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Kyojin no Hoshi (Japanese: 巨人の星, Star of the Giants) is a Japanese sports manga written by Ikki Kajiwara and illustrated by Noboru Kawasaki. It was published in Weekly Shonen Magazine through 1966 and 1971, spawning 19 volumes. If someone wants to know where the Sports Story Tropes in Japan come from, they need to not look further: Kyojin no Hoshi is the Trope Codifier of almost all of them.

The protagonist of this story is Hyuuma Hoshi, a young boy who lives in a very poor household with his older sister Akiko and his father Ittetsu, who used to be a very well-loved baseball player until World War II - where he sustained a severe injury that put him out of the race forever. The bitter, impoverished man has not lost his passion for baseball, however, and he sees his son as someone who can go all the way to baseball stardom. As such Ittetsu subjects Hyuuma from early childhood to all kinds of Training from Hell and an extremely harsh mental and physical treatment (now seen as downright abusive), all to shape him into the best and most powerful player in Japan. And as Hyuuma properly immerses himself in the world of baseball, he finds great friends (like his partner Chuuta Ban), just as great rivals (like Housaku Samon and Mitsuru Hanagata) and begins to devote himself to the sport in body, mind and soul...

While not the first baseball manga (that honor belongs to Kazuya Fukumoto and Tetsuya Chiba's Chikai no Mayu, which ran in 1961), this was the second sports anime television series broadcast in Japan in 1968 (the first one was 1967's Macha Go Go Go! / Speed Racer), reaching 182 episodes and airing from 1968 to 1071.

The series later spawned: a sequel manga (Shin Kyojin no Hoshi, which ran from 1977 to 1979 and had 11 volumes), two anime sequels (1977's Shin Kyojin no Hoshi and 1979's Shin Kyojin no Hoshi II), several anime movies (The Movie itself [1969 and then one of 1982], Ike Ike Hyuuma [1969 as well], Dai League Ball [1970] and Shukumei no Taiketsu [1970]), a 13-episodes OAV centered on Hyuuma's friend and rival Mitsuru Hanagata (Special Edition: Fierce Tiger Hanagata, 2002), a PS2 game by Capcom, an Alternate Retelling manga also from Mitsuru's POV (Yoshiyuki Murakami's Shinyaku "Kyojin no Hoshi" Hanagata, 2016-2010), a series of pachinko games, and an Indian animated remake that replaces baseball with cricket (Suraj: The Rising Star, 2012). As a bonus, the character designer in both TV series was none other than the late Shingo Araki, who was and still is famous for working in classic animes like Ashita no Joe (also written by Ikki Kajiwara but under the pen name "Asao Takamori", and illustrated by Chikai no Mayu's Tetsuya Chiba), Saint Seiya and Rose of Versailles.

(And rather curiously, the ladies from CLAMP wrote BL doujinshi about the series. Oh, well.)

This page is in constant construction!

Tropes used in Kyojin no Hoshi include:

 Tropes from the First Part (Kyojin no Hoshi)

