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Manga: Enigme

Enigme is a manga series that ran in Shonen Jump and was written by Sakaki Kenji, who studied under Akira Amano (the author of Katekyo Hitman Reborn!). Haiba Sumio is a student at a Tokyo High School with an interesting ability. He occasionally falls asleep and wakes up with premonitions of the future written out on his "Dream Diary". With this ability, Sumio helps out people in trouble before anything bad happens, until one day when his peaceful life completely changes. His mother is kidnapped and he and his friend Shigeru end up trapped in a game known as the "e-test" along with five other people who also posess special powers. Winning the game will allow him to save his mother, but as he progress through the test, the mysteries grow deeper...

This series is a brilliant thriller with some similarities to Death Note and Mirai Nikki, and is currently the most popular of Shonen Jump's series released in 2010. It ended in December, 2011. The plot is also very involved, so spoilers abound.

Enigme provides examples of:

  • Achilles' Heel: Kijima's computer is the source of his power.
  • Ambiguously Evil: The Masked Gentleman, aka Gido Imizuka. He doesn't act antagonistically towards Sumio and actually compliments him after losing in the coin toss for the last ticket. However, when everyone gets brought back to life in the last chapters, he's revealed to have been on the good guys' side all along.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The "enemy", aka Cannibal/Shimei Kouda.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Moto.
  • Arc Words: Enigma.
  • Art Evolution: Subtle, but it's there. Just look at Sumio's hair: at the beginning it's just a big un-detailed poof of an afro, but in the last ~10 chapters it becomes more detailed and clean.
  • Ax-Crazy: Akame. He's introduced as being a murderer who kidnapped a five year old and killed him after receiving the ransom for the hell of it. It just goes downhill from there.
  • Becoming the Mask: Aru and his police mascot costume.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Enigma has the power to grant its holder three wishes, but it does so by twisting the fates of people so that misfortune befalls them.
  • Big Bad Friend
  • Big Brother Is Watching
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Mao from the train arc. She acts all cutesy to try to get the other passengers on her side, and pushes Sumio down a flight of stairs to steal his ticket and the skull. Doesn't stop her from getting eaten, though.
  • Body Horror:
    • Being caught by a Shadow and turned into one doesn't seem very comfortable.
    • Cannibal has the ability to make all the bones in a human body disappear. He also has a big glass window in his stomach where all the people who he's eaten are kept.
  • Body Snatcher:
    • Matsurigi gets posessed when he's caught by the shadows. He gets better though...at least that's what he told them.
    • Cannibal can assume the appearances of anyone he consumes.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Pretty much anyone turned into a shadow
  • Chair Reveal: When Enigma's true identity is revealed.
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Sumio is a good guy, but hits on every girl he sees, except for Shigeru.
  • Clear Their Name: Kirio is a bit of a subversion since he's not so much obsessed with having his name cleared, so much as taking vengeance on the guy who got him locked up in the first place.
  • Closed Circle: Yuyami High School.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Moto initially, but he gets over it.
  • Cut Short: Judging by the length of the first arc compared to the second (the former is over four times the length of the latter), it's likely that the writer had to rush to avoid this.
  • Damsel in Distress: Sumio's mother in the first arc and Shigeru in the second.
  • Death Trap
  • Disc One Final Boss: Kijima.
  • Disappeared Dad: Sumio's. He comes back in the end, though.
  • Easily Forgiven: Kurisu Ryo.
  • Escape from the Crazy Place
  • Evil Plan: Enigma aka Kirio. He sets up the e-test in order to find the person capable of becoming the next Enigma so that he can use this person as a decoy for the "enemy" who's after whoever has the Enigma skull, which will bide him time so that he can escape from prison and exact his revenge on the "enemy". This also allows him to be able to reuse the skull's ability to grant three wishes once he retrieves it, since he used them up previously After the e-test is done and finished he initially chooses Shigeru to become Enigma, Sumio decides to take it up instead. However, Kirio reveals that he expected Sumio to take up the position anyway.
  • Extremely Short Timespan
  • Eyepatch of Power: Subverted with Moto: he's one of the more cowardly participants in the test.
  • Final Girl: Inverted in the train arc. Mao is the first to be attacked by Cannibal.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Gaikotsu Express turns out to be one of these. Sumio wished for the skull to disappear, but the skull cannot self terminate, so it created the express to give Sumio a way to do so while simultaneously hindering him. Cannibal coming aboard only further muddled this up, but if he killed Sumio then everything would work out.
  • Genre Savvy: Sumio. An important photograph was printed with disappearing ink? Just take a picture of it with your cell phone!
  • Good All Along: Kijima.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Takemaru.
  • Good Smoking, Evil Smoking: Kijima when he was acting as Enigma.
  • Heel-Face Turn: Played with in regards to Enigma.
  • I Am A Humanitarian: Cannibal.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Sumio's borderline, as he just isn't fond of having his destiny controlled by the dream diary, and Moto views his power as a curse.
