Manga: Jyu-Oh-Sei

Only the prettiest can survive.

Jyu-Oh-Sei (Planet of the Beast King) is a Science Fiction manga that was turned into a eleven episode anime in 2006. It was released in America in 2008. Jyu Oh Sei tells the story of Thor, a young boy who, along with his twin brother Rai (who quickly dies), is kidnapped from his home and taken to the penal colony Chimera, the Planet of the Beast King. In order to survive in Chimera's harsh environment, the prisoners (and more importantly, the descendants of those prisoners) are forced to become like savage beasts. The more Thor learns about the planet, the more he is forced to accept that, in order to survive and escape Chimera, he will have to become a beast himself.

Aiding him in this is Tiz, the second in command of Sun Ring's female group, and Third, a schemer who prefers to work behind the scenes, rather than become a Top himself. Other characters include Chen, the Top of Sun Ring's women who is irrevocably in love with Third, Zagi, the leader of an outcast group of children who will later become Thor's rival, and Karim, with whom Thor falls in love. As the story develops, Thor will have to fight to survive and climb to the top of the food chain (so to speak) so he can leave the planet and discover why he was sent to this place.

Jyu-Oh-Sei provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Aerith and Bob: We have Thor, Zagi, Tiz, etc... and then there's Kevin.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Karim has been desperately in love with Zagi since she first met him, despite the way Zagi usually treats her. He is slightly less of an asshole (to her, anyway) in the "Death Game" prequel. Chen and Third are a milder example.
  • Ambiguously Bi: Zagi. His relationship with Karim is complicated, but definitely of a romantic nature; and his attraction to Thor is so blatant that Karim gets jealous.
  • Anyone Can Die: From the series initial planning creator Natsumi Itsuki actually decided that every single main character besides Thor will die, and with the exception of Chen, Rada, and Thor they do.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The main cast is made up of Bishōnen and beautiful women.
  • Becoming the Mask: Heiser. In the anime he just goes "native" while in the manga he develops a Split Personality, resulting in Third.
  • Bishōnen: Thor and Third. Maybe Zagi but he's more of a macho kind. Zagi becomes progressively prettier throughout the manga. In the Death Game prequel in the end of volume five, he is most certainly this trope. All of them are even more so in the anime.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Very much so, just read the spoilers.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The members of the Night Ring all have dark skin and get massacred halfway through the series. Their leader Jeso is the first Top to be killed (on-screen at least) after the Time Skip. a few survive and attempt to kill Zagi, but wind up shooting Tiz.
    • Subverted, as Rai is as white as you can get in the series and is the first (non-posthumous) named character to die.
  • Blade Below the Shoulder: Zagi.
  • Broken Bird: Karim has shades of this.
  • Can't Have Sex, Ever: Third's excuse for not sleeping with Chen is that he's sterile so he wouldn't be able to father a child, which is the point of having sex (at least with women) in Chimaeran society. This is probably just an excuse; the real reason is most likely that his skin is actually white and he has blue eyes and silver/white hair, and even a hint of any of these traits appearing on his child would definitely blow his cover.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Zagi
  • Compressed Adaptation: This is what happens when you try to squeeze five volumes of a manga rich in story and background info into only eleven episodes. Many vital pieces of information are missing from the anime (including the entire point of the story, that is that the people of Chimaera are a new subspecies of homo sapiens), making it random and disjointed.
  • Death World: Chimera
  • Decoy Protagonist: The summary and first episode of the anime imply that Thor and Rai share the protagonist role. However, Rai falls to his death very early on in the series, and although they Never Found the Body, it eventually becomes evident that he is Killed Off for Real.
  • Driven to Suicide: Arguably Third, after his Heroic BSOD following the news that Earth was destroyed over 130 years ago; his entire life had been pretty much erased, and he wanted to save Thor, who would have also fallen to his death.
  • Easily Forgiven: Despite being called out on one of his many schemes, Third is forgiven less than an episode later for setting Thor up in a battle that could have killed him.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: Thor.
    Zagi: You're beautiful...Such a rare sight in such an ugly world
    Thor: Beautiful? Don't you usually say things like that to girls?
  • Everyone Calls Him Barkeep: Third, who is known only by his job title: he's third in command in his tribe. (For the record, his real name is Sigurd Heiser.)
  • Face-Heel Turn: Third. Subverted with Zagi who seems to do this but it was actually the result of manipulation.
  • Faux Action Girl: Tiz. She saves Thor in the first episode, then spends the other ten clinging to him as her hero. Never do we see her actually do something worthy of her status as a Second.
