M×0 (エム×ゼロ Emu × Zero?) is a Japanese comedy manga series written and illustrated by Yasuhiro Kanō (Pretty Face) about a school that teaches students how to do magic and the crazy antics of a normal boy who was admitted under special circumstances. It was serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump from May 1, 2006 until May 19, 2008, with a total of ninety-nine chapters, published by Shueisha. The first volume of the series was released in Japan on November 2, 2006.
M×0 centers around a young man named Taiga Kuzumi who has a hot-headed temper and is able to hold his own in a fight. During an interview to determine if he can attend Seinagi Private High School (私立聖凪高校 Shiritsu Seinagi Kōkō?) that he had plans of joining, Taiga is asked what he would do if he could use magic. "Conquer the World" is his reply and it is quickly followed by an outburst of laughter from a very cute girl. Upon confronting the girl, she realizes how rude it was of her to laugh at his answer and tries to apologize, ultimately grasping his hands with tears in her eyes. After that point, he does not remember much else about the interview, but one thing he cannot change: he failed to enter the school. Blaming the girl for his failing to enter the school, he goes to Seinagi to confront her about it, when a teacher mistakes Taiga for a student ditching class and pulls him through some type of strange energy barrier that surrounds the school. Without realizing what has just happened, he has set foot on a school dedicated to teaching its students how to use magic, though the shock of his first encounter with it freaks him out so much that he tries to get away from the teacher as fast as he can, effectively convincing the latter that he is a suspicious person. After a confrontation where he is hit with a rather odd spell, he is able to tie the teacher up and run away. Unfortunately, he gets into some more trouble with some upperclassman and during this time is surprised to have found the girl from the interview attending the school. His main priority is then changed from merely survival in a strange land to finding this girl and conveying his feelings of romantic attraction to her, which have most suddenly become clear to him.
Before long, however, he runs into the same teacher from before and has yet another fight with him. All the teacher wants to do is erase his memory of the school in order to keep the place a secret from the outside world, but Taiga still has to tell the girl how he feels. During the fight, despite not knowing any magic whatsoever, Taiga dodges the teacher's attacks and accidentally annihilates an entire classroom in front of a crowd of onlookers who believe it to be due to the use of his magic. At this point, who should appear but the girl he's been searching for, who screams out to her father who was just blown up by Taiga. Angry at what he's done, the girl, whose name is Aika Hiiragi, uses her own magic and blows him away.
Later on, due to various circumstances surrounding strict rules of the school, Taiga is admitted into the school but with only one difference from all the other students: he can't use magic. He must now try to survive in a school of magic and try to fool the entire school that he's a powerful magic user at the same time.
- Taiga Kuzumi (九澄大賀 Kuzumi Taiga?)
- Taiga is the protagonist of the story who is a normal guy who fails at first to get into the high school of his choice, but is soon after taken onto the school grounds against his will when he is mistaken for a truant student. He tends to have a very strong-willed personality and never wants to back down from anything. His personality is only matched by his physical strength, as he can hold his own in hand-to-hand combat. At his preliminary interview into the school of magic he now attends, he briefly met a cute girl named Aika Hiiragi who he instantly has feelings towards. During his first time at the school, he inadvertently incapacitates her father, effectively getting on her bad side for a while.
- Once admitted to the school, he quickly finds out that he will not be learning any magic for the time being until they can issue him a proper magic plate. As it is, ever since he was admitted to the school, he has wished he could use magic some day. While he is unable to use magic, much of the school believes his magic skills are far superior to any normal freshman, which makes him very popular. When it comes time to demonstrate any magic, Kenjirō Hiiragi will have to do the magic for him.
- Aika Hiiragi (柊愛花 Hiiragi Aika?)
- Aika is a young girl attending Seinagi Private High School and is thus a mage in training. She has a unique trait in that she is able to laugh at nearly anything, which always ends up being loud and unrestrained. Her father is one of the magic teachers at her school. Aika has a naturally kind and forgiving personality and it takes a lot for her to not forgive someone for anything they have done to wrong her. She also has a natural clumsiness, which often makes it difficult for her to recite magic spells.
- During her elementary and junior high school years, she attended all-girl schools, so this is her first time experiencing co-ed schooling. She does not recall her mother because she lost her at a young age; her wish when she graduates is to see her mom, even though the magic to do this must be extremely powerful. At first Taiga got on her bad side, though she grew to see him as a friend and seems to have developed feelings for him.
