Tough (manga)

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Tough manga.jpg
Cover of the first volume
(Kōkō Tekken-den Tafu)
Genre Action, Comedy, Martial arts
Written by Tetsuya Saruwatari
Published by Shueisha
English publisher
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Weekly Young Jump
Original run March 13, 1994July 18, 2003
Volumes 42
Original video animation
ShootFighter Tekken
Directed by Yukio Nishimoto
Written by Jin Munesue
Studio AIC
Licensed by
Released 2002
Episodes 3
Written by Tetsuya Saruwatari
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Young Jump
Original run January 18, 2004August 17, 2012
Volumes 39
Written by Tetsuya Saruwatari
Published by Shueisha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Business Jump
Original run January 19, 2004 – ongoing
Volumes 2
Portal icon Anime and Manga portal

Kōkō Tekken-den Tough (Japanese: 高校鉄拳伝タフ?, literally "High School Iron Fist Legend Tough"), is a martial arts manga series written and illustrated by Tetsuya Saruwatari. A sequel series, titled simply as Tough (TOUGH—タフ— Tafu?) was introduced in 2004 which continues the story further after the first series ended its run. A spin-off series, Oton (おとん?), has been serialized in Business Jump since 2004.


The story revolves around Kiichi Miyazawa, a 17-year-old teenage high school student and his father, Seiko Miyazawa, who is training him in the family's secret martial art, Nadashinkage-ryu, a fighting style that was created around the end of the Meiji Era Japan. The style itself uses punches, kicks, throws, grappling, as well as knowledge of striking pressure points and vital points on the human body. With a passion for martial arts, Kiibo is striving to become strong by testing his skills against various fighters from different areas of Japan, as well as the world, via street fights and tournaments.

In the second part of the story, The story starts two years later after the end of high school iron fist legend, the main protagonist Kiichi Miyazawa “Kiibo”, became the heir of his family’s martial art Nadashinkage-ryu after the previous one his father Seiko Miyazawa suffered a crushing defeat at the hands of his evil twin brother and Kiichi’s uncle Kiryu. In order to pay for hospital bills Kiichi has turned to fighting in illegal underground matches called dark fights in which almost anything is allowed. Kiichi has become a mainstay in these fights, not only because of his outstanding victories but that he refuses to seriously injure any of his opponents, upholding his father’s teachings of never killing anyone.

During one particular match in which Kiichi was on the verge of losing, his uncle appeared only to see the progress of his nephew’s training and to tempt him into using a killing technique on his adversary. Refusing to give into such treachery Kiichi manages to score a win, it was during this fight that we are revealed that Kiichi mistakenly killed an opponent during an MMA (Mixed Martial Art) tournament using a technique that Kiryu taught him. That and the fact that he crippled his father are the main reasons that Kiichi must defeat his uncle.

At the end of Kiichi’s last match a secret sect of monks called the Hagyu have sent one of their own students to end the Nadashinkage style and its current practitioners, Suzuki “The Wind” Minoru is the one chosen to defeat Kiichi. Elsewhere several benefactors have formed into starting another MMA tournament called the Hyper Battle, which is held once a year in order to find the world’s strongest fighter, a title which is held by one called the Battle King. Kiichi at first seems uninterested but later relents and starts training in order to participate, after challenging students at a karate dojo he comes face to face with the one sent to eliminate him “The Wind” Minoru. After testing their abilities Minoru starts to respect him and asks Kiichi to take him to meet his father. It is here that we are shown the consequences of losing to Kiryu. Seiko Miyazawa “The Quiet Tiger” is shown in a childlike state, barely able to feed himself and at times necessitating the use of a wheelchair, he is suffering from a condition called Apraxia.

