Comic Book / Yoko Tsuno

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Yoko Tsuno (1970-) is a French-Belgian comic book series by Roger Leloup. The title character is a young Japanese woman of multiple talents, initially trained as an electrician but also skilled in airplane piloting, martial arts (karate, aikido, kyudo), computer programming, etc. She's fluent in many foreign languages: English (required learning in technology fields), French (she's living there...), German (...or close by), Cantonese (her grandmother was from there) and more (most, through sleep learning improved by future technologies). Her adventures usually involve scientific or technological elements, and regularly go into outright Science Fiction, with the recurring presence of a humanoid alien race, the Vineans.

Her sidekicks are two Westerners, Vic Video and Pol Pitron, and she is the adoptive mother of a Chinese girl, Morning Dew.

A novel, L'écume de l'aube (The Foam of the Dawn), tells the story of Yoko's childhood, her family, friends and relationships up to her first adventure outside Japan. The main story arc is about the the Foam of the Dawn, a diamond-colored pearl envisioned by Yoko's grandfather. He tried to create the pearl all his life, but never succeeded and as a result, his cultured pearl business failed and his family was nearly torn apart. Yoko believed in him and convinced him to try one more time.


Yoko Tsuno contains examples of:

  • A Boy and His X: A girl (Morning Dew) and her Dragon (technically a genetically engineered giant lizard).
  • The Ace: Yoko has a long and impressive list of skills she exceed in: martial arts, fluent in many languages, pilot of several aircrafts. Her profession is in electronics, but she has taken computer programming. She works for a TV studio, but also worked as a secretary and a model. And that's not even counting her masteries with Vinean vehicles and technologies, nor her experience in timetraveling.
  • Action Girl: Yoko.
  • Adult Fear: For Christmas, Yoko wanted to surprise a little girl's family by offering a contract to the jobless father. Except, to get the contract, Yoko had to ride across town with the little girl in tow and didn't notified her parents. Needless to say, her parents were worried, although the story ended on a happy note.
  • After the End: Monya comes from a post-apocalyptic future in which the use of an antimatter weapon called the Contraction Bomb has rendered Earth uninhabitable. In fact, she travels back in time precisely to prevent that weapon being invented.
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: In "Curious Trio", the accumulation of residual energy from the Vineans' computer system gave rise to the spontaneous development of an evil AI. In "The Three Suns of Vinea", the entire planet Vinea turns out to be ruled by a despotic AI.
    • The latter could be considered an inversion, as a living brain's pattern got stuck in a mental amplifier and kept running after the original's death.
    • Queen Hegora is another example. She's an android created to be a leader and a mother to a generation of Vinean children. She became a dictator.
  • Aliens Are Bastards:
    • In the Dark Ages, one small faction of Vineans used humans as slaves.
    • Karpan wasn't the only human-hating Vinean. In Khany's Secret, there are several other Vineans who share his views and are quietly hiding their true nature, waiting for the right time to strike and take over the Earth.
  • Almighty Janitor: Aoki may be a simple gardener, but he's also a WWII veteran pilot. He's trained in ninjitsu and other martial arts. He taught everything he knows to Yoko.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Monya. She conveniently passes for a Malay, but she isn't one.
  • Ambiguously Bi: On the one hand, Word of God is that Yoko and Vic are almost a couple, but that the author intentionally did not put Yoko in a relationship so as not to upset the many fans who were "in love with her". On the other, despite said Word of God, she has and retains a knack for "picking up" cute young ladies.
  • An Aesop: The Titans is full of this:
    • You should not judge someone by his appearance.
    • The weak must not be culled from the strong.
    • Everyone is precious no matter how beneath they may seem.
    • Beings from different species must work together to create a world where they can all live in peace.
  • Apocalypse How:
    • Vinea in the past go through a Planetary/Total extinction apocalypse. Most of the stories about Vinea involve picking the pieces.
    • Class 6 in Earth's case. In the far future, Earth is rendered lifeless because of an antimatter bomb dropped by a warring faction. It destroyed the Earth's crust over 40 km, causing magma to spill all over the planet and melting entire continents. Yoko and Monya travel back in time to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Vic doesn't believe Monya is a time traveler from the future. And that's coming from a guy who met two different species of aliens and traveled to another galaxy more than once.
  • Armor-Piercing Slap: Happens quite often in the series: Kazuky to Yoko, Countess Olga to Yoko, Yoko to Emilia just to name a few.
  • Arms Dealer: Both Kazuky and Sakamoto. The latter's business is far less legitimate than the former.
  • Artificial Limbs:
    • The Vineans use them as replacements for lost limbs.
    • All Titans (big sentient insectoids) have cybernetics and equipment grafted to their bodies.
  • Art Evolution: In the first few albums the characters are drawn much more cartoonishly, which is particularly evident with Pol and Poky.
    • Actually, Pol was the last to change, while Yoko and Vic get an overhaul rather early in the comics.
    • It changes again in "The Astrologer of Bruge" where Yoko is noticeably older.
  • Awesome, but Impractical:
    • When visiting the planet of Ixo, a team of Vineans deployed a vehicle that use an energy beam to reshape the terrain so it will facilitate the passing of other ground vehicles. It's multi-crewed and the process is slow. Khany called it a waste of time and energy. She and Yoko simply use air vehicles to fly ahead.
    • The Vineans of Ixo can transport energy and oxygen on a light beam to their space city, built on a shattered star. However, to send the beam that far, they must first reflect it on a gigantic mirror made of ice. The mirror must be concave and flawless, as any imperfection will cause the beam to fire off course. Preparation of the mirror takes two years and they are many injuries, radiation and deaths as the working conditions are horrible (Ixo is a waste dump). To top it all, Ixo is an orbiting moon and only come face to face with the space city every 5 years, meaning there's only a small window of opportunity to send the beam. All that could be resolved if those Vineans have access to more spaceships.
  • Backstory: Yoko's youth is explored in the novel L'écume de l'aube (The Foam of the Dawn).
