the most part your life will be easier not knowing him at all.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Ibuki is generally an ass to his juniors when he acknowledges them at all, but is nice to children. he had a more easygoing character before his brother died.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: Kaoru Hamada. He was dangerous when introduced, but when he joins Minoru volumes later, Kaoru becomes a Butt Monkey, finding himself in embarrassing situations quite often. Then he gets into the ring and shows why he was the Koudan National light weight champion for three times in a row.
  • Karma Houdini: Pedro Barbossa is a sex criminal who's raped countless men and shows no sign of repentance, and his only comeuppance is to end up in the Second Karate Club as the member who none of the others particularly like or care about. Minami didn't know about his history when he let him into the club and allowed him to room with Minoru and Hayama, but he didn't do anything when he found out, and Minoru and Hayama are justifiably terrified of having to live with him.
  • Kick Chick: Haruka, the Tae Kwon Do team captain.
  • Love Letter Lunacy: When Kasumi Saizou thinks Minami is two-timing (or three or four timing) his sister Akiko, he writes a false letter to lure him out. Minami has never met his sister, and was talking about a different Akiko, while the member of the karate club that Akiko really likes is Minoru, who Saizou tried to make his accomplice.
  • Meganekko: Akiko Takakura, of the naginata club. She's much more dangerous with her glasses off, since she loses the ability to control her strikes.
  • Mighty Glacier: An unusal lightweight example; Kaburagi Ryu lightweight championship contender Teranishi has overwhelming resilience and striking power, but lousy footwork and mobility.
  • Mushroom Samba: Minami's "enlightenment" during his training in the mountains is the result of this, coming to him in a poison-addled delusion. However, his performance in the opening rounds of the Kaburagi Ryu Openweight Nationals suggest he might not be so delusional after all.
  • Nightmare Face: Kevin Norton. He's a bit weird looking to begin with, but hopped up on PCP in the underground fighting ring, he looks positively inhuman.
  • Ninja: Kasumi Saizou, member of an old ninja family and last remaining member of the school's Ninjutsu Club.
  • No Guy Wants an Amazon: Akamine Rika is afraid of this, thanks to an offhand remark Mutou made years ago. Considering that his girlfriend is possibly the most formidable female martial artist on a campus full of martial artists, he probably didn't mean it seriously.
  • No Loves Intersect: In the long run, every single main character gets a Love Interest, the girls are introduced in the very first ten Volumes (some are main characters themselves), none have competition and they were quite obvious even before becoming Official Couple, they only needed some development then and there after in between the fights and tournaments. To point it out, it goes like this: Minoru/Misaki, Ryuuji/Haruka, Hayama&Rika, Hiroki/Nozomi, Seiji/Akiko. All of them are solid, zero competition to even start a possible Love Triangle or break-up.
  • Pressure Point: A realistic portrayal of these, when Aniya Souhachi stuns Pedro by applying pressure to the points under his ears at the base of his jaw, before transitioning into an eye gouge.
  • Signature Move: The domawashi (full body rolling kick) for Minoru, and elbow strikes for Mutou.
  • Tap on the Head: Kasumi Saizou uses the "neck chop" variety on Nana at one point.
  • Tears of Fear: Minoru in his first run in with Pedro, and later again in the face of Kevin Norton's drug fueled bloodlust.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Akamine Kazutora, the Reinan OB who runs the Okinawan training camp, and his deceased wife, who was much taller than he was and described as having the build of a pro wrestler (the picture of her wearing a championship belt suggests she really was one).
  • Training From Hell: The Okinawan training camp is explicitly described as this.
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