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Manga: MW

MW is a manga by Osamu Tezuka, the creator of Astro Boy. It ran from 1976-78 in the seinen magazine Big Comic.

Garai was part of a gang that kidnapped the young Michio Yuki. After hiding out in the mountains overnight, they find themselves the sole survivors of a leak of the eponymous chemical warfare agent, MW. Fast forwards 15 years: Garai, in penance, has joined the priesthood; Michio, for his part, has become an exceedingly attractive and charismatic but utterly amoral criminal, and Garai's lover, much to Garai's distress. The plot follows Michio as he attempts to hunt down the current location of the MW gas, and Father Garai and Detective Meguro as they attempt to hunt down Michio.

This is not an abbreviated article of the Modern Warfare series, by the way.


This work provides examples of:

  • Alpha Bitch: Michio's wife, and his boss' daughter.
  • Antagonist in Mourning: Michio when Garai forms a Heroic Sacrifice to send the MW gas with him to the ocean.
  • Anything That Moves: Michio, whether the other party wants to or not. It's implied that he has something going on with his dog.
  • Art Evolution: Yuki's face tends to be drawn consistently harsher near the end of the story, likely the result of the characterization he had picked up. Public Prosecutor Meguro's earlier appearances have him with a much simpler face; his enormous beak of a nose being his only notable feature. His later appearances, where he's more important to the plot, he was given sunken cheekbones, haggard eyes, and a nose that flip-flops between 'caricature' and 'aquiline'.
  • Asshole Victim: Michio is killing off the ones who are involved in the MW including his boss at the bank he worked at.
  • The Atoner: Garai, with variable effectiveness.
  • Ax-Crazy: Michio.
  • Bespectacled Bastard Boyfriend: Michio, some of the time (his use of glasses is rather erratic). Also depending on whether you believe he actually loves Garai, or is just jerking him around for his own amusement (which would make it more of a Mad Love situation).
  • Bishounen: Michio.
  • Cain and Abel: Michio and his lookalike brother, Tamanojo. They eventually confront each other by the climax of the manga.
  • Chick Magnet: Michio.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Michio is a male (if sissy) version of this to Garai, complete with glomping.
  • Confessional: Michio routinely confesses all his crimes to Father Garai, who is unable to report him to the police because of the confidentiality of the confessional. Michio apparently does this largely to torment Garai.
  • Continuity Cameo: Shunsaku Ban, AKA "Mr Mustachio", is a character from another of Tezuka's manga, Astro Boy.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Michio's boss at the bank, who's also part of the MW cover up.
  • Creepy Child: Michio, after inhaling a dose of MW.
  • Darker and Edgier: MW is considered to be Osamu Tezuka's darkest work.
  • Depraved Bisexual: Michio.
  • Downer Ending: Father Garai foiled Michio's plot of gassing the entire world with the titular chemical weapon by sacrificing his life of taking it down with him to the ocean, the latter gets gunned down by one of his hostages, Shunsuke Ban still doesn't recover from his last attack, and Michio is revealed to be alive and escapes punishment by impersonating his older lookalike brother.
    • Ambiguous Ending: It's worth questioning as well whether that's really Michio or his older brother.
  • Evil Laugh: Michio does this a lot.
  • Expy: Michio may be the basis for Monster's Johan, another beautiful but amoral killer, though Michio's sexuality is much more overt and he entirely lacks Johan's trademark Dissonant Serenity.
  • Freudian Excuse: Subverted; when Michio starts targeting people involved with the MW accident, Father Garai thinks he's after revenge, but actually Michio wants a sample of the gas so he can synthesize large amounts in order to take the whole world with him when he dies.
  • Good Is Impotent: Michio generally effortlessly outmanoeuvres poor, conflicted, and not all-that-bright Garai. And everyone else.
  • Groin Attack: Poor, poor Shansaku Ban.
  • He Also Did: MW is rather a departure from Tezuka's other work in terms of content.
  • Heel-Faith Turn: Garai, from child-molesting Mook to priestly do-gooder.
  • Implacable Man: Meguro.
  • Joker Immunity: The ending.
  • Karma Houdini: Minch just might have shot the wrong guy....
  • Kill All Humans: Michio
  • Love Martyr: Sumiko, and she knows it, which doesn't help.
  • Manipulative Bastard: guess who.
  • Mood-Swinger: Michio.
  • Morality Chain: Garai makes ineffectual attempts to be this to Michio, and instead ends up being a heavily subverted Morality Pet - the one person Michio really cares for, but not treated any better for it.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Thanks to Minch unknowingly killed Michio's lookalike brother, Michio becomes a Karma Houdini in the end.
  • Not So Different: Michio mentions this to Garai at a few points, though the analogy is so absurd neither Garai nor the reader takes it seriously. Much more effectively done with Sumiko- when Garai confronts her about the sheer illogic of her relationship with the psychotic Michio, she points out that he's doing exactly the same thing. Garai avoids seriously considering this fact.
  • Out with a Bang: Michio kills a female character during sex, just for the fun of it.
  • Psycho Serum: MW, the gas that leads to Michio's Ax-Crazy.
  • Precision F-Strike: From the Vertical translation: "I'll teach them to fuck with the common man!"
  • The Seventies: Michio's sideburns. Michio's apartment. Michio's fake mustache. Everything about Meguro.
  • Sissy Villain: Michio
  • Shotacon: When Garai is keeping the very young Michio captive overnight, he becomes attracted to the boy, and something unspecified happens... Refreshingly, not used as an explanation for Michio's later behavior or his orientation.
    • Debatable on the Freudian Excuse front, given that Garai is not exactly all that honest with himself or anyone else (cf. his entirely unbelievable claim that he has only been having sex with Michio because the latter is able to "turn himself into a woman" and somehow subvert Garai's free will), and has plenty of reason to want to insist that Michio's Axe Crazy, aggressively hypersexualized behaviour is just due to the gas, not his own molestation of a nine-year old child hostage.
  • Shout-Out: An early sex scene between Garai and Michio is a pastiche of Aubrey Beardsley's illustrations for Lysistrata and Salome.
  • Sleazy Politician: Michio's eventual father-in-law, who's also part of the MW cover up.
  • Taking You with Me: Michio, on a grand scale
  • Transparent Closet: Garai
  • Twin Switch: Part of Meguro's intricate plan. However...
    • Except they're not twins, just lookalike siblings.
    • This is how Michio survives in the end.
  • Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Michio before the MW/Garai/hostage situation
  • Villain Protagonist: Michio
  • Villainous Crossdresser: Michio, frequently impersonating his female victims.

MonsterPsychological ThrillerOnani Master Kurosawa
MUDShort TitlesM0
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total EclipseMangaM0

alternative title(s): MW
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