  • Badass Grandpa: Aoki may be old, but he can still kick ass. He's skilled in martial arts and has trained in aircraft piloting.
  • Bald of Evil: Gobol, the evil and exiled Vinean scientist, is bald and doesn't have any hair on his head.
  • Batman Gambit: Yoko uses this against her enemies.
  • Beard of Evil: Karpan, Karl Moebius.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Xunk's life was saved by Yoko, therefore, he comes to believe that not all humans (and Vineans) are bad. He later choose to help Yoko and Khany escape, even if it means turning his back on his kind.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Averted with the Titans, who are a race of giant insectoid aliens, but do possess individuality and redeeming qualities.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Yoko and Khany's ship is shot down by the Supreme Guide, piloting another craft. They survive the crash, but the enemy craft is still after them. Before it can take aim, it's blown up by Vynka and Vic's ship.
  • Big Eater: Pol, also the Team Chef.
  • Blow You Away: The Titans have weapons that shoot air. They are far from harmless and are actually quite deadly.
  • Body Backup DriveQueen Hegora has multiple backup copies of her android body. They are all eventually destroyed, save for one who is imprisoned in a block of crystal.
  • Body Double Margaret, in "The Prey and the Shadow", is blackmailed into becoming this for the local Ophelia, Cecilia. When Yoko finds out, Margaret begs her for help since she's too scared to openly rebel against Sir William, but wants to get free and help Cecilia.
    • Ito Kazuky has a lookalike serving as a decoy. However, the decoy is revealed to be even more ruthless than Kazuky and a little crazy.
  • Bold Inflation: Happens quite a lot on key elements of the story.
  • Bound and Gagged: Yoko fell victim of this once.
  • Breakout Character : Yoko was originally envisioned as the #3 characters of the trio, behind Vic and Pol, and the first thirteen pages of the first book were drawn that way. Then the publisher suggested Leloup try his hand at small character stories to begin with, and he started with the least important of the three... who promptly made #5 in overall character polls that year. Vic and Pol were demoted to sidekicks, Yoko promoted to star of the series, and the rest is history.
  • Butt-Monkey: Pol, to a T.
  • Character Development: Yoko started out as fairly high-strung and willing to engage in violence when not absolutely necessary. She mellowed out in later years.
    • Pol can be aggressive enough for the whole trio.
    • Vynka, one of Khany's aide, is distrustful of the trio. However, over the course of the series, he has a change of heart and is now on friendly terms with them.
  • Children Are Innocent: Played straight with Poky and Morning Dew; subverted with Sin-yi, who is more of a Spoiled Brat. But then, she grew up as the child bride of a Tang dynasty Chinese emperor.
  • Christmas Episode: In one story of "Electronic Adventures".
  • Collapsing Lair: Webb's mountaintop lab in "The Time Spiral".
  • Combat Tentacles: The alien creature use its tentacles to ransack the research lab in "The Time Spiral". They were actually its nerves which it also uses to control the lab.
  • Comic-Book Time: Yoko and her friends haven't aged since the 70's, aside from an occasional Art Evolution, despite the fact that the world around them constantly change and evolve. In his eyes, Leloup says that Yoko will always be 20 years old.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Commissioner Lebrun who showed up in a handful of shorts.
  • Cool Plane: The series has no shortage of cool airplanes. Many of them are real life airplanes: Zero, F-5, F-16, MIG-21, Boeing 747, Seawind 3000 just to name a few. That's not counting the ones invented for the series. The Humming Bird is the most notable one. It's a small light aircraft used for reconnaissance.
  • Cool Starship: Comes in various shapes and sizes, all used by the Vineans. Later in the series, Yoko has her own personal ship, the Ryu.
  • Couch Gag: The title of the story on the book cover is always decorated with a head of Yoko. If the story involves the Vineans, she is wearing a helmet from her space suit.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Ito Kazuky, a wealthy Japanese arms dealers. He's very powerful and has a hand in many financial ventures. Kazuky doesn't hesitate to resort to dirty tactics and cheating to get what he wants.
  • Creator Thumbprint:
    • Leloup is very fond of vehicles, airplanes in particular. Many are seen the series, either operated by Yoko or someone else.
    • He also loves insects, to the point where Vineans have many motifs patterned after them:
      • The Vineans cryo-pods are stored in a beehive-like pattern.
      • Robots and space vehicles have a insect-like designs.
      • One Vinean wore a helmet that vaguely looks like an ant's head.
      • While not Vineans, the Titans are giant intelligent insectoids that walk upward.
  • Cryonics Failure: The Supreme Guide in The Three Suns of Vinea, to a point.
  • Dangerous Females: The endless list of females, either from this planet or others, whose sole purpose in life seems to be to cause Yoko Tsuno to faint using the neck chop.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Vic, often Pol as well.
  • Death by Origin Story: Monya's father and Leyton. We only see them in flashbacks and they are already dead when the story kicks in.
  • Death Is Cheap: Downplayed. Queen Hegora is an android. She has several backup bodies, but they come in very limited quantities.
  • Death Ray: Wotan's Fire, which deal with a cannon that channel lightning's energy into a powerful beam weapon.
  • Deceptively Human Robots:
    • The Archangels and Queen Hegora are Vineans androids capable of human mannerism.
    • Koshi is Earth most sophisticated android and pass up as a human in a kendo armor. He doesn't have a face however: beneath the mask is a set of cameras and sensors.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Myrka is a Bad Boss to her workers and hostile toward Yoko. However, after seeing that Yoko, her friends and the Vineans genuinely want to help them, she became less abrasive and more cooperative.
  • Demoted to Extra: In more recent issues, Vic, Pol, Morning Dew are barely present and sometimes they don't even get any lines.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: While fighting Yoko, the count Pavkine fell on a plane's propeller.
  • Disintegrator Ray: Used by the Vineans and various Mecha-Mooks.
  • Disney Death: Myna, a small robot, is hit by an eraser beam, which wipes out her programming, memories and personality. All this is restored with a backup made before the mission began.
  • Disney Villain Death: More than a few of Yoko's enemies meet their demise from a fall.
