Balto? Lassie? Pfft. These guys would embarrass them all.
A manga/anime action/adventure series by Yoshihiro Takahashi about dogs who follow a rather bushido-esque code of fighting and loyalty. The series has drama, swearing, and gore.Ginga Densetsu Weed (Silver Fang Legend: Weed) is a sequel series to Ginga Nagareboshi Gin. Taking place 10 years after the events of Nagareboshi Gin (some translations give it as fourteen years, but if you use dog years, then everyone's happy), Weed, the son of Gin, must fight to save the father he's never met from Hougen, a Great Dane that threatens his father's paradise. This series was adapted into an anime in the early 00s, starting to air on Animax in 2004. The manga ended at the total of 60 volumes in 2009.Popular enough in Finland, Denmark and Sweden to produce a complete series DVD box release. Considering the amount of cursing and blood coming from dogs, America is not likely to see a dub anytime soon. You can dig the fansubs up from somewhere, though.
Adaptational Villainy: Subverted with Hougen's generals Bat, Kite and Buruge. Though, they are villains in both manga and anime, you don't see much action from them in the manga. When the anime came out, the three generals had been upgraded into badasses by giving mind's eye for Bat while Buruge and Kite become generic villains who fight against the heroes.
Adapted Out: This happened to the poor fairly important manga characters from Kaibutsu arc and Hougen arc such as Lenny, Daisuke, Hidetoshi, George, Murder S, Kisaragi, Mole, Ron, Jaguar and Shouji Sudou.
Blue. He had just been hit by a truck when another one was coming straight towards him, resulting in Weed jumping in to attempt to save him. When Blue sees this, he grabs Weed and throws him back, out of the truck's path, saving him instead. Weed asks why to the twice-run over Blue now, and he replies "No one's ever tried to save me before. If only I'd met someone like you sooner..." before he dies, Big Sleep style no less.
Action Mom: Cross, Lenny ( in the manga ), and Dog Mother: Sacrificed her life to fight the monkeys ( in the manga ).
Amazing Technicolor Dogs: Subverted as most dogs are in normal colours but however Weed, Gin and Tokimune are coloured blue despite labelling them as silver-grey.
Angry Guard Dog: Weed encounters one of these in the first episode of his series. And kicks its ass.
Body Double: Gin's substitute Tokimune and other doubles of John and Akame
Broken Aesop: While Weed's sympathy and "if you kill them you're just like them" philosophy is arguably the biggest Aesop in the anime. Even after Hougen proves himself irredeemable time and time again, Weed refuses to kill him or allow any of his followers to kill. He even tackles Gin to rescue Hougen from execution. This is the reason Jerome goes off on his own and Kyoushiro almost follows him. However, after Hougen declares himself king of Gajō because Gin refuses to kill him, he gets struck by lightning and the narrator explains that the gods have passed judgment, implying the even gods themselves recognize that Hougen just needs to die.What.
Cruel Mercy: The fate of Kamakiri after his defeat by Hiro
Cursed with Awesome: Though the Zetsu tenrō battōga is a lethal attack if delivered successfully, it requires such a huge amount of energy that the user will have a hard time gathering up strength to even stand again afterwards.
Cute, but Cacophonic: Good God...Mel in the anime. He may look cute for a Golden Retriever puppy but whenever he opens his mouth, you might want to cover your ears.
The Fagin: Blue. At first, he seems a nice dog who acts as a father figure when he adopts the abandoned puppies (Hook and his deceased brother Kuro, and later Mel) but later, it turns out that he only uses the puppies to steal food from humans, and will beat or even kill them if they oppose him.
Fake Defector: Kyōshirō pretended to betray the Ōu Soldiers so that he could inflitrate Gajō to find out about Hougen's plans but it didn't go as planned...
From Nobody to Nightmare: Hougen and Genba were just a pair of poor Great Danes which were locked up and abandoned in the run-down kennel. With months of starvation, fighting and cannibalizing other dogs, they later killed their owner and broke free which then later they became the most feared rogue dogs.
Gecko Ending: While the manga series is long with 60 volumes, the anime ended at 26 episodes.
