Manga: Alive: The Final Evolution
We were alive on this planet, then they arrived.
Imagine The Happening
turned into a shounen series. And not sucking.
Taisuke is an Ordinary High-School Student
whose life is changed forever when a mysterious "suicide virus" spreads around the world and causes normal people to suddenly kill themselves. As he witnesses a young girl gleefully jump to her death, a strange thought goes through his head: "I'm so jealous..."
Weeks later, after the epidemic has died down, a couple of bullies at Taisuke's school are brutally murdered and his best friend Hirose is the prime suspect. To his horror, Taisuke discovers that the survivors of the suicide virus- those who contracted the virus but did not
commit suicide- have begun to manifest destructive supernatural powers and are being gathered by an enigmatic man named Katsumata. Hirose turns out to be one of these "Comrades", and is brainwashed
into joining their cause, kidnapping Taisuke's childhood friend Megumi as he flees north.
Determined to rescue Megumi and bring Hirose back to his senses, Taisuke leaves the city on his bike and pursues the "Comrades" to their gathering place up north. On the way he meets up with renegade Comrades Yuta and Nami- who reject the plans of Katsumata- and begins to manifest his own Comrade powers as he comes to grips with what it means to be "alive".
The manga has been fairly successful, and was being made into an anime until the company doing it suffered economic problems and cancelled the project. The manga-ka, Tadashi Kawashima, passed away on June 15th, 2010 due to liver cancer. In spite of that, he succeeded in completing Alive while hospitalized.
This series provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents: Yuta's dad actually kicked him out of the house. In his defense, he suspects Yuta is responsible for the death of his wife, and Yuta's creepy child behavior at the time certainly didn't help.
- Accidental Pervert: Taisuke, to Nami. Needless to say, he is lucky to be alive.
- Action Girl: Nami, Kanon, D4. All of them show a certain degree of Worf Effect and are pretty damn girly, but they do actually manage to be considerable powers with impacts on plot development despite this.
- A-Cup Angst: Amamiya the reporter. It saves her life at one point.
- Fridge Logic: Actually, the breasts would probably have saved her even if they had been real, marking a shocking moment of unprofessional stabbing from a very expert killer.
- All Monks Know Kung-Fu: Asou. He's a Catholic priest, but the trope still applies.
- Always Save the Girl
- Ambiguous Gender: Mitama is evidently a girl.
- An Ice Person: Nami. Naturally, she's also a defrosting ice queen. A tsundere one.
- Antagonist in Mourning: Hirose after the events of the penultimate battle.
- Anti-Villain: Asou.
- Anyone Can Die: It is that kind of a series.
- Author Existence Failure: He finished the series, but died shortly afterwards, thus barely averting this trope.
- Awesome but Impractical: Okada's power, as detailed below. As long as he can trick a person into forming a contract, he basically dominates them. The problem? It doesn't work on other Comrades, meaning there's absolutely no way he can directly harm another Comrade, and has to resort to taking hostages and letting others do the fighting for him.
- Ax-Crazy: Most of the Comrades. Especially Kanon. This may be because that type of 'hole in your heart' makes it easier to resist the call of death than more ordinary damage does, or just that With Great Power Comes Great Insanity, absent Heroic Willpower. Katsumata's brainwashing can't help.
- Badass: Nami.
- Badass Normal: D2. The noseless guy.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Hirose. Or, alternately, Taisuke, once he Takes A Level In Badass.
- Blind Seer: A minor Comrade. He later kills himself, afraid of what's coming.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Aoi. Throw in Super Speed as well and she's essentially the female version of Dashell Parr.
- Brother-Sister Incest: Used for a brief gag between Taisuke and Yoko. It's kind of hard to tell if it's serious or not...
- Bully Hunter: Taisuke.
- Character Blog: Used in an omake.
- Childhood Friend Romance: Hirose towards Megumi.
- Creepy Child: Ron and Yuta at one point.
- Cute Psycho: Kanon is a cheerful, even kind of ditzy Third-Person Person... and a completely casual murderer.
- Damsel in Distress: Megumi. To her credit, she made multiple escape attempts.
- Death Seeker: Yuta, at first. As well as the immortals causing the suicide virus.
- All Comrades, in a way. When infected by the suicide virus, one receives the order to seek death. The Comrades are just those who didn't take the direct approach.
- Defeat Means Friendship: Yuta and Asou. Inverted with Nami, who they had to recruit specifically because they couldn't beat her.
- Designated Girl Fight: D4 vs. Nami in all her fanservice glory. (She got Kanon in an earlier fight set, but that was a matter of vengeance.)
- Driven to Suicide: All victims of the suicide virus. Think The Happening, but they're much more enthusiastic about it. Happy.
- Enfante Terrible: Mitama.
- Escort Mission: An odd manga variation in that Taisuke is stuck with Megumi clinging to his arm while other Comrades are all out to kill him. (Because if she lets go, she'll automatically and instantly die by superpower; she's not an idiot,)
- Gonk: Okada and Yura.
- Go Out with a Smile: All victims of the suicide virus. So do the Comrades.
- Healing Factor: Used and averted. All comrades have this as a secondary ability, but any wound inflicted by Taisuke can't heal, as Morio learned the hard way...