  • Abusive Parents: Ittetsu Hoshi sincerely and really wants to shape Hyuuma into a baseball star, a bigger one than he could've ever been. He could've done so without forcing him go to through massive Training From Hell, without snapping on him when Hyuuma talked back to him, without pretty much forcing Akiko to take up a maternal role towards Hyuuma due to all of this, etc. Considering the setting AND the time this series was created in, however, it's likely that Ittetsu was intended to be a case of Parents as People and Tough Love than this trope.
  • Animation Bump: Back in the 60's the mere fact that the movies were in full color meant this, since many home TV's in these days were black-and-white ones.
    • The 2002 OAV's centered on Mitsuru mostly re-use scenes from the original series, but the additional ones inserted to wrap up the narrative (like those linked) are better animated.
  • Ascended Extra: Mitsuru becomes this in the OAV's and the alternate retelling manga.
  • Bash Brothers: Hyuuma and Chuuta are a sports version of this.
  • Big Fancy House: The first episode of the Special Edition OAV begins in the Hanagata family's lovely country house by a lake.
  • Bowdlerise: The scene where Hyuuma goes to Mina's house and finds her dead was taken out of the Italian dub.
  • Brooding Boy, Gentle Girl: A flashback in episode 94 shows that the Hoshi parents were this to a letter. The mother's death is implied to be one of the biggest reasons why the already alcoholic and heavily depressed father, who was a seemingly normal dad before the war itself, became... well, who he is.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: The sweet and quiet Akiko can play this trope straight towards Ittetsu, if Hyuuma needs it. She eventually gets fed up with Ittetsu's treatment of her brother in regards to him and Ruri... and soon she moves out from the family home, leaving the tearful man alone.
    • She does it again when Hyuuma's injury in his left arm reaches career-ending levels, blaming Ittetsu's harsh treatment of him for it and even bitterly asking him if he's happy for it now. Mitsuru has to calm her down from that one, telling her that such injuries are risks for all athletes and promising to help.
  • Career-Ending Injury: Several injuries suffered by the characters here will either risk becoming this or downright go there. Even Mitsuru (in the past) and Hyuuma go through these. Hyuuma's specific case was supposed to be the catalyst of the Downer Ending, but after years Kajiwara convinced Kawasaki to re-start the series and create Shin where Hyuuma manages to re-learn how to play.
    • The reason why Ittetsu had to retire was one of these, which he got in World War II.
  • Cool Big Sis: Akiko tries to be this and a mother figure to Hyuuma. He certainly considers his "Oneechan" as such and clearly adores her.
  • Dance of Romance: Hyuuma and Rumi. Sort-of.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Chuuta did NOT like Hyuuma at first. When Hyuuma proved himself to be stronger and more determined than he believed, they became besties and partners.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Italian dub:
    • Hyuuma --> Tommy Young
    • Ittetsu --> Arthur Young
    • Akiko --> Giusy Young
    • Chuuta --> Charlie Red
    • Mitsuru --> Alexander Mitchell
    • Housaku --> Simon Holden
    • Kyouko --> Alice
  • Fingore: Hyuuma gets a bleeding injury on his thumb during a match with Housaku's team. It brings quite the problems when he plays against Mitsuru afterwards, and Mitsuru himself is appalled when he finds out.
  • Friendly Rivalry: Hyuuma has these with Housaku Samon and especially Mitsuru Hanagata. Who, ironically, later becomes his brother-in-law.
  • Hair Decorations: Rumi has a light pink headband with a bow.
  • Heroic BSOD: Hyuuma suffers more than one of these through the story, like a rather hilariously memetic one has has when no one comes to spend Christmas with him... and a very, very dramatic one when Mina dies and he can't be there for her.
  • Heterosexual Life Partners: Chuuta Ban and Hyuuma Hoshi, partners and best friends.
  • Hospital Hottie: Hyuuma's prospect girlfriend Mina Hidaka, who works in a small clinic. Ironically, she's also an Ill Girl.
  • Idol Singer: Hyuuma's other prospect girlfriend, Rumi Tachibana.
  • Ill Boy: One could say that Hyuuma becomes the first big example of the "sportsman who isn't ill but does have a very serious injury" variation so common in Sports Manga. The first part of Shin depicts how he gets better via re-learning how to use his right hand rather than his injured left one...
  • Ill Girl: Mina Hidaka, who has malignant melanoma.
  • Japanese Delinquents: Kyouko, who looks like a proto-Ganguro (sans deep tan).
  • Japanese School Club: Joining a famous school's baseball club is a totally vital step to become a famous baseball player, so Ittetsu literally works himself sick to gather enough money so he can enlist Hyuuma into the rich kids' school Seiun Institute and help him get scouted by a good-enough team.