  • Distressed Damsel: Poor Ingrid. Sometimes, even Yoko would need rescuing after being hit with the Distress Ball.
  • Distressed Dude: Vic and Pol sometimes need Yoko to rescue them, especially in "The Seventh Code".
  • Elegant Classical Musician: Ingrid, who is a professional pipe organ player.
  • Everything's Better with Dinosaurs: A bunch of pteranodons showed up in "The Morning of the World" during a Stable Time Loop. No explanations were ever provided to why and how they existed... in 1350 AD!
  • Everything's Better with Monkeys: Large group of baboons showed up unexpectedly in a crater.
  • Everything's Better with Spinning: Monya'a time machine spin on itself like a top whenever it travel trough time (or it simply gets engulfed into twirling light, according to the captions).
  • Evil Plan: Ito Kazuky's company created a disintegration chamber. With the end of the Cold War, countries are desperate to get rid of their stockpile of nukes. However, the machine doesn't eliminate the radiation. Nonetheless, Kazuky advertise that his machine is fully functional. When countries will deliver him the warheads for disposition, he'll secretly keep them intact and well hidden. Presumably, he's going to resell them to the black market.
  • Expy: Vic and Pol are expies of Jacky and Célestin from the now defunct French-Belgian comic book "Jacky et Célestin".
    • According to Roger Leloup, Yoko is an expy of Japanese actress Yoko Tani.
  • Failure Knight: Yoko's old guardian Aoki, from "Daughter of The Wind". He was a pilot from World War II who didn't get to die honourably in a kamikaze attack and could never get over it. He got his wish through an Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Fainting: Yoko ends up like this in almost every album. She either gets neck chopped, knocked on the head, gassed, drugged, chloroformed, shot at point blank range etc. — the poor girl even faints a couple of times!
  • Faking the Dead: Dr. Haley discretely saw his colleague Dr. Briggs pour a poison in his beer. Haley didn't drank his cup and pretended to die moments later. Briggs, overconfident his plan worked, didn't bother to check the body thoroughly.
  • Fanservice: In "Wotan's Fire", Yoko showed up in bikini on a oil tanker. The crewmen were only too happy to welcome her aboard. In the "The Rhine Gold", we can see her wearing nothing but a towel after taking a shower. In the "Gate of Souls", she lost some of her spacesuit's equipment, forcing her to wear a worn-out, skimpier uniform. In 'On the Edge of Life' Yoko arrives in Rothenburg wearing an ultra short red micro-mini dress.
  • Fantastic Caste System: All Titans look largely the same except for different coloring and cybernetics.
    • The green ones are warriors, explorers and gatherers.
    • The purple ones are scientists and technicians. They mostly stay inside the colony.
    • The Great Migrator is the leader of the hive and is hooked to a command console at the heart of the colony ship.
  • Fantastic Racism: Karpan see humans as inferior and wish to wipe them out or drive them to slavery.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: The Vineans' ships.
    • The mechanism behind themnote , as explained in "The Three Suns of Vinea", is original but also a definite example of Artistic License – Physics.
    • Later on, Yoko's starship the Ryu can do it as well. Strangely enough, while "The Three Suns of Vinea" took care in explaining that it was not possible to travel faster than light in normal space, the Ryu seems to do it without special precautions. Possibly justified in that it's from a technology much more recent than the 2 million-years old one of the Vineans.
  • Fiery Red Head: Emilia, especially in her debut.
  • Financial Abuse: Poor, poor Cecilia. If only she knew that her uncle and stepfather William not only killed her mother, but is planning to kill her for her inheritance
  • Fish out of Temporal Water: Monya comes from the far future, Mieke from Renaissance-era Bruges, Sin-Yi from Tang China, Magda from the 1940's.
  • Friend to All Children: Pol is an awesome babysitter. With a rocket launcher.
    • Yoko as well, though less in an "awesome babysitter" way and more in a "take every child under her wing" way (most obviously with Morning Dew).
  • Gambit Roulette: Used by Gobol to trick Myna into bringing Hegora's personal ship.
  • Gang of Critters: The Exiles. Although they still look cute and appealing to children, they no longer fulfil their function as robot-toys.
  • Genre Blindness: Queen Hegora suffers from a severe case of this. Maybe because no one has ever challenge her rule or maybe Yoko think too much out of the box for her to handle. Rather than killing Yoko right on the spot, she set her to fight to the death against a sea creature. Yoko break the mental connection between Hegora and the creature who turns on the queen. Much later, the queen keeps Yoko hostage in a submarine, but doesn't restraint her. Yoko (rather easily) sabotage the submarine and cause it to crash. Being an android, Hegora keep several copies of herself should anything happen to her. The copies are guarded by a robot named Tryak. However, the robot is sentient and has grown to dislike the queen for her tyrannical ways. When Yoko comes in the picture, Tryak sees a chance to get rid of the queen.
  • Giant Flyer: The oversize pteranodons in "The Morning of the World".
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Queen Hegora is the tyrannical ruler of an underwater Vinean city.
  • The Guards Must Be Crazy:
    • In "Daughter of the Wind", Kazuky's men came to apprehend Yoko and Aoki. She challenged them into taking them in her father's lab. The guards let her go since they reasoned they'll more of them once they reach the lab. Yoko and Aoki turn on the typhoon-making machine while the guards simply watch them. Then, they remove the safeties on the machine, which caused a turbulence that caught the guards by surprise. Yoko and Aoki take advantage of this to make their escape. Had the guards arrested them first hand, they'll wouldn't had gotten away.
    • In "Wotan's Fire", Yoko is captured. Rather than restraining her or knocking her out, the guard holds her at gunpoint while she stands next to a barrier. Yoko attached her safety harness on the barrier, using her hands in the back while still facing the guard. The guard saw her doing something suspicious and even called her out, but doesn't intervene. Predictably, Yoko knocked him out easily and made her escape.
  • Guile Hero: Yoko can be VERY cunning when she wants to.
  • Happily Adopted: Morning Dew has quickly grown attached to Yoko, even before she was adopted by her.