Gory Discretion Shot: Though the anime is as bloody and gory as the manga, some death scenes had discretion shots. For example, when Hougen mercy-killed the paralyzed and insane Genba, the next scene only showed Gajou with Genba's scream echoing the background before switching to the scene with Genba's carcass.
Grievous Harm with a Body: As seen in fighting scenes, the stronger dog would pick up another dog and always use it as a weapon or a shield.
Good Scars, Evil Scars: Happens to wild dogs and pet hunting dogs, though some of the villains were more deformed.
Groin Attack: Hiro's specialty. Taken one step further with castration.
Hong Kong Dub: Sort of. The dog's mouths don't always move in synch with what they're saying, if at all, and even when someone has a mouthful of enemy throat, they can still speak clearly. This gets especially frustrating if they're supposed to be thinking.
Actually this is done on purpose, they aren't actually speaking Japanese, they're barking.
But every animator does this differently: one doesn't animate the mouths, second draws the dogs barking and third animates the dogs like they were talking.
Humans Are Bastards: Motivation for Hougen, Genba, and Kaibutsu. Plus, you do actually see people doing things like shooting dogs and running them over.
The manga subverts this. Some humans are bastards, some are not. The anime doesn't really focus on humans very often, but at least in the case of Jerome and his original allies, it seems they were well cared for - however this was by the same people who made Kaibutsu what he is, so it's really a mixed bag.
The story actually handles this well. From the perspective of the dogs the humans are attacking them without a reason, but the humans have a good reason to think that the dog pack has gone feral and has started to kill humans. Even Hidetoshi hunted his former friend John because he felt that the least he could do was to be the one to kill him. Also the scientists who created Kaibutsu were not simply being evil, but were experimenting on genetic transplant treatment. Only human we see being evil without any redeeming qualities is the owner of Hougen and Genba.
Hypercompetent Sidekick: Jerome is one of most competent dogs of Weed's pack until he was banished by his leader after killing Lecter and Thunder.
Though in the manga, he came back from his banishment after Murder S' defeat and remains as Weed's hypercompetent sidekick.
Intellectual Animal: All the dogs qualify, plus some boars. (Interestingly enough, none of the bears ever talk.)
Japanese Politeness: Played with. It's considered rude to mock an opponent, but if they mock you, it's seriously on. If a dog jeers unprovoked, he's probably a bad guy, and expect Gin and Weed to epitomize this trope.
Jerk With A Heart Of Jerk: Towards the ending there's a scene where Hougen, Jerome and Reika are being swept through a river. To Jerome's surprise he sees Hougen grab Reika and pull her towards the shore as if he intends to save her, however as it turns out he was only going to use her as a stepping object to help himself get out of the water.
Karmic Death: Hougen's death by lightning (or in the manga's case, shot by a vengeful human)
Kick the Dog: Let's just say that Hougen does this about once per episode and be done with it.
Kick the Son of a Bitch: Jerome mercilessly killing Thunder and Lector was low, but given that both dogs tried to kill Weed twice (and even planned on attempting to kill him again), you can't blame Jerome for what he did. Unlessyou're Weed, of course.
Large and in Charge: The Great Dane brothers, Hougen and Genba. Kamakiri used to be this as he is one of the largest dog breed (he is an Irish Wolfhound) of the anime/manga until his ass was handed in a huimilating way by Hougen.
Large Ham: Moss, Kurotora, Hougen, Kamakiri and to the certain extent, Hiro as they have no indoor voices whenever they speak.
Lighter and Softer: The anime is alot less violent than the manga. One prime example would be the torture of John by Hougen and his minions. In the manga, John's stomach has been ripped so that part of his intestines are hanging out, resulting in Hougen grabbing and pulling them out, only to have John bite them clean off causing them to be flunged at Hougen's face. In the anime, this is toned down to Hougen impaling John on a branch, a branch that John then removes to throw at Hougen's face.
Luke, You Are My Father: Weed pulls this on Gin in Kaibutsu Arc, who is actually a substitute called Tokimune and he doesn't have a clue what the puppy is talking about before he dies.
Manly Tears: Happens a lot of times to the male dogs whenever they are sad or touched.
Mercy Kill: When Genba was heavily-wounded, paralyzed and gone insane from the damage by Tesshin (and in the anime's case, Shigure), poor Hougen had to mercy-kill his brother by snapping his neck (in the manga, Hougen bit his brother's head and tore his whole brain out).
