Nova(L), Grey(R), and the Resistance
is a Shōnen Manga
created by Yoshihisa Tagami and published by Tokuma Shoten in Monthly Shōnen Captain magazine (and Viz Media
in North America). Originally running between 1985-1987 culminating in three volumes.
was also adapted into an Animated Film, Grey: Digital Target
, on December 13th, 1986. It was produced by Magic Bus and Tokuma Japan Corp. under the direction of Satoshi Dezaki with a total runtime of 73 minutes. (Viz Media
also released a translation of Digital Target
Both the Manga
and animated film tell the story of a post-apocalyptic world covered in wastelands and only dotted with the occasional small town. Each town is supervised by a "Little Mama" computer, a node connected to the world governing super-computer called "Big Mama". The underprivileged in each town, known as "People", live in the slums, work for a pittance in factories, and are subject to both attack from other towns and abuse from the "Troopers" — the town military. Anyone can apply to become one of the privileged "Troopers", join the army and fight the other Towns in a perpetual war. The Troopers trade a low survival rate for being able to afford the finer things in life — and fight in the hope that if they live long enough, they can become "Citizens" — inhabitants of the legendary capital city of the world.
The story follows Grey, a successful combatant who joined the army after the death of his girlfriend, Lips, during one such war. Even though he originally despised the Troopers and everything they stood for, Grey continues to fight and is continually seeking an answer for why Lips had to die. Grey has become legendary among the Troopers of his town, both for his success rate in battle and the tendency to return as the Sole Survivor
of any squad he's sent out with. They call him "Grey Death
Tropes associated with Grey:
- A God Am I: Toy really believes it has become the god of a new world.
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Toy was the world's first sentient computer, built centuries before the beginning of the story. It started what was basically World War III, took control of the world-controlling computer net under the guise of "Big Mama", and created the system of Trooper classes from F to A to force the remaining towns to fight and destroy each other.
- Mysterious Middle Initial: Robert J. Dimitri, the engineer who created the supercomputer Toy and the "Sure" fembots guarding the access to "Little Mama" in every town.
- Not So Different: Grey equally hates the City and Nagoshi, seeing them as ideals that only bring death and despair. In fact, Nagoshi kidnapped his mentor Red, brainwashed him and turned him into a killer cyborg, whom Grey was forced to defeat and destroy.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Toy organized all the whole war thing because, according to its calculations, mankind's ultimate goal was self-destruction. He wanted to help it reach that goal faster.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Almost all characters are only known by their battle names.
- Posthumous Character: Lips is never seen outside of flashbacks.
- Pre Explosion Glow: When something big explodes it almost always glows white before doing so.
- The Reveal: Grey and Lara, after having witnessed the death of all their former comrades, finally reach the capital. They discover that the "Citizens" are actually droids controlled by Toy, and nobody ever became a Class A Trooper.
- Sacrificial Lamb: Most of the squad that Grey gets assigned to at the beginning. They had apparently become True Companions in previous missions before their deaths, adding tension to how Nova has to work with Grey to survive the first arc.
- Schizo Tech: Troopers from three-digit towns are issued World War II-vintage weapons, despite having more advanced technology for support equipment, transport to and from battlefields, and their town's Little Mama. Lower-numbered towns have more and more advanced equipment such as Humongous Mecha and Frickin' Laser Beams.
- Shinigami: Grey's nickname in the original manga.
- Sorting Algorithm of Evil: "evil" has a loose value in this series but the towns that Grey faces are ranked according to their threat and advanced weaponry level.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Nova originally died halfway through the manga to show that The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized; she survives that plot point in Digital Target because she was popular.
- Storming the Castle: Grey liberates a La Resistance base from enemies this way.
- Suicide Attack: Some examples, most famously Robert J. Dimitri as a cyborg downloading his conscience in the body of a "Ion" (a dog-shaped robot) and blowing himself up in the reactor of Nagoshi's floating base, triggering a chain reaction that eventually destroys it.
- Technology Marches On: When Grey gets turned into a cyborg, computers around him still have space for floppy disks. Possibly a case of Zeerust given the conditions of the world.
- Tragic Keepsake: Grey wears the helmet that Lips wore on her one mission — complete with her name written on it, and the hole from the shot that killed her. He shrugs it off when Nova brings it up: "I've got a funny-shaped head. It's the only helmet that fits."
- War for Fun and Profit: The main reason for Troopers to fight is to escape the low "People" caste; in addition, their performance in battle (which divides them in classes from F to A) determines whether they get promoted enough to be admitted to the City, where the elite live in luxury.
- War Is Hell: A constant war that has no reason other than 'increase in rank' where the survival rate is low and the only reason anyone joins is to escape the lower caste of 'People'.