  • Heel–Face Turn: When a typhoon-making missile goes out of control, a gigantic hurricane was heading toward the Japanese coast. Kazuky refused to intervene as the blame will rest on Yoko's father. One of Kazuky's man was outraged because millions of lives were at stake, so he switched sides to help Yoko.
  • The Hermit: Even in the far away planet of Vinea you can find one in a cave. Yoko and Khany meet a crazy old Vinean hag who lives in rags. She's also out of touch with any form of technology and she keeps rambling about an unseen god from the sea.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Aoki plunged his airplane with a bomb inside a typhoon to destroy it.
    • Xunk shielded Yoko and Khany knowing the Titans will fire their weapon on them. The shot badly injured him, although he carried Yoko and Khany far enough for them to escape and died soon afterwards.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners:
    • Played straight at first with Pol and Vic, Yoko's two male sidekicks. Later averted, as Yoko and Vic develop a (mostly tacit) romantic relationship.
    • Later reinforced. Word of God is that he doesn't want to develop the relationship with Vic... readers who are in love with Yoko would be jealous!
  • Hidden Elf Village: The Vineans have been hiding in their underground facilities beneath the Earth for 400,000 years. Like Elves, Vineans are cold and uninterested in human civilizations. At least until mankind's technological advancements got them worried and they start making plans for their future.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard:
    • Webbs feed the alien creature with loads of antimatter. It grows enormously in size and gain multiple tentacles (which are actually its nerves) to control the facility. When Webbs finally decide to cut off the antimatter, the creature kill Webbs with its tentacles.
    • The creature is destroyed when it ingested detonators that triggered the antimatter he consumed, turning it into an antimatter bomb.
  • Holiday in Cambodia: The fictional country of "Kampong" between Thailand and Malaysia.
  • Hollywood Cyborg: Ethera has her body rebuilt after a crash.
  • Hologram: Found in "The Prey and the Ghost." The model is actually Margaret, Cecilia's Body Double, and it motivates her to beg Yoko for help.
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Titans, giant sentient insectoids, believe that humans and by extension, Vineans, are horrible monsters. They came to that conclusion when they discovered a box of insect collection that Yoko has brought from Earth. Khany tried to rationally explain that insects on Earth are a pest and never gain sentience. Clearly, the Titans were not impressed by her statement.
  • Honest Corporate Executive: Peter Hertzel is a powerful German businessman. He use his wealth and influence to help Yoko on two occasions to fight off arms dealers.
  • Honor Before Reason: Yoko's Fatal Flaw.
  • Hot-Blooded: Yoko, sometimes. Pol, too.
  • Human Aliens: The Vineans have blue skin and somewhat sharper traits, but apart from that are indistinguishable from humans. This incredible coincidence is never explained, since they come from the Triangulum galaxy and already looked like that two million years ago, before homo sapiens had even evolved on Earth.
    • In one album, Yoko even could disguise as a Vinean. It worked because they only use b/w monitors.
  • Human Popsicle: The Vineans routinely use suspended animation to deal with long-distance space travel, or to keep survivors from the cataclysm that nearly destroyed their planet stowed away until further notice. In "On the Edge of Life", this is also how Magda, a little girl from 1945, has been kept alive until the 1970s despite suffering from critical wounds and a rare chronic condition.
  • Hyperspace Arsenal: A offshot of warmongering Vineans can pop vehicles out of their pockets in the same way as computer files are decompressed. Most Vineans however don't have access to that technology.
  • The Idealist: Yoko is very much this. She is very trustful toward strangers and is willing to help them when needed. However, she doesn't hesitate to defend herself when attacked and is smart enough to deal with an enemy appropriately when required.
  • Identical Stranger: Cecilia and Margaret in "The Prey and the Ghost".
  • Ill Girl: Magda and Ingrid in "On the Edge of Life".
  • Innocent Flower Girl: Mieke, is innocent, and a flower girl.
  • Insect Queen: The Great Migrator. Although she's never referred as a queen, she act as the Titans' leader.
  • Instant Sedation: Yoko was given a dose of chloroform and immediately fell unconscious. Amusingly, once she's dumped in a pit and land on a net, she instantly awaken.
  • It's Personal: When Yoko see that her father is being humiliated by Kazuky, she vowed to make him pay. It's downplayed however, as Yoko resort on sabotaging Kazuky's missiles rather than attacking him directly.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Yoko's mother, Masako, was very beautiful in her youth.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Mirka is detestable and treat her workers poorly. And yet, she's one of the rare Vineans who refuse to believe that their space city is the product of their leaders' divine powers, but rather, the hard work and sacrifice of the working class.
  • Karmic Death: Villains have a tendency to bring doom upon their own heads.
  • Last of His Kind: In 39th century, Monya is the last remaining human alive as everyone else died in a war. Once she traveled back in time to fix this, the apocalypse is avoided.
  • Latex Space Suit: The environment suits, called Vinean outfits, are very tight-fitting despite not being quite latex. For space sorties, they use bulkier space suits fitted on top of a layer of body socks made out of rubber.
  • Limited Wardrobe:
    • Changed over time. In her early adventures, Yoko would almost always wear the same outfit, a short red dress over a black catsuit. On the cover of The Edge of Life, Yoko can be seen wearing a red mini dress. Later on, Leloup became fond of depicting her in more varied outfits, and her wardrobe has increased in size accordingly. Pol was the last to leave his yellow pullover behind. He often wears a yellow shirt though.
    • Vic and Pol also have the same clothes on for a long time. Like Yoko, they eventually got new clothes, but only after Yoko.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters: By the Turn of the Millennium, more and more characters start to show up in the stories. Most of them are minors characters.
  • Long Game: Sir Williams murdered his wife (and former sister-in-law) while Cecilia was just a child. He waited until Cecilia became an adult before trying to kill her. All these murders would've allowed him to inherit their fortune.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Khany discovers that her father (and Poky's) is still alive, after having a Brain Uploading millions of years ago.
  • Mad Scientist: The series has no shortage of evil scientists who's out for personal gain.
