Manga: Crimson Shell
"A bracelet, a promise, a future... The things that you gave... These... Are everything to me..."
Claudia is a girl known as the Scarlet Rose
, a mutation of a mutation created by a scientist
who has since disappeared. Claudia is only one of many such creations, and the others are known as Black Roses. The Scarlet Rose, however, is considered the only 'perfect' mutation, creating some animosity
between herself and the Black Roses. In order to protect Claudia from the Black Roses, and to capture the remaining Black Roses, the organization Crimson Bullet
The story begins with an invasion of Victims
, monsters created by a Black Rose's poison. After Claudia deals with them, she is introduced to a boy named Shion
by Ruskin. Shion is told by him that Claudia is currently waiting for her beloved
. Shortly after he returns (In a dramatic entrance
, saving Claudia
), he tells Claudia that he is on a secret mission
. Later that night, he is caught on security camera footage stealing what appears to be sensitive organization information. He is heard on tape declaring that he is finished with 'this friendship game'
, causing Claudia to become ill. She is soon after confronted and comforted by Robin, Melissa, and Les
, the latter telling her to listen to her heart, because 'it will never betray you'. Now, Claudia is left to decide whether or not she should keep believing in the man who has her heart.Crimson Shell
was a one-shot manga by Mochizuki Jun, author of Pandora Hearts
Crimson Shell shows examples of:
- Abandoned Laboratory: What the scientist who created the Black Roses left behind. Supposedly contains a poison that can extract Claudia's Premiere Seed.
- Affectionate Nickname: Claudia is referred to as 'Dia' or 'Princess' by a few other characters.
- Armor-Piercing Question: When Shion is trying to kill Claudia, and he keeps calling her a failure. Finally, she asks him, 'When you call me a failure— The one you're really talking about is yourself, isn't it?'. Their facade shatters at that point.
- Asleep for Days: The story ends with Claudia deep in slumber. It is left unknown when she wakes up, if at all.
- Berserk Button: Shion's is when Claudia calls him out on being a failure. Les's is when Ruskin is ever in any danger.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Shion.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Shion is revealed to be the main antagonist. Who would have guessed?
- Bittersweet Ending: Claudia is safe and Shion is dead, but Xeno is left behind to die as well.
- Blood Lust: Shion is seen licking blood off of Xeno's wounds after attacking him.
- Bodyguard Betrayal: Wilhelm appears to do this in chapter 2. Also Xeno.
- Break Them by Talking: Claudia manages to do this to Shion in the final chapter.
- Broken Bird: Claudia.
- Burn the Witch!: The Black Roses refer to Claudia as the 'Rose Witch', and have a rather strong desire to kill her.
- Can't Stand Them, Can't Live Without Them: Claudia is like this with Xeno.
- Children Are Innocent: Subverted in that seemingly every child in the story is able to kill at a moment's notice.
- Clear Their Name: Xeno is incriminated by surveillance footage of stealing valuable data, leaving it up to Claudia and her friends to find out the truth.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: As innocent and oblivious as Shion seems, in the end you realize that he can kill you in seconds.
- Dangerous Workplace: Crimson Bullet HQ faces all sorts of threats on a seemingly daily basis.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Shion appears to have had one of these.
- Death Equals Redemption: Xeno considers this to be true.
- Designer Babies: The Black Roses (and Claudia) fall under this category.
- Dramatic Entrance: Both Xeno and Robin utilize this in their first appearance.
- Easily-Overheard Conversation: Somewhat subverted in that while Xeno's conversation was caught on tape, not all of it was audible, and that happened to be the most important part.
- Elective Mute: Les is rarely seen speaking a full sentence, if at all. He has only been shown to directly converse with Claudia, Melissa, and Ruskin.
- Establishing Character Moment: Robin makes his first appearance as dramatic as possible.
- Everyone Can See It: Claudia's feelings towards Xeno are so obvious, Shion calls her out on it on the same day they meet. And later uses it against her.
- Fake Weakness: Shion states that if he is killed, Claudia will also die. He lied, giving him ample opportunity to take control of Xeno.
- Fighting from the Inside: Xeno is doing this while under the influence of Shion's poison.
- Fighting Your Friend: Claudia vs. Xeno.
- Flaw Exploitation: Claudia ends up using Shion's intense hatred over being called a failure to her advantage.
- For Science!: The creation of the Black Roses.
- Genki Girl: Melissa is a more mild version of this. Robin, while male, fits this trope as well.
- Good Is Not Nice: Claudia is more than a little abrasive towards a multitude of individuals.
- Gotta Kill Them All: The entire purpose of Crimson Bullet is to capture and eliminate the remaining Black Roses.
- Happy Ending: You don't get one.
- Happy Flashback: There is a single happy flashback panel from Shion's memories with Victoria.
- Harmful to Touch: A Black Rose's poison will kill anyone that comes in contact with it. But not before the agonizing transformation into a Victim.
- Hates Being Touched: Claudia always reacts in a flustered manner whenever Xeno pats her on the head.
- Hero Secret Service: Crimson Bullet acts as one for Claudia.
- Hidden Badass: Les does not outwardly appear to be any sort of fighter, and yet he whipped out a pistol and jumped into a danger zone with no hesitation when Ruskin was in danger.
