Even since the Heian era, the members of the Mutsu family have practiced an unarmed martial art, the Mutsu Enmei Ryū. They walked the path of the undefeated and were called the Shura no Mono (Men of Carnage). This is their story.

''Mutsu Enmei Ryū Gaiden: Shura no Toki' is a Japanese historical manga published by Kodansha since 1989 and collected in 15 tankoubon volumes, in eight story arcs. A prequel series to Shura no Mon, it began serialization in the same magazine in July 1989 and ran until November 2005. Each arc is loosely based on Japanese history, focusing on a member of the fictional Mutsu clan and their influence on the life of historical Japanese figures.

!!The work contains examples of these tropes:
* AbsurdlySharpBlade: The sword/machete carried by every single Mutsu successor ever, which can cut through iron with ease. Curiously, it was never used much in a fight; Yakumo actually using it in a fight even has him commenting that the fight is a tie due to that fact.
* ActualPacifist:[[spoiler: This is what killed Ryoma Sakamoto. After defeated by Azuma, Ryoma refuses to draw his blade despite being roughly on Izumi's power/skill level... which is definitely enough to CurbStomp the Shogunate {{Mooks}} sent to kill him.]]
** To be fair, Ryoma isn't always like that. Earlier in his arc, he has [[TechnicalPacifist no real hesitation to use his blade]] other than saving it for the best enemies.
* AndNowForSomethingCompletelyDifferent: When compared to all the other arcs, Azuma's arc ''[[TheWestern sticks out like a sore thumb]]''.
* [[ArtisticLicenseBiology Artistic License Biology]] and [[ArtisticLicenseGeography Geography]]: There's '''''simply no way''''' that Azuma could survive ''drifting for two years'' across the Pacific from Japan to American Pacific coast ''on a dinghy without supplies''. Then he ''traverses the arid landscape'' either to around the Wallowa River Valley or Colville Reserve where most of the story happened, similarly ''without meaningful supplies''.
* BadassFamily: Every family generally has a badass of their own, but naturally Mutsu family has the most. What's with having Enmei-ryuu and all... on the other hand, the Yagyu family has a lot of badasses too. Miyamoto's son Iori was more akin to a stepson, but it can make the Miyamoto 'family' count too.
* BigEater: Amusingly, ''every'' Mutsu is presented as having a voracious appetite [[LampshadeHanging that is frequently remarked upon by other characters]].
* ButNotTooForeign: Megumi, Soshi Okita's attendant (later [[TagalongKid tags along with]] Izumi) is half-caucasian and has blond/brown hair.
* CallBack: The end of Azuma's arc segues right into Manga/ShuraNoMon, its parent series.
* CrouchingMoronHiddenBadass: Azuma Mutsu, by his own admission, is rather clumsy and cowardly ''for a Mutsu''.[[spoiler: Cue him singlehandedly forcing an entire US Army cavalry troop to turn tail and run due to loss of their leader]].
* DefeatByModesty: Tsubura was defeated and captured by a group of ninja due to two things: first, she ran out of kunai, second, she had taken off her underwear while she was urinating thus limiting her movement options (a little on the FridgeLogic side too; wouldn't it be dark enough not to give away much details?).
* DyingMomentOfAwesome:[[spoiler: Azuma, as mentioned above. Kiichi, dying in place of Yoshitsune so the latter and his family won't get persecuted. Okita Soshi, died dueling Izumi.]]
* DynamicEntry: Takato does this atop a large boar, breaking a brewing fight between Tsubura and Jubei.
* FiveManBand: The Minamoto Clan (Kiichi's arc) part of the series has the following:
** Minamoto no Yoshitsune as TheHero
** Mushashibo Benkei as TheBigGuy
** Shizuka Gozen as TheChick, has shades of TheSmartGuy
** Kiichi Mutsu as TheLancer, the other half of TheSmartGuy
** Various [[TagalongKid tagalong boys]][[note]]in a sense that they have no particular inclination as any of the above[[/note]], sometimes multiple.
* GenerationXerox: The men of the Mutsu clan is generally of average build, wears a combination of white gi and dark pants, carries a nondescript blade in the back, a big eater, and freakishly strong.
* HeirToTheDojo: All of the Mutsu male who carried the infamous blade is an Enmei-ryuu successor. It does [[FridgeLogic raise a question]] on how ''Azuma'' brought one to America -- the successor of the time should be Izumi, and the present line of Mutsu descended from him.
** To a lesser scale, both Miyamoto Iori and YagyuJubei are this. Takato's arc is chock full of them too, but it's justified since it is a kendo tournament.
* HeroicSacrifice: Generally once each arc.[[spoiler: Notable ones includes Hattori Hanzo (Takato's arc), Azuma Mutsu (Azuma's Arc), Benkei Mushashibo, and Kiichi Mutsu (Kiichi's arc). Kiichi's Arc leads on number.]]
* HistoricalDomainCharacter: ''in spades''. Each arc is generally centered on a historical figure.
** Yakumo's arc is centered around MiyamotoMusashi.
** Izumi's arc is centered around SakamotoRyoma.
** Azuma's arc is set in America's western frontier, centered around [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chief_Joseph Chief Joseph]]'s children. Wyatt Earp makes an appearance. It is the odd one out of the series.
** Takato's arc is centered around YagyuJubei, but still has ties with Yakumo's arc as it happened under two decades within each other.
** Kiichi's arc is centered around Minamoto no Yoshitsune.
* IAmNotLeftHanded: [[ContrivedCoincidence both]] Takato and Jubei likes to shut one of their eyes.
* ImprobableAimingSkills: Azuma is very skilled with thrown weapons; his speed of draw, accuracy, and power are all superb. His skill is such that he can accurately ''aim for and hit the hilt of two revolvers on two mooks' hand'', impressing Wyatt Earp in the process.
* JidaiGeki: Spanning all the major time periods, except Sengoku Jidai/Azuchi-Momoyama Period proper[[note]]Yakumo's and Takato's arcs are set at the tail end of that particular period, with the Tokugawa shogunate firmly on the seat of power[[/note]]. [[TheWestern Except Azuma's arc]].
* LegendaryImpostor: Tsubura has shades of this. To elaborate, she poses and picks fights as a Mutsu to gain attention of the shogunate, hoping that she will be invited to the kendo tournament and get within striking distance to Tokugawa Iemitsu. While not a total hogwash, she was seeded to meet Jubei in the next round. When it is clear that she can't win, she sprung her plan anyway, with disastrous results.
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: Justified by the series broken up to several story arcs that spans the entire time of Japanese JidaiGeki periods.
* MacGuffin: In Kiichi's arc, the Mutsu family seal.[[spoiler: It was used by Yoshitsune to gain favor of Hidehira Fujiwara. Kiichi lost it near the end of the arc, and he quickly turns back to Yoshitsune's residence. True enough, he finds the residence surrounded and Benkei died standing, among other things.]]
* [[NeverBringAKnifeToAGunFight Never Bring A Gun To A Sword Fight]]: Several shogunate agents corner Ryouma Sakamoto in a room. Ryouma pulls out a revolver. HilarityEnsues[[spoiler: [[SubvertedTrope as Ryouma wasted all those six shots, because he can't aim the gun]]]].
* OnlySixFaces: Sometimes, it can be tough to differentiate between characters without resorting to hairstyles or other cues.
* PaperThinDisguise: [[FridgeLogic One should wonder]] why Azuma isn't immediately labeled all sorts of suspicious in a Western frontier town, what being a East Asian man wandering alone away from the Chinatowns.
* SuicideByCop:[[spoiler: Hijikata Toshizo]].
* TakingTheBullet: Several of Yoshitsune's retainers took arrows meant for him.
* TheWestern: Azuma's arc.

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