    • Hideki Minai and Webb: Both discovered anti-matter and wanted to profit from it, for war and wealth respectively while ignoring its consequences.
    • Gobol: Vinean robot genius who wanted to crash his space city in Vinea.
    • Isora: Vinean scientist who researched soul transfers and wanted to reincarnate herself in her own daughter.
  • Magnetic Hero: Yoko seems to have a knack to make most female character she encounters yearn to become her friend, even when they begin as antagonists.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The mysterious masked figure that try to kill Yoko in the Rheingold conspiracy.
  • Martial Pacifist: Yoko grows into one. She deplores unnecessary violence and will go out of her way to try and spare villains' lives. This doesn't prevent her from kicking ass here and there.
  • The Masquerade: What the Power Trio stumbles into in "The Prey and the Ghost".
  • Meaningful Name:
    • Vic's last name is "Video" and he works in a TV studio.
    • Xunk's name means "weak" in his alien language. By his own admission, Xunk consume too much energy for his colony's mission and has become a liability.
  • Meet Cute: Pol & Mieke. She's a flower girl from 16th century Bruges; he's a time-traveller from the early 21st century posing as a "lord"; she follows him back to modern times.
  • Mind Reading: The Titans. The alien creature from "The Time Spiral" use a variation of this trope to feed information directly in people's brains.
  • Missing Mom: Lady Mary from "The Prey and the Ghost", who's death is very important to the plot. Actually, her murder.
    • Monya. Her mother placed her in a shuttle on the way to her father's secret base, while the space station they lived is destroyed.
    • Emilia's mother.
  • Mohs Scale of Science Fiction Hardness: Interestingly, this actually varies strongly between books. As a loose rule, Yoko Tsuno's adventures can be divided into 3 categories — those in space (or with the Vineans on earth); those on Earth, without aliens or space-travel; and after Monya arrives in the Timespiral, adventures through time occur as well. On the hardness scale, the series generally swings between 3 and 5, with the space-setting stories being the softest, and those on Earth being the hardest.
    • Eg. "The 3 Suns of Vinea" is a soft 3, while "Message for Eternity" is at the hard end of 5.
  • More Hypnotizable Than He Thinks: Pol Pitron.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kurt was one of the doctors who worked on saving Magda, a little girl who's in suspended animation since WWII. The treatment involve giving her artificial blood. Kurt wanted to steal the formula and when Yoko stopped him, he was willing to kill Magda to have it at any cost. In the struggle, he shot Yoko. When Kurt saw the blood, he was horrified and was determine to save Yoko's life.
  • Naïve Everygirl: Mieke.
  • The Needs of the Many: The Titans' civilization revolve around this, being sentient insectoids. One of them, Xunk, is afflicted with radiation. While there is a cure, administrating it will jeopardized their mission, so the colony rather let him die.
  • Ninja: In "Daughter of the Wind", Kazuky has a bunch of ninjas (or more precisely ninja reenactors) on his payroll. She apparently got some ninja training herself when she was still a teenager (in the novel "The Foam of the Dawn").
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Monya traveling back in time and meddling with the locals cause Narki to be sacrificed to demons.
  • No Body Left Behind: Anyone who travel through time in Monya's Time Machine must wear a special belt that act as a bio-regulator. Without it, the subject will be disintegrated and return to his original timeline in a pile of ashes. This is what happened to the Marquis de Torcello.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Ingrid Hallberg is based on pianist Ingrid Haebler.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: Between Yoko and Vic. Leloup doesn't want their relationship to go any deeper. It doesn't stop them from having a good amount of Ship Tease though.
  • No Name Given:
    • The name of Monya's father is never revealed.
    • The name of Kazuky's Body Double was never shown.
  • Nuke 'em: The Vineans drop a thermal bomb on the Titans' territory after they left. They also used their own version of nukes against a space city that came too close to their planet. When Ito Kazuky's hurricane-making missile goes out of control, Yoko and Aoki deliver a powerful nuke that ends with Aoki's heroic sacrifice.
  • Official Couple: Pol and Mieke. Aaaaawwwww.
  • Off-Model: Leloup seems to have trouble with bodily proportions and faces sometimes, curiously mostly when drawing characters from a distance. More prevalent in the latest books.
    • Also, Yoko sometimes looks extremely yellow, which might not be Leloup's fault, though. Confirmed in recent compilations, where colours are better calibrated.
    • As the series go, faces are drawn more inaccurately. Justified as Roger Leloup's age is very advanced. The contrast is especially jarring with the scenery and various devices which are still as detailed as ever.
  • The Ojou: Cecilia from "The Prey and the Shadow". She's also a Lonely Rich Kid, kept isolated and prisoner in her own Scottish castle.
    • Yoko is this too. The Tsuno family has a pretty nice Japanese Big Fancy House in Okinawa, after all.
  • Ominous Pipe Organ: "The Devil's Organ".
  • The Ophelia: Cecilia, again. Subverted, though: she's actually sane, but her Evil Uncle wants people to think she's a nutjob so he can set her up for an "accidental" death... by making the desperately lonely Cecilia believe she can be reunited with her mom's spirit.
    • Ingrid is introduced as a prospect one in "The Devil's Organ", as she's seen crying and unresponsive during a cruise to the Rhin. Subverted again: she not only was in an Heroic BSOD after her father's death... but she was completely drugged as the Big Bad/her dad's killer wants her out of the way. Said Big Bad throws poor Ingrid into the river, but Yoko and her friends save her and she soon recovers the hold on herself.
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Especially in the latest books:
    • In The Dragon of Hong Kong, an evil eastern dragon is terrorising the city. It's revealed to actually be a robot piloted by a Corrupt Corporate Executive, and is ultimately destroyed in the last battle by another false dragon, a genetically engineered giant lizard.
    • In The Pagoda of the Mists, the plot in centred on a legendary dragon inhabiting a mountain, eventually revealed to be a giant alien robot that closely resemble a dragon.
    • In The Servant of Lucifer, an offshot of the Vineans have created robot dragons in order to impress Middle Age monks they wanted to enslave.
