is a manga created entirely by the manhwa
team led by both Dalyoung Lim (story) and Sung-Woo Park (art).
Have you ever seen someone who looked a lot like you and determined "Hey! That's my doppelganger
!"? Well, imagine if that person was a part of you. And imagine if, after making contact with that person, you'd die the next day. Oh, and also, it's called a "doppeliner".
Keita Ibuki is either a struggling computer programmer or an Ordinary High-School Student
, depending on whether you're reading the manga or watching the anime. Anyway, he takes pity on a hungry girl named Kuro and gives her some free ramen, earning her gratitude. It turns out that Kuro is a Tera Guardian, a being meant to protect the balance of existence. After Keita is injured by a Tribal End (an evil human), Kuro switches hearts with him, linking them forever...
Other works written by Dal-Young Im:
Other works drawn by Sung-Woo Park
- Action Girl: Kuro, Mikami, Makana, Nam, oh, who are we kidding? Every Female Tera Guardian is this.
- Aloof Big Brother: Reishin. In fact, Crispin Freeman also voices Itachi Uchiha, who also killed his entire clan in order to protect his younger sibling.
- Apocalypse Maiden: Kuro, although she's technically just a third of an Apocalypse Maiden.
- Arc Number: Three. There are three people in every set of doppeliners and three Masagami. In the anime, the attack that finishes off the Masagami is Kuro's Tera-Exe, the third level of her signature attack (after Mega-Exe and Giga-Exe), and requires combining the powers of the three main characters.
- Bad Ass: All of the characters with fighting capablility, both heroes & villains.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: In the power-up sequence
- Bittersweet Ending: The anime. Kuro is forced to be separated from Keita for the rest of his life in order for the Doppleliner system to stop working. Decades pass with Kuro in the Pure Place and Keita living on Earth. When Keita dies as an old man, he takes the system with him, allowing Kuro to visit Earth without the Doppleliner system reactivating.
- Bland-Name Product: EFZON, Latteria, Toyhota, K-ON Mart etc.
- Calling Your Attacks: "EXCEED . . . MEGA-EXE!" It is mildly subverted in the anime as well when Keita activates his Thousand, he just yells "GO!"
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: In a side story, a Korean shamaness attempts to call the gods to help her with an exorcism, wondering why she's not getting an answer. She doesn't realize that there already is a god right there, Nam.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Nam took out 32 Tribal Ends without even bothering to stop eating. This was shortly after she completely pwned Kuro with about the same amount of effort. The lady is Bad Ass.
- Cute Bruiser: Kuro.
- Dark Is Not Evil: Steiner, Bernhard, and the rest of the German High Council wear these ominous black coats. They're some of the protagonists' strongest allies.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Kuro is the main example in the anime, never wearing anything but cloth wraps or leggings. She does however wear shoes on occasion in the manga.
- The same can be said of Kakuma and his twin sister, Makana. Justified, since they're a pair of nature heroes, who live alone in the forest.
- The Dragon: Hiyou, at least in the manga
- Emotionless Girl: Excel. This is subverted in the later on: 1. She's actually an adult who is growing incredibly slowly, and 2. She becomes extremely emotional in the 2nd half of the anime series.
- Evolving Credits: While the ending is (almost) always the same, the opening is different each time to avoid Spoiler Opening, such as Shinobu is displayed alongside Hiyou in Ep 8 opening, but was in the form of a transparent silhouette. She is no longer blacked out in Ep 9 opening.
- Eyes Always Shut: Toshiro
- Faceless Goons: Played with, early on, each of the Tribal End mooks have unique features and are not merely looking like clones of each other. Played straight with the biker gang except for the Mook Lieutenant who has red trim on his helmet. Later on, all the mooks are Men In Black with Sinister Shades, but averted because each one looks different from each other, at least the hair.
- Family-Unfriendly Death: Poor, poor Mayu.
- Fire, Ice, Lightning: The Masagami are fire and ice, along with Kuro, who gets a lightning effect to all her punches upon learning who she is.
- Genki Girl: Kuro, so very much
- Gory Discretion Shot: Subverted everywhere. None of the beatdowns Kuro takes are censored. Surprising, given that most are given by larger, male opponents.
- The first Tribal End introduced, upon returning to his master empty-handed, gets sliced up by invisible whip-like blades. Also not censored.
- Also, Mayu gets hit by a TRUCK. Complete with splatter.
- Heroic Sacrifice: In the manga, Kakuma used all of her Tera to rebuild the spirit stone that was all that was stopping Okinawa from being annihilated.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: Daichi and Raiga.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Steiner and Excel
- I'm Taking Her Home with Me!: Kuro. Seriously, she's adorable, innocent, kind-hearted & a REALLY handy partner when in a fight.