Wanting to help the man who once defeated the Hagyu, the wind starts treating him himself with knowledge of acupuncture and pressure point massage, in the past Seiko was challenged by the Hagyu school but made the fight look like it ended in a draw in order to make the school not look bad, Minoru was one of the few to take notice. After much treatment at Minoru’s hands Seiko starts to recover from all his conditions baffling all the doctors at his miraculous results. Seiko gives a heartwarming thanks to his son Kiichi for taking care of him these past two years, Kiichi tells his father that the one who cured him has already left, Minoru is seen walking away with an invitation to the Hyper Battle. Later that night Kiichi bids his father a farewell as he goes to participate at the Japanese preliminaries for the Hyper Battle.

Meanwhile at the sacred Shikabane (corpse) mountain many fighters gather at the preliminaries for the Hyper Battle, among them are many fighters of high renown to the lesser known are fighting for a chance to compete. Kiichi during the extent of 24 hours battles many opponents in order to guarantee a spot in the Hyper Battle, becoming a finalist. Meanwhile, Seiko is shown training once again but he seems to be wracked with feelings of revenge and anger towards Kiryu for what he did to him, and vows to get even with him. After being discharged from the hospital he goes to the apparent resting place of his oldest brother Son-O Miyazawa, who was thought to have been killed by Kiryu many years before and ends up being abducted by a mysterious group of individuals.

Afterwards Kiichi travels to New York City where the Hyper Battle will be held. After meeting up with an old friend he goes to Madison Square Garden where the competition will take place, he encounters many fighters among them Minoru, Kiryu who will do an exhibition fight, his father Seiko who was training with a group called “Team D” and the Japanese Brazilian fighter Mauricio “Jet” Naito who is also a deaf mute. It is at this tournament Kiichi will ultimately have to push the limits of his strength and skill in order to better himself as a fighter and martial artist. He becomes the head of the Nadashinkage school by defeating his father "the quiet tiger" Seiko Miyazawa. It is also revealed during the battle that Kiichi is adopted. During the battle against his father Kiichi pushes his limits once again and masters the Tiger's paw technique, which was previously thought to only reside within those with pure blood of the Nadashinkage since the Nadashinkage is the only clan that possesses the 3 legs, The dragon, The tiger and the Falcon possessed by Kiryuu, Seiko, and Son-O respectively. Kiichi use of the tiger's paw strike to defeat his adopted father Seiko, only raises further questions about who his biological father might be. Kiichi then faces Jet in the finals and although he is being pushed back the whole fight manages to win at the last second by redirecting the energy of Jet's punch to strike back at him, winning the tournament. It is revealed during this fight that Kiryuu is the biological father of Jet, and after the battle, while Kiryuu fights the mob enforces of Gambino and Black heart one of the henchmen gets a clear shot at Kiryuu. The bullet seems to be headed straight for an unaware Kiryuu but Jet jumps in front of the bullet at the last second which pierces him in the throat, it is confirmed in the next chapter that jet has died from blood loss.


Kiichi Miyazawa (Kiibo): our young hero has been trained in the Nadashinkage Style—a martial art constructed around the art of assassination—from his father since childhood in order to be the next successor. Kiibo must team-up with a rag-tag group of friends in his journey to become a master. He faces the challenge of defeating his numerous adversaries without employing his fighting style's lethal techniques, an ideology his uncle believes make him "weak".

Seiko Miyazawa (Oton): Kiichi's father, master of the Nadashinkage-Ryu. He has a calm personality, yet will put up a good fight whenever one occurs. A long time ago, before Kiichi was born, Seiko was one of the best fighters in the world. His retirement match against Iron Kiba is still talked about to this day. Hopefully his son will become as good as him.

Kiryu Miyazawa: Seiko's twin brother and Kiichi's uncle. Unlike his brother, Kiryu is wicked and completely ruthless. In the side story tankōbon "Oton", it is revealed that Kiryu fathered a child with the daughter of the United States President.

Son-O: the eldest Miyazawa sibling believed murdered by Kiryu, according to the series' back story, who later resurfaced as the Battle King of the Hyper Battle, a title bestowed on him because of his great fighting skill and his winning of the last tournament. He also has the ability to change his appearance with the use of a special technique.