  • Our Souls Are Different: In "The Gate of Souls", there is some Phlebotinium allowing to remove souls from people and transfer them into other people or store them in robots. It is not very clear what the soul actually is (and Leloup confirms he intended it that way, to avoid theological debates), as the soulless people seem to be functioning normally, but are eager to recover their souls, while people implanted with the souls of others seem to gain their knowledge and skills. Yoko reacts violently when a device attempts to probe her soul.
  • Out of Focus: As the series move over time, Vic and Pol receive less and less focus. The stories are always centered around Yoko and the guest star of the day, usually a new female character. Things got worse for them now that Emilia has become the new regular co-star alongside with Yoko.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Monya wearing her bikini top OVER her shirt, sporting giant headphones on her head and wearing shoes (everyone else is barefoot), while waiting in line with Balinese girls dressed in their native 1350 costumes. The guards don't notice a thing despite being warned to look out for her.
  • Parental Abandonment: Before her introduction in the series, Morning Dew's parents died because of a typhoon.
  • Phenotype Stereotype: Ingrid, being German, of course has long blond hair tied into cinnamon rolls.
  • The Power of Friendship: One of the central theme of the series. Yoko meeting new people in every stories and becoming friend with them.
  • Powered Armor: A disgruntled tech assistant worn an experimental exosuit and disguised himself as an apeman to get revenge.
  • The Professor: Yoko's father, Seiki Tsuno.
  • Power Trio: Yoko (Superego), Vic (Ego), Pol (Id).
  • Relationship Upgrade: Yoko and Vic, after being Just Friends for years, began developing romantic feelings for one another in the more recent episodes.
    • However, recent stories show them sleeping in separate bedrooms.
    • Interestingly, Yoko and Pol have much more screen time together than Yoko and Vic.
  • Retcon: Yoko's father was named 'Susuki Tsuno' in 'Electronic Adventures'. Leloup changed it to 'Seiki Tsuno' in 'The Daughter of the Wind' when he recognized that "Suzuki" isn't a proper first name for a Japanese. He forgot to correct one speech bubble on latter prints.
  • Rich Bitch: Countess Olga in "The Rhine Gold", before having Heel–Face Turn at the end of story, thanks to Yoko.
  • Rich Suitor, Poor Suitor: What kicked off the conflict in "The Prey And the Ghost" was how, 20 years ago, Cecilia's mother Mary chose her rich suitor Brian over her poor suitor Mac Nab. It didn't help that Mac Nab was a yandere rumored to be into the occult, or that he showed up at the wedding and predicted they wouldn't be happy. Which did happen... but not because of Mac Nab himself.
  • Robot War: Gobol and its Mecha-Mooks versus the Exiles.
  • Romantic Two-Girl Friendship: Yoko and Ingrid have some of this dynamic going on, especially in the earlier albums. Yoko and Khany also show some of this.
  • Royal Brat: Sin-Yi.
  • Sad Clown: Pol. Well, his surname "Pitron" comes from the French word for "clown"... He's also the author's stand-in.
  • Scars Are Forever: Yoko has a scar on her right shoulder caused by a shard of glass windows. She healed the wound with futuristic cell regeneration technology, but it left a scar.
  • Scenery Porn: Leloup loves drawing backgrounds with all the details he can. And he's VERY good at that.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: In The Time Spiral, Monya travel back in time to stop a scientist named Webbs from discovering antimatter. In the far future, a warring faction will use it to against an enemy and destroy the Earth's crust. This cause magma to spill all over the planet, melt entire continents and extinguishing all life on Earth.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Yoko dolls up in elegant dresses more than once. I.e.: in "The Devil's Organ", she even wears a kimono, leaving everyone starstruck. And in The Prey And the Shadow, Cecilia lends her one of her mother's gowns, which has Yoko almost squealing in wonder at how pretty her wardrobe is. And once it's all cleared up and the Power Trio stays a little more in the castle, she gives Yoko some more.
  • Ship Tease: Yoko and Vic at the end of 'Wotan's Fire'.
  • Shown Their Work: All vehicles are drawn accurately with attention to details.
  • Shrines and Temples: In "Daughter of the Wind", Yoko seeks help in the Buddhist temple she used to pray in as a child.
  • Shorttank: Yoko is a grown-up version.
    • Emilia, the latest supporting cast member Yoko has accrued, is a traditional teen Shorttank.
  • Significant Anagram: Leloup says Vinea is an anagram of the moisture cream "Nivea". The Vineans have blue skin because Nivea's containers are blue.
  • Slipping a Mickey: Happens quite often to Yoko and her friends when they are guests to unsavory characters.
  • Smug Snake: Ito Kazuky, Karl Moebius, Sir William and the Doctor.
  • Space Elves: The Vineans don't have pointy ears, but have many traits that resemble Elves. They are vastly technology superior to humans. They are cold and logic drive their actions rather than emotions. The populace is composed mainly of technicians and scientists. Entertainment, art, culture is non-existent and their children are conditioned for working at very young age.
  • Spanner in the Works: Yoko and her guys often end up derailing more than one Evil Plan. And more than once they're contacted by a person in trouble and help them derail some more evil plans, like in "The Prey and the Ghost" where Margaret asks them to help her get out of Sir William's gambits and save Cecilia.
  • Spin-Off: Yoko Tsuno is actually a spin off of another French-Belgian comic book called 'Jacky et Célestin' written by Leloup. Yoko made her debut in one story and Leloup liked her so much that he decided to set a new series around her. Jacky and Célestin became Expy of Vic and Pol.
  • Spoiler Cover: The Servant of Lucifer. Think this adventure is another Time Travel in the Dark Ages? Nope, it's about Vineans since they're on the cover along with robotic dragons.
  • Stable Time Loop: Invoked in "The Astrologer of Bruges" and "The Morning of the World"; Yoko goes back in time because she's seen evidence she went already.
