is a rather-obscure
manga by Hiroyuki Takei
, his first serialized work.
Some time in the present, a young orphan named Sachi is in the midst of being chased off the Buddhist temple in which she and her grandfather live in to make way for the Mignola Clan's four-star hotel redevelopment project. One of the gangsters notices the temple's patron god - the Bodhisattva Kannon - who was reputed to bear one thousands arms, each dedicated to helping and protective humanity. When told as such, another gangster insults the god and threatens violence against Sachi, and is surprised by the statue coming alive and punching him in the face. The statue shatters, revealing within a teenage boy in ascetic robes, who berates them for raising their hands in such a dishonorable way. The boy introduces himself as Sennju, who comes from the land of the Buddhas.
And so begins a journey through Japan touched by the Buddhist faith, meeting gods, fighting demons who possess the statues of Bodhisattvas, and redemption.
Butsu Zone provides examples of:
- A Boy and His X: A Bodhisattva and his temple guardian dog.
- Against the Setting Sun: The ending.
- Aloof Big Brother: Bato.
- Anti-Hero: Ashura.
- An Axe to Grind: Bato has several, and an extremely large one as his finishing move.
- Badass Biker: Bato.
- Badass Boast
- Bash Brothers: Sennju and Jizo.
- BFS: Several characters have very large swords.
- Big Brother Mentor: Bato.
- Blade on a Stick: Bishamon carries one.
- Bullet Catch
- Church Militant
- Drop the Hammer
- Finishing Move: Many Bodhisattvas have finishing moves.
- Fragile Speedster: Ashura.
- Friend to All Living Things: Sennju.
- Hard Head: Jizo.
- Head Pet: Koma, the temple dog.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Jizo near the end.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: Ashura's main philosophy.
- Human Shield
- I Am Your Opponent
- Idiot Hero: Sennju.
- Improbable Weapon User: The Ebisu Butsu Droid uses a bladed fish on a fishing rod as a weapon. Likewise, Junkei the Carver of a Thousand Hands uses chisels as stabbing and throwing weapons.
- Ki Attacks: Jizo's Mudra Beam.
- Kick the Dog: Ashura kills Koma.
- Kung-Fu Jesus
- Large Ham: Several characters.
- Lightning Glare
- Life Energy
- Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Sennju, Bato, Asura, and many other armor-bearing Bodhisattvas.
- Pintsized Powerhouse: Sennju.
- Power Armor: The source of the Bodhissatvas' power are suits of power armor, enchanted, blessed, and gifted with weapons and (usually) multiple arms.
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: The Eight Dragons of Heaven.
- Rapid Fire Fisticuffs: The One Thousand Fists Attack.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The originals, Agyou and Ugyou.
- Reused Character Design: The Itako Anna appears. Takei has stated that she is his "lucky charm" of sorts.
- Shout-Out: The Mignola Clan (as well as their boss Mike) are all named after Mike Mignola, whom Takei professes himself as a big fan.
- Likewise, Bato's human form resembles the Mariachi from Desperado.
- Single-Minded Twins: The Agyou and Ugyou Butsu-Droids.
- Stone Wall: The "Gruesome" Armor of Jizo.
- Super Senses: Jizo has the ears of hell itself, apparently.
- Tag Team Twins: Again, Agyou and Ugyou.
- Technical Pacifist: Sennju, who although abhors killing, has no qualms about beating the unrighteous to a pulp.
- The Atoner: Asura, at the end.
- The Big Guy: Bato.
- Messianic Archetype: It is said that Sachi will attain enlightenment and become the Buddha Mirouko.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: Sennju and Ashura have this relationship.
- The Psycho Rangers: The demons of Mara, who possess the representative statues of the Buddhas and become the Butsu-Droids.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: A strict rule amongst the Bodhisattvas. To kill another is unthinkable (to the point where Sennju will not even allow Mike Mignola to kill him) which stands in stark contrast to Ashura's thoughtless slayings.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Jizo and riceballs.
- Transformation Trinket: Sennju's arm-ring allows him to summon his armor from the Butsu Zone.
- Trojan Horse: Gobujo is actually the elephant-mount, not the kid.
- Tsundere: Sachi.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: Jizo and Sennju.
- Yakuza: The Mignola Clan. They convert to Buddhism and become monks after their encounter with Sennju.