- She is in Group 6 of class 1-C and is a Spy in the magic class match. She shares a striking resemblance to Rina and Yuna from Pretty Face, another manga by Yasuhiro Kanō. Her current plate is Red Bronze.
The magic in M×0 is used through magic plates. The plates are a sort of magical data storage device, which allows for magical spells and power to be stored. There are many ranks of plates, which all have different magic capacities, the higher the rank the more magic can be stored within. Magic is installed into the Plates through incantations. The quality of the installed spell depends on the state of the user; if the user is at the peak of their spiritual concentration, then the spell would have a high quality. When a spell's incantation has been read to the plate and the plate has recorded it, the spell can easily be recalled by saying the name of the spell to the plate.
Spells take up a certain amount of space inside the plates. The more powerful the spell, the more capacity it will require. Therefore the user would not be able to have many powerful spells if they have a low capacity plate. Spells also use magic points, which are given to the students for good behaviour, public services, good academy grades and general excellence. So far, there does not seem to be a limit on the amount of magic points one can accumulate.
- Dummy Magic Plate: it's a plate for guests. It lets people go in and out of the school but has no magical capacity.
- Black Plate: A special feature added to a plate which allows it to save bits of magic used around the plate owner. This allow users of other kinds of plates (even M0 users) to save magic to their plate for usage later. Every staff member in Seinagi possess a black plate. A downside to the Black Plate for M0 users is that the stored magic will be erased when M0 is used. Normally only high-grade 3rd year students are allowed to take the test for a black plate, but Taiga, due to him always being forced to use M0, is exceptionally authorized to do so. Black plates also allow the holders to leave the school without getting their magic erased.
- M0: M0 is a special Plate. According to the principal it is a rank below Red. The M0 has no magical capacity whatsoever, so no spells could be installed in it. The M0 has a special property, possessing the power to nullify all magical activity in an area. Using the M0 drains magic points equal to the amount used to cast the spell; if it is used too often it can never rank up. Taiga's dream is to advance his M0 into a Gold plate so he could grant Aika's wish of seeing her mother again. As such, he uses it only when necessary and constantly bluffs his way out of situations.
- 1st level :
- Red Iron (RI): the plate normally given to the first years at the magic school. This plate has very limited magical storage.
- 2nd level :
- Iron (I): this plate is a level higher than the RI.
- Chrome (C): this plate is a level higher than the Iron.
- White Iron (WI): this plate is a level higher than the Chrome. The capacity is thought to be at least two times the capacity of the RI.
- 3rd level :
- Yellow Bronze (YB)
- Blue Bronze (BB)
- White Bronze (WB)
- Red Bronze (RB)
- 4th level :
- Bronze (B): this plate is higher ranked than the Red Bronze plate but lower rank than the Silver and consequently has more storage space than the Red Bronze but less than Silver.
- White Gold way : Those who emphasize consistency
- Silver black (Sb)
- Silver (S): Silver plates are possessed by powerful students. Those who have a Silver plate are respected by their peers and are doing very well in their magical studies.
- Rare Metal way : Those who emphasize spells
- Rubidium (Rb)
- Cobalt (Co):
- Strengthened Alloy way : Those who don't use spells but have strong magic
- Steel (St)
- Cemented carbide (Cc)
- Others :
- Ruthenium (Ru):
- Gold (G): the Gold plates are for extremely powerful magic users, they carry the highest amount of Magical capacity currently known to the series and such plates are feared among students. All teachers carry gold plates. Taiga attains one during his fight with Kenjiro Hiragi, but did not know what it was at the time. Later he is given a fake Gold plate as all the students have seen him with a Gold plate and the school wanted to cover up the incident.
- P: the principal of Seinagi High School uses this plate in M54. The name of this plate is unknown, but since the names of the plates are all metal or metal alloys, there is a high possibility that P stand for Platinum.
- Often used as a hallucinogen, mandrakes grow in special magical areas and protect themselves by showing hallucinations (a personification of the mandrake). A Magic Plate automatically protects its owner from this level of magical power. Mount Seinagi Mandrakes share images through a magic web. Kuzumi once had an encounter with a mandrake that ultimately met her demise by Aika, much to his disbelief.
- Lucy (ルーシー Rūshī?)
- A wild kind of Mandrake. Some of her magic (like the personification) is higher compared to that of the ones cultivated in Seinagi School, but her magic can still be automatically blocked by a Magic Plate. She is 30 years old (it corresponds only to 15 years for a human) and has a life span of approximately 200 years.
