Who's the Loan King? Searching for the Most Debt-Ridden Manga Hero

topThe debt-ridden Hayate Ayasaki looked good in the promotional video of the Hayate the Combat Butler anime. Motonobu Inoue, a manga artist known for his unique sense of style in works such as To-kon Yuma and Bijyu (Beautiful Beast) R, started a new series called Orubim in Akita Shoten's Champion Red (which went on sale January 19th). The protagonist of the new manga is a boy who has hundreds of millions of yen to pay back in loan.

The technique of having the protagonist be in debt for an incredible amount of money is one way to show him/her as an unlucky person, and this technique is used quite often to bring more drama into a the manga.

So who's the king of debt? Find out who is the most debt-ridden manga hero from a ranking compiled by the blog Shinpen Zakkan in "Who's the Loan King? Searching for the Most Debt-Ridden Manga Hero":

Kochira Katsushika-ku Kameari Koen-mae Hashutsujo [ Over 2 trillion yen ]
According to the Kochikame trivial mook Kamedas, the exact amount as of volume 126 was 2,206,648,686,500 yen (the latest volume is volume 153). The total amount of debts mentioned in the manga exceeds 57 billion yen as of volume 140.
Classification: Reap what you sow.

100 Oku no Otoko [ 10 billion yen ]
The manga was adapted into a TV drama series in 1995.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Shakking [ 1.5 billion yen ]
How many people know that actor Sho Aikawa performed the leading role in a V Cinema movie. The protagonists are a salaryman who is 1.5 billion in debt, an ex-cop who has taken a 100 million yen loan and a prostitute 500 million yen in debt.
Classification: Reap what you sow.

Wonder School Boy [ 1 billion yen ]
From Shonen Sunday Comics. The story is about a boy paying back his father's debt by working as a private detective. The series ended without the boy ever paying back the debt after 8 volumes.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Billion Girl [ 1 billion yen ]
A shojo manga published by Asuka Comics.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Shuffle [ 850 million yen ]
The story is about a talented tattooist ending up having to do the "1000-nin-giri (Knocking down 1000 people)" ritual after shouldering his father's debt. 
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Orubim [ 360 million yen ]
The way the protagonist used the money he borrowed surprised many readers...
Classification: Self inflicted, or rather, a strategical debt.

Happy! [ 250 million yen ]
Naoki Urasawa's tennis manga. Similar to Yawara, where the story is about the heroine's relationship becomes an obstacle to her career.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Okane ga Nai [ Starting from 200 million yen (Over 500 million yen as of January 2007) ]
This is a BL story about a man who was sold to pay off his cousin's debt. At first it was a novel but it is later adapted to a manga, and in the near future, an OVA.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Hayate no Hotoku! (Hayate the Combat Butler [ 150 million yen (to be precise, 156,804,000 yen) ]
Congratulations for being adapted to an anime.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Jo-oh [ 150 million yen ]
The story is about a girl who becomes a hostess in order to pay off her father's debts.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Robot Ponkottsu [ 100 million yen ]
The original story to a game.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Ohsama no Shitateya (The King's tailor) - Saluto Finito [ 100 million yen ]
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Loan Wolf [ 100 million yen ]
Shutaro Yamada's manga. The debt is the cost of the protagonists' childhood mischief.
Classification: Self inflicted.

NAKED - Hentai Ruigafuchi [ 50 million yen ]
This manga appeared in Weekly Morning. The protagonist had to pay consolation money for what his brother-in-law did before.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Joppare Shun! [ 30 million yen ]
Currently serialized in Weekly Shone Magazine. A fervent hard core manga where the protagonist goes on a Tuna fishing boat to pay back the debt.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Hani Money go! [ 30 million yen ]
Shinobu Amano's short story that appeared in the November edition of Lala DX in 2002
Classification: ??

Bijo de Yaju [ Around 30 million yen ]
A combat manga with a girl who does part-time jobs and into underground catfights.
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.

Ouran High School Host Club [ 8 million yen ]
The story starts with the main character smashing a 8 million-yen-worth pot.
Classification: Self inflicted, accident.

Kaiji - Tobaku Mokushiroku [ 3.85 million yen ]
The story is about an endless loop of borrowing money -> gambling -> borrowing money -> gambling -- borrowing money -> gambling -> ... 
Classification: Shouldering other's debt.
* In its sequel "Hakai Roku," the reasons are self inflicted and the debt starts from 9.5 million yen.