Missing Mom: Lots of dogs have this, though no one knows what happened to the mother dogs... with one exception: Weed's mother.
My Master, Right or Wrong: Oh lord, Jerome. In episode 5 he informs Kaibutsu how wrong the latter was to attack and flee from the humans that had been torturing him for 5 years because "it's a dog's duty to obey his master and endure any pain he should put you through." ...what? Oddly enough he then averts this at the beginning of episode 6 where he "tells" the humans about to land with a helicopter that he won't obey to their cruel ways anymore and that they should stay away, or he'll attack them the minute they set foot on the ground.
He epitomizes this trope after he accepts Weed as his leader. Even when he kills Thunder and Lector in the anime, he tells Weed that he did it for him, agrees that he did something wrong even though he thought it was right only a few seconds ago, is willfully exiled, and even tells Kyoushiro to go back to Weed when he follows him.
Nobody Poops: Averted. When Hougen first meets Gin, he kindly introduces himself before abruptly defecating right in front of him. And then he dares Gin to eat his shit.
Not Quite Dead: When Weed, who nearly died from Hougen's beatings, is magically resurrected with the help of ghosts during the final battle.
Hougen pulls this off WAY too many times. It is rather pitiful that while a gigantic monstrous demon bear is taken down after one hit with a battōga, Hougen doesn't bite it until roughly THREE battōgas and a direct lightning strike.
Actually, this troper is a huge fan of the original series and Akakabuto fought against an army of dogs attacking him, was blinded, shot, hit by two Shiroi Senkōs (= attacks as fast as light) and took two battōgas before being decapitated by the third. Also, arguably Gin and Riki were at a whole different level than Weed was when he went up against Hougen, thanks to their harsh trainings as bear hounds and a life of fighting, where Weed for some reason is an able fighter simply thanks to his blood despite never really training.
Not Too Dead To Save The Day: During the final battle, Weed was beaten to the point of death by Hougen that Gin could not help his son but to shed tears in defeat. Just when Weed's friends rush to fight Hougen, Weed suddenly rises up from the dead with the help of the ghosts of Ōu soldiers. This scared Hougen so much that Weed took his advantage to defeat him with his final battōga.
Spell My Name with an S: Mel's full name is Mercedes. Since in katakana it would be spelled Merusedesu, its shortened form is actually meant to be "Meru", but because in Japanese "r" and "l" overlap, the translators spell it Mel instead.
Taking the Bullet: Jerome does this to protect his pack from the dog hunters though he is still alive. He refuses treatment from Tesshin as he prefers to keep the bullet in his leg as sort of a punishment for himself.
Tears of Blood: The mortally-wounded John has bloody tears in his last moments.
Theme Naming: The borzoi brothers Rocket, Jet and Missile are named after the speeding machines.
The Starscream: Kamakiri always wished to take over Hougen's position, but of course, he fails at this.
Toilet Humour: During the hot spring scene, when the characters go offscreen a dog suddenly asks "Hey, who the hell farted?", and another exclaims "Argh, my nose is bending!". They all burst out laughing.
What Could Have Been: The anime actually was going to get dubbed with the creator of Feral Heart voicing Weed and GB having a slight British accent. Some of the scenes of the dub were up on Youtube but were taken down after the production got cancelled after the company went bankrupt.
What the Hell Are You?: Kamikiri and his dogs had nearly beaten Toube to death and leave his body there. But when Toube gets up, Kamikiri has a look of shock on his face, and he says this almost every word-for-word:
Would Hurt a Child: Thunder and Lector, the Doberman Pinscher assassins for Hougen, threaten to kill Teru if his father didn't kill Kyoshiro. It was also kinda personal, since Kyoshiro was the one who tore off Teru's father's ear.
You Have Failed Me: Hougen and his allies are not merciful when someone screws up (screwing up here having the meaning of being in any way connected to a bad incident).
You Killed My Father: Happens to poor Hiro when Kamakiri killed his father as a puppy. Later on, he fights Kamakiri singlehandly in a showdown, and guess what... he castrates Kamakiri, leaving him bleeding to death.