    • Justified/explained in the manga: She simply was never an Action Girl to begin with. Her status as second was more for social and political reasons. The female Sun Ring Top and Third hate each other, but both get along fine with Tiz — thus she was there to serve as a buffer between them.
  • Genius Loci: Chimaera shows signs of being this in the last arc.
  • Gratuitous English: Small amount. Mostly grammatical errors and such, with the most obvious being the computer screens in the last episode.
  • Greek Mythology and Norse Mythology: Many planets, people, and ships are named after figures from the two. Some are symbolic, some are done for worldbuilding, and some just seem random.
  • Heroic BSOD: Thor when he discovers he was actually an experiment to save the human race from extinction. and Third/Heiser when it's revealed that earth was destroyed 130 years prior. Third does not recover.
  • Inverted Portrait: Rai in the Title Sequence. Thor appears upright next to him, in almost perfect symmetry.
  • Japanese Pronouns: Karim and Tiz use the masculine "ore" in the manga. In the anime Karim uses "watashi."
  • Jerkass: Zagi. He has some Pet the Dog moments with Thor and Tiz(!), and Karim in the prequel, but overall he's an arrogant, cruel, not-even-borderline psychopath. However, he's voiced by Kazuya Nakai, he's attractive, and he has lots of Ho Yay moments with Thor, which means Jerkass Dissonance is in full effect.
    • Not to mention that he is the epitome of the Chimaeran species: a beast who is also human. It's just that he combines the worst qualities of both.
    • Also, the Ochre Ring's Top before the Time Skip.
  • Kill 'em All: With the exception of Thor, Chen and Rada, virtually the entire named cast ends up dead, although some of them die significantly earlier. A lot of people who aren't named die as well, including most of the Night Ring.
  • La Résistance: Zagi leads a very small one which attempts to destroy the ring system and gain independence for Chimaera. They're somewhat effective.
  • Laser Blade: Thor's beam knife.
  • Love at First Sight: Thor's very taken with Karim from the moment he meets her.
  • The Masochism Tango: Zagi and Karim.
  • Morality Pet: Karim for Zagi. Yes, he's an ass to her most of the time, but the few moments when he shows that he cares are pretty genuine. Especially evident in Death Game.
  • Never Found the Body: Rai and Zagi
  • Penal Colony: Chimera, or at least that's what they want people to believe. In fact it's a testing ground for breeding a new variety of humans hardy enough to survive in that star system.
  • Progressively Prettier: Most of the characters in the manga, but Zagi stands out.
  • Scenery Porn: It's a beautiful planet to look at, but you wouldn't want to live there...
  • She's Got Legs: Chen. So, so much.
  • Situational Sexuality: Women are very scarce on Chimera, and tend to live separately from men. As a result, a lot of otherwise straight men aren't against going for the next best thing (read: Thor)
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Heiza, Heiser, Heizer...
    • And the Tokyopop translation is, of all things, Heather.
  • Split Personality: Third/Heiser in the manga.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Third in the anime.
  • Take My Hand: Heiser falls over the edge of a cliff and Thor grabs him. However, it's subverted when Heiser, rather than allow Thor to rescue him commits suicide with a gun instead.
  • Taking the Bullet: Tiz takes a bullet for Zagi of all people, and dies, resulting in Face Death with Dignity for him, as he also ends up dying with her in his arms.
  • Token Trio: Thor {a white haired guy), Tiz (the chick who has slightly darker skin than Thor), and Third (who has the darkest skin but is still not quite black).
  • Tomato Surprise: Thor is actually a genetic experiment sent to Chimera in order to test his worthiness to become the savior of the human race.
    • That's nothing compared to the fact that Third is actually white as driven snow, looks exactly like Thor, and has been working for the bad guys all along. Oh, and that as it turns out the people of Chimaera have evolved into a new subspecies of homo sapiens.
  • Twelve-Episode Anime: It's eleven episodes. (Way too short.)
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: Not played completely straight, but Tiz, who has been with Thor since she was twelve, loses out to Karim.
    • Subverted a little in that Thor actually loves her a lot and she's very important to him, to the point where in the end he would sleep with her if that's what she wanted. He's just not in love with her.
    • Like Brother and Sister: On Thor's end, at least.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Odin although he does Kick the Dog by accelerating Chimaera's rotation effectively risking the lives of everybody still on it.
    • Zagi might also count. He's fighting for independence and the abolition of a cruel and manipulative ruling system, but his methods are ruthless and downright brutal at times.
  • Yandere: Tiz has shades of this, claiming that Thor is hers alone and that she's going to have his babies no matter what. Subverted, since she's willing to share him with Karim.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: Tiz after the Time Skip.