, a.k.a. Genzou Hitogata Kiwa
(Genzo: Tale of the Human-shaped Fiend
), is a short manga consisting of five volumes and written by Yuzo Takada, author of 3×3 Eyes
and Blue Seed
The story begins in the Sengoku Jidai
, when Toyotomi Hideyoshi
is the ruler of the land. The beautiful but tomboyish
princess Kiku of Kamigawa ask the help of the legendary "Puppet Master" Seibei Tsuchimura, in order stop the plans of her Evil Uncle
who has poisoned her Cousin/future husband
Tatsumaru. The old Seibei has left the Puppetmastery art long ago, but he offer her the help of his apprentice and son-in-law Genzo Tsuchimura
, who is trying to make a perfect puppet of her deceased and beloved wife Saki. Soon the Odd Couple
get involved in a series of weird events and secrets plots.
The series doesn't really follow a specific arc, but it's more like a series of short stories, usually in a Horror
fashion with some dark humor, drama and mistery inside. One of the volumes contains a short story titled "Gostuden" (Tale of the Gotsu Sword) which take place two hundred years later and its about O-shizu, a young girl working for a Kawaraban
(sort of newspaper), a wandering swordmaster looking for a cursed blade and some mysterious gruesome murders.
Genzo provides examples of:
- Absurdly Sharp Blade: The Samoji sword in the second volume and the Gotsumaru blade in the special. the Yamiganemaru blade in the last story.
- Action Girl: Kiku and Otsuru
- Aloof Big Brother: Koshiro Honebami to Genzo
- All Amazons Want Hercules: Sort of: Kiku says she will only marry a man strong enough to beat her in a swordfight, but she has eyes only for Genzo
- Anguished Declaration of Love: sort of. Kiku's love for Genzo is clear, but only in the final story she asks him to marry her.
- Antihero: Genzo. He slowly gets better thanks to Kiku and Otsuru
- Artificial Human: Genzo's puppets can easly pass as living humans and are often used as decoys for Daimyo.
- Artificial Limbs: at the beginning of the last story a limpy old man asks Genzo to make an artificial leg for him. it doesn't end well..
- Arranged Marriage: Kiku with Tatsumaru at first. It was later played for laughs in a Kiku-centered mini arc.
- Aside Glance: Kiku at the end of the above-mentioned Arranged Marriage miniarc. See also Les Yay below.
- Attack Its Weak Point: When Genzo is wrapped in Koshirou's flesh doll, he manage to stop it by finding and snappig its ninyh "spine segment" in its back. Later Koshiro does a similar trick by ordering his crow to sever Genzo's puppert's threads.
- Attempted Rape: First Kiku's uncle on her, and then Denzaemon on Oshizu with a katana blade. They both get what they deserve...
- Axe Crazy: Yasuke wielding the Yamiganemaru and, for a brief instant, Kiku herself.
- Bad Ass: Genzo. Also the nameless Samurai with Gotsumaru in the extra. Koshiro may count as well.
- Bald of Awesome: The one-shot villain Kyokai the Warrior Monk sports one.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy, averted: Naked women will often appear, and not only their nipples but also their pubes are visible.
- Berserk Button: Don't call Kiku flat-chested, or she'll rip you a new one!
- Beauty Is Never Tarnished: Averted. Some pretty ladies get awful-looking scars on their bodies. Kiku shows the signs of her battle with Yasuke at the end.
- Bifauxnen: Prince(ss) Kiku can easly pass as an attractive man when she wears samurai clothes. Kiyone does this as well.
- Big Bad: Each story has its own, but probably the most blatant and suitable is Maria Kusuru.
- Bittersweet Ending:Kiku survives and both Yasuke and Yamiganemaru are no longer a threat, but Genzo, whi survived the fire, has left, but he may be back again.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Otsuru has a sickle blade instead of her right hand.
- Blob Monster: Genzo's and Koshiro's puppets tend to turn into a large tentacled mass of flesh when hit, so that they can grab the opponent and hold him still. It was also used to kill Kiku's uncle.
- Blush Sticker: Osato has them.
- Break the Cutie: Poor Genzo, who got his wife horribly killed in front of his eyes. Also Otsuru in volumes 1 and 5.
- Boobs of Steel: Maria Kurusu is renowned as a strong fighter, and she has the largest bust of the entire female cast.
- Buried Alive: Kahei's wife. Her spirit claims his life for this.
- But Not Too Foreign: The aforementioned Maria is half Portuguese.
- Chekhov's Gun: Kohayamaru the Wholphin
- Covert Pervert: Hideyoshi is hinted to be one, since he left Maria in charge of her clan because of her..... "female charms"...
- Creepy Crows: Koshirou has a huge creepy raven on his shoulder. Apparently, it's also a puppet.
- Creepy Doll
- Cute Little Fangs: Otsuru has them.
- Cute Monster Girl: Otsuru again: after some proper healing, a bath, decent clothes and a new prosthetic blade she becomes even cuter.
- Cute Ghost Girl: Kiku helped one once. That specific story also ends with a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming
- Dark and Troubled Past: Genzo
- Dark Is Not Evil: Genzo uses monstrous puppets and can see ghosts, but at least he's a decent guy.
- Dead Person Impersonation: Many nobles and Daimyo hire Genzo in order to have a functional decoy of a dead person. Also Hikoichi's son and Chiyomaru/Kiyone
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: In one story, Kiku plan to get Genzo drunk so that she can have her way with him while he's unconscious. She missed her chance, though.