The trope is also subverted twice (not a double subversion) with Weed. Shortly after he arrives at Ōu, he finally sees his father, Gin... and then sees his father die. The first subversion is only in the manga: humans are responsible, but Weed blames Kaibutsu instead. (In the anime, Kaibutsu kills 'Gin' directly.) The second subversion: it turns out that it wasn't Gin, but instead a look-a-like. Weed's father is alive, but doesn't show up until later.
Tropes used in the manga:
10-Minute Retirement: When Jerome was banished by Weed after he killed the Foxhound Spies, several dogs such as Kyoushiro, George and Ron called it quits and decided to join Jerome. However, they later went back to Weed after Jerome told them off that it wasn't necessary.
A Friend in Need: In one manga arc, Daisuke (Gin's owner) and Hidetoshi come to Hokkaidō to investigate an army of dogs led by Weed moving to the place. Upon reaching the site, they saw the dogs howling over the unconscious Gin. Daisuke shouted for his former pet to wake up, and with The Power of Friendship and love, it worked.
George the saluki-mix is cynical, sarcastic and aloof. Subverted that he is not an older brother, he is a middle sibling among Ben and Cross' three puppies (Ken, George and Minnie).
An Axe to Grind: Shougun carries an axe around which makes it unusual by the fact that he is a baboon.
Animal Control Does Not Exist: While in the first volumes we hear about Hook's time in a shelter and see a dog catcher in volume 3, the amount of abandoned dogs, especially purebred ones, is staggering. There also seems to be a sort of 'meh' mentality among the owners about their pet, since only once does anybody come to look for their pet who escaped to join Weed. And even then the dog leaves permanently later
Bears Are Bad News: In the last volumes of the manga, gigantic bears terrorize the dogs and humans.
Big Brother Instinct: Happens many times when the younger sibling is in trouble. One such instance is that when George was injured by Hybrid Bear and just as he was about to get killed, Ken rushed in just in time with a battle aura and a howl from Ben's spirit saved him.
Combat Medic: Akame is not only an old ninja dog who fights but also a medic who helps the injured dogs with herbs and even putting the injured Tesshin's intestines back in its place in an Ōu soldier-style surgery.
Cruel and Unusual Death: Nero's death in the manga. Nero had all his four legs ripped off by Hougen's minions and his face was peed on by Hougen himself before he finally dies.
Defusing The Tyke Bomb: Mel was brainwashed by Blue into his slave. When his mother Lenny arrived with Weed to see him, he was forced to fight against his mother but with the help of Weed, Hook, GB (by fighting Blue and his minions) and Lenny's Power of Love by talking him down, it worked when Mel finally managed to overcome the brainwashing and turned on Blue.
Demoted to Extra: Happens to some dogs as the manga progresses, most notably Mel, Hook and Shigure
Died in Your Arms Tonight: In the manga, the dying GB asks for Weed to hug him. Needless to say, his wish is fulfilled, and GB dies as Weed is still embracing him in what is a massive Tear Jerker.
Emphasize Everything: Every narration in the manga is always filled with descriptions that glorifies Weed or bearhound blood.
Evil Cripple: Sniper comes back under the name Murder S in the manga with a wheelchair when he heard that Gin was captured by Hougen. When Hougen and his soldiers had to move to Gajō, Hougen decided that Murder S was useless by burying him alive but the old doberman convinced him with his wits before the act was carried out. Then, after Hougen dug him out of the soil, Murder S wakes up and breaks his cart which also revealed his metal legs. Murder S then trained himself to fight with using his metal back legs turning him into a deadly opponent.
Eye Scream: Happens to Hiro in a flashback and recently to Musashi in the manga.
Gasshole: Near the beginning of the manga, GB gets so nervous that he accidentally farts in front of his boss Nero. But then again, he might do it on purpose because Nero and his dogs had just smelled Weed nearby, so GB's fart effectively hid his scent from them. When the dogs get mad at him, he replies "I don't have that much control when nature calls!".
Gentle Giant: Moss may look intimidating, but he is actually very sweet towards puppies.
Hammerspace: During the moment when Reika gave birth to her four puppies, the tearful Sasuke was able to produce a handkerchief out of thin air!
