|Genre||Action, Supernatural, Romance|
|Created by||Nobuhiro Watsuki|
|Published by||Japan: Shueisha|
|English Publisher||Viz Media|
|Original Run||2003 - 2006|
|Directed by||Takao Kato|
|Written by||Gyo Yamatoya|
|Music by||Kouhei Tanaka|
|Licensed by||Japan: Dentsu|
|Network||TV Tokyo, Animax Asia|
|English Network||Funimation Channel|
|Original Run||October 5, 2006 – March 29, 2007|
|Extra||Buso Renkin Youkoso Papillon Park He (Video Game - PS2)|
Buso Renkin (武装錬金 Busō Renkin, lit. "Arms Alchemy") is a manga series written and drawn by Nobuhiro Watsuki, the creator of Rurouni Kenshin. Buso Renkin was serialized in Shueisha's shōnen magazine Weekly Shōnen Jump from June 2003 to 2005, ending at 80 chapters. The individual chapters were collected by Shueisha into ten tankōbon volumes which were released between January 5, 2004 and April 4, 2006. The series has been licensed by Viz Media for North American release.
The manga has been adapted into an anime television series by Xebec, which finished its run in Japan with a total of 26 episodes. On April 27, 2009, the series made its North American television debut on the Funimation Channel. There are also two drama CDs, two light novels, and a PlayStation 2 video game based on the series.
The story begins when high school student Kazuki Muto is killed one night saving a mysterious girl from a monster, only to wake up in his school dorm, believing it to have been a dream. However, he soon finds out that dream wasn't a dream at all when a giant serpentine monster attacks him and his sister. Tokiko Tsumura, the girl he saved, explains that the monster is a homunculus. Kazuki had been attacked and killed by it when rescuing Tokiko. However she, feeling responsible for him, revived him by placing a Kakugane medallion in his chest, serving as a replacement heart.
The Kakugane, as Tokiko explains, is an alchemical (alchemistic) device that, when activated, takes a certain form based on the Kakugane's user, forming a unique Buso Renkin. The Buso Renkin is the only thing that can destroy a homunculus monster. Using this, Kazuki creates his own Buso Renkin, taking the form of a giant lance, later named 'Sunlight Heart'. Along with Tokiko and her own Buso Renkin (the Valkyrie Skirt, an execution scythe), Kazuki joins the fight against the homunculi and their master.
- The primary protagonist of Buso Renkin, he is a 16-year-old boy who attends Ginsei Private Academy with his younger sister, Mahiro. After becoming involved in Tokiko Tsumura's fight, subsequently being killed by a homunculus, and then revived by a Kakugane, he is told to return to his ordinary life, but instead insists upon assisting Tokiko in her battles. Kazuki is very enthusiastic, friendly and caring for his friends and sister Mahiro; he tends to put himself in difficult situations in order to assist or protect others.
- Tokiko Tsumura is a 17-year-old alchemy warrior who was assigned to take care of a homunculus problem in Kazuki's town, Ginsei City. When Kazuki tried to save her from a homunculus, she felt a sense of attachment to him and revived him with a Kakugane, intending to make sure that he never gets killed again. Tokiko is very dedicated to her job, claiming that she hates all homunculi, and quit going to school in order to be more efficient.
- Koushaku Chouno, better known as Papillon in the series, is a 19-year-old genius student from Kazuki's school and was meant to be heir to the Chono family fortune. However, he is also deathly ill and has had to repeat several years of school, due to the amount of time he has needed to spend in the hospital, and was disinherited by his strict-ideal father. Upon discovering a 100-year-old research diary from his great-great-grandfather, he learned of alchemy and the process of making homunculi, experimenting with various animals first, before turning himself into a human-type homunculus, renaming himself "Papillon" (he pronounces it "Pa-Pil-Lon").
- Mamoru Sakimori, better known as Captain Bravo in the series is Tokiko's commander, who dresses in an outfit that covers every inch of his body except for his eyes. Though Tokiko assumed this was to protect his identity, Bravo actually has no qualms with showing his real appearance when he acts as Kazuki's dorm supervisor. He claims that he does not use his real name because it is cooler that way
Nobuhiro Watsuki started writing Buso Renkin thinking it would be his last shōnen manga so he tried to do anything he could with that genre. Although he thought he would be good drawing its fights scenes, he still had troubles with them. He also remarks he "struggled with the comedic elements." During the series' publications, Watsuki had four severe colds, being so weak in the fourth one that he could not finish the chapter supposed to be sent to the Shōnen Jump.
The "League of Extraordinary Elects" was based on The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. The term for the human followers of the homunculi, "familiars", comes from the human disciples of the vampires in the movie Blade. The death scene, featuring Shusui next to his dying sibling Ouka, has been compared to Tomoe's death scene in Rurouni Kenshin. Watsuki has claimed Ouka and Shusui to be reincarnations of Rurouni Kenshin's Yukishiro Enishi and Yukishiro Tomoe. The submarine Buso Renkin, Deep Breathing, was inspired by the Nautilus from the movie League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Buster Baron is a reincarnation of the Armor Baron from Gun Blaze West.
Buso Renkin was serialized in Shueisha's shōnen magazine, Weekly Shōnen Jump from June 2003 to 2005, ending at 80 chapters. Only the first 79 chapters were serialized in Weekly Shōnen Jump, while the finale chapter was published in another magazine from Shueisha in two installments. The individual chapters were collected by Shueisha into 10 tankōbon volumes which were released between January 5, 2004 and April 4, 2006. Viz Media released the manga's 10 tankōbon volumes between August 1, 2006 and February 5, 2008.
In Japan on October 4, 2006, the Buso Renkin manga was adapted into an anime series which ran on TV Tokyo directed by Takao Kato and produced by Xebec. Buso Renkin aired between October 4, 2006 and March 28, 2007 on TV Tokyo. The episodes were later collected by Geneon Universal Entertainment and released in nine DVD compilations between January 25, 2007 and September 21, 2007. A DVD box set containing all twenty-six episodes was released on November 26, 2009. On December 8, 2007, Viz Media announced the release of the English dub which would be released in two DVD sets of thirteen episodes each. The first set containing episodes one to thirteen was released on April 29, 2008. The second set containing episodes fourteen to twenty-six was released on October 7, 2008.
Shueisha released two drama CDs for Buso Renkin. The first CD was released on May 26, 2005. The second CD was released on October 6, 2006. Geneon Universal Entertainment released an animation soundtrack CD for Buso Renkin on January 25, 2007, featuring Jyukai and Yoshiki Fukuyama.
Geneon Universal Entertainment released two "Expert CDs", which features the radio drama, opening and ending themes as well as unreleased soundtrack songs. The first CD, Expert CD 1, was released on March 28, 2007. The second CD, Expert CD 2, was released on June 8, 2007. Both CDs feature Ryoka Yuzuki, Noriko Shitaya, Mitsuaki Madono, Aya Hirano, Takayuki Kondo, Jun Fukuyama, Masashi Ebara, Yuto Kazama and Yoshiki Fukuyama.