    • Chuuta Ban is not only the son of the director of the Seiun school, but the star of the judo club. After befriending Hyuuma, he switches to the baseball team and becomes his friend for life.
  • Kimono Is Traditional: Chuuta Ban's father aka the director of Seiun School is almost always seen in a traditional black male kimono.
  • Lonely Rich Kid: Mitsuru Hanagata is the only child of an insanely rich family dedicated to car businesses. But he doesn't have many friends and even used to be bullied, especially when he lived abroads. The alternate re-telling that has Mitsuru as the protagonist focuses quite a bit on this side of him.
  • Manly Tears: PLENTY of these. One of the most iconic examples is when Mitsuru finds out that Hyuuma played against him despite having a bloody and painful injury on his thumb coming from the match against Housaku. When all is explained, both young men embrace one another in tears.
  • Missing Mom: Hyuuma and Akiko's mother, who died of illness and exhaustion when they were little kids.
    • Mitsuru's mother also passed away when he was a kiddo.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Hyuuma's Ill Girl of a Love Interest Mina passes away when he's in a baseball match. When the poor guy arrives to her home and sees her dead plus speaks to her grieving family, he does NOT take it well.
  • Pink Is Girly: Akiko tends to wear pink clothes.
  • Pink Girl, Blue Boy: The start of the Mitsuru-centered OAV's have him wearing an outfit that includes a light blue shirt, while his girlfriend Akiko is in a pink sundress.
  • Princely Young Man: Mitsuru is the Ice King type, adding tiiiiiny dashes of the Yamato Nadeshiko kind.
    • Chuuta downplays it, since he starts as an Ice King but defrosts FAST.
  • Promotion to Parent: Akiko Hoshi has to play this role, since her and Hyuuma's mother died very young and Ittetsu is a less-than-ideal father to them. As such, she is Hyuuma's biggest supporter and is gently yet fiercely protective of him, willing to go against Ittetsu and others if it means she'll be able to help him.
    • Hyuuma's Friendly Rival Housaku Samon is the eldest of six siblings - the others are his three brothers and two sisters, all of them much younger than he is. He desires to be a baseball star so he can provide for the children adequately; by the time Shin has begun, said dream has become true and his Love Interest Kyouko helps him out.
  • Ship Tease: Mitsuru and Akiko get a bit of this, even when some manga scenes between them were taken out of the original anime series. i.e, when Akiko breaks down over Hyuuma's Career-Ending Injury, Mitsuru is the one who talks to her and calms her down. They ultimately have a Relationship Upgrade
    • Hyuuma has it with two girls, Rumi and Mina. But nothing comes from either potential relationship.
  • Stage Dad: Ittetsu, HOLY SHIT!
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Hyuuma and Mina can be seen as such
  • Stellar Name: For both the series and the protagonist.
  • Stock Shoujo Bullying Tactics: Hyuuma was harassed by other kids for either his poverty or his training harness, and in fact he met his Friendly Rival Mitsuru when he witnessed the harassment and stepped in to stop it. In his first days in Seiun he also was bullied by Chuuta, but when he turned out to be stronger than the other youth thought, they became fast friends.
    • Mitsuru himself lived in England as a child, and he was heavily bullied by English kids. He didn't necessarily have it easier when he returned to Japan, either.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Physically speaking, as seen in the second picture Hyuuma looks like a younger Ittetsu. Akiko resembles her and Hyuuma's Missing Mom, but with lighter and longer hair.
  • Third Person Person: Rumi.
  • Tender Tears: Both of the Hoshi siblings are prone to these, but especially Akiko. At times it's easier to count the scenes in which the poor girl does NOT seem to be about to start crying.
  • Training from Hell: This series is the Ur Example in anime: poor Hyuuma was put through hellish training as a baseball player since childhood by his father. The most iconic part of the training was a special spring-loaded harness Hyuuma wore beneath his clothes, which made even daily tasks part of this.
  • Trope Codifier - Ur Example: Again, if someone wants to know where pretty much ALL Sports Story Tropes in Japan come from, they need to not look further than Kyojin no Hoshi. It has pretty much EVERYTHING: Training from Hell, Melodrama, the "never give up on anything" mentality, etc.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Hyuuma's kind and gentle older sister Akiko fits in fairly well via being his mother figure and the more down-to-Earth member of the Hoshi household (even if... tearful and frail), having long dark hair plus cutely modest looks, etc. After she marries Hyuuma's rival Mitsuru Hanagata in the sequel, she starts wearing kimonos and looks even more like one.
    • To no one's surprise, Akiko and Hyuuma's late mother turns out to have been one.
  • Youthful Freckles: Curiously, the one who has them is Housaku rather than Hyuuma. He "loses" them in Shin, however.