As well as GB and Sasuke's comic relief moments when they were insulting at each other with a long pole! See it for yourself...◊
Heel Face Turn: Buruge, Bat, Kite, Toube, Maxime and Lydia in the manga.
He Who Fights Monsters: Shouji Sudou the retired policeman had a hatred for dogs ever since Hougen and Genba had killed his partner on the fateful mission. He is so determined to ensure that there are other dogs who follow Hougen's example that in one case, he was ready to shoot Moss and the injured Tesshin who stayed behind to rest. Fortunately, he heard the other dogs' howls which stopped him from shooting both just in time. In the end, he finally shot the worn-out and heavily-wounded Hougen after the final battle.
High Heel Face Turn: Lydia the only female of the Russian Dog Army betrayed Victor after falling in love with Jerome who was briefly taken captive.
Identical Grandson: Weed's son Orion looks like his greatgrandfather Riki at the end of the manga.
I Want To Be A Real Man: Takeshi, who is one of Kyōshirō's followers, is a scared little puppy who got kidnapped by Kamakiri. After he escaped with the help of a Heel Face Turned Toube, he saw Kyōshirō in trouble fighting against Hougen's minions. This pushed his Berserk Button; he rushed in to help his mentor to fight them, but fails to when the minion beat him to near-death. Thankfully, it got better when the other heroes turned up in time and saved Kyōshirō from death as well as reviving the unconscious Takeshi.
Even though the reader could read very little Japanese/Chinese in the manga, the reader could guess that he was screaming "I'M A REAL MALE!!!" in that scene when he rushed for Kyōshirō to help him.
In a Single Bound: The dogs have jumped over plenty of gorges, usually succeeding with one leap. Just see how stunned they looked when they see a puppy fly over the gorge! However, the old handicapped Smith almost fails this, but he gets saved by Ken and Kagetora just in time
Interrupted Suicide: Chōrō the oldest Kōga dog was dismayed when he found his disciple Tesshin befriending Weed instead of defeating him. The upset Chōrō went to the cliff and tried to jump off to drown in the river below when Weed, Tesshin and his friends managed to turn up on time and saved him. After Weed talked him out of suicide, Chōrō found his purpose by becoming a mentor of the puppies who were left behind.
Lightning Bruiser: George, the second son of Ben and Cross may look weak for a saluki-mix. Unlike his Great Dane-mix brother Ken, he is not only fast but also has his father's strength.
My God, What Have I Done?: Aramu got very guilty when he was ordered to kill his friend Maxime and throw him into the gorge where the Ōu dogs were held captive by Victor's orders (though Maxime wasn't really dead). However, he finally got over his guilt when he drowned both Victor and himself underwater as Weed was unable to finish off Victor.
Nightmare Face: When Murder S (Sniper) loses the metal plate on his left face, the results are not very pretty.
Also, Aramu's face as he had a missing skin and nose on his fleshy muzzle.
Off with His Head!: This happened to Jerome's subordinate Noss when Kaibutsu decapitated him in the tunnel by biting his neck hard before throwing his severed head to the waiting dogs outside Gajou Mountain.
This also happened to Kamakiri's minion Stone when he got beheaded by Murder S in the match.
Plot Armor: Near the beginning of the manga, Weed gets shot. A lot (there were at least 34 bullets in him, according to a later scene). Not only is he back on his feet after a few days, but he is also showing absolutely no signs of being shot over thirty freaking times afterwards. Did I already mention that the protagonist in question is a months old puppy?
Redemption Equals Death: Subverted when Buruge used to be Hougen's Mook until he quits his mook job and joins the Ōu Army, he doesn't die in both arcs (Battle for Gajō arc and Dogs vs Monkeys arc). Later on in Hokkaidō Arc, Buruge dies from fighting against the militant German Shepherds as an Ōu Soldier.
Would Hit a Girl: Played straight in Hokkaidō Arc with the Ōu Soldiers and Victor's army were fighting in the gorge. When the reformedLydia tries to defend Jerome from the German Shepherd Mook, Victor's brother Bozlef grabs her tail and slams her to the wall temporarily knocking her out.
You Shall Not Pass: A worn-out and injured Moss the mastiff tries to fight a horde of militant German Shepherds while the young dogs try to escape from the gorge. Unfortunately, he died of his injuries and the concerned young dogs ran back to him.