Smuggler [ 3 million yen ]
Classification: Self inflicted?

Get Backers [ 8,900,296 yen ]
The amount of debt above is how much is on the shop's tab at the end of the IL chapter. Keeping the protagonist's job profile in mind, there seems to be a variation of other work-related debts. However, the story went in a different direction and no one can follow up on their debts anymore.
Classification: Self inflicted

Kore ga Watashi no Goshujin-sama (He is My Master) [ 400,000 yen (initially. Multiplies rapidly) ]
A junior high school student becomes debt-ridden to compensate the damages done by a pet. If that's not enough, the debt is later multiplied by tens and hundreds of times...
Classification: Accidental?

Debts from a specific episode

Urusei Yatsura [ Approximately 4.4 to 9.9 trillion yen ]
Ataru borrows money that's worth the earth's oil reserves in the first episode. The amount of money becomes gigantic after being converted to 1979 standards.

Obocchama-kun [ 100 trillion yen ]
In the latter part of the series, the hero had to take on a huge debt when the Obou family went bankrupt.


Loan Knight
A fantasy story about a debt-ridden knight.

One Piece
Luffy pays the bar "according to the treasures collected" and borrows money from Nami in the first episode. The total amount is a couple hundred thousand berries (a fictitious currency). Wonder how much that is in yen?

In the bad ending future, Nobita has a debt that even the grandson of his grandson cannot pay back. 


topRyo-san from Kochikame, with a Guinness record of approximately 2 trillion yen in red, is the clear champion. However, episode-wise, Ataru from Urusei Yatsura holds the title: Moroboshi Ataru from Urusei Yatsura borrows money to cover all the oil reserves on earth in the first volume. After some story development, Lum agrees to shoulder the debt.


With 2 trillion worth of oil reserves left on earth and crude oil at $55-60 per barrel, that makes Ataru's debt $1.1 quintillion. If we set the exchange rate at $1 = 121 yen, the total amount is 1 septillion 331 quintilion yen.

The story behind the debt:

After a failed attempt to summon Lum's UFO, a space taxi comes to pick up Ataru and his friends. While on the taxi, Ataru tells the alien driver he wants to go home. The cost for bringing the taxi back to Earth is worth all of the planet's oil reserves. Ataru's parents try to sell the earth and run away, but they give up after being told that the earth's hemisphere can only cover up to a certain height. Later Lum agrees to pay the fare in exchange for being able to live with the Moroboshis.

Ataru Moroboshi, a total dark horse, is the real winner! The Urusei Yatsura series kicked off in 1979, right around the second oil shock, playing around with the figures from those days:

- Crude oil price was $20 - 30 per barrel
- $1 was around 220 yen
- Remaining oil reserves are about 1 to 1.5 trillion barrel

So, 4.4 to 9.9 trilliard yen?

However, since Ataru's debt is mentioned specifically or continuously throughout the series, Ryo-san from Kochikame is still the champ, but the "underground" loan king is Ataru.


For the following manga, the amount of debt is not clear due to the lack of the primary source.

  • Yuryo Senshi Pay Soldier (Appeared in Jump the REVOLUTION!)
  • Oniichan to Issho (Koji Onodera, from Young King '06 Jan.)
  • Lion-maru G
  • Hikari no Sora (A golf manga series from Young Sunday)
  • Shakking Cash (About 1 billion? by Miyuki Kawachi, from Hakusensha's Hana to Yume Comics)
  • Hadashi no Aitsu (Rie Takada)
  • Yokujo CMAX (Ayane Ukyo, Margaret)
  • Patariro! (Echigoya Patariro)
  • D.Gray-man
  • Platinum Garden (Maki Fujita, Monthly Princess)
  • Tokyo Crazy Paradise (Yoshiki Nakamura from Hana to Yume)
  • Yamada tarou Monogatari (Ai Morinaga, A mortgage at the latter part of the story)
  • Maniattemasu! (Ai Morinaga)
  • Zombie Loan (PEACH-PIT, G-Fantasy)

Translated by Masako

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Wow, and I though Hayate was

Wow, and I though Hayate was the most debt-ridden character in manga history, guess I was wrong. C'mon Nagi! Lend Hayate more money so he can be number 1!

You're not wrong N_ ! Hayate

You're not wrong N_ ! Hayate really is the most debt-ridden character. Everyone can appreciate how they want.


Nice, this is another thing on my list of stuff to read/watch that i haven't yet got around to.
chandler mortgages