Tropes from the Second Part (Shin Kyojin no Hoshi - Shin Kyojin no Hoshi II)

  • Art Evolution: The character designs and art style are more detailed than in the original. More or less justified since Shin started running / airing several years years after the end of the first series.
  • Babies Ever After: In the anime Mitsuru and Akiko
  • Bash Brothers: After Chuuta's retirement, Hyuuma eventually forges this with his new pitcher partner, Futoshi Marume. Not before defeating him, of course.
  • Best Friends-in-Law: Mitsuru and Hyuuma, after Mitsuru marries Akiko. It's even lampshaded at the beginning: when Hyuuma sees Mitsuru for the first time after a while and calls him by name, the other man replies something by the lines of "Now I'm your 'older brother'!"
  • Big Fancy House: The Hanagata family's home is a nice one, even if in modern times it looks more simple than one would think.
  • Birth-Death Juxtaposition: In the anime, Ittetsu's death and the birth of Mitsuru and Akiko's child take place exactly the same day. It even gets a nice lampshade when the father-to-be is told about his father-in-law's demise (which took place in the person's home) while in the hospital's waiting room, and less than a minute later he hears the cries of his and his lady's newborn baby...
  • Bittersweet Ending: The literal last scene has Hyuuma leaving Japan on a boat to travel through the world and experience new things, with near all his loved ones (Chuuta, Mitsuru, Sachiko, Futoshi, etc.) saying goodbye to him from the docks.
  • But Now I Must Go: Hyuuma
  • Chekhov's Gun: The training harness makes it return later.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Ittetsu forced Hyuuma to use his left hand rather than the right one. Years later, re-learning to play with his right hand is Hyuuma's key to return to baseball.
  • Cry Cute: The rough and Hot-Blooded Bill is reduced to tears when Akiko pleads with him to be Hyuuma's coach and he's reminded of his lost love Emily.
  • The Cutie: Sachiko, a little girl that Hyuuma has an Intergenerational Friendship with.
  • Death by Adaptation: Ittetsu dies, but only in the anime version.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Hyuuma pulls this on Futoshi, who is a member of both a school gang and Seiun's wrestling team.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Italian dub, aside of what's mentioned above:
    • Yoko Sakisaka --> Susan Barrymore
    • Sachiko --> Caroline / Carolyn
    • Emily (Bill's lost love) --> Jennifer
  • Eagleland: Hyuuma's coach, Bill Thunder.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Hyuuma's hair is longer and fluffier, making him look like a sportsman version of Kenshiro at times. Though he cuts it shorter.
    • Mitsuru cuts his Peek-a-Bangs and has a slightly longer, more mature style, more befitting of the Honest Corporate Executive that he is now.
    • Akiko used to wear her long hair loose, but after marrying Mitsuru she pulls it up into a Prim and Proper Bun.
    • Ittetsu's hair has turned completely white and is a bit more military-like styled.
    • Kyouko doesn't bleach her hair blond any longer.
  • Former Teen Rebel: Kyouko, who has married Housaku and is much calmer and more mature than in her youth.
  • Guile Hero: Mitsuru and Chuuta more or less get to play these roles, as they use their contacts and strong wills to help out Hyuuma.
  • Hair of Gold: Bill Thunder is harsh around the edges but isn't evil at all, and in his youth he had blond hair. His lost love, Emily, was also a blonde.
  • Happily Married: The two Official Couples here may not have the smoothest paths and are quite the chaste type, but still genuinely love each other quite a bit.
  • Heroic BSOD: Hyuuma himself has kinda spent the last years more or less in the state after he cannot play anymore due to the Career-Ending Injury in his left arm, and the story properly kicks in when he starts bringing himself back on his feet...
    • The fourth episode shows that Akiko suffered a serious one in the past when she desperately tried to arrive in time for Hyuuma's last game via train, but only arrived when the game was over and Hyuuma had collapsed due to his injury, so she only could meet up with him, Ittetsu and Mitsuru in the hospital. In the present, when Hyuuma and Mitsuru almost have a fight in front of her, she tells him about it and almost collapses again.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Both Mitsuru and Chuuta have evolved into this.