Grandpa: the former head of the Miyazawa clan. Ironically he is never shown to display any skill in martial arts and does not participate in training Kiichi. This fact along with his small stature and lack of physicality (in a manga where the author has shown plenty of masters hanging on to their skills even in an advanced age.) raises some questions about his past.

Nadashinkage-Ryu: the ancient Martial Art of the Miyazawa Clan, specialising in assassination techniques, it appears to be a complete combat form involving striking, grappling, attacking vital points etc. Each practitioner has an incredible knowledge of the human anatomy and in a more classical approach to martial arts training only the barest minimum of techniques are taught to the students and so they are left to discover their own personal fighting style through constant combat and practice with different martial arts schools, this is especially true in the case of Kiibo as he battles with Pro Wrestlers, Sumo Wrestlers, Judokas, Jiu Jitsu experts, Karatekas, Muay Thai fighters, and even more ancient schools of martial arts similar to the Nadashinkage Ryu all within the first part of the manga alone creating his own variations of techniques he has been taught or has observed, in the second part when he is older apart from Dark Fights he also commits Dojo Yaburi (Gym Breaking) on a regular basis to keep his fighting skills sharp as he at the time unable to train with his father who was disabled by Kiryu, advanced techniques are also only taught through the barest minimum of information in ancient scrolls and advice from one's teacher, the student is then left to perfect the technique through any means necessary, this extremist approach to technique training combined with the hardcore strength and conditioning techniques they use is what makes the students of the Nadashinkage Ryu some of the deadliest fighters on the planet.



Kōkō Tekken-den Tough was written and illustrated by Tetsuya Saruwatari and serialized in the Shueisha weekly seinen magazine Young Jump.[1] Serial chapters of the manga were collected into 42 tankōbon volumes, released between March 13, 1994 and July 18, 2003.[2][3] The sequel series, Tough, continued serialization in the magazine and has been collected into 33 tankōbon as of June 2011.[4][5] A spin-off titled Oton has been in serialization in Shueisha's Business Jump since 2004. So far, only two volumes have been released.[6][7]

Viz Media released six volumes of the first manga series under its "Editor's Choice" imprint from January 4, 2005, to April 16, 2006.[8][9] These volumes omitted some chapters and artwork for graphic violence, and have been discontinued.[1]


The manga was adapted into a three part OVA. It was released in North America by Central Park Media as ShootFighter Tekken.[1][10]

Video game[edit]

A video game based on the series titled Tough: Dark Fight was released for the PlayStation 2 console in Japan on December 1, 2005. The fighting game takes place in between the two missing years between the two manga series. The game features a number of characters from the manga, as well as eight new characters.[11]


  1. ^ a b c Surat, Daryl (February 17, 2010). "Tough: Where MMA = Manly Manga Antics". Otaku USA. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  2. ^ 高校鉄拳伝タフ 1 [High School Iron Fist Legend Tough 1] (in Japanese). Shueisha. Archived from the original on 2003-08-25. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  3. ^ 高校鉄拳伝タフ  42 [High School Iron Fist Legend Tough 42] (in Japanese). Shueisha. Archived from the original on 2003-08-25. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  4. ^ "TOUGH-タフ-1" [TOUGH -Tough- 1] (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  5. ^ "TOUGH-タフ-33" [TOUGH -Tough- 33] (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  6. ^ "タフ外伝 OTON-おとん- 1" [Tough OTON -Oton- 1] (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  7. ^ "タフ外伝 OTON-おとん- 2" [Tough OTON -Oton- 2] (in Japanese). Shueisha. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  8. ^ "Tough, Vol. 1". Viz Media. Archived from the original on 2006-05-28. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  9. ^ "Tough, Vol. 6". Viz Media. Archived from the original on 2006-05-28. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  10. ^ "Koko Tekken-den TOUGH Licensed?". Anime News Network. August 16, 2004. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 
  11. ^ Gantayat, Anoop (April 21, 2005). "Konami Toughens Up PS2 Support". IGN. Retrieved 2011-06-06. 

External links[edit]