  • Stalker With a Crush: Mac Nab from "The Prey and the Shadow" was one for Cecilia's Missing Mom, Lady Mary. He went as far as having an altar dedicated to Lady Mary in his house, including a mannequin built in likeness to her and dressed up in her wedding dress (which, according to him, was delivered by someone else after Mary's death). This mannequin is vital to derail Sir William's cruel Evil Plan and save Cecilia's life, though.
  • Starfish Aliens: The unnamed alien entity in "The Time Spiral" looks like a giant jellyfish.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Thao, a rebel from Kampong, has a dim view of Yoko because of her gender. In the end, he conceded that Yoko was better rebel than him, "the only woman he had ever bowed to" according to him.
  • Take a Third Option: After the defeat of queen Hegora, Khany invite the people of the underwater city to live on the surface with the other Vineans, as the city will no longer function without the queen. The undersea Vineans reject the offer, as this will mean that they lost the war against the surface Vineans. It will lead to resentment and eventually, to war. Yoko becomes a comprise as she becomes the new queen. Because her fate is now linked to the underwater city, it will function once more and the two Vinean factions will remain separate.
  • Taking the Bullet: Myna shields Yoko from a erasing beam. She got better, since being a robot, her memories were copied back into her circuits.
  • Taking You with Me: The evil queen Hegora has bound the abyssal city to her. Should her heart stop, the city will power down and will die with her.
  • Tall, Dark, and Snarky: Vic, to a degree.
  • Tampering with Food and Drink: Dr. Briggs try to kill his colleague Dr. Haley by pouring poison in his beer. Unfortunately for Briggs, Haley saw him doing it without being noticed.
  • Tap on the Head: Martial arts move often used to knock Yoko unconscious (L'or du Rhin). OTOH, Yoko uses it too, like in "Daughter of the Wind" when she quickly applies one to Kazuky's mook. (Justified Trope: Yoko is an Aikidoka and the neck chop is a rather common Aikido move, named yonkomen)
  • Technology Porn: Leloup enjoys drawing vehicles (he was responsible for drawing most of the planes in Tintin after all). Hence, almost every book features a new vehicle or large device that gets detailed renditions.
  • The Final Frontier: Those adventures that take place in space.
  • The Plague: "The Astrologer of Bruges."
  • The Teetotaler: Yoko in contrast to Pol. She did share a glass of vodka with countess Olga however.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Yoko is VERY reluctant to kill a sentient being, even when threatened. She does kill a few people accidentally though, and sometimes her friends are the ones giving the killing blow.
  • Time Abyss: Khany, Poky and several Vineans are actually 2.4 millions years old, courtesy of cryogenic sleep.
  • Time Travel: Monya's time machine, invented/completed in space after Earth was destroyed — to undo said destruction — is used on several occasions even after the initial story introducing it is resolved.
    • Also used by a Vinean colony that settled on massive rock formations orbiting giant stars. They periodically travel to the future to avoid the frequent hazardous storms and quakes. Yoko's ship the Ryu is also capable of travelling in time.
    • "The Hex of Amethyst" has Malcom Hendry inventing a time machine in the '30 and gets stranded in the '70.
  • Title Drop: Almost every adventure has this trope invoked by someone, most of the time by Yoko.
  • Translation Convention: The Vineans have universal translators headsets that enable them to speak with humans. The Titans communicate telepathically with Vineans using telepathic transmitters.
  • Twin Desynch: Khany and Poky were young twins when they were placed into suspended animation. They were awoken at different dates, resulting Khany being an adult and Poky remaining a child.
    • A variation occurs in "The Three Suns of Vinea": Poky and Khany's mother Sindah is found in stasis, having entered it when she was Khany's current age. As a result, mother and daughter now have the same biological age.
  • Two Guys and a Girl: The Curious Trio: Vic and Pol (two guys) and Yoko (a girl). Things change when Morning Dew and Mieke join the cast.
  • Tyke Bomb:
    • Before Khany's return to her home planet, there was power struggle between the Supreme Guide and some Vineans. The latter fled underwater and promise vengeance. They built an armada of spaceships and put their children on stasis who were to become the next generation's army.
    • Before his death, Karpan had a young Vinean specifically engineered with a preprogram mission on her mind: eradicate all life on Earth.
  • Under the Sea: "The Archangels of Vinea" is almost entirely set in a subaquatic environment.
  • Underwater Base: Queen Hegora's base in "The Archangels of Vinea". Also, Ito Kazuky has set up a secret missile launching complex on the very wreck of battleship Yamato.
  • Unobtainium: Gobol uses a rare material called "vinadium". Its blue radiation, when refined and filtered, prevent his cells from aging and gives him energy-like attacks.
  • The Voiceless: Koshi never speaks: he's a robot incapable of speech, although he can communicate with a keyboard and a computer.
  • We Can Rule Together. In "The Prey and the Ghost", Sir William's co conspirator, the mysterious doctor, tells Margaret as he holds her hostage that she should join his agenda and backstab Sir William, lest he kills her with poison. Margaret tearfully says no, and right then Vic and Yoko pull a Big Damn Heroes and save her.
  • Weather-Control Machine: Used by Vineans to create a inhabitable environment, since their home planet has a synchronous rotation. Though arguably it is more of a weather BARRIER than a weather control in the traditional sense.
  • Weapon of Mass Destruction: In "Daughter of the Wind", Yoko's father has invented a weapon that creates localized typhoons. His opponent goes one further, and creates a full-sized cyclone. Which then has to be destroyed by nuclear weapons before it sweeps over Japan...
  • We Hardly Knew Ye: Stanford. While we get a bit of his backstory, we never get to know his true plans for the time machine and the antimatter.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Some stories play with the concept, done almost straight in the Titans.
  • Wave Motion Gun: "Wotan's Fire" has a cannon powered by lightning energy. The Vineans' defense laser cannon in their homeworld's north pole.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Yoko has ran into aliens, time travellers, dinosaurs, immortals, secret service agencies just to name a few.
  • Wise Beyond Their Years: Monya is very mature and intelligent despite being 14 years old. This may have to do with the knowledge uploaded into her brain at young age or 14 years old is just the norm for young adult in the 31th century.