  • Hot Dad - Hot Mom: Mitsuru and Akiko, respectively, become this at the end.
  • Housewife: Even after marrying into Mitsuru's family and becoming "the lady" of their Big Fancy House, Akiko refuses to let her housekeeper do everything on her own. One of her early scenes in Shin has her at the kitchen, and later in the same episode she personally makes dinner for her husband and her brother (this one's undestandable, she hasn't seen the latter in quite the time and it'd be OOC for her to do otherwise).
  • The Lost Lenore: Mina, oh Mina.
  • Kimono Is Traditional: After Akiko weds Mitsuru, she wears a a purple kimono with a blue obi sash instead of her simple gymslip-like pink or blue dresses. This means that not only she's now a married woman, but has a much higher social standing. (Even when she doesn't flaunt it at all)
    • The older and somewhat calmer Ittetsu Hoshi is also seen wearing kimonos. But unlike Mr. Ban or Akiko's ones, he wears simple ones that resemble yukata.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: Due to the very serious injury he sustained at the end of the first series, Hyuuma has been out of the baseball circles in Japan for around five years. The series begins when he starts bringing himself back...
    • Mitsuru has left sports to work in the Family Business and is married to Akiko. But as Hyuuma returns and fights to rebuild his career, he starts to wonder if he can do such a thing too and get one last match against his close friend and best rival... And it happens. Much awesome ensues.
  • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Only in the anime, but still: At the very end, Ittetsu passes away... while watching Hyuuma and the Giants' championship match, which they win, with Chuuta by his side. Hyuuma logically isn't there with him, and neither is Akiko since she's about to give birth to her and Mitsuru's baby; when Hyuuma is told about it right after the match, he logically is very unhappy (even when he reacts less melodramatically than when he lost Mina).  
  • Official Couple: Two: Mitsuru and Akiko, and also Kyouko and Housaku.. Hyuuma and Yoko could have been this, but...  
  • The One That Got Away: It turns out that Bill Thunder had a girlfriend named Emily when he was a player -- but they grew apart as he became famous and Married to the Job. In the present, when he has a heated discussion with Mitsuru Hanagata over their viewpoints regarding his would-be pupil Hyuuma and then the man's wife Akiko (who's also Hyuuma's sister) appeals to him personally in an attempt to smooth things out, Bill is tearfully reminded of the woman he once loved and still deeply misses...  
  • Parental Substitute: Kyouko marries Housaku, a man who's raising his five much younger siblings on his own. As such, she becomes their surrogate sister/mother figure.  
  • Ship Tease: Hyuuma and the radio DJ Yoko Sakisaka seem to quite like one another. But nothing really comes from it, since Hyuuma still cannot forget Mina (and at least once, he sees Yoko as her). Then, she gets Put on a Bus.
  • Sleeping SingleMitsuru and Akiko are quietly affectionate to one another and sleep in separate beds. In the anime they conceive a child who's born at the very end, so things definitely changed at some point.
  • Time Skip: A five years one.
  • Took a Level In Kindness: The harsh, tempery and tyrannical Ittetsu Hoshi has become quite calmer with age. In the first Shin series he's seen being very patient and even friendly to two neighborhood kids that he's become friends with, even letting one of them nap on him in the very last episode.
  • True-Blue Femininity: The flashbacks featuring Akiko tend to depict her in blue clothes rather than pink ones.
  • Uptown Girl: Akiko and Mitsuru.
  • Weddings in Japan: Oddly used in Mitsuru and Akiko's wedding: as seen in this picture, the groom wore a white Western tuxedo, but the bride wore a traditional and very luxurious wedding kimono. (It's likely to be a picture of their wedding reception, but still)
    • Played completely straight by Kyouko and Housaku, who got married in Western style.
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