  • It Was with You All Along: The much sought-after seventh password ended up being Sumio's name.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Matsurigi seems to be a bit of a jerk, but as revealed in his backstory, he genuinely wants to help others, even to the point where he'll risk being possessed by a shadow to save someone else from that fate.
  • Jigsaw Puzzle Plot
  • Kids Are Cruel: Both Hiina and Moto have been victims of bullying. In addition, Sumio saves a girl from being bullied in the first chapter.
    • Enigma ("both" of them) turns out to be teenagers.
  • Logical Weakness: Sumio's Telepathy allows him to sync with other people's thoughts, but it won't work if the person refuses or closes themselves off.
  • Love at First Sight: Sumio's mum and dad apparently. Sumio tries to emulate this. Repeatedly.
  • Love Triangle: There appears to be one developing between Sumio, Shigeru and Hiina.
    • Looks likes there's one between Sumio, Shigeru, and Kirio.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Kurisu fits this pretty well, taking advantage of Sumio's kindness to get his hands on the password and then proceeding to kidnap Shigeru so that he can test whether or not the exit is a trap.
    • Additionally, Enigma appears to have set up the E-Test in order to test everyone's talents and fufill his goal.
  • Mysterious Parent: Sumio and Kirio.
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Cannibal.
  • New Powers as the Plot Demands:
    • Sumio's Dream Diary seems to get more powerful when he needs it to.
    • It's later revealed that Engima has been manipulating Sumio's powers throughout the test.
    • The revelation of Takemaru's talent can also count as this.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Kijima burning the Dream Diary actually ended up cutting off the restrictions of Sumio and Shigeru's true talents, allowing for them to awaken. Of course, given the nature of the e-test, this was probably intentional.
  • Nightmare Face: Happens a lot.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Suuki.
  • No Indoor Voice: Enigma
  • Oblivious to Love: Sumio doesn't seem to notice Shigeru's feelings for him.
    • He seems to think she likes Kirio.
  • Plot Tailored to the Party: The whole point of the e-test.
  • Portal Picture: Kurisu's 'Flat' ability turns all pictures into this.
  • Power Perversion Potential: Lampshaded but averted since Sumio notes that Moto could use his Disappear ability to make clothes disappear, but Moto is against the idea.
  • Race Against the Clock: The e-test.
  • Reality Warper: Kurisu, when he's using his Flat ability.
    • And Kijima too.
  • Reset Button Ending
  • Sadistic Choice: Sumio and co. had to choose between letting Matsurigi be burnt to death or give up a password meaning that one person will be left behind.
  • Scars Are Forever: Takemaru has a giant scar on his back from when his stepfather slashed him... and blood still oozes out from it from time to time.
  • School For Scheming
  • Screw Destiny: Sumio's attitude toward the predictions in his Dream Journal. In chapter 35, we learn why. The very first prediction written in the Dream Journal involved a friend of his being stabbed in the throat. He wasn't able to stop the stabbing, but was able to get there in time to save his friend's life.
  • Skull for a Head: Enigma's avatar is a skull with a back-to-front jaw.
  • Sliding Scale of Free Will vs. Fate: Sumio's Dream Diary puts him solidly under Type 3.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The title itself. While the original title has two upside down 'e's, this is usually simplified to either 'Enigme' or 'Enigma'.
  • Student Council President: Matsurigi, and before that Kurisu. They end up sharing the role in the Reset Button Ending.
  • Superpower Lottery:
    • While Matsurigi's Cubic Subtraction is a pretty cool ability, Ryou's 'Flat' ability takes the prize, since he can enter pictures and control them as his own world.
    • Cannibal currently wins the lottery, since he can steal the talents of others, though he does it in a rather disturbing way...
  • Taking Up The Mantle: Sumio for Kirio/Enigma in the train arc.
  • Team Normal: Suuki could count as this, considering he has no powers and yet hangs out with Sumio and the rest of the e-test participants. Additionally, when Sumio uses his telepathy to contact those who have been eaten by Cannibal, Suuki is among those who have been consumed.
  • Telepathy: This is revealed to be Sumio's real talent.
  • Tempting Fate: A short bonus story taking place before the E-Test has Shigeru thinking of Kirio and wishing they could meet up again. We already know how that turned out.
  • The Big Bad Shuffle
  • The Man Behind the Man
  • The Ojou: Hiina. Inverted in that her distant attitude and her parents' company's connection to the plane crash makes her a social outcast. Her reward for winning the game is to have bonds with others.
  • There Can Only Be One: The challenge on the train runs on this setup.
  • The Reveal: The end of Chapter 35 reveals that the ability to predict the future was actually Shigeru's ability, and Sumio's real ability is Telepathy.
  • The Speechless: Kirio in Shigeru's flashbacks.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: It turns out that everything Kijima did was to protect people from the "enemy" (Cannibal) who was after the power of Enigma, but his methods involved framing another teacher for a violent crime and trapping students with powers in the copy school, intentionally getting them turned into shadows.
  • Wham Episode: Chapter 32. Everyone except Sumio gets caught by the shadows.
    • Chapter 51. All of Sumio's old allies except for Shigeru get eaten by Cannibal and their abilities stolen.
  • X Meets Y:
  • You Gotta Have Green Hair: Sumio.
  • You Wake Up in a Room

Endless WorldMangaThe Enigma of Amigara Fault

alternative title(s): Enigme; Enigma
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