  • Yandere: Mac Nab from "The Prey And the Ghost" is an adult, male example. He also subverts it by, despite still obsessively loving the dead Mary, remaining focused enough to join Yoko's plan so they can save Cecilia and punish Sir William.
  • Yamato Nadeshiko: Yoko's mother, Masako. Justified, since Yoko is from a traditional Japanese family an the comic itself started in The '70s.
    • invoked in "The Devil's Organ", when Yoko shows up in a kimono and shocks her companions and hosts.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness:
    • Because of Margaret's likeness to Sir William's stepdaughter Cecilia, she was used in conspiracy to kill Cecilia. After killing her, Sir William plan to kill Maragaret as well. Thankfully, Yoko prevent both murders.
    • A mysterious creature has transfered knowledge of antimatter to professor Webbs' mind. Webbs in turn use his newfound knowledge to build a particle accelerator and feed the creature with antimatter it needs it to grow. The creature then gain substantial size and began controlling the facility. Webbs finally shut off the particle accelerator and decide to destroy it. He will then use the knowledge of the antimatter to make himself rich and gain fame. However, the trope work both ways. Before the creature can be destroyed, it reactivate the particle accelerator and kill Webbs, as it no longer need him to feed himself.
  • You Killed My Father: Minako Watanabe avenge her father's death by killing her father's killer, Kazuky's double. She blew up his boat witch C4.

The novel L'écume de l'aube (The Foam of the Dawn) contains examples of:

  • Air-Vent Passageway
  • Arranged Marriage: Both Yoko and Shinji's parents wanted their children to hook up when they get older. Yoko didn't mind since she love Shinji. However, Shinji loved Akina. When this is revealed years later, this cause quite a commotion for everyone.
  • Betty and Veronica: Akina as the Betty and Yoko as the Veronica.
  • Big Fancy House: Yoko's house is described as bigger then the neighbors' and close to the sea.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: Yoko has been vying for Shinji since she was at least 8 years old. She lost him to Akina.
  • Coming of Age: The whole story is this for Yoko.
  • Continuity Nod: Many. Most of them are related to Daughter of the Wind and The Dragon of Hong Kong:
    • Onoué buying a servant from Hong Kong and marrying her after falling in love with her.
    • Yoko's house where most of the novel take place.
    • Seiki's lab.
    • The Buddha temple.
    • Yoko and Aoki meeting for the first time.
    • A businessman interested in financing Seiki's research. He is only hinted, but readers will recognize him as Ito Kazuky.
    • In the Exiles of Kifa, the AI of the Ryu is called Akina, which is named after Yoko's rival.
  • Corporal Punishment: When under 5 years old, Yoko was disciplined for her bad behavior.
  • Defrosting Ice King: After the death of his wife, Onoué isolated himself completely. He lived in a pavilion in his son's backyard and cut all contact with the rest of the world. It's only five years later when he meet his granddaughter Yoko for the first that he start reconnecting with his family.
  • Flower in Her Hair: She has flowers and butterfly-shaped hair bow on her hair when she was little.
  • The Hero: Shinji act this way, being the leader of Yoko's band of friends.
  • Honor Before Reason / What You Are in the Dark : After successfully stealing the pearl back from madam Kwan and Wai, Yoko was griped with guilt. Seeing how the pearl made Wai happy and how Yoko had lied to the boy, she couldn't bear it anymore and confess the whole truth to madam Kwan.
  • How We Got Here: The novel opens with present day where Yoko take a plane from Japan to Hong Kong. She think of all the events that led to this trip. The story then shift to her grandfather's life, Yoko's childhood through her adulthood. The story return to present day when the plane land in Hong Kong and continue with madam Kwan.
  • Idiot Ball: Yoko's diamond pearl was stolen because of his father Seiki. He knew the pearl was unique and highly valuable. Fearing an unsuspected burglar might steal it, he had a local jeweler make a copy... but he neither warned Yoko, nor checked if the original that was returned to him was genuine. The theft would go unnoticed for many years.
  • Ill Boy: Wai, madam Kwan's son, is confined to a wheelchair.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: Between Yoko and Aoki.
  • Irony: By trying to protect the Foam of Dawn from an eventual burglar, Seiki caused it to be stolen. He commissioned a fake pearl from a jeweler and planted it in Yoko's jewel box while the Foam of Dawn was locked inside the family's safe. Unfortunately for him, the jeweler gave him two fake pearls and kept Foam of Dawn to himself. In trying to fool thieves, Seiki was himself fooled by one.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: After seeing that Shinji loves Akina, Yoko painfully decides to let the pair be together.
  • Jerkass: Hiromi. She constantly criticize everyone and blames her father for her unhappiness.
  • Karma Houdini: Fearing getting caught for stealing the diamond-pearl back in Japan, Mr. Chu leaves Hong Kong after emptying his bank accounts and is never seen again.
  • The Lancer: Yoko to Shinji.
  • The Load: Akina, by her own admission.
  • Love Triangle: Between Yoko, Shinji and Akina.
  • Maiden Aunt: Yoko's detestable aunt Hiromi. While she's a widow, she fit the trope perfectly.
  • Memento MacGuffin: The Foam of the Dawn is a diamond-colored pearl created by Yoko's grandfather and given to her. While it's unique and highly valuable, it represent Yoko's childhood, memories and her close relationship with the patriarch. When it gets stolen, Yoko goes on her very first adventure to find it.
  • Secret Relationship: Shinji and Akina. No one knows when it started, but Yoko is 17 when it gets discovered.
  • Secret Keeper: Seiki becomes this after the funeral urn incident.
  • The Smart Guy: Nagayo. He wears glasses and his parents are architects. When Yoko's band of friends disband, Nagayo's parents assign him a private teacher for his weekend studies.
  • Tagalong Kid: Yoshio's young brother, Kiotaka. It doesn't last long however, as Yoko's friends part ways.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Yoko as the more adventurous one and Akina as the more feminine one.
  • The Unseen: Mr. Chu. He started this whole mess by stealing the Foam of Dawn and is never confronted by Yoko once.


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/ComicBook/YokoTsuno