- I Can Still Fight: Even after Claudia was shot by the Death Scythe, she still stands back up like it was nothing.
- "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Claudia has this with Xeno when she and Robin discover that Xeno has become a Victim. It works.
- Immortality Begins at Twenty: Wilhelm, as the Scarlet Rose's thorn, is effectively immortal as long as Claudia is alive.
- Immortality Inducer: Inverted with the Death Scythe, a special poison that functions to effectively end Claudia's immortality by extracting her Premiere Seed.
- Just in Time: Xeno's first appearance involves killing a Victim that was seconds away from attacking Claudia.
- Kill the Ones You Love: Claudia is faced with the task of doing this to Xeno. She can't.
- Left for Dead: Shion and Xeno.
- Make Sure He's Dead: Shion and Xeno are left for dead at the end of the book. HQ sends people to find the bodies a few days later, but the bodies were unable to be found. Makes you wonder...
- Mercy Kill: Claudia was supposed to do this to Xeno. She couldn't.
- The Mole: Shion for the Black Roses, who himself is a Jet Rose.
- More Than Mind Control: Shion utilizes this to take control of Xeno in order to steal Claudia's Premiere Seed.
- Mysterious Past: Almost no one in Crimson Shell has any sort of past mentioned whatsoever. Those that do, however, tend to fall under the more unfortunate category.
- Never Got to Say Goodbye: Claudia and Xeno.
- No Name Given: Only two of the characters in the series are even shown with full names, Shion Liddell and Robin Wingfield.
- Not a Morning Person: Les is almost always seen half asleep, not even considering what time of day it is.
- Not Growing Up Sucks: Because Claudia is the Scarlet Rose, she is immortal. Also Shion, as the Jet Rose.
- Not So Stoic: Les later shows that he can indeed express emotion when Ruskin gets taken hostage by Wilhelm and he reacts in an unexpectedly violent and angry manner.
- Not So Weak: Les seems very passive, but if you threaten someone he cares about... Also Shion, when he is revealed to be the Jet Rose.
- Oddly Small Organization: Crimson Bullet does not appear to have more than a few dozen members.
- Older Than They Look: It is revealed that both Claudia and Wilhelm have not aged in the past 5 years. As Shion is apparently older than Claudia, their outward appearance suggests that they, too, have not aged, perhaps for even longer.
- Only Mostly Dead: At the end of the book, both Xeno and Shion were left in this state. Their current statuses are unknown.
- Our Monsters Are Different: Victims are monsters created with a Black Rose's poison, made by a Black Rose infecting a human before they die.
- Parental Abandonment: While none of the children in the series have parents that are ever mentioned, Shion considers the scientist and creator of the Black Roses his father, and takes this trope particularly hard.
- Phlebotinum Girl: Claudia.
- The Power of Hate: Shion is revealed by the end to have an intense hatred towards Claudia, which, while misplaced, is more or less the driving force behind the plot.
- The President's Daughter: Claudia is sought after by the Black Roses for her Premiere Seed.
- The Quiet One: Les is only seen speaking a full sentence twice.
- Resentful Guardian: Wilhelm acts like one of these because he is bound to Claudia, but it was only a ruse to gain information about the Black Roses.
- Small Secluded World: Claudia keeps herself isolated in the 'warm house' until Xeno drags her out.
- Spell My Name with an S: Les, Lace, or Less? Wilhelm or William? Shion or Zion? No one can agree.
- Superior Species: The Black Roses consider themselves superior to humans.
- The Stoic: Les is seen with a perpetually neutral expression, and has only displayed any semblance of emotion once.
- Stopped Caring: Claudia admits that at one point in her life, she had stopped caring about everything.
- Tall, Dark and Snarky: Xeno.
- There Are No Coincidences: Shion started his first day at Crimson Bullet on the same day of a massive Victim invasion? How could that possibly be suspicious?
- Tragic Monster: Xeno is revealed to have been turned into a Victim by Shion at the end of the book.
- The Tragic Rose: Used literally, the Black Roses are all condemned to a fate of eventually succumbing to a disease known as the Black Spot. Shion apparently dies at the end, fulfilling this trope without the Black Spot.
- Token Trio: Robin, Melissa, and Les.
- True Colors: Shion, Victoria, and Executive Bathler are all revealed to be in league with the Black Roses. In fact, Shion is their leader.
- Twenty Minutes Into The Present: There's no specified time frame for Crimson Shell, but it appears to be more or less around present day, if not slightly later.
- Undying Loyalty: Claudia refused to give up on Xeno even after it appeared that he had betrayed her.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Judging from one of the few flashbacks in the story, Shion was likely one of these.
- White Hair, Black Heart: Shion
- Was It All a Lie?: Claudia wonders this after Xeno's apparent betrayal. It wasn't.
- A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing: Shion.
- Your Days Are Numbered: All of the Black Roses are sentenced to dying from the Black Spot. It is seemingly inevitable, which is why Shion is trying to acquire Claudia's Premiere Seed, in an effort to hold off the disease.
- Your Worst Nightmare: For Claudia, when Xeno chooses to stay behind and die alone.
- Zettai Ryouiki: Claudia and Melissa, both Grade A.