- Heel-Face Revolving Door: Asou. To his credit though, he was Brainwashed and Crazy...
- Heel-Face Turn: Yura, sort of. He also went through a bizarre species of Art Evolution, from utterly disgusting to bishie.
- Hello, Nurse!: Yoko, a literal school nurse, and has no problem with using it to get what she wants. It comes back to bite her when one of her coworkers confesses to her right before killing himself.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Comrades tend to die like this, succumbing to their own powers.
- Hot-Blooded: Taisuke.
- How Do I Shot Web?
- Intrepid Reporter: Amamiya and Oda. Subverted in that Oda isn't that enthusiastic and is mostly being dragged along by Amamiya.
- Kick the Dog: Hirose when he erases Haruka.
- Kiss-Kiss-Slap: Nami kisses Taisuke only to slap him afterwards in Chapter 73.
- Laser-Guided Amnesia:
- Katsumata did this Megumi for a while, in an effort to keep Hirose and her under control.
- Taisuke suffers from this at the beginning of the second story arc. It was pretty comprehensive, and rather disappointing, since he lost most of his Character Development. He gets better.
- Literary Allusion Title: All the chapter subtitles are famous quotes.
- Little Miss Snarker: Yuta. (A boy.)
- MacGuffin: The "Heart of Akuro"
- Mama Bear: Yukie, who mind-controls and then massacres a military force in an attempt to rescue Aoi.
- Manipulative Bastard: Katsumata, The Poet, possibly Yukie as well.
- Mercy Kill: A handful of Comrades try to justify their behavior with this.
- Messianic Archetype: Taisuke
- Ms. Fanservice: Yoko and Nami. Oh so much.
- Nietzsche Wannabe: Hooooo boy. Nearly every single antagonist.
- Otaku: Okada, who's the stereotypical fat, Gonky otaku.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Hirose, once he goes One-Winged Angel.
- It's not exactly One-Winged Angel; it's after he takes that form that he becomes impossible to harm.
- One-Hit Kill/Always Accurate Attack: Okada's power allows him to make contracts with people by making them promise something. If they break the promise, Okada's personal Grim Reaper kills them almost instantly. Though Yuta's power can delay the victim's death by blocking the Grim Reaper from reaching them, the only way to permanently stop it is for Okada to annul the contract.
- Parental Abandonment: Taisuke and Yoko's parents are dead, which Taisuke is indirectly responsible for. Yuta's mom succumbed to the suicide virus right in front of him. Nami's dad is missing, and her mom has gone insane. And then there's Hirose...
- The Power of Friendship: How Taisuke, Yuta and Nami survived the second coming of the suicide virus.
- Powers via Possession: Comrades gain their powers from the knowledge of the arcane workings of the universe contained within the Death Seeker ghost trying to make them kill themselves.
- Playing with Fire: Taisuke and Kanon or so it seems...
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Comrades.
- Rival Turned Evil: Hirose.
- Sexy Priest: Asou.
- Spanner in the Works: Hirose. Really, Katsumata, if you mind rape a kid and give him enough power to destroy the world, make sure you can control him.
- The Stoic: Nami.
- Stuff Blowing Up: Kanon's power is to make anything metallic explode.
- Supreme Chef: Taisuke. Just look at the food he manages to make while on the road. Eventually trains to become an actual chef because of this.
- Sword over Head: Taisuke and Hirose's final battle.
- Talking Animal: The owl Comrade. Lampshaded at least once. His power is even allowing other animals to talk for him...by biting them in the spine, and having them die when he's done using them. Yes, it's as bad as it sounds.
- Tears of Remorse: Taisuke and Hirose in the final three chapters.
- Third-Person Person: Kanon.
- íThree Amigos!: Taisuke, Hirose, and Megumi. Taisuke, Yuta, and Nami.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: Taisuke never kills anyone in the whole of the series.
- Touched by Vorlons: If you get the suicide virus, you either kill yourself, or get superpowers that may or may not drive you insane. Yay.
- Tsundere: Megumi and Nami.
- Two Guys and a Girl: Taisuke, Hirose, and Megumi.
- Unexpected Genre Change: The thing starts off as a supernatural thriller, but around the time we meet Yuta, the thing turns into a full-blown action series. And then it changes back to thriller!
- Unlimited Wardrobe: The protagonists swap clothes quite a bit, which is a little odd when you remember that Taisuke, Nami, and Yuta are all runaways surviving on whatever Taisuke can earn with short, part-time jobs. Partially justified in that they get into fights and require a change of clothes afterward, but sometimes it seems to be just for the sake of a new outfit.
- Walking the Earth
- Well-Intentioned Extremist: Nami is out to kill all Comrades, regardless of whether they're allied with Katsumata or not. Subverted in that not only does she get better, but it turns out she wasn't willing to go to the extremes she thought she was.
- Also, Katsumura himself was actually only doing everything in an attempt to kill Mitama and (he believed) save humanity.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: How the suicide virus came about. It's actually the result of immortal minds possessing people so that they can kill themselves along with the mortal bodies.
- Your Head A Splode: Yura's preferred method of execution.