- Instant Expert: Nam achieves a surprising amount of fluency in Japanese just by finding a phrasebook.
- Jerk Ass: Keita, especially in the manga given how he treats Kuro & most people at first.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Keita somewhat. Akane pretty much describes him exactly this way when Kuro asks for the first time. He matures into his role as Kuro's partner, genuinely caring for her but still frequently abuses her for no reason.
- Subverted in the anime since in that version Keita is a more openly likable and emotional guy, though.
- Lightning Bruiser: Steiner, especially when his Exceed activates.
- Love Triangle: Manga shows this between Kuro, Keita, and Akane. In chapter 85, Akane come home from reunion meeting with her friend, drunk. Motivated by his friends' words, she make a move on Keita. Keita... doesn't take it well. After this, he brashly going out, asking Kuro with her. In jealousy and with lower self-control, Akane starts to torment Kuro mentally.... Then Nam slapped her, sending her crying. Later, Kuro confront Keima about this, while stating out her feelings.... DAMN IT, BE A MAN, DUDE!!
- Then Kuro said that she just kidding, and ask Keita to apologize to Akane. But even after Keita apologize, it's clear that this affecting all parties involved.
- Megaton Punch: Kuro's Mega-Exe, Giga-Exe after episode 16, and last but definitely not least Tera-Exe.
- Never the Selves Shall Meet: A central theme of the story in either incarnation.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: in anime Keita meets his Root, which spells unavoidable doom for him, only to be rescued by never mentioned before ability to "cycle" Tera with Kuro. It powers up their battle prowess too.
- In hindsight, it could count as foreshadowing. Kuro is the reincarnation of one of the three gods that created the doppeliner system that would've resulted in his doom. She might have subconsciously tapped into those powers to keep him alive.
- Non-Action Guy: Keita is this until he gets his Thousand, and even then he generally hangs in the back and lets Kuro do the physical fighting.
- No Social Skills: Kuro
- Overtook the Manga: The anime loosely followed the manga's storyline at first but the 2nd half in particular has nothing to do with the source material.
- The doppeliner system is different. In the manga, the two dies if they see each other, the remaining one becomes a root. In the anime, the root who has more luck then any other survives by default. This major difference actually caused incompatibility of the entire plots of both versions.
- Pretty Freeloader: Nam and Kuro
- Quirky Miniboss Squad: Kuraki has quite a few guardians with master root contractees.
- Rocks Fall Everybody Dies: Subverted/averted in the anime. Every human without a Tera Guardian falls to the ground seemingly lifeless at the end of episode 16, but they technically still live.
- Scenery Porn: Okinawa and The Pure Place are depicted as unusually gorgeous.
- Screw Destiny: Deconstructed in the manga. Yeah, your life sucks if you are a Sub, but trying to avert your fate by killing your Root will result in even greater mess; You become Minus Root, which had bad luck so terrible that you can induce earthquakes by your presence alone. And so far, attempt in turning Sub into true Root also resulted in many deaths.
- Shown Their Work: You'd never guess from reading the manga that nobody on the team ever actually set foot in Japan or can speak Japanese. The original script is written in Korean then translated in Japanese.
- Sink-or-Swim Mentor/ Training from Hell: In the manga, to help Kuro and Keita achieve more power, first Nam sealed most of Kuro's power, then makes them face their worst nightmare, Motsumitama that have curbstomp Kuro. Granted, it was just illusion, but Kuro almost cut her own tongue to save Keita....
- Smug Snake: Hiyou
- Superpowered Mooks: Tribal Ends, though in the end, they are still nothing but mooks.
- Squishy Wizard: Keita, when he's not being a Non-Action Guy. Well, squishy compared to Kuro, anyway.
- Standard Female Grab Area: Subverted. Kuro breaks out of various Mooks' hammerlocks with laughable frequency.
- Team Pet: Punipuni, Kuro's puppy
- Theme Music Power-Up: About a third into episode 22, the first intro theme plays in the background. Ass kicking ensues.
- Third-Person Person: Kuro
- Time Skip: The anime at episode 13 jumps the story six months.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Kuro loves her ramen noodles.
- Tyop on the Cover: "DESTORY DESTINY!"
- Victorious Childhood Friend: Akane (anime version only).
- Would Hit a Girl: Kuro gets punched, kicked, choked, and slammed face-first into and through tables. Often by Keita.
- Also what is done to Makana.
- You Can't Fight Fate: Subverted: Reishin spends the whole anime trying to avert Kuro's fate, which is her possession and/or death because she's the reincarnation of the evil "gods", the Masagami.