- Dull Eyes of Unhappiness: Genzo's eyes are always like this. In some rare occasions they're lit with a demonic light.
- Evil Counterpart: Koshiro to Genzo.
- Evil Twin: In an Otsuru-centered miniarc, a man abandons one of his newborn twins in a field. The boy grows up as a stubborn farmer named Kosuke. He falls in love with Otsuru, asks her to be his wife and gives her a new wooden arm. Then his Jerkass noble brother pops out and kill him for the Lulz. At least he got slain by Otsuru, too.
- Evil Weapon: The Jintsumaru Tenganken is said to have hypnotic powers. True or not, is still a darn creepy, sharp katana.
- The Yamiganemaru contains the wrath of the former owners and always seeks blood and revenge.
- Faking the Dead: Done sometimes, it's one of Genzo's specialties, Including Osato, Tatsugoro Momose, Kiyone.
- Fluffy Tamer: Kiyone and before her Urakami Matazaemon managed to make friend with a Wholphin (a sort of Orca)
- Frogs and Toads: Genzo is always followed by small frog-like puppets dressed like samurais and can make them speak.
- Full-Frontal Assault: When Otsuru was still the "Monster", she was dressed only with a dirty cloak on her back, and nothing else. Unless you count the Sarashi -like bandages in order to keep the blade still on her wrist.
- Gag Penis: In the fifth volume, Kiku is ill, and asks to Genzo to build a puppet to use against her suitors. However, when its pants comes off it's revealed that he gave the puppet a.... noticeable one.
- Gonk: Hideyoshi really looks like a monkey!
- Good Scars, Evil Scars: Osato has a hideous scar across her body. Kiyone has many singed spots on her skin.
- Hammerspace: averted, Genzo is always seen with a huge wardrobe-sized box on his back which contains his tools and tricks.
- Heroic Sacrifice: Genzo put up a huge one at the climax in order to save his beloved Kiku from the Yamiganemaru's curse. Somehow it seems he survived.
- Hot Spring Sequence. Happens once, with a handful of Fanservice.
- Hulkspeak: Otsuru speak in a similar fashion from volume two onward. She finally speaks normally again in the last story.
- I Have You Now, My Pretty: Denzaemon, with O-shizu in the extra. He even comments on her being still a virgin. Averted, since he plans to rip her stomach open in a sort of Dark Ritual.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Saki's ghost to Genzo and also to Koshiro.
- Instant Sedation: Genzo's sleeping powder is one of his many tricks.
- Jack the Ripoff: Denzaemon's modus operandi.
- Jerkass: Many of them. Kosuke's twin brother takes the cake.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Genzo
- Katanas Are Just Better: Averted in the Samoji sword arc, where the Kanabo wielding monk Kyokai easly snaps Kiku's swords with a well aimed swing. Played straight otherwise.
- Knockout Gas: Used a lot by Genzo, with the gas usually stored in his puppets.
- Luminescent Blush: Kiku, whenever she daydreams about herself and Genzo.
- Made of Iron: Kurojishi. He survived a point-blank explosion, was slashed twice, fell down a cliff, almost drowned twice and yet survived through all this shit.
- Malevolent Masked Man: Kurojishi, Maria's right-hand man, sports a huge demonic black mask.
- Moment Killer: Otsuru's presence always thwarts Kiku's chances of sharing a good time with Genzo.
- Ninja: They once met a small gang of young ninja boys. It Makes Sense in Context.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: A village leader once tried to entice Genzo with two beautiful, curvaceous ladies. His answer? Sending out a frog puppet who called them both "Ugly Hags!"
- Parental Abandonment: Genzo was adopted by Seibei.
- Plucky Girl: O-shizu.
- Puppet Master: Forget Sasori, forget Doflamingo, forget Legato. Tsuchimura Genzo is simply THE KING of this trope!
- Razor Floss: Averted. Genzo uses a lot of threads, but never as weapons. during his first battle with Yasuke uses them to bind him in order to get some time, and Koshiro used a similar trick to bind Kiku.
- See You in Hell: Maria, after her Villainous Breakdown at the very end. With a little of Taking You with Me.
- Slasher Smile: Genzo has somewhat of this when he gets serious, and he's as creepy as Hell. Maria has one, too, but not so creepy.
- Stalker with a Crush: Kiku sometimes behaves as one towards Genzo. Wheter he's aware of this (or if he cares) or not is unknown..
- Throwing Your Sword Always Works: For Denzaemon at least, who's smart enough to have a longer, deadlier sword concealed in the cloack. Then he met the nameless samurai....
- Tsundere: Kiku.
- Ungrateful Bastard: The first thing Yasuke does after Genzo made him a new leg? Try to chop Genzo to ribbons with his sword.
- Unusual Ears: Hideyoshi has huge ears. Also, some other characters have slightly pointy ears, like Kyokai or Koshiro.
- Ventriloquism: Genzo with his smaller puppets and Koshiro with his pet crow.
- Wife Husbandry: Gender-flipped with young Genzo and Saki, courtesy of Koshiro.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Kiku is always seen dressed as a Samurai. Also Kiyone disguised herself as Chiyomaru in order to hide her identity to Maria.
- You Can't Fight Fate: The story of "Decepting the Ghost" in the fifth volume.