- She used the Dryad Ring obtained from the Dryad Spring in the hidden room at the bottom of the cave on the mount behind the school and evolved her powers:
- She became able to move freely around in the sky
- She attained the ability to be invisible
- Her physical strength increased
- Her sensitivity to magic auras increased
- Her skin started shivering
- After obtaining these new abilities, she decided to follow Kuzumi to school. She was a little careless and Kenjirou Hiiragi saw her. She is now being cultivated in the principal's office. She thinks of Taiga as a very close friend and won't let people get away with badmouthing him. She is a sort of sidekick to Taiga and helps him whenever possible. Her dream is to build a house on the back mount for just Kuzumi and her and to take care of Kuzumi once he gets old. She says that Taiga's words stink at times (usually those that are considered sweet such as good compliments and such to girls). In chapter 81 Aika and Naomi discovered her after she was seen floating and talking to Kuzumi. After some initial arguing, they became Lucy's friends. Aika and Naomi began to believe that there is a special relation going on between Lucy and Kuzumi, even though they aren't sure if it's true.
- Hourenge Herb
- When wrapped in a sack, its gas accumulates for 1 day and you can use it as a love philter.
- Lyar Jelly
- A carnivorous plant which catches its prey with a jelly-like secretion with a paralysing effect and copies their appearance. With the copied appearance of the prey as bait, it collects even more prey.
- Zamo Seeds
- When mixed with Kui Leaf Sap, it produces Kuizamo Oil.
- Kui Leaves
- When mixed with Zamo Oil, it produces Kuizamo Oil.
- Nemu Nemu Cactus
- When doused with water, it releases a hypnotic gas that puts anyone who inhales it to sleep.
Magic Class Match
A tournament between the 6 classes of the first years 1-A, 1-B, 1-C, 1-D, 1-E and 1-F.
The teams: each class forms a team composed of 13 players: 4 Attacker Characters (A·C), 4 Spy Characters (S·C), 4 Guard Characters (G·C) and 1 King Character (K·C).
Each player has a PaintBall (PB): inside a pendant for the Attackers, Spies and Guards and inside a hat for the King. When the PB of a player is destroyed, they are disqualified. You can destroy the PB of an enemy with physical or magical attacks. The inside of the PaintBall is filled with a coloured fluid: Red for Attackers, Yellow for Spies and Blue for Guards; but the PaintBalls look exactly the same on the outside.
- The players
- Attacker Character (A·C): An A·C's pendant radiates when an enemy is within a radius of 5 m, unless the enemy is a Spy. An A·C gets 6 points when they destroy the PB of an enemy Attacker or Guard, but gets a penalty of 6 points if they destroy the PB of a Spy. A·Cs are the only ones who can destroy the PB of the enemy King.
- Spy Character (S·C): A S·C's pendant radiates when the enemy King is within a radius of 20 m. A S·C gets 2 points if they destroy the PB of any enemy.
- Guard Character (G·C): A G·C's pendant radiates when an enemy is within a radius of 5 m. They can attack enemy players, but will not receive any points for doing so.
- King Character (K·C): they can attack enemy players, but will not receive any points for doing so.
The tournament: the matches are played one team versus one team.
- First round: there are 3 matches. The 3 winning teams and the losing team that showed the best fights qualify for the second round.
- Second round: there are 2 matches. The 2 winning teams qualify for the final match.
- Final match
- Victory condition
Victory is achieved either if:
- An Attacker destroys the PB of the enemy King
- A team gets more than 30 points
- Special Rule
- VIP Rule
- Due to the fact Kuzumi Taiga is supposed to have a Gold Plate, a new rule was added in order to maintain the game's fairness. Kuzumi became a VIP Character, worth a triple amount of points if he is defeated. Also due to the fact that Kuzumi Taiga was chosen as an attacker, defeating him would bring the team more than half way to victory through points.
- Safety Area
- this is a rule only used during the final
- the field is divided into 11 blocks
- regularly a block is chosen at random and a time limit is announced
- if players of only one team are inside the block when the time is up then the team obtains the block but if players of both teams are inside the block then a contest begin
- during the contest no other players can enter the area (or else they will lose by foul play)
- when a team wins the contest, the players of the other team who are inside the area are disqualified, the winning team gains 3 points for each enemy player regardless of their role and obtains the block
- the block become a safety area for the winning team and the enemy players can't stay more than 10 minutes in this area (or they would be disqualified)
M×0 was serialized in the manga magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump between May 1, 2006 and May 19, 2008 and is published by Shueisha. Ten bound volumes were released in Japan. The manga was intended to run for longer, but due to the low ratings it had in Weekly Shōnen Jump it was put up for cancellation.